Best of All Possible Persons

Now this supreme wisdom, united to a goodness that is no less infinite, cannot but have chosen the best... If there were not the best among all possible worlds, God would not have produced any. (Gottfried Leibniz, Theodicy, translated by E.M. Huggard, 1951, p.128)According to Anselm, God is the being than which none greater can be conceived. In other words, God is the best of all possible persons. According to Leibniz, the best of all possible persons would have to create the best of all … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 6

In Chapter 3 of Handbook of Christian Apologetics (hereafter: HOCA), Peter Kreeft and Ronald Tacelli present twenty arguments for the existence of God. The very first argument is one of the Five Ways of Aquinas. This is not surprising, since Kreeft is a Catholic:The universe is the sum total of all these moving things, however many there are. The whole universe is in the process of change. But we have already seen that change in any being requires an outside force to actualize it. … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 4

In A Companion to Philosophy of Religion, there is an article by Jeffrey Jordan on "Pragmatic Arguments", that covers Pascal's Wager. According to Jordan, there are at least three versions of Pascal's Wager. In this post I will examine one of the three versions, which goes something like this:1. Either God exists or it is NOT the case that God exists. 2. If God exists, then a person who believes in God will be much better off than a nonbeliever. 3. If it is NOT the case that God exists, … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 3

Here is a Christian argument for the existence of God:1. If God raised Jesus from the dead, then God exists. 2. God raised Jesus from the dead. Therefore: 3. God exists.There is no need to make this into a modus tollens, because premise (2) clearly begs the question. The claim that 'God raised Jesus from the dead' assumes that there is a God who is available to perform miracles, such as the resurrection of Jesus. But the question at issue is whether God exists, so (2) assumes what … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…Part 2

Here is another argument for God, based on answered prayers:1. If God exists, then it is very likely that prayers to God for healing from injury or disease would usually be immediately followed by instantaneous and complete healing, except when the injury or disease was the result of self-destructive, foolish, or morally wrong actions on the part of the person who is suffering from the injury or disease.2. If it is NOT the case that God exists, then it is very unlikely that prayers to … [Read more...]

One Man’s Modus Ponens…

Here is an argument for the existence of God:1. If there is a God, then it is very likely that there is a book that was written many centuries ago that is purported to be a divine revelation, and that is widely known about, and that is filled with nothing but true facts and wisdom and clear and sound moral guidance, and that provides great help for people to live good and happy lives.2. If there is no God, then it is very unlikely that there is a book that was written many centuries ago … [Read more...]

Melnyk, Goetz, and Taliafero on the AFR

Lately I have been doing a book revision and in the process reflecting on the "Great Debate" between Andrew Melnyk and the Christian philosophers Stewart Goetz and Charles Taliafero. Melnyk defends the thesis of the physical realization of the mental (PRM) and Goetz and Taliafero offer criticisms. Here are my thoughts so far. Comments would be welcome. Sorry for the length and apologies also that I am too lazy to put in references in this draft. The MTB thesis is the claim, broader than … [Read more...]

Reppert on Theistic Explanation

Victor Reppert has chimed in on my reply to Wintery Knight.This is always an interesting issue. But does it really make sense to ask of an omnipotent being how they did something. For example, I once beat a Grandmaster in a chess tournament. Now, you might ask how I did that, since as someone whose rating has never gone above expert, you might wonder how I did that. (And the answer isn't all the flattering, was able to win because my opponent had had entirely too much to drink.) But if I … [Read more...]


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