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Theoretical Philosophy » Review of Renewing Philosophy of Religion: Exploratory Essays » 7/12/2018 11:30 am

mnels123
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The fact that he would suggest that naturalism is now regarded as true by most people is pretty ridiculous. In that Chalmers survey of nearly 1000 philosophers, less than 50% of them said they lean toward or accept metaphysical naturalism. 

Theoretical Philosophy » Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs" » 7/12/2018 3:49 am

mnels123
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Is it not just a mere assertion to say the universe is contingent? How can we prove the statement "the universe could have been otherwise?" We've never seen it be otherwise, and just because we can imagine it having different laws, constants etc. does not mean that it could, in actuality, been any different.

Theoretical Philosophy » Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs" » 7/08/2018 11:16 pm

mnels123
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6. Doesn't Aristotle say here that there are, in fact, multiple movers? Doesn't that undermine the argument of their being but one, unmoved mover?

A. My first thought is that Aristotle maybe has in mind lesser movers that derive their power from the single, unmoved mover. My second thought is that Aristotle means exactly what he is saying in Metaphysics, and that he is simply wrong, and the modern cosmological arguments that draw on Aristotle depart from him on this issue, since multiple unmoved movers is a contradiction.

7. =14pxWhy think that the universe is contingent rather than necessary (maybe it has always been there and that's all)? One might respond that the universe had the potential to be otherwise--and we need to explain why some potentials were actualized and not others. But doesn't this just beg the question? How can one demonstrate that the universe really could have been otherwise?

Thoughts on these two questions?
 

Theoretical Philosophy » Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs" » 7/05/2018 10:28 pm

mnels123
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Really, so you think the rationalist proof is stronger than the Aristotelian proof? What, would you say, are the advantages of that argument?

Theoretical Philosophy » Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs" » 7/05/2018 6:14 pm

mnels123
Replies: 32

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Another question, if I may, that I found in an old discussion thread

5. Can an essentially-ordered series be grounded in an accidentally ordered series? If so, then perhaps what is supposedly essential is actually made up of accidental ordered series' and thus there is no essential, necessary first cause.

A.  Would this be like saying that a hand, pushing a stick, pushing a stone (essential series) is only possible because of an accidental series, like a father gave birth to a son, who then used his own power to pick up a stick and push the stone?

But I think that even if we admit that that there are lots of little essential series (essential series = hierarchical causal chain, right?) that may themselves rest on accidental ones, at bottom is a single, all-encompasing series that terminates in the first cause. But I'm curious how you all would respond to this.
 

Theoretical Philosophy » Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs" » 6/21/2018 5:48 pm

mnels123
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So after I finish Five Proofs (I have still a few more questions I'd like to post here), what would you all recommend for more advanced writings on classical theism? I hear people mention David Oderberg and Brian Davies. Anyone else that is worth reading, given that I am still relatively new to this area of study?

Theoretical Philosophy » Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs" » 6/18/2018 1:28 am

mnels123
Replies: 32

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Some more objections:

4. If God can be powerful, intelligent, good, etc. doesn't that make him composite, since he holds multiple attributes? God can only be non-composite if he is just pure essence and nothing more, so theists cannot add in these additional attributes without making God composite.

5. For Christians who believe in the trinity, doesn't this also violate the Neo-platonic proof? How can God be three in one but still be absolutely simple?

Religion » Trouble with Hell/Sin » 6/01/2018 6:05 pm

mnels123
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Here I depart from Feser and agree with Hart in thinking that universalism is true. Nevermind the biblical verses in support/against it, I don't see any way around the problem of hell other than universalism. 

To be born in the wrong place, influenced by the wrong thinkers (Dawkins/Harris, never reading Feser), or having brain damage that doesn't allow one to consider God, or just being a gullible person who buys into atheism--none of this seems to warrant eternal damnation. At best, you could say that a person who, with full awareness of everything, chose to reject God over a 100 year life span would deserve to spend 100 years apart from God, gradually being refined to enter his presence.

Otherwise the math doesn't add up: infinite punishment for (at most) 100 years of a rebellious or ignorant life. 

Chit-Chat » Yujin Nagasawa » 5/26/2018 3:04 pm

mnels123
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Are you a graduate student Daniel? Do you publish/post reviews anywhere, or do you post them here?

Theoretical Philosophy » Answering Challenges to "Five Proofs" » 5/23/2018 2:55 am

mnels123
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Hey everyone. So I am still pretty new here and certainly a lay man, so I wanted to get some thoughts on a review that makes a number of criticisms, I am wondering if they are legitimate objections, are based on misreadings of the book, are strawmen etc.

Edit: I've decided to keep all of my questions about five proofs contained to this thread, so please scroll down to later posts if you'd like to help clarify further questions/objections I have or have seen.

https://jonathandavidgarner.wordpress.com/2017/12/03/five-proofs-of-the-existence-of-god-feser-book-review/

Here are some specific criticisms from the review followed by comment/question for you all:

1. Feser avoided the strongest arguments against theism that are "really important" such as:

- "certain conceptual proofs." Not sure what these are.
- "arguments of the “evidential” variety like atheistic teleological arguments, atheistic moral arguments, atheistic cosmological argument" Has Ed addressed these elsewhere in print? Do they have any force?

2. Feser arbitrarily defines change following Aristotle, when there are, in fact, other ways

"I never get the sense that he actually argues this his account of change is the correct one. Why think change is the actualization of a potential? Why can’t we subscribe to another account, besides Aristotle’s account?"

I assume Ed defends this in a earlier book like "Scholastic Metaphysics" or "Aquinas." If so, the reviewer would have to engage with these other books, and argue for the merits of some alternative account

3. "if naturalism is true, there is nothing to cause a hierarchical series to pass out of existence. If theism is true, God can easily stop sustaining any such series at any moment (and why can’t God create a series that is self-sustaining? By Feser’s logic, this is somehow logically impossible. How?!). At the same time, I’m sure Feser will respond by saying that his argument is deductive, but is he

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