Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Trisel's New Papers on Divine Silence and on the Value of Unintended Lives

Trisel, Brooke Alan. "God's Silence as an Epistemological Concern", Philosophical Forum 43:4 (2012), 383-393.

Here's the abstract:
Throughout history, many people, including Mother Teresa, have been troubled by God’s silence. In spite of conflicting interpretations of the Bible, God has remained silent. If God exists and he created humanity as a means to fulfilling a purpose, then one would think that God would have clarified his purpose and our role by now. To help God carry out his purpose, we would need to have a clear understanding of our role. Thus, by failing to clarify our role, God would be undermining himself in achieving the purpose he conceived, which would not make sense. Is there a good reason that explains God’s silence or is God’s silence evidence that humanity was not created by God as a means to fulfilling a purpose? I will argue for the latter view. In the companion article “Intended and Unintended Life,” I will then argue that one’s life can be meaningful regardless of whether one’s own life or life in general was intended.

Here is the link to the companion article, "Intended and Unintended Life", (same issue), and here is the abstract:
Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general was intended, but may not have ever wondered whether their own existence was intended by their parents. If it does not matter to us whether one's own existence was intended by one's parents, as will be hypothesized, then why should it matter whether there was some remote intent behind the creation of the first unicellular organism(s) billions of years ago? I will discuss three possible scenarios by which life might have originated. I will then argue that, in regard to whether one’s individual life can be meaningful, it does not matter whether life was intended or arose by chance. If complex life was unintended and is rare in this universe, this is not a reason to disparage life, but a reason to appreciate and value our existence.



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