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101. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Timothy O’Connor Is God’s Necessity Necessary?: Replies to Senor, Oppy, McCann, and Almeida
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I briefly defend the following claims in response to my critics: (1) We cannot make a principled division between features of contingent reality that do and features that don’t “cry our for explanation.” (2) The physical data indicating fine-tuning provide confirmation of the hypothesis of a personal necessary cause of the universe over against an impersonal necessary cause, notwithstanding the fact that the probability of either hypothesis, if true, would be 1. (3) Theism that commits to God’s necessary existence makes more sense than theism that denies it. (4) God is likely to have created an infinity of universes, and this conclusion helps with (though does not solve) the many problems of evil.
102. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Gregory L. Bock Understanding David Hume’s Argument against Miracles: Establishing a Religion on the Testimony of a Miracle
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The proper interpretation of Hume’s argument against miracles in Section 10 of An Inquiry concerning Human Understanding has been heavily debated. In this paper, I argue that Hume’s main argument has the intended conclusion that there can never be a sufficient justification for believing that a miracle has occurred on the basis of testimony sufficient to make it a basis for a religion. I also consider and argue against other common readings.
103. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Travis Dumsday Divine Hiddenness and the Responsibility Argument: Assessing Schellenberg’s Argument against Theism
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J. L. Schellenberg’s “problem of divine hiddenness” has generated much discussion. Swinburne has replied with his “responsibility argument,” according to which God allows some nonresistant nonbelief in order to foster the good of human responsibility, with some people tasked with leading others to belief in God. Schellenberg has supplied detailed replies to Swinburne. My goal is to provide a new formulation of the responsibility argument that defuses Schellenberg’s objections.
104. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Mark Nowacki, Jared Poon Against Voluntarism: Or, Why a Free Will Is Subject to Natural Necessity
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The will, while free, is nonetheless subject to natural necessity: when presented with its object, the will necessarily chooses that which reason judges to be better. A presumption in favor of this view, which we call intellectualism, is established by eliminating its main rival, namely, an indifference theory of the will, which we call voluntarism. William of Ockham, who holds a sophisticated indifference theory, is adduced as an example. Criticisms leveled against Ockham apply, mutatis mutandis, to other voluntarist-inspired accounts.
105. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Bruce Reichenbach Rethinking the Basis of Christian-Buddhist Dialogue: Understanding Metaphysical Realism and Nonrealism Issues
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Interreligious dialogue presupposes that discourse functions the same for both parties. I argue that what makes Christian-Buddhist dialogue so difficult is that whereas Christians have a realist view of theoretical concepts, Buddhists generally do not. The evidence for this is varied, including the Buddha’s own refusal to respond to metaphysical questions and the Buddhist constructionist view of reality. I reply to two objections, that Buddhists do conduct metaphysical debate, and that the Buddha adopted a correspondence rather than a pragmatic theory of truth. In the end I develop the implications of this realist/nonrealist dichotomy for commencing and conducting interreligious dialogue.
106. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig Much Ado about Nothing: A Review Essay on The Grand Design
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While declaring philosophy to be dead, Hawking and Mlodinow are deeply engaged in philosophical speculation. Their treatment of the origin and fine-tuning of the universe, though unsympathetic to theism, turns out upon examination to be quite supportive of natural theology.
107. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Patrick T. Smith The Enduring Challenge of Religious Skepticism: An Evaluation of a Recent Model
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J. L. Schellenberg has provided a rigorous and robust philosophical defense of religious skepticism through various modes of reasoning and employs an epistemic defeat strategy that appeals to unrecognized evidence. He contends on this framework that reason requires religious skepticism. This essay focuses on Schellenberg’s basic epistemic defeat strategy. I argue that his methodology is problematic because his key skeptical argument rests on an equivocation on the notion of total evidence, which makes it difficult to implement his epistemic defeat strategy in favor of his claim that reason requires us to be religious skeptics.
108. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Francis J. Beckwith Guidance for Doting and Peeping Thomists: A Review Essay of Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide
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This essay is a review of Edward Feser’s Aquinas: A Beginner’s Guide. In the first part, the author summarizes the book’s five chapters, drawing attention to Feser’s application of Aquinas’s thought to contemporary philosophical problems. Part 2 is dedicated to Feser’s Thomistic analysis of Intelligent Design (ID). The author explains Feser’s case and why Aquinas’s “Fifth Way,” which is often labeled a “design argument,” depends on a philosophy of nature that ID’s methods implicitly reject.
109. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Marie George An Aristotelian-Thomist Responds to Edward Feser’s “Teleology”
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I argue that Edward Feser misconstrues the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition on issues relevant to the arguments for God’s existence that proceed from finality in nature because he misapplies the A-T view that ordering to an end is inherent in natural things: (1) Feser speaks as if human action in no way serves as a model for understanding action for an end in nature; (2) he misreads, and ultimately undermines, the Fifth Way, by substituting intrinsic end-directedness in place of end-directedness; (3) he overlooks striking similarities between Paley’s argument from design and the Fifth Way. He also fails to consider the role of the good in the Fifth Way.
110. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Kevin Corcoran A Critical Appraisal of Francis Beckwith’s Defending Life
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In his book Defending Life, Francis Beckwith claims that the question of personhood and human nature is the central question in the abortion debate. He further asserts that the unborn entity, from the moment of conception, is a full-fledged member of the human community. In this paper I try to show that the argument Beckwith offers for the moral wrongness of abortion in Defending Life is unpersuasive, his elucidation of key terms question-begging, and his claims concerning embryology and zygotic (and postzygotic) development highly controversial.
111. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Gary Hartenburg Rethinking Athens and Jerusalem: A Review Essay on When Athens Met Jerusalem
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In When Athens Met Jerusalem, John Mark Reynolds makes (1) a claim about Plato’s account of the relation between myth and argument, (2) a claim about Plato’s account of knowledge and science, and (3) a claim about the relation between faith and reason. I criticize each of these claims. Regarding the first claim, I show that Reynolds’s explanation of the role of a person’s experience of Platonic forms is unclear. Regarding the second, I indicate some tensions between the antirealist character of Platonic philosophy of science and Reynolds’s insistence that some claims about the empirical world are true. Lastly, I attempt to clarify Reynolds’s explanation of the relation between faith and reason by thinking of them as two parts of a single whole whose goal is to comprehend truths about God.
112. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
J. B. Stump The Evidence for God: Religious Knowledge Reexamined
113. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Patrick Arnold Morality without God?
114. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
W. David Beck The Cambridge Companion to Atheism
115. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Michael McFall Family Ethics: Practices for Christians
116. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Tawa J. Anderson God Is Great, God Is Good: Why Believing in God Is Reasonable and Responsible; Contending With Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists & Other Objectors
117. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
News and Announcements
118. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
119. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
J. P. Moreland Substance Dualism and the Argument from Self-Awareness
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There are two tasks for any adequate philosophy of mind: (1) articulate one’s position and explain why dualism is the commonsense view; (2) defend one’s position. I believe that there is an argument that simultaneously satisfies both desiderata in a non–ad hoc way and, thus, the argument can thereby claim the virtue of theoretical simplicity in its favor. In what follows, I shall present the argument and defend its most crucial premise, respond to three criticisms that have been raised against it, and draw out one dialectical implication of the argument.
120. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Dallas Willard Intentionality and the Substance of the Self
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The aim of this paper is to provide a way of thinking about the human self or person that does not simply lose it in the objects of its experiences, but gives it substance in terms of those experiences themselves. They are characteristically “of ” or “about” objects—a feature called “intentionality.” After discussing some well-known failures (largely Empiricist) to capture the self without intentionality, I sketch Husserl’s presentation of consciousness and life as a massive totality of synchronic and diachronic intentionalities that allows us to understand what persons actually do, for example, in mastering fields of research or leading a moral life.