The Nature of God explores a perennial problem in the philosophy of religion. Drawing upon developments in philosophy, most notably those in philosophical logic, Edward R. Wierenga examines the traditional divine attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, eternity, timelessness, immutability, and goodness. His philosophically defensible formulations of the nature of God are in accord with the views of classical theists. The author provides an account of each of the divine attributes by stating in contemporary terms what such classical theists as Augustine, Anselm, (...) and Aquinas wrote about the nature of God; he then seeks to determine whether one can defend the ascription of traditional divine attributes to God against philosophical objections. Clearly written and comprehensive, The Nature of God contains a wealth of illuminating and original material on a central topic in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Omniscience is the divine attribute of possessing complete or unlimited knowledge. This article examines motivations for taking such a property to be a divine attribute, attempts to define or analyse omniscience, possible limitations on the extent of divine knowledge, and, finally, objections either to the coherence of the concept or to its compatibility with other divine attributes or with widely accepted claims.
This paper develops an interpretation of the doctrine of the Trinity, drawn from Augustine and the Athanasian Creed. Such a doctrine includes divinity claims (the persons are divine), diversity claims (the persons are distinct), and a uniqueness claim (there is only one God). I propose and defend an interpretation of these theses according to which they are neither logically incompatible nor do they do entail that there are three (or four) gods.
I discuss conditions for the validity of proxy consent to treatment on behalf of an incompetent person. I distinguish those incompetents who, when previously competent, expressed an opinion on the treatment in question from those who were never competent or who, though previously competent, never expressed an opinion on the proposed treatment. In the former case valid proxy consent usually requires respecting the stated wishes of the patient. The latter case is more difficult. I consider a widely-held principle which appeals (...) to the counterfactual wishes of the incompetent person. I argue that it is unacceptable and propose in its place a principle having to do with the best interests of the patient. Keywords: proxy consent, informed consent, competence, hypothetical wishes, substituted judgment, counterfactual wishes CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
All of the ingredients for what has become known as Anselmian perfect being theology were present already in the thought of St. Augustine. This paper develops that thesis by calling attention to various claims Augustine makes. It then asks whether there are principled reasons for determining which properties the greatest possible being has and whether an account of what contributes to greatness can settle the question whether the greatest possible being is the same as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and (...) Jacob. The paper develops Augustine’s answer to the first question by extracting several principles he endorses that generate a hierarchy of greatness. It addresses the second question by discussing the requirements of worship and of creation. (shrink)
I propose some arguments suggested by Descartes' text for the conclusion that we are not identical to our bodies. I suggest that a natural extension of those arguments leads to Plantinga's Replacement Argument. I conclude that even if such an argument is plausible, its conclusion does not establish the further claim that we can exist without a body.
Is there anything new to be said about Anselm's ontological argument? Recent work by Lynne Baker and Gareth Matthews raises some interesting and important questions about the argument. First, Anselm's argument is set in the context of a prayer to God, whose existence Anselm seeks to prove. Is that peculiar or paradoxical? Does it imply that Anselm's prayer is insincere? Baker and Matthews have offered a novel interpretation of Anselm's argument, designed to solve a crucial problem with it. Does their (...) interpretation succeed in solving that problem? This paper addresses both of these questions. (shrink)
Skeptical theism is a type of reply to arguments from evil against God’s existence. The skeptical theist declines to accept a premiss of some such argument, professing ignorance, for example, about whether God is justified in permitting certain evils or about the conditional probability that the world contains as much evil as it does, or evils of a particular sort, on the hypothesis that God exists. Skeptical theists are thus not supposed to be skeptical about theism; rather, they are theists (...) who are skeptical about something else. But that raises the question of exactly what else. In particular, does skepticism with respect to some claims about God and evil lead to a more pervasive skepticism? More precisely, is skeptical theism committed to additional skepticism about God? Is skeptical theism committed to global skepticism, including skepticism about ordinary, commonplace beliefs? Or is skeptical theism at the very least committed to a broader skepticism about matters of morality? This paper takes up these questions.Skeptical theism, Global Skepticism,Moral Skepticism,God’s existence, Problem of Evil. (shrink)
According to Myles Brand, ‘[t]he key to advocating a particularist account of events -or any account of events - is to provide adequate identity conditions’. He thinks that the function of an identity condition is ‘to specify the nature of’ events.To state an identity condition for events is to provide a way to complete the formula: The mere fact that a proposed completion of is true does not imply that it is an informative identity condition for events or that it (...) plays any role in specifying the nature of events. (shrink)
Several debates in contemporary metaphysics provoke us to ask what an event is. One theory, Pioneered by chisholm, Develops the analogy between the occurrence of events and the truth of corresponding propositions. I call these propositional analyses. It is unclear whether their adherents wish to jettison our event-Concepts, And replace them with concepts from another category, Such as semantics. The other theory of what events are that I scrutinize, Namely kim's and goldman's property-Exemplification analysis, Seems reductive. My suspicion is that (...) if you attempt to boil down the occurrence of an event to the "obtaining" or "taking place" of a proposition-Like "state of affairs"--Or to the "exemplification" of a property by an "object"--At some "time", We have a residual event: a mysterious episode of "obtaining" or "exemplifying" in which either states of affairs or properties and objects participate. Reduction is unlikely. (shrink)
The central thesis of this book is that “there are perfectly general grounds on which [the author] can dismiss the possibility of a dialectically effective ontological argument [for God’s existence]”. Since there is no other purpose ontological arguments can achieve, they are “completely worthless”.