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Vexing Links (12/27/2015)

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year to Vexing Questions readers.  Here are some links of note:

  1. Reasonablefaith.org has released its latest video in its series on the existence of God: the Leibnizian Cosmological Argument (view the other videos in the series here)
  2. The Church of England released a beautiful ad featuring the Lord’s Prayer.  It was banned and created some controversy, but it is moving nonetheless.
  3. Dr. Lee Irons does a great job defending the Trinitarian perspective in a new book.  Here is an interview about his defense, hosted by Dale Tuggy.
  4. The SEP has some new articles and revisions of note: Thomas Williams revises an entry on St. Anselm, Olga Lizzini has a new article on Ibn Sina’s Metaphysics, and Jeffery Bower revises an entry on Medieval Theories of Relations.
  5. Some music I’ve been enjoying: Timothy Vajda’s As the Crow Flies, and Sigur Rós’s version of the Rains of Castamere.
  6. Carneades.org great philosophy website, with videos on logic.
  7. Brilliant physicist, George Ellis, is interviewed on Closer to Truth about What An Expanding Universe Means.
  8. Grasped in Thought blogs about Gaunilo’s failed objection to Anselm’s ontological argument.
  9. Maverick Philosopher has a beautiful Christmas reflection on the meaning of  the Incarnation and John 1:14.
  10. Dr. Alexander Pruss offers an interesting argument about physicalism and thinking about big numbers.

The Indispensability of the God Question

My mind was metaphorically blown by this short interview between Robert Lawrence Kuhn and Philip Clayton:

I couldn’t help but think of my attempt at an indispensability argument.  It seems like Clayton is centering on a similar thought, i.e. that the question of God is one that all must encounter.  I take his point to be broader than the one I developed in my proof.  That is, the concept of God is not just indispensable to our best thought experiments, is indispensable to living as a human. To some, it appears as a regulative idea and to others as an existential conundrum. We all contemplate God, whether as a point or a counter-point to our own world-views.  It would greatly surprise me if this concept, which has provided humanity with vast amounts of insight, from Christian neo-platonism to atheistic existentialism, should turn out to be necessarily false.  But if the modal ontological argument doesn’t force us to deduce God’s existence, it at least informs us that God either necessarily exists, or is impossible.  To take the impossibility horn, I would have to think that this idea, which has inspired the loftiest literature, the most mystifying paintings, the most sublime and evocative music, the most self-evident rights, and the most penetrating philosophies is little more than a squared-circle—a slithy tove gyring and gimbling in the wabe.  Okay, maybe there are impossibilities that rise above utter non-sense.  Still, I find the impossibility of God unbelievable given how seminal the concept is for humanity.  It’s really as simple as that.
N.B. Closer to Truth is an extraordinary show.

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