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  1. Gods Above: Naturalizing Religion in Terms of our Shared Ape Social Dominance Behavior.John S. Wilkins - 2015 - Sophia 54 (1):77-92.
    To naturalize religion, we must identify what religion is, and what aspects of it we are trying to explain. In this paper, religious social institutional behavior is the explanatory target, and an explanatory hypothesis based on shared primate social dominance psychology is given. The argument is that various religious features, including the high status afforded the religious, and the high status afforded to deities, are an expression of this social dominance psychology in a context for which it did not evolve: (...)
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  2. The Natural History of Secular Christianity.Michael D. Magee - manuscript
    Human beings are social animals, not solitary ones. Morality is an instinct we have because it helps us socialize, live together harmoniously. This paper reviews how the evolution of morality and other mental functions associated with our survival and sociality gave rise to cultural behavior among the small groups of humans during the Palaeolithic period when the tribe was personified as a supernatural identity and guardian, a totem, an ancestor and ultimately a god. Loyalty to the tribe required loyalty to (...)
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  3. Hume’s ‘Dialogues concerning Natural Religion’: A Critical Guide.Paul Russell (ed.) - forthcoming - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    Contributors: -/- John Beatty (British Columbia); Kelly James Clark (Ibn Haldun, Istanbul); Angela Coventry (Portland State); Thomas Holden (UC Santa Barbara); Willem Lemmens (Antwerp); Robin Le Poidevin (Leeds); Jennifer Marusic (Edinburgh); Kevin Meeker (South Alabama); Amyas Merivale (Oxford); Peter Millican (Oxford); Dan O’Brien (Oxford Brookes); Graham Oppy (Monash); Paul Russell (Lund); Andre C. Willis (Brown).
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  4. Skeptical Theism.Timothy Perrine - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  5. Is Christian Belief Supernatural? Grace, Nature and the Cognitive Science of Religion.Stanisław Ruczaj - 2023 - TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 8 (1).
    The Cognitive Science of Religion represents a contemporary attempt at a naturalistic explanation of religion. There is debate as to whether its account of how religious beliefs arise is reconcilable with the religious account, which holds that religious beliefs are caused by God. In my paper, I argue that these two accounts cannot be reconciled when it comes to the specific question of how Christian religious beliefs arise if one accepts an important theological doctrine of the supernaturality of Christian belief. (...)
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  6. Anti-Naturalistic Arguments From Reason.Graham Oppy - 2022 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 70 (1):15-35.
    This paper discusses a wide range of anti-naturalistic argument from reason due to Balfour, Haldane, Joad, Lewis, Taylor, Moreland, Plantinga, Reppert, and Hasker. I argue that none of these arguments poses a serious challenge to naturalists who are identity theorists. Further, I argue that some of these arguments do not even pose prima facie plausible challenges to naturalism. In the concluding part of my discussion, I draw attention to some distinctive differences between Hasker’s anti-naturalistic arguments and the other anti-naturalistic arguments (...)
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  7. Atheism Considered.C. M. Lorkowski - 2021 - Palgrave MacMillan.
    Atheism Considered is a systematic presentation of challenges to the existence of a higher power. Rather than engage in polemic against a religious worldview, C.M. Lorkowski charitably refutes the classical arguments for the existence of god, pointing out flaws in their underlying reasoning and highlighting difficulties inherent to revealed sources. In place of a theistic worldview, he argues for adopting a naturalistic one, highlighting naturalism’s capacity to explain world phenomena and contribute to the sciences. Lorkowski demonstrates that replacing theism with (...)
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  8. Is There a God?: A Debate.Kenneth L. Pearce & Graham Oppy - 2021 - Little Debates About Big Questions.
    Each author first presents his own side, and then they interact through two rounds of objections and replies. Pedagogical features include standard form arguments, section summaries, bolded key terms and principles, a glossary, and annotated reading lists.
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  9. Methodological Naturalism and Scientific Success.Yunus Adi Prasetya - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 14 (1):231-256.
    Several metaphysical naturalists argue that the success of science, together with the claim that scientists adhere to methodological naturalism, amounts to strong evidence for metaphysical naturalism. I call this the scientific-success argument. It is argued that the scientific-success argument is similar to the no-miracles argument for realism in philosophy of science. On the no-miracles argument, the success of science is taken as strong evidence that scientific theories are true. Based on this similarity, some considerations relevant to one argument may also (...)
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  10. True Religion and Hume's Practical Atheism.Paul Russell - 2021 - In V. R. Rosaleny & P. J. Smith (eds.), Sceptical Doubt and Disbelief in Modern European Thought. Cham: Springer. pp. 191-225.
    The argument and discussion in this paper begins from the premise that Hume was an atheist who denied the religious or theist hypothesis. However, even if it is agreed that that Hume was an atheist this does not tell us where he stood on the question concerning the value of religion. Some atheists, such as Spinoza, have argued that society needs to maintain and preserve a form of “true religion”, which is required for the support of our ethical life. Others, (...)
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  11. David Hume and the Philosophy of Religion.Paul Russell - 2021 - In Stewart Goetz & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Religion. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 1-20.
    David Hume (1711-1776) is widely recognized as one of the most influential and significant critics of religion in the history of philosophy. There remains, nevertheless, considerable disagreement about the exact nature of his views. According to some, he was a skeptic who regarded all conjectures relating to religious hypotheses to be beyond the scope of human understanding – he neither affirmed nor denied these conjectures. Others read him as embracing a highly refined form of “true religion” of some kind. On (...)
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  12. Does the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism Defeat God’s Beliefs?Tina Anderson & Perry Hendricks - 2020 - Sophia 59 (3):489-499.
    Alvin Plantinga has famously argued that the naturalist who accepts evolutionary theory has a defeater for all of her beliefs, including her belief in naturalism and evolution. Hence, he says, naturalism, when conjoined with evolution, is self defeating and cannot be rationally accepted. This is known as the evolutionary argument against naturalism (EAAN). However, Tyler Wunder (Religious Studies 51:391– 399, 2015) has recently shown that if the EAAN is framed in terms of objective probability and theism is assumed to be (...)
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  13. Evil and the god of indifference.László Bernáth & Daniel Kodaj - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (3):259-272.
    The evidential problem of evil involves a rarely discussed challenge, namely the challenge of defending theism against the hypothesis of a morally indifferent creator. Our argument uses a Bayesian framework and it starts by showing that if the only alternative to classical theism is naturalistic atheism, then fine-tuning can render theism virtually certain, even in the face of evil. But if the alternatives include the hypothesis of a morally indifferent creator, theism is defeated even if the fine-tuning premise is accepted. (...)
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  14. Introduction. The Evolutionary Approach to Ethics: From Animal Prosociality to Human Morality.Daniele Bertini - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 12 (3):3-22.
    Evolutionary research on the biological fitness of groups has recently given a prominent value to the role that prosocial behaviors play in favoring a successful adaptation to ecological niches. Such a focus marks a paradigm shift. Early views of evolution relied on the notion of natural selection as a largely competitive mechanism for the achievement of the highest amount of resources. Today, evolutionists from different schools think that collaborative attitudes are an irremovable ingredient of biological change over time. As a (...)
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  15. Morality Does Not Depend On God.Graham Oppy - 2020 - In Problems in Value Theory: An Introduction to Contemporary Debates. New York: Bloomsbury. pp. 105-16.
    Naturalists have many and diverse reasons for thinking that morality does not depend upon God. In this paper, I do not aim to give an exhaustive inventory of these reasons. Rather, I aim to give reason that emerge from the kind of naturalism that I accept. After explaining what I mean by "God", "morality" and "dependence", I note that, on the kind of naturalism that I accept, it is impossible that God exists. Unsurprisingly, therefore, I hold that it is impossible (...)
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  16. Does The Universe Have A Cause?Graham Oppy - 2020 - In Michael Peterson & Robert Van Arragon (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Religion. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 1-26.
    In this paper, I set out a fairly careful argument for the claim that natural reality ("the universe') does not have--and could not have--a cause. I being with a discussion of the question whether causal reality could have a cause. I claim that it is obvious that causal reality cannot have a cause. I then turn to a discussion of natural reality. I contend that, necessarily, natural reality exhausts causal reality: necessarily, natural reality and causal reality are one and the (...)
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  17. God’s Purpose for the Universe and the Problem of Animal Suffering.B. Kyle Keltz - 2019 - Sophia 58 (3):475-492.
    Proponents of the problem of animal suffering state that the great amount of animal death and suffering found in Earth’s natural history provides evidence against the truth of theism. In particular, philosophers such as Paul Draper have argued that regardless of the antecedent probability of theism and naturalism, animal suffering provides positive evidence for the truth of naturalism over theism. While theists have attempted to provide answers to the problem of animal suffering, almost none have argued that animal suffering and (...)
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  18. Neo-Thomism and the Problem of Animal Suffering.B. Kyle Keltz - 2019 - Nova et Vetera 17 (1):93-125.
    Proponents of the problem of animal suffering claim that the millions of years of apparent nonhuman animal pain and suffering provides evidence against the existence of God. Neo-Cartesianism attempts to avoid this problem mainly by denying the existence of phenomenal consciousness in nonhuman animals. However, neo-Cartesian options regarding animal minds have failed to compel many. In this essay, I explore an answer to the problem of animal suffering inspired by the medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas. Instead of focusing on phenomenal consciousness, (...)
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  19. Phenomenology, Naturalism, and Religious Experience.Ian James Kidd - 2019 - In Alasdair Coles & Fraser Watts (eds.), Religion and Neurology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 35-47.
    Contemporary philosophical debates about the competing merits of neurological and phenomenological approaches to understanding both psychiatric illness and religious experience—and, indeed, the relationship, if any, between psychiatric illness and religious experience. In this chapter, I propose that both psychiatric illness and religious experiences - at least in some of their diverse forms - are best understood phenomenologically in terms of radical changes in a person's 'existential feelings', in the sense articulated by Matthew Ratcliffe. If so, explanatory priority should be assigned (...)
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  20. A Priori (Atheism).Felipe Leon - 2019 - In Graham Oppy & Joseph W. Koterski (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy. Farmington Hills: MacMillan Reference.
    The primary aim of this chapter is to evaluate whether considerations about a priori domains and abstract objects favor atheism over theism.
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  21. Final Reckoning: Atheism.Graham Oppy - 2019 - In Graham Oppy & Joseph W. Koterski (eds.), Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy. Farmington Hills: MacMillan Reference. pp. 679-94.
    This is the concluding chapter of a debate book about the existence of God: *Theism and Atheism: Opposing Arguments in Philosophy* (Gale, 2019). The book has a large number of contributors on both sides. My chapter suggests one way of unifying the contributions that are made on the atheistic side.
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  22. Introduction to Companion to Atheism and Philosophy.Graham Oppy - 2019 - In A Companion to Atheism and Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 1-11.
  23. Naturalism and Naturalness: A Naturalist's Perspective.Graham Oppy - 2019 - In Paul Copan & Charles Taliaferro (eds.), The Naturalness of Belief: New Essays on Theism's Reasonability. Lanham: Lexington Books. pp. 3-16.
    This chapter is an invited contribution to a book on the naturalness of theistic belief. I start by considering ordinary usage of the term 'natural'. I then clarify how I shall use the terms 'naturalism', 'theism', 'worldview' and 'big picture'. I consider the demographic spread of commitment to theistic big pictures and naturalistic big pictures. I consider the distribution of happiness over those committed to theistic big pictures and naturalistic big pictures. I consider the distribution of reasons over those committed (...)
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  24. Theism and Atheism: Opposing Viewpoints in Philosophy.Graham Oppy & Joseph W. Koterski (eds.) - 2019 - Farmington Hills: MacMillan Reference.
    This book is a discussion of a wide range of topics that bear on the existence of God. For each topic, there is a chapter by one (or more) theists, and a chapter by one (or more) atheists. Topics: (1) Definition; (2) Method; (3) Logic; (4) Doxastic Foundations; (5) Religious Experience; (6) Faith and Revelation; (7) Miracles; (8) Religious Diversity; (9) Causation and Sufficient Reason; (10) A Priori; (11) Our Universe; (12) Human History; (13) Human Beings; (14) Ethics; (15) Meaning; (...)
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  25. The Unknown Mover.Myron Bradley Penner - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (1):199-206.
    Andrew Shephardson contends in Who’s Afraid of the Unmoved Mover that the combined postmodern objections of Carl A. Raschke, James K. A. Smith, and me, to natural theology, fail. Here I focus only on the issue of idolatry and natural theology, as one way of demonstrating a fundamental inadequacy characteristic of Shephardson’s rebuttal of postmodern challenges to evangelical appropriations of natural theology. I argue that contrary to Shephardson’s contention, Acts 17 does not support evangelical appropriations of natural theology, but operates (...)
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  26. Religious pluralism and interreligious dialogue.Manas Kumar Sahu - 2019 - IOSR 24 (7):57-62.
    Religious exclusivism is the biggest threat for multi-religious society at the same time, ambivalent thoughts among religion in religious pluralism due to religious diversity often yields religious violence. In both of the extreme, (religious exclusivism and religious pluralism) there is the possibility of religious violence, i.e., religious riots, terrorism, mob lynching, and communalism. The objective of this paper is to discuss the significance of interreligious dialogue (IRD), its basic principle, how IRD will help us for addressing the problems of humanity (...)
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  27. General Revelation and the God of Natural Theology.Andrew I. Shepardson - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (1):207-213.
    In Who’s Afraid of the Unmoved Mover? Postmodernism and Natural Theology, I defend natural theology against its postmodern evangelical detractors, including Myron Bradley Penner. Penner rejects natural theology because it attempts to ground knowledge of God in human reason, and he claims that my treatment of Acts 17:16–34 is fatal to my argument. However, Penner does not engage my explication of the doctrine of general revelation. The catastrophic effects that Penner perceives turn out to be only against a straw man (...)
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  28. The Common Consent Argument.Tiddy Smith - 2019 - The Philosophers' Magazine 86:80-86.
  29. The Atheistic Argument from Outrageousness.Bryan Frances - 2018 - Think 17 (48):107-116.
    When pressed, many atheists offer three reasons why they reject theism: there is strong evidence against theism, there is no strong evidence for theism, and theism is so outrageous that it needs a great deal of support in order for us to believe it in a reasonable manner. I examine the third reason, arguing that it fails.
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  30. Wile E. Coyote and the Craggy Rocks Below.Tyler Dalton McNabb - 2018 - Philosophia Christi 20 (2):339-346.
    William Lane Craig has defended the following two contentions: (1) If theism is true, we have a sound foundation for morality, and, (2) If theism is false, we do not have a sound foundation for morality. Erik Wielenberg rejects (2). Specifically, Wielenberg argues that naturalists have resources to make sense of objective moral values, moral duties, and moral knowledge. In response to Wielenberg, I defend Craig’s second contention by arguing that Wielenberg’s theory fails to robustly capture our moral phenomenology as (...)
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  31. Naturalism And Religion.Graham Oppy - 2018 - New York, NY, USA: Routledge.
    This book guides readers through an investigation of religion from a naturalistic perspective and explores the very meaning of the term ‘religious naturalism’. Oppy considers several widely disputed claims: that there cannot be naturalistic religion; that there is nothing in science that poses any problems for naturalism; that there is nothing in religion that poses any serious challenges to naturalism; and that there is a very strong case for thinking that naturalism defeats religion. -/- Naturalism and Religion: A Contemporary Philosophical (...)
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  32. Atheism and Agnosticism.Graham Oppy - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    This is a Cambridge *Element*, on the topic of atheism and agnosticism. It contains four main parts. First, there is an introduction in which atheism and agnosticism are explained. Second, a theoretical background to assessment. Third, a case for preferring atheism to theism. Fourth, a case for preferring agnosticism to theism.
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  33. The Retreat Argument.Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - Heythrop Journal (3):497-508.
    Some philosophers and scientists argue that as science progresses the religious domain shrinks ever more. They see the advance of science as an argument against religion and for naturalism. In what follows I construct the argument that is tacit in this line of reasoning and criticize it.
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  34. The Evolutionary Argument for Atheism.Daniel Howard-Snyder - 2017 - In John-Christopher Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes from van Inwagen. Oxford University Press.
    This essay assesses Paul Draper's argument from evolution to atheism.
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  35. An Argument for Atheism from Naturalism.Graham Oppy - 2017 - In Lenny Clapp (ed.), Philosophy for Us. Cognella. pp. 3-14.
    This paper outlines an argument for atheism from naturalism that I have developed in more detail elsewhere (in particular, in *The Best Argument against God*). The overall shape of the argument is as follows: first, naturalism is simpler than theism; second, there is no data that naturalism does not explain at least as well as theism; and, third, naturalism entails atheism; so we have good reason to prefer atheism to theism. Note that this statement of the shape of the argument (...)
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  36. The Problems of Divine Location and Age.Seungbae Park - 2017 - European Journal of Science and Theology 31 (2):41-53.
    I develop two problems, which I call the problem of divine location and the problem of divine age, to challenge the theist belief that God created the universe. The problem of divine location holds that it is not clear where God existed before he created the universe. The problem of divine age holds that it is not clear how old God was when he created the universe. I explore several theist responses to these two problems, and argue that all of (...)
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  37. Is Faith in God Reasonable? Debates in Philosophy, Science and Rhetoric. [REVIEW]Scott D. G. Ventureyra - 2017 - Science Et Esprit 69 (3):447-451.
  38. Review of The Hiddenness Argument: Philosophy’s New Challenge to Belief in God, by John Schellenberg. [REVIEW]Erik Baldwin - 2016 - Philosophia Christi 18 (1):241-245.
  39. The Explanatory Challenge of Religious Diversity.Jason Marsh & Jon Marsh - 2016 - In Helen De Cruz & Ryan Nichols (eds.), Advances in Religion, Cognitive Science, and Experimental Philosophy. New York: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 61-83.
    The challenge from religious diversity is widely thought to be one of the most important challenges facing religious belief. Despite this consensus, however, many epistemologists think that standard versions of the challenge fail because they threaten to implicate many seemingly reasonable yet highly controversial non-religious beliefs. In light of this we develop an alternative, less discussed, diversity challenge that does not generalize. This challenge concerns why so much religious diversity exists in the first place given common religious, and in particular (...)
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  40. Two types of “explaining away” arguments in the cognitive science of religion.Hans van Eyghen - 2016 - Zygon 51 (4):966-982.
    This article discusses “explaining away” arguments in the cognitive science of religion. I distinguish two rather different ways of explaining away religion, one where religion is shown to be incompatible with scientific findings and one where supernatural entities are rendered superfluous by scientific explanations. After discussing possible objections to both varieties, I argue that the latter way offers better prospects for successfully explaining away religion but that some caveats must be made. In a second step, I spell out how CSR (...)
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  41. New Atheist Approaches to Religion.Trent Dougherty & Logan Paul Gage - 2015 - In Graham Robert Oppy (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy of Religion. London: Routledge. pp. 51-62.
    In this article, we examine in detail the New Atheists' most serious argument for the conclusion that God does not exist, namely, Richard Dawkins's Ultimate 747 Gambit. Dawkins relies upon a strong explanatory principle involving simplicity. We systematically inspect the various kinds of simplicity that Dawkins may invoke. Finding his crucial premises false on any common conception of simplicity, we conclude that Dawkins has not given good reason to think God does not exist.
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  42. The Interstellar Stakes Against God.Julian Friedland - 2015 - The Humanist 1:6-8.
    Pope Francis takes the Big Bang as supplying empirical evidence for God’s existence, going so far as to credit God’s will as the force behind natural selection. So if natural selection is the emanation of divine will, then so too is what Richard Dawkins calls the “selfish gene” underlying it. The trouble is that the natural forces of self-interest may win out over the better angels of our nature, spelling disaster for the human species—and the planet sustaining it. For the (...)
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  43. On the Failures of Naturalism.Todd Buras - 2014 - Review and Expositor 111 (3):259-273.
    This article examines philosophical naturalism—the chief rival to theism in the modern world— with contemporary apologetic concerns in view. The second section introduces the central claims of naturalism and the main arguments offered on its behalf. The third section surveys the challenges naturalism faces in accounting for two key features of human nature. The final section outlines the significance of these challenges in the context of an inference to the best explanation for theism.
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  44. The Problem of Natural Inequality: A New Problem of Evil.Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):127-136.
    In this paper, I argue that there is a kind of evil, namely, the unequal distribution of natural endowments, or natural inequality, which presents theists with a new evidential problem of evil. The problem of natural inequality is a new evidential problem of evil not only because, to the best of my knowledge, it has not yet been discussed in the literature, but also because available theodicies, such the free will defense and the soul-making defense, are not adequate responses in (...)
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  45. Arguments for atheism.Graham Oppy - 2013 - In Stephen Bullivant & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Atheism. Oxford University Press. pp. 53.
    This paper consider three families of arguments for atheism. First, there are direct arguments for atheism: arguments that theism is meaningless, or incoherent, or logically inconsistent, or impossible, or inconsistent with known fact, of improbable given known fact, or morally repugnant, or the like. Second, there are indirect arguments for atheism: direct arguments for something that entails atheism. Third, there are comparative arguments for atheism: e.g., arguments for the view that (atheistic) naturalism is more theoretically virtuous than theism.
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  46. The Best Argument Against God.Graham Robert Oppy - 2013 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Preface -- Introduction -- Preliminary matters -- Some big ideas -- Minimal theism and naturalism -- Standard theism and naturalism -- Conclusion.
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  47. God.Graham Oppy - 2012 - In Neil Manson & Robert Barnard (eds.), Continuum Companion to Metaphysics. pp. 246-68.
    This paper argues that considerations about causal origins of the universe do not favour theism over naturalism. Indeed, if the only data that is relevant to the choice between theism and naturalism is data about causal origins, then it turns out that considerations about causal origins favour naturalism over theism.
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  48. Hume's Philosophy of Irreligion and the Myth of British Empiricism.Paul Russell - 2012 - In Alan Bailey & Dan O'Brien (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Hume. Continuum. pp. 377-395.
    This chapter outlines an alternative interpretation of Hume’s philosophy, one that aims, among other things, to explain some of the most perplexing puzzles concerning the relationship between Hume’s skepticism and his naturalism. The key to solving these puzzles, it is argued, rests with recognizing Hume’s fundamental irreligious aims and objectives, beginning with his first and greatest work, A Treatise of Human Nature. The irreligious interpretation not only reconfigures our understanding of the unity and structure of Hume’s thought, it also provides (...)
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  49. Hume's Legacy and the Idea of British Empiricism.Paul Russell - 2012 - In Alan Bailey & Dan O'Brien (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Hume. Continuum. pp. 377.
    David Hume’s views on the subject of free will are among the most influential contributions to this long-disputed topic. Throughout the twentieth century, and into this century, Hume has been widely regarded as having presented the classic defense of the compatibilist position, the view that freedom and responsibility are consistent with determinism. Most of Hume’s core arguments on this issue are found in the sections entitled “Of liberty and necessity,” first presented in Book 2 of A Treatise of Human Nature (...)
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  50. Intended and Unintended Life.Brooke Alan Trisel - 2012 - Philosophical Forum 43 (4):395-403.
    Some people feel threatened by the thought that life might have arisen by chance. What is it about “chance” that some people find so threatening? If life originated by chance, this suggests that life was unintended and that it was not inevitable. It is ironic that people care about whether life in general was intended, but may not have ever wondered whether their own existence was intended by their parents. If it does not matter to us whether one's own existence (...)
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