This paper deals with the question whether Muslims who live in the West might be considered as the future outsiders of the Islamic world. It suggests that the Muslims of the West might become those through whom, in a totally unexpected and unforeseen fashion, could come the progress – even the salvation – of an Islamic civilization that the author considers as currently locked into a state of moral, social, intellectual and spiritual stagnation. To this effect, the (...) author focuses mainly on the notion of individual and of human rights, and discusses how the Islamic and Western traditions might be brought together. The concept of God, in its relation to the human, plays here an essential role, which is discussed with reference, among others, to the work of Mohammad Iqbal. (shrink)
“Clinical ethics consultants” have been practicing in the United States for about 50 years. Most of the earliest consultants—the “pioneers”—were “outsiders” when they first appeared at patients' bedsides and in the clinic. However, if they were outsiders initially, they acclimated to the clinical setting and became “insiders” very quickly. Moreover, there was some tension between traditional academics and those doing applied ethics about whether there was sufficient “critical distance” for appropriate reflection about the complex medical ethics dilemmas of (...) the day if one were involved in the decision making. Again, the pioneers deflected concerns by identifying and instituting safeguards to assure professional objectivity in clinical ethics consultation services. One might suggest that in moving inside and establishing normative practices, the pioneer clinical ethics consultants anticipated adoption of their routines and professionalization of the field. (shrink)
Summary Cosmological arguments for the existence of God defend God as a necessary being against the alternative that the universe came from nothing. “Nothing” is an ambiguous term, but when clarified it can be argued that a strong sense of the term is self-contradictory and thus impossible. This article discusses the arguments Lorenz B. Puntel has put forth in favour of this conclusion. The arguments herein rely on Puntel’s understanding of theoretical frameworks in explanations, which (...) is also discussed. This article finds that there are good arguments against the possibility of nothing in a strong sense of the term, ending by considering this argument’s relevance to cosmological arguments for the existence of God. (shrink)
On doxastic theories of propositional faith,necessarily,S has faith that p only if S believes that p. On nondoxastic theories of propositional faith, it’s false that,necessarily,S has faith that p only if S believes that p. In this article, I defend three arguments for nondoxastic theories of faith and I respond to published criticisms of them.
One result of successful argumentation – able arguers presenting cogent arguments to competent audiences – is a transfer of credibility from premises to conclusions. From a purely logical perspective, neither dubious premises nor fallacious inference should lower the credibility of the target conclusion. Nevertheless, some arguments do backfire this way. Dialectical and rhetorical considerations come into play. Three inter-related conclusions emerge from a catalogue of hapless arguers and backfiring arguments. First, there are advantages to paying attention to (...) arguers and their contexts, rather than focusing narrowly on their arguments, in order to understand what can go wrong in argumentation. Traditional fallacy identification, with its exclusive attention to faulty inferences, is inadequate to explain the full range of argumentative failures. Second, the notion of an Ideal Arguer can be defined by contrast with her less than ideal peers to serve as a useful tool in argument evaluation. And third, not all of the ways that arguers raise doubts about their conclusions are pathological. On the contrary, some ways that doubts are raised concerning our intended conclusions are an integral part of ideal argumentative practice. (shrink)
A ‘lottery belief’ is a belief that a particular ticket has lost a large, fair lottery, based on nothing more than the odds against it winning. The lottery paradox brings out a tension between the idea that lottery beliefs are justified and the idea thatthat one can always justifiably believe the deductive consequences of things that one justifiably believes – what is sometimes called the principle of closure. Many philosophers have treated the lottery paradox (...) as an argument against the second idea – but I make a case here that it is the first idea that should be given up. As I shall show, there are a number of independent arguments for denying that lottery beliefs are justified. (shrink)
This paper examines argumentsthat take counter- considerations into account, and it does so from a dialogical point of view. According to my account, a counterconsideration is part of a critical reaction from a real or imagined opponent, and an arguer may take it into account in his argument in at least six fully responsive ways. Conductive arguments will be characterized as one of these types. In this manner, the paper aims to show how conducive, and related (...) kinds of argument can be understood dialogically. (shrink)
Advances in reproductive medicine have provided new, and much needed, hope for millions of people struggling with infertility. Gestational surrogacy is one such development that has been gaining popularity with infertile couples, especially those unable to benefit from other reproductive procedures such as In Vitro Fertilization. For many Muslim couples, however, surrogacy remains a nonviable option. Islamic scholars have deemed the procedure incompatible with Islam and have prohibited its use. This paper examines the arguments presented for proscribing (...) surrogacy arrangements in Sunni Islam in particular. These include preservation of lineage, exclusion of third parties in reproduction, upholding the rights of the child, and protection from the negative effects of surrogacy arrangements. The rationales for banning surrogacy are subsequently refuted utilizing Islamic law “Sharia”, bioethics, and medical evidence. The paper also presents reasons for why surrogacy is not only consistent with Sunni Islamic teachings, but is also both ethically justified and medically necessary. Lastly, Islamic scholars are urged to take into account the arguments presented in this paper and reconsider their rulings on the permissibility of surrogacy. (shrink)
Open peer commentary on the target article “Arguments Opposing the Radicalism of Radical Constructivism” by Gernot Saalmann. First paragraph: The article argues that radical constructivism is flawed, and should be rejected in favour of an alternative version of constructivism: critical realism. It is my aim here to demonstrate that the arguments do not hold, for at least two reasons: 1. They are directed against a mistaken conception of what radical constructivism is about. 2. They are essentially (...) “criticisms from the outside”: i.e., radical constructivism is criticised for what it is not, and not for what it is. (shrink)
This paper constructs the theological polemic among Near Eastern Christian sects and the encounter with the new religio-political regional power: Islam. Focusing on the period from around the first Muslim conquests in the mid-seventh century until the ninth centure C. E., a list of East Syriac Church Fathers and their writings are selected as representative voices in the continuing Christological debates. In particular, the paper is concerned with how theological arguments were first used and reinterpreted to address conversion (...) to Islam and later used to emphasize, in an ironic twist, the proximity between Nestorianism and Islam contra other Christian “heresies”. This historical development is important to understand how Nestorian literature was later used by Muslim theologians well after the ninth century, such as Ibn Abī Ţālib al-Dimašqī in the fourteenth century, to defend Islam and debunk Christianity. For Nestorian apologetics the immediacy of addressing the issue of Christian conversion to Islam was clear. Letters from Nestorian clergy, such as Katholikos Īšō’yahb III. and Katholikos Georg, recount the old debates among Nestorians, Miaphysites, and Melkites concerning the nature of Christ. In order to explicate best the erroneous attraction of Islam, these two men contextualized Islamic theology as similar to a Christian heretical sect. Yet over time, appealing to Islamic overlordship became necessary. With the rise of the Abbasid caliphate and the establishment of its capital in the historical heartland of the Nestorian Church, the polemic was reversed. Hereafter, Nestorian dyophysite doctrine was used as an appeal to the Islamic conception of Christ’s divinity. For example, Katholikos Timotheos I. and the theologian Theodor Bar Koni underlined the blasphemy of the Miaphysite and Chalcedonian Christology. This very tactic, however, was easy for Muslim scholars to appropriate in Islamic apologetics. Well before al-Dimašqi, the words of the Abbasid Caliph al-Mahdi to Timotheos are distinct: the Nestorians understood correctly that God could not have suffered and died, but that they all were still wrong that Jesus is the Son of God. (shrink)
The ἉAlawīs in Syria have long been viewed as an esoteric Shiʽī sect, known to outsiders as extremist and considered by their Muslim neighbors as heretics. As they kept their beliefs in secret, we have no published accounts of the community’s tenets by insiders until the end of the Ottoman period. This article analyzes the religious arguments by which insiders of the community have been attempting to integrate into Islam. It does so by focusing on the Ἁlawī (...) writings since the Mandate when Ἁlawīs began formulating new historical and religious claims to help facilitate the adoption of nationalism together with Islamism. (shrink)
According to orthodox views of philosophical methodology, when philosophers appeal to intuitions, they treat them as evidence for their contents. Call this “descriptive evidentialism.” Descriptive evidentialism is assumed both by those who defend the epistemic status of intuitions and by those, including many experimental philosophers, who criticize it. This article shows, however, that the idea that philosophers treat intuitions as evidence struggles to account for the way philosophers treat intuitions in a variety of philosophical contexts. In particular, it (...) cannot account for philosophers' treatment of a priori intuitions, for nonpropositional uses of intuition, and for philosophers' failure to use intuition to exclude the counterintuitive. The article concludes that alternatives to descriptive evidentialism (some of which are sketched) must be developed, and that much of the recent debate between traditionalists and skeptics from, for example, experimental philosophy is probably based on a false presupposition. (shrink)
Over the last decade a handful of cognitive models of religious belief have begun to coalesce in the literature. Attempts to offer “scientific explanations of religious belief ” are nothing new, stretching back at least as far as David Hume, and perhaps as far back as Cicero. What is also not new is a belief that scientific explanations of religious belief serve in some way to undermine the justification for those beliefs.
Speaking of relations between logic and religion in Islamic world may refer to logic in two respects: logic in religious texts, from doctrinal sacred texts such as Qur’ān and sayings of the Prophet to the Qur’ānic commentaries and the texts related to the principles and fundamentals of jurisprudence, all of which make use of some reasoning to persuade the audiences or to infer the rules and prescripts for religious behavior of the members of religious community; and logic as a discipline (...)that is studied and applied both independently and as a tool for reasoning in schools of Islamic theology, systems of Islamic philosophy, and other types of knowledge in medieval Islamic world, all being strongly influenced by religious doctrines of Islam. Accordingly, this paper speaks of the different manifestations of using logical reasoning, particularly analogy, in Qur’ānic arguments, e.g. for the existence of God and resurrection after death; some contradictions or paradoxes reported by different opponents in the verses of Qur’ān; the place of logic in the classification of disciplines and the courses taught at the schools and seminaries; the influence of the attitudes of different religious sects on logic; the instrumental role of logic for both religious and secular reasonings; the relation between reason and dogmatic religious doctrines, and, finally, the reflection of this relation on progress or recession of logic in medieval Islamic world. (shrink)
Is knowledge a mental state? For philosophers working within the idealistic tradition, the answer is trivial: there is nothing else for knowledge to be. For most others, however, the claim has seemed prima facie implausible. Knowing that p requires or involves the fact that p, or p’s truth, and that – with certain specifiable exceptions – is quite independent of my mind; so while knowledge may require or involve certain mental states, it itself is not a state (...) of mind. (shrink)
Observers compared it to the toppling of Russian domains in 1989, but there are important differences. Crucially, no Mikhail Gorbachev exists among the great powers that support the Arab dictators. Rather, Washington and its allies keep to the well-established principle that democracy is acceptable only insofar as it conforms to strategic and economic objectives: fine in enemy territory (up to a point), but not in our backyard, please, unless properly tamed.
Since the inception of Turkey as an independent state, the country has based itself on Western modes of governance, with secularism being a hallmark of the nation. In recent years, Islamic parties have made inroads in government, causing consternation among the old guard and allies in Europe. Much of the modern arguments against Turkey's inclusion in the EU rely on psuedo-Orientalist ideas; Turkey is somehow so different and alien from "European" culture that they simply do not belong in (...) the EU. Historical notions of Turkey and Islam as fundamentally different are then propagated to remove Turkey from contemporary Europe. Islamic politics in Turkey do not represent a shift to a more fundamentalist ideology; in actuality, Turkish Islamic parties are very modern movements based in progressive ideas. The rise of Islamic parties in Turkey signals a shift away from a dogmatic following of the strictly secular West into a more hybrid political identity, unshakably tied to the West but allowing for a greater expression of its Middle Eastern Muslim heritage. (shrink)
Bernard of Clairvaux lives in a geographic region and in a century, where politicians and intellectuals both look upon the Islam and its supporters as a religious and military danger for Western Europe and its culture. Unlike many contemporary theologians and philosophers Bernard does not engage in an intellectual controversy with Islamic positions. Even the explicit invitation of his friend, Peter the Venerable, who has let the Koran be transited into Latin, does not encourage him for such an effort. (...) On the contrary he accepts the papal order to promote the second crusade. Why does act Bernard in this way? The article wants to show that Bernard's theological basic assumptions, especially his epistemological convictions make it impossible, to defend the truths of the Christian religion by the help of rational arguments. (shrink)
Islam as a religion and a way of life guides millions of people around the world and has a significant impact on worldly affairs. To many Muslims, however, a philosophical understanding or assessment of Islamic belief is seen as a feeble and religiously inappropriate attempt to understand matters that are beyond rational comprehension. Islam: A Contemporary Philosophical Investigation explores this issue in detail, by guiding readers through a careful study of the relationship between faith and reason in (...)Islam. In particular, it pays close attention to religious objections to philosophizing about Islam, arguments for and against Islamic belief, and the rationality of Islamic belief in light of contemporary philosophical issues, such as problems of religious diversity, evil and religious doubt. (shrink)
China and Islam examines the intersection of two critical issues of the contemporary world: Islamic revival and an assertive China, questioning the assumption that Islamic law is incompatible with state law. It finds that both Hui and the Party-State invoke, interpret, and make arguments based on Islamic law, a minjian law in China, to pursue their respective visions of 'the good'. Based on fieldwork in Linxia, 'China's Little Mecca', this study follows Hui clerics, youthful translators on (...) the 'New Silk Road', female educators who reform traditional madrasas, and Party cadres as they reconcile Islamic and socialist laws in the course of the everyday. The first study of Islamic law in China and one of the first ethnographic accounts of law in postsocialist China, China and Islam unsettles unidimensional perceptions of extremist Islam and authoritarian China through Hui minjian practices of law. (shrink)
The majority of Muslim countries, classified as low or middleincome groups, suffer from poverty and face severe challenges in economicdevelopment. International development reports attribute the economicproblems of Muslim countries to similar factors as those existing in otherdeveloping countries. However, some secular studies have analyzed theimpact of Islamic culture on the economic variables in the Muslim World, andconsequently on its economic development. This paper reviews and evaluatessome of these studies. Secular works which are selected and examined inthis article can be classified (...) into two main groups. The first group makes nodistinction between authentic Islamic culture and contemporary culture whichis prevailing in Muslim countries and builds its analysis and conclusion uponthis misconception. The second group, however, raises objections towardssome specific Islamic laws and traditional rules, considering them amongfactors which have hindered economic development in the Muslim world. (shrink)
Perkins, John L The atrocity of September 11 led me to become an atheist. A boundary had been crossed, I thought, and religions could no longer be regarded as benign. As the buildings crashed to the ground in New York, this conclusion seemed obvious. Yet a decade and a half later, it seems remarkable how few people have been able to reach the same conclusion.
In this paper, I argue that, if ‘the overrepresentation of Christian theists in analytic philosophy of religion is unhealthy for the field, since they would be too much influenced by prior beliefs when evaluating religious arguments’ (De Cruz and De Smedt (2016), 119), then a first step toward a potential remedy is this: analytic philosophers of religion need to restructure their analytical tasks. For one way to mitigate the effects of confirmation bias, which may be influencing how analytic (...) philosophers of religion evaluate arguments in Analytical Philosophy of Religion (APR), is to consider other points of view. Applied to APR, this means considering religious beliefs, questions, and arguments couched in non-Christian terms. In this paper, I focus on Islam in particular. My aim is to show thatIslam is a fertile ground of philosophical questions and arguments for analytic philosophers of religion to engage with. Engaging with questions and arguments couched in non-Christian terms would help make work in APR more diverse and inclusive of religions other than Christianity, which in turn would also be a first step toward attracting non-Christians to APR. (shrink)