•  325
    In this article I examine a common objection to the fine-tuning argument (an objection which may be referred to as the atheistic many universes (AMU) objection). A reply to this objection due to Roger White has been the subject of much controversy; White's reply has been criticized by Rodney Holder, on the one hand, and Neil Manson and Michael Thrush on the other. In this paper I analyze Holder's work in an effort to determine whether the AMU objection successfully defeats the fine-tuning argume…Read more
  •  201
    The Eternity Solution to the Problem of Human Freedom and Divine Foreknowledge
    European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (1). 2010.
    In this paper I defend the eternity solution to the problem of human freedom and divine foreknowledge. After motivating the problem, I sketch the basic contours of the eternity solution. I then consider several objections which contend that the eternity solution falsely implies that we have various powers (e.g., to change God’s beliefs, or to affect the past) which, according to the objector, we do not in fact have
  •  108
    Infinite Causal Chains and Explanation
    Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 81 109-122. 2007.
    Many cosmological arguments for the existence of a first cause or a necessary being rely on a premise which denies the possibility of an infinite regress ofsome particular sort. Adequate and satisfying support for this premise, however, is not always provided. In this paper I attempt to address this gap in the literature. After discussing the notion of a causal explanation (section I), I formulate three principles which govern any successful causal explanation (section II). I then introduce the …Read more
  •  105
  •  86
    A Better Version of Pascal’s Wager
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 90 (3): 415-439. 2016.
    The standard version of Pascal’s Wager suffers from serious problems. In this paper I present a modified version of a Wager-style argument that avoids several of the most serious objections to the standard version, viz., the objections of Duff and Hájek relating to infinite utilities, moral objections concerning the use of pragmatic considerations, and the many-gods objection. I argue that a serious commitment to living a Christian life is rational if one is rational in assigning a credence to C…Read more
  •  79
    The Moral Status of Anger: Thomas Aquinas and John Cassian
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 81 (3): 395-418. 2007.
    Is anger at another person ever a morally excellent thing? Two competing answers to this question can be found in the Christian intellectual tradition. JohnCassian held that anger at another person is never morally virtuous. Aquinas, taking an Aristotelian line, maintained that anger at another person is sometimes morally virtuous. In this paper I explore the positions of Cassian and Aquinas on this issue. The core of my paper consists in a close examination of two arguments given by Aquinas in …Read more
  •  63
    Evolution, providence, and Gouldian contingency
    Religious Studies 44 (4): 393-412. 2008.
    Stephen Jay Gould and others have argued that what we know about evolution implies that human beings are a 'cosmic accident'. In this paper I examine an argument for Gould's view and then attempt to show that it fails. Contrary to the claims of Gould, Daniel Dennett, and others, it is a mistake to think that what we have learned from evolutionary biology somehow shows that human beings are mere accidents of natural history. Nor does what we know about the contingency of evolution give us good re…Read more
  •  56
    Substance and Artifact in Thomas Aquinas
    History of Philosophy Quarterly 21 (3). 2004.
    Current interpretations of Aquinas often attribute to him the claim that no artifact is a substance, or, more precisely, the claim that, (A1) No artifact is a substance in virtue of its form. Robert Pasnau, for example, tells us that “Aquinas is committed to the view that all artifacts are nonsubstances with respect to their form.” And Eleonore Stump writes: "An artifact is thus a composite of things configured together into a whole but not by a substantial form. Since only something configured …Read more
  •  50
    A Problem for Hasker
    Faith and Philosophy 27 (3): 287-305. 2010.
    In God, Time, and Knowledge, William Hasker presents a powerful argument against “theological compatibilism,” which, in this context, refers to the view that divine foreknowledge is compatible with libertarian free will. In this paper I show that Hasker’s views on free will, as expressed in God, Time, and Knowledge, are inconsistent with his own account of hard facts. I then consider four ways to remove the inconsistency and argue that the first two are untenable for the libertarian, while the r…Read more
  •  43
    Synchronic Contingency and the Problem of Freedom and Foreknowledge
    Faith and Philosophy 32 (1): 81-96. 2015.
    Does a free agent have the power to will otherwise even at the very moment she is making a particular free choice? That is, when one is freely making some choice at a time T, does one also have the power to refrain from so choosing at T? The diachronic account of contingency and freedom says “no,” while the synchronic account says “yes.” In this paper I first address William Hasker’s criticisms of my earlier presentation of the synchronic account, and then present an argument against the diachro…Read more
  •  34
    Pascal's wager
    Philosophy Compass 12 (4). 2017.
    Pascal's wager is an argument in support of religious belief taking its name from the seventeenth century polymath Blaise Pascal. Unlike more traditional arguments for the existence of God, Pascal's wager is a pragmatic argument, concluding not that God exists but that one should wager for God; that is, one should live as if God exists. After an introduction to the elements of decision theory needed to understand the wager, I discuss the interpretation of Pascal's reasoning in the Infini rien fr…Read more
  •  28
    Freedom and the Necessity of the Present: A Reply to William Hasker
    Faith and Philosophy 29 (4): 451-465. 2012.
    In a recent paper, William Hasker has responded to a paper of mine criticizing his argument for theological incompatibilism. In his response, Hasker makes a small but important amendment to his account of freedom. Here I argue that Hasker’s amended account of freedom is false, that there is a plausible alternative account of freedom, and that the plausibility of this alternative account shows that Hasker’s argument for theological incompatibilism relies on a dubious premise.
  •  5
    Review of Daniel Schwartz, Aquinas on Friendship (review)
    Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2007 (11). 2007.
  •  5
    In God, Time, and Knowledge, William Hasker presents a powerful argument against “theological compatibilism,” which, in this context, refers to the view that divine foreknowledge is compatible with libertarian free will. In this paper I show that Hasker’s views on free will, as expressed in God, Time, and Knowledge, are inconsistent with his own account of hard facts. I then consider four ways to remove the inconsistency and argue that the first two are untenable for the libertarian, while the r…Read more
  •  3
    How Reason Can Lead to God: A Philosopher’s Bridge to Faith. By Joshua Rasmussen
    American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 94 (3): 499-502. 2020.
  • Causation
    In Brian Davies & Eleonore Stump (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas, Oxford University Press. 2011.