Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Thinking of the Ontological Argument

The ontological argument, formulated in the 12th century by St. Anselm (click here), essentially states that since we can conceive of a perfect all-powerful being, God, He must exist, because nothing greater than God can be conceived. But if we conceive of God and He does not exist, we could conceive of something greater, namely a God who does exist. This hypothesis seems to lead to a logical absurdity: that there both is and is not something that can be imagined that is greater than God.

This can be formulated as such:

(1) God is that than which no greater can be conceived.
(2) If God is that than which no greater can be conceived then there is nothing greater than God that can be imagined.
Therefore:
(3) There is nothing greater than God that can be imagined.
(4) If God does not exist then there is something greater than God that can be imagined.
Therefore:
(5) God exists.1

So since we can't conceive of something greater than God, if He didn't exist we could conceive of something greater than Him. In that case, there is and isn't something that can be conceived that is greater than God. There is because we can conceive of a God who does exist, but at the same time there isn't because it’s impossible to imagine something greater than the greatest thing imaginable. This is a logical absurdity!

Now, my philosophy teacher brought up the concept of a yellow, striped, three-legged, talking cat in Japan and then asserted that it exists. But the problem I find with this is this animal is not something which something greater can be conceived. It isn't perfect or omnipotent. Since the only being that is perfect and all powerful is God, if we start conceiving of other things that have these attributes, they add nothing to the equation since that is what we began conceiving in the first place.

So, to finish, since not believing in a perfect being leads to a logical absurdity, such a being exists and this being is God.

1 http://www.philosophyofreligion.info/theistic-proofs/the-ontological-argument/st-anselms-ontological-argument/

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Refuting Determinism

By definition, if you can find one case of indeterminism then the entire system of strict determinism is false because of the nature of the view. In Jeremiah 32:35 God says, "And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin."

Here we have a direct example of God Himself saying He did not cause or order in any way an event to happen.

P1) If strict determinism is true, all events without exception are determined by God.
P2) The Bible presents an example of God not determining an event.
C) Therefore, the Bible refutes strict determinism.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Titanic Argument?

On Ray Comfort's blog (click here), which I visit periodically (because he draws the worst of the antitheists on the internet, and I like to see the arguments they are using), one of the lovely little atheists attacked a Christian's claim that the Bible is extremely historically accurate, proving Christianity to be rooted in history. He said:
So Titanic [film] was 100% true? After all, it did have Molly Brown and Captain Edward J. Smith in it and we know they existed, so by your logic so did Jack and Rose.

Give us a break Ray! So there is something historically accurate in the bible, I knew that, everyone did. But like Molly Brown and Captain Edward J Smith in Titanic, Herod and Pontius Pilate were fictional minor characters.
He apparently thinks this is persuasive, but if we use this "reasoning" against one historical document, we need to use it against all of them. Therefore, no ancient document that we haven't completely verified archaeologically (ie. almost all of them) can be considered accurate. No historical figures can be thought to have actually existed. For example, Darwin's On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (racist??) mentions the Galapagos Island. But we can't be for sure that anything in the book actually happened. So just because Galapagos is there doesn't mean Darwin did anything there.

Hopefully, you can see the silliness of that argument. As William Lane Craig says, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." We happen to have good evidence that the fictional events in the Titanic film didn't actually happen. We have the testimony of the writers of the movie saying they weren't based on real events. We have common sense that Hollywood creates stories that are fiction for entertainment. Likewise, we may not have exhaustive archaeological evidence of every single event in the Bible, but we have no evidence to the contrary. In fact, every single archaeological discovery associated with the Bible verifies the Biblical account. Nelson Glueck, the renowned Jewish archaeologist has written: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.”

So, another antitheist argument shows to be silly and based on a 1st grade mentality. I hope everyone can see where reason and logic lead...to faith.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11/2001

Never Forget

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Challenge to Atheists With the Cosmological Argument

I just realized that I have drawn the attention of a skeptic's blog, the Skeptical Eye. They seem to be your typical anarchist, against God and government. Thought I'd post the argument I used against one of them on another blog that the author was not able to refute (except to claim things can come into existence uncaused...?).

If it's true that everything that begins to exist has a cause, and the universe began to exist, the universe must have a cause. That cause cannot be material, because matter came into existence with the universe. It must be immaterial. The only things that are immaterial are abstract objects (like numbers), which are causally effete; or a personal consciousness.

So this cause necessarily has to exist separate from the universe (time and space), because those things came into existence with the universe.

Now, either we make the illogical statement that is worse than magic that says everything can come from nothing (which contradicts all logic for centuries), or the universe is eternal, which has been debunked, as Alexander Vilenkin, Professor of Physics and Director of the Institute of Cosmology at Tufts University, says:
It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).
The only logical conclusion is the universe has a personal cause. Unless you're okay with relying on magic and not the science antitheists love so much.

I don't think logic is on the side of the antitheist.