6.19.16

-One way to put the Scotistic objection to God and creatures being analogues is that to see them in this way makes a cosmological argument into a sort of comedy routine. God exists like who’s on first. If the analogy is like an agent and instrument, then God exists like I just flew in from from New York.

-Okay, to make that last analogy work you have to assume that people fly on, say, pterodactyls (who are actually capable of flying as primary agents). Have Fred Flintstone tell the joke. It’s old enough… hey- oh!

-St. Thomas used the word “deus” both as a name for a sort of thing and as a proper name. One can’t very well pray to deus in the Mass except as an individual, but he used exactly the same word to speak of Athena or as a sort of thing. This is because god is a word like father or christ or doctora name for a sort of thing or office that has a way of being used as a proper or quasi-proper name. But as soon as it becomes a proper name every father is named equivocally. Whether you and I mean the same thing by “father” depends on whether we’re thinking of the sort of thing he is or the one that he is.

(extra credit: apply to the “do we worship the same God?” question)

Asking whether God exists is like asking whether Johnny has a father – there is a relatively easy answer that asks only whether he was sired by somebody and a relatively more complex answer that asks who exactly that person is. A single argument might prove that God exists in the first sense but you’ll need a whole science to prove him in the second sense.

-The argument from evil is now widely acknowledged to require gratuitous evils. Rowe is clear that he dos not think we can prove such things exist, but he takes them as obvious. A difficulty arises when we consider that gratuitous evils are historically counterfactual since some evil is gratuitous iff it could not have been the least one possible God could have allowed. I’m pretty confident in the counter factual ~Hitler ~ WWII, but to call this a gratuitous evil I would have to know that this wasn’t the least possible evil allowed.

One of the basic tropes of time travel sci-fi is that in trying to fix any evil we end up causing greater ones. Taking this as an insight into the actual structure of history means that every evil is the least possible one. The claim is at least conceivable, and its presence as a repeated trope suggests that it arises by nature. Can we make the point in a more philosophical way? Would it suffice to point out that we can only structure and plan things with per se relations, while nature and God seem to lack this restriction? Why do patterns form in random events? We say this is because there is no reason for them to be one way rather than another, but I suspect that this is an attempt to get something out of nothing.

 

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1 Comment

  1. David said,

    June 20, 2016 at 9:44 am

    It seems to me a difference in the direction of the question. “Does God exist?” is different from, “how can there be motion?” Analogy would seem to come in when we compare the result of the second, with the concept at the start of the first.


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