The LOGIC & RELIGION

WEBINAR

Join the LOGIC & RELIGION WEBINAR !

The Logic and Religion Webinar is a World Seminar Series organized by the Logic and Religion Association (LARA). It is an open platform for all scholars interested in the relationship between logic and religion, reason and faith, rational inquiry and divine revelation.

The sessions take place on Thursdays at 4pm CET (click here to convert to your timezone). They are held via Zoom and are free to attend.

 

Please register in advance!

Video recordings of the seminars are uploaded on the Logic and Religion YouTube channel.

Each webinar session is chaired by a scholar involved in LARA’s projects and features one or more speakers on a topic related to logic and religion. Sessions begin with a brief presentation by the chair, followed by a talk by the speaker(s) (approximately 40 min) and then a discussion (approximately 40 min).

 
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Sara Lumbreras Sancho

Comillas Pontifical University, Spain

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, ETHICS AND BELIEFS

October 13, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speakers: Sara Lumbreras Sancho (Comillas Pontifical University, Spain) and Mark Graves (Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, USA)

Chair:  Andrea Vestrucci (Graduate Theological Union, USA)

This webinar will explore the connections between Artificial Intelligence (AI), ethics, beliefs and spirituality. Sara Lumbreras will focus on the differences between human belief as described in the Creditions model proposed by Angel & Seiz, and current AI systems, rather than the ones anticipated by transhumanist authors such as Kurzweil. These differences lead to some AI models being more ethical than others and thus for an ethical basis to build a better AI. Mark Graves will explore his recent work on AI morality and spirituality. He draws upon systems theory and Josiah Royce's pragmatic philosophy to describe a structure for AI models compatible with human moral psychology and spirituality.

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WEBINAR SCHEDULE

Date

October 13, 2022

December 15, 2022

January 12, 2023

February 16, 2023

March 16, 2023

April 13, 2023

Speaker(s)

 

Sara Lumbreras and Mark Graves 

Eleonore Stump

Dieter Birnbacher

TBA

TBA

Itala Maria Loffredo D'Ottaviano

Title

Artificial Intelligence, Ethics, and Beliefs

The Two Natures of Christ

Two Types of the Critique of Religion

TBA

TBA

The Logical Problem of Evil from a Paraconsistent Perspective

Chair

 

Andrea Vestrucci

TBA

Jens Lemanski

TBA

TBA

TBA

 
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Purushottama Bilimoria

University of Melbourne (Australia)

PANENTHEISM AND PANPSYCHISM: Are they Interrelated?

Responses from Indian and Comparative Philosophy of Religion

March 17, 2022, 4pm CET

Click here to watch the recorded session

Speaker: Purushottama Bilimoria (University of Melbourne, Australia; San Francisco State University, USA; RUDN University, Russia) 

ChairAnand Vaidya (San José State University, USA)

There has been of late a wave of interest in panentheism, which is pertinent to religious philosophies of both the Western and Eastern traditions. The dominant contemporary descriptions of panentheism however appear to be biased toward theistic presuppositions. Here I offer an alternative account, paying heed to the term’s etymology, and the concept’s roots in Indian religions. I next turn to panpsychism and explore various approaches to this thesis, with particular reference to certain conceptual problems (such as the ‘binding issue’) that have been raised in recent literature. The principal concern in the second part will be on the question of the kind of – if any – relation that can be drawn between pantheism and panpsychism: is there a necessary connection?

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Kelly Clark

Ibn Haldun University (Turkey)

THE LOGIC OF BIBLICAL LOVE

January 13, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speaker: Kelly Clark (Ibn Haldun University, Turkey) 

ChairFrancisco de Assis Mariano (University of Missouri-Columbia, USA)

The logic of Christian love seems simple: we should love like God. Yet the abstract and eternal God of Christian tradition—for example, God as impassible and unchanging—is ill-suited to understanding human love. Through proclamation, prescription, and example, the highest form of human love emerges from the biblical texts: (a) God insists that we act for the good of all humans, and (b) the transformed Heart of the Lover insists on acting for the good of others. Biblical love of others is, first (but lowest), benevolence—acting for the good of others and, second (and highest), compassion--empathy-motivated self-sacrificial action. I argue that we should embrace these human and earthy textual metaphors when it comes to understanding human love. 

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Laurent Lafforgue

Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (France)

IS SCIENTISM THE NEW UNIVERSAL CHURCH?

November 18, 2021, 4pm CET

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Speaker: Laurent Lafforgue (Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques, France) 

ChairSnezana Lawrence (Middlesex University, UK)

In a text of 1971 entitled The New Universal Church, the famous mathematician Alexander Grothendieck defended that through a process of imperialist expansion, science has created an ideology of its own, scientism, that has many of the features of a new religion. He called it "La nouvelle église universelle". How does Grothendieck's text against scientism and the imperialism of science relate to his thought? How does it relate to his mathematics as well as to his ideas about religions ? Can it be said that Grothendieck had become against science or that, in some sense, he had always been against some form of science? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this webinar. 

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Richard Swinburne

University of Oxford (UK)

ARE WE BODIES OR SOULS?

August 19, 2021, 4pm CEST

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Swinburne's reply to questions posed in the chat

Speaker: Richard Swinburne (University of Oxford, UK)

ChairDragana Jagušić (University of Rijeka, Croatia)

Are we our bodies? Or are we something beyond them, a metaphysical soul that is different from the body and that survives its death? In our next webinar, Richard Swinburne will deal with these issues as addressed in his most recent book: Are we Bodies or Souls? (OUP, 2019). More specifically, he will present the argument for the existence of the soul contained in chapter 3 and section A of chapter 4 of his book, which is basically the same as the argument contained in his article "Our souls make who we are" (Think, 57 : 53 -67, 2021).

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WHY LOGIC AND RELIGION?

July 22, 2021, 4pm CEST

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What contribution can logic as an academic field provide to the philosophical reflection on God and religion? Could this contribution extend to other dimensions of the study of religion, such as the sociology and anthropology of religion? Can logic contribute to bringing religion closer to rationality? On the other hand, in what sense can religion bring new insights to the study and development of logic? Can we talk about Logic and Religion as a new field of research? If so, what is peculiar about this field that differentiates it from other areas of research, both in terms of methodology and object

of study?  Is it a multidisciplinary,  interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary research field? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this opening session of the Logic and Religion Webinar. It will be facilitated by members of the LARA Boards and will have the participation of many of the academics who have been involved in LARA's conferences and publications. We hope to have a lively and exciting discussion.

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Newton da Costa

Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil)

GOD, CONTRADICTION AND PARACONSISTENCY

September 16, 2021, 4pm CEST

Speakers: Newton da Costa (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil), Jc Beall (University of Notre Dame, USA) and Paul Weingartner (University of Salzburg, Austria)

ChairJean-Yves Beziau (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Is the concept of God contradictory? But what a contradiction really is? Is it a basis or limitation of our thinking? Is the principle of non-contradiction a key to the understanding of reality? If it is, how can we use it properly? Can logical systems that relativize this principle, paraconsistent logics, as promoted by Newton da Costa, help us to clear the way and have a better understanding of God? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this session, which will be  based on some recent works by the speakers: Is God Paraconsistent?The Contradictory Christ and Theodicy - From a Logical Point of View.

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Jean-Yves Beziau

Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

THE LOGIC OF PARADISE

February 10, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speakers: Jean-Yves Beziau (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Katarzyna Gan-Krzywoszyńska (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland) 

ChairCaroline Pires Ting (Logica Universalis Association, Switzerand)

 

Paradise is a famous notion in many religions. It may have different names and may come with different related notions. As a substantive, it is considered as a place whose location is not clearly known, nor the way to access it. There is also the qualitative “paradisiacal”, which applies to many situations and can be related to different states of mind (happiness, delightedness, hope, joy, confidence). The aim of this webinar is to study the logical aspects of paradise and paradisiacality.

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Graham Oppy

Monash University (Australia)

LOGIC AND THE CONCEPT OF GOD

December 16, 2021, 4pm CET

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Speaker: Graham Oppy (Monash University, Australia) 

ChairRicardo Silvestre (University of Campina Grande, Brazil)

In this webinar I discuss the following topics: (a) the concept of a god; (b) the concept of God; (c) conceptions of God; (d) the Simple Being; (e) the Greatest Being; and (f) the Perfect Being. I argue that, perhaps, we should think of the word 'god' as a family resemblance term; I suggest that, for some purposes, it is useful to stipulate that gods are venerable beings that have and exercise power over all else. I argue—in line with my book Describing Gods: An Investigation of Divine Attributes (pp. 1-22)—that, necessarily, something is God if and only if it is the one and only god. I insist that this nominal definition does all of the work that we need nominal definitions to do. I suggest that we might extract real definitions of God from theistic theories about God. I then go on to discuss three different real definitions that some theists have given of God: 'the Simple Being', 'the Greatest Being', and 'The Perfect Being'. 

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Piergiorgio Odifreddi

University of Turin (Italy)

WHAT ARE THE ARGUMENTS FOR ATHEISM?

October 14, 2021, 4pm CEST

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Speakers: Piergiorgio Odifreddi (University of Turin, Italy) and Jan Woleński (Jagiellonian University, Poland) 

ChairStanisław Krajewski (University of Warsaw, Poland)

What are the reasons for disbelieving in the existence of God? Do these reasons outweigh the reasons for believing in God as well as for suspending belief in God? What kind of arguments are there to support atheism? Do these arguments resist the peculiarities of the various religious traditions so as to make belief in any God (or, to be more precise, in the existence of any entity that falls under a concept of God) irrational? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this session, which will be partially based on two works by the speakers: Caro Papa, ti scrivo (which was answered by the  Pope Benedict XVI in his Letter to Atheist) and Theism, Fideism, Atheism, Agnosticism.

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Sachchidanand Mishra

Benares Hindu University (India)

THEIST AND ATHEIST ARGUMENTS IN INDIAN PHILOSOPHY

April 14, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speaker: Sachchidanand Mishra (Benares Hindu University, India)

ChairAgnieszka Rostalska (Ghent University, Belgium)

For a long time, philosophers have been proposing arguments to prove or to deny the existence of God. This attitude can be witnessed in western philosophy as well as in Indian Philosophy. In Indian philosophy, the theist arguments are put forward mainly by the Nyāya Vaiśeṣika school. Only a few arguments are proposed by the Yoga Philosophers. But if there is a debate between the theist and atheist, the onus is on the theist to prove God's existence. The atheist only has to show that the arguments are not capable of proving the existence of God conclusively. This is the dominant attitude in Indian Philosophy. The Cārvāka, the Buddhists, the Jainas, the Sāṅkhyas, and even the Mīmāṁsakas and the Vedāntins have put forward atheist arguments to prove the incapability of the theist arguments in proving the existence of God. In this webinar, I would try to evaluate the arguments from both sides as presented by Indian philosophers.

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Christoph Benzmueller

Free University of Berlin (Germany)

STUDYING ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENTS WITH COMPUTERS

May 12, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speaker: Christoph Benzmueller (Free University of Berlin and University of Bamberg, Germany)

Chair:  Andrea Vestrucci (Graduate Theological Union, USA)

Several emendations of Gödel's modal ontological argument have been proposed preserving the intended conclusion of God's necessary existence while avoiding the problem of modal collapse, which expresses that there are no contingent truths (everything is determined, there is no free will). In this webinar, we summarize recent computer-supported verification studies on some of these modern variants of the ontological argument. Our purpose is to provide further evidence that the interaction with computer technology can not only enable the formal assessment of ontological arguments but can, in fact, help to sharpen our conceptual understanding of the notions and concepts involved.

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Kordula Świętorzecka 

Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (Poland)

IBN SINA & BOLZANO: TWO CONTINGENT ARGUMENTS

June 9, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speakers: Kordula Świętorzecka (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland) and Michał Pawłowski and Bartosz Wesół (University of Warsaw, Poland)

ChairMarcin Trepczyński (University of Warsaw, Poland)

In 2014, Petr Dvořák put forward a hypothesis about structural convergence of two cosmological arguments: by Avicenna and Bolzano. Indeed, both arguments are based on the notion of the whole (totum) of all contingent/conditioned individuals, different from the notion of the classical set containing them. However, the authors differ in their attitude to the impossibility of regress ad infinitum. Our goal is to reconstruct Avicenna's argument on the basis of modern unitary theory of sets and individuals and compare this reconstruction with the Bolzano’s argument already expressed in the same formal frame. The lecture will be followed by the talk "God and Timeless Cognition", by Michał Pawłowski and Bartosz Wesół, the winners of the second Kurt Gödel Award 2021. 

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Andrew Pinsent

University of Oxford (UK)

PARABLES AND BRAINS

July 7, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speakers: Andrew Pinsent (University of Oxford, UK) 

ChairFábio Bertato (University of Campinas, Brazil)

Why did Jesus teach so much in parables? These parables usually have clear explanations but why not simply teach the explanations, given the risk of misinterpretation? In this presentation, I share new insights from neuroscience that have highlighted the ancient distinction between knowledge and understanding (intellectus/nous), a distinction that is at the heart of so many challenges to Artificial Intelligence. I further argue that understanding is communicated in a privileged manner by means of metaphor and narrative. On this account, parables are not merely convenient but may be indispensable for offering the understanding upon which knowledge and wisdom are based.

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Stanisław Krajewski 

University of Warsaw, Poland

MATHEMATICAL MODELS IN THEOLOGY

Are They Helpful?

August 18, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speaker: Stanisław Krajewski (University of Warsaw, Poland) 

ChairAli Sadegh Daghighi (Institute for Interdisciplinary Research in Fundamental Sciences, Iran)

We will begin by reviewing some mathematical illustrations of religious concepts, both old, for example by Cusanus, and a few new mathematical models in theology. The problem is how helpful they are. They can illustrate ideas, but remain metaphorical pictures assisting our imagination and attempts to deal with paradoxical situations. The deeper problem is whether they can model divine realms in a way that would suggest new insights as it is possible in the case of math models in natural sciences.

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Kenneth R. Valpey

Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, UK

SCRIPTURAL REASONING ON LANGUAGE AND TRUTH IN AN INDIAN RELIGIOUS TRADITION

September 15, 2022, 4pm CET

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Speaker: Kenneth R. Valpey (Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, UK) 

ChairDragana Jagušić (University of Rijeka, Croatia)

Conventional wisdom has it that language must ever fall short of adequately expressing Ultimate Truth. Further, if the attempt is made to describe Ultimate Truth in theistic terms, this simply confirms language’s limits. Not so, claims the Vaishnava Hindu scripture, the Bhagavata Purana. In this presentation I will sketch some ways the text makes its argument for theistic ultimacy with language holding a key function in such realization. How persuasive the Bhagavata’s argument can be regarded will depend—the text itself suggests—on one’s predisposition to accept or not accept it ... and on divine grace. 

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ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

  • Ricardo Silvestre (co-chair), Federal University of Campina Grande, Brazil

  • Francisco de Assis Mariano (co-chair), University of Missouri-Columbia, USA

  • Jean-Yves Beziau, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

Background

Child At The Ceremony
Photo by Oshomah Abubakar on Unsplash