Monday, December 04, 2017

A defense of Godel's Ontological Argument

Here. 

25 comments:

Starhopper said...

I am well aware that Dr. Reppert is a philosopher, and thus perhaps gives more weight to philosophical argument than does the average person, but I prefer an argument from historical evidence. Only the most dogmatic unbeliever who has his mind made up before the discussion even begins can with the least shred of intellectual honesty ignore the crushing weight of historical, archaeological, literary, and just plain logical evidence for the Resurrection - and not as just some feel good symbol of rebirth or hope or whatever is in current vogue, but as a literal, physical, historical fact.

Now don't get me wrong. All the ontological and other philosophical arguments do indeed have their very real value - as a rejoinder to those atheists who accuse believers of irrationality or of (the bad kind of) simplicity. It's hard to plausibly accuse Christianity of sloppy thinking in the face of the Five Ways, etc.

jdhuey said...

"...the crushing weight of historical, archaeological, literary, and just plain logical evidence for the Resurrection..."

simply doesn't exist.

Hugo Pelland said...

I am sorry Starhopper but I literally laughed out loud at your post. If we are to be called dogmatic and intellectually dishonest, it's only fair to laugh I think...

The paper will be more interesting to read!

jdhuey said...

So, how, exactly, do we go about measuring 'greatness'? If the existence of God is somehow related to his 'greatness', shouldn't there be a clear and operational definition of 'greatness'? It strikes me that 'greatness' and 'perfection' are just subjective evaluations and can easily vary from person to person.

Joe Hinman said...

I am well aware that Dr. Reppert is a philosopher, and thus perhaps gives more weight to philosophical argument than does the average person, but I prefer an argument from historical evidence. Only the most dogmatic unbeliever who has his mind made up before the discussion even begins can with the least shred of intellectual honesty ignore the crushing weight of historical, archaeological, literary, and just plain logical evidence for the Resurrection -

Say have you considered buying land in Florida. I've got a dandy piece of real estate you need to think about. Seriously, God bless you for what you said! As a historian of ideas that warms my heart.Those are the areas of intellectual activity that interest the most. But the sad truth is most atheists will not see that as valid at all.
They will not pay attention if you don't have some kind of empirical or analytical take on it,even then they wont accept it.

Joe Hinman said...

jdhuey said...
"...the crushing weight of historical, archaeological, literary, and just plain logical evidence for the Resurrection..."

simply doesn't exist.


see what I mean...

Joe Hinman said...



the crushing weight of historical, archaeological, literary, and just plain logical evidence for the Resurrection

Joe Hinman said...

I recommend the article on OAs on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy site,very informative, and there is a section Godel.

Joe Hinman said...

I don't see greatness as being that important to the argument, Greatness becomes necessity with modal logic,

Hugo Pelland said...

Besides people talking about what they saw, is there any other evidence for the resurrection?

No, and it's not demeaning, insulting, judging; that is just a fact. That's what a fact is. It is factually correct to say that you believe in the resurrection entirely because of what people said and wrote down.

That doesn't make anyone crazy for accepting that belief, but it certainly doesn't mean it's delusional to reject the claim. What's crazy is to pretend there is more to it, or that it is indeed delusional to 'not' believe.

jdhuey said...

"I don't see greatness as being that important to the argument..."

Really, it strikes me as central to the Anslem argument. It is the key definitional term used to define the entity 'God'.

Starhopper said...

"[The evidence] simply doesn't exist."

"I literally laughed out loud at your post."

"It is factually correct to say that you believe in the resurrection entirely because of what people said and wrote down."

And so my point is, if not proven, at least demonstrated. Jdhuey takes the easiest route. Show him the evidence (and I know I have not done so in my 5 sentence posting that heads this discussion), and he responds there's no evidence. Hugo in his first response doesn't even bother to address the issue, somehow imagining that mere laughter suffices. And when he does tackle the issue, he only demonstrates that he doesn't know what he is talking about.

First of all, the Gospels are by no means simply something that "people wrote down". The skeptics are required to ignore the fact that the Gospels resemble nothing ever seen elsewhere in World Literature. They are sui generes. The only comparison that can legitimately be made between them and any other piece of writing would be to point out how different they are from everything else.

One huge problem the 21st Century person has in approaching the Gospels is the lazy false sense of familiarity we have with them. It would actually be a Good Thing for evangelism if Christianity were to somehow disappear for a generation or two. I assure you it would rebound with redoubled force once the freshness and uniqueness of the Gospels was restored. Read G.K. Chesterton's The Everlasting Man to see what I mean. To encounter the Gospels with an unprejudiced mind is the most radical encounter possible to any human being, and it is only prevented from being so by the roadblocks we ourselves erect between ourselves and their Message.

But to answer Hugo directly and with no side issues, Christians absolutely do not believe because of "what people said", but because of an encounter with A Person, and what He said, and did (and continues to say, and still does).

Hugo Pelland said...

Starhopper, I was laughing at your tone and insults; you're calling people who don't believe the story of Jesus delusional when there is nothing but writings to present.

It does not matter that you believe the Gospels to be special; they are just books to everybody else. Most Christians just go about their daily lives never really questioning what the books say, how they came to be, or why they may or may not be true. They are just raised to believe these things and that's fine.

What's not fine is call believers or unbelievers, as a group, crazy.

Starhopper said...

"you're calling people who don't believe the story of Jesus delusional"

Excuse me? I nowhere called any unbeliever delusional. The words I used were "dogmatic" and "has his mind made up". Read my posting again. Is this how you read the Gospels? Rather than see what is actually there, you insert your preconceptions into the text. You're so sure that all believers regard skeptics as delusional, that you see the insult where it doesn't exist.

For the record, I do not regard atheists as delusional. But I do class them amongst those who enter the discussion with closed minds. (At least, that is what the evidence would indicate. You do like evidence, right?)

Hugo Pelland said...

My bad, you used the terms dogmatic and intellectually dishonest. It's so different, I don't understand how I could have been mistaken. Again, my apologies.

And you're right, I am close minded. That's why I read this blog, that's why I read books on the topic, that's why I have been trying to remain civil with believers, and encourage all sides to not judge the other only based on our difference over these specific topics. This is all because I am not open to discuss anything nor look at any evidence. I have been exposed.

Legion of Logic said...

Hugo: "My bad, you used the terms dogmatic and intellectually dishonest. It's so different, I don't understand how I could have been mistaken. Again, my apologies.

And you're right, I am close minded. That's why I read this blog, that's why I read books on the topic, that's why I have been trying to remain civil with believers, and encourage all sides to not judge the other only based on our difference over these specific topics. This is all because I am not open to discuss anything nor look at any evidence. I have been exposed."

This post confused me to no end, until I realized it was sarcastic. Having performed this remarkable feat of Sherlockian proportions, I realized I desperately need some sleep.

Starhopper said...

"you used the term [...] intellectually dishonest"

I did not use that term. That was Joe Hinman.

Hugo Pelland said...

Starhopper said:
"Only the most dogmatic unbeliever [...] can with the least shred of intellectual honesty..."
Appologies accepted

Starhopper said...

No apology needed. Just as an action can be amoral and not immoral, a person can have no intellectual honesty without being dishonest. To coin a term, he could be a-honest.

I stand by what I said - I called no one intellectually dishonest.

jdhuey said...

"Jdhuey takes the easiest route. Show him the evidence ... and he responds there's no evidence."

To be more precise, I should have said that there is no good evidence or probative evidence. The historical facts, such that do exist, are consistent with a number of different but non-supernatural scenarios.

The "evidence" that you folks keep trotting out is, at best, problematic.

jdhuey said...

'...the Gospels are by no means simply something that "people wrote down".'

'concocted' would be a better term.

ficino4ml said...

Our definitions say God exists! Yay our team!!

grodrigues said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Hinman said...

jdhuey said...
"Jdhuey takes the easiest route. Show him the evidence ... and he responds there's no evidence."

To be more precise, I should have said that there is no good evidence or probative evidence. The historical facts, such that do exist, are consistent with a number of different but non-supernatural scenarios.

The "evidence" that you folks keep trotting out is, at best, problematic.


that is such a broad statement it's just meaningless, Obviously we have (I assume you are castigating Christians) a vast array of evidence and we night be referring to a small art of it when we talk about the really good stuff,but you don't know about it becaue there's too much and you are not willing to evaluate it farily.

Joe Hinman said...

No, and it's not demeaning, insulting, judging; that is just a fact. That's what a fact is. It is factually correct to say that you believe in the resurrection entirely because of what people said and wrote down.

That doesn't make anyone crazy for accepting that belief, but it certainly doesn't mean it's delusional to reject the claim. What's crazy is to pretend there is more to it, or that it is indeed delusional to 'not' believe.

agreed.Christian apologists need to do less characterizing of the opposition and more analyzing of argumentation,