Nature exhibits a rich variety of adaptations. Cells contain complex biomolecular structures, such as proteins, that are exquisitely adapted to perform specific biological functions. Evolutionary biology explains how biomolecular structures evolve. Intelligent design creationists reject evolutionary explanations. They want to believe that all adaptations in nature are the handiwork of God. Their critics aver that “it ain't necessarily so.” The anthology under review is an excellent display of the issues between intelligent design creationists and their critics. I agree with the (...) critics. (shrink)
In a recent essay, Quentin Smith revisits a question of philosophical cosmology. Why does the universe exist? This is one way of asking the existence question EQ. Smith notes that all theistic philosophical cosmologists have answered this question in terms of God’s creative choice. Smith favors an “atheistic” philosophical answer: “The universe exists because it has an unconditional probability of existing based on a fundamental law of nature.” He further declares: “This law of nature... is inconsistent with theism and implies (...) that God does not exist.” The structure of Smith's reasoning in defense of these claims is the following: The answer to EQ of theistic philosophical cosmologists is logically inconsistent with the answer of atheistic philosophical cosmologists. Therefore, theistic and atheistic philosophical cosmologies are logically inconsistent with each other. The atheistic answer to EQ is a complete answer to EQ. Therefore, theism is demonstrably false. I shall argue that Smith’s reasoning in defense of is not sound. From that, it follows that is not a proven truth. Assumption is controversial, and in the present context question-begging. It presupposes that materialism is true. Therefore, is not a proven truth. (shrink)
This essay is a defense of Platonic eudalmonism. Plato identified human excellence with mental health, mental health with psychic harmony, psychic harmony with the rule of reason, and he conceived reason to he the synergetic union of the power to know and the power to love. Plato believed that virtue is a constitutent of eudaimonia, that, therefore, it is its own reward. Plato was right on all these counts but one. He misunderstood the nature of the love that is a (...) constituent of reason. That love is not the eras of the Symposium. It is what I call'undemanding love'. In this essay I describe the structure of undemanding love and I explain its connections with reason, mental health, and the moral excellence that is characteristic of a rational being. (shrink)
What is a good man, and how does he become good? My aim in this paper is to unravel and to assess Plato's and St. Paul's very different answers to these questions. The pivotal texts are the Republic and Paul's Epistles.
Literally, προσβάλλον and προσβαλλόμενον mean, respectively, "that which strikes" and "that which is struck." The first suggests activity; the second passivity. Consequently, it would seem that the προσβάλλον should be said to emanate from the agent and the προσβαλλόμενον from the patient. And, since Plato explicitly identifies the agent with the perceptual object and the patient with the sensing organ, we should, it would seem, identify the προσβάλλον with the motion from the perceptual object and the προσβαλλόμενον with the motion (...) from the sensing organ, which is the reverse of what I did in the article. (shrink)