The Coherence of Theism

Second Edition

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198779690

Category:

Page: 320

View: 4847

The Coherence of Theism investigates what it means, and whether it is coherent, to say that there is a God. Richard Swinburne concludes that despite philosophical objections, most traditional claims about God are coherent (that is, do not involve contradictions); and although some of the most important claims are coherent only if the words by which they are expressed are being used in analogical senses, this is the way in which theologians have usually claimed that they are being used. When the first edition of this book was published in 1977, it was the first book in the new 'analytic' tradition of philosophy of religion to discuss these issues. Since that time there have been very many books and discussions devoted to them, and this new, substantially rewritten, second edition takes account of these discussions and of new developments in philosophy generally over the past 40 years. These discussions have concerned how to analyse the claim that God is 'omnipotent', whether God can foreknow human free actions, whether God is everlasting or timeless, and what it is for God to be a 'necessary being'. On all these issues this new edition has new things to say.
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Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom

The Coherence of Theism : Omniscience

Author: William Lane Craig

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004092501

Category: Religion

Page: 360

View: 6924

The ancient problem of fatalism, more particularly theological fatalism, has resurfaced with surprising vigour in the second half of the twentieth century. Two questions predominate in the debate: (1) Is divine foreknowledge compatible with human freedom and (2) How can God foreknow future free acts? Having surveyed the historical background of this debate in "The Problem of Divine Foreknowledge" and "Future Contingents from Aristotle to Suarez" (Brill: 1988), William Lane Craig now attempts to address these issues critically. His wide-ranging discussion brings together a thought- provoking array of related topics such as logical fatalism, multivalent logic, backward causation, precognition, time travel, counterfactual logic, temporal necessity, Newcomb's Problem, middle knowledge, and relativity theory. The present work serves both as a useful survey of the extensive literature on theological fatalism and related fields and as a stimulating assessment of the possibility of divine foreknowledge of future free acts.
Posted in Religion

The Nature of Necessity

Author: Alvin Plantinga

Publisher: Clarendon Press

ISBN: 0191037176

Category: Philosophy

Page: 266

View: 2344

This is a reissue of a book which is an exploration and defence of the notion of modality 'de re', the idea that objects have both essential and accidental properties. It is one of the first full-length studies of the modalities to emerge from the debate to which Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Ruth Marcus and others have contributed. The argument is developed by means of the notion of possible worlds, and ranges over key problems including the nature of essence, trans-world identity, negative existential propositions, and the existence of unactual objects in other possible worlds. In the final chapters Professor Plantinga applies his logical theories to the clarification of two problems in the philosophy of religion - the Problem of Evil and the Ontological Argument.
Posted in Philosophy

Theism and Explanation

Author: Gregory W. Dawes

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135841349

Category: Philosophy

Page: 222

View: 9581

In this timely study, Dawes defends the methodological naturalism of the sciences. Though religions offer what appear to be explanations of various facts about the world, the scientist, as scientist, will not take such proposed explanations seriously. Even if no natural explanation were available, she will assume that one exists. Is this merely a sign of atheistic prejudice, as some critics suggest? Or are there good reasons to exclude from science explanations that invoke a supernatural agent? On the one hand, Dawes concedes the bare possibility that talk of divine action could constitute a potential explanation of some state of affairs, while noting that the conditions under which this would be true are unlikely ever to be fulfilled. On the other hand, he argues that a proposed explanation of this kind would rate poorly, when measured against our usual standards of explanatory virtue.
Posted in Philosophy

The Wonder of the Cross

The God Who Uses Evil and Suffering to Destroy Evil and Suffering

Author: Richard A. Shenk

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 1498276768

Category: Religion

Page: 344

View: 6237

When considering and confronting the problem of evil, we may be asking the wrong question: Why is there evil in the world if God is good and powerful? It may be wrong because it smuggles in an unbiblical premise: God can and should use his coercive power to relieve suffering since he is both good and able. But what if coercive power does not work to accomplish God's goals? This book is an investigation into the possibility that the noncoercive power of the Cross must be at the center of this issue, and that the Cross could reform this question. We could ask, instead, How is God destroying evil and suffering--and why is he taking so long? The answer to this reframed question might be: He is using evil and suffering to destroy evil and suffering for His People; this is how long it takes. While not a "solution" to the problem of evil, could this help us learn to delight in God in a world in which evil and suffering seem at times so relentless?
Posted in Religion

The Scientific Image

Author: Bas C. Van Fraassen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198244271

Category: Science

Page: 235

View: 8071

The aim of The Scientific Image is to develop an empiricist alternative to both logical positivism and scientific realism. Against positivism, the author insists on a literal interpretation of the language of science, and on an irreducibly pragmatic dimension of theory acceptance. Against realism he argues that the central aim of science is empirical adequacy, and that the only belief involved in the acceptance of a scientific theory is belief that the theory fits the observable phenomena. To substatiate this, the book presents three mutually supporting theories concerning science. The first is an account of the relation between a scientific theory and the empirical world. The second is a new theory of explanation and why-questions, according to which the explanatory power of a theory is a pragmatic aspect which goes beyond its empirical import, but which provides no additional reasons for believing it. And the third is an interpretation of probability in physical theory, with reference to both classical and quantum physics. The presentation of these three central theses is preceded by two chapters which provide an informal introduction to current debates in the philosophy of science, particularly concerning scientific realism.
Posted in Science

Mind, Brain, and Free Will

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199662576

Category: Philosophy

Page: 242

View: 9273

Richard Swinburne presents a powerful new case for substance dualism and for libertarian free will. He argues that pure mental events (including conscious events) are distinct from physical events and interact with them, and claims that no result from neuroscience or any other science could show that interaction does not take place. Swinburne goes on to argue for agent causation, and claims that it is we, and not our intentions, that cause our brain events. It ismetaphysically possible that each of us could acquire a new brain or continue to exist without a brain; and so we are essentially souls. Brain events and conscious events are so different from each other that it would not be possible to establish a scientific theory which would predict what each ofus would do in situations of moral conflict. Hence, we should believe that things are as they seem to be: that we make choices independently of the causes which influence us. It follows that we are morally responsible for our actions.
Posted in Philosophy

God and Other Minds

A Study of the Rational Justification of Belief in God

Author: Alvin Plantinga

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801497353

Category: Religion

Page: 277

View: 8291

Posted in Religion

Scientific Representation

Paradoxes of Perspective

Author: Bas C. van Fraassen

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191613746

Category: Philosophy

Page: 422

View: 8756

Bas C. van Fraassen presents an original exploration of how we represent the world. Science represents natural phenomena by means of theories, as well as in many concrete ways by such means as pictures, graphs, table-top models, and computer simulations. Scientific Representation begins with an inquiry into the nature of representation in general, drawing on such diverse sources as Plato's dialogues, the development of perspectival drawing in the Renaissance, and the geometric styles of modelling in modern physics. Starting with Mach's and Poincaré's analyses of measurement and the 'problem of coordination', van Fraassen then presents a view of measurement outcomes as representations. With respect to the theories of contemporary science he defends an empiricist structuralist version of the 'picture theory' of science, through an inquiry into the paradoxes that came to light in twentieth-century philosophies of science. Van Fraassen concludes with an analysis of the complex relationship between appearance and reality in the scientific world-picture.
Posted in Philosophy

Faith and Reason

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780199283927

Category: Philosophy

Page: 278

View: 6440

Richard Swinburne analyses the purposes of practising a religion, and argues that religious faith requires belief that a particular creed provides the rationale for supposing that these purposes will be achieved.
Posted in Philosophy

Epistemic Justification

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780199243785

Category: Philosophy

Page: 262

View: 5332

Richard Swinburne offers an original treatment of a question at the heart of epistemology: what makes a belief a rational one, or one which the believer is justified in holding? He maps the various totally different and purportedly rival accounts that philosophers give of epistemic justification ('internalist' and 'externalist'), and argues that they are really accounts of different concepts. He distinguishes (as most epistemologists do not) between synchronic justification (justificationat a time) and diachronic justification (synchronic justification resulting from adequate investigation) - both internalist and externalist. He argus that most kinds of justification are worth having because (for different reasons) indicative of truth. However, it is only justification of intermalist kinds that can guide a believer's actions. Swinburne goes on to show the usefulness of the probability calculus in elucidating how empirical evidence makes beliefs probably true: every proposition has an intrinsic probability (an a priori probability independent of empirical evidence) which may be increased or decreased by empirical evidence. This innovative and challenging book will refresh epistemology and rewrite its agenda.
Posted in Philosophy

A Model of the Universe

Space-time, Probability, and Decision

Author: Storrs McCall

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198240538

Category: Science

Page: 328

View: 4626

An original philosophical theory of the nature of the universe based on a striking new model of its space-time structure.
Posted in Science

Responsibility and Atonement

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0198248490

Category: Religion

Page: 213

View: 7493

First volume of a tetralogy on the philosophy of Christian doctrine; second volume is Revelation, from metaphor to analogy.
Posted in Religion

The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology

Author: Thomas P. Flint,Michael Rea

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191615773

Category: Religion

Page: 624

View: 1210

Philosophical theology is aimed primarily at theoretical understanding of the nature and attributes of God and of God's relationship to the world and its inhabitants. During the twentieth century, much of the philosophical community (both in the Anglo-American analytic tradition and in Continental circles) had grave doubts about our ability to attain any such understanding. In recent years the analytic tradition in particular has moved beyond the biases that placed obstacles in the way of the pursuing questions located on the interface of philosophy and religion. The result has been a rebirth of serious, widely-discussed work in philosophical theology. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology attempts both to familiarize readers with the directions in which this scholarship has gone and to pursue the discussion into hitherto under-examined areas. Written by some of the leading scholars in the field, the essays in the Handbook are grouped in five sections. In the first ("Theological Prolegomena"), articles focus on the authority of scripture and tradition, on the nature and mechanisms of divine revelation, on the relation between religion and science, and on theology and mystery. The next section ("Divine Attributes") focuses on philosophical problems connected with the central divine attributes: aseity, omnipotence, omniscience, and the like. In Section Three ("God and Creation"), essays explore theories of divine action and divine providence, questions about petitionary prayer, problems about divine authority and God's relationship to morality and moral standards, and various formulations of and responses to the problem of evil. The fourth section ("Topics in Christian Philosophy") examines philosophical problems that arise in connection with such central Christian doctrines as the trinity, the incarnation, the atonement, original sin, resurrection, and the Eucharist. Finally, Section Five ("Non-Christian Philosophical Theology") introduces readers to work that is being done in Jewish, Islamic, and Chinese philosophical theology.
Posted in Religion

God, Freedom, and Evil

Author: Alvin Plantinga

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 9780802817310

Category: Religion

Page: 112

View: 8960

In his discussion of natural theology (arguments to prove the existence of God) and natural atheology (arguments for the falsehood of theistic belief) Plantinga focuses on two of the traditional arguments: the ontological argument as an example of natural theology, and the problem of evil as the most important representative of natural atheology. Accessible to serious general readers.
Posted in Religion

Knowledge of God

Author: Alvin Plantinga,Michael Tooley

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1444301314

Category: Philosophy

Page: 280

View: 5817

Is belief in God epistemically justified? That's the question at the heart of this volume in the Great Debates in Philosophy series, with Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley each addressing this fundamental question with distinctive arguments from opposing perspectives. The first half of the book contains each philosopher's explanation of his particular view; the second half allows them to directly respond to each other's arguments, in a lively and engaging conversation Offers the reader a one of a kind, interactive discussion Forms part of the acclaimed Great Debates in Philosophy series
Posted in Philosophy

Against Atheism

Why Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris Are Fundamentally Wrong

Author: Ian S. Markham

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1444358006

Category: Religion

Page: 176

View: 5339

In this new book, Ian Markham analyzes the atheistic world view, opposing the arguments given by renowned authors of books on atheism, such as Richard Dawkins. Unlike other responses to the new atheism, Markham challenges these authors on their own ground by questioning their understanding of belief and of atheism itself. The result is a transforming introduction to Christianity that will appeal to anyone interested in this debate. A fascinating challenge to the recent spate of successful books written by high-profile atheist authors such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris Tackles these authors on their own ground, arguing that they do not understand the nature of atheism, let alone theology and ethics Draws on ideas from Nietzsche, cosmology, and art to construct a powerful response that allows for a faith that is grounded, yet one that recognizes the reality of uncertainty Succinct, engaging, but robustly argued, this new book by a leading academic and writer contains a wealth of profound insights that show religious belief in a new light
Posted in Religion

Was Jesus God?

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191623458

Category: Philosophy

Page: 186

View: 1020

The orderliness of the universe and the existence of human beings already provides some reason for believing that there is a God - as argued in Richard Swinburne's earlier book Is There a God ? Swinburne now claims that it is probable that the main Christian doctrines about the nature of God and his actions in the world are true. In virtue of his omnipotence and perfect goodness, God must be a Trinity, live a human life in order to share our suffering, and found a church which would enable him to tell all humans about this. It is also quite probable that he would provide his human life as an atonement for our wrongdoing, teach us how we should live and tell us his plans for our future after death. Among founders of religions, Jesus satisfies uniquely well the requirement of living the sort of human life which God would need to have lived. But to give us adequate reason to believe that Jesus was God, God would need to put his 'signature' on the life of Jesus by an act which he alone could do, for example raise him from the dead. There is adequate historical evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. The church which he founded gave plausible interpretations of his basic message. Therefore Christian doctrines are probably true.
Posted in Philosophy

The Resurrection of God Incarnate

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780199257461

Category: Philosophy

Page: 224

View: 8753

Whether or not Jesus rose bodily from the dead remains perhaps the most critical and contentious issue in Christianity. Until now, argument has centred upon the veracity of explicit New Testament accounts of the events following Jesus's crucifixion, often ending in deadlock. In Richard Swinburne's new approach, though, ascertaining the probable truth of the Resurrection requires a much broader approach to the nature of God and to the life and teaching of Jesus. The Resurrection can only have occurred if God intervened in history to raise to life a man dead for thirty six hours. It is therefore crucial not only to weigh the evidence of natural theology for the existence of a God who has some reason so to intervene, but also to discover whether the life and teaching of Jesus show him to be uniquely the kind of person whom God would have raised. Swinburne argues that God has reason to interfere in history by becoming incarnate, and that it is highly improbable that we would find the evidence we do for the life and teaching of Jesus, as well as the evidence from witnesses to his empty tomb and later appearances, if Jesus was not God incarnate and did not rise from the dead. The Resurrection of God Incarnate offers a clear and penetrating new perspective on Christianity's central mystery. It will be of great interest to philosophers, theologians, and all those trying to discover the truth about the Christian religion.
Posted in Philosophy

The Existence of God

Author: Richard Swinburne

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0199271674

Category: Philosophy

Page: 363

View: 4631

Substantially re-written and updated, this edition of 'The Existence of God' presents arguments such as the existence of the laws of nature, 'fine-tuning' of the universe, moral awareness and evidence of miracles, to prove the case that there is a God.
Posted in Philosophy