Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Theistic Arguments Series:  Anselm's Ontological Argument

The following is an outline of Anselm's ontological argument for the existence of God:

    1. We conceive of God as a being than which no greater can be conceived.
    2. This being than which no greater can be conceived either exists in the mind alone or both in the mind and in reality.
    3. Assume that this being than which no greater can be conceived exists in the mind alone.
        a. Existing both in the mind and in reality is greater than existing solely in the mind.
        b. This being, existing in the mind alone, can also be conceived to exist in reality.
        c. This being existing in the mind alone is not therefore the being than which no greater can be conceived.
    4. Therefore, this being than which no greater can be conceived exists in reality as well as exists in the mind.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Biblical Modifications Series: The Reversal of Paul

Paul established much of the teachings and dogma of the early church.  His epistles are the oldest texts that form part of the New Testament.  One of those early teachings, found in Galatians 3:23-28, is that Christianity establishes of a new order, where many of the ways of the past are set aside.
Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed.  The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith.  But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,  for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ like a garment.  There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dawkins:  "Who made God?"

In response to my previous post, Victor Reppert criticizes Dawkins' answer to the Cosmological Argument this way:
Now, I think there is further discussion which might develop the "Who made God" response to more sophisticated version of the Cosmological Arguments, but a popular kind of response to arguments like Aquinas's and Craig's, sometimes given in intro philosophy classes, makes it seem as if they somehow didn't think to ask the question "Who made God," a question asked by most grade school children.
Now one thing I should point out right away is the fact that Dawkins is not a philosopher, but more importantly, his target audience was not philosophers.  He was addressing real people who may have been brought up in a religious environment, hearing the common arguments for God's existence.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Loftus, Reppert, and the Courtier's Reply

Victor Reppert made a remark about the Courtier's Reply that puzzled me:
One saving grace for John is that he has criticized the overuse of the Courtier's Reply, which essentially says "Your position is so stupid that we don't even have to bother to understand it to attack it."
I was puzzled because this definition of the Courtier's Reply is not what I understand it to be.  The Courtier's Reply is actually what theists use to attack atheists who reject belief in God without necessarily understanding all the details of every theistic argument or every particular religion they are rejecting.