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Articles 1 - 30 of 187

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Aristotle And Habituation: Is Virtue Really Attainable Without God's Help, Roy Michael Mattson Oct 2019

Aristotle And Habituation: Is Virtue Really Attainable Without God's Help, Roy Michael Mattson

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

We are by nature moral beings who desire virtue. This fact is borne out by innumerable studies. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Eudemian Ethics remain among the most influential works on ethics and human moral psychology. Aristotle claims that human beings can develop good character traits and achieve virtue with the appropriate upbringing (what Aristotle called habituation). Much of what Aristotle says about character traits, virtue, and habituation is accepted today and inspires character education. Yet recent results in experimental psychology challenge the notion of character traits and virtue as understood by Aristotle. The challenge is the abundance of evidence ...


Ivan And His Doubles: The Failure Of Intellect In The Brothers Karamazov, Alex Donley Aug 2019

Ivan And His Doubles: The Failure Of Intellect In The Brothers Karamazov, Alex Donley

Montview Liberty University Journal of Undergraduate Research

The purpose of this research is to explore Dostoevsky’s theodicy in The Brothers Karamazov, including key critical commentary that enhances an understanding of the text. One of the novel’s title characters, Ivan, embodies the emerging spirit of intellectualism and freethinking in nineteenth-century Europe. He confronts the Christian concept of God in two famous speeches. First, Ivan’s “Rebellion” epitomizes the problem of evil by asking why an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God allows earthy atrocities. Second, Ivan’s “Grand Inquisitor” rejects the moral freedom given to men, reasoning that it is too great a burden for mankind to bear. These ...


The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith Apr 2019

The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith

Senior Honors Theses

Within this paper, it is shown that certain ethical assumptions are implicit within the claim that certain kinds of evil exist. When taken in tandem with the moral argument for the existence of God, these assumptions can be arranged in such a way as to provide a contradiction. To avoid this contradiction, I posit a non-existential alternative to direct inductive arguments from evil, but the non-existential alternative gives rise to novel objections. When considering their respective ethical implications, both the existential and non-existential variations of direct inductive arguments fail. Since any direct inductive problem of evil must be either existential ...


Anthropology Embedded In Worldview Studies: Modernity’S Failure And The Response Of Christian Philosophy Of Life In A Postmodern Age Of Expressivism, Nathan Sexten Apr 2019

Anthropology Embedded In Worldview Studies: Modernity’S Failure And The Response Of Christian Philosophy Of Life In A Postmodern Age Of Expressivism, Nathan Sexten

Senior Honors Theses

This thesis examines two divergent streams of thought in Christian philosophy of life represented by the works of Francis Schaeffer and James K. A. Smith in an effort to help Christians live in a postmodern culture. Schaeffer and Smith ultimately address differing, but complementary, realms of anthropology and the human experience. To see how these two authors might complement each other effectively, this thesis will analyze each author’s work and then explore whether or not the application of Smith's liturgical anthropology and utilization of phenomenology can improve Schaeffer’s system of thought and the worldview concept.


Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth Apr 2019

Enchantment: A Teleology, Nathanael S. Toth

Senior Honors Theses

Despite the highly developed nature of his fictional world, Middle-earth, Tolkien never formally laid out a tabulated magic system for his fantasy creation. Nevertheless, unlike many stories by others in the fantasy genre, the magic he does include is far from just a shallow, world-building mechanism. Instead, it encapsulates the core theme of his fiction and the purposes which Ilúvatar (the God of Middle-earth) has given to the story’s many characters.

This paper will examine the nature and function of this magic from many angles: the identification of good magic with art and evil magic with domination; the delineation ...


Mythology, Morality, And The Messiah: How Natural Moral Law And Hero Myth Entail That Jesus Christ Is The Best Possible Hero, Matthew J. Coombe Feb 2019

Mythology, Morality, And The Messiah: How Natural Moral Law And Hero Myth Entail That Jesus Christ Is The Best Possible Hero, Matthew J. Coombe

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

Essentially this dissertation is an abductive argument for Jesus Christ being the best possible hero. The abductive argument is concerned with the synthesis of several different disciplines: natural theology, general revelation, ethics, natural law (meta-ethics), literary criticism, Biblical criticism, and mythology. When synthesized the most reasonable conclusion for the data is that Jesus Christ is the best possible hero. All of the disciplines work together: Natural theology establishes the axiological basis for moral realism and moral knowledge. General revelation acts as a universal imprinter, which not only imbeds man with moral knowledge, but also with inherent notions of heroism—heroism ...


Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile Jan 2019

Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

Theists and non-theists alike have toiled with the characteristics of the Judeo-Christian God and how they may or may not be contradictory with the existence of evil. Some philosophers, such as J. L. Mackie, have decided that God and evil cannot coexist, mainly because the existence of evil means that any God is unable to keep evil and suffering away from His beloved creation, and such a limited God is no God at all. But Mackie’s argument rests on flawed foundation. Mankind is necessarily finite because even the infinite God cannot do the logically impossible and create the infinite ...


Truth-Makers And The "Grounding Objection" To Molinism, Tyler Crown Jan 2019

Truth-Makers And The "Grounding Objection" To Molinism, Tyler Crown

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

One of the most discussed topics on the nature of God, in Christian circles today, is the subject of God’s knowledge. There are a few popular positions today that are engaged in a serious debate as to what the true biblical and philosophical position on the nature of God’s knowledge is. One such position, which has become increasingly popular and has found support among many leading Christian philosophers, such as Alvin Plantinga, Thomas Flint, and William Lane Craig, is called Molinism. While Molinism does have an abundance of supporters, there are many detractors as well. Calvinist’s, Thomists ...


The Ideologies And Outcomes Of The French And American Revolutions, Donald D. Palmer Jun 2018

The Ideologies And Outcomes Of The French And American Revolutions, Donald D. Palmer

Masters Theses

One effective way to compare the fruits of biblical Christianity with modernism is to contrast the ideologies and outcomes of the American and French Revolutions. Pre-revolutionary America was rich with biblical influence. Adherents of both Protestantism and Deism sought a “Christian society,” and while revolutionaries drew from both biblical Reformation and secular Enlightenment thought, much of the latter was biblical thought in secular form. Ministers employed the Bible extensively to support the Revolution. This relative theological consensus encouraged religious practice and a political system that accommodated dispute. Human rights were secure thanks to man’s subordinate position under God. Even ...


Sensibility And Self-Denial: A Christian Evaluation Of Journalistic Care Ethics And Traditional Ethics, Valerie Pors May 2018

Sensibility And Self-Denial: A Christian Evaluation Of Journalistic Care Ethics And Traditional Ethics, Valerie Pors

Senior Honors Theses

Traditional ethical models within journalism have upheld truth and objectivity as the highest standard, based on a conglomeration of Western ethical traditions. However, as the age of subjective moral reasoning ushered in skepticism and independently subjective philosophies, ethicists have examined the application of care ethics to the field of journalism. Scholars have viewed care ethics and traditional ethics as conflicting theories, but both contain elements of God’s nature as revealed in the Bible. Both models also harbor secularized elements. In a biblical analysis of the two systems and their underlying assumptions, this thesis identifies crucial biblical differences in their ...


When Two Become One: Reconsidering Marriage As A Sacrament In Protestant Theology, Adam Neal Feb 2018

When Two Become One: Reconsidering Marriage As A Sacrament In Protestant Theology, Adam Neal

Doctoral Dissertations and Projects

Protestant theology has historically rejected marriage as sacrament, a rejection which continues to resound in the majority of contemporary Protestant scholarship. Yet many, if not most, arguments against sacramental marriage tacitly follow an outline set forward by Luther and Calvin which, if examined with critical scrutiny, is based on a problematic soteriological premise. In light of this, the present study sets forward a comprehensive argument in favor of Protestant theology reaffirming marriage as a sacrament through systematic investigation into the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), New Testament, and Christian history. After developing a critical hermeneutic founded on realist epistemological grounds, a ...


Nailing Jello To A Tree: A Christian Approach To Ethics In Intelligence, Melanie Scherpereel Dec 2017

Nailing Jello To A Tree: A Christian Approach To Ethics In Intelligence, Melanie Scherpereel

Senior Honors Theses

This paper will discuss Christian involvement in the intelligence field in addition to the ethical issues inherent to intelligence, specifically deception, including lying and manipulation, and technology as a force multiplier. Many Christians believe that intelligence is fundamentally a field of extensive deception that should be avoided. Ethics and morality, what it means to tell the truth, and biblical examples of people who used deception and were commended, will be analyzed from a Christian worldview perspective. The arguments will be presented in order that Christians may be able to understand how to apply the two greatest commandments, to love our ...


Is God The Necessary Being?, Bryce E. Hardy Oct 2017

Is God The Necessary Being?, Bryce E. Hardy

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

This paper briefly presents and engages with four competing hypotheses as to the most plausible explanation for the beginning of the universe. After clarifying some terminology, I will first establish both scientific and philosophical reasons for accepting the notion of an absolute beginning over a past eternal universe. Next, I will interact with Lawrence Krauss’ two versions of “nothing” and speculation of a multiverse as possible suggestions for what that first cause might be. In response, I will demonstrate the logical inadequacy of this approach, and by extension all other non-metaphysical theories. Ultimately, I will determine that, due to the ...


Behind The Veil: Mysticism And The Reply To Hiddenness In The Work Of Travis Dumsday, Catherine Mccrary Oct 2017

Behind The Veil: Mysticism And The Reply To Hiddenness In The Work Of Travis Dumsday, Catherine Mccrary

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

Ever since J. L. Schellenberg formulated his infamous atheistic argument from hiddenness in his 1993 book Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason, the problem of divine hiddenness--the question of why a good God would hide Himself, even from those actively seeking Him--has troubled theists. Schellenberg's argument from hiddenness has proven notoriously difficult for theists to answer, and perhaps this is why it is now second only to the problem of evil in popularity with atheists. While many theists have tried to find an adequate answer to the problem of hiddenness, and many have made good attempts, no response has been ...


Can God Know What Time It Is? A Working Paper, Caleb Brown Oct 2017

Can God Know What Time It Is? A Working Paper, Caleb Brown

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

Many thinkers hold the following five propositions are inconsistent:

  1. The dynamic theory of time (McTaggart’s “A-theory”) is correct
  2. God is atemporal
  3. God knows tensed facts
  4. Free human actions are possible
  5. God interacts responsively with humans

This working paper uses the discussion in Four Views: God and Time as a starting-point and moves towards explaining how these propositions are consistent.


Differentiating Averroes’ Accounts Of The Metaphysics Of Human Epistemology In His Middle And Long Commentaries On Aristotle’S De Anima, Caleb H A Brown Jun 2017

Differentiating Averroes’ Accounts Of The Metaphysics Of Human Epistemology In His Middle And Long Commentaries On Aristotle’S De Anima, Caleb H A Brown

Montview Liberty University Journal of Undergraduate Research

Averroes (an Islamic Andalusian philosopher in the 12th century) discusses the metaphysics of human epistemology extensively, and his socio-religious context sheds light on this discussion. Several of his works, most prominently his three commentaries on Aristotle’s De Anima, attempt to explain how finite, particular minds interact with universal, eternal intelligibles. Current scholarship focuses on the two longer commentaries, the Middle Commentary and the Long Commentary, but there is no consensus regarding which of these presents Averroes’ final articulation of the metaphysics of human epistemology. Those who maintain that Averroes wrote the Middle Commentary last tend to minimize the ...


Tolkien And The Deadly Sin Of Greed, Amanda A. Kieffer Apr 2017

Tolkien And The Deadly Sin Of Greed, Amanda A. Kieffer

The Kabod

Tolkien’s genius as a writer and insight as a philosopher and theologian (of sorts) are reflected in his subtle yet impactful interweaving of the consequences of greed within the lives of the peoples of Middle-Earth. He shows readers that greed is not simply the love of money. Greed is the root of all evil, and it takes a variety of forms, as represented by Sauron’s desire to possess power over and control others, Saruman’s imitative desire, and Feanor’s over-possessiveness of his sub-creative acts. Tolkien also reveals that a proper relationship with nature can provide recovery from ...


Arminianism And Molinism On Divine Foreknowledge, Nathan S. Justice Apr 2017

Arminianism And Molinism On Divine Foreknowledge, Nathan S. Justice

Senior Honors Theses

Evidence is examined concerning the coherence of divine foreknowledge as defined by Arminianism and Molinism. Arminianism argues that God has complete and infallible knowledge of the future, and attempts to simultaneously maintain a strong view of libertarian freedom. Molinism agrees with the Arminian stance on foreknowledge and human freedom, but argues that middle knowledge must also be posited for God to have strong providential control over His creation. It is argued that Molinism better accounts for the biblical data and provides a more coherent theological and philosophical position, since Arminianism cannot provide a strong theory of providential control. Subsequently, a ...


How Trump Won: Media And The Silent Majority In The 2016 Us Presidential Election, Joshua K. Miller Apr 2017

How Trump Won: Media And The Silent Majority In The 2016 Us Presidential Election, Joshua K. Miller

Senior Honors Theses

Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign ended in victory because of two powerful forces: enormous media advantage gained through sensationalism and a strong coalition made up of evangelicals, pragmatic conservatives, and the silent majority. The work of Neil Postman sheds light on the underlying cultural foundation of Trump’s media advantage. Parallels from the video game industry explain how intentional sensationalism played into Trump’s success in the primary process. Evangelicals and pragmatic conservatives joined Trump’s coalition in spite of his scandals, and Eric Hoffer’s work helps explain his appeal to the silent majority. Ultimately, the patterns of ...


Toward A Thomistic Environmental Ethic: How Aquinas's Metaethic Provides The Groundwork For An Environmentally And Zoologically Responsible Moral System, William Merle Green Sep 2016

Toward A Thomistic Environmental Ethic: How Aquinas's Metaethic Provides The Groundwork For An Environmentally And Zoologically Responsible Moral System, William Merle Green

Masters Theses

While the trend in contemporary discussions of environmental ethics is often to dispense with traditional anthropocentric conceptions of morality in favor of more biologically and ecologically inclusive perspectives, I will argue that Natural Law Theory and Virtue Ethics, both integral components of the moral philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, provide the groundwork for an ecologically and zoologically responsible ethic. Thus, utilizing the core of Aquinas’s ethical system, I will attempt to construct a robust moral framework that is Thomistic in every important sense while at the same time satisfies the sufficiency conditions for a successful environmental code of conduct.


Die Phantasie Gottes: An Analysis Of The Divine Ideas In Deity Theories And Brian Leftow, With A Proposed Synthesis, Nathaniel Dowell Jul 2016

Die Phantasie Gottes: An Analysis Of The Divine Ideas In Deity Theories And Brian Leftow, With A Proposed Synthesis, Nathaniel Dowell

Masters Theses

This thesis was on how God is related to the truth-values of propositions on possible worlds - specifically, those propositions that do not seem to be about Him and constitute His ideas for what to create. It opened with a survey of some historical positions with special emphasis on Aquinas, Leibniz, Spinoza and Kant. Next, some criticisms were given for these so-called deity theories (i.e., the belief that possibilities are dependent on God and God must, by nature, recognize the necessary truths He does) with the most space given to Brian Leftow’s critiques. The second chapter detailed Brian Leftow ...


A Case For A Husserlian Willardarian Approach To Knowledge, Joseph Gibson Jun 2016

A Case For A Husserlian Willardarian Approach To Knowledge, Joseph Gibson

Masters Theses

This thesis introduces certain aspects in the thought of Dallas Willard and Edmund Husserl as a new way forward in the internalism externalism debate. Husserl’s detailed analysis of cognition has application to epistemology and addresses in great depth an area which in the current discussion is often tertiary and shallow at best. It is argued that in both internalist and externalist camps there is a common assumption about cognition which Husserl argues forcibly against. This assumption is that thought, or cognition, is essentially linguistic. (The notion that ‘thought is essentially linguistic’ means that thought requires the use of language ...


Peer Disagreement And Rationality: An Analysis Of Richard Feldman's Conciliatory View, John Molinari Jun 2016

Peer Disagreement And Rationality: An Analysis Of Richard Feldman's Conciliatory View, John Molinari

Masters Theses

How should one's beliefs be affected by one's knowing that other people, who are equally well-informed, rational, and intelligent – in other words, persons who are epistemic, or intellectual, peers – believe differently? In this thesis I look at a certain answer to this question. Richard Feldman argues that when two persons who have (roughly) the same level of intelligence and who are (roughly) equally well-informed disagree, the only rational response is for both persons to give up their disputed beliefs and suspend judgment. I look at two objections to Feldman’s view, one from Ernest Sosa and the other ...


Sources Of Dignity For Persons: Capacities, Friendship, Love And Subjectivity, Matthew Nevius Jun 2016

Sources Of Dignity For Persons: Capacities, Friendship, Love And Subjectivity, Matthew Nevius

Masters Theses

Many people seem to understand the term 'dignity' as applying to all human persons regardless of their race, creed, sex, or religious beliefs. As to what the concept 'dignity' means is a difficult and complex problem. Is the concept 'dignity' an empty concept, void of meaning? What does it mean when we say that this or that person has dignity? Most of the current philosophical literature has very little to say as to what dignity is. I will argue that what we need to find is a concept of dignity that accounts for both the infinite and the irreplaceable value ...


Peer Disagreement And Rationality: An Analysis Of Richard Feldman's Conciliatory View, John Molinari Jun 2016

Peer Disagreement And Rationality: An Analysis Of Richard Feldman's Conciliatory View, John Molinari

Masters Theses

How should one's beliefs be affected by one's knowing that other people, who are equally well-informed, rational, and intelligent – in other words, persons who are epistemic, or intellectual, peers – believe differently? In this thesis I look at a certain answer to this question. Richard Feldman argues that when two persons who have (roughly) the same level of intelligence and who are (roughly) equally well-informed disagree, the only rational response is for both persons to give up their disputed beliefs and suspend judgment. I look at two objections to Feldman’s view, one from Ernest Sosa and the other ...


The Problem Of Evil And The Probity Of Theodicy From William Rowe's Evidential Evidential Of Evil, Olaoluwa Apata Jun 2016

The Problem Of Evil And The Probity Of Theodicy From William Rowe's Evidential Evidential Of Evil, Olaoluwa Apata

Masters Theses

In this research, we discussed the types of evil: moral and natural, which are cited by atheistic philosophers as evidence against the existence of God. The so-called evidence from evil has been used by the atheistic and other non-theistic scholars to raise hypothesis on evaluating the possibility or likelihood that an omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God exists in a world that is littered with evil. Moral evil is evil that arise from the misuse of free will by moral agents, while natural evils are natural disasters such as: earthquakes, famine, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes etc. We discussed moral evil and ...


“Recognizable Goodness” A Response To Beversluis’ Understanding Of God’S Goodness, Emily Mccarty May 2016

“Recognizable Goodness” A Response To Beversluis’ Understanding Of God’S Goodness, Emily Mccarty

Montview Liberty University Journal of Undergraduate Research

In her rebuttal to John Beversluis’ C. S. Lewis and the Search for Rational Religion, Emily McCarty makes the following arguments. Lewis maintains throughout these three works that God’s goodness is recognizable. In The Problem of Pain, what seems unlike or even not good to us, is upon reflection, good. In fact, there are similar human examples that show God’s goodness is not so very unlike our own. In “The Poison of Subjectivism,” Lewis does not empty good of meaning: rather he sources that meaning in the divine so that our morals have enduring meaning. In A Grief ...


A Case For Monistic Idealism: Connecting Idealistic Thoughts From Leibniz To Kant With Support In Quantum Physics, Erik Haynes May 2016

A Case For Monistic Idealism: Connecting Idealistic Thoughts From Leibniz To Kant With Support In Quantum Physics, Erik Haynes

Masters Theses

Through the analysis of idealistic arguments and evidence from physics, it will be demonstrated that monistic idealism has a great deal of explanatory power as a metaphysical system for the reality that one experiences. Some of the arguments that support this claim include the inadequateness of Cartesian matter, the seemingly infinite divisibility of atoms, matter being reducible to sensations, the unnecessary aspect of matter, and simplicity. Evidence from quantum physics includes such factors as the necessary role of an observer in the collapse of a quantum wave function and the element of nonlocality. Psychological experiments including nonlocal communication, the power ...


Letter From The Editor, Managing Editor Dec 2015

Letter From The Editor, Managing Editor

Eleutheria

Letter from the Editor


Book Reviews, Various Authors Dec 2015

Book Reviews, Various Authors

Eleutheria

Book Reviews