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1. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Keith M. Parsons Defending Naturalism
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2. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Barbara Forrest Methodological Naturalism and Philosophical Naturalism: Clarifying the Connection
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In response to the charge that methodological naturalism in science logically requires the a priori adoption of a naturalistic metaphysics, I examine the question whether methodological naturalism entails philosophical (ontological or metaphysical) naturalism. I conclude that the relationship between methodological and philosophical naturalism, while not one of logical entailment, is the only reasonable metaphysical conclusion given (1) the demonstrated success of methodological naturalism, combined with (2) the massive amount of knowledge gained by it, (3) the lack of a method or epistemology for knowing the supernatural, and (4) the subsequent lack of evidence for the supernatural. The above factors together provide solid grounding for philosophical naturalism, while supernaturalism remains little more than a logical possibility.
3. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Theodore Schick, Jr. Methodological Naturalism vs. Methodological Realism
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According to Eugenie Scott, methodological materialism---the view that science attempts to explain the world using material processes---does not imply philosophical materialism---the view that all that exists are material processes. Thus one can consistently be both a scientist and a theist. According to Phillip Johnson, however, methodological materialism presupposes philosophical materialism. Consequently, scientists are unable to see the cogency of supernatural explanations, like creationism. I argue that both Scott and Johnson are wrong: scientists are not limited to explaining tbe world using material processes and science does not presuppose materialism. Thus scientists’ rejection of creationism is not irrational.
4. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Theodore M. Drange The Fine-Tuning Argument Revisited
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A version of the Fine-tuning Argument (FTA) considered in a previous essay is replaced by an improved version, which is then refuted.Advocates of FTA must proclaim that there is no world ensemble, that a great many alternatives to the physical constants of our universe are physically possible and roughly equal in probability to them, and that alternate hypothetical worlds are all, or almost all, uninteresting in comparison to our universe. But no reason has been produced to believe any of these claims, and so FTA, even in its improved version, can still be dismissed as unsupported, doubtful, and weak.
5. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Victor J. Stenger Natural Explanations for the Anthropic Coincidences
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The anthropic coincidences are widely claimed to provide evidence for intelligent creation in the universe. However, neither data northeory support this conclusion. No basis exists for assuming that a random universe would not have some kind of life. Calculations of the properties of universes having different physical constants than ours indicate that long-lived stars are not unusual, and thus most universes should have time for complex systems of some type to evolve. A multi-universe scenario is not ruled out, since no known principle requires that only one universe exist.
6. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Lewis Vaughn The Failure of Supernatural Hypotheses
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By applying some of the standard criteria used to judge the adequacy of scientific explanations, Richard Swinburne tries to show that the best explanation of everything is that God exists. That is, he contends that the best explanation for the existence of the universe and human life is that there is a God. I contend that Swinburne is right to appeal to the criteria of adequacy but wrong to construe them as he does. The criteria, plausibly applied, show that the God hypothesis is actually inferior to naturalistic explanations. In fact, they provide excellent reasons for believing that the God hypothesis---indeed all supernatural explanations---are false.
7. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Peter Byrne Perceiving God and Realism
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The paper aims to move the debate between Alston and critics of Perceiving God forward by asking if Alston’s book establishes a case for a realist interpretation of Christian mystical perception. It is argued that critical comments on Alston’s paper in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research by Richard Gale point, when reinterpreted, to a crucial disparity between mystical perception and sense perception. A realist interpretation of the former is not prima facie warranted but a realist interpretation of the latter is. Alston confuses the question of whether mystical perception yields true outputs with the question of its realist status.
book reviews
8. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Mark I. Vuletic Destined for Greatness
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In an expansion of the fine-tuning argument, Michael Denton argues that every aspect of the universe is ideally suited for the production and maintenance of familiar and anthropomorphic forms of life. He further argues that the ideal nature of these aspects is extremely improbable unless one postulates a designer who tooled them for the express purpose of producing familiar and anthropomorphic life. I point out shortcomings in Denton’s line of argument, focusing in particular on the premise that the ideal nature of the aspects in question is improbable absent a designer.
9. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 2
Graham Oppy Evil Beyond the Burden of Belief
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10. Philo: Volume > 3 > Issue: 1
Keith M. Parsons Ongoing Debates
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