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series introduction
1. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Ioanna Kuçuradi Series Introduction
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volume introduction
2. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
William Sweet Philosophy of Religion Today
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section: the nature of religion and religious belief
3. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Milenko Budimir Religion's Staying Power: The Narrative Imperative
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Since the Enlightenment, a common assumption in much of Western philosophy has been that religious belief would decline. Yet this has not occurred. Religion's tenacity can be partly explained by considering it as a story. The fact that stories play a central role in human experience may help to explain why religion continues to appeal to so many in a supposedly technologically-advanced, secular age.
4. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Leroy N. Meyer The Enigma of Belief and Integrity in the Philosophy of Religion
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Many philosophers of religion are unaware of research done on comparative religions, and continue to use language and to address issues that distort the nature of human religious endeavor. Despite work by Cantwell Smith, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Wittgensteinians, and their critics, these scholars continue to confuse faith with (propositional) belief, and miss the significance of the dynamic nature of religious culture in historic context. In this paper, I defend Walter Kaufmann's view that religion addresses an essential human ontological need, on the grounds that it makes sense of the immense diversity of religious expression and endeavor.
5. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Girard Brenneman A Pragmatic Defense of Religious Exclusivism
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Religious pluralism (the view that all the great world religions are equally true) is largely motivated by the fear that religious exclusivism ( the view that there is just one correct religion) leads to intolerance and oppression of those holding differing religious views. I claim that this suggests a false dichotomy: either be a tolerant pluralist or an intolerant exclusivist. I argue, first, that the seventeenth-century doctrine of toleration supports the claim that exclusivists of differing sects can peacefully coexist and, second, that religious pluralism has harmful consequences. Exclusivism (tempered by toleration) is the best solution to the challenge of religious diversity.
6. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
D. R. Bhandari Comparative Religion and Religious Harmony
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In the world today, human beings are confronted with a number of problems due ultimately to the apparent conflicts among the different religions (religious faiths). Religious attitudes, ideas, and practices differ and even seem to be incompatible with one another. I argue, however, that these faiths do not contradict. To see this, we need to engage in the comparative study of religion. This will show that the ultimate aim of all the world's religions is to establish unity among people, and will thereby provide a basis for tolerance and understanding on the part of the followers of every religion towards other religions.
7. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Celal Türer The Challenge of William James's Philosophy of Religion
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James's philosophy of religion reveals a great deal about his general philosophical position. Moreover, it provides insights concerning the epistemic priority of experience and feeling, the role of faith in the justification of belief, the nature of religious truth, and the limits of philosophic rationality. This essay tries to explain what it means, on James's view, to see the world in religious terms, and defends his pragmatic argument regarding the justification of belief.
8. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Dagmar Demjančuková Cultural Pluralism and the Specificity of Religious Language
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Modern science provides the philosophy of religion with new perspectives and bodies of evidence for researching religion. Anthropology, for example, is helpful when we consider the relation of language and religion, and recent research in the philosophy of religion has been occupied with problems created by the distinctively religious uses of language. Language and action based on the assumptions of Western culture could, however, be obstacles to grasping the essence of the faith in other contexts. I argue that methodological pluralism should be employed by philosophers, theologians, and writers, because human and religious experience is irremediably pluralistic.
9. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Emilia Velikova Existence et valeurs dans le monde contemporain: L'homme au croisement de deux paradigmes mentaux
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Dans l'espace spirituel de la civilisation occidentale contemporaine il s'opere un croisement entre deux paradigmes mentaux selon lesquels le rapport entre le transcendant et le phenomenologique est percu d'une maniere fondamentalement differente: il est question des paradigmes de pre-renaissance et de la modernite. Dans le paradigme pre-renaissant, l'univers est percu comme etant ontologiquement divise en deux realites subordonnees, ce qui introduit le Transcendant dans le monde. Avec les progres des sciences, le paradigme mental se bätit sur l'idee principale de l'unidimensionnalite du reel. Or. le monde se retrouve ainsi depourvu de sa dimension transcendante. La solution proposee dans l'expose serait la formation d'un nouveau paradigme mental qui assurerait ä l'homme une presence spirituelle dans le monde.
10. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Christophe Berchem Religiöser Glaube und reflexive Gotteserkenntnis: Über den Anspruch der reflexiven Gotteserkenntnis auf Wissenschaftlichkeit
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Although dominated by scientific and technical methodologies, contemporary philosophy and science remain essential aids for deepening our understanding of faith. Knowledge of the empirical sciences, however, must be complemented by a meta-science that goes beyond phenomenalism. Moreover, I argue that atheistic and agnostic views fail to provide a sufficient basis for the justification of morality.
section: the nature of deity
11. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Marian Hillar Numenius and Greek Philosophical Sources of Christian Doctrine
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This paper traces the philosophical sources of one of the central Christian doctrines concerning deity-the doctrine of the Trinity - from the classical Greek period through to Justin Martyr (114¬ 165 C.E.). A key figure in this continuous line of thought is the Greek Middle Platonic philosopher Numenius of Apamea (fl. ca 150 C.EJ, who followed the Platonic tradition of Xenocrates of Chalcedon (d. 314 B.C.E.).
12. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Louwrens W. Hessel Process Philosophy: A Bridge Between Islam and the West
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I argue here that, due to the influence of Greek philosophical ideas (such as the depreciation of time and change, and the glorification of independence and unqualified omnipotence), Christianity and Islam developed in directions foreign to the religious vision of their founders, leading ultimately to the present antagonisms between them. A 'philosophy of organism' - which sees time as cumulative, relations rather than substance as basic - can, however, help to reinterpret the insights of Jesus and Mohammed, and show that humanity's primary responsibility is to care for the creatures which the Eternal One has called into being.
13. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
John R. Shook God's Justified Knowledge and the Hard-Soft Fact Distinction
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The distinction between hard and soft facts has been used by compatibilists to argue that God's divine foreknowledge is not incompatible with human free will. The debate over this distinction has ignored the question of the justification of divine knowledge. I argue that the distinction between hard and soft facts is illusory because the existence of soft facts presupposes that justification exists. Moreover, if the hard fact /soft fact distinction collapses, then God justifiably knows all future events, and human beings cannot possess free will.
14. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
David Twetten On Which 'God' Should Be the Target of a 'Proof of God's Existence'
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Philosophers of religion debate what is meant by the word 'God,' in the conclusion of proofs of God's existence. If'God' is a proper name, there seems to be no good proof that a non-empirical entity has this name. If it is a common name, it seems that it must mean what classical theists mean by 'God' - and the existence of such a being is hard to prove. I defend a third possibility: that 'God' names a common name that is the least prescriptive possible, while being sufficient to signify one kind of thing different from all others.
15. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Cicero Cunha Bezerra Dionisio pseudo-areopagita y Heidegger: consideraciones sobre el último Dios
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Throughout the history of Christian spirituality, it has been held that it is impossible to adequately name God. The Neoplatonic readings of Plato's Parmenides, particularly by Plotinus and Proclus, decisively influenced the course of Western philosophy and theology. From a comparison of the notion of God in Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite, Epistle III, and in Martin Heidegger's text "Der letzte Gott," I show that there is a common thread, based in the Pauline idea of kenösis.
16. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Ludwig Nagl Lyotard über die "invocatio Dei" in den Confessiones des Augustinus
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In his posthumously published book The Confession of Augustine, J.F. Lyotard reconstructs St. Augustine's invocatio: his "move upward" towards the absolute. The paper deals with three segments of Lyotard's text that interpret St. Augustine's method of letting the voice of the invoked "speak within me"; his attempt to progress to the atemporal "at the umbilical" of temporal experience; and his reading of the caller and the called as (partially) identical. Two aspects of Lyotard's interpretation are pointed out as problematic: his thesis of the "silent" absolute "You"; and his assumption, that invocatio takes pleasure in a "radical heteronomous" subordination "under the law of an unknown master."
section: the problem of evil and the miraculous
17. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
C. Robert Mesle Suffering, Meaning, and Pragmatism: What Do Theodicies Do?
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What do theodicies do? This paper argues that we can evaluate and respond to theodicies more effectively if we ask, as pragmatists, what problems we are trying to solve, whether we solve them effectively, and whether these are the problems we should be addressing. Some maintain that, beyond defending religious beliefs, theodicies also address deep emotional needs. I argue that we would do better to abandon theodicies of hidden meaning, acknowledge honestly that bad things happen, and seek comfort and meaning by bringing about whatever good is possible in the situation.
18. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
David E. White Evil, Probation and the "Sunday Truth" of Theism
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In this paper, I reconstruct the problem of evil as an argument to the conclusion, "No one can claim to be a theist without abandoning the ethics of belief that would ordinarily be required for a civil way of life." Most theistic replies to this argument reduce theism to a "Sunday truth," i.e., a sincere belief that has no direct relevance to ordinary life. Bishop Butler's position - that this world is best understood as a probationary state - is presented and defended. Nevertheless, Butler's argument that one follow the ethics of belief is consistent with being led to doubt God's existence.
19. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Heimir Geirsson, Michael Losonsky Plantinga and the Problem of Evil
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The logical problem of evil centers on the apparent inconsistency of the following two propositions: (1) God is omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good, and (2) There is evil in the world. This is the problem that Alvin Plantinga takes to task in his celebrated response to the problem of evil. Plantinga denies that (1) and (2) are inconsistent, arguing that J.L. Mackie's principle - that there are no limits to what an omnipotent thing can do - is false. We challenge Plantinga, and defend Mackie's view.
20. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 8
Jyrki Kivelä Kierkegaard's Tangential Interest in Miracles
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In this paper, I argue that, while Kierkegaard distinguishes between an event 'contrary to the order of nature' and an event 'above the order of nature,' and while he recognises a strong order of nature and a strong bond of natural laws, the idea of miracle (i.e., expressed explicitly in terms of violation of laws of nature or of the order of nature) is not important to him. The unavoidable doubtfulness of all historical knowledge and the 'non-immediate' character of personal experience are the most important reasons for what is, at best, a tangential interest in miracles.