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: (...) high-density populations made possible by agriculture. (shrink)
We present a simple model to show the compossibility of middle knowledge, grounded truth, libertarian free will, predestination, evil, hell, a sin-free heaven, God being perfectly just, free, praiseworthy, and necessarily omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent, this world being both replete with injustice and the best of all possible worlds, heinous suffering, no-one unjustly suffering, God’s grace for the godly, the prospering of the godless, original sin, human responsibility, transworld depravity, irresistible grace, and Arminian human choice. The model is not intended (...) to be realistic, but its possibility argues for the possibility that a realistic model containing such compossibles could exist – and even be actual. (shrink)
As the lyrics to the traditional nineteenth century gospel hymn state, one of the goals of many magical and religious practices is to experience ‘a closer walk with Thee,’ coming into the presence of the holy in both figurative and arguably literal terms. One of the many ways to improve this likelihood of achieving the deep and immersive presence of the holy—described by the scholar of comparative religion Rudolf Otto as the “gentle tide, [the] pervading [of] the mind with a (...) tranquil mood” numinous experience—is through the careful use of various sonic elements. To this point, an exploration of physical worship spaces themselves, a review of the means of creating sounds within worship, and a study of the related uses of sonic technology during worship rituals can help to elucidate just how these sonic elements compare in their utilization between ancient magic and more contemporary magical and religious applications. It is my contention that the overall goal of creating an immersive environment for worship and ritual practice has remained a constant from Ancient Greek and Roman times through to the present, while the technology available to achieve this goal (both in the creation of an immersive physical space and in the use of engaging and relatable musical instruments and instrumental styles) has continually progressed. Put another way, the methods in which we might best utilize various sonic elements to achieve the most numinous experience—the ‘how’— have certainly changed over time, but the underlying ‘why’ and the core goal of using sound to increase this sense of a presence with the holy has remained largely unchanged. (shrink)
Metaphysics has done everything to involve God in the world of being. However, in case of considering Reality as being and nothingness, naturally, the metaphysical approach toward the idea of God is losing its grounds. If Reality is being and nothingness, so the idea of God, too, should concern nothingness as well as being.
There is a common belief that non-being and nothingness are identical, a widespread, even general delusion the wrongness of which I will try to demonstrate in this work. And which I consider even more important, that is to define nothingness for further determination of “its” place and role in the reality and especially in human life.
As I tried to show in my earlier works (An Endeavor of New Concept of Being and Non-Being, Non-Being and Nothingness and Reality as Being and Nothingness), the environment in which the human being is finding itself should be characterized by being and nothingness, and any non-metaphysical philosophy must consider such an understanding of Reality as the utmost category which is above being, Universe, etc. In this article, I will try to shed light on the place and role of the (...) human being or the presence or this-being in Reality as being and nothingness. (shrink)
In questa nota storico-critica, anche contestualmente alla nozione di cambio concettuale toulmiano, si vuol riflettere sull'opportunità metodologica di un ritorno, in senso heideggeriano, all'autenticità dell'originario pensiero filosoco greco sia per meglio chiarire i termini dei rapporti fra pensiero scientifico e teologia sistematica sia per inquadrare, in maniera più coerente e maggiormente comprensiva, le principali concezioni della dottrina eucaristica della teologia cattolica che, ripensate entro l'impianto ontoteologico heideggeriano, avvaloreranno e giusticheranno le teorie transustanziali rispetto a quelle consustanziali.
In questa nota storico-critica, anche contestualmente alla nozione di cambio concettuale toulmiano, si vuol riflettere sull'opportunità metodologica di un ritorno, in senso heideggeriano, all'autenticità dell'originario pensiero filosoco greco sia per meglio chiarire i termini dei rapporti fra pensiero scientico e teologia sistematica sia per inquadrare, in maniera più coerente e maggiormente comprensiva, le principali concezioni della dottrina eucaristica della teologia cattolica che, ripensate entro l'impianto ontoteologico heideggeriano, avvaloreranno e giusticheranno le teorie transustanziali rispetto a quelle consustanziali.
Purpose: This article covers the events and incidents predicted before and after the appearance of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ. This article seeks to address the facts and inform you about the system of government of Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ. Also, miracles and the titles of Imam Mahdi are other topics that were mentioned in this article. Also, this research was conducted to answer and clarify three questions that stated in the Introduction section. Methods: We performed our methods in (...) 4 stages: Identifying studies, Selection of Studies, Collating Studies, Reporting results. Results: Imam Mahdi's world government follows the pattern of the Prophet's method of rule in early Islam. Jesus Christ has a special status in the Quranic literature and in the hadith, and plays a special role in establishing the divine government with Imam Mahdi. Imam Mahdi's system of government is unlike any government the world has ever known. Conclusion: Among the issues that exist in the apocalypse, we are faced with an issue called Imam Mahdi. In fact, Imam Mahdi is the savior of Muslims and all people with Jesus Christ. Imam Mahdi will form a just government in the world like his ancestors. We hope this article will take an important step in acquainting people with Imam Mahdi and Jesus Christ and paving the ground for their reappearance. (shrink)
It is shown in this article in how far one has to have a clear picture of Gödel’s philosophy and scientific thinking at hand (and also the philosophical positions of other philosophers in the history of Western Philosophy) in order to interpret one single Philosophical Remark by Gödel. As a single remark by Gödel (very often) mirrors his whole philosophical thinking, Gödel’s Philosophical Remarks can be seen as a philosophical monadology. This is so for two reasons mainly: Firstly, because it (...) pictures a monadology already via its form. And secondly, because Gödel wanted to establish in his Philosophical Remarks a modern monadology in adapting the philosophical principles of Leibniz’s monadology to modern science. This article will only deal with the first aspect that has been mentioned namely that a single remark by Gödel (very often) mirrors his whole philosophy (at the time) for example: set theory, perception and intuition of mathematical objects and axioms, the nature of the human mind, the concept and existence of God, and so on. This renders it extremely difficult to interpret Gödel’s philosophical remarks but interpreting it provides also a deep insight in Gödel’s philosophical thoughts. (shrink)
Conceptual engineering is the method (or methods) via which we can assess and improve our concepts. Can conceptual engineering be usefully employed within analytic theology? Given that analytic theology and analytic philosophy effectively share the same philosophical toolkit then if conceptual engineering works well in philosophy then it ought to work well in analytic theology too. This will be our working hypothesis. To make good on this hypothesis, we first address two challenges. The first challenge makes conceptual engineering look to (...) be too inclusive; the second challenge makes it look to be too revolutionary (for analytic theology). To address these challenges, we propose a refined characterisation of conceptual engineering. We then turn to consider a number of case studies where analytic theology and conceptual engineering may fruitfully cooperate. These are: theological disagreements, inter-faith dialogue, meaning change, celibacy, AI, the name of God, and conceptual genealogy. (shrink)
Sometimes agents sincerely profess to believe a claim and yet act inconsistently with it in some contexts. In this paper, I focus on mismatch cases in the domain of religion. I distinguish between two kinds of representations: prompts and default states. Prompts are representations that must be salient to agents in order for them to play their belief-appropriate roles, whereas default states play these roles automatically. The need for access characteristic of prompts is explained by their vehicles: prompts are realized (...) in symbolic systems or even artifacts that make them inapt for automatic regulation of inference and behavior. I argue that some mismatch cases are explained by the fact that agents often report the contents of prompts when they report their beliefs, but behavior is controlled by prompts only when they are made salient to agents. I show that a number of otherwise puzzling findings in the cognitive science of religion, concerning belief intuitiveness, are illuminated by the distinction. (shrink)
Part of the Cambridge Elements series, a critical overview of some major themes in contemporary African philosophy of religion, particularly as they contrast with and provide reason to doubt salient perspectives on Anglo-American, and especially Christian, philosophy of religion.
This is an initial survey of some philosophical questions about divine language. Could God be a language producer and language user? Could there be a divine private language? Could there be a divine language of thought? The answer to these questions that I shall tentatively defend are, respectively: Yes, No and No. (Because I use some technical terms from recent philosophy of language, there is an appendix to this chapter in which I explain my use of those terms.).
This paper attempts to provide a high-level comparison of Eastern and Western conceptions of deity. It finds some significant similarities—involving worshipworthiness and the ideal shape of human lives—and some important differences—concerning the ultimate nature of reality, the relation of supreme deity to the rest of reality, and the relative frequency of divine incarnation.
Axiarchism holds that fundamental concrete reality is necessarily ordered toward goodness. I argue that it is not fully rational to reject axiarchism while also rejecting radical skepticism. A key premise in the argument is that among conceivable worlds that contain one’s internal duplicate, ‘epistemically inhospitable’ worlds (i.e. worlds where all or most of one’s internal duplicates are radically deceived) are predominant. This predominance of inhospitable worlds provides a prima facie reason for thinking that the actual world is probably inhospitable. To (...) avoid skepticism, this prima facie support for inhospitableness must be countered by a good reason to think that the actual world is probably epistemically hospitable. I argue that opponents of axiarchism lack any such reason. I consider various non-axiarchic ways of dismissing the inhospitable world hypothesis, including appeals to simplicity considerations and to a certain ‘representationalist’ theory of phenomenal consciousness, and find them wanting. (shrink)
Discussion of Iris Murdoch recalls Socrates' plea that he be allowed a crabwise approach to the Good. What his audience want of a direct approach is an explanation of precisely what sort of thing the Good is, where the demand for precision carries the force of: Tell me now, in which of the categories of thing I already allow to exist is the Good to be found? This is just what academia has done with the obscure singularity of Murdoch – (...) and the comedy of the exercise is the same. (shrink)
This paper defends the view that discovering that our universe is fine-tuned should make us more confident that other universes exist. My defense exploits a distinction between ideal and non-ideal evidential support. I use that distinction in concert with a simple model to disarm the most influential objection—the this-universe objection—to the view that fine-tuning supports the existence of other universes. However, the simple model fails to capture some important features of our epistemic situation with respect to fine-tuning. To capture these (...) features, I introduce a more sophisticated model. I then use the more sophisticated model to show that, even once those complicating factors are taken into account, fine-tuning should boost our confidence in the existence of other universes. (shrink)
I advance a novel challenge for Divine Command Theory based on the existence of psychopaths. The challenge, in a nutshell, is that Divine Command Theory has the implausible implication that psychopaths have no moral obligations and hence their evil acts, no matter how evil, are morally permissible. After explaining this argument, I respond to three objections to it and then critically examine the prospect that Divine Command Theorists might bite the bullet and accept that psychopaths can do no wrong. I (...) conclude that the Psychopathy Objection constitutes a serious and novel challenge for Divine Command Theory. (shrink)
There has been increasing interest among contemporary philosophers in nontheistic forms of ontological idealism, in contrast to the canonical theistic idealism of Berkeley. Given the ontological role that God plays in Berkeley’s metaphysics, it’s natural to think that questions of the value-impact of God will be greater in an idealistic context. Thus, it seems fruitful to ask: What does God add to (or detract from) an idealist world? This paper assesses the benefits and costs that come from moving to an (...) idealism which is not (essentially) theistic. I explicate various dimensions along which theistic and nontheistic idealisms differ. Most of these metaphysical differences are surprisingly value-neutral. The one respect in which God’s (in)existence makes a distinctive value-impact within an idealistic context is in the intelligibility of reality. This is a variant of what Lougheed (2020) calls the Complete Understanding Argument. But the argument takes on a new significance within the idealistic context. Here, the inability to fully comprehend God doesn’t merely pose a challenge for understanding the God-part of reality, or the occasions on which God interferes with the naturalistic causal order. It presents a challenge to understanding the very nature of reality, itself. Finally, I consider what sort of value difference this is, distinguishing between two sorts of value that God’s existence might confer: value for a world (including its inhabitants) and value for a theory. (shrink)
As we explore panentheism, what can we learn from Rāmānuja's Viśiṣṭādvaita? Although widely acknowledged as a panentheist, in the contemporary debate on how to characterize panentheism, Rāmānuja barely features. But Rāmānuja's position is worth studying not just because it bears on taxonomical questions. Among its interesting features is a conception on which devotional love, bhakti, serves an epistemic function that is also of crucial soteriological relevance. This chapter addresses both these topics. First, Rāmānuja's Viśiṣṭādvaita is used to cast doubt on (...) a characterization of panentheism recently proposed by Mikael Stenmark. Second, Rāmānuja's conception of bhakti is juxtaposed with two conceptions of love that serve an analogous dual function: Weil's conception of supernatural love and Murdoch's conception of love as just attention. Rāmānuja's position, it is argued, is distinct, partly due to his panentheist commitments, but it also shares a number of features with the other two. In closing, it is suggested that for further comparative work on these three, ample room remains. (shrink)
For the purposes of this paper, I attempt to wrestle with the question of whether or not it is a requisite for a “believer” (which turns out to be a loaded and ambiguous term) to be a part of a formal/institutional Christian Church. This is a difficult task to accomplish, and this, I admit. There is no way to answer this, truly with certainty. But Metaphysics are rarely grounded in “certainty.” This is true for many Christian Theological tasks as well. (...) Nevertheless, this argument will be attempted by working with and off of the Black liberation theologian and philosopher, James H. Cone's basic structured argument found in "Black Theology & Black Power." It's important to note that Cone is a systematic theologian writing in 1969, a time where White America (and its "Christians") helped contribute to the assassination of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. Not to mention, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was on a hunt for the next “Black Messiah,” had already infiltrated the Black Power movement, and that same year was making serious moves in undermining the Black Panther Party. Whereas White “Christian” America largely had his full support. After all the atrocities Black people in America have gone through, especially by its "Christians," many Black people had lost hope; they were broken, tired, many were angry—and righteously so. Cone’s 1969 argument reflects these Black sensibilities, a righteously angry theological and philosophical argument. I am attempting to wrestle with whether the basic structure of his argument is still applicable in contemporary America during the modern Black Lives Matter Movement. Thus, after rendering Cone’s argument from 1969, we imaginatively bend space and time to fast forward to the modern era 2020 and on, where we see if, by implication, Cone's argument is still relevant to the majority ("white") "Christian" Institutional/Formal Church. For the purposes of this paper, I will attempt to argue that Cone’s basic argument structure is still applicable, and that it is not a requisite for a Christian “believer” to be a part of a formal/institutional church. In this paper, I look at the ramifications of the Black Lives Matter movement in relation to the Christian formal institutional Church. (shrink)
Analytic theology is often described as something like the application of analytic philosophy's tools to theological studies, but what this means can be unclear. In this paper, I offer a primer on analytic theology which clarifies this common description of the field. Particularly, following Sarah Coakley, I sketch an account of analytic theology on which it consists of a relation of familial resemblance. That is, analytic theologians are those who investigate theological loci in ways akin to those seen in contemporary (...) analytic philosophy. In so doing, I also briefly describe how analytic theology is conceptually distinct from both philosophical theology and analytic philosophy of religion. I then provide a threefold typology for understanding analytic theology's literary landscape whereby its practitioners can generally be understood to produce works which are either philosophically-inclined, theologically-inclined, or mixed in their inclination. Finally, I offer a brief survey of new frontiers being explored by analytic theologians. (shrink)
Despite his impeccable academic pedigree, a protégé of Josiah Royce and a friend and student of William James, John Elof Boodin is nearly forgotten today among American philosophers; hence, an essential aspect of his thought lost to history is his contribution to process theology. The leading features of process thought demonstrate Boodin’s connections to this unique theology and show it to have been established early on, as early as 1900 and 1904. This places Boodin’s writing on process philosophy/theology well before (...) Alfred North Whitehead, the putative pioneer in modern process metaphysics, by more than twenty years, and co-extensive with Henri Bergson, who influenced Whitehead. Nevertheless, when Boodin is discussed today, it is usually as an early pragmatist rather than as a process philosopher. The central claim of this essay argues that Boodin is best understood as a pragmatically influenced process theist, one of the first in a modern context. This historiographical revision will permit a better portrayal of process thought by revealing a more nuanced and pluralistic theological landscape beyond the standard Bergsonian/Whiteheadian/Hartshornian triumvirate. (shrink)
This chapter argues that both Berkeley and Vasubandhu accept a kind of metaphysical idealism: while Berkeley’s theistic idealism claims that all of reality exists only in the mind of God, Vasubandhu teaches that external objects have no intrinsic existence and exist only as objects of perception; mind is the ultimate reality. This chapter explores the possibility of reading both these doctrines as a kind of idealist panentheism. Specifically, it will address two questions: (1) in what sense are Berkeley’s and Vasubandhu’s (...) theories idealist philosophies? (2) Is it justified to interpret them as panentheists? More precisely, the second question has two parts: (2a) Should Berkeley’s idealism be regarded as a kind of panentheism? (2b) Can the theism-part of panentheism justly be applied to Vasubandhu’s notion of mind as ultimate reality? The answer will be mostly negative: Berkeley is not a panentheist, and labeling Vasubandhu as a panentheist stretches the concept of God beyond the limits of reasonable application. Finally, though, it is argued that a Yogācārin reading of Berkeley’s idealism opens an interesting possibility for idealist panentheism. (shrink)
In light of Jacques Derrida’s writings on death and mourning, it may seem that the Christian teaching that the dead will be raised is a betrayal of others, a failure to take up one’s responsibility to testify to those who have died. In conversation with Emmanuel Falque’s work on finitude, Martin Heidegger’s reading of 1 Thessalonians, and Søren Kierkegaard’s reading of Abraham, I respond in two movements to this objection to faith that God will raise the dead. First, I propose (...) that even for the Christian, the death of the other remains a loss, since the Christian must surrender the other to God. It is, however, this very surrender of the other to God that seems to be an abdication of responsibility. Second, therefore, I argue that faith in the resurrection decenters the self and challenges our understanding of responsibility even more than does Derrida’s own analysis. Faith, I conclude, means giving up the desire to cling to one’s own responsibility. (shrink)
Philosophe japonais polyglotte au savoir encyclopédique, Yamauchi Tokuryū est à n’en point douter l’un des auteurs les moins étudiés de l’école de Kyōto. La présente étude vient corriger ce qui ne constitue rien d’autre qu’un accident de l’histoire, tant l’ampleur du projet philosophique de Yamauchi est à même de susciter l’intérêt du philosophe, du savant et de l’amateur cultivé. La démarche de ce penseur japonais, disciple de Nishida Kitarō, est remarquable en ce qu’il chercha à proposer un dépassement englobant de (...) ce qu’il nomme, d’une part, la « logique du logos » – qui figurait déjà chez Aristote et se structure autour des principes d’identité, de contradiction et du tiers exclu – et, d’autre part, la « logique du lemme » – méthode d’appréhension intuitive des étants qui, née en Inde, serait d’inspiration essentiellement bouddhique. Cette étude, dans laquelle les conceptions bouddhiques qui traversent le propos de Yamauchi sont explicitées, est essentiellement consacrée à l’analyse de ses deux essais les plus importants Logos et lemme (1974) et Philosophie de la latence (1993). Le lecteur y rencontrera une discussion tant de la logique aristotélicienne que d’un régime de logicité tel que le tétralemme, tant du coeur des philosophies européennes que de celui des pensées bouddhiques. Il y rencontrera en outre une discussion de l’idée de néant, de la causalité et de la question du fondement de l’être, nourrie de conceptions bouddhiques telles que la « coproduction conditionnée » (pratītya-samutpāda) et la « latence » (anuśaya). (shrink)
Up to now, a very large majority of work in the religious philosophy of life’s meaning has presumed a conception of God that is Abrahamic. In contrast, in this essay I critically discuss some of the desirable and undesirable facets of Traditional African Religion’s salient conceptions of God as they bear on meaning in life. Given an interest in a maximally meaningful life, and supposing meaning would come from fulfiling God’s purpose for us, would it be reasonable to prefer God (...) as characteristically conceived by African philosophers of religion to exist instead of the Abrahamic conception of God? At this stage of enquiry, I answer that, in respect of the range of people to whom God’s purpose would apply, a more African view of God would plausibly offer a greater meaning, but that, concerning what the content of God’s purpose would be, the Abrahamic view appears to offer a greater one. I conclude by reflecting on this mixed verdict and by suggesting respects in which non-purposive facets of the African and Abrahamic conceptions of God could also have implications for life’s meaning. (shrink)
Una de las características principales del mundo en que vivimos es lo que denominamos la presencia de un vitalismo metabólico. En este artículo queremos profundizar en el uso antropológico-cultural de este concepto al relacionarlo con los deseos humanos de felicidad y salvación y las implicaciones de la tecnología para, finalmente, llevar a cabo una conclusión a través de un posible escenario distópico. Sostenemos que la supremacía cultural de este tipo de vitalismo ha llevado al oscurecimiento de una visión natural y (...) unitaria de la experiencia de la caducidad del cuerpo humano y, por tanto, también de la necesidad natural del hombre de ser salvado. Desde un punto de vista antropológico, analizamos que en la base de todo este proceso se encuentra el recorte de los fines naturales de lo que definimos como intencionalidad corpórea, la cual es difícil de entender si no se produce una integración adecuada, teleológicamente, de los aspectos biológicos y espirituales del ser humano. (shrink)
There is an important distinction between two different kinds of expressions of gratitude: propositional expressions of gratitude and prepositional expressions of gratitude. I argue that there is a corresponding distinction between two different kinds of expression of resentment: propositional expressions of resentment and prepositional expressions of resentment. I then argue that theists should suppose neither that propositional expressions of gratitude are prepositional expressions of gratitude to God, nor that propositional expressions of resentment are prepositional expressions of resentment of God.
According to Augustine, abstract objects are ideas in the mind of God. Because numbers are a type of abstract object, it would follow that numbers are ideas in the mind of God. Call such a view the “Augustinian View of Numbers” (AVN). In this paper, I present a formal theory for AVN. The theory stems from the symmetry conception of God as it appears in Studtmann (2021). I show that the theory in Studtmann’s paper can interpret the axioms of Peano (...) Arithmetic minus the induction schema. This fact allows for the development of arithmetic in a natural way. The development eventuates in a theory that can interpret second-order arithmetic. The conception of God that emerges by the end of the discussion is a conception of an infinite, ineffable, self-cause that contains objects that not only serve as numbers but also encode information about each other. (shrink)
In Pascal Boyer’s book Religion Explained inference systems are made to do a lot of work in his attempts to explain cognition in religion. These inference systems are systems in the brain that produces inferences when they are activated by things we perceive in our environment. According to Boyer they perceive things, produce explanations, and perform calculations. However, if Wittgenstein’s observation, that “only of a living human being and what resembles (behaves like) a living human being can one say: it (...) has sensations; it sees; is blind; hears; is deaf; is conscious or unconscious” is correct then it seems that Boyer’s talk of inference systems perceiving and inferring is confused. (shrink)
Advancing our understanding of one of the most influential 20th-century philosophers, Robert Vinten brings together an international line up of scholars to consider the relevance of Ludwig Wittgenstein's ideas to the cognitive science of religion. Wittgenstein's claims ranged from the rejection of the idea that psychology is a 'young science' in comparison to physics to challenges to scientistic and intellectualist accounts of religion in the work of past anthropologists. Chapters explore whether these remarks about psychology and religion undermine the frameworks (...) and practices of cognitive scientists of religion. Employing philosophical tools as well as drawing on case studies, contributions not only illuminate psychological experiments, anthropological observations and neurophysical research relevant to understanding religious phenomena, they allow cognitive scientists to either heed or clarify their position in relation to Wittgenstein's objections. By developing and responding to his criticisms, Wittgenstein and the Cognitive Science of Religion offers novel perspectives on his philosophy in relation to religion, human nature, and the mind. Contents: Introduction (Robert Vinten); Ch.1: 'Wittgenstein, Concepts, and Human Nature' (Roger Trigg); Ch.2: 'On Truth, Language, and Objectivity' (Florian Franken Figueiredo); Ch.3 'Pascal Boyer's Miscellany of Homunculi: A Wittgensteinian Critique of Religion Explained' (Robert Vinten); Ch.4 'The Brain Perceives/Infers' (Hans van Eyghen); Ch.5 'The Imaginary Inner Inside Cognitive Science of Religion' (Christopher Hoyt); Ch.6 'Cognitive Theories and Wittgenstein: Looking for Convergence not for Divergence' (Olympia Panagiotidou); Ch. 7 'Wittgenstein, Naturalism, and Interpreting Religious Phenomena' (Thomas Carroll); Ch.8 'Natural Thoughts and Unnatural Oughts: Lessing, Wittgenstein, and Contemporary CSR' (Guy Axtell); Ch.9 'Normative Cognition in Cognitive Science of Religion' (Mark Addis); Ch.10 'Brains as the Source of Being: Mind/Brain Focus and the Western Model of Mind in Dominant Cognitive Science Discourse' (Rita McNamara); Ch.11 'On Religious Practices as Multiscale Active Inference: Certainties Emerging From Recurrent Interactions Within and Across Individuals and Groups' (Inês Hipólito and Casper Hesp). (shrink)
This article presents a new approach to understanding ritual: embodied world construction. Informed by phenomenology and a philosophy of embodiment, this approach argues that rituals can (re)shape the structure of an individual's perceptual world. Ritual participation transforms how the world appears for an individual through the inculcation of new perceptual habits, enabling the perception of objects and properties which could not previously be apprehended. This theory is then applied to two case studies from an existing ethnographic study of North American (...) evangelicalism, indicating how the theory of embodied world construction can shed new light on how individuals are shaped by ritual practice. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen's "special composition question" asks, more or less, "what must some objects be like in order for them to compose another object?" In this paper I develop and defend a theistic anti-realist response to the special composition question, according to which God decides when composition occurs. While I do not endorse this theistic mereological anti-realism, I think that it is worth developing. I argue that this theistic mereological anti-realism is preferable to extant non-theistic variants of mereological anti-realism, and (...) that theistic mereological anti-realism receives some motivation from several other sources. (shrink)
Jordan Peterson gave a series of lectures on the Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories. His first lecture lasted two hours. In that time, Peterson managed to cover only a single line from the Bible. This lopsided gloss-to-text ratio, I argue, entails that the rational explanations actually do all the work while the Bible is dispensable.
It is recognized that Buddhadharma schools are markedly ontologically, epistemologically, and semantically nominalist. Regardless of that, when it comes to the use of the term “consciousness”, there is still a tendency in some Western circles to understand Buddhism in a solipsist or monist way. To this purpose, I argue that the general expression “consciousness” from Buddhadharma texts must be understood according to traditional nominalist Buddhist semantics and theory of entities. In the end, I briefly mention some arguments and viewpoints – (...) defending the plurality/diversity of consciousness – of some Buddhist Dzogchen scholars and masters. (shrink)
RésuméJe soutiens qu'Avicenne admet au moins un cas où il est possible pour notre intellect de saisir un individu particulier en soi : chaque intellect humain peut s'appréhender comme étant numériquement lui-même sans avoir recours à une notion ou un concept général. Car l’être humain préserve son identité lorsqu'il est séparé de son corps. Nous discutons des textes où Avicenne semble affirmer et nier qu'un être humain peut s'appréhender lui-même. Nous concluons que, contrairement à la conscience de soi qu'invoque Avicenne (...) dans l'expérience de pensée de « l'homme volant», l'auto-intellection humaine est une réalisation rare et nous expliquons ce qui la distingue de l'auto-intellection plus complète de l'intellect divin. (shrink)
In this paper, I defend an unconventional mereological framework involving the doctrine of divine simplicity, to surmount a significant yet neglected dilemma resulting from that long-standing view of God as absolutely, and uniquely, simple. This framework establishes God as literally a part of everything—an “omni-part.” Although consequential for the many prominent religious traditions featuring divine simplicity, my analysis focuses on potential implications for an important formative issue in medieval Islamic philosophy. This problem of principality, with regards to metaphysical primacy and (...) importance, derives from Ibn Sīnā’s celebrated distinction between essence and existence, and involves determining which is genuinely, objectively, real. Instead of supporting the historically dominant opposing viewpoints advancing either the principality of existence or of essence (aṣālat al-wujūd/al-māhiyya), I claim that God as omni-part aids renewed defence of the majority rejected view which upholds the combined principality of existence and essence together. Additionally, my proposal reinforces various theological desiderata including divine omnipresence and God’s necessity across possible worlds, while also supporting new perspectives on Ibn ‘Arabi’s influential notion of waḥdat al-wūjūd, understood as the absolute unity of being. (shrink)
This paper discusses Reiner Schürmann’s notions of ontological anarché and anarchic praxis in his readings of Heidegger and Eckhart, while bringing his philosophy of anarchy into dialogue with Zen-inspired Japanese thought. I thereby hope to shed light on his thought of anarchy in terms of what I call “an-ontology.” The inspiration for this project is the fact that Schürmann himself had practiced Zen as a young adult in France and had engaged in comparative analyses of Zen and Eckhart in his (...) earlier works. I take what Schürmann meant by the principle of anarchy as a form of praxis that precedes the theoretical bifurcation between being and non-being. A similar sort of “anarchic praxis” is recognizable in Zen and we can find comparable (an)ontological implications of such praxis in the Zen-inspired writings of the Japanese medieval thinker Dōgen and of the contemporary philosopher Nishida Kitarō. (shrink)
In recent years, one of the important issues discussed in epistemology is the problem of disagreement. The epistemology of disagreement is mostly discussed through peer disagreement. The question of whether two epistemic peers should make a change in their beliefs after awareness of the disagreement is important in these discussions. To this question; there are four main answers: conciliationism, steadfastness, total evidence view, and justificationist view. In this thesis, I found these answers insufficient and put forward a new argument, which (...) i named as 'the evidence- based argument in peer disagreement'. Religious disagreements, with some of its cases that fall within the scope of peer disagreement, cause religious diversity. Whether religious diversity itself and religious disagreements will detract from the epistemological status of our religious belief is another matter of debate for religious epistemology. I have demonstrated that our religious belief is rational despite religious diversity and religious disagreements, both by using my argument and by putting forward various epistemological reasons. (shrink)
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 (...) mentioned above. (shrink)
In the discussion of certainties, or ‘hinges’, in Wittgenstein’s On Certainty some of the examples that Wittgenstein uses are religious ones. He remarks on how a child might be raised so that they ‘swallow down’ belief in God (§107) and in discussing the role of persuasion in disagreements he asks us to think of the case of missionaries converting natives (§612). In the past decade Duncan Pritchard has made a case for an account of the rationality of religious belief inspired (...) by On Certainty which he calls ‘quasi-fideism’. Pritchard argues that religious beliefs are just like ordinary non-religious beliefs in presupposing fundamental arational commitments. However, Modesto Gómez-Alonso has recently argued that there are significant differences between the kinds of ‘hinges’ discussed in Wittgenstein’s On Certainty and religious beliefs such that we should expect an account of rationality in religion to be quite different to the account of rational practices and their foundations that we find in Wittgenstein’s work. Fundamental religious commitments are, as Wittgenstein said, in the foreground of the religious believer’s life whereas hinge commitments are said to be in the background. People are passionately committed to their religious beliefs but it is not at all clear that people are passionately committed to hinges such as that ‘I have two hands’. I argue here that although there are differences between religious beliefs and many of the hinge-commitments discussed in On Certainty religious beliefs are nonetheless hinge-like. Gómez-Alonso’s criticisms of Pritchard mischaracterise his views and something like Pritchard’s quasi-fideism is the correct account of the rationality of religious belief. (shrink)
The replicability and importance of the correlation between cognitive style and religious belief have been debated. Moreover, the literature has not examined distinct psychological accounts of this relationship. We tested the replicability of the correlation (N = 5284; students and broader samples of Canadians, Americans, and Indians); while testing three accounts of how cognitive style comes to be related to belief in God, karma, witchcraft, and to the belief that religion is necessary for morality. The first, the dual process model, (...) posits that analytical thinking is recruited in overriding intuitions related to supernatural beliefs. The second, the expressive rationality model, posits that analytical thinking is recruited in supporting already-held beliefs in an identity-protective manner. And the third, the counter-normativity rationality model, posits that analytical thinking is recruited to question beliefs supported by prevailing cultural norms. In Study 2, we tested the replicability of our results in a re-analysis of published data. The association between analytic thinking style and beliefs was replicated. We conclude that whereas the counter-normativity rationality model was contradicted by the data, both the dual process and expressive rationality models received varying degrees of empirical support, but neither model fully accounted for all the patterns in the data. (shrink)