The doctrine of the spiritual senses has played a significant role in the history of Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox spirituality. What has been largely unremarked is that the doctrine also played a significant role in classical Protestant thought, and that analogous concepts can be found in Indian theism. In spite of the doctrine’s significance, however, the only analytic philosopher to consider it has been Nelson Pike. I will argue that his treatment is inadequate, show how the development of the (...) doctrine in Puritan thought and spirituality fills a serious lacuna in Pike’s treatment, and conclude with some suggestions as to where the discussion should go next. (shrink)
Eric Wielenberg and I agree that basic moral truths are necessarily true. But Wielenberg thinks that, because these truths are necessary, they require no explanation, and I do not: some basic moral truths are not self-explanatory. I argue that Wielenberg’s reasons for thinking that my justification of that claim is inadequate are ultimately unconvincing.
Rowe argues that if for every good world there is a better, then God is not morally perfect since no matter what world God were to create he could have done better than he did. I contend that Rowe’s argument doesn’t do justice to the role grace plays in the theist’s doctrine of creation, and respond to five new criticisms of my position that Rowe offers in Can God be Free?
The philosophy of religion as a distinct discipline is an innovation of the last two hundred years, but its central topics--the existence and nature of the divine, humankind's relation to it, the nature of religion and its place in human life--have been with us since the inception of philosophy. Philosophers have long critically examined the truth of (and rational justification for) religious claims, and have explored such philosophically interesting phenomena as faith, religious experience and the distinctive features of religious discourse. (...) The second half of the twentieth-century has been an especially fruitful period, with philosophers using new developments in logic and epistemology to mount both sophisticated defenses of, and attacks on, religious claims. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion contains newly commissioned chapters by 21 prominent experts who cover the field in a comprehensive but accessible manner. Each chapter is expository, critical, and representative of a distinctive viewpoint. The Handbook is divided into two sections. The first, "Problems," covers the most frequently discussed topics, among them arguments for God's existence, the problem of evil, and religious epistemology. The second is called "Approaches" and contains four essays assessing the advantages and disadvantages of different methods of practicing philosophy of religion. The Handbook offers contributors of high stature who present substantive and in-depth treatment of the most central topics. It is a must-have reference for anyone with an interest in philosophy and religion. (shrink)
This third edition of Philosophy of Religion offers a wide variety of readings designed to introduce students to important issues in the philosophy of religion. The authors have coupled new readings--including essays by Robert M. Adams, Peter Van Inwagen, and William P. Alston--with readings from classical philosophers, thus offering instructors and students an even more comprehensive and well-focused textbook. Many of the essays are particularly accessible to beginning philosophy students. New essays cover religious pluralism, teleological and moral arguments for God's (...) existence, and the problem of evil. Philosophy of Religion, 3/e is an excellent choice for use as a main text or as a supplement for introductory courses in philosophy and religion. (shrink)
Section I argues that theistic religions incorporate metaphysical systems and that these systems are explanatory. Section II defends these claims against D. Z. Phillips''s objections to the epistemic realism and correspondence theory of truth which they imply. I conclude by raising questions about the status of Phillips''s own project.
I distinguish between a causeless being, An essentially causeless being, And a logically necessary being, And argue that only a logically necessary being can provide an adequate answer to the question, "why do contingent and dependent beings exist?" I also argue that recent attempts to show that if a being is essentially causeless, It is logically necessary, Are unsound.
Stace and others maintain that mystical consciousness reveals the identity of selves and, therefore, provides a justification for altruism. Zaehner argues that some types of mystical consciousness apparently reveal the identity of such opposites as good and evil, and Danto holds that mystical consciousness involves a transcendence of all distinctions, including moral distinctions. Thus, for both Zaehner and Danto mysticism undercuts morality. The author attempts to show that these positions are defective and suggests that there are no important epistemic or (...) logical connections between mystical consciousness and morality. (shrink)
Theism maintains that God is a moralagent. Classical Christian theism also maintains that God is unable tosin. The latter claim is entailed by the proposition that the being whois God is essentially God, and this proposition is one which would beendorsed by all or most classical theologians. It would thus appearthat the claim that God is unable to sin is an important, if notfundamental, part of classical Christian theism. It follows that, at acrucial point, classical Christian theism is incompatible with (...) theassumption that moral agency logically involves the ability to sin -an assumption which is an essential part of the free will defense asthat defense is normally presented. Since (as I suggested earlier) theuse of the free will defense also plays a very important role in clas-sical Christian theism, classical Christian theism would appear toexhibit a major incoherance. While the difficulty can be overcome byemploying a modified version of the free will defense, the modifiedversion is not as attractive as the original. (shrink)