Saints, Heretics, and Atheists
A Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
Jeffrey K. McDonough
Table of Contents
1. Plato's Euthyphro: What is Piety?
1.1. The setting
1.2. First attempt: examples of piety
1.3. Second attempt: what is dear to the gods
1.4. Third attempt: what all the gods love
1.5. Fourth attempt: piety is the part of justice that concerns the gods
1.6. Fifth attempt: the pious is what is dear to the gods
2. Augustine's On Free Choice of the Will: Where Does Evil Come From?
2.1. The setting
2.2. What is the cause of evil?
2.3. The well-ordered person
2.4. Sin and ignorance
2.5. An objection and two conclusions
2.7. Freedom and determinism
3. Augustine's On Free Choice of the Will: Why Do We Have Free Will?
3.1. Set up and structure
3.2. How is it manifest that God exists?
3.3. Do all things, insofar as they are good, come from God?
3.4. Should free will be counted as a good thing that comes from God?
3.5. Happiness and immortality
4. Augustine's On Free Choice of Will: Why Do We Sin?
4.1. Why do we sin, and who is to blame?
4.2. Is libertarian freedom consistent with divine foreknowledge?
4.3. Can't God be blamed for creating beings that he knows will sin?
4.4. Is it the case that some of us must sin?
4.5. Three views on divine foreknowledge
5. Anselm's Proslogion: Does Reason Prove that God Exists?
5.1. The setting
5.2. Anselm's ontological argument
5.3. A Perfect Island?
5.4. Two Objections
6. Ibn Sina's The Book of Salvation: What is the Nature of the Soul?
6.1. The setting
6.2. What does the intellect do?
6.3. Is the soul immaterial?
6.4. Is the soul immortal?
6.5. What am I?
7. Al-Ghazali's The Rescuer from Error: Is Religious Belief Founded in Reason?
7.1. The setting
7.2. Three views on faith and reason
7.3. The quest for certainty
7.4. Three false foundations
7.5. Is God hidden?
8. Al-Ghazali's The Rescuer from Error: Is Religious Belief Founded in Experience?
8.1. Al-Ghazali's turn to mysticism
8.2. Three accounts of religious experience
8.3. Is religious experience a good reason for belief?
9. Aquinas's Summa Theologica: Does Experience Prove that God Exists?
9.1. The setting
9.2. Is the existence of God self-evident?
9.3. Can we prove that God exists?
9.4. The argument from motion, the first step
9.5. The argument from motion, the second step
9.6. The argument from motion, the conclusion
9.7. The argument from providence
10. Aquinas's Summa Theologica: What is the Impersonal Nature of God?
10.1. Is God simple?
10.2. Is God perfect?
10.3. Is God infinite?
10.4. Is God one?
10.5. Analogical predication
11. Aquinas's Summa Theologica: What is the Personal Nature of God?
11.1. The big picture
11.2. Divine knowledge
11.3. Divine will
11.4. Divine love
11.5. Is God masculine?
12. Porete's The Mirror of Simple Souls: What is Salvation?
12.1. The setting
12.2. Assent and annihilation
12.5. Life after Death?
13. Pascal's The Wager: Should We Bet on God?
13.1. The setting
13.2. A wager
13.3. Pascal's wager
13.4. Background assumptions
13.5. Objections and replies
14. Spinoza's Ethics: Is God Nature?
14.1. The setting
14.2. Substance monism
14.3. The Master Argument
14.4. "Deus sive Natura" (God or Nature)?
15. Spinoza's Ethics: Are We Modes of God?
15.1. Substance, attributes, modes
15.2. Human beings
15.3. Against libertarian freedom
15.4. For compatibilist freedom
15.5 Moderating the passions
16. Spinoza's Ethics: Good without God?
16.1. Two accounts of goodness
16.2. Beyond egoism
16.3. Good without God?
17. Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion: Is the Universe Designed?
17.1. The setting
17.2. The limits of reason
17.3. Cleanthes's first design argument
17.4. Cleanthes's second design argument
17.5. Is the universe fine-tuned?
18. Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion: Design without a Designer?
18.1. The regress objection
18.2. The design argument and traditional theism
18.3. An immanent designer?
18.4. No designer at all?
18.5. Contemporary criticisms
19. Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion: True Religion?
19.1. The "causal" argument
19.2. The problem of evil
19.3. Consistency, evidence and evil
19.4. "True religion"
19.5. Two contemporary views on the problem of evil
20. Shepherd's The Credibility of Miracles: May we believe in miracles?
20.1. The setting
20.2. Against miracles
20.3. What is a miracle?
20.4. Believing in miracles?
21. Mills' Essays on Religion: Is Religion Useful?
21.1. The setting
21.2. On Nature
21.3. Raising the question
21.4. Is religion publicly useful?
21.5. Is religion privately useful?
21.6. What is secular humanism?
22. Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality: What do Good, Bad and Evil mean?
22.1. The setting
22.2. Three big ideas
22.3. Genealogy of values
22.4. Inversion of values
22.5. Evaluation of values
22.6. Debunking morality and religion?
23. Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality: Whence Conscience, Bad Conscience
23.1. The origin of conscience
23.2. The origin of bad conscience
23.3. The origin of moral guilt
23.4. Should we obey our conscience?
24. Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morality: No Alternative?
24.1. What do ascetic ideals mean?
24.2. The puzzle of ascetic ideals
24.3. The "vale of tears"
24.4. "pointless suffering"
24.5. "the ascetic priest"
24.6. No alternative?
25. William James's Will to Believe: The Right to Believe?
25.1. The setting
25.2. The ethics of belief
25.3. The varieties of belief
25.4. A first argument
25.5. A second argument
25.6. Returning to Plato