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One of the most important texts in the debates between Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox about the papacy is found in the Gospel according to Matthew:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him…


I teach philosophy at the university level to undergrads, mostly freshmen. Many of my students are not well trained in thinking. How do I know this? Because they do not know how to take notes. If I am lecturing and developing a thought and do not have a sentence or two projected on the screen, they don’t write anything down. This tells me that they do not know how to follow an argument and appreciate the point being made unless it is given to them ready-made, “on a platter,” so to speak.

Many people on the internet who have an…


Michel Henry teaches that there are two domains of appearance: the world and life. The world is that “Outside” in which things show themselves as external to oneself. Life is the experiencing of oneself without distance or difference, “inside.” Life is more fundamental than the world, since the world is an appearing, and nothing can appear unless there is a life which can feel itself being appeared to.

Everything experienced in the “Outside” of the world has a body. There are the more familiar bodies of sensible things: this cat, that dog, one’s brother or sister or wife or parents…


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The evidential argument from evil

At least one way of formulating the evidential argument from evil is as follows:

(1) If God exists, then there are no gratuitous evils.
(2) Probably, there are gratuitous evils.
(3) Therefore, probably, God does not exist.

An evil can be defined as “gratuitous” if (a) nothing at all justifies it, or else (b) it is excessive for the purpose it serves.

Premise (2) can be defended as follows:

(i) Some evils persistently appear to be gratuitous.
(ii) Therefore, probably, they are gratuitous.

Skeptical theism can be understood as the attempt to undermine the inference from (i) to (ii).

Although…


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I would like to venture some speculative reflections on the matter of whether or not the world can be thought of as the “body” of God from a Christian and Biblical point of view.

An objection

At first glance, one might think that the answer is obviously: No. God is said to be the creator of the world and cannot be identified with anything within it. Likewise, Christ taught that God is Spirit (John 4:24). Spirit is not body! Moreover, the Church has always rejected the notion that God is a material or bodily being. …


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The classical theistic position understands the relation between God and the finite existent in something like the following way:

[God]creation[(proper act of being)(mere possible existent)]

This should be interpreted as follows. God creates a finite existent by conferring a proper act of being upon something which, apart from this act of creation, would have remained a mere possibility of existence, i.e. something that could exist or not.

The classical theist generally talks about the relation between God and the finite existent in terms of causality. God is the cause of the finite existent, whereas the finite…


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Lately, I have been thinking about naturalism as a philosophy and about the position it occupies relative to other philosophical perspectives. As a phenomenologist, I think that naturalism is objectionable on multiple grounds. In this post, I would like to consider the possibility of a genuinely anthropocentric ontology as an alternative to naturalism.

Anthropocentric ontology and naturalism

What is an “anthropocentric ontology”? Let me start by saying what it is not. It is not the idea things only exist if there are human beings around. Neither is it the idea that things can mean whatever a person wants them to mean. In other words…


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Lately I have been fascinated by the prospect of a certain kind of philosophical pluralism. Here I am going to try to give an argument to justify it.

What would it mean for two people to disagree? I take it that X and Y disagree if they are talking about the same thing and describe it in mutually incompatible ways. If two people are in genuine disagreement, then they cannot both in contact with the truth. …


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People typically think that Thomism and the existential inertia thesis exclude each other. I have also thought this myself. Thomists say that contingent beings only continue to exist insofar as they are continually sustained in existence by God from moment to moment. Proponents of existential inertia will say that once a thing (within some specific category of things?) begins to exist, it will remain in existence apart from the assistance of anything else, so long as nothing else intervenes in order to remove it from existence. At first glance, these two ways of speaking might seem incompatible. …


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Some people are of the opinion that the philosophical discussion around theism and naturalism as conceptions of reality should consist in a comparison of their respective “theoretical virtues.” I think this is exactly wrong. In fact, I think that framing the discussion in this way is a trap. Naturalism can always win the “theoretical virtues” debate, even if theism is true. In other words, I think the debate about “theoretical virtues” is worthless. Moreover, I think that a careful consideration of the “theoretical virtues” of naturalism reveals how empty it is. Here is why.

(1) Suppose a naturalist and a…

Steven Nemes

Ph.D. candidate in Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Dissertation title: “A constructive-theological phenomenology of Scripture.”

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