Flew's attack on the free-Will defense (fwd) is well known, As are the defenses of the fwd based on the claims that the fwd (now at least) employs an indeterminist sense of free, Free (i), Rather than the compatibilists sense of free, Free (c), That flew used. This paper tries to (1) modify the flew attack so that it does apply to free (i) versions of the fwd, (2) show that even the modified flew attack fails to defeat the fwd, (...) And, In passing, (3) make some comment on coherence of standard (thomistic) doctrine of foreknowledge of future free (i) acts. (shrink)
Recently Steven E. Boër gave another turn to the discussion of the free will defence by claiming that the free will defence is irrelevant to the justification of moral evil. Conceding that free will may be of real value, Boër claims that free will could have been allowed creatures without that leading to any moral evil at all. What I shall hereafter refer to as the ‘Boër reform’ is the suggestion that God could have allowed creatures to exercise free choices (...) but have intervened with ‘coincidence miracles’ to prevent all the intended evil from actually occurring. What is important to the free will defence, according to Boër, is the ability to choose freely and not the ability to succeed in effecting what we have intended to accomplish. It is no intrusion on the freedom of our wills for God to prevent us from accomplishing what we tried to do with our free wills as long as we were free to try. (shrink)
Two claims have been explored, the first, that fool-proof proofs of the sort that there could be if there were a God like the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are not to be expected, on good religious grounds (a claim I found wanting); and second, that there cannot be philosophical proofs of God which work beyond reasonable doubt.The argument that there cannot be philosophical proofs beyond a reasonable doubt is supported by an examination of some of the fundamental issues (...) in the traditional discussions of proofs for God's existence, and by claims about the relativity of methodological rules to world-views which, I maintain, the traditional discussions indicate. I do not claim to have proved that relativity, only to have illustrated the claim that it is there.It is my further opinion, but I do not claim really to have proved it, that the failure of religious excuses for the lack of public demon strations constitutes a good reason for concluding that there is no God of the sort described as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; hence that if there is a God, it must be the God of the philosophers. However I admit that there might be sufficient hidden reasons which would offer persuasive excuses for the God of the ordinary believer.Lastly, I have made some comments about what I think is the more valuable way to view the “proofs for God.” Such an interpretation does justice to the otherwise baffling and continual philosophical disagreements better than rival theories. It is time we take these disagreements with utmost seriousness, and one can hardly do that while treating basic metaphysical arguments as fool-proof proofs. (shrink)
Resurrection has been used as the conceptual basis for attempted solutions to two problems that occur in the context of western theism, the problem of cognitive meaning and the problem of theodicy. Because John Hick has proposed resurrection as a solution to both problems so extensively, and because Antony Flew and Terence Penelhum have examined those solutions so strenuously, I will use their writings to lay out the problem. My aim is to improve upon Hick by overcoming a weakness in (...) his defence of resurrection. My narrower focus will be on resurrection and the ‘replica objection’, rather than the wider use of resurrection to solve problems of evil or the meaningfulness of theistic discourse, but some brief remarks on the wider problems will be necessary to set the stage. (shrink)
I submit as a good rule of thumb that if a discussion of any major philosophical position or proposition ends with the conclusion that that position or proposition is ‘absurd’ or ‘meaningless’ then a mistake has been made in the discussion. The mistake often turns out to be the accuser's failure to appreciate precisely what the position being attacked really is.
Of late there has been a resurgence of interest in the proofs of God’s existence. Both the ontological argument and Thomistic forms of the cosmological argument have been analyzed repeatedly and well. Very little attention, however, has been given to the rather unique cosmological argument presented by Descartes in his Third Meditation. An additional reason for airing this argument is that a recent presentation of D’s cosmological argument has misconstrued its basic structure.