Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No class Friday; assignment for Monday

No class Friday.

Assignment for Monday:
- re-read Alston in Clark.
- re-read the Stair's discussion of Alston, as well as the rest of the chapter.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Next: religious experience

Next up: religious experience.
Alston, "Experiencing God," Ch. 14 in Clark and chapter on religious experience in Stairs.
Here's some discussion I mentioned today; perhaps you'd like to take a look at it for a final paper.

"Sceptical Theism and Evidential Arguments from Evil" [I'm trying to find an electronic version]
Journal Australasian Journal of Philosophy
Issue Volume 81, Number 4/December 01, 2003
Pages 496-516
Michael J. Almeida, Graham Oppy


Sceptical theists--e.g., William Alston and Michael Bergmann--have claimed that considerations concerning human cognitive limitations are alone sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil. We argue that, if the considerations deployed by sceptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil, then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. If cogent, our argument suffices to discredit sceptical theist responses to evidential arguments from evil.

In Defense of Skeptical Theism: A Reply to Ameida and Oppy.” (with Michael Bergmann). Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83 (2005): 241 – 51.

"Skeptical Theism and Moral Skepticism: A Reply to Almeida and Oppy," discussion note by Nick Trakakis & Yujin Nagasawa

Reply to Trakakis and Nagasawa
discussion note by Michael Almeida & Graham Oppy
University of Texas at San Antonio, USA & Monash University, Australia

Friday, March 23, 2007

Monday; next topic

Today we discussed some theodicies from Stairs and the "12 Officers" article.

Monday we will contine doing so, and we will discuss the Howard-Synder article in Clark. Please re-read that as well as the rest of the Stairs' chapter. That might be the end of our main discussion of arguments from evil.

We'll then briefly turn to arguments from religion experience. See the Stairs chapter and the Alston article (Ch. 14, I think) in Clark.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

For Friday

Today we continued discussing Rowe and read this:

"A Tale of 12 Officers," Mark Vuletic

We did not get to the postscript; please read that and re-read Stairs on the theodicies for next time, as well as Howard-Synder on Rowe from Clark.

Friday, March 16, 2007

clark 13: ch. 30 - Rowe; stairs ch 4

clark ch. 28 - hick; stairs ch 4
clark ch. 29 - adams; stairs ch 4
if you'd like, Nobis, "The Real Problem of Infant and Animal Suffering"

Friday- howard snyder & rest of stairs ch 4

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Re-read the previous assignment and

Clark 13: ch. 30 - Rowe:

See below for the next readings.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

For Wed.

Readings for Wed., announced Monday in class:

Clark: pp. 207-208.
Hume in Clark, pp. 211-212.
Stairs: 199-209.

Another project for you to do is to make a list of the greatest evils in history (recent history or non-recent history), i.e., the most bad things, the worst things that have ever happend or anyone has ever done.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Arguments from Evil(s)

After the break, we'll start thinking about arguments against God's existence from evil, or various kinds of evils.
Here's the order of readings:

1. Clark part III: intro
2. Clark Ch. 27 Hume
3. stairs ch. 9 pp. 199-209
4. clark 13: ch. 30 - Rowe
5. ch. 31 - howard snyder & rest of stairs ch 4
6. ch. 28 - hick
7. ch. 29 - adams
8. "The Tale of 12 officers" - online.

Extra Credit Opportunity next Tuesday

Dean of Duke University Chapel to Speak next Tuesday at Agnes Scott College

-- Dean of the Chapel at Duke University the Rev. Samuel Wells regularly navigates the challenges and opportunities of crafting inspirational messages to multicultural audiences.

Wells shares his learning when he delivers the 2007 James Ross McCain Faith and Learning Lecture "Speaking the Truth in a Culture Committed to Diversity," Tuesday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Gaines Chapel, Presser Hall, Agnes Scott College. The event is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required. Information and reservations: 404-471-6430.

"Rev. Wells takes a good look at how we can live our lives authentically in a very diverse culture," said the Rev. Kate Colussy-Estes, Julia Thompson Smith Chaplain at Agnes Scott College. "I look forward to his particular take on how we can represent ourselves genuinely while respecting difference. With his background in community work and his new calling to the college campus, I welcome his insight."

In his role at Duke Chapel and as research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School, Wells works to connect the academic and spiritual lives of the university�s students, faculty and staff. In addition to overseeing planned worship, counseling and preaching, Wells serves as a focal point for ethical and theological discussions on campus on a wide range of topical issues.

Born in Canada, and raised in England, Wells served as a parish priest at Cambridge prior to his appointment at Duke in August 2005. He has devoted himself to parish work -- especially in underprivileged areas -- and to a scholarly career that has earned him a reputation as one of the major theologians writing on ethics today.

Wells graduated from Edinburgh University with a B.D. in systematic theology, from Merton College, Oxford with an M.A. in modern history and from Durham University with a Ph.D. in Christian ethics.

Before training for ordination, he served as a community worker in inner city Liverpool. From 1991-2005 he conducted parish ministry in the Church of England.

Wife Jo Bailey Wells, former dean of Clare College, Cambridge University, now serves as director of Anglican Studies at Duke Divinity School. They have two children.

The James Ross McCain Faith and Learning Lecture is sponsored by the college committee on faith and learning, created to encourage and maintain an ongoing spiritual/intellectual dialogue on campus. It is named for James Ross McCain, Agnes Scott College�s second president (1923-1951).

A reception follows the lecture in Rebekah Scott Hall, Katharine Woltz Reception Room.