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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker Mar 2019

In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

As an ethicist, and especially a theological ethicist, and more especially as a liberation theologian, what I most appreciate about Schubert M. Ogden’s “revisionary theology”* is his appreciation of Charles Hartshorne’s neoclassical theology, including especially panentheism (all-in-theos-ism), and his insistence that such appreciation is essential to adequately formulated theology and ethics, including liberation theology. And insofar as Ogden is contributing something essential to liberation theology, he might be called a neoclassical liberation theologian, or at least a wanna-be-helpful neoclassical theologian.


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 ...


Don't Call King A 'Civil Rights' Leader: Toward Abolishing Poverty And War By Correcting Our Fatally Inadequate Remembering Of Mlk Jr., Theodore Walker Apr 2018

Don't Call King A 'Civil Rights' Leader: Toward Abolishing Poverty And War By Correcting Our Fatally Inadequate Remembering Of Mlk Jr., Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

Remembering Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—primarily as a domestic “civil rights” leader—is inadequate, and sometimes harmful. The term “civil rights” fails to embrace King’s abolitionist movements toward the global abolition of poverty and war. Moreover, King was a Baptist preacher called by God. He advanced an optimistic realism (including a “realistic pacifism”) that improves upon pessimistic-cynical versions of political realism. And King went beyond advancing “civil rights” to advancing economic justice, economic rights, and human rights. He prescribed adding a social and economic bill of rights to the US Constitution, plus full-employment supplemented by “guaranteed income ...


Another Scientific Revolution: Now Yielding A 'Cosmic Biology' Consistent With Natural Theology, Theodore Walker Apr 2018

Another Scientific Revolution: Now Yielding A 'Cosmic Biology' Consistent With Natural Theology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

Beyond the Copernican revolution, another scientific revolution is now in process. Inspired by Sir Fred Hoyle and others, this contemporary extension of the Copernican revolution is replacing biology conceived as exclusively Earth science with biology conceived as including study of stellar evolution and cosmic evolution. Furthermore, astrobiology, panspermia, and cosmic biology (Hoyle and Wickramasinghe) are advancing in ways consistent with natural theology, especially with panentheism. Some of this was anticipated and advocated by Alfred North Whitehead, Charles Hartshorne, and other philosophers of nature.


Martin Luther King Jr. On Economy, Ecology, And Civilization: Toward A Mlk Jr-Inspired Ecotheology, Theodore Walker Jan 2018

Martin Luther King Jr. On Economy, Ecology, And Civilization: Toward A Mlk Jr-Inspired Ecotheology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

This MLK Jr-inspired ecotheology [eco-theology] connects “economics,” “ecology,” and “ecological civilization” to the theological ethics of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Though we often remember King primarily as a domestic civil rights leader; attention to King’s book—Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? (1967) reveals that he advanced a global ethics. King called for replacing recourse to war with nonviolent resistance to evil, and for abolishing poverty throughout “the world house.” He prescribed that we “civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” King was concerned with civilizing “the world house” (house ...


The Necessary Right Of Choice For Physician-Assisted Suicide, Kerry E. Ullman Oct 2017

The Necessary Right Of Choice For Physician-Assisted Suicide, Kerry E. Ullman

Student Publications

Research-based paper on the importance of the right for terminally ill patients facing a painful death to be able to choose how they end their life


Immanent Frames: Meiji New Buddhism And The 'Religious Secular', James Shields Jun 2017

Immanent Frames: Meiji New Buddhism And The 'Religious Secular', James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

The secularization thesis, rooted in the idea that “modernity” brings with it the destruction—or, at least, the ruthless privatization—of religion, is clearly grounded in specific, often oversimplified, interpretations of Western historical developments since the eighteenth century. In this article, I use the case of the New Buddhist Fellowship (Shin Bukkyō Dōshikai 新仏教同志会) of the Meiji period (1868–1911) to query the category of the secular in the context of Japanese modernity. I argue that the New Buddhists, drawing on elements of classical and East Asian Buddhism as well as modern Western thought, promoted a resolutely social and this-worldly ...


The Unifying Power Of Education, Keagan Potts, Jenji Learn Apr 2017

The Unifying Power Of Education, Keagan Potts, Jenji Learn

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

  • Without Expertise or Experience: Philosophizing When Your Students Know You Know Nothing
  • Segregated Students — Segregated Society: The Primacy of Education in Ending Hate
  • Combatting Emerging Resegregation: Teaching Those in Power to Empower


The Scope And Limits Of Secular Buddhism: Watanabe Kaikyoku (1868–1912) And The Japanese New Buddhist 'Discovery Of Society', James Shields Mar 2017

The Scope And Limits Of Secular Buddhism: Watanabe Kaikyoku (1868–1912) And The Japanese New Buddhist 'Discovery Of Society', James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

Although New Buddhism is a term sometimes employed to refer to the broad sweep of reform and modernization movements in Japanese Buddhist thought and practice beginning in the 1870s, the term shin bukkyō refers more specifically to a broadly influential movement of some two dozen young scholars and lay Buddhists active in the last decade of the Meiji period (1868–1912). Founded in February 1899 as Bukkyō Seito Dōshikai (Buddhist Pure Believers Fellowship or Buddhist Puritan Association), the group changed its name to Shin Bukkyō Dōshikai (New Buddhist Fellowship) in 1903. Notto Thelle refers to the NBF as “the most ...


The Moral Implications Of Software Piracy, Kyle Hamrick Dec 2016

The Moral Implications Of Software Piracy, Kyle Hamrick

Student Scholarship - Computer Science

Computer software is integrated into almost every aspect of our professional and personal lives. Much of this software requires payment for use and is legally protected by the copyright system. This paper examines and analyzes the arguments pertaining to the moral use of protected software (digital piracy). The three arguments presented are the “victimless crime” argument, the “noble justification” argument, and the “willing but unable argument.” These three arguments claim that piracy is morally justified in certain cases, and claim that software providers are not harmed in such situations. The three arguments are tested against counter-arguments, and it is discovered ...


The Wooden Doctrine: Basketball, Moral Character, And The Successful Life, Janelle Dewitt Aug 2016

The Wooden Doctrine: Basketball, Moral Character, And The Successful Life, Janelle Dewitt

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

No abstract provided.


Crispr Humans: Ethics At The Edge Of Science, Insoo Hyun Aug 2016

Crispr Humans: Ethics At The Edge Of Science, Insoo Hyun

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

No abstract provided.


Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields Jun 2016

Peasant Revolts As Anti-Authoritarian Archetypes For Radical Buddhism In Modern Japan, James Shields

Faculty Journal Articles

The late Meiji period (1868-1912) witnessed the birth of various forms of “progressive” and “radical” Buddhism both within and beyond traditional Japanese Buddhist institutions. This paper examines several historical precedents for “Buddhist revolution” in East Asian—and particularly Japanese—peasant rebellions of the early modern period. I argue that these rebellions, or at least the received narratives of such, provided significant “root paradigms” for the thought and practice of early Buddhist socialists and radical Buddhists of early twentieth century Japan. Even if these narratives ended in “failure”—as, indeed, they often did—they can be understood as examples of what ...


Centralization And Its Discontents: Exploring The Relationship Between Measures Of Moral Development, Happiness And Technology Driven, Centralized Ways Of Being, Kirsti Svendsen Apr 2016

Centralization And Its Discontents: Exploring The Relationship Between Measures Of Moral Development, Happiness And Technology Driven, Centralized Ways Of Being, Kirsti Svendsen

Ph.D. Dissertations (Open Access)

This interdisciplinary, qualitative dissertation offers an exploration into possible intimate relationships between recently expanding, technology driven forms of centralization of our social institutions and a supposed decline in moral development and happiness among Americans today.

According to Jacques Ellul, technology in itself is not the problem. Instead, he believes the tragedy is that the new idea or spirit of technique , technical efficiency and economic progress, which may have started with the Industrial revolution, and has become the western world s new "religion", the new salvation for humanity. Ellul and other thinkers suggest that the single-minded focus on material progress has ...


The Germans And Their Nazi Past: To What Extent Have They Accepted Responsibility?, Martin Hille Apr 2016

The Germans And Their Nazi Past: To What Extent Have They Accepted Responsibility?, Martin Hille

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

No abstract provided.


John Cobb’S Liberating Work From The Perspective Of Black Theology, Theodore Walker Mar 2016

John Cobb’S Liberating Work From The Perspective Of Black Theology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

John Cobb offers “a critical view of inherited theology” (1980), and an affirmative answer to the question “Has Europe become theologically barren?” (2002a). He prescribes listening to alternative theological voices, including black, feminist, Latin American and Native American voices demanding liberation from oppression and poverty. He is critically attentive to continuing connections to colonialism and slavery. He offers a Martin-Luther-King-Jr.-like witness concerning the abolition of poverty globally. Hence, John Cobb is doing liberation theology and liberation ethics.


Learning To Think Ethically: Moral Development For University Students, Kevin Twain Lowery Feb 2016

Learning To Think Ethically: Moral Development For University Students, Kevin Twain Lowery

Faculty Scholarship – Theology

This short article briefly describes all of the different dynamics and factors that make moral theory rather complex. Some examples are provided to illustrate how these complexities can be addressed and explained in the classroom. The author also notes how social science informs ethics and how theological and biblical hermeneutics shape Christian ethics in particular.


The Global Impact Of Religious Violence, Hector Avalos Jan 2016

The Global Impact Of Religious Violence, Hector Avalos

Philosophy and Religious Studies Publications

TIP O'NEILL, THE FAMOUS Speaker of the United States House of Representatives ( 1977-1987 ), is often credited with popularizing the phrase, ''.All politics is locaI:'1 In the case of religious violence, it is particularly difficult to say that "all violence is local:' The shootings in Orlando, Florida in June of 2016 are related, even if indirectly, to the airport attacks in Belgium and Istanbul. In turn, these events are related to the American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. Indeed, religious violence can easily transcend geography and ...


Vulnerability, Preventability, And Responsibility: Exploring Some Normative Implications Of The Human Condition, Daniel E. Wueste Sep 2015

Vulnerability, Preventability, And Responsibility: Exploring Some Normative Implications Of The Human Condition, Daniel E. Wueste

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

Presented March 17, 2015. Papers presented for the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Western Michigan University.


The Theology And Agency Of Love As The Substance Of Kingian Non-Violent Philosophy And Activism., Matthew Quainoo May 2015

The Theology And Agency Of Love As The Substance Of Kingian Non-Violent Philosophy And Activism., Matthew Quainoo

Senior Honors Projects

The theology of Love focuses on King’s understanding of God as love:

A Research Abstract (Project Summary)

Problem: Almost 50 years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., controversy continues to swirl around the motivational forces that inspired the nonviolence approach employed by King in his fight for equality for African Americans, the economically disadvantaged and victims of injustice through peaceful protest. Some scholars argue that Kings was inspired by such advocates of nonviolence such as Mahatma Gandhi and Buddha Shakyamuni. Others believe that Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence was an expression of the Christian theology ...


God In Pre- And Post- Genocide Rwanda: Understanding People’S Perspectives, Ben Weinberg Apr 2015

God In Pre- And Post- Genocide Rwanda: Understanding People’S Perspectives, Ben Weinberg

Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection

After the slaughter of over a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu in Rwanda in 1994, God remains an important part in the life of many Rwandans. In this study, 11 Rwandans including survivors, perpetrators, and refugees, were interviewed to provide their perceptions of God before and after the genocide. Through the use of these interviews and various studies on evil, coping, and trauma, this research intends to understand both the shift in belief before to after the genocide and the factors that caused the shift to occur. Informant testimony provides evidence of the way that God and Christian theology has ...


Can One Love The Distant Other? Empathy, Affiliation, And Cosmopolitanism, Gregory R. Peterson Mar 2015

Can One Love The Distant Other? Empathy, Affiliation, And Cosmopolitanism, Gregory R. Peterson

School of American and Global Studies Faculty Publications with a focus on History, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religion

An ongoing debate in political and moral philosophy concerns the nature of international obligations. While cosmopolitans argue that duties of justice are independent of national borders, statists argue otherwise, sometimes basing their account on the limitations of our empathic concern, a line of argument found much earlier in Adam Smith. Although critics argue that empathy is neither necessary nor sufficient for morality, and although statists imply that psychological limitations of the kind that would be based in empathy prevent the realization of commitments to distant others beyond humanitarian aid, I argue that both these views are incorrect. While the possession ...


Snark Wars, Kerry S. Walters Jan 2015

Snark Wars, Kerry S. Walters

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The latest volley in the war of words waged by cultured despisers of Christianity was fired on Christmas Day. Celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, host of the television series "Cosmos," bushwhacked Christians with this tweeted broadside: "On this day long ago, a child was born who, by age 30, would transform the world. Happy Birthday Isaac Newton b. Dec 25, 1642."

Not content with just one shot, Tyson let fly again. "Merry Christmas to all," he tweeted. "A Pagan holiday (BC) becomes a Religious holiday (AD). Which then becomes a Shopping holiday (USA)."

Then, the coup de grace. "QUESTION: This ...


The Search For Justice In A War-Filled World: Implementing The Just-War Theory, Hannah Schaefer Jan 2015

The Search For Justice In A War-Filled World: Implementing The Just-War Theory, Hannah Schaefer

Augustana Center for the Study of Ethics Essay Contest

This paper is about addressing conflict using ethical methods. Strategies that are highlighted include nonviolent protests and behaviors before, during, and after engaging in a war with the end goal being justice and peace.


A Taste Of Armageddon: When Warring Is Done By Drones And Robots, Brian Stiltner Jan 2015

A Taste Of Armageddon: When Warring Is Done By Drones And Robots, Brian Stiltner

Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Faculty Publications

Discusses the increasing use of drones and weaponized robots. Argues that the international community must put firm ethical guidelines in place before the technology becomes rampant.


Orange Is The New Golgotha, Kerry S. Walters Dec 2014

Orange Is The New Golgotha, Kerry S. Walters

Philosophy Faculty Publications

The Roman soldiers jeered at Jesus, called him "towelhead" and "sand monkey," ripped off his garments and clad him in an orange jumpsuit. Then they pulled a black sack over his head and led him to an interrogation cell, where CIA operatives awaited him. They shackled Jesus's wrists and strung him up so that he dangled from the ceiling. One of them questioned him, and when his responses weren't to their liking, the other beat him. [excerpt]


Anorexia/Bulimia, Transcendence, And The Potential Impact Of Romanticized/Sexualized Death Imagery, Heather D. Schild Nov 2014

Anorexia/Bulimia, Transcendence, And The Potential Impact Of Romanticized/Sexualized Death Imagery, Heather D. Schild

Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Papers

Presented November 10, 2014. Papers presented for the Center for the Study of Ethics in Society Western Michigan University


Seno'o Giro: Life And Thought Of A Radical Buddhist, James Shields Jul 2014

Seno'o Giro: Life And Thought Of A Radical Buddhist, James Shields

Faculty Contributions to Books

No abstract provided.


An Irishman's Diary On A Classic Novel Of The Great War., Eamon Maher May 2014

An Irishman's Diary On A Classic Novel Of The Great War., Eamon Maher

Articles

No abstract provided.