February 11th, 2014
The two divisions of absurdity, subjective and objective, are by all evidence, binding. If God does not exist then man lives in Bertrand Russell’s world of scaffolding despair. Man is merely the product of pointless cause and effects with no prevision of the ends being achieved. All the labors of the age, devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system. Man’s achievements are destined to be buried in the debris of the universe. Only within the scaffolding of these [teleological] truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
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April 21st, 2013
Interestingly, there is an argument used by atheists to demonstrate that God is impossible, which picks up on the ontological argument. This argument is traditionally called the reverse ontological argument. Instead of demonstrating that God a maximally great being that exists necessarily, the reverse form is used to demonstrate that God is impossible. To give a context for the atheistic argument here are the two most popular versions of the theistic ontological argument:
The Anselmian Ontological Argument (Theistic)
- God exists in the understanding
- God is a possible being
- If X exists only in the understanding and is a possible being, then X might have been greater
- Suppose God exists only in the understanding
- God might have been greater (2, 4, 3)
- God is a being than which a greater is not possible
- So, a being than which nothing greater is not possible is a being which is greater is possible
- Since 4 led to a contradiction 4 must be false
- God exists not only in the understanding alone—God exists in reality as well
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July 25th, 2012
Word of the Week: Unicornex
Definition: Let a unicorn be a magical horse with a horn protruding from the forehead. Let a unicornex be an existent unicorn. No non-existing thing is a unicornex. So, it’s true by obversion, some existing thing is a unicornex.
More about the term: Atheist philosopher of religion William Rowe argued that Anselm’s ontological argument (probably) begs the question. He used the example of a ‘unicorn’ and a ‘unicornex’ to display this charge of circular reasoning. This is what Rowe believes Anselm is doing by just defining God into existence.
June 1st, 2012
Karl Barth’s rediscovery of Anselm’s works could rightfully be said to be the turning point in Barth’s pursuit of a means to DO theology. It was after moving to Munster and in preparation for lectures that Barth studied Anselm and eventually produced “Anselm: fides quarens intellectum,” which was considered by Barth to be his most important book. It was Anselm’s definition of God that became the springboard for Barth’s theology. Anselm said, “God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived.”
Sum of all possible perfections. Existence follows. It only works in this instance (Contra. Caunilo). Follows from common reason.
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April 26th, 2012
As advocated by St. Anselm, God is a maximally perfect being. If ignorance is an imperfection, all things being equal [according to Ockham’s razor], then it is greater to be knowledgeable. To prevent initial detractions from the classical definition of omniscience, omniscience should be understood as knowing all truths.
O. For any agent x, x is omniscient= def. For every statement s, if s is true, then x knows that s and does not believe that not-s.
If there are truths about future contingents, God, as an omniscient being must know these truths. Since there are truths about the future, that is to say, since statements about future contingents are either true or false, and they are not all false, God must therefore know all truths about the future, which is to say He knows future-tense facts; He knows what will happen. One may try to avoid this reasoning by contending that future-tense statements are neither true nor false, so that there are no facts about the future. Since the future does not exist, it is claimed that the respective future-tense statements cannot be true or false, simply without truth.
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February 21st, 2012
The two divisions of absurdity, subjective and objective, by all evidence, binding. If God does not exist then man lives in Bertrand Russell’s world of scaffolding despair. Man is merely the product of pointless cause and effects with no prevision of the ends being achieved. All the labors of the age, devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vase death of the solar system. Man’s achievements are destined to be buried in the debris of the universe. Only within the scaffolding of these [teleological] truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
If there is no God to provide meaning, value, and purpose, the only consistent option for humanity is suicide. Any becoming of life-affirming or life-denying acts are illusory. Absolutely nothing can be a positive or negative act for the individual since there is nothing to determine a differentiation. One is forced to face Nietzsche’s abyss and face the reality that no rope can scale the depth of nothingness. One is only left with despair, guilt, and angst. If guilt, and angst are not subjectively preferred then the only option is to eliminate such emotions and thoughts. If there is no God, the only remedy for absurdity is to participate in Nietzsche’s abyss of nothingness: suicide.
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December 21st, 2011
Stephen Law has been setting forth his case for the evil God challenge. It has been a recent topic of discussion in the blogosphere and there have been several articles written about it. The argument is formulated in a way that mirrors the moral argument for the existence of God. If objective morality is true then this morality is grounded in God. Law argues that if objective evil is true then it is grounded in an evil God. (That’s the basic outline of the argument but please see more here). I haven’t read much of anyone’s responses to the challenge so I apologize if I’m repeating someone. I’ve been hesitant to participate in this discussion because I hoped it would pass over but here are my thoughts.
The reason why I waited so long to chime in on this discussion was because I didn’t think the argument was a very good argument. I have two primary contentions for why this is an incoherent argument. My first is that the argument requires there to be a genuine ontology for evil and my second follows Thomas Aquinas in that everyone always acts according to what they believe is right.
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