Saturday, August 22, 2015

Morriston's Important New Paper on Divine Command Theory

Morriston, Wes. "‘Terrible’ divine commands revisited: a response to Davisand Franks", Religious Studies (August 2015). Here's the abstract:
If God commanded something that would ordinarily be classified as a terrible evil, would we have a moral obligation to obey? In two previous articles in this journal, I examined and evaluated several different ways in which a divine command theorist might answer this question. Richard Brian Davis and W. Paul Franks have now provided a vigorous rebuttal, in which they argue that my way of handling the relevant counterpossible conditionals is flawed, and that a divine command theorist who avails herself of the metaphysical platform of theistic activism can consistently say that if (per impossibile) God were to command some terrible evil, it would not be the case that we have a moral obligation to do it. In the present article, I clarify my own view and defend it against Davis and Franks's objections. I also argue that the core claim of theistic activism – that there would be nothing at all if there were no God – does not have all the dramatic implications that Davis and Franks claim for it.


In Memoriam: William Rowe (1931-2015)

Very sad news. Details here.

Friday, August 14, 2015

De Cruz's New Paper on Irrelevant Influences

Helen De Cruz has a fascinating new paper on irrelevant influences on views in philosophy of religion. Here's the abstract:
To what extent do factors such as upbringing and education shape our philosophical views? And if they do, does this cast doubt on the philosophical results we have ob-tained? This paper investigates irrelevant influences in philosophy through a qualitativesurvey on the personal beliefs and attitudes of philosophers of religion. In the light of these findings, I address two questions: an empirical one (whether philosophers of religion are influenced by irrelevant factors in forming their philosophical attitudes), andan epistemological one (whether the influence of irrelevant factors on our philosophicalviews should worry us). The answer to the empirical question is a confident yes, to the epistemological question, a tentative yes.
The paper is still in draft, so the relevant norms about that apply.


Monday, August 03, 2015

Workshop Announcement: What Difference Would -- or Does God's Existence Make?

What Difference Would - or Does - God's Existence Make?
A Workshop on the Axiological Consequences of Theism
Ryerson University
Toronto, Canada
September 11-12, 2015

For complete details, and to register, go to: www.ryerson.ca/~kraay/theismworkshop.html.

Speakers:

- Toby Betenson (Birmingham)
- Richard Davis and Paul Franks (Tyndale University College)
- Scott Davison (Morehead State University)
- Guy Kahane (Oxford)
- Stephen Maitzen (Acadia)
- Myron A. Penner (Trinity Western) and Ben Arbour (Institute for Philosophical and Theological Research)
- John Schellenberg (Mount Saint Vincent)
- Meghan Sullivan (Notre Dame)
- Michael Tooley (Colorado)
- Erik Wielenberg (DePauw)

This workshop is the capstone event of a three-year research project entitled "Theism: An Axiological Investigation", that was generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation.


For more information about this project, see: www.ryerson.ca/~kraay/theism.html.  

(Thanks to Klaas Kraay for the pointer.)

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Steinhart's New Phil. Compass Article on Naturalistic Theories of Life After Death

Here. Below is the abstract:
After rejecting substance dualism, some naturalists embrace patternism. It states that persons are bodies and that bodies are material machines running abstract person programs. Following Aristotle, these person programs are souls. Patternists adopt four-dimensionalist theories of persistence: Bodies are 3D stages of 4D lives. Patternism permits at least six types of life after death. It permits quantum immortality, teleportation, salvation through advanced technology, promotion out of a simulated reality, computational monadology, and the revision theory of resurrection.
(We've noted his podcast interview on Our Digital Afterlives on another occasion.)

And if a copy should find its way to my inbox....

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dougherty & Tweedt's New Survey Article on Recent Work in Religious Epistemology...

...has recently come out at Philosophy Compass. Here's the abstract:

Religious epistemology is the study of how subjects' religious beliefs can have, or fail to have, some form of positive epistemic status (such as knowledge, justification, warrant, and rationality) and whether they even need such status appropriate to their kind. The current debate is focused most centrally upon the kind of basis upon which a religious believer can be rationally justified in holding certain beliefs about God (whether God exists, what attributes God has, what God is doing, etc.) and whether it is necessary to be so justified to believe as a religious believer ought (in some sense of ‘ought’ more general than rational justification). Engaging these issues are primarily three groups of people who call themselves ‘fideists’, ‘Reformed epistemologists’, and ‘evidentialists’. Each group has a position, but the positions are not mutually exclusive in every case, and in the debate, the names better describe the groups' emphases than mutually exclusive positions in the debate. In this article, we will first give a brief historical survey of evidentialism, fideism, and reformed epistemology. Second, we will give the fideist's position. Third, we will give the evidentialist's position. Fourth, we will give the reformed epistemologist's position, and last, we will include some comments on the current state of the debate, where we will show that the groups' positions are not mutually exclusive.
And if a copy should find its way to my inbox...
UPDATE: Thanks, all!

(Thanks to Clayton Littlejohn for the pointer.)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Videos and Podcasts: New Insights and Directions in Religious Epistemology

New Insights and Directions in Religious Epistemology was arguably the most important conference and workshop series in analytic philosophy of religion in recent memory. The videos and podcasts for its concluding event are now available online. Here's the list of speakers and topics:

International Conference on New Insights and Directions for Religious Epistemology
23 - 25 June 2015, Oxford University

Richard Swinburne (Oxford), Phenomenal Conservatism and Religious Belief"
Peter van Inwagen (Notre Dame), The Rev'd Bayes and the Life Everlasting"
Paulina Sliwa (Cambridge), Show and Tell"
Keith DeRose (Yale), How to Appear to Know that God Exists"
Hans Halvorson (Princeton), Foundations of the Fine-Tuning Argument"
Jennifer Lackey (Northwestern), What is Justified Group Belief?"
John Hawthorne (Oxford/USC), Fine-Tuning Fine-Tuning"
Roger White (MIT), Reasoning with Plentitude"

Saturday, July 11, 2015

John Hawthorne's Recent Defense of the Fine-Tuning Argument



Stay tuned for his recent talk, "Fine-Tuning Fine-Tuning".

(For what it's worth, here's my own worry for fine-tuning arguments for classical theism.)
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