Richard Dawkins is one of the most passionate contemporary defenders of atheism. His rejection of religious faith is based on the assumption that religion is an explanatory theory that has been made obsolete by the results of scientific enquiry. The first section of this paper explains how on this view faith is reduced to religious belief which in turn is judged and rejected in the light of the epistemic criteria of science. The second section argues that faith is primarily a (...) hermeneutical rather than an epistemic phenomenon. It is way of understanding life and the world in the light of the heritage of metaphors and narratives handed down in a religious tradition. Dawkins' rejection of religion is therefore based on a misconception of the nature of religious faith. The third section argues that all views of life, both religious and secular, are hermeneutical and in need of an interpretative framework of metaphors and narratives. This also applies to Dawkins himself. The theory of evolution is for him not merely a fruitful explanatory theory, but also a hermeneutical narrative in terms of which he tries to make sense of life and experience. Dawkins' narrative is shown to be inferior to the interpretative narrative of the Christian tradition. (shrink)
As in the field of economics, the questions of business ethics can be divided into two distinguishable types — micro and macro. Micro-ethical questions arise primarily for subordinates in an organization and concern what should be done when the demands of conscience conflict with perceived occupational requirements. Macro-ethical questions arise principally for superiors and concern the setting of policy for the organization in general. The present article elaborates upon this distinction and advances a line argument for resolving micro-ethical problems when (...) their affinity to macro-ethical issues is noted. (shrink)
The purpose of the present article is to argue against the minimalist theory of social responsibility (i.e., that the sole responsibility of business is to maximize profit in conformity with law), particularly as it is advanced by Butler D. Shaffer. Against this view, I argue that such a theory does not necessarily support or achieve greater levels of corporate efficiency than does a more demanding theory of social responsibility, and that the argument for the former view is no more valueneutral (...) than for the latter. Finally, I argue that Shaffer fails to show that the more maximal theory demands too much from executives and is too unclear to be applicable to their decision-making. (shrink)
In this response to Stenmark's critique of my views on rational theology, I concentrate on his distinction between the epistemic and the practical goals of religion and between descriptive and normative rational theology. With regard to the first distinction, I grant that truth claims play an essential role in religious belief and that it is indeed the task of philosophy of religion to decide on the meaning and rationality of such claims. I argue, however, that since such claims are internally (...) related to the practical context of religious belief, their meaning and rationally cannot be determined apart from this context as is done in the kind of rational theology which Stenmark calls 'scientific'. With regard to the second distinction, I reject Stenmark's view that philosophy of religion has a descriptive task with reference to religion, and hence also his claim that I have put forward a false description of 'the religious language game'. (shrink)
The purpose of the article is to give a deontological defense of the reasonableness standard of corporate disclosure presently mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of the U.S. government. The first part of the article distinguishes the reasonableness standard from the older standard of materiality. The second part presents three deontological arguments, inspired by the work of Ross and Kant, for the prima facie compellingness of the new standard.
This short work shows how systematic theology is itself a philosophical enterprise. After analyzing the nature of philosophical enquiry and its relation to systematic theology, and after explaining how theology requires that we talk about God, Vincent BrU;mmer illustrates how philosophical analysis can help in dealing with various conceptual problems involved in the fundamental Christian claim that God is a personal being with whom we may live in a personal relationship.
Religious believers understand the meaning of their lives and of the world in terms of the way these are related to God. How, Vincent BrU;mmer asks, does the model of love apply to this relationship? He shows that most views on love take it to be an attitude rather than a relationship: exclusive attention (Ortega y Gasset), ecstatic union (nuptial mysticism), passionate suffering (courtly love), need-love (Plato, Augustine) and gift-love (Nygren). In discussing the issues, BrU;mmer inquires what role these attitudes (...) play within the love-relationship and examines the implications of using the model of love as a key paradigm in theology. (shrink)
Vincent Brümmer has recently, by taking his starting-point in the writings of Wittgenstein, defended the idea that the debate about the truth or falsehood of the claim that God exists has no future. I suggest that the arguments Brümmer develops to support this claim fail. This is so because he does not show why any attempt to prove or disprove the truth or falsehood of the belief in the existence of God is circular or how the purported non-provability of the (...) belief that God exists entails that the theism-atheism debate of the truth or falsehood of this belief has no future. In addition, Brümmer does not acknowledge that there are many different religious language-games, that within the theistic language-games the claim that God exists is used in many different ways and that, as a result, it is not true that, within the religious language-game, the belief in the existence of God cannot be doubted, denied, or treated as a hypothesis. (shrink)
It is argued that Calvin does not veer between two incompatible accounts of grace, freedom and necessity in "Institutes II". 2, but presents a consistent position. The consistency is evident once it is seen that Calvin carefully distinguished between necessity and compulsion. For him not all necessitated acts are compelled, but all human acts which are the outcome of efficacious divine grace are necessitated by that grace. Because Calvin is consistent, there is no need to suppose that he has mistaken (...) the causal sufficiency of divine saving grace for its causal importance. (shrink)
Praise for Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling, Third Edition "This is absolutely the best text on professional ethics around. . . . This is a refreshingly open and inviting text that has become a classic in the field." —Derald Wing Sue, professor of psychology, Teachers College, Columbia University "I love this book! And so will therapists, supervisors, and trainees. In fact, it really should be required reading for every mental health professional and aspiring professional. . . . And it is (...) a fun read to boot!" —Stephen J. Ceci, H. L. Carr Professor of Psychology, Cornell University "Pope and Vasquez have done it again. . . . an indispensable resource for seasoned professionals and students alike." —Beverly Greene, professor of psychology, St. John's University "[The third edition] focuses on how to think about ethical dilemmas . . . with empathy for the decision-maker whose best option may have to be a compromise between different values. If there is only room on the shelf for one book in the genre, this is it." —Patrick O'Neill, former president, Canadian Psychological Association "This third edition of the classic ethics text provides invaluable resources and enables readers to engage in critical thinking in order to make their own decisions.?This superb reference belongs in every psychology training program's curriculum and on every psychologist's?bookshelf." —Lillian Comas-Diaz, 2006 president, APA Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice "Ken Pope and Melba Vasquez are right on target once again in the third edition, a book that every practicing mental health professional should read and have in their reference library." —Jeffrey N. Younggren, risk management consultant, American Psychological Association Insurance Trust "Without a doubt, this is the definitive book on ethics within psychology that can inform students, educators, clinical researchers, and practitioners." —Nadine J. Kaslow, professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Emory University School of Medicine "This stunningly good book . . . should be on every therapist's desk for quick reference." —David Barlow, professor of psychology and psychiatry, Boston University. (shrink)
In this paper I explore a neglected discussion of vagueness put forward by Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Grammar (1932–34). In this work, unlike Philosophical Investigations (1953), Wittgenstein not only discusses the venerable Sorites paradox but provides a novel conception of vagueness using an analogy with coin tossing and converging intervals. As he sees it, the problematic picture of vagueness arises because we conflate aspects of the functioning of vague concepts with those of non-vague ones. Thus, while we accept that vague (...) concepts have no sharp cut-off points (are boundaryless), we nevertheless retain the idea that we can progress towards the penumbra the way we progress towards the cut-off points of non-vague concepts. As a potential remedy, Wittgenstein's analogy with coin tossing and converging intervals replaces this picture and provides an understanding of the functioning of vague concepts in which no notion of a progression arises. (shrink)
Incompatibilism is often accused of incoherence because it introduces randomness in support of freedom. I argue that the sort of randomness that's thought to be detrimental to freedom results not from denying causal determinism, so much as denying what we might call ‘rational determinism’: denying that agents' actions are determined by their reasons for acting. Compatibilists argue that introducing the ability to decide differently allows agents to make choices that are irrational, and this undermines rather than furthering freedom. I maintain (...) that this argument neglects scenarios in which reasons are in conflict with one another. In such scenarios, we can preserve rationality without claiming that the agent's choices are rationally determined. (shrink)
The claim that theoretical foundations are historically contingent does not draw the same intensity of fire as it did one or especially two decades ago. The aftermath of debates on the political boundaries created by foundations allows for a deeper exploration of the foundations of feminist theory. This article re-examines the (anti)-Hegelian foundations of the feminist standpoint put forward by Nancy Hartsock and argues that the Hegelian subject of the early Phenomenology of Spirit resists gender codification in its experience of (...) ongoing rediscovery and fallibility in knowing. The subject against which the feminist self was constituted does not fit the masculinity thought to be natural. Hegels master-slave dialectic and phenomenological subject reveal contradictions that cannot be resolved by an opposing feminist standpoint, and may provide resources that resist the rigid gender categories upon which the standpoint depends. Key Words: abstract masculinity feminist standpoint feminist theory foundations Nancy Hartsock Hegel master-slave dialectic subjectivity. (shrink)
Business ethics should be taught in business schools as an integrated part of core curricula in MBA programs with a dual focus on both analytical frameworks and their applications to the business disciplines. To overcome the reluctance of many faculty to handle ethical issues, a critical mass of faculty must develop suitable materials, educate their peers in its use, and take the lead by introducing it in their own courses and on senior management programs.
Many Christian theodicists believe that God's creating us with the capacity to love Him and each other justifies, in large part, God's permitting evil. For example, after reminding us that, according to Christian doctrine, the supreme good for human beings is to enter into a reciprocal love relationship with God, Vincent Brummer recently wrote: In creating human persons in order to love them, God necessarily assumes vulnerability in relation to them. In fact, in this relation, he becomes even more (...) vulnerable than we do, since he cannot count on the steadfastness of our love the way we can count on his steadfastness.... If God did not grant us the ability to sin and cause affliction to him and to one another, we would not have the kind of free and autonomous existence necessary to enter into a relation of love with God and with one another.... Far from contradicting the value which the free will defence places upon the freedom and responsibility of human persons, the idea of a loving God necessarily entails it. In this way we can see that the free will defence is based on the love of God rather than on the supposed intrinsic value of human freedom and responsibility.1 And Peter van Inwagen recently put the same point this way. (shrink)
This paper argues that Chris Marker's 1982 film Sans Soleil derives its affective force from doublings and ‘faces’ of horror and beauty that reveal a twofold synthesis of actual and virtual. While a focus upon the material, ever in relation to transient yet lingering sensations, cannot discharge the power and force of the film, this paper endeavours nevertheless to assess and evoke Marker and Deleuze's own interrogative methods that thoroughly explore, in the manner of a revelatory ‘schizoanalysis’ or empiricism, molecular (...) and variable operations beneath our ‘molar’ structures and organisations. As Sans Soleil's voiceover states, ‘If they don't see happiness in the picture, at least they'll see the black’, a provocative remark that invokes indefinable singularities and the darkness of a wound, cracking of time and splitting of self in film, life and death. Considerations of death, consciousness and subjectivity extend this paper's examinations. (shrink)
Because our actions change, our responsibility is modified; because our responsibility is modified, we need to question the ethics of the action. Our action is situated right there between announcing a diagnosis, the theoretical and practical result of identification, the determining and naming of a fact and voicing the disease which is a human action where medical and technical expertise comes up against a life and its story. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a degenerative disease of (...) the motor neurons leading to paralysis. In the absence of any curative treatment, the natural course always results in death. Since 1989, progress in the management of this disease in France has been exponential, resulting in the creation of 17 expert centres throughout the country in 2003. Guidelines have been drawn up through consensus conferences and coordination meetings. For the delicate stage of the announcement, three requirements have been adopted: the quality of receptiveness of the medical practitioner and his team, their ability to listen and to adapt to the particularities of the patient in their care; their commitment with regard to legal obligations as to how and to whom to transmit information; and the need for a multidisciplined approach to be able to rapidly support the patient and his family. Questioning in the field of applied ethics has led us to examine whether having a benevolent and non-harmful attitude towards these patients, respecting their autonomy and legal rights are parameters required in this specialized practice. Through a transversal thematic analysis of the experiences of the medical practitioners at the Centres, we would like to explore a hypothesis of the remarkable epistemological progression of the neurologist in this form of care in the pure Hippocratic tradition. Through the compassionate experience of the other by these committed doctors and their teams, we will try to outline the view of anthropological phenomenology with regard to the ALS patient, their awareness of the future paralysis of the body that is being announced, their awareness of the temporality and will characteristic of the ALS patient and of his finality that they will be accompanying. (shrink)
Members of the lay public are turning increasingly to the internet to answer health-related questions. Some authors suggest that the widespread availability of online health information has dislodged medical knowledge from its traditional institutional base and enabled a growing role for alternative or previously unrecognized health perspectives and ‘lay health expertise’. Others have argued, however, that the organization of information retrieved from influential search engines, particularly Google, has merely intensified mainstream perspectives because of the growing consolidation of the internet with (...) traditional, commercial media sources. In this paper we describe an analysis of ‘first page’ results retrieved through Google searches about several common health concerns, each of which has been the subject of controversy as a result of uncertain aetiology, diagnoses, outcomes and/or contested approaches to treatment. Our findings suggest that the online search tactics used by most lay health information seekers produce sources of information that, for the most part, reflect mainstream biomedical discourses, often linked to commercial interests, rather than a plurality of voices that offer a variety of perspectives and resources. We discuss the implications for health-interested internet searchers who fail to look beyond the ‘first page’. (shrink)
Most judgmental biases are found at the level of samples, but do not apply to each person; they reflect prevailing, but not universal, response tendencies. We suggest that it is more promising to study differences between biased and unbiased persons, and between easier and more difficult tasks, than to generalize from a majority of research participants to humans in general.
The aim of synthetic biology is to rationally design devices, systems, and organisms with desired innovative and useful functions (Slusarczyk, Lin, and Weiss 2012). To achieve this aim, synthetic biology uses a concept similar to engineering sciences: well-characterized and standardized modular biological building blocks are reassembled in a systematic and rational manner to generate complex devices and systems with a predicted function. In the past, molecular biological research in combination with intense work in new research areas like systems biology and (...) functional genomics revealed a large inventory of multifaceted modular biological parts that are now in the toolboxes of synthetic biologists. Due to .. (shrink)
In the age of ubiquitous technology, humans are reshaped through each transaction they are involved in. AI-driven networks, online games, and multisensory interactive environments make up alternate realities. Within such alternate worlds, users are reshaped as deterministic agents. Technology’s focus on reducing complexity leads to a human being dependent on prediction-driven machines and behaving like them. Meaning and information are disconnected. Existence is reduced to energy processes. The immense gain in efficiency translates as prosperity. Citizens of advanced economies, hurrying in (...) the rhythm of machine-driven interactions, feel entitled to it. Successful at the price of self-awareness, they no longer know what this means. Happiness and prosperity are not consubstantial. Lack of happiness leads to aggression. This is the image of the world as we see it, no longer looking at each other, eye to eye, but screen to screen. The questions eliminated in the process of transferring responsibility from the individual to machines will inevitably become society’s new focus. When the goal is to get everyone to behave like a machine, the Singularity hypothesis becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. If, in addition to having exhausted natural resources, society does not want to end up making the human mind superfluous, it has to seek a better understanding of what makes anticipation possible. As a definitory characteristic of the living, corresponding to its complexity, anticipation can no longer be taken for granted, while every effort is made to reduce complexity for efficiency’s sake. Awareness of the processes conducive to its expression in successful human action will position human beings as masters of their destiny, not slaves of their own making. Antecapere ergo sum might be the counterclaim to Descartes’ Dubito ergo sum . To resist being perfected into oblivion, that is, unsustainable prosperity, means to reclaim the knowledge corresponding to higher levels of complexity. (shrink)