Resto Quiñones's New Argument Against Perfect Being Theism

Resto Quiñones, Jashiel. "Incompatible And Incomparable Perfections: A New Argument Against Perfect Being Theism", International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (forthcoming).

Abstract: Perfect being theism is the view that the perfect being exists and the property being-perfect is the property being-God. According to the strong analysis of perfection, a being is perfect just in case it exemplifies all perfections. On the other hand, the weak analysis of perfection claims that a being is perfect just in case it exemplifies the best possible combination of compatible perfections. Strong perfect being theism accepts the former analysis while weak perfect being theism accepts the latter. In this paper, I argue that there are good reasons to reject both versions of perfect being theism. On the one hand, strong perfect being theism is false if there are incompatible perfections; I argue that there are. On the other hand, if either no comparison can be made between sets of perfections, or they are equally good, then there is no best possible set of perfections. I argue for the antecedent of this conditional statement, concluding that weak perfect being theism is false. In the absence of other analyses of perfection, I conclude that we have reason to reject perfect being theism.

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What God Would Have Known... the title of J.L. Schellenberg's forthcoming book, which offers a large number of novel arguments against Christian theism. I've read the manuscript, and as one would expect from Schellenberg, it's clear, tightly argued, and compelling. Required reading!

Metaphysical Grounding and the Cosmological Argument... the title of Thomas Oberle's new paper in Phil. Studies. Here's the abstract:

A premise of the Leibnizian cosmological argument from contingency says that no contingent fact can explain why there are any contingent facts at all. David Hume and Paul Edwards famously denied this premise, arguing that if every fact has an explanation in terms of further facts ad infinitum, then they all do. This is known as the Hume–Edwards Principle (HEP). In this paper, I examine the cosmological argument from contingency within a framework of metaphysical explanation or ground and defend a ground-theoretic version of HEP which says, roughly, that the plurality of contingent facts is grounded in its members.

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Review of Van Leeuwen's Religion as Make-Believe

 Eric Schwitzgebel reviews the book for NDPR.

New Paper on the Evidential Challenge of Petitionary Prayer

Oren N. The evidential challenge for petitionary prayer. Religious Studies. Published online 2024:1-18. doi:10.1017/S0034412524000209.

Abstract: In the past decade, philosophers have devoted a great deal of attention to the practice of petitionary prayer. Philosophical inquiries have posed a priori problems – issues that arise from an analytical investigation of the concept of God, the concept of petitionary prayer, and the relationship between the two. Taking a different direction, this article shifts the focus from possibility to actuality. Accordingly, this article does not deal with the question ‘Can God answer petitionary prayers?’ but rather with the question ‘Does God answer petitionary prayers?’ and, mainly, its implications. More accurately, I will present the tension between the religious belief that petitionary prayers can be effective and the fact that this does not seem to be so in reality, a claim that has been the conclusion of several empirical studies. Then I will present and examine several solutions to this tension. Although I will try to promote my preferred solution, my main aim is to clarify the problem and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the solutions offered to solve the problem under discussion.

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New Book on the Ontology of Divinity

Miroslaw Szatkowski's new book, Ontology of Divinity (De Gruyter, 2024) is now out. It's a massive volume (818 pages), containing 35 newly-commissioned chapters by 38 contributors (including yours truly). Kudos to Miroslaw and all of the contributors for their excellent work.

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Robert M. Adams (1937-2024)

 Robert M. Adams, a seminal figure in philosophy of religion, has passed. Details here.

Adams was a good man. I recall fondly when he and his wife, the late Marilyn McCord Adams, visited our department when I was a graduate student. Robert Adams' seminal defense of divine command meta-ethics, Finite and Infinite Goods, had just come out, and I was taking John Martin Fischer's graduate seminar that was devoted to studying and evaluating the book. Robert and Marilyn attended the seminar while visiting, and Robert was gracious in answering some hard-hitting objections. 

Resto Quiñones's New Argument Against Perfect Being Theism

Resto Quiñones, Jashiel. " Incompatible And Incomparable Perfections: A New Argument Against Perfect Being Theism ", International...