While we may not be able simply to choose what we believe, there is still scope for culpability for what we come to belief. I explore here the distinction between culpable and non-culpable theistic unbelief, investigating the process of self-deception to which we can voluntarily contribute in cases where we do become culpable for failing to believe something.
In his essay, "Fine-Tuning and Multiple Universes", Roger White examines the extent to which a multiple-universe hypothesis lessens the ’surprisingness’ that our universe should be life-sustaining. White offers two main conclusions. His first conclusion -- that the existence of our world is not itself evidence for the existence of multiple universes -- is sound. However, his second conclusion is that, on the hypothesis that multiple universes exist, the further hypothesis of an intelligent designer does not lesson the surprisingness that our (...) universe should be life-permitting. This second conclusion, which would undercut most design arguments, is shown to rest on a mistake. (shrink)
Our everyday conversations reveal the widespread assumption that positive and negative treatment of others can be justified on the grounds that “they deserve it.” But what is it exactly to 'deserve' something? This book offers an exploration into how we came to have this concept, along with an explanation why people feel so strongly that redress is needed when outcomes are undeserved. The book probes for that core concern which is common to the range of everyday desert claims people make. (...) What emerges is an alternative model of desert, which moves us beyond seeing desert as a 3-place relation, and which therefore represents a fundamental challenge to the received wisdom on the structure of desert claims. In the end, our plea for deserved treatment ends up being linked to the universal human concern for a shared narrative, as we seek healthy relationships within a community. (shrink)
In unpacking the nature of deception, we'll want to ask what conditions would need to be met in order rightly to conclude that an act of deception has taken place. The literary stories about Sherlock Holmes provide a large pool of examples of misdirection, whereby Holmes is able to stay one step ahead of his adversaries. These examples are used to show the inadequacy of a number of purported definitions of deception. I then settle on one definition that does seem (...) adequate. One odd outcome of the discussion is that Holmes and his nemesis, Moriarty, actually do not engage in a contest of deception with one another. (shrink)
The varying motivations of early morning runners becomes a useful way of distinguishing a 'decision' from an 'intentional action'. Runners may differ greatly on the number of actual decisions that are made in the course of a run--even while they perform roughly the same number of intentional actions. In showing how this is so, it also becomes clear why a single action can have multiple descriptions.