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Theoretical Philosophy » Classical theism,God and source of meaning of life.. » Today 10:26 pm

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Hi Jason and Quod-est-Devium 
Thank you both for your responses..
​About Problem of evil, I intend to make a separate thread for its discussion in the future.

About the paper, your distinctions does make sense , but I find it difficult to see how they can be made to provide counterarguments. given the very conclusion their four arguments seek to establish is that God can't be source of meaning of life, Of course under classical theism everything is ultimately Causally explained by existence of First uncaused cause including morality and value, but I think that authors mean that such a being can't be an object of desire just in virtue of its existence and nothing else ...

If in case there is some problem with their arguments I think it comes down to some confusion about what theists mean by calling God essential for meaningful life ..I would be interested in seeing more on that ...


Practical Philosophy » Goal of studying theoretical philosophy » Today 8:49 pm

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Another option, which I suppose is not too common among members of this forum, is quietism, of the sort defended (advocated?) by Wittgenstein and McDowell: The point of philosophy is to convince yourself that there are no true philosophical problems. Such philosophy is also called therapeutic.

Naturally this blurs theoretical and practical philosophy.

Practical Philosophy » Goal of studying theoretical philosophy » Today 8:45 pm

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Well, I have been more interested in practical philosophy recently. So part of my interest in theoretical philosophy is that it sometimes bears on practical philosophy.

Strictly speaking, according to the way I understand the division between theoretical and practical philosophy, this would make my study of theoretical philosophy in fact a study of practical philosophy. I follow Aristotle, that is, in holding that the theoretical and practical intellects are the same power; the one is intellect directed to contemplation, the other is the intellect directed to action. Practical knowledge is knowledge about singulars in action. But other truths are practical in a certain respect if they are or can be used in practice.

So throughout the Ethics, Aristotle will mention 'theoretical' points about how the virtues are defined, etc., and note that these too are included in ethics and politics. But he is also constantly saying that we need not inquire into certain matters further, as far as action is concerned.

Realistically, though, prior to engaging in theoretical inquiry, we do not know which theoretical truths are useful for ethics.

But I think another option that is not listed is the most classical one (albeit close to (1)): theoretical philosophy is worth doing simply for the sake of contemplation. This activity is enjoyable but enjoyment is its result, not its purpose.

Practical Philosophy » Goal of studying theoretical philosophy » Today 3:13 pm

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Hello Everyone,

I wanted to ask you the reason that you would like to study theoretical philosophy.
These are some of the motivations that I can think of, but I also want to hear your thoughts on this matter.

1. I study theoretical philosophy as a hobby because I enjoy exercising and improving my power of reasoning.
2. I study theoretical philosophy to have a better understanding of the natural world.
3. I study theoretical philosophy to improve my ability to assess the soundness of arguments. For example when watching political, economical debates, when having general arguments with other people or when making decisions regarding my personal life and so on.
4. I study theoretical philosophy so I can justify my belief in God and maybe ultimately convince others that God exist. The reason to have such a goal is that a lack of belief in God's existence and ultimately a certain religion is a major cause of today's world's problems (war, famine, poverty and so on). Furthermore, assuming God exist, a lack of belief in God will result in going to hell.

Thank you for your responses.


Theoretical Philosophy » Classical theism,God and source of meaning of life.. » Today 8:55 am

Hello, Calhoun! Thanks for the article. I have been thinking about it a lot since the day you posted it. I decided to make an account so I could comment. 

I think there are some problems with Megill and Linford's arguments that have to do with imprecision in their language. I am in the process of writing a thorough counterargument, but it is taking longer than I expected, so I will just share the gist of it. I am something of a beginner to philosophy, so if I a missing something please let me know. 

I think we can take the phrase "the meaning of life" as Megill and Linford use it and divide it into three separate concepts: (1) the purpose of a life, (2) the value of a life, and (3) the meaning of a life. For myself, I think the meaningful life is something like a life lived for a certain purpose. "Purpose" is an end for which one acts, and value is the condition of being desirable. Megill and Linford's arguments lose a lot of force once these distinctions are made. 

Under classical theism, humanity has an innate value and an ultimate purpose. Our ultimate purpose, ie. the purpose for which God created us and the optimum condition for our flourishing, is loving union with God. But as the freedom to choose is a necessary condition for loving relationship, God rightly gives us freedom to choose to pursue our own ends. Some choose to spend their life on baser purposes. We say to these people that they are living "a meaningless life," but they do not lack purpose or value. They have purpose and value simply by being human persons created and loved by God. By my reading, this account of purpose, value, and meaning avoids most, if not all, of Megill and Linford's arguments. Try it out at and tell me what you think.  

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