•  1792
    The principle of utility and mill's minimizing utilitarianism
    Journal of Value Inquiry 20 (2): 125-136. 1986.
    Formulations of Mill's principle of utility are examined, and it is shown that Mill did not recognize a moral obligation to maximize the good, as is often assumed. His was neither a maximizing act nor rule utilitarianism. It was a distinctive minimizing utilitarianism which morally obligates us only to abstain from inflicting harm, to prevent harm, to provide for others minimal essentials of well being (to which rights correspond), and to be occasionally charitable or benevolent
  •  664
    "John Wesley's Non-Literal Literalism and Hermeneutics of Love"
    Wesleyan Theological Journal 51 (2): 26-40. 2016.
    A thorough examination of John Wesley’s writings will show that he was not a biblical literalist or infallibilist, despite his own occasional suggestions to the contrary. His most important principles for interpreting the Bible were: We should take its words literally only if doing so is not absurd, in which case we should “look for a looser meaning;” and “No Scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works.” Eleven instances of his not taking biblical texts l…Read more
  •  619
    Pain and the Ethics of Pain Management
    Social Science and Medicine 18 (6): 515-523. 1984.
    In this article I clarify the concepts of ‘pain’, ‘suffering’. ‘pains of body’, ‘pains of soul’. I explore the relevance of an ethic to the clinical setting which gives patients a strong prima facie right to freedom from unnecessary and unwanted pain and which places upon medical professionals two concomitant moral obligations to patients. First, there is the duty not to inflict pain and suffering beyond what is necessary for effective diagnosis. treatment and research. Next, there is the duty t…Read more
  •  411
    This article approaches Judaism through Rabbi Bradley S. Artson’s book, God of Becoming and Relationships: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology. It explores his understanding of how Jewish theology should and does cohere with central features of both process theology and Robert S. Hartman’s formal axiology. These include the axiological/process concept of God, the intrinsic value and valuation of God and unique human beings, and Jewish extrinsic and systemic values, value combinations, and val…Read more
  •  326
    Composition and the cosmological argument
    Mind 77 (305): 115-117. 1968.
    This article argues that not all arguments from parts to wholes commit the informal logical fallacy of composition,and especially not the cosmological argument for God which moves from the contingent existence of all the parts of the cosmos to the contingent existence of the whole.
  •  322
    Toward an Axiological Virtue Ethics
    Ethical Research 3 (3): 21-48. 2013.
    This article introduces Formal Axiology, first developed by Robert S. Hartman, and explains its essential features—a formal definition of “good” (the “Form of the Good”), three basic kinds of value and evaluation—systemic, extrinsic, and intrinsic, and the hierarchy of value according to which good things having the richest quantity and quality of good-making properties are better than those having less. Formal Axiology is extended into moral philosophy by applying the Form of the Good to person…Read more
  •  254
    In his Edifying Discourses, Soren Kierkegaard published a sermon entitled ‘The Unchangeableness of God’ in which he reiterated the dogma which dominated Catholic, Protestant and even Jewish expressions of classical supernaturalist theology from the first century A.D. until the advent of process theology in the twentieth century. The dogma that as a perfect being, God must be totally unchanging in every conceivable respect was expressed by Kierkegaard in such ways as: He changes all, Himself unch…Read more
  •  197
    J. S. Mill and Robert Veatch’s Critique of Utilitarianism
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 23 (2): 181-200. 1985.
    Modern bioethics is clearly dominated by deontologists who believe that we have some way of identifying morally correct and incorrect acts or rules besides taking account of their consequences. Robert M. Veatch is one of the most outspoken of those numerous modern medical ethicists who agree in rejecting all forms of teleological, utilitarian, or consequentialist ethical theories. This paper examines his critique of utilitarianism and shows that the utilitarianism of John Stuart Mill is either n…Read more
  •  160
    Was Jesus Ever Happy? How John Wesley Could Have Answered
    Wesleyan Theological Journal 52 (2017): 119-132. 2017.
    John Wesley did not directly address the question, but he could have answered "Yes'" to "Was Jesus Ever Happy?" given his understanding of "happiness." His eudaimonistic understanding of happiness was that it consists in renewing and actualizing the image of God within us, especially the image of love. More particularly, it consists in actually living a life of moral virtue, love included, of spiritual fulfillment, of joy or pleasure taken in loving God, others, and self, and in minimizing unnec…Read more
  •  158
    How Process Theology Can Affirm Creation Ex Nihilo
    Process Studies 29 (1): 77-96. 2000.
    Most process theologians have rejected the creation of the world out of nothing, holding that our universe was created out of some antecedent universe. This article shows how on process grounds, and with faithfulness to much of what Whitehead had to say, process theologians can and should affirm the creation of our universe out of nothing. Standard process objections to this are refuted.
  •  130
    God as a Single Processing Actual Entity
    Process Studies 42 (1): 77-86. 2013.
    This article defends Marjorie Suchocki’s position against two main objections raised by David E. Conner. Conner objects that God as a single actual entity must be temporal because there is succession in God’s experience ofthe world. The reply is that time involves at least two successive occasions separated by perishing, but in God nothing ever perishes. Conner also objects that Suchocki’s personalistic process theism is not experiential but is instead theoretical and not definitive. The reply i…Read more
  •  128
    Identification Ethics and Spirituality
    Journal of Formal Axiology: Theory and Practice 9 1-17. 2016.
    This article explores a form of ethics and spirituality based on the nearly universal but often undeveloped human capacity for identifying self with others and with non-personal values. It begins with commonplace non-moral identification experiences, then describes identification with others in ethical and spiritual unions. Freud’s psychological emphasis on identification is linked with ethics and spirituality, though Freud would have objected. Robert S. Hartman’s three kinds of goodness—systemi…Read more
  •  125
    Whitehead's Theistic Metaphysics and Axiology
    Process Studies 45 (1): 5-32. 2016.
    This article explores and critically examines the concepts and value dimensions of God, process, creativity, eternal objects, and individuals in Whitehead's thought.
  •  105
    The Validity of Aquinas’ Third Way
    New Scholasticism 45 (1): 117-126. 1971.
    This article argues for the formal validity of and the truth of the premises and conclusion of a version of Aquinas' "Third Way" that says: If each of the parts of nature is contingent, the whole of nature is contingent. Each of the parts of nature is contingent. Therefore, the whole of nature is contingent--where "contingent" means having a cause and not existing self-sufficiently.
  •  100
    A Genuine Monotheism for Christians, Muslims, Jews, and All
    Journal of Ecumenical Studies 52 554-586. 2017.
    Today's conflicts between religions are grounded largely in historical injustices and grievances but partly in serious conceptual disagreements. This essay agrees with Miroslav Volf that a nontritheistic Christian account of the Trinity is highly desirable. Three traditional models of the Trinity are examined. In their pure, unmixed form, two of them should logically be acceptable to Jews, Muslims, and strict monotheists who regard Christianity as inherently tritheistic, despite lip service to o…Read more
  •  99
    The Human Self: An Actual Entity or a Society?
    Process Studies 5 (3): 195-203. 1975.
    This is a serious critique of Whitehead's epochal theory of time. It argues that human selves and perhaps all actual entities are in continuous concrescence, like Whitehead's God.
  •  94
  •  88
    Is an Existential System Possible?
    International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 17 (3). 1985.
    The article critiques Kierkegaard's understanding of an "existential system" and relates his theology to Classical and Process Theism
  •  86
    Why we should not use some drugs for pleasure
    In S. Luper-Foy C. Brown (ed.), Drugs, Morality, and the Law, Garland. pp. 183. 1994.
    The article explains why we should not use dangerous drugs for pleasure.
  •  81
    Process Thought and the Spaciness of Mind
    Process Studies 19 (3): 156-166. 1990.
    The process claim that matter is mentally infused and that mind or consciousness is spatially and temporally extended is explored. The views of Peirce, Whitehead, Hartshorne, Cobb, Ford and Griffin on the following questions are examined: If spacy, where are the occasions of human consciousness, how are they related to the brain, how large are they, and can they be externally perceived directly or with instruments? It is proposed that what is internally experienced as human consciousness is obje…Read more
  •  74
    This article tries to show that commonplace economic, ethico-religious, anti-racist,and logical-consistency objections to public funding of abortions and abortion counseling for poor women are quite weak. By contrast, arguments appealing to basic human rights to freedom of speech, informed consent, protection from great harm, justice and equal protection under the law, strongly support public funding. Thus, refusing to provide abortions at public expense for women who cannot afford them is moral…Read more
  •  72
    People and Their Worth: Uniting Process and Axiology
    Process Studies 38 (1): 43-68. 2009.
    This article argues that process philosophy and Hartmanian formal axiology are natural allies that can contribute much to each other. Hartmanian axiology can bring much needed order and clarity to process thought about the definitions of “good,” “better,” and “best,” about what things are intrinsically good, and about the nature and value of unique, enduring, individual persons. Process thought can bring to axiology greater clarity about and emphasis on the relational and temporal features of hu…Read more
  •  71
    Discussion: The truth and falsity of definitions
    Philosophy of Science 33 (1/2): 76. 1966.
    This article examines several answers to the question, can lexical definitions be true or false.
  •  71
    Thomas Nagel., Equality and Partiality (review)
    International Studies in Philosophy 26 (2): 136-137. 1994.
  •  70
    On Being ‘Rational’ About Norms
    Southern Journal of Philosophy 5 (3): 180-186. 1967.
    The theses of this paper i: I. that the attempt to found absolute norns on rationality presupposes the availability of a single universal absolute conception of rationality but that no such conception is available; and II. that any conception of rationality which might be available for justifying one's ultimate normative commitments is itself evaluative. “Rationality” itself is a value-laden concept, as are all its philosophical sub-divisions—logic, ethics, aesthetics, axiology, etc. Choosing ul…Read more
  •  66
    Abortion Rights: Why Conservatives are Wrong
    National Forum 69 (4): 19-24. 1989.
    Conservative opponents of abortion hold that from the moment of conception, developing fetuses have (or may have) full humanity or personhood that gives them a moral standing equal to that of postnatal human beings. To have moral standing is to be a recognized member of the human moral community, perhaps having moral duties to others or rights against them, at least as being the recipient of duties owed by others. Conservatives give neo-conceptuses full moral standing, including a right to life …Read more
  •  57
    Mental health as rational autonomy
    Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 6 (3): 309-322. 1981.
    Rather than eliminate the terms "mental health and illness" because of the grave moral consequences of psychiatric labeling, conservative definitions are proposed and defended. Mental health is rational autonomy, and mental illness is the sustained loss of such. Key terms are explained, advantages are explored, and alternative concepts are criticized. The value and descriptive components of all such definitions are consciously acknowledged. Where rational autonomy is intact, mental hospitals and…Read more