God and moral obligations -- What is a divine command theory of moral obligation? -- The relation of divine command theory to natural law and virtue ethics -- Objections to divine command theory -- Alternatives to a divine command theory -- Conclusions: The inescapability of moral obligations.
This article provides a survey of types of moral arguments for the existence of God. The article begins by defending this type of arguments against some common criticisms, and then distinguishes practical moral arguments from theoretical moral arguments, before looking at the strengths and weaknesses of various versions of each type. The philosophers who are discussed include Immanuel Kant, Philip Quinn, Robert Adams, and George Mavrodes. The article defends the claim that such arguments can be an important part of a (...) cumulative case for theism. (shrink)
This article argues that Platonism provides a plausible account of wisdom, one that is especially attractive for Christians. Christian Platonism sees wisdom as conceptual understanding; it is a “knowledge of the Forms.” To be convincing this view requires us to see understanding as including an appreciation of the relations between concepts as well as the value of the possible ways of being that concepts disclose. If the Forms are Divine Ideas, then we can see why God is both supremely wise (...) and the source of all human wisdom. The account of wisdom provided helps explain the relation between wisdom and knowledge, the connection between wisdom and emotion, and much about how wisdom is acquired. The view also helps explain why someone who lacks extensive propositional knowledge can still be wise, and it helps us see why an understanding of the Biblical narrative and participation in the life of the Church can be important aids in the development of wisdom. (shrink)
Introduction : Kierkegaard's life and works -- Pseudonymity and indirect communication -- The human self : truth and subjectivity -- The stages of existence : forms of the aesthetic life -- The ethical life as the quest for selfhood -- Religious existence : religiousness A -- Christian existence : faith and the paradox -- Kierkegaard's dual challenge to the contemporary world.
General preface -- Preface to the second edition -- What is philosophy of religion? -- Philosophy of religion and other disciplines -- Philosophy of religion and philosophy -- Can thinking about religion be neutral? -- Fideism -- Neutralism -- Critical dialogue -- The theistic God : the project of natural theology -- Concepts of God -- The theistic concept of God -- A case study : divine foreknowledge and human freedom -- The problem of religious language -- Natural theology -- (...) Proofs of God's existence -- Classical arguments for God's existence -- Ontological arguments -- Cosmological arguments -- Teleological arguments -- Moral arguments -- Conclusions: The value of theistic argument -- Religious experience -- Types of religious experience -- Models for understanding experience -- Experience of God as direct and mediated -- Are religious experiences veridical? -- Checking experiential claims -- Special acts of God : revelation and miracles -- Special acts -- Theories of revelation -- Is the traditional view defensible? -- What is a miracle? -- Is it reasonable to believe in miracles? -- Can a revelation have special authority? -- Religion, modernity, and science -- Modernity and religious belief -- Naturalism -- Do the natural sciences undermine religious belief? -- Objections from the social sciences -- Religious uses of modern atheism -- The problem of evil -- Types of evil, versions of the problem, and types of response -- The logical form of the problem -- The evidential form of the problem -- Horrendous evils and the problem of hell -- Divine hiddenness -- Faith(s) and reason -- Faith : subjectivity in religious arguments -- The evidentialist challenge to religious belief -- Reformed epistemology -- The place of subjectivity in forming beliefs -- Interpretive judgments and the nature of a cumulative case -- Can faith be certain? -- Faith and doubt : can religious faith be tested? -- What is faith? -- Could one religion be true? (shrink)
This paper argues that Kierkegaard is not an irrationalist, but a "responsible fideist." Responsible fideism attempts to answer two important philosophical questions: "Are there limits to reason?" and "How can the limits of reason be recognized?" Kierkegaard's account of the incarnation as "the absolute paradox" does not see the incarnation as a logical contradiction, but rather functions in a way similar to a Kantian antimony. Faith in the incarnation both helps us recognize the limits of reason and also to a (...) degree overcomes those limits. /// O artigo defende que Kierkegaard não é um irracionalista, mas antes um "fideísta responsável". Como tal, o "fideísmo responsável" tenta responder a duas questões fllosóficas particularmente importantes: "Existem limites para a razão?" e "Como podem os limites da razão ser reconhecidos?" Na sua interpretação da incarnação como "paradoxo absoluto", Kierkegaard não interpreta a incarnação como uma contradição lógica, mas antes a vê funcionando de um modo similar à antinomia kantiana. Fé na incarnação ajuda-nos não só a reconhecer os limites da razão, mas também nos ajuda, pelo menos até um certo ponto, a ultrapassar estes limites. (shrink)
C. Stephen Evans explains and defends Kierkegaard's account of moral obligations as rooted in God's commands, the fundamental command being `You shall love your neighbour as yourself'. The work will be of interest not only to those interested in Kierkegaard, but also to those interested in the relation between ethics and religion, especially questions about whether morality can or must have a religious foundation. As well as providing a comprehensive reading of Kierkegaard as an ethical thinker, Evans puts him (...) into conversation with contemporary moral theorists. Kierkegaard's divine command theory is shown to be an account that safeguards human flourishing, as well as protecting the proper relations between religion and state in a pluralistic society. (shrink)
: What is truly beautiful? For Søren Kierkegaard the beautiful is to be found in an integrated self, one that is freely chosen. This article explores Kierkegaard's "aesthetic" stage of existence through the character of Augusto Pérez, the protagonist of Miguel de Unamuno's novel, Niebla. After establishing a solid link between Unamuno and Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard's "ethical" stage is used to critique the "aesthetic" stage on aesthetic grounds, on the basis of the beauty found in life's work, a calling. The conclusion (...) is that the sphere of the "aesthetic" does not achieve Kierkegaard's "aesthetics" of an integrated, fully existing self. (shrink)
This paper explores the important role authority plays in the religious thought of Søren Kierkegaard. In contrast to dominant modes of thought in both modern and postmodern philosophy, Kierkegaard considers the religious authority inherent in a special revelation from God to be the fundamental source of religious truth. The question as to how a genuine religious authority can be recognized is particularly difficult for Kierkegaard, since rational evaluation of authorities could be seen as a rejection of that authority in favor (...) of the authority of reason. However, I argue that Kierkegaard does offer criteria for recognizing a genuine religious authority. I explore these criteria and try to show they are helpful, but I argue that there is no principled reason he should not accept other criteria he rejects, such as the criterion of miracles. In conclusion, I suggest that both the criteria offered by Kierkegaard and the method by which they are derived require us to question certain Enlightenment views as to what should count as “rational.”. (shrink)
If we assume that Christian faith involves a propositional component whose content is historical, then the question arises as to whether Christian faith must be based on historical evidence, at least in part. One of Kierkegaard’s pseudonyms, Johannes Climacus, argues in Philosophical Fragments that though faith does indeed have such an historical component, it does not depend on evidence, but rather on a first-hand experience of Jesus for which historical records serve only as an occasion. I argue that Climacus’ accountis (...) coherent, and that on such a view historical evidence is not sufficient for faith for anyone. However, in contrast to Climacus, I argue that evidence might still be valuable and even necessary for some people. The resulting danger that the decision about faith might become a question for scholarship is best met, not by insulating faith from historical scholarship, but by recognizing the ability of faith to supply a context in which the evidence available is sufficient. (shrink)
This paper compares the views and arguments of Alvin Plantinga and Søren Kierkegaard on the question of belief in God. Kierkegaard’s view of belief in God (which must be sharply distinguished from faith in the Absolute Paradox) is shown to be surprisinglysimilar to Plantinga’s claim that belief in God can be properly basic. Two of Plantinga’s arguments for taking belief in God as properly basic are shown to have analogues in Kierkegaard.Plantinga claims that though properly basic beliefs are not based (...) on evidence they are nevertheless grounded. In the latter part of the paper I show how the Kierkegaardian notion of inwardness or subjectivity must be an essential element in any plausible account of the ground of such belief in God. (shrink)
Many people view humor and a serious religious life as antithetical. This paper attempts to elucidate Kierkegaard’s view of humor, and thereby to explain his claims that humor is essentially linked to a religious life, and that the capacity for humor resides in a deep structure of human existence. A distinction is drawn between humor as a general element in life, and a special sense of humor as a “boundary zone” of the religious life. The latter kind of “humorist” embodies (...) a religious perspective which is not Christian, but is closely related to Christianity. Humor itself is a fundamental aspect of Christian faith. (shrink)