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Philosophia Christi

Volume 18, Issue 1, 2016
Ethics: Just War as Deterrence Against Terrorism?

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1. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Craig J. Hazen Editor’s Introduction
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articles
2. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Angus Menuge Knowledge of Abstracta: A Challenge to Materialism
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I argue that materialism is unable to account for knowledge deriving from such abstracta as rules of inference, algorithms, and the ideals of infinity, perfection, and eternity. Both reductive and nonreductive materialism subscribe to the causal closure of the physical world, which implies that a creature’s concepts derive exclusively from the interactions of brains with the physical environment. These resources do not explain the acquisition of abstract concepts or the successful use of these concepts in gaining important knowledge about the world. By contrast, if both God and souls exist, we can understand how knowledge based on abstracta is possible.
3. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Travis Dumsday Spatial Extension as a Necessary Condition for Being a Physical Object and Why It Matters for Philosophy of Religion
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What is it for an object to be a physical object? Here I provisionally take up the idea that spatial extension is at least a necessary condition for being a physical object, whether or not it is also sufficient. I then argue for the following conditional proposition: if spatial extension is a necessary condition for being a physical object, then metaphysical naturalism is false. Given that all religious systems affirm the falsity of metaphysical naturalism, this conditional carries obvious significance for philosophy of religion. And if it holds, two possible consequences ensue: for those committed to the idea that spatial extension is a necessary condition for being a physical object, a new disproof of metaphysical naturalism results. By contrast, for those committed to metaphysical naturalism, a new disproof of any extension-based account of the physical results. Either way, we obtain a significant conclusion.
4. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
John R. Gilhooly Angelology and Nonreductive Dualism
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The traditional distinction between the angelic and human nature rests on the corpo­reality of the human nature. In light of this fact, I compare a paradigm case of pure substance dualism (PSD) and a paradigm case of compound substance dualism (CSD) to the standards of angelology. I argue that CSD provides an intuitive ground for the traditional distinction, whereas PSD fails to distinguish between angels and humans. Given these paradigm cases, angelology gives us a theological reason to prefer some version of CSD to PSD.
5. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Blake McAllister Divine Command Theory and Moral Supervenience
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Mark Murphy argues that the property identity version of divine command theory, coupled with the doctrine that God has freedom in commanding, violates the supervenience of the moral on the nonmoral. In other words, they permit two situations exactly alike in nonmoral facts to differ in moral facts. I give three arguments to show that a divine command theorist of this sort can consistently affirm moral supervenience. Each argument contends that there are always nonmoral differences between worlds with different divine commands. If there are such nonmoral differences, then there’s no conflict between divine command theory and moral supervenience.
6. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Philip A. Reed Pleasing People: A Christian Consideration
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This paper examines and evaluates from a Christian perspective the common Christian presumption against pleasing people, which is roughly the idea that Christians should not be motivated by or delight in the favorable opinion of others. I argue that several ways of saving the idea that Christians can blamelessly care what others think about them are misguided or insufficient. I contend that the most important way to save this idea is by drawing attention to concern for the opinions of others in the context of a social role.
ethics: just war as deterrence against terrorism?
7. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Paul Copan Just War as Deterrence against Terrorism?: Options from Theological Ethics
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The increased terrorist threat troubles all right-thinking persons. Terrorism also raises particular theological and ethical questions for Christians. Is the use of (lethal) force ever permissible? Is there a difference between the individual Christian’s response to personal enemies and the Christian serving in an official capacity (for example, soldiering, policing) to stop (terrorist) threats to a nation or society? Jesus’s commands to “turn the other cheek” and “not resist evil” are understood differently by the just warrior and pacifist camps. This article sets the stage for related articles in this issue by describing the features of “terrorism,” Christian “pacifism,” and the Christian “just war” position as well as some of the attendant tensions and challenges.
8. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Myles Werntz Terrorism and the Peace of Christ: Seeking Pacifism’s Future in Theory and Practice
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Christian pacifism has often been construed as quietist and unconcerned with public order. By using the trifold categories of ad bellum, in bello, and post bellum used by just war theorists, I offer an account of how Christian pacifists might have a more full and active witness to the peace of Christ in times of conflict without abandoning their core convictions.
9. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Gregory A. Boyd A Cruciform Response to Terrorism
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Jesus instructs us to “love,” “pray for,” and “do good” to enemies, going so far as to make this response to enemies the criterion for being considered “children of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:39–45; Luke 6:27–36). Jesus based this instruction on the character of the Father, not on the character of our enemies, which means his instruction allows for no exceptions. In this essay I flesh out the implications of this for a Christian response to terrorism, arguing that this response should look radically different from that of just war theorists.
10. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Matthew Alexander Flannagan Thank God for the New Zealand Anti-Terrorist Squad
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On November 14, 1990, David Gray’s twenty-two hour shooting spree ended when the New Zealand Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) shot Gray dead. In this paper I argue that Christians should support the existence of state agencies like the ATS who are authorized to use lethal force. Alongside the duty we as Christians have to love our neighbors, live at peace with others and to not repay evil for evil, God has authorized the government to use force when necessary to uphold a just peace within the geographical area over which it has jurisdiction.
11. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Keith Pavlischek Can a Pacifist Tell a Just Counterterrorism Strategy?: Or, Why, if You Are a Pacifist Singing, “I Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” You Shouldn’t Give Advice to Those Who Do
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In this essay I distinguish between classic Christian pacifists who embrace the dual­ism of the Schleitheim Confession, who believe that it is unjust, immoral, and in opposition to the teachings of Jesus for Christians to fight in wars or, more generally ever to threaten or employ lethal force, and modern Christian pacifists who believe this proscription also extends to secular government officials and legislators. For distinct reasons, neither have much to say to Christian just warriors or public officials seeking ways to combat the scourge of terrorism. I conclude by suggesting that attempts to find a “third way” between just war and either form of pacifism are theologically perilous.
12. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
J. Daryl Charles Just War as Deterrence against Terrorism—Options from Theological Ethics: A Response
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This essay seeks to identify significant theological, philosophical, cultural, political, and moral issues that are raised by the four participants of the exchange on responding to terrorism. It argues that the “just war” concept, as classically developed and refined within the mainstream of the Christian moral tradition over the last two millennia, furnishes the best—indeed, the only morally responsible—alternative to addressing and deterring the terrorist phenomenon, given the commitment to justice and neighbor-love which underpins the tradition.
philosophical notes
13. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Myron B. Penner Alethic (Quasi-) Realism: Idolatry, Truth, and the Limits of Language
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Bradley N. Seeman charges that my book, The End of Apologetics: Christian Witness in a Postmodern Context, tends toward “the idolatry of linguistic license.” I point out some ways this runs against the text of the book and then outline a Wittgensteinian approach to language and truth that is alethically “quasi-realist.” On this view truth is both epistemic, or deflationary, in the sense that it depends upon assertability conditions for its truth values, while there is also a nonepistemic, realist component to truth in that these assertability conditions derive from forms of life that involve precognitive involvement with extralinguistic affairs.
14. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Roberto Di Ceglie Christian Belief, Love for God, and Divine Hiddenness
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In two recent articles, Travis Dumsday has formulated a response to the problem of divine hiddenness on the basis of the Christian doctrine—especially Aquinas’s thought. I agree with Dumsday that Christians qua Christians can significantly contribute to the debate in question. However, in both articles the author overlooks a decisive aspect of Aquinas’s doctrine of faith and the Christian teachings that trace back to it. This article dwells on Dumsday’s interpretation of Aquinas’s thought, and from within my argument proposes a different response to the problem of divine hiddenness.
15. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Kirk R. MacGregor The Neo-Molinist Square Collapses: A Molinist Response to Elijah Hess
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Elijah Hess has argued that, given the accuracy of Stalnaker-Lewis semantics, Molinists possess good reason to shift their position to neo-Molinism. Conceding the validity but denying the soundness of this argument, I contend that the Stalnaker-Lewis semantics is multiply flawed, especially in its definitions of □→ and ◇→ . Based on corrected definitions of □→ and ◇→ consistent with Molina’s own thought, I show how Hess’s neo-Molinist square of opposition collapses and his neological stages of God’s knowledge are undermined, thereby leading back to an original Molinism.
16. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Richard Shumack Muslim Natural Theology Fights Back: Bolstering Christian Ramified Natural Theology against Muslim Objections
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Richard Swinburne and Robert Larmer have offered different natural theological arguments for preferring Christian belief over Muslim belief. This paper argues (a) that both arguments are vulnerable to real and imagined Muslim objections and (b) that, while both can be bolstered against such objections, Larmer’s argument from miracle has much better prospects. Swinburne’s probabilistic argument suffers the lack of a strong natural theological argument for the Christian model of divine–human interaction. The argument from miracle, however, can be formulated robustly enough to withstand the challenge of the strongest reasonable Muslim miracle account.
17. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Scot McKnight Jesus, Bonhoeffer, and Christoform Hermeneutics
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Pacifism, as well as just war theory, are expressions of one’s general hermeneutic of reading the Bible. In recent New Testament hermeneutics, while the so-called old perspective might have more resonance with just war theory, both the new perspective and apocalyptic open the door to a hermeneutically based pacifism. I examine the case of Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s under the category of a “Christoform hermeneutic,” namely, an approach to Christian ethics and the Christian and state that takes the suffering and cross of Christ as the chief orientation point.
18. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Hugh G. Gauch, Jr. Biblical Authority and Public Presuppositions: A Reply to Scott Oliphint
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God’s authority justifies belief in scripture, yet scripture also offers corroborating witnesses of prophecies and miracles to Jesus’s authority.
book reviews
19. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Erik Baldwin The Hiddenness Argument: Philosophy’s New Challenge to Belief in God
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20. Philosophia Christi: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
Matthew D. Wright Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law
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