Reasons for Joy; In Gentleness, and Respect.

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Apologetics and Theology / Language Gamer is gone from RF.
« on: July 23, 2016, 10:17:58 pm »

I just wanted to say that I´d choose any  one of his best posts and get rid of all the worthless rest on this site, any time any day.

If RF through poor posts, responses, ignorant rethoric and much to be desired moderation, finally got rid of him it´s all the worst for RF.

Just saying.

I have this book that WLC recommended, personally, to me. I had skimmed it a couple of years ago, but, today  I read the chapter on Prayer, and, I think it is fantastically useful.

Anyone has read it?

A couple of quotes from the chapter.

Quote from: Craig, William Lane. Hard Questions, Real Answers

These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13a, RSV). But, of course, this isn’t the end of the story. For the frustrating thing about unanswered prayer is that on occasion none of the obstacles just listed seems to impede the way, and still God does not grant our request. We may have confessed all known sin in our lives, prayed out of a desire to glorify God, and prayed


Quote from: Craig, William Lane. Hard Questions, Real Answers
There is, however, one final, important qualification of Jesus’ promise that needs to be made: our request must be in accordance with God’s will. The apostle John makes this clear in 1 John 5:14-15: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Craig, William Lane. Hard Questions, Real Answers . Good News Publishers. 

I´m currently reading the chapter on Homosexuality and Christianity.

Apologetics and Theology / Old Testament: Lex Talionis.
« on: July 11, 2016, 01:14:40 pm »

Quote from: Exodus 21:23-25New International Version (NIV)

23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Quote from: Leviticus 24:17-22New International Version (NIV)

17 “‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. 18 Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. 19 Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: 20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. 21 Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. 22 You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.’”

Quote from: Deuteronomy 19:16-21New International Version (NIV)

16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime, 17 the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, 19 then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.


Exodus 21:22-25English Standard Version (ESV)

22 “When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman's husband shall impose on him, and he shall pay as the judges determine. 23 But if there is harm,[a] then you shall pay life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Apologetics and Theology / Atheist child Ostracized
« on: July 06, 2016, 10:20:33 am »
Atheist child Ostracized

Dear Amy: The other day my 11-year-old daughter “Cristal” came home very upset because her friend’s mother won’t allow her daughter to be Cristal’s friend.

The other mother happens to be a conservative Christian, and thinks Cristal will be a “bad influence” because she comes from a secular family.

My husband and I are atheists, but we stay relatively neutral about religion when it comes to the children (we don’t have any problem with their participating in Christmas concerts, Easter egg hunts or bar mitzvahs with their friends and classmates).

They will be free to convert to any faith when they are older, should they choose to do so (so far they haven’t expressed an interest).

I don’t know what to say to my daughter. I just never expected, especially in these times — given all the conflicts you hear about between people of different religions — that anybody could have an objection to someone with no religion. — Atheistic, But Not Amoral

Apologetics and Theology / Moral Realism
« on: July 03, 2016, 08:03:45 am »

Quote from: Huemer 2005
It's rational to prima facie trust the way things appear to us. That means we should trust that things are the way they appear, until we have a good reason not to. Denying this principle leads to severe skepticism and epistemic self-defeat. But this principle implies that we should prima facie trust those ethical intuitions that imply ethical realism.

And he argues in the earlier part of his book that this prima facie justification remains undefeated. (One reason is that the arguments for anti-realism tend to specially plead; they tend to appeal to premises, at some point, that are less overall-intuitive than various ethical intuitions. When intuition is all we have to go on (which it arguably is, at bottom), it would be odd to trust the less-intuitive premise.

Quote from: Cuneo 2007
Any argument against ethical realism implies an argument against epistemic realism, the view that some beliefs are objectively more justified or rational or better-supported-by-the-evidence than others. In turn, the ethical anti-realist is probably committed to denying that anti-realism is any more rational, or any better-supported by the evidence, than realism is. (Indeed, the anti-realist may be committed to global skepticism.)

Apologetics and Theology / Robert Adams on Moral Autonomy
« on: July 02, 2016, 08:08:37 am »

Quote from: Robert Merrihew Adams. Finite and Infinite Goods: A Framework for Ethics.
...In the context of a divine command theory, the autonomy involved in loving the various goods to which obligations are related may be brought under the heading ing of "theonomy." The thinker most associated with the idea of theonomy is Paul Tillich, who explains: "Autonomy asserts that man ... is his own law. Heteronomy asserts that man ... must be subjected to a law, strange and superior to him. Theonomy asserts that the superior law is, at the same time, the innermost law of man himself, rooted in the divine ground which is man's own ground."42 What I mean to employ here is not Tillich's complete and richly individual theory of theonomy, but just the idea of a merging of divine authority and autonomous valuing in moral motivation. tivation. Respect for divine authority motivates, largely because it coheres with, organizes, nizes, supports, and is supported by goods that we care about for their own sakes. These are goods that God too must be conceived as caring about for their own sakes. In loving ing them we enter into God's love for them. In this way theonomy is a form of the alliance with God...


Quote from: Paraphrase from article in epistemology from Philip Kitcher
Although, parts of the knowledge of the past have turned out to be false, even in cases in the theories in knolwedge appeared to be highly successful, many parts of previous successful understanding can be retained as true. There’s no basis for a generalization that all the knowledge claims we make are likely to be false. At worst we should conclude that not all of what we believe is true. Maybe our attitude should be like that of the author who, scrutinizing her sentences one by one concludes that each is correct, but, conscious of her own fallibility, knows that there’s probably a mistake somewhere. If that’s so, we shouldn’t base rejection of  knowledge on the grounds that the tenets of our understanding are not true.


Food for thought
Quote from: The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology
Mark Kaplan finds it characteristic of orthodox Bayesians to hold that (1) for each person and each hypothesis she comprehends, there is a precise degree of confidence that person has in the truth of that proposition, and (2) no person can be counted as rational unless the degree of confidence assignment she thus harbors satisfies the axioms of the probability calculus. Many epistemologists have objected to the idea that each of us harbors a precise degree of confidence assignment. Even if we had such an assignment, the condition on a person’s being rational endorsed by the orthodox Bayesian would be too demanding to be applied to beings, such as ourselves, who have limited logical/ mathematical skills. In addition, in focusing exclusively on degrees of confidence, the Bayesian approach tells us nothing about the epistemic status of the doxastic states epistemologists have traditionally been concerned about— categorical beliefs. Kaplan’s purpose is twofold. First, he aims to show that, as powerful as many of such criticisms are against orthodox Bayesianism, there is a credible kind of Bayesianism. Without appeal to idealization or false precision, it offers a substantive account of how the probability calculus constrains the (imprecise) opinions of actual persons and of how this account impinges on traditional epistemological concerns. Second, he aims to show how this Bayesianism finds a foundation in considerations concerning rational preference.

 . The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology (Oxford Handbooks) . Oxford University Press.


I just realized there isn´t, is there?

Can there be one?

Apologetics and Theology / Justification from entailment.
« on: June 22, 2016, 12:37:07 pm »

Food for thought.
Quote from: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"...Most epistemologists investigating epistemic transmission and transmission failure—e.g., Wright (2011, 2007, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 1985), Davies (2003a, 2000 and 1998), Dretske (2005), Pryor (2004), Moretti (2012) and Moretti & Piazza (2013)—broadly identify the epistemic property capable of being transmitted with propositional justification.[3] Only a few authors explicitly focus on transmission of doxastic justification—e.g., Silins (2005), Davies (2009) and Tucker (2010a and 2010b)...

Epistemologists typically concentrate on transmission of (propositional or doxastic) justification across deductively valid arguments (or arguments deductively valid given background information). The fact that justification can transmit across deduction is crucial for our cognitive processes because it makes the advancement of knowledge—or of justified belief—through deductive reasoning possible. We are all sufficiently familiar with this type of cognitive processes. Suppose evidence e gives you justification for believing hypothesis or proposition p and you know that p entails another proposition q that you have not directly checked. If the justification you have for p transmits to its unchecked prediction q through the entailment, you acquire justification for believing q too.

Epistemologists may analyse epistemic transmission across ampliative (or inductive) inferences too. (Note that arguments deductively valid given background information can often be turned into good ampliative arguments by simply removing some background information.) Yet this topic has received much less attention in the recent literature on epistemic transmission. (See however interesting remarks in Tucker 2010a.)

... Unless differently specified, by ‘epistemic justification’ or ‘justification’ we will always mean ‘propositional justification’.

 Epistemic Transmission
As said, s's justification for p based on evidence e transmits across entailment from p to p's consequence q whenever q is justified for s in virtue of s's justification for p based on e and her knowledge of q's deducibility from p. This initial characterisation can be distilled into three conditions individually necessary and jointly sufficient for epistemic transmission:

s's justification for p based on e transmits to p's logical consequence q if and only if:

(i)   s has justification for believing p based on e,
(ii)   s knows that q is deducible from p, and
(iii)   s has justification for believing q in virtue of the satisfaction of (i) and (ii).


One, now, traditional form of skepticism questions how we can know that there are other minds besides our own.
René Descartes and John Locke, I read, hinted at a certain type of answer to this type of skeptical challenge, but it was Hume the 1st to make it explicit, such approach was called   “The Argument from Analogy for Other Minds”
Later many other great minds seem to have endorsed the argument, C.I. Lewis and Bertrand Rusell, both great philosophers of the early XX century stand out, with the later providing, perhaps, the most refined version of it, at the time.

Rusell pointed out that nothing in physics alone can tell us that there are other minds —we need some additional postulate.
Russell also thought that a most natural way to argue for the existence of other minds was by analogy.
The analogy. then, runs, according to Rusell , as follows: We are able to figure out what causes our own behavior, namely, certain mental states in us. So when we see similar behavior in others, we can legitimately infer that their behavior is similarly caused by mental states in them.

There are many possible questions and objections, and, the conclusion we make to the existence of others’ mental states can  be, at best, a probable one.

 Nevertheless, Russell went ahead and identified the said  postulate that we need to make in addition to the principle of physics to justifiably use the analogy as an argument for the existence of other minds, stating it  as follows:

 If, whenever we can observe whether A and B are present or absent, we find that every case of B has an A as a causal antecedent, then, it is probable that most B’s have A’s as causal antecedents, even in those cases where observation does not enable us to know whether A is present or not.
Rusell argued that If we accept his postulate,  making the inference to the existence of other minds is epistemically justified

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