Cawdron on Theism and Dissociative Identity Disorder

 Cawdron, Harvey. "Divided Minds and Divine Judgement", TheoLogica 7:1 (2023).

Abstract: In this paper, I shall argue that Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a disorder in which seemingly independent identities (alters) arise within the same individual, can have considerable consequences in Christian theology. I shall focus on traditional Christian understandings of the afterlife. I shall begin by outlining DID, and shall argue that in some DID cases, alters appear to be different persons according to some definitions of personhood in Christian theology. I shall then illustrate the difficulty this raises for two influential ideas in the Christian tradition: the heaven and hell understanding of the afterlife, and the idea of the resurrection of the body. Finally, I shall consider some objections to the problem, and shall highlight which responses are the most plausible.

Happy reading!

Cawdron's New Paper on Agentive Cosmopsychism and the Problem of Evil

 Cawdron, Harvey. "Cosmopsychism and the Problem of Evil", Sophia (2023).

Abstract: Cosmopsychism, the idea that the universe is conscious, is experiencing something of a revival as an explanation of consciousness in philosophy of mind and is also making inroads into philosophy of religion. In the latter field, it has been used to formulate models of certain forms of theism, such as pantheism and panentheism, and has also been proposed as a rival to the classical theism of the Abrahamic faiths. It has been claimed by Philip Goff that a certain form of cosmopsychism, namely agentive cosmopsychism, poses a threat to classical theism because it can explain features of the universe like fine-tuning without having to deal with the problem of evil. This is because, unlike the classical theist, the cosmopsychist can deny at least one of the divine attributes motivating the problem of evil, namely omniscience, omnipotence, and omnibenevolence. In this paper, I shall consider which of the divine attributes the cosmopsychist should focus on when responding to the problem of evil and shall conclude that the rejection of omnibenevolence is the most satisfactory option.

Yet another nice example of a rival hypothesis with greater explanatory power than theism. (For what it's worth, I defend a non-agentive version of cosmopsychism as a rival hypothesis to theism here.) Happy reading!

New Paper on Fine-Tuning as Evidence for Other Universes

Saad, Bradford. "Fine-Tuning Should Make Us More Confident That Other Universes Exist", American Philosophical Quarterly (forthcoming).

Abstract: This paper defends the view that discovering that our universe is fine-tuned should make us more confident that other universes exist. My defense exploits a distinction between ideal and non-ideal evidential support. I use that distinction in concert with a simple model to disarm the most influential objection—the this-universe objection—to the view that fine-tuning supports the existence of other universes. However, the simple model fails to capture some important features of our epistemic situation with respect to fine-tuning. To capture these features, I introduce a more sophisticated model. I then use the more sophisticated model to show that, even once those complicating factors are taken into account, fine-tuning should boost our confidence in the existence of other universes.

Happy Reading!

Constitutive Luck: A New Problem for God's Nature

Rusavuk, Andre Leo. "The Luckiest of All Possible Beings: Divine Perfections and Constitutive Luck", Sophia (2023).

Abstract: Many theists conceive of God as a perfect being, i.e., as that than which none greater is metaphysically possible. On this grand view of God, it seems plausible to think that such a supreme and maximally great being would not be subject to luck of any sort. Given the divine perfections, God is completely insulated from luck. However, I argue that the opposite is true: precisely because God is perfect, he is subject to a kind of luck called constitutive luck. In this paper, first I provide an analysis of luck and then explain the concept of constitutive luck. I proceed to defend constitutive luck from charges of incoherence and examine a different approach to make sense of this luck. Furthermore, I distinguish between two kinds of constitutive luck and argue that even if God isn’t subject to one kind, evading the second kind is unsuccessful. I offer two ways that God is constitutively lucky and reach a surprising conclusion: a perfect being is the luckiest of all possible beings.

Happy reading!


Luke Tucker's New Defense of the Moral Paralysis Objection to Skeptical Theism

Tucker, Luke. "Reconsidering the alien doctor analogy: A challenge to skeptical theism", International Journal for Philosophy of Religion (forthcoming).

Abstract: The claim that skeptical theism induces moral paralysis or aporia (known as the moral paralysis objection) has been extensively discussed. In this context, Stephen Maitzen has introduced the Alien Doctor Analogy, an intriguing case that he employs to advance the moral paralysis objection. Michael Rea, however, has criticized the analogy for portraying the skeptical theist uncharitably. In this essay, I argue that Maitzen and Rea are both incorrect: the Alien Doctor Analogy is flawed indeed, but because it portrays the skeptical theist too charitably. I modify the analogy to remedy this flaw. I then use the analogy to advance an original version of the moral paralysis objection. Specifically, I contend that skeptical theists, whenever they encounter apparently gratuitous evil that they could prevent, should be convinced by what I call the “God-Knows-Best Argument,” which always concludes that they should refrain from intervening. Thus, skeptical theism does induce moral paralysis.
Happy reading!

Tooley's Reply to Miller on the Problem of Evil

Tooley, Michael. "Calum Miller's attempted refutation of Michael Tooley's evidential argument from evil", Religious Studies (A "FirstView" article) (2022). 1-18.

Abstract: In his article, ‘What's Wrong with Tooley's Argument from Evil?’, Calum Miller's goal was to show that the evidential argument from evil that I have advanced is unsound, and in support of that claim, Miller set out three main objections. First, he argued that I had failed to recognize that the actual occurrence of an event can by itself, at least in principle, constitute good evidence that it was not morally wrong for God to allow events of the kind in question. Miller's second objection was then that, in attempting to show that it is unlikely that God exists, I had failed to consider either positive arguments in support of the existence of God or possible theodicies, and thus that I was unjustified in drawing any conclusions concerning the probability that theism is true in the light of the total evidence available. Miller's third and final objection was that one of the approaches to logical probability that I employed – namely, that based upon a structure-description equiprobability principle, rather than a state-description equiprobability principle – was unsound since it has clearly unacceptable implications. In response, I argue that all three of Miller's objections are unsound. The third objection, however, is nevertheless important since it shows that my type of argument from evil cannot be based merely on the evils found in the world. One must also consider good states of affairs, and their relations to bad ones. I show, however, that that deficiency can be addressed in a completely satisfactory manner.

Happy reading!

Special Issue of Theologica In Honor of Dean Zimmerman

  Here . His replies to participants should be available by the end of the year.