As an atheistic religious tradition, Buddhism conventionally stands in opposition to Christianity, and any bridge between them is considered to be riddled with contradictory beliefs on God the creator, salvific power and the afterlife. But what if a Buddhist could also be a Classical Theist? Showing how the various contradictions are not as fundamental as commonly thought, Tyler Dalton McNabb and Erik Baldwin challenge existing assumptions and argue that Classical Theism is, in fact, compatible with Buddhism. They draw parallels between (...) the metaphysical doctrines of both traditions, synthesize their ethical and soteriological commitments and demonstrate that the Theist can interpret the Buddhist's religious experiences, specifically those of emptiness, as veridical, without denying any core doctrine of Classical Theism. By establishing that a synthesis of the two traditions is plausible, this book provides a bold, fresh perspective on the philosophy of religion and reinvigorates philosophical debates between Buddhism and Christianity. (shrink)
Baldwin and McNabb explore how non-Christian religious traditions can utilize Plantinga’s epistemology. This book pays particular attention to the question, if there are believers from differing religious traditions that can rightfully utilize his epistemology, does this somehow prevent a Plantingian’s creedal-specific belief from being warranted?
We aim to further develop and evaluate the prospects of a uniquely Islamic extension of the Standard Aquinas/Calvin model. One obstacle is that certain Qur’an passages such as Surah 8:43–44 apparently suggest that Muslims have reason to think that Allah might be deceiving them. Consistent with perfect/maximally good being theology, Allah would allow such deceptions only if doing so leads to a greater good, so such passages do not necessarily give Muslims reason to doubt Allah’s goodness. Yet the possibility of (...) deception of the faithful threatens to provide a subjective defeater for the (epistemic) reliability of their cognitive faculties. (‘Even if Allah can be morally good while deceiving, how do you know you aren’t being deceived for a greater good on a more macro level, such as about the nature of the Qur’an?’) Similar in structure to Alvin Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN), this defeater threatens to undermine all of a Muslims warrant claims. We consider and evaluate the reply that there are other Qur’anic passages and/or additional conceptual resources in the Islamic tradition that provide grounds for thinking that God’s faithfulness or truthfulness is more centrally and securely embedded in a Muslim’s noetic structure than such doubts. Specifically, we will argue that under certain conditions, there exists a subjective defeater for some Muslims that, unlike McNabb’s approach, isn’t based off of the proper function condition but Plantinga’s truth aimed condition. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga and other philosophers have argued that exclusive religious belief can be rationally held in response to certain experiences – independently of inference to other beliefs, evidence, arguments, and the like – and thus can be 'properly basic'. We think that this is possible only until the believer acquires the defeater we develop in this paper, a defeater which arises from an awareness of certain salient features of religious pluralism. We argue that, as a consequence of this defeater, continued (...) epistemic support for exclusive religious belief will require the satisfaction of non-basic epistemic criteria (such as evidence and/or argumentation). But then such belief will no longer be properly basic. If successful, we will have presented a challenge not only to Plantinga's position, but also to the general view (often referred to as 'reformed epistemology') according to which exclusive religious belief can be properly basic. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga’s externalist religious epistemology, which incorporates a proper function account of warrant, forms the basis for his standard and extended Aquinas/Calvin models. Respectively, these models show how it could be that Theistic Belief and Christian Belief could be warranted for believers in a properly basic manner. Christianity and Islam share fundamental theses that underlie the plausibility of Plantinga’s models: the Dependency Thesis, the Design Thesis, and the Immediacy Thesis. Accordingly, an Islamic worldview can endorse the truth of the standard (...) A/C model but recommend a uniquely Islamic extension. Thus, there are multiple viable extensions of the standard A/C model. That there are Multiple Viable Extensions of the standard A/C model grounds the Multiple Viable Extensions Objection (MVE): given the truth of the standard A/C model, it is more likely than not that a given extension of it is probably incorrect, thus those who accept some extension of the standard A/C model have a reason to think that model they affirm is incorrect. After considering the plausibility of second-order knowledge states and responding to objections, I conclude that because a uniquely Islamic extension of the standard A/C model advocates a limited second-order awareness condition on knowledge, it is plausible to think that an Islamic model of warrant (and its corresponding Islamic extension) suggests ways in which a satisfactory response to the MVE objection might be formulated. (shrink)
Furthering our project of applying Plantinga’s epistemology to different world religions, we do a comparative study of Mormonism and Vaiśeṣika Hinduism and analyze whether they can utilize Plantinga’s epistemology in order to claim that their beliefs about God if true are probably warranted. Specifically, we argue that they cannot, as ultimately they are unable to account for the preconditions needed to make for an intelligible cognitive design plan, due to either affirming an infinite regress when it comes to the designers (...) of our cognitive faculties or affirming an infinite number of cosmological cycles in which our faculties are formed. (shrink)
As the title of the article suggests, “The Burqa Ban”: Legal Precursors for Denmark, American Experiences and Experiments, and Philosophical and Critical Examinations, the authors embark on a factually investigative as well as a reflective response. More precisely, they use The 2018 Danish “Burqa Ban”: Joining a European Trend and Sending a National Message (published as a concurrent but separate article in this issue of INTERNATIONAL STUDIES JOURNAL) as a platform for further analysis and discussion of different perspectives. These include (...) case-law at the international level while focusing attention on recent rulings and judicial reasoning by the ECtHR and the ECJ; critical thought-experiments in religion, morality, human rights, and the democratic public space; a contextualized account of burqa-wearing interventions by federal and state governments and, moreover, various courts in the United States; and philosophical commentary and, in some instances, criticism of the Danish and/or European (French, etc.) approach. The different contributions have different aims. The section on case-law at the international level reports on those central judgments that, in effect, helped to pave the path for the Kingdom of Denmark’s burqa ban. Concerning the concurring judges at the ECtHR, the opinions served to uphold a preexisting ban and to grant a wide margin of appreciation to the national authorities, thereby limiting the Court’s own review. -/- As regards to the ECJ, the legality of company rules that contain a policy of neutrality for the workplace was examined, with a similar outcome. The authors who discuss religion, morality, human rights and the democratic public space are endeavoring to, respectively, appeal to ethics as a testing stone for law and to both challenge and address several forms of “expressivist worry” in connection with face veils. In doing so, the authors ask a number of thought-provoking questions that hopefully will inspire public policymakers to careful analysis. While the section that is devoted to American perspectives highlights a comprehensive survey of political and legal responses to, in particular, full-face veils like the burqa, the relevant author also incorporates public perceptions and, in the course of examining these, draws a parallel to “the fate” of the hoodie. The constitutionality of burqa-wearing in America, so it also appears, is partially an open question, but differentiating between religious, political, or personal reasons is a de jure premise. Given that the Danish legislators who drafted law L 219 to ban burqa-wearing in public places rely on a reference to political Islam, they relegate religious and personal reasons to the private domain, thereby also adopting secularism as a premise. This is explored in the last author response of the article, more precisely, in an account of the underlying materialism that, in turn, is applied to Muslim women. If policymakers and legislators engaged in Thinking Things Through exercises, they could, as a minimum, avoid law-making strategies that are not in the spirit of the theory they themselves invoke, albeit tacitly. While the aim of, as it were, arresting culturally self-contradicting legislators is unique for the section in question, all the authors who contribute to the joint research project have one end-goal in common, namely to inform about important perspectives while at the same time opening up for parameters for (more) fruitful, constructive and (if need be) critical debate in the future. With this in mind, four recommendations are presented by the research director for the project. Legally, politically, socially and culturally, conflict-resolution should not translate the relationship between rulers and the ruled into a separation ideology, an instance of controllers versus the controlled. All things being equal, that is the objective limit for a democratic society. (shrink)
New Atheists and Anti-Theists (such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, Christopher Hutchins) affirm that there is a strong connection between being a traditional theist and being a religious fundamentalist who advocates violence, terrorism, and war. They are especially critical of Islam. On the contrary, I argue that, when correctly understood, religious dogmatic belief, present in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is progressive and open to internal and external criticism and revision. Moreover, acknowledging that human knowledge is finite and that (...) humans are fallible and have much to learn, dogmatic religious believers accept that they ought to value and seek to acquire moral and intellectual virtues, including the virtues of temperance and reasonability. (shrink)
Apparently, people who are aware of the relevant facts and experiences in a belief forming situation, sometimes reasonably disagree about whether to believe and why. This study argues that such disagreements are possible, and that some purportedly fully informed reasonable disagreements are genuine, including cases involving disagreement about which beliefs about God are reasonably taken to be properly basic, given the facts of religious diversity and cases in which phenomenologically similar religious experiences properly ground a variety of religious beliefs. Drawing (...) on the work of Alasdair MacIntyre, it also argues that Tradition-Based Perspectivalism - roughly, the view that foundational beliefs about what is reasonable to believe and why, are tradition-based and perspectival in nature, originating in and appropriately grounded only from the perspective of some tradition of inquiry or other - is true, and that its truth provides additional support for the claim that fully informed reasonable disagreement actually occurs. (shrink)
In “Ducking Friendly Fire: Davison on the Grounding Objection”, William Lane Craig responds to a statement of The Grounding Objection articulated by Scott Davison in “Craig on the Grounding Objection to Middle Knowledge”. According to Davison, unless we have an explanation of true counterfactuals that makes reference to actual human persons in specific situations we lack an adequate explanation of how counterfactuals of creaturely freedom could possibly be true. Drawing from and elaborating on Edward Wierenga’s response to The Grounding Objection (...) in “Providence, Middle Knowledge, and the Grounding Objection”, I formulate and motivate a view that satisfies the plausible requirement that the grounds for God’s knowledge of true counterfactuals of creaturely freedom are actually existent things while eschewing Davison’s implausibly strong requirement that the things in question must be specific human persons in specific situations. I conclude that, contrary to Davison, facts about uninstantiated human person essences can do at least some of the relevant explanatory work. (shrink)
This chapter contains section titled: The Good Life: Booze, Pills, Hot and Cold Running Interns? “Be the Best Machines (and Humans) the Universe Has Ever Seen” “Be Ready to Fight or You Dishonor the Reason Why We're Here” “Each of Us Plays a Role. Each Time a Different Role” Notes.