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1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
David Burrell David Braine’s Project: The Human Person
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The author of The Reality of Time and the Existence of God turns his critical conceptual acumen to finding an intellectually viable path between the current polarities of dualism and materialism. By considering human beings as language-using animals he can critically appraise “representational” views of concept formation, as well as show how current “research programs” which presuppose a “materialist” basis stem from an unwitting adoption of a dualist picture of mind and body. His alternative is rooted in classical thinkerslike Aquinas and responsive to the critiques of Wittgenstein, yet constructive in ways in which those critiques failed to be. This essay aims to help readers undertake a taxing inquiry by guiding them through its main theses.
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Brian Leftow Philosophical Perspectives 5: Philosophy of Religion
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Jane Mary Trau The Greater Good Defense: An Essay on the Rationality of Faith
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Peter Forrest Physicalism and Classical Theism
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In this paper I compare two versions of non-eliminative physicalism (reductive physicalism and supervenience physicalism) with four of the five theses of classical theism: divine non-contingency, divine transcendence, divine simplicity, and the aseity thesis. I argue that:1. Both physicalism (either version) and classical theism require intuition-transcending identifications of some properties or possibilities.2. Among other identifications, both reductive physicalism and classical theism need to identify psychological with functional properties.3. Both reductive physicalism and classical theism have a problem with consciousness.4. Both reductive physicalists and classical theists should distinguish fine and coarse grained theories of properties.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
David Basinger Pluralism and Justified Religious Belief: A Response to Gellman
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I have argued previously (in this journal) that the reality of pervasive religious pluralism obligates a believer to attempt to establish her perspective as the correct one. In a recent response, Jerome Gellman maintains that the believer who affirms a ‘religious epistemology’ is under no such obligation in that she need not subject her religious beliefs to any ‘rule of rationality’. In this paper I contend that there do exist some rules of rationality (some epistemic obligations) that must be acknowledged-and satisfied-within all epistemic systems (including all religious epistemic systems) and that for this reason Gellman’s critique of my position fails.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
S. Mark Heim Orientational Pluralism in Religion
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Nicholas Rescher has advanced an account of philosophy which he calls orientational pluralism. It addresses the tension in philosophy between commitment to rational argument and the enduring lack of resolution of major issues. This article suggests that Rescher’s view can be fruitfully transposed into a discussion of religious pluralism, illuminating the status of theories about religious diversity and providing grounds both for recognizing the legitimacy of diverse religious convictions and making a consistent argument in favor of one’s own.
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
James S. Spiegel The Theological Orthodoxy of Berkeley’s Immaterialism
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Ever since George Berkeley first published Principles of Human Knowledge his metaphysics has been opposed by, among others, some Christian philosophers who allege that his ideas fly in the face of orthodox Christian belief. The irony is that Berkeley’s entire professional career is marked by an unwavering commitment to demonstrating the reasonableness of the Christian faith. In fact, Berkeley’s immaterialist metaphysical system can be seen as an apologetic device. In this paper, I inquire into the question whether Berkeley’s immaterialist metaphysics is congruent with the Christian scriptures. I conclude that not only are Berkeley’s principles consistent with scripture, a case can be made for the claim that certain biblical passages actually recommend his brand of immaterialism.
8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Notes and News
9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Karen L. Carr The Offense of Reason and the Passion of Faith: Kierkegaard and Anti-Rationalism
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This essay considers and rejects both the irrationalist and the supra-rationalist interpretations of Kierkegaard, arguing that a new category---Kierkegaard as “anti-rationalist”---is needed. The irrationalist reading overemphasizes the subjectivism of Kierkegaard’s thought, while the suprarationalist reading underemphasizes the degree of tension between human reason (as corrupted by the will’s desire to be autonomous and self-sustaining) and Christian faith. An anti-rationalist reading, I argue, is both faithful to Kierkegaard’s metaphysical and alethiological realism, on the one hand, and his emphasis on the continuing opposition between reason and faith, on the other, as manifested in the ongoing possibility of offense (reason’s rejection of the Christian message) in the life of the Christian.
10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
James A. Keller Reported Miracles: A Critique of Hume
11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Thomas D. D’Andrea Christian Philosophy
12. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
George F. Isham Is God Exclusively a Father?
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William Harper presents five reasons for concluding that God should be referred to exclusively in male terms. To the contrary, I argue that: (1) by devaluating the feminine gender, Harper is guilty of the same reductionist and dichotomous thinking as his protagonists, (2) Harper’s view of God is contrary to “the Biblical example,” and (3) Harper’s position rests on a number of logical confusions. I conclude that Harper’s view should be rejected by both men and women of Christian convictions.
13. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 2
Mark L. Thomas Robert Adams and the Best Possible World
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Robert Merrihew Adams argues that it is permissible for a perfectly good moral agent to create a world less good than the best one she could create. He argues that God would exhibit the important virtue of grace in creating less than the best and that this virtue is incompatible with the merit considerations required by the standard of creating the best. In this paper I give three arguments for the compatibility of merit consideration and graciousness of God toward creation. I conclude that grace would not release a perfect agent from responsibility to create the best.
14. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Rowan A. Greer Augustine’s Transformation of the Free Will Defence
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Augustine’s first conversion is to the Christian Platonism of his day, which brought along with it a free-will defence to the problem of evil. Formative as this philosophical influence was, however, Augustine’s own experience of sin combines with his sense of God’s sovereignty to lead him to modify the views he inherited in significant ways. This transformation is demonstrated by setting Augustine’s evolving position against that of Gregory of Nyssa.
15. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Robert Merrihew Adams Schleiermacher on Evil
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Schleiermacher’s theology of absolute dependence implies that absolutely everything, including evil, including even sin, is grounded in the divine causality. In addition to God’s general, creative causality, however, he thinks that Christian consciousness reveals a special, teleologically ordered divine causality which is at work in redemption but not in evil. He identifies good and evil, respectively, with what furthers and what obstructs the development of the religious consciousness in human beings. Mere pains and natural ills are not truly evil, in his view, apart from a connection with some obstruction of the God-consciousness. These themes are explored in the present essay.
16. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Ian T. E. Boyd The Problem of Self-Destroying Sin in John Milton’s Samson Agonistes
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In this paper, I argue that John Milton, in his tragedy Smason Agonistes, raises and offers a solution to a version of the problem of evil raised by Marilyn McCord Adams. Sections I and II are devoted to the presentation of Adams’s version of the problem and its place in the current discussion of the problem of evil. In section III, I present Milton’s version of the problem as it is raised in Samson Agonistes. The solution Milton offers to this problem is taken up in section IV and examined in section V. Last, in section VI, I explore briefly the existential aspect of Milton’s solution.
17. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Nicholas Wolterstorff Barth on Evil
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In this paper I offer an interpretation of Karl Barth’s discussion of evil in volume III/3 of his Church Dogmatics. It is, I contend, an extraordinarily rich, imaginative and provocative discussion, philosophically informed, yet very different from the mainline philosophical treatments of the topic---and from the mainline theological treatments as well. I argue that though Barth’s account is certainly subject to critique at various points, especially on ontological matters, nonetheless philosophers are well advised to take seriously what he says. It offers a powerful attack on many standard lines of thought.
18. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Index Volume 13, 1996
19. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Derk Pereboom Kant on God, Evil, and Teleology
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In his mature period Kant maintained that human beings have never devised a theory that shows how the existence of God is compatible with the evil that actually exists. But he also held that an argument could be developed that we human beings might well not have the cognitive capacity to understand the relation between God and the world, and that therefore the existence of God might nevertheless be compatible with the evil that exists. At the core of Kant’s position lies the claim that God’s relation to the world might well not be purposive in the way we humans can genuinely understand such a relation. His strategy involves demonstrating that the teleological argument is unsound - for this argument would establish that the relation between God and the world is purposive in a way we can grasp - and showing that by way of a Spinozan conception we can catch an intellectual glimpse of an alternative picture of the relation between God and the world.
20. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 4
Notes and News