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Book Where the Conflict Really Lies Description/Summary:
In this long-awaited book, pre-eminent analytical philosopher Alvin Plantinga argues that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord.
Book Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism Description/Summary:
This book is a long-awaited major statement by a pre-eminent analytic philosopher, Alvin Plantinga, on one of our biggest debates -- the compatibility of science and religion. The last twenty years has seen a cottage industry of books on this divide, but with little consensus emerging. Plantinga, as a top philosopher but also a proponent of the rationality of religious belief, has a unique contribution to make. His theme in this short book is that the conflict between science and theistic religion is actually superficial, and that at a deeper level they are in concord. Plantinga examines where this conflict is supposed to exist -- evolution, evolutionary psychology, analysis of scripture, scientific study of religion -- as well as claims by Dan Dennett, Richard Dawkins, and Philip Kitcher that evolution and theistic belief cannot co-exist. Plantinga makes a case that their arguments are not only inconclusive but that the supposed conflicts themselves are superficial, due to the methodological naturalism used by science. On the other hand, science can actually offer support to theistic doctrines, and Plantinga uses the notion of biological and cosmological fine-tuning in support of this idea. Plantinga argues that we might think about arguments in science and religion in a new way -- as different forms of discourse that try to persuade people to look at questions from a perspective such that they can see that something is true. In this way, there is a deep and massive consonance between theism and the scientific enterprise.
Is belief in God epistemically justified? That's the question at the heart of this volume in the Great Debates in Philosophy series, with Alvin Plantinga and Michael Tooley each addressing this fundamental question with distinctive arguments from opposing perspectives. The first half of the book contains each philosopher's explanation of his particular view; the second half allows them to directly respond to each other's arguments, in a lively and engaging conversation Offers the reader a one of a kind, interactive discussion Forms part of the acclaimed Great Debates in Philosophy series
Sets of contingent objects, perhaps, are as contingent as their members; but properties, propositions, numbers and states of affairs, it seems, are objects whose non-existence is quite impossible. If so, however, how are they related to God? Suppose God has a nature: a property he has essentially that includes each property essential to him. Does God have a nature? And if he does, is there a conflict between God's sovereignty and his having a nature? How is God related to such abstract objects as properties and propositions? These are the questions I want to explore. - Introduction.
The modern materialist approach to life has conspicuously failed to explain such central mind-related features of our world as consciousness, intentionality, meaning, and value. This failure to account for something so integral to nature as mind, argues philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a major problem, threatening to unravel the entire naturalistic world picture, extending to biology, evolutionary theory, and cosmology. Since minds are features of biological systems that have developed through evolution, the standard materialist version of evolutionary biology is fundamentally incomplete. And the cosmological history that led to the origin of life and the coming into existence of the conditions for evolution cannot be a merely materialist history, either. An adequate conception of nature would have to explain the appearance in the universe of materially irreducible conscious minds, as such. Nagel's skepticism is not based on religious belief or on a belief in any definite alternative. InMind and Cosmos, he does suggest that if the materialist account is wrong, then principles of a different kind may also be at work in the history of nature, principles of the growth of order that are in their logical form teleological rather than mechanistic. In spite of the great achievements of the physical sciences, reductive materialism is a world view ripe for displacement. Nagel shows that to recognize its limits is the first step in looking for alternatives, or at least in being open to their possibility.
This is a reissue of a book which is an exploration and defence of the notion of modality 'de re', the idea that objects have both essential and accidental properties. It is one of the first full-length studies of the modalities to emerge from the debate to which Saul Kripke, David Lewis, Ruth Marcus and others have contributed. The argument is developed by means of the notion of possible worlds, and ranges over key problems including the nature of essence, trans-world identity, negative existential propositions, and the existence of unactual objects in other possible worlds. In the final chapters Professor Plantinga applies his logical theories to the clarification of two problems in the philosophy of religion - the Problem of Evil and the Ontological Argument.
An enlightening discussion that will motivate students to think critically, the book opens with Plantinga's assertion that Christianity is compatible with evolutionary theory because Christians believe that God created the living world, and it is entirely possible that God did so by using a process of evolution.
Almost a decade ago, Alvin Plantinga articulated his bold and controversial evolutionary argument against naturalism. This intriguing line of argument raises issues of importance to epistemologists and to philosophers of mind, of religion, and of science. In this, the first book to address the ongoing debate, Plantinga presents his influential thesis and responds to critiques by distinguished philosophers from a variety of subfields. Plantinga's argument is aimed at metaphysical naturalism or roughly the view that no supernatural beings exist. Naturalism is typically conjoined with evolution as an explanation of the existence and diversity of life. Plantinga's claim is that one who holds to the truth of both naturalism and evolution is irrational in doing so. More specifically, because the probability that unguided evolution would have produced reliable cognitive faculties is either low or inscrutable, one who holds both naturalism and evolution acquires a defeater for every belief he/she holds, including the beliefs associated with naturalism and evolution. Following Plantinga's brief summary of his thesis are eleven original pieces by his critics. The book concludes with a new essay by Plantinga in which he defends and extends his view that metaphysical naturalism is self-defeating. --Peter Heltzel, Fordham University, Religious Studies Review Vol 30 No 1, January 2004 "International Journal for Philosophy of Religion"
Book Actuality, Possibility, and Worlds Description/Summary:
Actuality, Possibility and Worlds is an exploration of the Aristotelian account that sees possibilities as grounded in causal powers. On his way to that account, Pruss surveys a number of historical approaches and argues that logicist approaches to possibility are implausible.The notion of possible worlds appears to be useful for many purposes, such as the analysis of counterfactuals or elucidating the nature of propositions and properties. This usefulness of possible worlds makes for a second general question: Are there any possible worlds and, if so, what are they? Are they concrete universes as David Lewis thinks, Platonic abstracta as per Robert M. Adams and Alvin Plantinga, or maybe linguistic or mathematical constructs such as Heller thinks? Or is perhaps Leibniz right in thinking that possibilia are not on par with actualities and that abstracta can only exist in a mind, so that possible worlds are ideas in the mind of God?
Argues against naturalism, or the idea that natural physical processes explain everything, the mind and soul do not exist, and consciousness and causality may have no basis, and suggests that it does not account for human--or any--action.
In this short masterpiece, eminent scientist and theologian John Polkinghorne offers an accessible, yet authoritative, introduction to the stimulating field of science and theology. After surveying their volatile historical relationship, he leads the reader through the whole array of questions at the nexus of the scientific and religious quests. A lucid and lively writer, Polkinghorne provides a marvelously clear overview of the major elements of current science (including quantum theory, chaos theory, time, and cosmology). He then offers a concise outline of the character of religion and shows the joint potential of science of religion to illumine some of the thorniest issues in theology today: creation, the nature of knowledge, human and divine identity and agency. Polkinghorne aptly demonstrates that a sturdy faith has nothing to fear and much to gain from an intellectually honest appraisal of the new horizons of contemporary science.
In this bold and original book, the author develops a provocative theory about the metaphysics of material objects. According to this view, visible inanimate objects such as ships or mountains or stars do not, strictly speaking, exist.
Book A Little Book for New Scientists Description/Summary:
Many young Christians interested in the sciences have felt torn between two options: remaining faithful to Christ or studying science. In this concise introduction, Josh Reeves and Steve Donaldson provide both advice and encouragement for Christians in the sciences to bridge the gap between science and Christian belief and practice.
Plantinga examines the nature of epistemic warrant; whatever it is that when added to true belief yields knowledge. This volume surveys current contributions to the debate and paves the way for his owm positive proposal in Warrant and Proper Function.
GOD, ACTUALLY is a unique new book about Christianity. GOD ACtUALLY is a highly original and eclectic book about Christianity, covering a wide range of subjects. Williams doesn't preach to the converted or attempt to browbeat sceptics. Instead, he persuades using rational argument drawn from non-religious sources: physics, chemistry and biology; politics, history and sociology; music, novels, poetry and film. In part the book is a counter to the recent bestsellers by atheists like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, and shows that belief in Christianity can and should be based on logical deductions from known facts. It is not a matter of ignorant superstition or blind faith.