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articles
1. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Mark Schroeder Sins of Thought
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According to the Book of Common Prayer, we have sinned against God “in thought, word, and deed.” In this paper I’ll explore one way of understanding what it might mean to sin against God in thought—the idea that we can at least potentially wrong God by what we believe. I will be interested in the philosophical tenability of this idea, and particularly in its potential consequences for the epistemology of religious belief and the problem of evil.
2. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Andrew Law The Dependence Response and Explanatory Loops
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There is an old and powerful argument for the claim that divine foreknowledge is incompatible with the freedom to do otherwise. A recent response to this argument, sometimes called the “dependence response,” centers around the claim that God’s relevant past beliefs depend on the relevant agent’s current or future behavior in a certain way. This paper offers a new argument for the dependence response, one that revolves around different cases of time travel. Somewhat serendipitously, the argument also paves the way for a new reply to a compelling objection to the dependence response, the challenge from prepunishment. But perhaps not so serendipitously, the argument also renders the dependence response incompatible with certain views of providence.
3. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Katherin A. Rogers An Anselmian Approach to Divine Simplicity
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The doctrine of divine simplicity (DDS) is an important aspect of the classical theism of philosophers like Augustine, Anselm, and Thomas Aquinas. Recently the doctrine has been defended in a Thomist mode using the intrinsic/extrinsic distinction. I argue that this approach entails problems which can be avoided by taking Anselm’s more Neoplatonic line. This does involve accepting some controversial claims: for example, that time is isotemporal and that God inevitably does the best. The most difficult problem involves trying to reconcile created libertarian free will with the Anselmian DDS. But for those attracted to DDS the Anselmian approach is worth considering.
4. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Todd DeRose Empirically Skeptical Theism
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Inspired by Peter van Inwagen’s “simulacra model” of the resurrection, I investigate whether it could be reasonable to adopt an analogous approach to the problem of evil. Empirically Skeptical Theism, as I call it, is the hypothesis that God shields our lives from irredeemable evils surreptitiously (just as van Inwagen proposes that God shields our bodies from destruction surreptitiously). I argue that EST compares favorably with traditional skeptical theism and with eschatological theodicies, and that EST does not have the negative moral consequences we might suppose.
5. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Ben Page Arguing to Theism from Consciousness
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I provide an argument from consciousness for God’s existence. I first consider a version of the argument which is ultimately difficult to evaluate. I then consider a stronger argument, on which consciousness, given our worldly laws of nature, is rather substantial evidence for God’s existence. It is this latter argument the paper largely focuses on, both in setting it out and defending it from various objections.
6. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Elijah Hess, Alan Rhoda Is an Open Infinite Future Impossible? A Reply to Pruss
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Alexander Pruss has recently argued on probabilistic grounds that Christian philosophers should reject Open Futurism—roughly, the thesis that there are no true future contingents—on account of this view’s alleged inability to handle certain statements about infinite futures in a mathematically or religiously adequate manner. We argue that, once the distinction between being true and becoming true is applied to such statements, it is evident that they pose no problem for Open Futurists.
reviews
7. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
W. Matthews Grant Peter Furlong, The Challenges of Divine Determinism: A Philosophical Analysis
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8. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Simon Kittle W. Matthews Grant, Free Will and God’s Universal Causality: The Dual Sources Account
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9. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Benjamin J. Bruxvoort Lipscomb Anne Jeffrey, God and Morality
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10. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Kirk Lougheed John Pittard, Disagreement, Deference, and Religious Commitment
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11. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 3
Peter Furlong Leigh Vicens and Simon Kittle, God and Human Freedom
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articles
12. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Daniel M. Johnson How Puzzles of Petitionary Prayer Solve Themselves: Divine Omnirationality, Interest-Relative Explanation, and Answered Prayer
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Some have seen in the divine attribute of omnirationality, identified by Alexander R. Pruss, the promise of a dissolution of the usual puzzles of peti­tionary prayer. Scott Davison has challenged this line of thought with a series of example cases. I will argue that Davison is only partially correct, and that the reasons for this reveal an important new way to approach the puzzles of petitionary prayer. Because explanations are typically interest-relative, there is not one correct account of “answered prayer” but many, corresponding to a variety of reasons to care whether God might answer our prayers. It follows from this that the omnirationality solution can be vindicated and that puz­zles of petitionary prayer that are not dissolved thereby will typically contain within themselves the seeds of their own solutions.
13. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Kenneth L. Pearce Are We Free to Break the Laws of Providence?
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Can I be free to perform an action if God has decided to ensure that I do not choose that action? I show that Molinists and simple foreknowledge theo­rists are committed to answering in the affirmative. This is problematic for their status as theological incompatibilists. I suggest that strategies for pre­serving their theological incompatibilism in light of this result should be based on sourcehood. However, the path is not easy here either, since Leibniz has shown how theological determinists can offer an extremely robust form of sourcehood. Proponents of these views must identify a valuable form of sourcehood their theories allow that Leibniz’s theory doesn’t.
14. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Andrew M. Bailey Magical Thinking
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According to theists, God is an immaterial thinking being. The main question of this article is whether theism supports the view that we too are immaterial thinking beings. I shall argue in the negative. Along the way, I will also explore some implications in the philosophy of mind following from the observation that, on theism, God’s mentality is in a certain respect magical.
15. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Caleb Cohoe Accounting for the Whole: Why Pantheism is on a Metaphysical Par with Complex Theism
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Pantheists are often accused of lacking a sufficient account of the unity of the cosmos and its supposed priority over its many parts. I argue that complex the­ists, those who think that God has ontologically distinct parts or attributes, face the same problems. Current proposals for the metaphysics of complex theism do not offer any greater unity or ontological independence than pantheism, since they are modeled on priority monism. I then discuss whether the for­mal distinction of John Duns Scotus offers a way forward for complex theists. I show that only those classical theists who affirm divine simplicity are better off with respect to aseity and unity than pantheists. Only proponents of divine simplicity can fairly claim to have found a fully independent ultimate being.
16. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Justin Mooney How God Knows Counterfactuals of Freedom
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One problem for Molinism that critics of the view have pressed, and which Molinists have so far done little to address, is that even if there are true coun­terfactuals of freedom, it is puzzling how God could possibly know them. I defuse this worry by sketching a plausible model of the mechanics of middle knowledge which draws on William Alston’s direct acquaintance account of divine knowledge.
17. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Martin Jakobsen Determining the Need for Explanation
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Several theistic arguments are formulated as arguments for the best explana­tion. This article discusses how one can determine that some phenomenon actually needs an explanation. One way to demonstrate that an explanation is needed is by providing one. The proposed explanation ought to either make the occurrence of the phenomenon in question more probable than it occur­ring by chance, or it has to sufficiently increase our understanding of the phe­nomenon. A second way to demonstrate that an explanation is needed is to show that the phenomenon in question both violates our expectations and is particularly noticeable.
book reviews
18. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Michael Bergmann Nathan Ballantyne, Knowing Our Limits
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19. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Andrew W. Arlig Blake Hereth and Kevin Timpe, eds., The Lost Sheep in Philosophy of Religion: New Perspectives on Disability, Gender, Race, and Animals
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20. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 37 > Issue: 2
Sameer Yadav John H. McClendon III, Black Christology and the Quest for Authenticity: A Philosophical Appraisal
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