Existential Inertia and Classical Theistic Proofs

Regular readers of this blog will know that Schmid and Linford's terrific book, Existential Inertia and Classical Theistic Proofs is now out with Springer. Here's the blurb:

This book critically assesses arguments for the existence of the God of classical theism, develops an innovative account of objects’ persistence, and defends new arguments against classical theism. The authors engage the following classical theistic proofs: Aquinas’s First Way, Aquinas’s De Ente argument, and Feser’s Aristotelian, Neo-Platonic, Augustinian, Thomistic, and Rationalist proofs.  The authors also provide the first systematic treatment of the ‘existential inertia thesis’.  By connecting the thesis to relativity theory and recent developments in the philosophy of physics, and by developing a variety of novel existential-inertia-friendly explanations of persistence, they mount a formidable new case against classical theistic proofs. Finally, they defend new arguments against classical theism based on abstract objects and changing divine knowledge. The text appeals to students, researchers, and others interested in classical theistic proofs, the existence and nature of God, and the ultimate explanations of persistence, change, and contingency.

Happy reading!

Robert Bass' Important New Paper on Divine Command Theory...

 ...which is also the winner of the 2022 APA Journal of Value Inquiry Prize, is now out, Here's the abstract to whet your appetite:

Recent divine command theorists make a serious and impressive case that a sophisticated divine command theory has significant metaethical advantages and can adequately meet traditional objections, such as the Euthyphro problem. I survey the attempt sympathetically with a view to explaining how the divine command theory can deal with traditional objections while delivering on metaethical desiderata, such as providing an account of ethical objectivity. I argue, however, that to the extent that a divine command theory succeeds, an ideal observer theory can do equally well. Once the divine command theory is rendered immune to Euthyphro-related objections, we will have all the machinery needed to show that an ideal observer theory can provide the same metaethical advantages, without supposing the existence of a divine commander. Other things being equal, ontological simplicity favors the ideal observer theory.

More of Bass' work in philosophy of religion and in ethics can be found here and here.

Happy reading! 

Steinhart's New Defense of Atheistic Platonism

Excited to see that Eric Steinhart's book, Atheistic Platonism: A Manifesto is now out with Palgrave MacMillan. Here's the blurb to whet your appetite:

Atheistic Platonism is an alternative to both theism and nihilistic atheism. It shows how any jobs allegedly done by God are better done by impersonal Platonic objects. Without Platonic objects, atheism degenerates into an illogical nihilism.  Atheistic Platonism instead provides reality with foundations that are eternal, necessary, rational, beautiful, and utterly mindless. It argues for a plenitude of mathematical objects, and an infinite plurality of possible universes. It provides mindless rational grounds for objective values, and for objective moral laws for the persons who evolve in universes. It defines a meaningful way of life, which facilitates self-improvement. Atheistic Platonists argue for computational theories of life after death. Atheistic Platonism includes a rich system of spiritual symbols. It values transformational practices and ecstatic experiences. Where atheisms based on materialism fail, atheisms based on Platonism succeed.

Happy reading!

The Argument from Absences

(This argument was suggested to me by Joe Schmid.)

Here’s an another argument to add to the list. It proceeds from a principle about absences that several able philosophers defend (E.g., Kris McDaniel):

Necessarily, an absence of Fs exists when there are no Fs.

Suppose the principle is true. Now go to a possible world in which God refrains from creating (assume, as traditional theism does, that God has leeway freedom in creating). In that world, there are contingent things uncreated by God (namely, absences of creatures). But according to traditional theism's aseity-sovereignty doctrine, there can be no contingent things that are not created by God. Therefore, traditional theism is false.


Smilansky's New Pascalian Wager for Atheism

Smilansky, Saul. "Reversing Pascal's Wager: Scepticism About Religious Belief and Its Value", Religious Studies (forthcoming). 

Here's the abstract:

Pascal famously argued that practical reasoning should lead people to try to form within themselves a commitment to religious practice and obedience, based upon a belief in God. I propose to take a less ambitious argument, which I call the Sensible Argument, and use it to present The Puzzle. I argue that there is a huge puzzle here, about the radical dissonance between the beliefs and practices of many of the purportedly religious. There are, I will argue, good reasons to doubt, concerning many (clearly not all or indeed most) purported religious believers, whether they are indeed believers, or at least whether their beliefs are strong; and religion seems to greatly increase the risks of deception, duplicity, and hypocrisy, as well as self-deception and inauthenticity. By turning towards a religious form of life, one will therefore be adding great morality-related risks. Arguably, if there is a God who deeply cares about individual moral behaviour, he would punish religious moral transgressors more than the secular ones. One is unlikely to be saved from hell (or other severe divine punishment) by becoming religious. If one is going to wager, it seems much more sensible to wager on the secular side.

Happy reading!

The Argument from Logic

Rough draft: Post stub.

The fact that orthodox theists, from at least Augustine and all the way to the present, have seen logic as the expression of single, rational, divine Mind is at least some evidence that theism expects and predicts logical monism. But the case against logical monism -- and for the disjunction of logical pluralism and logical nihilism -- is more plausible than the case for logical monism. But the truth of the disjunction of logical pluralism and logical nihilism is prima facie more surprising on theism than on naturalism. Therefore, the case for the disjunction of logical pluralism and logical nihilism provides at least some evidence against theism.

Existential Inertia and Classical Theistic Proofs

Regular readers of this blog will know that Schmid and Linford's terrific book, Existential Inertia and Classical Theistic Proofs is no...