Recent Responses

Recent Responses

Response by Jonathan Westphal on May 3, 2020

This is a good question, and it is easy to answer. "Coercion" here is something like arm-twisting. It is a use of force or the threat of force to cause someone to do something. It takes this kind of force to prevent freewill doing its stuff. Ordinary causation won't do it, according to compatibilism. If my mother tells me to eat my nice soup, and I do it because I am hungry, that is ordinary causation. If my mother tells me to eat my nice soup, because if I don't she will whack me round the ear with her wooden spoon if I don't, that is coercion. It involves force or the threat of force....more

Response by Allen Stairs on April 27, 2020

If I really believed that you really believed that these are the only two alternatives, then I'd probably believe that you're stupid. But I don't believe any such thing. I'd be willing to bet a tidy sum that if someone else asked you the very same question, you wouldn't have any trouble pointing out a whole bunch of alternatives that they're overlooking.

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Response by Yuval Avnur on April 16, 2020

Hi,...more

Response by Allen Stairs on April 9, 2020

There are several questions here, and we need to distinguish them.

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Response by Allen Stairs on April 9, 2020

Why assume that Mr A's prayer's were answered? Is the idea of the example that Chelsea won because Mr.A prated for it to happen and God acted accordingly? Suppose I ray for a natural disaster and one happens. Would we assume that this was God answering my prayers? Surely not on any conception of God that's worth taking seriously.

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Response by Allen Stairs on April 2, 2020

No.

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Response by Allen Stairs on April 2, 2020

Some theologians and philosophers would say that religious devotion to anything less than a perfect being amounts to idolatry, and a less-than-omniscient or less than omnibenevolent or less-than-omnipotent being would be less than a perfect being.

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Response by Charles Taliaferro on April 2, 2020

One of the philosophical roots for identifying divine attributes is the idea that God (if there is a God) is maximally excellent or (in language going back to St. Anselm) God is a being greater than which cannot be conceived. Advocates of this way of thinking are sometimes described as advancing perfect being theology. They ask: what would be more excellent a being that knows a great deal or an omniscient being? a being that is very powerful or one that is omnipotent?...more

Response by Stephen Maitzen on April 2, 2020

I doubt that "because" is as finicky as you seem to be suggesting it is. I think it's perfectly true that Fred belongs to the set because he is only 14, and it's perfectly true that Fred belongs to the set because he is less than 15. I'm not familiar with any explanatory concept according to which one of those facts about Fred, but not the other, explains Fred's membership in the set. In any case, I'm confident that "because" does not stand for any such concept.

Response by Charles Taliaferro on April 2, 2020

Perhaps you are very gifted and your mother was humorously commending humility. Maybe you won an award and she did not want you to think you were the best and could therefore retire. In any case, on the matter at hand: if your mother told every (to use your example) artist that there was always somebody better than that artist, then there would indeed have to be infinitely many artists --just as there cannot be a greatest possible number, there could not be a greatest possible artist....more