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Theoretical Philosophy » The Modal Problem of Evil » 5/17/2018 5:07 pm

DanielCC
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The modal problem of evil is probably one of the most interesting objections to theism (along with Smith's divine freedom variant on the LPOE and the intrisic property objection to divine simplicity).

I agree about our capacity to conceive such worlds being far more difficult than first appears. Note also that Gale's ingenious argument for the possibility of such a world drawing on the Principle of Alternate Possibilities is not strong enough to justify that conclusion. If for every good (as opposed to bad) choice an individual makes there is a world where they make the bad choice (as opposed to the good choice) it need not follow that there is a world in which individuals make only bad choices - a whole life of bad choices need not be possible.

I am not convinced the idea of moral necessity adds anything here though. If it is morally impossible for God to do something then either God's being omnibenevolent is contingent (and if we are grounding possibilities in God this will probably lead to a denial of S5 as possibilities will vary from world cluster to world cluster depending on God's character in those clusters meaning some worlds are not accessible to each other) or it is impossible in toto

Theoretical Philosophy » The Modal Problem of Evil » 5/17/2018 3:07 am

DanielCC
Replies: 10

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Just to chip in some back reference srtuff: the modal problem of evil and a powerful supplementary argument for it given by Richard Gale were discussed here:

http://classicaltheism.boardhost.com/viewtopic.php?id=893

Chit-Chat » Yujin Nagasawa » 5/16/2018 3:29 pm

DanielCC
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Yes, he is, or at least he writes in favor of the OA as a successful argument for God (in fact he goes as far to say it is one of humanity's greatest discoveries). I will be reviewing his recent book, Maximal God, next month.

Theoretical Philosophy » Is life meaningless without an afterlife? » 5/16/2018 11:39 am

DanielCC
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Yes.

More seriously I think life is meaningless without some form of transcendence, if which some form of afterlife is a necessary though not sufficient condition (as has been pointed out there is not a priori conflict between the survival of consciousness after death and atheism/non-ultimism - transcendence is not the mere temporal surivival of consciousness though, a point which should be remembered the utterly vacuous Oxbridge ‘Oww immorality would be vey boring’ counter-arguments).

Talk of making one’s own subjective meaning is fine but one can offer no objection if it involve joining the SS (instead of the Resistence) flaying crippled science guys (instead of devoting time and energy to keeping them alive) infecting bright eyed infants and woodland annimals with unpleasant diseases (as opposed to curing them).

Theoretical Philosophy » Theism and Tribalism » 5/11/2018 5:45 am

DanielCC
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119 wrote:

There's a (subconscious) disjunctive syllogism bewitching us and it's all because of tribalism: either some flavor of Christianity is true OR nihilism. The arguments for Judaism (or Theism unaffiliated, or Hinduism) are simply ignored. Since we're harping about WLC: .

This is true, though part of a greater tendency to assume theism must be linked to, or at least is incomplete without, some form of revealed religion. Look at the pejoratives US protestants flick about 'moral therapeutic deism'.

I have more sympathy for WLC than the Thomist/Radical Orthodoxy narrative classical theists if only because the former doesn't try to push people away from studying modern philosophy.

Theoretical Philosophy » Contemporary reasons for rejecting final causality » 5/11/2018 4:48 am

DanielCC
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RomanJoe wrote:

DanielCC wrote:

The common object is that irreducible dispositional properties would involve an intentional relation to a non-existent object. Intentional non-existents are a major worry for philosophers working with mental intentionality, one which many find more disturbing when the object doing the intending is not even consciuess. Armstrong discusses this objection somewhere as does George Molnar.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dispositions/

Why is this seen as disturbing? Do they think it entails something along the lines of panpsychism?

No, they suggest it entails non-existent objects 'having being' in some way. How can one stand in relation to a non-existent object? Powers theorists are fine to resist panpsychism as they reject the restriction of intentionality to the mental. 
 

Theoretical Philosophy » Contemporary reasons for rejecting final causality » 5/10/2018 4:28 pm

DanielCC
Replies: 7

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The common object is that irreducible dispositional properties would involve an intentional relation to a non-existent object. Intentional non-existents are a major worry for philosophers working with mental intentionality, one which many find more disturbing when the object doing the intending is not even consciuess. Armstrong discusses this objection somewhere as does George Molnar.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/dispositions/

Theoretical Philosophy » Theism and Tribalism » 5/10/2018 9:53 am

DanielCC
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seigneur wrote:

DanielCC wrote:

...these people tend to equate specifically Thomist positions with classical theism in general...

Not accusing Feser here, are you?

No, to give him his due he is keen to point out that there were prominent non-thomist classical theist traditions. I do think his writing on the ontological argument is spurious but that's not enough to damn him. He is however unfortunately responsible for at least a percent of the evil moderns rhetoric despite also trying to encourage people to read informed writers on the subject of metaphysics and natural theology.

Theoretical Philosophy » Theism and Tribalism » 5/10/2018 8:50 am

DanielCC
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seigneur wrote:

Who do you have in mind? If you mean enthusiastic novice Thomists, then why not call them such, instead of calling them 'Classical Theists' in scare quotes?

Because the phenomena is more wide-reaching than self-identified Thomists. That these people tend to equate specifically Thomist positions with classical theism in general stems from most of the classical theist stuff they read being Thomist (though not always - take the way Radical Orthodoxy has pushed Thomist accounts of language despite some of its proponents being more Platonically inclined).

seigneur wrote:

Classical Theists without scare quotes are a diverse global bunch. They include scholastically inclined Christians of Thomist, Scotist, and Bonaventurean stripes, Muslims with various Aristotelian and Neoplatonic connections, and Eastern philosophers where traditions are at least as ancient, rich, and subtle as in Europe.

Of course. But one rarely hears these views developed outside of academic circles. Some of the views' 'classical theists' don't like e.g. ontological arguments and libertarian free will, were developed by historical classical theist thinkers, they are just not associated with the popular narrative driven classical theistTM camp. 

seigneur wrote:

Why the scare quotes instead of properly descriptive labels and in-depth definitions?

First of all because people are familiar with said groups. More seriously because the identities to which I refer are cluster concepts with members possessing only some of the shared characteristics I have named (tends to dislike the ontological argument, avoids and dislike modern philosophical terminology, tends to support design arguments, suspicious of divine simplicity)

Theoretical Philosophy » Theism and Tribalism » 5/10/2018 6:59 am

DanielCC
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Anglophone Protestants tend to endorse the moral argument, Kalam and PSR Cosmological arguments, the Modal Ontological argument and some form of design argument. They also express skepticism about divine simplicity and divine timelessness. They are inflationists about free will, typically libertarians. They used to be ignorant of the subtleties of scholastic philosophy.

'Classical Theists' (note scare quotes) tend to endorse Thomistic arguments, the argument from eternal truths and some more general source of goodness arguments. ThTe endorse both divine simplicity and divine timelessness. They are deflationists about free will typically attempting to dismiss the debate as ill-founded. They are often both ignorant and dismissive of modern philosophical developments  ('I don't like possible worlds!' 'That's not how Aquinas or Hume uses that word'). 

In many cases here I think the difference is tribal rather than intellectual. Its common to hear 'classical theists' come out with criticisms of the ontological argument which would shame a New Atheist (if it even gets that far - a simple mention of the Ontological Argument in the same tone as 'Run Away!' is normally sufficient) along with indifference to free will questions coupled with the fallacy of redefinition (that's not how the Ox uses the word!').

By the same token theists of the WLC stripe engage in the same uninformed criticisms of divine simplicity if that even get beyond blank dismissives ('it would entail divine simplicity!'). They often avoid or are indifferent to wider ontological questions formulating their arguments in such a way as to be workable on a wide range of theoretical backgrounds (one can questions whether or not this is a bad thing but the indifference surely is). The ignorance and dismissive attitude towards scholastic ideas is still present but has to be fair improved some what after people, themselves to friends of the doctrine, pointed out all the flaws in Plantinga's[i] Does God Have a

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