Richard M. Gale
[1932 - 2015]
"Of all [Richard Swinburne's] many important contributions to philosophy, the one for which he is most likely to achieve lasting fame is his empirical argument for the existence of God in The Existence of God, a book that will become a classic in my opinion. As a result of this work, a return visit from Hume's Philo is needed, but he had better come loaded for bear, because the weapons that he used so effectively to stop poor Cleanthes in his tracks will be of no avail."
"Within each of the great religions there is a well established doxastic practice (DP) of taking experiential inputs consisting of apparent direct perceptions of God (M-experiences) as giving prima facie justification, subject to defeat by overriders supplied by that religion, for belief outputs that God exists and is as he presents himself. (This DP is abbreviated as "MP.") William Alston's primary aim in his excellent book, Perceiving God, is to establish that we have epistemic justification for believing that MPs are reliable in that for the most part their belief outputs are true and moreover true of an objective or experience-independent reality, unlike the belief outputs of the DPs based on sensations and feelings, along with the introspective DP whose intentional accusatives, although existing independently of being introspected, fail to be objective because they are themselves conscious states."
"It is my purpose to explore some of the problems concerning the relation between divine creation and creaturely freedom by criticizing various versions of the Free Will Defense."
"Robert M. Adams, in a brilliant, thought-provoking essay, 'Must God Create the Best?,' puts forth a theodicy for God's creating inferior people to those he could have created or, in general, a less perfect world than he could have created, in terms of his bestowing grace upon these created beings. ... It makes available to God the following excuse for creating free beings who produce a less favorable balance of moral good over moral evil than that which would have been realized by other free beings he could have created: 'Sure I created some rotten apples or, at any rate, people who are morally inferior to others I could have created, but in doing so I was bestowing my grace upon them--creating them without any consideration of their (moral) merit. So don't bug me about why I permitted there to be moral evil, or at least more moral evil than was required, given what my options were.' Whether or not Adams intended this wide an application of his theodicy of grace, it will be instructive to see how it fares when so interpreted."