Archive for October 4th, 2012

October 4th, 2012

Onto-Relationships and Epistemology

by Max Andrews

God created both us and our world in such a way that there is a certain fit or match between the world and our cognitive faculties.  This is the adequation of the intellect to reality (adequation intellectus ad rem).  The main premise to adequation intellectus ad rem is that there is an onto-relationship between our cognitive or intellectual faculties and reality that enables us to know something about the world, God, and ourselves.[1]  This immanent rationality inherent to reality is not God, but it does cry aloud for God if only because the immanent rationality in nature does not provide us with any explanation of itself.[2]

In reality all entities are ontologically connected or interrelated in the field in which they are found.  If this is true then the relation is the most significant thing to know regarding an object.  Thus, to know entities as they actually are what they are in their relation “webs”.  Thomas Torrance termed this as onto-relations, which points more to the entity or reality, as it is what it is as a result of its constitutive relations.[3]

The methodology of the epistemological realist concerns propositions of which are a posteriori, or “thinking after,” the objective disclosure of reality.  Thus, epistemology follows from ontology.  False thinking or methodology (particularly in scientific knowledge) has brought about a failure to recognize the intelligibility actually present in nature and the kinship in the human knowing capacity to the objective rationality to be known.[4]

October 4th, 2012

Meet Philosopher Linda Zagzebski

by Max Andrews

The University of Oklahoma philosopher Linda Zagzebski is a leading epistemologist in the field of virtue ethics.  Virtue epistemology is an attempt at unifying virtue ethics; Zagzebski takes the Aristotelian approach, by combining it with historical or cognitive psychology in its approach to knowledge.  Zagzebski is a virtue-responsibilitist, which is an internalist model and includes traits such as open-mindedness and concern when it comes to epistemic endeavors.  There is a rejection of Quine’s naturalized epistemology though it still permits empiricism as a means of belief formation.

Zagzebski argues for a direction of analysis thesis, a unified account of the intellectual and moral virtues, a neo-Aristotelian approach.  She suggests, that by virtue theory that makes the concept of a right act derivative from the concept of a virtue or some inner state of a person that is a component of virtue. This is a point both about conceptual priority and about moral ontology. In a pure virtue theory the concept of a right act is defined in terms of the concept of a virtue or a component of virtue such as motivation. The property of rightness is something that emerges from the inner traits of persons.[1]  The entire epistemological task is thus approached with this ethical theory overlaying each epistemic consideration.

October 4th, 2012

God, Freedom, and Human Agency

by Max Andrews

The following is the abstract and a link to the paper written by Thomas Talbott.

I argue that, contrary to the opinion of Wes Morriston, William Rowe, and others, a supremely perfect God, if one should exist, would be the freest of all beings and would represent the clearest example of what it means to act freely. I suggest further that, if we regard human freedom as a reflection of God’s ideal freedom, we can avoid some of the pitfalls in both the standard libertarian and the standard compatibilist accounts of freewill.

My purpose in this paper is to set forth a theory of agency that makes no appeal to mysterious notions of agent causation. But lest I be misunderstood at the very outset, I should perhaps clarify the point that my emphasis here is on the term “mysterious” and not on the expression “agent causation.” I shall begin with what seems to me the best possible example of agent causation: the sense in which a supremely perfect God, if one should ex- ist, would initiate or originate his own actions. I shall not, however, simply adopt without modification the standard understanding of agent causa- tion, assuming there to be such an understanding.

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October 4th, 2012

The Atheist Chart

by Max Andrews

October 4th, 2012

Terms for Budding Apologists

by Max Andrews

The follow is a list of terms every beginning apologist should know.

  1. Christ of Faith—The theological person of Jesus
  2. Historical Jesus—The actual person/man Jesus who walked the earth
  3. Source Criticism—Attempt to trace back the literary source of the Gospels
  4. Synoptic Problem—How do we account for the similarities and differences between the synoptics?
  5. Two Document Theory—Mark, earliest Gospel, gives framework but lacks much teaching and from Q
  6. Q—(1890) Source that contained many of the sayings and teachings
  7. Form Criticism—An analysis of the forms in which the narratives of the Gospels come down to us
  8. Demythologize—Getting rid of miracles and get to the sole teaching of Jesus—Gospels not historical, spiritual truths, dropping theological claims (Bultmann)
  9. Criterion of Double Dissimilarity—Something that Jesus said that was either according to early Judaism or early Church Jesus probably didn’t say
  10. Criterion of Multiple Attestation—Many sources giving the same account
  11. Criterion of Embarrassment—If the information could potentially damage the truth to the claim it was probably true
  12. Redaction Criticism—Effects of the editor’s own literary styles and theological presuppositions as put together in the Gospel accounts
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