I show how mathematical platonism combined with belief in the God of classical theism can respond to Field's epistemological objection. I defend an account of divine mathematical knowledge by showing that it falls out of an independently motivated general account of divine knowledge. I use this to explain the accuracy of God's mathematical beliefs, which in turn explains the accuracy of our own. My arguments provide good news for theistic platonists, while also shedding new light on Field's influential objection.
Patrick Grim advances arguments meant to show that the doctrine of divine omniscience—the classical doctrine according to which God knows all truths—is false. In particular, we here have in mind to focus on two such arguments: the set theoretic argument and the semantic argument. These arguments due to Grim run parallel to, respectively, familiar paradoxes in set theory and naive truth theory. It is beyond the purview of this article to adjudicate whether or not these are successful arguments against the (...) classical doctrine of omniscience. What we are here interested in is a way in which these arguments can be generalized. In particular, we show how generalizations of those arguments can target, explicitly, alternatives to the classical doctrine of omniscience, including what we here call 'restricted omniscience' and 'open future open theism'. As a corollary, considerations of Grim-style arguments do not support these alternatives to the classical doctrine of omniscience over the classical doctrine. We conclude that what is paradoxical is not the classical doctrine of omniscience just as such; rather, what is paradoxical is a core commitment shared by the classical doctrine and its more modest alternatives, namely, the thesis that God is a perfectly logical reasoner. (shrink)
Una breve rassegna della vita e dell'autobiografia spirituale dell'unico mistico americano Adi Da (Franklin Jones). L'adesivo sulla copertina di alcune edizioni dice 'L'autobiografia spirituale più profonda di tutti i tempi' e questo potrebbe essere vero. Ho 70 anni e ho letto molti libri di insegnanti spirituali e sulla spiritualità, e questo è uno dei più grandi. Certamente, è by lontano il resoconto più completo e piùchiaro del processo di illuminazione che abbia mai visto. Anche se non hai alcun interesse nel (...) più affascinante di tutti i processi psicologici umani, è un documento incredibile che rivela molto sulla religione, lo yoga e la psicologia umana e sonda le profondità e i limiti delle possibilità umane. Lo descrivo in dettaglio e paragono il suo insegnamento a quello del mistico indiano contemporaneo Osho. Coloro che desiderano un quadro aggiornato completo per il comportamento umano dalla moderna vista a due systems possono consultare il mio libro 'La struttura logica dellafilosofia, psicologia, Mind e il linguaggio in Ludwig Wittgenstein e John Searle' 2nd ed (2019). Coloro che sono interessati a più dei miei scritti possono vedere 'TalkingMonkeys--Filosofia, Psicologia, Scienza, Religione e Politica su un Pianeta Condannato--Articoli e Recensioni 2006-2019 3rd ed (2019) e Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century 4th ed (2019) . (shrink)
This book deals with an old conundrum: if God knows what we will choose tomorrow, how can we be free to choose otherwise? If all our choices are already written, is our freedom simply an illusion? This book provides a precise analysis of this dilemma using the tools of modern ontology and the logic of time. With a focus on three intertwined concepts - God's nature, the formal structure of time, and the metaphysics of time, including the relationship between temporal (...) entities and a timeless God - the chapters analyse various solutions to the problem of foreknowledge and freedom, revealing the advantages and drawbacks of each. Building on this analysis, the authors advance constructive solutions, showing under what conditions an entity can be omniscient in the presence of free agents, and whether an eternal entity can know the tensed futures of the world. The metaphysics of time, its topology and the semantics of future tensed sentences are shown to be invaluable topics in dealing with this issue. Combining investigations into the metaphysics of time with the discipline of temporal Logic this monograph brings about important advancements in the philosophical understanding of an ancient and fascinating problem. The answer, if any, is hidden in the folds of time, in the elusive nature of this feature of reality and in the infinite branching of our lives. (shrink)
In the following essay I will describe the cultural and disciplinary areas in which Open Theism has been developing and deal with the main authors, who has defended this new doctrine, and their main works. In the second section I will analyse their main theses about divine attributes, some theological questions, several objections to this new non-standard theism and their rebuttals. In the conclusion I will highlight the problems still open and evaluate the overall Open Theism’s theoretical work. At the (...) end, also the text "Omniscience, Freedom, and Mystery", a part of the article TRANSLATED into english. The issue of omniscience is one of the most debated in contemporary Analytical Philosophy of Religion. However, what is often lacking in this discussion is a deep understanding of the dilemma of omniscience and human freedom within a complete epistemological (what can we really say about the divine and the world), metaphysical and theological framework. For example, it is often forgotten to frame some issues within a clear definition of the notion of mystery. I defined what we can mean by “mystery” in this forthcoming article: "Trinity and Mystery. Three Models: Aquinas, Leibniz, and Hegel" In the same article (and also in the first article mentioned above) can be found a reflection on the analogical use of terms, which involve the terms (the notions) of “freedom” and “omniscience”. This use, therefore, could make possible to develop the argument I propose. (shrink)
The article analyzes and criticizes the assumptions of Peter Van Inwagen’s argument for the alleged contradiction of the foreknowledge of God and human freedom. The argument is based on the sine qua non condition of human freedom defined as access to possible worlds containing such a continuation of the present in which the agent implements a different action than will be realized de facto in the future. The condition also contains that in every possible continuation of the present state of (...) affairs, the same propositions about the ‘present past’ (the past before the present moment) are true as are true in the present state of affairs. The paper argues that Van Inwagen’s reasoning is inconclusive, it contains the type of mistake of confusing conditional impossibility with unconditional and presents a methodologically wrong method of solving a philosophical problem. It is because in the very construction of the problem determining the available solution. The article points to the possibility that the human freedom of some action is not excluded by the fact that specific past facts logically entail that this event will occur. (shrink)
According to theistic consubstantialism, the universe and God are essentially made of the same stuff. If theistic consubstantialism is correct, then God possesses the essential power to have knowledge de se of the contents of the mind of every conscious being internal to God. If theistic consubstantialism is false, then God lacks this essential property. So either God is essentially corporeal and possesses greater essential epistemic powers than God would have otherwise or God is essentially incorporeal and has a diminished (...) range of essential epistemic powers. In light of this dilemma, I argue that theists should accept theistic consubstantialism. (shrink)
Is God a timeless God? One standard argument against the supposition that He is is that it appears to be incompatible with God’s posited omniscience. If God is timeless, He cannot know truths involving temporal indexicals, such as the one I express right now by ”I am sitting now”. In this article, I discuss this argument and consider some replies to it. I focus on the denial of the view according to which knowledge expressed with temporally indexical true statements is (...) relevantly different from knowledge expressed with corresponding statements without indexicals. (shrink)
The author analyzes the interpretation of Boethius’ “timelessness solution” developed in contemporary Analytic Philosophy of Religion, and the main objections that have been moved to it, trying to draw some conclusions about its effectiveness (a) in solving the antinomy between omniscience and human freedom; (b) in weakening the argument of Open Theism. La nuova prospettiva teoretica proposta dall’Open Theism impone un approfondimento e una rivalutazione delle soluzioni “classiche” all’antinomia tra onniscienza divina e libertà umana. Tra queste “soluzioni” vi è, com’è (...) noto, quella di Boezio, ripresa e resa più sofisticata da molti autori nel dibattito contemporaneo, all’interno della filosofia analitica della religione. L’Autore intende analizzare, quindi, l’interpretazione della timelessness solution sviluppata in tale contesto e le principali obiezioni che le sono mosse, cercando di tracciare alcune conclusioni circa la sua efficacia nel risolvere l’antinomia e nell’indebolire le tesi dell’Open Theism. (shrink)
The new theoretical perspective proposed by the Open Theism theologians, compels us to study in depth and to evaluate the “classic” argumentative tools used to solve the ancient antinomy between divine omniscience and human freedom, to which the thesis of the Open Theism try to give an innovative solution. Among these tools – invoked by many authors in the contemporary debate about omniscience, in analytic philosophy of religion – several ones are part of Thomas Aquinas’ thought: the division in primary (...) and secondary causes, the division of God’s knowledge, the distinction between propositions understood in sensu composito or in sensu diviso, the division between necessity de dicto or de re, and others. This paper aims to analyze the interpretation of these tools developed in the contemporary context and tries to draw some conclusions on the overall efficacy of the “Thomistic Solution” that we can build starting from these tools. La nuova prospettiva teoretica proposta dai sostenitori dell’Open Theism ha reso necessario un approfondimento e una valutazione degli strumenti argomentativi “classici” utilizzati per risolvere l’antica antinomia tra onniscienza divina e libertà umana, alla quale le tesi dell’Open Theism cercano di dare una soluzione innovativa. Tra questi strumenti – recuperati da molti autori nel contemporaneo dibattito sull’onniscienza, all’interno della filosofia analitica della religione – ve ne sono molti attribuiti a Tommaso d’Aquino: la divisione in causa prima e cause seconde, la suddivisione della conoscenza di Dio, la distinzione tra proposizioni intese in senso composto o in senso diviso, quella tra necessità de dicto e necessità de re, e altri. Il presente contributo si propone di analizzarne l’interpretazione sviluppata nel contesto contemporaneo e trarre alcune conclusioni sull’efficacia complessiva della “soluzione tomistica” che si può delineare a partire da questi strumenti. (shrink)
This paper is about the nature of God’s pre-creation knowledge of possible creatures. I distinguish three theories: non-qualitative singularism, qualitative singularism, and qualitative generalism, which differ in terms of whether the relevant knowledge is qualitative or non-qualitative, and whether God has singular or merely general knowledge of creatures. My main aim is to argue that qualitative singularism does not depend on a version of the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles to the effect that, necessarily, qualitatively indiscernible individuals are identical. It (...) follows that qualitative singularism does not depend on the view that possible creatures categorically have qualitative individual essences. (shrink)
Over the past three decades, the issue of the relationship between divine omniscience and human freedom has been the subject of great debate. Inside it, were compared many authors and many “solutions”. One of these is the one that is inspired by Ockham’s thought. The author, therefore, aims to present the main theoretical nodes of this solution, following the development that it has had in the various publications about this question. The author also tries to show its limits, to make (...) understandable the transition occurred within the debate, which led to the Molinist solution and then to the open theism. (shrink)
Many maintain that petitionary prayer is pointless. I argue that the theist can defend petitionary prayer by giving a general account of how divine and creaturely causation can be compatible and complementary, based on the claim that the goodness of something depends on its cause. I use Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysical framework to give an account that explains why a world with creaturely causation better reflects God’s goodness than a world in which God brought all things about immediately. In such a (...) world, prayer could allow us to cause good things in a distinctive way: by asking God for them. (shrink)
Istopadesa by Acarya Pujyapada is a concise work of 51 didactic verses leading the reader from the empirical to the transcendental, from the mundane to the sublime, through an experiential process of self-realization, rather than through a metaphysical study of the soul-nature. Concise but deep in import, Istopadesa unambiguously establishes the glory of the Self. It is an essential reading for the ascetic. The householder too who ventures to study it stands to benefit much as the work establishes the futility (...) of the worldly objects and pursuits, and strengthens right faith, the basis for all that is good and virtuous. (shrink)
The debate on divine omniscience and its compatibility with human freedom, developed after the formulation of the famous Pike’s Argument, has led some authors to formulate a new form of theism called open theism. The main thesis of this theory deals with the redefinition of the attribute of omniscience – meant as dynamic – and other divine attributes, such as eternity and immutability. The core of the theory, however, lies in the assumption, in metaphysical terms, of the affirmation of the (...) New Testament «God is love» (revoking some insights of Trinitarian theology). Clearly, the critiques moved to open theism, in the intense and still underway debate, are various, but the most compelling ones concern the weakness of the new metaphysics that open theism is trying to build. After setting out the main features of the debate around omniscience, the thesis and the main objections to open theism, it appears possible to draw some conclusions which, although temporary, show how the theoretical path defended by open theism represents an appealing challenge for contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. (shrink)
Dennis Whitcomb argues that there is no God on the grounds that God is supposed to be omniscient, yet nothing could be omniscient due to the nature of grounding. We give a formally identical argument that concludes that one of the present co-authors does not exist. Since he does exist, Whitcomb’s argument is unsound. But why is it unsound? That is a difficult question. We venture two answers. First, one of the grounding principles that the argument relies on is false. (...) Second, the argument equivocates between two kinds of grounding: instance-grounding and quasi-mereological grounding. Happily, the equivocation can be avoided; unhappily, avoidance comes at the price of a false premise. (shrink)
The topic of divine omniscience is well-trodden ground, with philosophers and theologians having asked virtually every question there is to ask about it. The questions regarding God's omniscience to be addressed here are as follows. First, is omniscience best understood as maximal propositional knowledge along with maximal experiential knowledge? I argue that it is. Second, is it possible for God to be essentially omniscient? I argue that it is not.
According to traditional Western theism, God is maximally great (or perfect). More explicitly, God is said to have the following divine attributes: omnipotence, omniscience, and omnibenevolence. In this paper, I present three puzzles about this conception of a maximally great (or perfect) being. The first puzzle about omniscience shows that this divine attribute is incoherent. The second puzzle about omnibenevolence and omnipotence shows that these divine attributes are logically incompatible. The third puzzle about perfect rationality and omnipotence shows that these (...) divine attributes are logically incompatible. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Dennis Whitcomb argues that omniscience is impossible. But if there cannot be any omniscient beings, then God, at least as traditionally conceived, does not exist. The objection is, roughly, that the thesis that there is an omniscient being, in conjunction with some principles about grounding, such as its transitivity and irreflexivity, entails a contradiction. Since each of these principles is highly plausible, divine omniscience has to go. In this article, I argue that Whitcomb's argument, if sound, (...) has several unacceptable consequences. Among others, it implies that nobody knows that someone has knowledge, that, for most of us, all of our beliefs are false, and that there are no truths. This reductio all by itself provides sufficient reason to reject the argument. However, I also provide a diagnosis of where precisely the argument goes wrong. I argue that Whitcomb's crucial notion of grounding actually covers two distinct relations and that the principle of transitivity is true only for cases in which one of these relations holds rather than both of them. (shrink)
A knowledge argument is offered that presents unique difficulties for Christians who wish to assert that God is essentially omniscient. The difficulties arise from the doctrine of the incarnation. Assuming that God the Son did not necessarily have to become incarnate, then God cannot necessarily have knowledge de se of the content of a non-divine mind. If this is right, then God’s epistemic powers are not fixed across possible worlds and God is not essentially omniscient. Some options for Christian theists (...) are discussed, including rejecting traditional theism in favour of some version of pantheism or panentheism. (shrink)
Is Divine Knowledge Incompatible with Human Freedom? An Analysis of Some Arguments The problem that divine omniscience or divine foreknowledge makes free will impossible belongs to notoriously difficult to solve. In XX century one of the most important interpretation of this difficulty was provided by Nelson Pike. If God believes infallibly and in advance how Smith will act, this fact about the past excludes out all alternatives for Smith. But libertarian account of free will requires alternatives possibilities, so, it could (...) be argue that God’s foreknowledge is incompatible with our free will. This paper carefully criticizes Pike’s argumentation and suggests that because God’s foreknowledge doesn’t eliminate future alternatives through causal means, it is compatible with free will and that Pike’s argument and two briefly analyzed standard arguments for fatalism presented by Zagzebski failed. (shrink)
Current evolutionary and cognitive theories of religion posit that supernatural agent concepts emerge from cognitive systems such as theory of mind and social cognition. Some argue that these concepts evolved to maintain social order by minimizing antisocial behavior. If these theories are correct, then people should process information about supernatural agents’ socially strategic knowledge more quickly than non-strategic knowledge. Furthermore, agents’ knowledge of immoral and uncooperative social behaviors should be especially accessible to people. To examine these hypotheses, we measured response-times (...) to questions about the knowledge attributed to four different agents—God, Santa Claus, a fictional surveillance government, and omniscient but non-interfering aliens—that vary in their omniscience, moral concern, ability to punish, and how supernatural they are. As anticipated, participants respond more quickly to questions about agents’ socially strategic knowledge than non-strategic knowledge, but only when agents are able to punish. (shrink)
It is widely agreed that the ‘Logical’ Argument from Evil (LAFE) is bankrupt. We aim to rehabilitate the LAFE, in the form of what we call the Normatively Relativised Logical Argument from Evil (NRLAFE). There are many different versions of a NRLAFE. We aim to show that one version, what we call the ‘right relationship’ NRLAFE, poses a significant threat to personal-omniGod-theism—understood as requiring the belief that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good person who has created our world—because it (...) appeals to value commitments theists themselves are likely to endorse. The ultimate success of this NRLAFE will rest on developing a theological ethics of right relationship that rejects as morally flawed the exercise of omnipotence first to sustain horrors and then to redeem them. Yet a vindicated NRLAFE of this sort need not require atheism, but only rejection of the standard conception of God as a personal omniGod. (shrink)
At first glance, the properties being omniscient and being worthy of worship might appear to be perfectly co-instantiable. But there are reasons to be worried about this co-instantiability, as it turns out that, depending on our commitments with respect to certain kinds of knowledge and notions of personhood, it might be the case that no being—God included—could instantiate both. In this paper, I lay out and motivate this claim before going on to consider a variety of responses—some more plausible than (...) others—that may be offered by the theist. (shrink)
Some, notably Peter van Inwagen, in order to avoid problems with free will and omniscience, replace the condition that an omniscient being knows all true propositions with a version of the apparently weaker condition that an omniscient being knows all knowable true propositions. I shall show that the apparently weaker condition, when conjoined with uncontroversial claims and the logical closure of an omniscient being's knowledge, still yields the claim that an omniscient being knows all true propositions.
Many have attempted to respond to arguments for the incompatibility of freedom with divine foreknowledge by claiming that God’s beliefs about the future are explained by what the world is like at that future time. We argue that this response adequately advances the discussion only if the theist is able to articulate a model of foreknowledge that is both clearly possible and compatible with freedom. We investigate various models the theist might articulate and argue that all of these models fail.
The aim of the book is to clarify the concept of omniscience. This is done first by discussing basic questions on omniscience (chs.1-12) and secondly by offering a theory of omniscience as an axiomatic system in which also a definition of omniscience is given (ch.13). The twelve chapters deal with questions like whether everything is true what God knows, whether God's knowledge is bound to time, whether it concerns singular truths or only laws, whether it extends also to contingent future (...) events ...etc. The book is neither a book about the existence of God nor about proofs for his existence. It is a book about the possibility of a consistent concept of omniscience which can be attributed to God. And it invalidates opposite claims and shows that they are based on wrong or very doubtful premises. The pros and cons at the beginning of each chapter represent different positions and objections which are clarified and discussed in the answer to the objections. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between the classical theistic conception of God and modal realism. I suggest that realism about possible worlds has unwelcome consequences for that conception. First, that modal realism entails the necessity of divine existence eludes explanation in a way congenial to a commitment to both modal realism and classical theism. Second, divine knowledge is dependent on worlds independent of the creative role and action of God, thereby suggesting a limitation on the nature of divine knowledge and (...) on the nature of God's creative role. Third, modal realism indicates the existence of real, albeit non-actual, worlds of appalling evil threatening the classical conception of divine omnipotence and benevolence. (Published Online July 10 2006). (shrink)
In this paper I present two new arguments against the possibility of an omniscient being. My new arguments invoke considerations of cardinality and resemble several arguments originally presented by Patrick Grim. Like Grim, I give reasons to believe that there must be more objects in the universe than there are beliefs. However, my arguments will rely on certain mereological claims, namely that Classical Extensional Mereology is necessarily true of the part-whole relation. My first argument is an instance of a problem (...) first noted by Gideon Rosen and requires an additional assumption about the mereological structure of certain beliefs. That assumption is that an omniscient being’s beliefs are mereological simples. However, this assumption is dropped when I present my second argument. Thus, I hope to show that if Classical Extensional Mereology is true of the part-whole relation, there cannot be an omniscient being. (shrink)
A certain objection to belief in God is based on the intrinsic incoherence of the concept of Divine Being or God. In particular, it questions the major traditional characteristic, notably omniscience, and its relation to omnipotence, moral unassailability, and absence of embodiment on the part of the Divine Being. In this paper, an attempt is made to counter this objection by an appeal, not to natural theology, but rather to physicalism in its application to human beings, and by extension to (...) the possible consistency of God’s omniscience with the other divine attributes, which philosophers such as Michael Martin have found to be mutually inconsistent and therefore wanting. (shrink)
A difficulty for a view of divine eternity as timelessness is that if time is tensed, then God, in virtue of His omniscience, must know tensed facts. But tensed facts, such as It is now t, can only be known by a temporally located being.Defenders of divine atemporality may attempt to escape the force of this argument by contending either that a timeless being can know tensed facts or else that ignorance of tensed facts is compatible with divine omniscience. Kvanvig, (...) Wierenga, and Leftow adopt both of these strategies in their various defenses of divine timelessness. Their respective solutions are analyzed in detail and shown to be untenable.Thus, if the theist holds to a tensed view of time, he should construe divine eternity in terms of omnitemporality. (shrink)
Does God knows what it is like to be me? Scripture and religious tradition seem quite clear that God knows everything about us, even the deepest secrets of our hearts. There is nothing hidden from him. And this is an answer backed up by a more philosophical theology; for among the traditional list of divine attributes is omniscience: knowing everything that there is to know. The idea, moreover, seems essential to the ordinary religious consciousness, for how can God really help (...) us, or fairly judge us, unless he knows exactly what things are like for us? (shrink)
In this paper, I explore several privacy issues as they arise with respect to the divine/human relationship. First, in section 1, I discuss the notion of privacy in a general way. Section 2 is devoted to the claim that privacy involves control over information about oneself. In section 3, I summarize the arguments offered recently by Margaret Falls-Corbitt and F. Michael McLain for the conclusion that God respects the privacy of human persons by refraining from knowing certain things about them. (...) Finally, in section 4, I shall criticize Falls-Corbitt and McLain’s arguments and make some concluding remarks about God and privacy. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that the kind of idealism defended by Berkeley is a natural and almost unavoidable expression of his theism. Two main arguments are deployed, both starting from a theistic premise and having an idealist conclusion. The first likens the dependence of the physical world on the will of God to the dependence of mental states on a mind. The second likens divine omniscience to the kind of knowledge which it has often been supposed we have of (...) the contents of our own minds. After rebutting objections to these arguments, I conclude that both theists and non-idealists should be surprised and discomforted by my contentions. (shrink)
God, by definition, is all-powerful, all-good, all-wise, and all-knowing. Therein lies a problem for the theist, of course, for every one of these attributes has been the subject of fierce debate. In this paper I want to return to the debate by introducing a new problem for the idea that anyone could have the kind of perfect knowledge God is supposed to have. What distinguishes my problem from others is that the sort of knowledge it focuses on is self-knowledge, hence (...) knowledge of a particularly intimate kind. My claim is that God cannot have infallible knowledge of at least some of his own perfections, in particular his being all-wise or ideally rational. Such ignorance is not only inconsistent with the usual conception of God's omniscience, given that whatever knowledge God possesses is traditionally thought to be be a priori and infallible, but, more importantly, is inconsistent with the fundamental idea that God at least knows infallibly or incorrigibly that he has what it takes to be God: qualities such as omnibenevolence, omnipotence, and supreme wisdom. In short, my claim is that God must have a deep “blindspot” about his own nature, something which is inconsistent with a traditional picture of that nature. (shrink)
It is said that faith in a divine agent is partly an attitude of trust; believers typically find assurance in the conception of a divine being's will, and cherish confidence in its capacity to implement its intentions and plans. Yet, there would be little point in trusting in the will of any being without assuming its ability to both act and know, and perhaps it is only by assuming divine omniscience that one can retain the confidence in the efficacy and (...) direction of divine agency that has long been the lure of certain religious traditions. (shrink)
I review Kvanvig's "The Possibility of an All-Knowing God," in which he argues that God by virtue of his middle knowledge would know all truths and how each possible person would act in any given world.
If God is omniscient then he knows contingent facts. If he exists a se, then his knowledge of facts must not depend on them. How then does he know them? I take seriously Aquinas’ view that God’s knowledge is the cause of things. I argue that “things” includes both entities and situations, that God’s knowledge of them is his knowledge of his unimpedable will, and that the view does not threaten human freedom. God’s knowledge is thus like my knowledge of (...) my linguistic stipulations, except that whereas my knowledge is dedicta, his is de reo. (shrink)
This paper argues that the logical coherence of classical theism can be defended through the traditional free-will defense and argument from divine omniscience and human finitude, but only at the cost of moral scepticism. The above two-pronged defense entails moral scepticism because it demands that we construe clear and undeniable cases of morally unjustifiable evil as merely apparently unjustifiable evils which can be morally justified from some moral point of view. The paper argues that justification is impossible because such basic (...) evils can never be justified from any "moral" perspective. The very conditions necessary for having a moral perspective demand that one recognize certain evils as unjustifiable from any moral point of view. This is the case because moral theories are designed to give us insight into such evils. Moreover, I argue that even if one rejects the above argument, moral scepticism still follows because any intelligible account of moral knowledge requires that its proponents be able at least to point to certain cases of unjustifiable evil if their theory is to have any purchase in the real world and avoid the charge of moral irrelevance and moral scepticism. But this is precisely what the classical theist cannot do. If, however, the classical theist rejects this moral scepticism, then real cases of morally unjustifiable evil must be admitted to exist and a single one of these is sufficient to undermine the logical coherence of classical theism. (shrink)
This paper argues that there is a conflict between divine omniscience and the human right to privacy. The right to privacy derives from the right to moral autonomy, which human persons possess even against a divine being. It follows that if God exists and persists in knowing all things, his knowledge is a non-justifiable violation of a human right. On the other hand, if God exists and restricts his knowing in deference to human privacy, it follows that he cannot fulfill (...) the traditional function of being the perfect and final judge of all things. (shrink)