Monday, July 14, 2008

"God is Not Dead Yet" *Updated*

A good summary of the current resurgence in philosophical arguments for the existence of God has been posted over at Christianity Today.

God Is Not Dead Yet
How current philosophers argue for his existence.

The article is by William Lane Craig, a leading Christian Apologist.

You can check it out at

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/july/13.22.html

* * * UPDATE

You can also check out William Lane Craig's website: http://www.reasonablefaith.org

If you register (no cost or obligation), you can access a full debate he conducted recently in New Zealand. The topic: Is God A Delusion. Dr. Craig offered 5 strong reasons for the existence of God vs. the dreary alternative. It's in the Audio-Visuals section.

2 comments:

roblaw said...

The fundamental suggestion of Craig's that religion and the existence of God can be approached in a poly-theistic manner, at it's core, is the essence of my own personal belief, and I enjoyed the article from that viewpoint.

However, unfortunately, as many theists do, he relies upon weak philosophical, boot-strapping-itself-pseudo-logic to help make his point. I mean, for example, he refers to the Cosmological Argument:

1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
3. The universe exists.
4. Therefore, the explanation of the universe's existence is God.

To this, I would ask, if God exists, then what is the explanation for God?

While I think he throws the baby out with the bathwater, Christopher Hitchens makes an excellent point in his book, "God Is Not Great", when he points out that, fundamentally, early religion existed because of the ignorance of man to explain the world around him. When lightning struck, the gods were angry. Are we truly to return to that as a basis for faith? That because we are too simple to presently comprehend the idea of an infinite universe, it can't be such.. so it therefore must be God.

Now - the reverse is also true - simply because you can't prove something, doesn't mean it can't exist either.

A more fundamental, and broader, problem, is my perception that in the broader society, concepts of poly-theistic views of God are in the distinct minority, and most discussion about God comes from closed-minded zealots who cannot conceive of concepts like the Bible, the Qur'an or the Torah being man-made and therefor fallible and not to be taken literally - and who feel entitled, by virtue of their "rightness" to impose those notions on those around them. Hence a great weakness in the establishment of the political right in Canada - the need to either re-educate or remove those who would seek to impose their views on others. Liberty requires freedom, which includes, freedom not to believe.

RkBall said...

To this, I would ask, if God exists, then what is the explanation for God?"

The universe requires an explanation of its existence because, based on philosophical and scientific arguments (not to mention the Bible), the universe began to exist. So, it is legitimate, even essential to ask, "Who or what caused the universe to exist?"

However, since there is no evidence that there was a time when God did not exist, and there is no evidence that God began to exist, there is no need to ask or identify how God came into existence. On the contrary, if God is indeed God, a Supreme Being outside of time and space, it is reasonable to believe that he has always existed, which is exactly what He declares of Himself in the Hebrew Scriptures. This is what Craig means by "in the necessity of its own nature". Philosophers have put it this way: we (along with the universe) are contingent beings; God is a necessary being. The existence of contingent beings requires explanation; no explanation is needed for a necessary being.


"early religion existed because of the ignorance of man to explain the world around him. When lightning struck, the gods were angry."

This is, of course, sheer speculation and is flatly contradicted by the evidence and testimony of the Hebrew Scriptures which indicate that God communed with them and revealed himself to them by word and deed.

"Hence a great weakness in the establishment of the political right in Canada - the need to either re-educate or remove those who would seek to impose their views on others."

Huh?

The vast majority of Canadians being hauled before Human Rights Tribunals and being fined, sent for re-education and commanded not to speak are conservative Christians. The only persons losing their jobs today because of their beliefs are conservative Christians.

Here in PEI, a conservative Christian couple were fined and "invited" to undergo state-mandated re-education (echoes of Communist Russia) in order to fall in line with the state's positive view of homosexuality. Rather than violate their consciences and religious beliefs, they closed down their bed-and-breakfast business.

They lost their livelihood.

So, the evidence is that in fact it is left-wing liberals who are doing the most to forcibly inflict their views on others and undermine the freedoms of conscience, expression and belief which the Charter of Rights supposedly either created or recognized. In fact, it is being used as a tool of oppression and state-sanctioned coercion. It is being used as an instrument of the State to impose State-sanctioned views and values.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. We don't often hear from poly-theists, and if you want to express your beliefs, please feel free to do so.

"... nothing intellectually compelling or challenging.. bald assertions coupled to superstition... woefully pathetic"