The Logic Forum Discussion Area

Spirituality
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
View Entire Thread
Re: The Cosmological Argument for God.

What do you make of Ryan Mullins and William Lane Craig's arguments against divine simplicity?
Namely, their modal collapse arguments?

Re: The Cosmological Argument for God.

Hi Mike.

The existence of existence, the existence of anything whatever, begs the question ‘how come?’ (what caused it?), and even the question ‘Why?’ (for what purpose?). If there was no existence, if nothing whatever existed, there would be nothing surprising in the fact. (Of course, for any question to arise, there has to be someone aware of existence and able to ask the question; if existence existed but there was no one to see that, there would be no question asked.)

The idea of God is an attempt to answer that question (indeed, both those questions). But this answer is logically inadequate in that it involves a claim to the pre-existence of God, i.e. to an existence which in turn calls forth the same question(s), bringing us back full circle. On the other hand, assuming the atheist alternative does not erase the question, the wonder at the existence of existence – so, it does not solve the problem either.

Once we posit God, we are forced to turn our attention to the nature of God, and discuss his unique Oneness despite presumed multiple attributes needed to explain His thoughts and actions. I think the answer to that is largely to found in the idea (expressed at the conclusion my essay The Five Skandhas Doctrine) that the spiritual domain is radically different from the material domain, without substance, space and time, or any other analogical features. This realization comes from the awareness that all our discussions of spirituality proceed by means of analogies from our material experience: the concepts we resort to are materially biased and therefore inevitably distort the ultimate reality somewhat.

The discussions of Classical Theism and Divine Simplicity that you mention are, of course, all relevant and interesting. And yes, Future Logic was my doctoral dissertation (feel free to write me by e-mail if you need some clarification while reading it).

Something about you (optional) logician-philosopher

Re: The Cosmological Argument for God.

Hi Wally.

The idea of God as being subject to necessity rather than freewill is an old one found in Greek and later in Arab/Muslim thinking. But if we conceive and understand God as spiritual, in the same sense that we are spiritual, i.e. having consciousness, volition and valuation, but these taken to extremes (omniscience, omnipotence, all-good), there is no doubt that He cannot be viewed as subject to blind natural necessity, like an automaton, but must be viewed as a supremely conscious, freely willing and good being. It is only in the latter way that our conception of God can be useful to us in formulating metaphysical, historical or ethical ideas and explanations.

See my book Volition and Allied Causal Concepts (at least chapters 1 and 2) on this subject. http://thelogician.net/VOLITION-and-ALLIED-CAUSAL-CONCEPTS/Cover-page.htm.

Something about you (optional) logician-philosopher

Re: The Cosmological Argument for God.

Avi Sion
Hi Mike.

The existence of existence, the existence of anything whatever, begs the question ‘how come?’ (what caused it?), and even the question ‘Why?’ (for what purpose?). If there was no existence, if nothing whatever existed, there would be nothing surprising in the fact. (Of course, for any question to arise, there has to be someone aware of existence and able to ask the question; if existence existed but there was no one to see that, there would be no question asked.)

The idea of God is an attempt to answer that question (indeed, both those questions). But this answer is logically inadequate in that it involves a claim to the pre-existence of God, i.e. to an existence which in turn calls forth the same question(s), bringing us back full circle. On the other hand, assuming the atheist alternative does not erase the question, the wonder at the existence of existence – so, it does not solve the problem either.

Once we posit God, we are forced to turn our attention to the nature of God, and discuss his unique Oneness despite presumed multiple attributes needed to explain His thoughts and actions. I think the answer to that is largely to found in the idea (expressed at the conclusion my essay The Five Skandhas Doctrine) that the spiritual domain is radically different from the material domain, without substance, space and time, or any other analogical features. This realization comes from the awareness that all our discussions of spirituality proceed by means of analogies from our material experience: the concepts we resort to are materially biased and therefore inevitably distort the ultimate reality somewhat.

The discussions of Classical Theism and Divine Simplicity that you mention are, of course, all relevant and interesting. And yes, Future Logic was my doctoral dissertation (feel free to write me by e-mail if you need some clarification while reading it).


And yes, Future Logic was my doctoral dissertation (feel free to write me by e-mail if you need some clarification while reading it).


Thanks Avi. If it's all the same to you, if I have need of clarification regarding the book I will post here. I see there is already a thread in the Logic section devoted to the topic. That way, others who have queries may find the answers there.

Re: The Cosmological Argument for God.

Good idea. No problem.

Something about you (optional) logician-philosopher