DAWKINS’ BALLET IN THE GARDEN OF THEOLOGY. A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD DAWKINS’ EPISTEMOLOGICAL THESES ON THEISTIC BELIEFS FROM THE GOD DELUSION. PART II My paper presents an analysis and assessment of Richard Dawkins’ assumption from his book The God Delusion that there are no reason against treating belief in God as a scientific hypothesis, because even if the God existence is not disprovable, we could and maybe should ask if His existence is probable or highly improbable. My first aim (...) is to examine Dawkins' argumentation against if he is aware multiple possible ways interpretation of the claim that religious belief in God, construed as the hypothesis that existence of Creator may be treated as a scientific kind of hypothesis. My second aim is to show a nature of relation between his scientific God-hypothesis and his criticism of Thomas Henry Huxley agnosticism. I maintain that the he can't treat his probabilistic account of theism/atheism controversy as a ground for possible evidence for his controversial claim, that scientific knowledge could solve the problem of God's existence. As the matter of facts , things are just the opposite. I argue for claim that his construal of belief in God in terms of probabilistic scientific hypothesis is normatively weak and he can't use it in argumentation against rationality of belief in God even if he would be succesfully show that God-hypothesis is very weak and improbable explanation of origins and complexity of life. (shrink)
There are three chief aims of the paper. First, it presents in short the beginning of the analytic philosophy of religion, its development, issues, and methods. Second, it puts forward a hypothesis that in the last five decades analytic philosophy of religion has been dominated by the epistemological paradigm, i.e. in most cases, any problem in question has been studied as part of the general problem of rationality of religious belief. That situation is changing slowly towards achieving more balance between (...) the issues of epistemology of religion and those concerned with philosophical theology. Third, the paper provides criteria for the classification of the different ways to understand the rationality of religious belief: the rationalistic and evidentialist approach, the natural theology approach, the Wittgensteinian fideism and Reformed epistemology approaches. A brief description of each of those four positions in epistemology of religion is included. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to show that some parts of J. M. Bocheński’s account of the logic of religion are useful for epistemological investigation of a religious belief, particularly for the questions of realistic and cognitive interpretations of a religious discourse, the problems of justification and warrant of a religious belief and for the problem of the place of criticism in a religious discourse. Referring to Bocheński's understanding of the structure of religious/theological thinking, I present the criteria for (...) the gradual rationality of religion and claim that religions may differ in rationality and that there may be a rational and critical religion that uses the achievements of science and philosophy - contrary to what the New Atheists claim. (shrink)
The article aims to determine whether it is possible to build the reliably practiced classical philosophy, understood as a metaphysical research, directed towards the nature of objective reality. The purpose of this kind of philosophizing is knowledge and truth. Moreover, the practice of such philosophizing and its results should meet some of the characteristics of science. The paper establishes a set of conditions that have been imposed on the science of metaphysics by Kazimierz Twardowski. Among the conditions of such philosophizing (...) are anti-dogmatism, criticism, inter-subjectivity of philosophizing and its results, proper epistemic justification of philosophical beliefs, application of the analysis method, rigorous language and reasoning, the use of experience and scientific knowledge. The paper considers these conditions to be correct in most cases and argues that metaphysics can meet them. The existing cases of analytical metaphysics show that metaphysics is possible as a science. Next, the article argues that the late Twardowski failed to substantiate his claim that metaphysical positions which he classified as a world-view philosophy could not be scientifically justified, which could have been possibly done with differentiating ways of understanding what such a scientific justification should be. The article argues that he did not take into account a reductive conception of the metaphysical philosophy, which even though it allows the plurality of metaphysical explanations and does not force anyone to accept one position as the only possible and correct explanation, would have an objective value, if such metaphysics were elaborated indeed. (shrink)
The Issues of God’s Omnipotence – Things New and Old -/- The purpose of this paper is to shortly introduce into the philosophical issues of omnipotence in the history of philosophy and philosophically oriented theology, and to show how the articles included in the special issue on God’s power fits with it. There are three main subjects of debate on the power of God (gods). First, how to precisely define omnipotence, in philosophically as well as theologically adequate way, by using (...) correct terms. This task has two sides, semiotic and the corresponding metaphysical one – how should we correctly understand the very nature of God’s power. The second topic, or rather set of topics is to map the scope of omnipotence up and delineate its limits. And the last, third subject concerning omnipotence is to establish the relation of omnipotence to others attributes as well as to the God’s nature as such. All the issues are placed in the context of historical and actual debates. The paper distinguish with some detail different subtopics connected with each main issues. The problem of correct, adequate main term used in definiens of God’s power definition and task to detect paradoxes of omnipotence, to find it’s sources, and remove them, if it is possible are connected with first. It includes the task of distinguishing of different kinds of God’s power. In the second group of topics the paper lists nine different questions concerning the scope and limits of power of God, for example some connected with the ways of acting of God in the world, the relations between power of God and human freedom, God’s omnipotence and evil, with possibility of creating of different world or world with different value status or even with different moral laws. One of this paper task is to show the importance and actuality of issues of omnipotence of God, so the topics of nineteen of papers included in this special issue of “Filo-Sofija” are presented in their proper, historical and actual, context. (shrink)
DAWKINS’ BALLET IN THE GARDEN OF THEOLOGY. A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF RICHARD DAWKINS’ EPISTEMOLOGICAL THESES ON THEISTIC BELIEFS FROM THE GOD DELUSION. PART I My paper presents a detailed analysis and assessment of Richard Dawkins’ epistemological theses from The God Delusion concerning the nature of religious belief, the existence of God and treating belief in God as a scientific hypothesis. In the first part of the article, I am interpreting Dawkins’ statement that atheism deserves respect as an epistemic achievement. I (...) suggest that rationality of that assessment depends on Dawkins’ success in arguing that science shows that God does not exist. My second aim is to show that the real object of Dawkins’ attack is not some abstract theistic hypothesis, as he suggests, but the Western ethical monotheism, mainly the Christian faith in God. If I am right, then his rejection of thus interpreted theism is not enough to justify his more general thesis that God hypothesis is false or improbable. The first part of the paper prepares the ground for the second, with criticism of Dawkins’ reasoning to the conclusion that almost certainly there is no God. (shrink)
Is Divine Knowledge Incompatible with Human Freedom? An Analysis of Some Arguments The problem that divine omniscience or divine foreknowledge makes free will impossible belongs to notoriously difficult to solve. In XX century one of the most important interpretation of this difficulty was provided by Nelson Pike. If God believes infallibly and in advance how Smith will act, this fact about the past excludes out all alternatives for Smith. But libertarian account of free will requires alternatives possibilities, so, it could (...) be argue that God’s foreknowledge is incompatible with our free will. This paper carefully criticizes Pike’s argumentation and suggests that because God’s foreknowledge doesn’t eliminate future alternatives through causal means, it is compatible with free will and that Pike’s argument and two briefly analyzed standard arguments for fatalism presented by Zagzebski failed. (shrink)
The paper presents some historical (Plato, Aristotle, Plotin, Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas) and main contemporary topics about different accounts of goodness of God understood as ontological goodness, perfection and as ethical goodness - impeccability and benevolence. The arguments for goodness of God are presented, mainly from stance of Thomas Aquinas classical theism as well as arguments against compatibility of essential goodness and omnipotence (N. Pike) and being an moral agent. The article draws perspective of different philosophical issues connected with goodness of (...) God, like a problem of evil, the Euthyphro dilemma, divine command ethics and divine motivation theory. (shrink)
I present argument for different than traditional continental classification of epistemological issues. Paper has two parts, first concerned with K. Ajdukiewicz and J. Woleński conception of epistemology and its branches and with different methods of epistemological inquiry based on different task posed for epistemology. Second part discuss main important topics of current postgettieral analytic epistemology like virtue epistemology, ethics of belief, problems of epistemic value, epistemic value monism and pluralism, metaepistemology and concludes that in traditional continental classification the issues of (...) a truth and the issues of nature of knowledge should be united in broaden set of topics concerned with valuable cognition and knowledge, which has descriptive, normative, and regulative subparts. (shrink)
On Relation between the Individual Character of Propositional Knowledge and Its Value -/- The paper presents two aspects of human propositional knowledge, objective and subjective. The former is based on the truth condition, and the latter on the belief condition. Then several problems of the value of knowledge are briefly presented. The last part contains two arguments for the sine qua non belief condition of knowledge, one of which concerns the problem of epistemic luck assumed in virtue.
Short paper about debate on cognitive meaning of religious use of language in early analytic philosophy of religion. Published in Companion to Philosophy of Religion, edited by Janusz Salamon, Cracow: WAM, 2016.
In philosophical literature terms: „natural theology” (or „rational theology”) and „philosophical theology” are used as exchangeable. The author argues that natural and philosophical theology are different philosophical disciplines. It is possible to point out a philosophic theology, different from natural theology, the former aims are not only supposed to show that God exists but to unifícate, interpret and explain (understand) religious faith and her tasks are not primary apologetic. The author considers that the aims of the latter discipline are bound (...) with the preference of cognitive values such as certainty, rationality and being able to use one ’s rationality to convince your opponent. In the end of this article author introduces a sketch of method of philosophical theology as different form natural theology, which could overcome one-sided views about role of philosophical argument in study of religious belief and faith and their propositional content and lead not only to a more adequate analysis of the researched reality but also to the development of other disciplines. (shrink)
Does God suffer? Some critical remarks on Dariusz Łukasiewicz’s paper ‘The suffering of God and the evil’ (Czy Bóg cierpi? Uwagi polemiczne do artykułu Dariusza Łukasiewicza 'Cierpienie Boga za zło') Author of article argues that Dariusz Łukasiewicz's criticism of Thomas G. Weinandy's book Czy Bóg cierpi?, directed towards three arguments for impassibility of God doesn't defeat Weinandy's theses. There are three reasons of that. First, Łukasiewicz criticism doesn't take into account metaphysical nature of Weinandy's arguments concerning nature of suffering and (...) God. Second, some of assumptions are attributed by Łukasiewicz to author of Does God suffer? mistakenly. Third, Łukasiewicz criticism that Weinandy's thought is too optimistic doesn't realize that philosophy cannot justify or disprove all theological theses, because many of them are beyond the reach of human reason. Article ends with some suggestions about proper use of analogy in attribution of properties to God. (shrink)
I argue that Ireneusz Ziemiński doesn't justify his skepticism about knowledge of existence of God. First, he reduces a question to metaphysical one - do we have sound, valid proofs of God's existence and imposes too heavy conditions on arguments for God. Second, he doesn't show that disagreement between philosophers in that question justify his negative assessment of arguments. Third, Ziemiński omits epistemological question what is knowledge of God's existence, especially in its direct form as well as externalistic account's of (...) knowledge of God, for example Plantinga's and Alston's. (shrink)
Marek Pepliński Editorial. On God’s Knowledge, Omnipotence, and Human FreedomAncient and mediaeval encounters between religious monotheistic faith and philosophical reason brings philosophers and theologians to task how to add up facts perceived from philosophical, natural and religious perspectives. There are several important points in which reason and faith seems to be in disagreement. One of them is the group of problems connected to the topics of coherence of divine attributes, particularly omniscience, foreknowledge and omnipotence, on the one hand, and the (...) human freedom, on the another. This editorial shows how are different angles of problems of human freedom, foreknowledge, middle knowledge, eternity, fatalism and open theism connected in papers of this volume of Filo-sofija journal. Keywords: omniscience; foreknowledge; omnipotence; coherence of faith and reason; open theism, immutability of God’s knowledge, libertarian account of freedom; eternal life; fourteenth-century theology. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga claims that Christian believer can rationally disbelieve in some elements of the theory of evolution: the Common Ancestry Thesis; Darwinism, taken as explanation of origin of life by the mechanism of natural selection operating on random genetic mutation, and Naturalistic Origins Thesis - the view that present life itself developed from nonliving matter without special activity of God. After the justification of the possibility of conflicts between faith and science, Plantinga's arguments are examined and assessed as successful, with (...) a few exceptions. The main thesis of this paper is that Plantinga is right claiming that rational disbelieving in evolution is possible, but his arguments are not enough to justify special creationism as theistic knowledge, supposing that knowledge warrants the truth. (shrink)