Philosophy: August 2006 Archives

This is part three of what I was expecting to be a four-part review of Mary Kassian's The Feminist Mistake. I have decided to post what I've written of part three and then not continue, primarily because I have not been reading any more of this book for quite some time, and I need to limit my reading list down to something much more manageable given that I would like to finish my dissertation by the end of next summer. So I've decided not to finish this book in the foreseeable future. Here, then, is the last part of my series of reviews on this book, covering a few chapters into the third section.

Uncertainty about what the original autographs said is no argument against inerrantism about what the original autographs said, not just because whether the original has errors is independent of whether we know what the original said. Kenny Pearce offers some Bayesian probabilistic reasons for concluding that a doctrine of inerrancy might still make a difference epistemically about particularly propositions despite uncertainty about whether the original autographs teach those propositions. He applies this to doctrinal issues that inerrantists who accept some principle of sola scriptura might nevertheless dispute, and then he applies it to science and evolution. I don't really know any Bayesian probability, so I can't really evaluate this in those terms, but what he's saying seems right to me in general.

I've cross-posted this at Prosblogion, so you might want to check the comments there to see if it generates a good, higher-end philosophical discussion.

For some reflections on culture, in particular art and science in relation to faith, check out Bruce Meyer's blog Being Human, in Faith Art Science. Bruce and I have a lot of common friends, but we've never met. He was once part of the congregation I'm now a member of, but he left town long before I arrived. He's been blogging for a few weeks now and has enough posts to give you some sense of what his blog will be like. I recommend checking it out and seeing if it's the sort of thing you'd like to add to your blog-reading menu.

Update: I particularly recommend Industrialized Sex and True Intimacy, Part I and Industrialized Sex and True Intimacy, Part II. He also provides and reflects a little on an excerpt from Aristotle on friendship, whose insight into human nature and psychological matters was in some ways (but certainly not all) extremely insightful and way ahead of his time.

Author of Sin

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Rebecca Stark looks at the expression 'author of sin', finding that many who use it don't really have a clear idea what they mean, and once they clarify it what they're saying may not follow. I think she's expressing thoughts I've had for a long time but haven't really been able to express well. One line struck me:

Somehow, for those who argue that it's the purposeful nature of God's permission of sin that makes him the author of sin, a supreme being who permits sin for no reason is better than one who permits it for a reason. When it comes to the permission of sin, in their view, arbitrary is better than purposeful.

This is something that has always seemed strange to me about certain Arminian/libertarian responses to the problem of evil (especially in their open theistic form but sometimes even in more standard libertarian views that don't necessarily imply open theism, e.g. some of Peter van Inwagen's work). I can't understand how having no reason for something is supposed to be better than having a really good reason for doing or allowing it. But this is commonly trotted out as a better defense of how God would allow evil than the traditional view that God really does have good reasons for allowing evil

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