Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 13: Existence and Attributes of a Necessary Being

In Phase 1 of his case for the existence of God, Geisler reformulates the argument from being as follows:Argument from Being #2 - Initial Version 50. If God exists, [then] we conceive of Him [God] as a necessary Being.   51. By definition, a necessary Being must exist and cannot not exist.   THEREFORE 52. ...if God exists, then He [God] must exist and cannot not exist. (WSA, p.25) PHASE 3 ARGUMENTBoth premise (50) and the conclusion (52) are conditional statements with t … [Read more...]

Geisler’s Five Ways – Part 12: Is the Creator a Necessary Being?

PHASE 3: THE EXISTENCE OF A NECESSARY BEINGGeisler abuses the word “God” yet again in Phase 3 of his case for the existence of God.  The argument in Phase 3 is on page 27.  It makes use of the conclusion from “The Argument from Being” in Phase 1 (pages 24-26). Here is the conclusion of this part of his case:God is a necessary being.He is NOT using the word “God” in its ordinary sense here.  Perhaps, he actually means something like this:Whatever caused the universe is a necessar … [Read more...]

Does God Exist? Part 2

Here is a third option for breaking down the question "Does God exist?" (click on the image below to get a clearer view of the chart):         This is a variation on Option 2 (see the previous post in this series).In this analysis I stick with the process of simply adding on divine attributes to the creator in order to build up to the full traditional concept of God, or something close to the full … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 4

Previously, I argued that it is not possible to become eternal. Recall that a person P is eternal if and only if P has always existed and P will always continue to exist. Here is a step-by-step proof showing that it is impossible for a person to become eternal:<------------|-----------|-------------->................t1...........t21. At time t1 person P is NOT eternal AND at a later moment t2 P is eternal. (supposition for indirect proof/reduction to absurdity)2. At time t1 … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 3

Richard Swinburne analyzes the concept of 'necessary being' into two implications (COT, p.241-242):1. It is not a matter of fortunate accident that there is a God; he exists necessarily. 2. God is necessarily the kind of being which he is; God does not just happen to have the properties which he does.In his simpler and more popular book on God (Is There a God?), Swinburne clarifies these implications further in terms of the concept of 'essential properties':But theism does not claim … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 2

Although there is an extensive discussion of the meaning of the claim 'God is a necessary being' by Richard Swinburne in his bookThe Coherence of Theism (revised edition, hereafter: COT), the main passages that I'm interested in understanding are found in a shorter and more popular book: Is There a God? (hereafter: ITAG), also by Swinburne.In COT, Swinburne specifies two implications of the claim that 'God is a necessary being':However, most theists, and certainly most theologians, have … [Read more...]

God as a ‘Necessary Being’ – Part 1

In his book The Coherence of Theism (Revised edition, hereafter: COT), Swinburne defends the claim that the sentence 'God exists' makes a coherent statement.In Part II of COT, Swinburne defends the coherence of the concept of "a contingent God", which is basically the traditional concept of God minus the attribute of 'necessary being'. In Part III, Swinburne analyzes, clarifies, and defines the attribute 'necessary being', but he concludes that when this attribute is added back into the … [Read more...]