Archive for the ‘Philosophy of Religion’ Category.

Meditation and Mind-Body Therapy: Health and Higher Reality

Precis: Shamanic healing and meditation mind-body therapy, along with other forms of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), are alive and doing well in Malaysia. Modern people who assume that mysticism, machinery and medicine simply cannot be mixed may be shocked to find out that some hospitals are incorporating mystical rituals like meditation mind-body therapy into their services.

What are some of the reasons for the rising popularity of Meditation and Mind-Body Therapy? Can these treatments be scientifically tested and verified? What physiological and psychological bases underlie reported mystical-meditational ‘extra-sensory’ experience? Finally, how should Christians evaluate meditation and mind-body therapy from a Biblical-theological perspective? Continue reading ‘Meditation and Mind-Body Therapy: Health and Higher Reality’ »

The Moral Argument for the Existence of God – Reasonable Christianity

The moral argument for the existence of God is often given a simple deductive form:

1) If there are objective moral values, then God exists.

2) There are objective moral values.

3) Therefore, God exists.

Logicians agree the logical form of this argument is valid. However, this does not guarantee the argument is sound. An argument is sound only when its logical form is valid and when all its premises are true. The crucial step would be to demonstrate premises 1 and 2 are true. Otherwise, the argument fails.

 

C.S. Lewis therefore does not simply rely on a deductive argument that moves from universal/general to particular. He begins from concrete particulars related to premise 2. Continue reading ‘The Moral Argument for the Existence of God – Reasonable Christianity’ »

The Argument from Reason for the Existence of God – Reasonable Christianity

Scientific inquiry proceeds with the presupposition that nature is an orderly structure which is intelligible to the human mind. How is this coherent interaction between the human mind and the natural order possible? What is the origin and nature of human reason? For simplicity, I shall just focus on two dominant paradigms addressing these questions:

1) Naturalism and reductive materialism: the universe of space-time and all its interlocking processes exists as a causally closed continuum and nothing else exist. This being the case, reason and mental processes are merely some aspect of physical processes or neural activity.

2) Theism –The observable space-time is a contingent order produced and sustained by a necessary being called God. Indeed, this space-time framework may not even be the only order of reality created by God. Reason is derived from some form of supernatural or divine intervention.

C.S. Lewis’ Argument from Reason sets out to out to demonstrate why naturalism fails to account for the origin and reliability of reason. On the other hand, reason is better accounted for within a theistic framework. Continue reading ‘The Argument from Reason for the Existence of God – Reasonable Christianity’ »

A Fine-Tuned and Designer Universe

Precis: The precise values of the physical constants of nature and the serendipitous state (initial conditions) of the beginning of the universe all point to a cosmic designer who has fine-tuned the universe. The evidence available from contemporary science suggests that theism provides a more plausible explanation for the emergence of life in the universe than naturalism or atheism. Continue reading ‘A Fine-Tuned and Designer Universe’ »

A Solution to the Logical Problem (Alleged Contradiction) of Evil

The Claim of Contradiction
According to John Mackie (The Miracle of Theism. OUP 1982) the theist accepts a group or set of three propositions; this set is inconsistent. The propositions are

(1) God is omnipotent
(2) God is wholly good
and
(3) Evil exists.

Call this set A; the claim is that A is an inconsistent set. But what is it for a set to be inconsistent or contradictory? Continue reading ‘A Solution to the Logical Problem (Alleged Contradiction) of Evil’ »

The Problem of Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds in Leibniz’s Theodicy

The Problem of Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds in Leibniz’s Theodicy
The problem of evil is arguably the most intractable problem facing the theist. The first challenge for the theist is the logical problem of evil which says that the set of propositions comprising the following – (1) An omnipotent God creates this world, (2) God is perfectly good, (3) This world is not perfectly good, i.e. evil exists – is an inconsistent set. Holding to any two of these propositions requires dropping the third to avoid the problem of contradiction. For example, that evil exists demands either God is good but not omnipotent (since he fails to prevent evil) or that God is omnipotent but not truly good (since he allows evil despite having the power to prevent it). Continue reading ‘The Problem of Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds in Leibniz’s Theodicy’ »

Kalam Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God, Contingency and Principle of Sufficient Reason. Preliminary Thoughts.

I. Kalam Cosmological Argument

Without doubt the most well known argument for the existence for God today is the Kalam cosmological argument which features prominently in many debates between William Craig and atheistic thinkers.  The Kalam cosmological argument in its simplest form goes as follows:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe begins to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

This is a strong argument precisely because it is logically tight (an unassailable modus ponens). Continue reading ‘Kalam Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God, Contingency and Principle of Sufficient Reason. Preliminary Thoughts.’ »

Speech Act Revelation: Bible and Quran

Speech Act Revelation: Bible and Quran

Thesis – By definition, an agreement involves at least two parties. It would be a very odd covenant in which one party knows what the other party desires, but does not know who the other party really is. Just imagine entering a covenant with someone via faxed messages or the Internet…Put in religious language, divine revelation is deficient if it is only given as a textual message. Continue reading ‘Speech Act Revelation: Bible and Quran’ »

Analogy in Theological Language (Part 3): A Model of the Trinity

For Part 1 – Analogy in Theological Language

For Part 2 – Analogical Language in God-Talk –Special Reference to Unity and Diversity in the Trinity

Given below is an analogy or model of the Trinity taken from the book, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview by J. P. Moreland and William Lane Craig. You may note that the model is a description of how the Trinity could be coherently conceived. It does not constitue a logical proof. The alert reader would also recognize that Moreland and Craig are merely defending one of several possible models of the Trinity. Continue reading ‘Analogy in Theological Language (Part 3): A Model of the Trinity’ »

Analogy in Theological Language (Part 2)

Analogical Language in God-Talk –Special Reference to Unity and Diversity in the Trinity

For Part 1 – Analogy in Theological Language

For Part 3 – Analogy in Theological Language: A Model of the Trinity

Analogical Language in God-talk
Let us then investigate how analogical language plays a prominent role in Christian theology.

First, some words about the language of God talk: Talk about God can be univocal, equivocal or analogical.

Univocal language – When a term is used univocally it is being given exactly the same meaning in two different contexts, e.g., we would say of both a dog and a cat that each is a mammal.

Equivocal language – This is to give a word two completely different and unrelated meanings. It is purely accidental that the word sounds the same in each case. Thus the word ‘bat’ can be used of an object in the game of cricket and of a flying animal.

Any attempt at God-talk faces the following dilemma. Continue reading ‘Analogy in Theological Language (Part 2)’ »