By Robin Le Poidevin
In Arguing for Atheism , Robin Le Poidevin addresses the query of even if theism - the view that there's a own, transcendent author of the universe - solves the private mysteries of lifestyles. Philosophical defences of theism have frequently been in accordance with the concept that it explains issues which atheistic ways can't: for instance, why the universe exists, and the way there should be target ethical values. the most rivalry of Arguing for Atheism is that the opposite is correct: that during truth theism fails to give an explanation for many stuff it claims to. Such an interpretation has been argued for lately via 'radical theologians'; Arguing for Atheism is hence, a philosophical contribution to 1 of the most important spiritual problems with our instances. Designed as a textual content for college classes within the philosophy of faith and metaphysics, this book's obtainable sort and various reasons of significant philosophical ideas and positions also will make it appealing to the overall reader.
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Additional info for Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
Now consider the proposition ‘God exists’. Is this analytic? No (but see below). It is therefore not a necessary truth. From this, it follows that it is possible that God does not exist. So premise (2a) of the modal atheistic argument is true. Now consider ‘God does not exist’. Is this analytic? No. So it is not a necessary truth, in which case it is possible that God does exist, and premise (2) of the modal ontological argument is true. So, if all necessary truths are analytic, then both (2) and (2a) are true.
But, having understood this, it is far from clear how we are to apply it to the objects mentioned in premises (2) and (3) of the ontological argument. In what sense is it true that something which exists in reality is greater than something which exists only in the mind? We need to be more clear, before we can answer this, about what it is to exist only in the mind. If something is in my mind, I have an idea of it. An idea is a representation, rather as a portrait is a painted representation of a person.
We cannot, however, conceive of anything greater than God. Therefore: God does not exist in the mind alone, but in reality also. If this argument works, we can draw a much stronger conclusion than the one that God actually exists. What Anselm has tried to show is that, in denying the existence of God, the atheist (‘the fool’) contradicts himself, for something cannot both be ‘that than which nothing greater can be conceived’, and not exist. But since God is by definition that than which nothing greater can be conceived, it is analytically true (see Chapter 1, pages 10–11) that he exists.
Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion by Robin Le Poidevin