Download Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of by Robin Le Poidevin PDF

By Robin Le Poidevin

In Arguing for Atheism , Robin Le Poidevin addresses the query of no matter if theism - the view that there's a own, transcendent writer of the universe - solves the private mysteries of lifestyles. Philosophical defences of theism have frequently been according to the concept it explains issues which atheistic techniques can't: for instance, why the universe exists, and the way there may be goal 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 by means of 'radical theologians'; Arguing for Atheism is as a result, a philosophical contribution to at least one of the most important spiritual problems with our instances. Designed as a textual content for collage classes within the philosophy of faith and metaphysics, this book's obtainable type and various causes of vital philosophical ideas and positions also will make it appealing to the final reader.

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Extra resources for Arguing for Atheism: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Example text

So, if A exists in one world, and B exists in another, we have to determine whether A is greater in the world in which A exists than B in the world in which B exists. Thus we could say that Zeus is greater than Charlie Chaplin—even though Charlie Chaplin actually existed whereas Zeus did not—if, in the worlds in which Zeus exists, he is more powerful, more knowledgeable, etc. than Chaplin is in the worlds in which he exists. Now we have defined God as ‘That which is greater than any other object in any possible world’, and what this means is that God is more powerful, more knowledgeable, etc.

Either will do for our purposes, but for simplicity I shall use ‘analytic’ to mean ‘has a self-contradictory negation’. So, to return to our premise, can it plausibly be regarded as analytically true? No. Someone who sincerely asserted that there were, or might be, some things which began to exist and yet were not caused would not obviously be contradicting themselves. It is true that we might be highly puzzled by the thought of something’s coming into existence without a cause, since there would apparently be no explanation of why it came into existence when it did, nor indeed of why it came into existence at all.

A simple analogy for this view of the universe is provided by the surface of the earth: if you set out from some point on the equator, remain on the equator, and do not go through the same place more than once, your journey will only be finitely long; not because you will eventually reach a barrier through which you cannot pass, but because you will end up at your starting point. It is tempting to be misled by this analogy with the earth’s surface and suppose that the situation represented by Fig.

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