Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Richard Swinburne (PhD Edit)

Wales, Facebook

Richard Swinburne (1998) notes that many theists and atheists, due to Plantinga’s (free will defence) work, have accepted the logical problem of evil has been eliminated, and yet the evidential problem remains. Gratuitous evil.

He explains that whether or not the logical problem has been eliminated depends on how it is defined, and this ends up being a debate between certain theists and atheists on what hypothetical state of affairs would mean that God does not logically exist.

Michael Peterson (1982) reasons that Plantinga’s free will defense is sound in regard to the logical problem of evil and can be used to show that God must allow gratuitous evil or deny human free will. Peterson thinks Plantinga’s defense does not succumb to gratuitous evil.

Philosopher Doug Erlandson (1991) writes that theist and anti-theist have been debating the problem of evil for centuries, and the basic differing philosophical assumptions made by the two groups means that the debate shall continue.

Within my PhD work and online I have taken a compatibilist theistic position contrary to that of Plantinga's incomaptibilism, although in agreement with Plantinga on holding to traditional, Biblical Christian theism.

I reason a Reformed theistic, compatibilism reasonably deals with the logical problem of evil and gratuitous evil and the evidential problem of evil; and is more reasonable than incompatibilism.

ERLANDSON, DOUG (1991) ‘A New Perspective on the Problem of Evil’, in Doug Erlandson PhD Philosophy, Reformed.org, Orange County, Covenant Community Church of Orange County. 

PETERSON, MICHAEL (1982) Evil and the Christian God, Grand Rapids, Baker Book House. 

PETERSON, MICHAEL (1998) God and Evil, Boulder, Colorado, Westview Press.

PETERSON, MICHAEL, WILLIAM HASKER, BRUCE REICHENBACH, AND DAVID BASINGER (1996)(eds.), ‘Introduction: Saint Augustine: Evil is Privation of Good’, in Philosophy of Religion, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (1977)(2002) God, Freedom, and Evil, Grand Rapids, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (1982) The Nature of Necessity, Oxford, Clarendon Press.

PLANTINGA, ALVIN C. (2000) Warranted Christian Belief, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 

SWINBURNE, RICHARD (1998) Providence and the Problem of Evil, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Very Brief On Sikhism


From Ankerberg and Weldon that document Sikhism on page 429

The religions purpose is to 'foster universal brotherhood'. Ankerberg and Weldon (1999: 429).

Its founder is Guru Nanak (1999: 429).

The Scriptural source of authority is 'The Adi Granth' ('the original book'). (1999: 429).

Guru Nanak claimed divine inspirations as did many of the 'principal Sikh Gurus'. (1999: 429).

In regard to God, God is considered 'Ineffable (too great to be expressed in words, my addition), and 'One' (1999: 429).

Jesus is considered a human teacher. (1999: 429).

Therefore there would be a rejection of the Christian theology of Jesus as God and God the Son.

The Gospel of John, John 1, John 8 and I John as examples for Biblical reference.

In Sikhism, salvation is considered achieved by works through the guru's grace. (1999: 429).

Human beings are considered inwardly divine. (1999: 429).

Sin is 'ignorance; one primarily sins against the Nam (holy name of God) or against the gurus'. (1999: 429).

Satan is viewed as a Christian myth. (1999: 429). Death is 'ultimately inconsequential' (1999: 429).

Heaven and hell are temporal states or places. (1999: 429).

In my present work as a contracted corporate security officer to a trillion dollar, multi-national corporation, I have befriended two Sikh gentleman that appear to act and live consistently with the concept of 'universal brotherhood'.

The one Sikh gentleman I work with most has abandoned the turban but still holds to the religion while the other still wears the turban. Both seem very kind and concerned friends and human beings. The first gentleman has hosted me along with his wife on two occasions when I needed a place to sleep and stay in Vancouver for two days between a security course and work shifts.

Note, this does not change my core theology, philosophy and worldview in regard to soteriology.

I have had religious and philosophical discussions with both gentleman at off times at work when the public and other employees are not present.

I would at least somewhat agree with the Ankerberg and Weldon assessment, although my knowledge on the topic of Sikhism is limited and therefore I write a limited review.

Jesus would be viewed as a human teacher within Sikhism according to the text and I gather by my friends as well from our discussions.

The religious views of these two Sikh gentleman is basically agnostic as they pray to and believe in God but have both stated in regard to God, Scripture, Satan and satanic beings that no one knows the truth in reality.

In other words, Sikhism at least for these two gentleman is largely a cultural, ethnic, faith that is agnostic.

Blackburn states that agnosticism is the view that 'some proposition is not known, and perhaps cannot be known to be true or false.' Blackburn (1996: 10).

This definition from philosopher Blackburn in my opinion would largely sum up the religious and philosophical views of my two Sikh friends.

In regard to everlasting life for example, when I have discussed and stated the Christian position in support of everlasting life and that Christianity is supported by historical religious Scripture; John 3, I Corinthians 15, Revelation 20-22 as examples, my Sikh friends have leaned toward empirical scientific understandings only.

I am fully in support of empirical evidence and science but also support theological and philosophical approaches to finding truth.

My friends I reason would take an agnostic position on everlasting life as in reasoning anything is possible with God, but do not seem too hopeful.

ANKERBERG, JOHN AND JOHN WELDON (1999) Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions, Eugene, Oregon, Harvest House Publishers.

BLACKBURN, SIMON (1996) Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Oxford, Oxford University Press.