Monday, July 21, 2014

Reply to WLC's answer to my question regarding anti-realism (QoW #379)

I am saving my reply here, as it is already getting buried.

Dr. Craig, thank you for answering my question. I am glad you are a realist about the Good and concede *that* much to the realist. Do you actually mean the Platonist when you say you "see no reason to concede so much" to the realist (see links 'a' and 'b')?


You see the importance of conceding the existence of the Good to the realists (not the Platonists, to be sure). So why take an anti-realist position? Why not take a divine essentialist, rather than a Platonic essentialist, position? I don't think that is conceptualist, because I see it as describing his nature--the Logos wills/thinks in accordance with his nature. I am curious how you base the Good in God in a non-conceptualist way, but think it would concede too much to base other seemingly abstract objects in God?--I say seemingly abstract, because they aren't so abstract if they are grounded in God, are they? Btw, I'm not so sure Plato didn't consider the Good to correspond to real Being, but that's a slightly more involved discussion:

What I know of realism/anti-realism I learned from Christopher Norris' "Epistemology". It is interesting to note that Dummett: “denies the existence of objective, recognition-transcendent truth-values for statements of the so-called ‘disputed class’, i.e., those for which we possess no means of ascertainment or decisive proof”—including “standards of objective moral good or natural justice” (from Norris' concluding postscript I). That's why Norris is a convergent, or critical, realist -- though, I think his morality lacks ontology (only in his mind, of course), considering he leaves no room for God in reality. The theist, however, grounds the Good in God, so...why not the rest of the "disputed class" (even to the same extent, where you do not consider essential certain extrapolations, only the basic core underlying all the extrapolations--like the Golden Rule, for example...the sum of the Law and the Prophets Jesus came to fulfill on the cross)? -- how is the Good different from the rest of it, so that you would allow for its reality, but be anti-realist about the rest? Would Dummett agree with you that you have means of ascertainment or decisive proof for the Good? Do you think ontology is more decisive than justification when it comes to knowledge? I think both are needed (I agree with Plato, but not with Platonism).

No worries if you have no time to answer. Thank you for the answer you were able to provide. I am truly honored.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Leibnizian Moral Argument?

I think my moral argument for God's existence is similar to Leibniz' cosmological argument (except it has to do with the explanation of the Good, a.k.a. the Golden Rule).

If you'd rather not say "the Golden Rule," then say what everyone else says: "objective moral values and duties." If it isn't obvious, I took my phrasing from William Lane Craig.

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.

2. If the Golden Rule has an explanation for its existence, that explanation is the same explanation for God's existence: the necessity of His own nature.

[That statement is logically equivalent to the atheist's own statement that if God does not exist, a) the Golden Rule has no explanation for its existence (or does not exist), or b) the Golden Rule exists by the necessity of its own nature (only a personal being can have a necessary nature that is described by the Golden Rule). Now, if the atheist would rather claim that the Golden Rule is a social construct and that different cultures will come up with different values and duties, they must account for premise 3. However, if the atheist accounts for premise 3 by claiming that the Golden Rule is a natural construct common to all humans, and thus all cultures, that is (again) logically equivalent to premise 2, but doesn't jive with our moral intuitions--it equates to claiming the universe doesn't really exist.]

3. The Golden Rule exists (is discovered independently) in various forms in every major culture in history.

4. Therefore, the Golden Rule has an explanation for its existence (from 1 and 3).

5. Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the Golden Rule is the same explanation for God's existence: the necessity of His own nature (from 2 and 4).

Related: Resolving Euthyphro's Dilemma

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Problem of Evil (guest post)

This post was put together from the power point slides of a presentation given by my soon-to-be sixteen-year-old, Ethan Spikes. He delivered this presentation in front of 19 fellow students and a teacher.

The Problem of Evil

What is it?

The problem of evil is THE argument used in favor of God not existing. It is the objection that an all powerful and all loving God does not reconcile with the existence of evil. There are two parts to the intellectual version of this problem: the logical problem (if evil exists, then God cannot), and the evidential problem (it is improbable that an all loving and all powerful God would let suffering exist). The emotional problem of evil deals with a non-intellectual rejection of God based in feelings. I will focus on the intellectual first.

The Logical Version

1. God is said to be all powerful and all good.
2. An all powerful god could abolish evil.
3. An all good god would want to abolish evil.
4. If evil exists, then God (see reason one) cannot exist.
5. Evil exists: Watch the news.
6. Therefore, God (see reason one) cannot exist.

This is a valid deductive argument. 

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