Monday, September 11, 2006

Struggling with the argument from desire

Here's the picture defenders of the argument from desire are trying to paint:

1) Natural desires with known earthly satisfactions: food, clothing, shelter, sex, safety, etc. Things that contribute to the Four F's (fighting, feeding, fleeing and reproducing).

2) Natural desires with no known earthly satisfaction: a desire we have trouble identifying in ordinary experience, but it turns out to be a desire for something eternal.

3) Artficial desires which are satisfied sometime somwhere (Red Sox world championship.

4) Artifical desire which are not satisfied. (Phoenix Suns world championship, permanent peace in the Middle East).

The idea here is that the desire for the eternal sticks out like a sore thumb. But does it? What about the desire for one's natural life to go on forever? What about the desire to be (or look) eternally 22? What about the fear of ghosts? Can the argument from desire be hit with Gaunilo-type objections.

The link below is to an excellent Argument from Desire resource page.

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