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Displaying: 1-11 of 11 documents

1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Joseph Stenberg The All-Happy God
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Is God happy? In the tradition of classical theism, the answer has long been “Yes.” And, just as God is not merely powerful, but all-powerful, so too God is not merely happy, but all-happy or infinitely happy. Far from being empty praise, God’s happiness does important work, in particular, in explaining both human existence and human destiny. This essay is an attempt to give divine happiness the serious philosophical treatment it deserves. It turns out that, as with many divine traits, ascribing all-happiness to God is not without potential problems. I raise and attempt to address what I take to be the most serious problem, which I call “The Subjective Problem of Evil.”
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Justin Mooney How to Solve the Problem of Evil: A Deontological Strategy
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One paradigmatic argument from evil against theism claims that (1) if God exists, then there is no gratuitous evil. But (2) there is gratuitous evil, so (3) God does not exist. I consider three deontological strategies for resisting this argument. Each strategy restructures existing theodicies which deny (2) so that they instead deny (1). The first two strategies are problematic on their own, but their primary weaknesses vanish when they are combined to form the third strategy, resulting in a promising new approach to the problem of evil.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
James Dominic Rooney, OP What is the Value of Faith For Salvation? A Thomistic Response to Kvanvig
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Jonathan Kvanvig has proposed a non-cognitive theory of faith. He argues that the model of faith as essentially involving assent to propositions is of no value. In response, I propose a Thomistic cognitive theory of faith that both avoids Kvanvig’s criticism and presents a richer and more inclusive account of how faith is intrinsically valuable. I show these accounts of faith diverge in what they take as the goal of the Christian life: personal relationship with God or an external state of affairs. For this reason, more seriously, the non-cognitivist project likely requires rejecting traditional Christianity and its picture of salvation.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Travis Dumsday Is the Cosmos Fine-Tuned for Life, Or For the Possibility of Life? (And Why Patristic and Medieval Demonology Might Hold Part of the Answer)
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Contemporary physics and cosmology have accumulated a great deal of empirical evidence for the claim that in order for our universe to contain life, an array of incredibly precise laws, constants, and specific initial conditions had to be in place. The minuscule odds of this happening purely by chance have prompted some Christian thinkers to suggest that this can be seen as novel evidence that the universe was fine-tuned specifically to give rise to biological life. And yet some Christian thinkers also wish to make the case that molecular biology provides new evidence to the effect that life could not have arisen naturally in our universe, but rather that the origin of life required additional special divine intervention. There is at least a prima facie tension between these two ideas. Relatedly, some have raised the question of why, if the universe were fine-tuned for life, it was also set up in such a way that the origin of life was preceded by more than 10 billion years of lifelessness. If life was the whole point, why the seeming delay? In this paper I suggest a way Christian thinkers might address both issues: namely, the cosmos was not fine-tuned for life, but merely for the possibility of life. Perhaps God wanted a universe in which biological organisms were possible (including intelligent organisms like us) but in which their non-existence was also a live possibility. I develop this solution in dialogue with related ideas arising from the demonologies of St. Augustine, Boethius, and St. Anselm.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Richard Swinburne Stump On Forgiveness
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I claim that all the criticisms made by Eleonore Stump in her Atonement of my account of the nature and justification of human and divine forgiveness are entirely mistaken. She claims that God’s forgiveness of our sins is always immediate and unconditional. I argue that on Christ’s understanding of forgiveness as deeming the sinner not to have wronged one, God’s forgiveness of us is always conditional on our repenting and being willing to forgive others. Her account of forgiveness merely as the expression of love for the sinner leaves her without a separate word for the all-important act of “wiping the slate clean.” Unlike Stump, I endorse the account in The Letter to the Hebrews of Christ’s passion and death as a sacrifice for human sin.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
William Lane Craig Eleonore Stump’s Critique of Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theories
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The first three chapters of Eleonore Stump’s Atonement are devoted to a critique of atonement theories she styles “Anselmian,” including penal substitutionary theories. I focus on her critique of the latter. She presents three groups of objections labeled “internal problems,” “external problems,” and “further problems,” before presenting what she takes to be “the central and irremediable problem” facing such accounts. The external and further problems are seen to be irrelevant to penal substitutionary theories once they are properly understood. Her four internal problems are shown to be far from conclusive. Finally, her identified central problem is seen to be spurious because (i) given Stump’s definitions of love and forgiveness, it is not true that God, as characterized by penal substitutionary theories, fails to be perfectly loving and forgiving, and (ii) Stump’s entire approach to the doctrine of the atonement is mistakenly predicated on construing God as a private party involved in a personal dispute rather than as a Judge and Ruler.
book reviews
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Charles Guth III, Griffin Klemick Wittgenstein, Religion and Ethics: New Perspectives from Philosophy and Theology, edited by Mikel Burley
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8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Heidi Chamberlin Giannini Religious Ethics and Constructivism: A Metaethical Inquiry, edited by Kevin Jung
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Peter Furlong Thomas Aquinas on Moral Wrongdoing, by Colleen McCluskey
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10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Dolores G. Morris Christian Philosophy: Conceptions, Continuations and Challenges, edited by J. Aaron Simmons
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11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 4
Kevin W. Sharpe Between Death and Resurrection: A Critical Response to Recent Catholic Debate Concerning the Intermediate State, by Stephen Yates
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