Saturday, August 25, 2012

Poston's Paper on Social Evil

Ted Poston won the 2011 Younger Scholar's Prize for Philosophy of Religion for his fantastic paper, "Social Evil".  Here's the abstract:


Social evil is any pain or suffering brought about by game-theoretic interactions of 
many individuals.  This paper introduces and discusses the problem of social evil.  I begin by 
focusing on social evil brought about by game-theoretic interactions of rational moral 
individuals.  The problem social evil poses for theism is distinct from problems posed by natural 
and moral evils.  Social evil is not a natural evil because it is brought about by the choices of 
individuals.   But social evil is not a form of moral evil because each individual actor does not 
misuse his free will.  Traditional defenses for natural and moral evil fall short in addressing the 
problem of social evil.  The final section of this paper discusses social evil and virtue.  I argue 
that social evil can arise even where virtue is lacking.  Further, I explore the possibility of an 
Edwardsian defense of social evil that stresses the high demands of true virtue.  The conclusion 
of this paper is that social evil is problematic and provides  new ground for exploring the 
conceptual resources of theism.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Conference Reminder: Challenges to Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution

September 6th-8th. Details here. The conference is part of the three-year Templeton-sponsored project, Knowing in Religion and Morality. Details here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Dilemma for Skeptical Theism

Benjamin T. Rancourt. "Egoism or the Problem of Evil: A Dilemma for Skeptical Theism", Religious Studies (First View article, August 2012, pp. 1-13.).

If a copy were to find its way to me, I wouldn't mind in the least...

Update: Thanks!


Saturday, August 18, 2012



When she talks, I hear the revolution...

(Nadezhda Tolokonnikova is a philosophy student, by the way)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Doom

Here.

(Krugman's comments on Ryan here)

UPDATE: This excellent piece by philosopher Ben Hale (Colorado, Boulder) is also apt.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Please Support Alexander Aan


Please consider signing the petition linked to here. Below is the petition message:

Earlier this year, Indonesian civil servant Alexander Aan posted on Facebook that he doubted the existence of God. He was then attacked and beaten by an angry mob, and arrested for blasphemy.
On June 14, Aan was convicted of “disseminating information aimed at inciting religious hatred or hostility,” sentenced to 30 months in prison, and saddled with a large fine. Now many Indonesians are calling for his death.

By punishing Aan, Indonesia is violating its obligations to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which guarantees every person the rights to freedom of belief and expression. We petition the Obama administration to call upon the Indonesian government to immediately release Alexander Aan and improve its protections for religious dissidents and nonbelievers.

A New Defense of PSR Against the Charge of Necessitarianism

Lin, Martin. "Rationalism and Necessitarianism", Nous 46:3 (2012), 418-448.

If someone were to send me a copy, I wouldn't mind in the least.

Update: Thanks! (You know who you are.)

Review of Reason, Metaphysics, and Mind: New Essays on the Philosophy of Alvin Plantinga

James K. Beilby (Bethel University) reviews the book for NDPR.
Site Meter