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121. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
David Shatz Freedom, Repentance and Hardening of the Hearts: Albo vs. Maimonides
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The doctrine that God hardens some agents’ hearts generates philosophical perplexities. Why would God deprive someone of free will and the opportunity to repent? Or is God’s interference compatible with the agent’s free will and his having an opportunity to repent? In this paper, I examine how two Jewish philosophers, Moses Maimonides and Joseph Albo, handled these questions. I analyze six approaches growing out of their writings and argue that a naturalistic interpretation of hardening --- as irreversible habituation --- has advantages over alternative approaches. This account of hardening, however, fits best with the thesis that God does sometimes intervene to improve an agent’s will.
122. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 4
Index Volume 14, 1997
123. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
William P. Alston Some Reflections on the Early Days of the Society of Christian Philosophers
124. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
William Lane Craig On Hasker’s Defense of Anti-Molinism
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In a pair of recent articles, William Hasker has attempted to defend Robert Adams’s new anti-Molinist argument. But I argue that the sense of explanatory priority operative in the argument is either equivocal or, if a univocal sense can be given to it, it is either so generic that we should have to deny its transitivity or so weak that it would not be incompatible with human freedom.
125. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Arthur F. Holmes Reflections of Divine Providence
126. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Michael L. Peterson A Long and Faithful Journey
127. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Andrew J. Dell’Olio Why Not God the Mother?
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This essay considers recent criticism of the use of inclusive language within Christian discourse, particularly the reference to God as “Mother.” The author argues that these criticisms fail to establish that the supplemental usage of “God the Mother,” in addition to the traditional usage of “God the Father,” is inappropriate for Christian God-talk. Some positive reasons for referring to God as “Mother” are also offered, not the least of which is its helpfulness in overcoming overly restrictive conceptions of God.
128. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
William Harper Reply to Isham
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In “On Calling God ‘Mother’” (this journal), I argued that the practice of referring to God exclusively in male terms is morally acceptable. Isham claims that I have argued that “God should be referred to exclusively in male terms.” He claims that the Bible refers to God in female terms. He hints that I may have engaged in “gender devaluation.” He claims that there is a “need for a deity with which women can both relate and identify.” The first of Isham’s claims is simply false. I address the remaining criticisms at greater length.
129. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Ralph McInerny How I Became a Christian Philosopher
130. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Jerome I. Gellman Epistemic Peer Conflict and Religious Belief: A Reply to Basinger
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David Basinger has defended his position on the epistemology of religious diversity against a critique I wrote of it in this journal. Basinger endorses the principle that in the face of pervasive epistemic peer conflict a person has a prima facie duty to try to adjudicate the conflict. He defends this position against my claim that religious belief can be non-culpably “rock bottom” and thus escape “Basinger’s Rule.” Here I show why Basinger’s defense against my critique is not satisfactory, and I argue against accepting Basinger’s Rule.
131. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Adriaan T. Peperzak Bonaventure’s Contribution to the Twentieth Century Debate on Apophatic Theology
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To what extent does Bonaventure’s work contribute to a renewal of negative theology? Rather than answering this question directly, this article focuses on the negative moments which, according to Bonaventure, characterize the human quest for God and the docta ignorantia to which it is oriented. Bonaventure’s synthesis of Aristotelian ontology and Dionysian Neoplatonism is a wisdom that admires God’s being good as manifested in Christ’s human suffering and death.
132. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Alvin Plantinga Twenty Years Worth of the SCP
133. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
William F. Vallicella Could a Classical Theist Be a Physicalist?
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Since physicalism is fashionable nowadays, one should perhaps not be too surprised to find a growing number of theistic philosophers bent on combining theism with physicalism. I shall be arguing that this is an innovation we have good reason to resist. I begin by distinguishing global physicalism (physicalism about everything) from local physicalism (physicalism about human beings). I then present the theist who would be a physicalist with a challenge: Articulate a version of local physicalism that allows some minds to be purely material and others to be purely immaterial. After examining the main versions of local physicalism currently on offer, among them, type-type identity theory, supervenientism, emergentism and functionalism, I conclude that none of them can meet the challenge.
134. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Andrew Tardiff A Catholic Case for Vegetarianism
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Very few Catholics become vegetarians for moral reasons, and virtually no one would expect them to since vegetarianism seems to go hand in hand with views which are incompatible with the Catholic faith. The purpose of this paper is to show that the Catholic Church accepts principles-widely accepted by others, too-which imply a conditional, though broadly applicable, obligation to avoid killing animals for food. Catholic thinkers have not hitherto applied these principles to vegetarianism, but have long used them in other ways. The case is built on texts from St. Thomas Aquinas and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
135. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Notes and News
136. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Index of Volume 15, 1998
137. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
J.L.A. Garcia Lies and the Vices of Self-Deception
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This essay applies to the morality of lying and other deception a sketch of a kind of virtues-based, input-driven, role-centered, patient-focused, ethical theory. Among the questions treated are: What is wrong with lying? Is it always and intrinsically immoral? Can it be correct, as some have vigorously maintained, that lying is morally wrong in some circumstances where other forms of deliberate dissimulation are not? If so, how can that be? And how can it be that lying to someone is immoral when other, harsher ways of treating her are permissible? The essay examines several responses to the first question, and suggests that lying violates morality as an excessive departure from the role-derived virtues of charity and justice: the liar wills another person the evil of false belief precisely in the proposition for which the speaker offers her assurance and takes special responsibility in asserting. So conceived, lying is an especially egregious form of treachery and degrading manipulation of another person. Appeal is then made to the gravity inherent in lying so conceived to suggest ways of answering the other questions which would support the traditional Augustinian claim that lying is inherently impermissible and ineligible in circumstances where other forms of deliberate deception may not be, and even in situations where violent attack may be permissible.At the end, a taxonomy of more and less rigorist positions of lying is offered. A tentative proposal is made that, while consistent with the traditional Augustinian rigorist position that Iving is always immoral, nevertheless has some features that may slightly soften that view’s practical application. The proposed view does this in a way similar to that in which allowing moral dilemmas may soften it, for allowing dilemmas means there may be cases where an act of a type always immoral may still be more eligible than any alternative. However, it is maintained that the view here proposed need not countenance genuine dilemmas.
138. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Robert Merrihew Adams Self-Love and the Vices of Self-Preference
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The paper explores the extent to which self-love, as understood by Bishop Butler, may be in harmony with altruistic virtue. Whereas Butler was primarily concerned to rebut suspicions directed against altruism, the suspicions principally addressed by the present writer are directed against self-love. It is argued that the main vices of self-preference---particularly selfishness, self-centeredness, and arrogance---are not essentially excesses of self-love and, indeed, do not necessarily involve self-love. lt is argued further that self-love is something one is typically taught as a child, for socially compelling reasons. This suggests how a healthy self-love and a healthy commitment to the common good can be integrated and will normally be in harmony.
139. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Phillip L. Quinn The Virtue of Obedience
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This paper is a critical study of Christians among the Virtues: Theological Conversations with Ancient and Modern Ethics by Stanley Hauerwas and Charles Pinches. It has four parts. First, I consider several possible responses to G. E. M. Anscombe’s famous challenge to modern moral philosophy in order to provide a framework in which the project of Hauerwas and Pinches can be located. Next I criticize their attempt to eliminate the realm of obligation from morality. Then I examine their treatment of Martha Nussbaum’s work onAristotle in order to explore differences between secular and Christian appropriations of Aristotle. Finally, I discuss their views on the virtue of obedience and criticize their arguments against rival Kantian and divine command views.
140. Faith and Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 4
Linda Zagzebski The Virtues of God and the Foundations of Ethics
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In this paper I give a theological foundation to a radical type of virtue ethics I call motivation-based. In motivation-based virtue theory all moral concepts are derivative from the concept of a good motive, the most basic component of a virtue, where what I mean by a motive is an emotion that initiates and directs action towards an end. Here I give a foundation to motivation-based virtue theory by making the motivations of one person in particular the ultimate foundation of all moral value, and that person is God. The theory is structurally parallel to Divine Command Theory, but has a number of advantages over DC theory without the well-known problems. In particular, DM theory does not face a dilemma parallel to the famous Euthyphro problem, nor does it have any difficulty answering the question whether God could make cruelty morally right. Unlike DC theory, it explains the importance of Christology in Christian ethics, and it has the advantage of providing a unitary account of all evaluative properties, divine and human. I call the theory Divine Motivation Theory.