May 5, 2012
Fictions, Imaginations, and the Prima Facie Case Against Divine Benevolence
In chapter 6 of his Philosophical Theology (1969), James F. Ross undertakes the very ambitious task of showing that the evil in the world does not provide even a prima facie case against divine moral perfection. Ross takes the phrase 'a prima facie case' in the legal sense: to provide a prima facie case is essentially to bring charges that need answering. So, for instance, someone who says that the evils in the world are justified by some greater good which would be impossible without them is conceding that there is a prima facie case and attempting to answer it....
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April 12, 2012
Philosophy of Religion and Apologetics
Philosophy of religion, as practiced by religious believers, is often confused with apologetics. (Perhaps it is even so confused, on occasion, by some of its practitioners.) Indeed, if we use the term 'apologetics' more broadly, to include not just the giving of an apologia (defense) of religion, but of just any belief system, then we could say that philosophy in general is often confused with apologetics. This is, I think, a serious mistake. The philosopher, qua philosopher, is up to something quite different than the apologist, qua apologist. The 'qua' clauses are necessary, because of course the same person may...
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January 26, 2012
Ross's Theory of Omnipotence Entails Double Predestination
Let E (for 'election') be the proposition which says de re of each person who will in fact be saved that he or she will be saved. That is, E is the longest conjunction of the form 'John will be saved, and Mary will be saved, and Lois will be saved...' which is true. Let R (for 'reprobation') be the proposition which says de re of each person who will in fact be damned that he or she will be damned. The doctrine of predestination is the doctrine that God, from eternity, has issued an efficacious decree of election -...
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August 18, 2011
A Dialectical Role for the Ontological Argument
It has been nearly a month since I've posted anything, and for this I apologize. The last few weeks have been pretty hectic - I was on vacation, and had to rush off to an unexpected funeral in another state, then came home and had to replace a car and a computer (the computer was expected, the car was not). Anyway, it seems the my world has more or less righted itself, and I am getting prepared for the semester to start on Monday. Here's what I'm thinking about today (not related to that dissertation I need to start working on...).
Suppose we make an ontological argument with the following general form:
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September 13, 2010
What is Supposed to be Proved in Aquinas's Five Ways?
I'm not a Medieval scholar, so I don't really know what I'm talking about, but that's ok
fifth chapter is concerned with Aquinas's Second Way, one of the classic texts for the cosmological argument. Sobel raises some concerns about the premises, but for the most part he finds them plausible (though he may ultimately reject one or more of them). His main concern is that, as he schematizes the argument, a fallacy of equivocation occurs at the very end. Sobel reads the 'good' part of the argument as (perhaps) justifying the 'Preliminary Conclusion'...
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November 9, 2009
What Caused God?
In comments to my post on Dawkins and the Philosophers
, atheist blogger Jonathan West
has been pushing back against Michael Ruse's claim
that Dawkins' prominent use of the "what caused God?" question is, as Jonathan puts it, 'fatuous.' Jonathan has also pushed this point in a recent blog post
which considers this question in light of Swinburne's 'necessary being' arguments in The Existence of God
. I will first make a few remarks about Swinburne's work in this area, and then proceed to show why the "what caused God?" question is indeed confused. To be fair, I admit...
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Existence of God
James F. Ross
Philosophy of Religion
Posted by Kenny
at 10:20 AM
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