But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.  1 Peter 3: 14-16

Edward Feser - Apologetic Report
Wednesday, 21 June 2017 04:15

Arguments from desire

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On his radio show yesterday, Dennis Prager acknowledged that one reason he believes in God – though not the only one – is that he wants it to be the case that God exists.  The thought that there is no compensation in the hereafter for suffering endured in this life, nor any reunion with departed loved ones, is one he finds just too depressing.  Prager did not present this as an argument for the existence of God or for life after death, but just the expression of a motivation for believing in God and the afterlife. ...

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Monday, 12 June 2017 15:30

Stroud on Hume

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David Hume, as I often argue, is overrated. But that’s not his fault. It’s the fault of those who do the overrating. So, rather than beat up on him (as I have done recently), let’s beat up on them for a change. Or rather, let’s watch Barry Stroud do it, in a way that is far more genteel than I’m inclined to....

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Friday, 09 June 2017 04:52

Five Proofs is coming

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Five Proofs of the Existence of God will be out this Fall. You can pre-order at the Ignatius Press website and at Amazon. Here’s the book jacket description:...

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The “new natural law theory” (NNLT) was invented in the 1960s by theologian Germain Grisez and has found prominent advocates in law professors John Finnis and Robert P. George. Other influential members of this school of thought include the philosophers Joseph Boyle and Christopher Tollefsen and the theologian E. Christian Brugger....

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Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:53

Catholic Herald on capital punishment

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The latest issue of the Catholic Herald features an article by Dan Hitchens on Catholicism and the death penalty which discusses By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment, which I co-authored with political scientist Joseph Bessette and which has just been released by Ignatius Press. The article contains some remarks from a brief interview I did with the Herald....

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Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:34

When is a university not a university?

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Some readers may by now have heard about what is happening at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, where the university president’s actions have put the philosophy faculty in fear for their jobs and for the survival of their program. Details are available at Daily Nous (with a follow-up here) and at Inside Higher Ed.;...

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Tuesday, 23 May 2017 14:34

Peters on By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed

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Defenders of the death penalty for certain heinous offenses need no encouragement from me to study this book, of course, but, from now on, opponents of the death penalty who do not address the arguments set out by Feser & Bessette really have nothing useful to contribute to the debate....

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Friday, 19 May 2017 12:15

Wrath and its daughters

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We’ve examined lust and its daughters. Turning to another of the seven deadly sins, let’s consider wrath. Like lust, wrath is the distortion of a passion that is in itself good. Like lust, it can become deeply habituated, and even a source of a kind of perverse pleasure in the one who indulges it. (Hence the neologism “rageaholic.”) And like lust, it can as a consequence severely impair reason....

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Thursday, 11 May 2017 11:13

Davies on evil suffered

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In The Reality of God and the Problem of Evil, Brian Davies draws a distinction between “evil suffered” and “evil done.” Evil suffered is badness that happens to or afflicts someone or something. Evil done is badness that is actively brought about or inflicted by some moral agent.;...

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Monday, 01 May 2017 12:24

Caught in the web

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The Dictionary of Christianity and Science has just been published by Zondervan. I contributed an essay to the volume.

Philosopher and AI critic Hubert Dreyfus has died. John Schwenkler on Dreyfus at First Things. ...

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Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:30

Five Proofs preview

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By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed will be out from Ignatius Press next month.  Later in the year, and also from Ignatius, comes my book Five Proofs of the Existence of God.  Having told you, dear reader, a bit about the former, let me say something about the latter....

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 10:14

Empirical science and the transcendentals

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As James Ladyman notes in Understanding Philosophy of Science, “many scientists intuitively regard simple and unifying theories as, all other things being equal, more likely to be true than messy and complex ones” (p. 83). In the minds of some prominent scientists, this simplicity criterion is tied to aesthetic value....

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Sunday, 09 April 2017 08:36

The problem of Hume’s problem of induction

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In the context of discussion of Hume’s famous “problem of induction,” induction is typically characterized as reasoning from what we have observed to what we have not observed. For example, we reason inductively in this sense when we infer from the fact that bread has nourished us in the past that it will also nourish us in the future....

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Sunday, 02 April 2017 12:35

Goldman on Dreher’s The Benedict Option

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People have been asking me to comment on David Goldman’s review of Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option. The reason is that among Goldman’s criticisms of Dreher (some of which I agree with) are a set of objections to metaphysical realism, which has its roots in Plato and Aristotle, was central to the thought of medieval philosophers like Aquinas, and was abandoned by nominalists like Ockham – an abandonment which prepared the ground for some of the aspects of modernity Dreher rightly deplores....

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Sunday, 26 March 2017 03:03

Shea apologizes

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In some recent posts, I have been objecting to some things Mark Shea has been saying when commenting on the forthcoming book on capital punishment I co-authored with Joe Bessette. In an email and in a post at his own blog, Shea has now graciously apologized. I am happy to accept his apology....

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Among the outrageous calumnies thatMark Shea has flung at my co-author Joe Bessette and I is the accusation that we are “dissenters” from binding Catholic doctrine, on all fours with Catholics who dissent from Church teaching on abortion and euthanasia.  He mocks Catholics who oppose the latter but not capital punishment, accusing them of inconsistency and bad faith. ...

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Friday, 24 March 2017 05:09

A low down dirty Shea

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Not too long ago, Catholic writer Mark Shea and I had an exchange on the subject of capital punishment. See this post, this one, and this one for my side of the exchange and for links to Shea’s side of it. A friend emails to alert me that Shea has now made some remarks at Facebook about the forthcoming book on the subject that I have co-authored with Joe Bessette. “Deranged” might seem an unkind description of Shea and his comments....

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Friday, 17 March 2017 04:24

Meta-bigotry

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Sophistry is the attempt to persuade someone of some proposition or policy by the use of fallacious arguments. What I have called meta-sophistry involves accusing others of fallacies or of sophistry in a matter that is itself fallacious or sophistical.  The meta-sophist cynically deploys...

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Friday, 10 March 2017 04:08

Get linked

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At The New York Review of Books, Thomas Nagel reviews Daniel Dennett’s new book From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds....

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Friday, 03 March 2017 12:18

Supervenience on the hands of an angry God

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In his bookPhysicalism, or Something Near Enough, Jaegwon Kim puts forward the following characterization of the materialist supervenience thesis:
I take supervenience as an ontological thesisinvolving the idea of dependence – a sense of dependence that justifies saying that a mental...

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Thursday, 23 February 2017 09:15

How to be a pervert

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We’ve been talking of late about “perverted faculty arguments,” which deploy the concept of perversion in a specific, technical sense. The perversion of a human faculty essentially involves both using the faculty but doing so in a way that is positively contrary to its natural end....

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Wednesday, 15 February 2017 21:57

Mired in the roiling tar pits of lust

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So what makes the perversion of a faculty seriously wrong? In particular, why have traditional natural law theorists and Catholic moral theologians regarded the perversion of our sexual faculties as seriously wrong?...

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Tuesday, 07 February 2017 22:25

Foundations of sexual morality

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The foundations of traditional sexual morality, like the foundations of all morality, are to be found in classical natural law theory. I set out the basic lines of argument in my essay “In Defense of the Perverted Faculty Argument,” which appears in my book Neo-Scholastic Essays....

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Thursday, 02 February 2017 08:57

Science, computers, and Aristotle

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If you think that the brain, or the genome, or the universe as a whole is a kind of computer, then you are really an Aristotelian whether you realize it or not....

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Wednesday, 25 January 2017 17:20

Immaterial thought and embodied cognition

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In a combox remark on my recent post about James Ross’s argument for the immateriality of thought, reader Red raises an important set of issues:

Given embodied cognition, aren't these types of arguments from abstract concepts and Aristotelian metaphysics hugely undermined? In their book Philosophy in the Flesh Lakoff and Johnson argue that abstract concepts are largely metaphorical.

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