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The Guerrilla Radio Show » Metaphysics

Philosophy of Time

If Bob Dylan’s right, “the times they are changing”. But what is time anyway? We usually carve up time in terms of the past, the present and the future. But are all of these temporal divisions on an equal ontological footing? Or is there something ontologically special about the present moment, the now? If so, how should we conceive of the past and the future? Are they real? Does time really flow (like we think it does)? And what’s the relationship between space and time? Are the laws of physics time reversible? Is time travel possible? 

 
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GRS Episode, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Time

The Problem of Evil

If God really does exist as an all-knowing, all-powerful, wholly-benevolent being, then how can the theist explain the existence of pain and suffering in the world? Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Is he able, but not willing? If he is both able and willing, whence then evil. And if he is neither able nor willing, why call Him God at all? What is ‘evil’ anyway? Does it really exist? Are there different kinds of evil? If so, how do these differences affect the so-called problem of evil? Is the existence of pain and suffering logically incompatible with the existence of God? Or is there some way to rationally reconcile the existence of evil with the existence of God? Even if there is some way to resolve the apparent inconsistency, doesn’t the existence of evil at least make the existence of God improbable? Given the tremendous amount of senseless pain and suffering evident in the world, isn’t it highly unlikely that a benevolent God exists?

 
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GRS Episode, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion

Arguments for the Existence of God

Does God exist? What are the arguments that have been offered for the existence of God? Are they like other kinds of philosophical arguments? Are they a priori arguments? a posteriori arguments? Transcendental arguments? Inferences to the best explanation? Are some arguments for the existence of god better than others? If so, what are they and why? Can we infer the existence of god from the idea of god alone– without any appeal to experience? Or would it be better to try and infer the existence of god from the effects of god supposedly evidenced in the world? What are the arguments for the existence of god meant to establish, anyway? Is the existence of god something that can be demonstrably proven? Or are the arguments for the existence of god only probabilistic arguments? Are they meant to convince non-believers to join the club? Or are they primarily intended to provide the believer with some kind of rational basis for their own theological beliefs?

 
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GRS Episode, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion

Possible Worlds Semantics

What is a possible world? Where do possible worlds come from? And what are they used for? How many possible worlds are there? Are they real worlds? Concrete worlds? Or are they just descriptions or stories about the way things might have been? Are there any impossible worlds? If so, what are they? And why? How does it all work? What should we make of these modal mysteries? Is there any way to tame this important philosophical beast and remove some of the mystery that overshadows its merits? Is it possible to explain what possible worlds are and how philosophers use them without getting too technically entangled?

 
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GRS Episode, Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language

Personal Identity

Who are we? What sort of things, metaphysically speaking, are you and I and other human beings? What does it mean to be a person? What is it about us that is able to persist through time? What matters most about personal identity?

GRS Real Philosophy Series (Episode 4)

Life in the real world often forces people to engage themselves in various philosophical enterprises, most of which involve the sorting out of various “tough questions.” This eight-part series will focus on several important philosophical issues related to some of those tough questions.

 
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GRS Episode, Metaphysics, Real Philosophy Series

Free Will

What is free will? Do human beings have free will? Is free will compatible or incompatible with the concept of determinism? What is determinism? Are human beings morally responsible for their actions?

GRS Real Philosophy Series (Episode 2)

Life in the real world often forces people to engage themselves in various philosophical enterprises, most of which involve the sorting out of various “tough questions.” This eight-part series will focus on several important philosophical issues related to some of those tough questions.

 
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GRS Episode, Metaphysics, Real Philosophy Series

Reality 101

What is reality? What really exists? Is anything real at all? Why is there something rather than nothing? Is there a reality independent of our minds? Why is the study of ‘metaphysics’ important?

Philosophy 101 Series (Episode 3)

The Philosophy 101 Series is designed to give the beginning philosopher (or non-philosopher) a brief introduction to the basic questions, concerns and methodologies associated with the various branches of philosophical inquiry.

 
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GRS Episode, Introduction to Philosophy, Metaphysics