Vol 10, No 1, Fall 2012, Special Philosophy Edition

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"Religion in the Public Square"
by Ross Irvin

This paper argues that religious beliefs should not be excluded from the public square and that the government could at times pass laws when religious arguments are presented. The opposing views of secularism are examined and criticized, and the concepts of freedom of conscious and freedom of choice are compared. The paper utilizes the controversy over abortion and gay marriage to illustrate why religious arguments could be included in the public square.

"The Evidential Argument from Evil: A True Problem for Theism?"
by Thomas McGraw

This paper demonstrates that ungrounded assumptions in the evidentialist argument, which holds that the existence of gratuitous evils makes God’s existence unlikely, render it a weak argument. Moreover, this paper counter- argues using a theodical approach that the existence of evil in the world does not conflict with and even points toward the existence of God. The author draws from philosophers Daniel Howard-Snyder, Michael Bergmann, Richard Swinburne, and Alvin Plantinga to argue against William Rowe’s evidentialist position.

"What If All Impressions Were True?"
by Michael Nichols

This paper seeks to examine the validity and meaning of Epicurus’ dictum, “all impressions are true.” It begins with a brief background of Epicurean epistemology and an analysis of the terms ἀληθές, and φαντασία, and then moves on to an explanation of three interpretations of ἀληθές, followed by a breakdown and critique of each interpretation. Ultimately, the paper attempts to prove that the original dictum “all impressions are true” is in fact trivial and unable to provide insight into the material world.

"Cultivating the Inward Man: A Consideration of the Positive Character of Nietzsche’s Jesus"
By Samuel Pomeroy

Though Friedrich Nietzsche’s overwhelmingly negative conception of Christianity as a social and religious movement is well known, his more ambivalent, even positive, opinion of the “historical Jesus” has also elicited interest. Using three vital components of “master morality” as its chief interpretive lens, this paper argues for a more nuanced view of Nietzsche’s Jesus based on his designation as “the noblest human being.” By recouching the personality of Jesus in terms of will and nobility, the paper is able to present his actions and teachings as a model for Nietzschean philosophy lived out in the world.

"The Expanded Problem of Hiddenness for Christian Theodicies"
By David Welch

Why is it that, when we look at the world around us, it gives us no reason, prima facie, to believe that it is governed by a perfectly loving and omnipotent God? John Schellenberg’s argument from this problem of Divine hiddenness posits that the answer is quite simple: no such God exists. The question must take a different—and more difficult—form for the Christian theodicist, who, if he maintains that union with God is (1) the greatest of all possible goods, (2) the only good which can decisively defeat evil in an individual’s life, and (3) only accessible through faith in Christ, must account also for why so few people seem to have such faith. By examining the arguments of several theodicists who have addressed both Schellenberg’s argument and the expanded problem of hiddenness, this paper pursues a rational, Biblical solution to the latter issue.