I prove the nonexistence of gods. The proof is based on three axioms: Ockham’s razor (OR), religiosity is endogenous in humans, and, there are no miracles. The OR is formulated operationally, to remove improper postulates, such that it yields not only a plausible argument but truth. The validity of the second and the third axiom is established empirically by inductive reasoning relying on a thorough analysis of the psychiatric literature and skeptical publications. With these axioms I prove that gods are (...) not necessary for our universe. Applying OR yields that gods do not exist. The implications of this article are enormous. Mankind’s understanding of the world is elevated to a higher level to a unified view on the world being nature and mankind being a part of it. (shrink)
The situationist movement in psychology and, more recently, in philosophy has been associated with a number of striking claims, including that most people do not have the moral virtues and vices, that any ethical theory which is wedded to such character traits is empirically inadequate, and that much of our behavior is causally influenced, to significant degrees, by psychological influences about which we are often unaware. Yet Christian philosophers have had virtually nothing to say about situationist claims. The goal (...) of this paper is to consider whether Christians should start to be worried about them. (shrink)
In the moral and spiritual vacuum left in Russia by the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991, some of the thinkers who first opposed the Leninist revolution of 1917 have come to a new prominence, and among these is the religious philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev (1874-1948). He expressed a passionate protest against the revolution and was clearly the most comprehensive contemporary critic of the revolutionary project from a Christian perspective. From his consistently religious perspective he foresaw with precision much (...) of the inhuman and tyrannical potential of the revolutionary project. (shrink)
Humanitarian organisations often work alongside those responsible for serious wrongdoing. In these circumstances, accusations of moral complicity are sometimes levelled at decision makers. These accusations can carry a strong if unfocused moral charge and are frequently the source of significant moral unease. In this paper, we explore the meaning and usefulness of complicity and its relation to moral accountability. We also examine the impact of concerns about complicity on the motivation of humanitarian staff and the risk that complicity may lead (...) to a retreat into moral narcissism. Moral narcissism is the possibility that where humanitarian actors inadvertently become implicated in wrongdoing, they may focus more on their image as self-consciously good actors than on the interests of potential beneficiaries. Moral narcissism can be triggered where accusations of complicity are made and can slew decision making. We look at three interventions by Médecins Sans Frontières that gave rise to questions of complicity. We question its decision-guiding usefulness. Drawing on recent thought, we suggest that complicity can helpfully draw attention to the presence of moral conflict and to the way International Non-Governmental Organisations can be drawn into unintentional wrongdoing. We acknowledge the moral challenge that complicity presents to humanitarian staff but argue that complicity does not help INGOs make tough decisions in morally compromising situations as to whether they should continue with an intervention or pull out. (shrink)
In recent centuries Christians of various denominations have endorsed many different political philosophies that they see as being truly biblical in their approach. Over this time there has been an increasing hostility, by some Christians, towards free markets and political philosophies that hold human liberty as the highest goal such as libertarianism and classical liberalism. This criticism is unwarranted and misplaced as libertarianism and free markets are not only compatible with Christianity, they are also the most biblically sound of all (...) economics systems and political philosophies endorsed by Christians today. Therefore, this paper will argue that Christians of all denominations should endorse free markets and libertarianism if they wish to create a world that follows biblical principles and the teachings of Jesus. (shrink)
Philosophers have argued about the nature and the very existence of free will for centuries. Today, many scientists and scientifically minded commentators are skeptical that it exists, especially when it is understood to require the ability to choose between alternative possibilities. If the laws of physics govern everything that happens, they argue, then how can our choices be free? Believers in free will must be misled by habit, sentiment, or religious doctrine. Why Free Will Is Real defies scientific orthodoxy and (...) presents a bold new defense of free will in the same naturalistic terms that are usually deployed against it. -/- Unlike those who defend free will by giving up the idea that it requires alternative possibilities to choose from, Christian List retains this idea as central, resisting the tendency to defend free will by watering it down. He concedes that free will and its prerequisites—intentional agency, alternative possibilities, and causal control over our actions—cannot be found among the fundamental physical features of the natural world. But, he argues, that’s not where we should be looking. Free will is a “higher-level” phenomenon found at the level of psychology. It is like other phenomena that emerge from physical processes but are autonomous from them and not best understood in fundamental physical terms—like an ecosystem or the economy. When we discover it in its proper context, acknowledging that free will is real is not just scientifically respectable; it is indispensable for explaining our world. (shrink)
This thought-provoking book discusses the concept of progress in economics and investigates whether any advance has been made in its different spheres of research. The authors look back at the history, successes and failures of their respective fields and thoroughly examine the notion of progress from an epistemological and methodological perspective. The idea of progress is particularly significant as the authors regard it as an essentially contested concept which can be defined in many ways – theoretically or empirically; locally or (...) globally; or as encouraging or impeding the existence of other research traditions. The authors discuss the idea that for progress to make any sense there must be an accumulation of knowledge built up over time rather than the replacement of ideas by each successive generation. Accordingly, they are not concerned with estimating the price of progress, reminiscing in the past, or assessing what has been lost. Instead they apply the complex mechanisms and machinery of the discipline to sub-fields such as normative economics, monetary economics, trade and location theory, Austrian economics and classical economics to critically assess whether progress has been made in these areas of research. -/- Bringing together authoritative and wide-ranging contributions by leading scholars, this book will challenge and engage those interested in philosophy, economic methodology and the history of economic thought. It will also appeal to economists in general who are interested in the advancement of their profession. (shrink)
Applied Christian Ethics addresses selected themes in Christian social ethics. Part one shows the roots of contributors in the realist school; part two focuses on different levels of the significance of economics for social justice; and part three deals with both existential experience and government policy in war and peace issues.
Christian concern about how we treat animals has increased strikingly in recent years. More and more Christians are deciding that our attitudes towards animals must change. Here is a book which presents, for the first time, a comprehensive and well-argued theological case for the rights of animals, and offers a challenging critique of our existing insensitivity toward animal life. Everyone who cares about the rights of animals, particularly clergy and ministers who are constantly being asked for answers on the (...) issue, will welcome this new and important book. (shrink)
Contemporary Christian ethics encounters the challenge to communicate genuinely Christian normative orientations within the scientific debate in such a way as to render these orientations comprehensible, and to maintain or enhance their plausibility even for non-Christians. This essay, therefore, proceeds from a biblical motif, takes up certain themes from the Christian tradition (in particular the idea of social justice), and connects both with a compelling contemporary approach to ethics by secular moral philosophy, i.e. with Axel Honneth's reception (...) of Hegel, as based on Hegel's theory of recognition. As a first step, elements of an ethics of recognition are developed on the basis of an anthropological recourse to the conditions of intersubjective encounters. These conditions are then brought to bear on the idea of social justice, as developed in the social-Catholic tradition, and as systematically explored in the Pastoral Letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice For All (1986). Proceeding from this basis, aspects of a Christian ethics of community service with regard to long-term care can be defined. (shrink)
We like to think of ourselves, our friends, and our families as decent people. We may not be saints, but we are still honest, relatively kind, and mostly trustworthy. Miller argues here that we are badly mistaken in thinking this. Hundreds of recent studies in psychology tell a different story: that we all have serious character flaws that prevent us from being as good as we think we are - and that we do not even recognize that these flaws exist. (...) But neither are most of us cruel or dishonest. Instead, Miller argues, we are a mixed bag. On the one hand, most of us in a group of bystanders will do nothing as someone cries out for help in an emergency. Yet it is also true that there will be many times when we will selflessly come to the aid of a complete stranger - and resist the urge to lie, cheat, or steal even if we could get away with it. Much depends on cues in our social environment. Miller uses this recent psychological literature to explain what the notion of "character" really means today, and how we can use this new understanding to develop a character better in sync with the kind of people we want to be. (shrink)
This book presents an analysis of the institutional development of selected social science and humanities disciplines in Argentina, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Where most narratives of a scholarly past are presented as a succession of ‘ideas,’ research results and theories, this collection highlights the structural shifts in the systems of higher education, as well as institutions of research and innovation within which these disciplines have developed. This institutional perspective will facilitate systematic comparisons between (...) developments in various disciplines and countries. Across eight country studies the book reveals remarkably different dynamics of disciplinary growth between countries, as well as important interdisciplinary differences within countries. In addition, instances of institutional contractions and downturns and veritable breaks of continuity under authoritarian political regimes can be observed, which are almost totally absent from narratives of individual disciplinary histories. This important work will provide a valuable resource to scholars of disciplinary history, the history of ideas, the sociology of education and of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
Christians have always been concerned with enhancement—now they are faced with significant questions about how technology can help or harm genuine spiritual transformation. What makes traditional and technological enhancement different from each other? Are there theological insights and spiritual practices that can help Christians face the challenge of living in a technological world without being dangerously conformed to its values? This book calls on Christians to understand and engage the deep issues facing the church in a technological, transhumanist future.
This is the third volume in Alvin Plantinga's trilogy on the notion of warrant, which he defines as that which distinguishes knowledge from true belief. In this volume, Plantinga examines warrant's role in theistic belief, tackling the questions of whether it is rational, reasonable, justifiable, and warranted to accept Christian belief and whether there is something epistemically unacceptable in doing so. He contends that Christian beliefs are warranted to the extent that they are formed by properly functioning cognitive (...) faculties, thus, insofar as they are warranted, Christian beliefs are knowledge if they are true. (shrink)
The shift of interest from community to individuality and freedom brought by modernity challenged the central place once occupied by religion, pushing it to the outskirts of human life. All these led to an increased indifference towards any transcendental guarantor that could act in a neutral reason-governed space. In the case of Islam, such a situation is impossible to tolerate, because it would mean God’s desecration by reducing the Qur’an to the statute of a simple book like many others that (...) offer an opinion on a Supreme Being who does not decide the destiny of humanity any more, but becomes a simple matter of opinion. While Western Christianity adjusted to modernity reaching even to justify the developments which led to a dissolution of sacred, stating that they were consistent with its essence, Islam accepted modernity only to the extent of this one’s capacity to verify the realities stated by the Qur’an. (shrink)
Philosophy Beyond Spacetime assesses the state of play in the philosophy of quantum gravity. Research in this field aims at a unified theory in which quantum matter is related dynamically to relativistic spacetime. This volume highlights the conceptual questions involved, showing how physics and metaphysics can illuminate each other.
In this final edition of his classic study of St. Thomas Aquinas, Etienne Gilson presents the sweeping range and organic unity of Thomistic philosophical thought. The philosophical thinking of Aquinas is the result of reason being challenged to relate to many theological conceptions of the Christian tradition. Gilson carefully reviews how Aquinas grapples with the relation itself of faith and reason and continuing through the existence and nature of God and His creation, the world and its creatures, especially human (...) beings with their power of intellect, will, and moral life. He concludes this study by discussing the life of people in society, along with their purpose and final destiny. Gilson demonstrates that Aquinas drew from a wide spectrum of sources in the development of his thought-from the speculations of the ancient Greeks such as Aristotle, to the Arabic and Jewish philosophers of his time, as well as from Christian writers and scripture. The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas offers students of philosophy and medieval studies an insightful introduction to the thought of Aquinas and the Scholastic philosophy of the Middles Ages, insights that are still revelant for today. (shrink)
Today's digital revolution is a worldwide phenomenon, with profound and often differential implications for communities around the world and their relationships to one another. This book presents a new, explicitly international theory of media ethics, incorporating non-Western perspectives and drawing deeply on both moral philosophy and the philosophy of technology. Clifford Christians develops an ethics grounded in three principles - truth, human dignity, and non-violence - and shows how these principles can be applied across a wide range of cases and (...) domains. The book is a guide for media professionals, scholars, and educators who are concerned with the global ramifications of new technologies and with creating a more just world. (shrink)
The contributors consider the idea of Christian philosophy in light of current debates in such areas as philosophy of religion, moral theory, epistemology, and metaphysics in order to show that these important historical questions continue to press upon us today.
Der Band versammelt einen Großteil der Beiträge, die internationale Experten anlässlich der Tagung „Philosophie und Wissenschaft bei Hermann Cohen“ im November 2014 am Institut Wiener Kreis der Universität Wien präsentiert haben. Mit der Tagung zu Hermann Cohen, der zusammen mit Paul Natorp die Marburger Schule begründete, wurden zwei Ziele verfolgt: erstens die Aspekte in der Philosophie des Kantianers Cohen herauszuarbeiten, die an die Idee einer Einheitswissenschaft anknüpfen und zweitens Divergenzen und Übereinstimmungen Cohens mit der wissenschaftlichen Weltauffassung, der Programmatik des Wiener (...) Kreises um Rudolf Carnap und Moritz Schlick zu identifizieren. Der Tagungsband ist in drei Teile gegliedert. Die Aufsätze im ersten Teil beschäftigen sich mit der Bedeutung von Erfahrung und Empirismus für das Philosophieverständnis Hermann Cohens. Im zweiten Teil gehen die Autoren der Frage nach, welche Rolle Theorien aus den Bereichen Mathematik, Naturwissenscha ften und Psychologie für Cohens Denken gespielt haben – unter anderem Hermann von Helmholtz‘ Theorie des Messens und die Bedeutung der Infinitesimalrechnung für die Philosophie der Marburger Schule. Die Beiträge im dritten Teil des Bandes stellen die Philosophie Cohens und der Marburger Schule den Vertretern des Wiener Kreises und der Berliner Gruppe um Hans Reichenbach gegenüber. Dabei wird Reichenbachs Rezeption der Relativitätstheorie in den Kontext einer Relativierung Kants bei Cohen und Ernst Cassirer gestellt und „versteckte Verwandtschaften“ zwischen Cohen und dem Logischen Empirismus aufgedeckt. Der Band richtet sich an Wissenschaftler auf dem Gebiet der Geschichte der Philosophie. (shrink)
Resumo: Esse ensaio buscará sondar as relações entre filosofia e literatura, no pensamento de Gilles Deleuze, a despeito de sua parceria conjunta com Félix Guattari, atentando tanto para as concepções de escrita expressas ao longo de sua obra quanto para o modo como essas concepções teriam influenciado o estilo de seus escritos filosóficos. Partindo da premissa deleuziana de que a escrita possui um acentuado lastro clínico, sendo a responsável pela elaboração de um diagnóstico das forças capazes de aprisionar ou calar (...) a vida, procurar-se-á esmiuçar as ressonâncias desse lastro clínico, na concepção de filosofia como ato criativo, elaborada pelo autor. Como hipótese a ser aqui trabalhada, defende-se que a escrita deleuziana - compreendida como portadora de uma literalidade, conforme sustenta François Zourabchivili, ou como encrustada de uma poética imanentista, tal qual sugere Anita Costa Malufe - procuraria produzir uma zona de vizinhança ou indiscernibilidade entre a escrita filosófica, de caráter mais exegético, e a escrita literária, mais afectiva, de modo a produzir um deslocamento na relação do leitor com o ato de pensar.: In this essay we pretend to study the relationship between philosophy and literature in Gilles Deleuze’s thought, despite of his partnership with Félix Guattari, mapping the conceptions of writing throughout his work and considering the influence of these conceptions to forge a certain style in his philosophical texts. Starting from the deleuzian premise that writing has a strong clinical backing - being responsible for the elaboration of a diagnosis of the forces liable to imprison or silence life -, we will examine the resonances of this clinical backing in his conception of philosophy as a creative act. Our hypothesis is that the deleuzian writing - having a certain literality, as François Zourabchivili argues, or encrusted with an immanentism poetics, as Anita Costa Malufe suggests - would produce a so-called neighborhood zone or zone of indiscernibility between philosophical writing, with a more exegetical character, and literary writing, which is more affective, in order to produce a shift in the reader’s relationship with the act of thinking. (shrink)
Mit diesem Buch wird erstmals ein umfassendes und systematisches Referenzwerk zu Christian Wolff vorgelegt, das alle wichtigen Aspekte zu Leben und Werk des Philosophen behandelt. Das Handbuch ist von international renommierten Experten verfasst und behandelt neben der Biographie und der philosophiegeschichtlichen Rolle Wolffs sowohl sein philosophisches als auch sein naturwissenschaftlich-mathematisches Werk.
About a methodically ordered reconstruction of the theory of special relativity. One of the main results of the theory of special relativity is that our basic concepts concerning space and time must be revised, because there is new experimental evidence. But on the other hand it was meant to move in a circular procedure, if the usual methods of measuring distances and temporal durations are refused on the ground of experimental results that are based on even these measuring methods. Thus (...) a reconstruction of the theory of special relativity was demanded. It consists of a finite number of steps and basicly one may presuppose that each step may at best include the results of undertaken steps. This reconstruction will be discussed in this article. It begins with the socalled proto-physics (Protophysik) that reflects the production of measuring rods and clocks without recurring on the existence of other clocks or measuring rods. Then Newtonian mechanics, electrodynamics, the refinement of classical mechanics, the formalism of transforming according to the Lorentz Group and the construction of moved systems of reference are brought into a methodically correct order. (shrink)
Die Transformation der Kernphysik aus dem akademischen Labor über die Großforschung hin zum gescheiterten großtechnologischen Projekt war eng verknüpft mit der Implementierung transnationaler Wissensströme. Christian Forstner zeigt am Beispiel Österreichs, wie Industrie, Wissenschaft, Politik und Zivilgesellschaft interagieren müssen, um erfolgreiche Innovation möglich zu machen. Zunächst analysiert er die frühe Radioaktivitätsforschung bis zur Kernspaltung und dem NS-Forschungsverbund Uranverein. Anschließend folgt der Weg von den österreichischen Forschungsreaktoren im Rahmen des US-amerikanischen Atoms for Peace-Programms bis hin zum Bau des Kernkraftwerks Zwentendorf, das (...) nach dem „Nein zu Zwentendorf“ als Ergebnis einer Volksabstimmung im November 1978 nie in Betrieb ging. Der Autor: PD Dr. Christian Forstner ist Physiker und Wissenschaftshistoriker und derzeit Privatdozent für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften an der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. Er leitet den Fachverband „Geschichte der Physik“ der Deutschen Physikalischen Gesellschaft. (shrink)