Blog Archives

Hempel’s Raven Paradox and God’s Existence

Hempel’s Raven Paradox: a red apple is evidence that “all ravens are black things”, since it counts as evidence for the logically equivalent proposition “all non-black things are non-ravens”.
Likewise, the fictional character, Elsa of Arendelle, is evidence that God is non-fictional, since “All things identical to God are non-fictional beings” is logically equivalent to “All fictional beings are non-identical to God”.
If it is evidence, it isn’t very good evidence, I would admit. But, even if it isn’t very good evidence, there is a potential infinity of fictional characters that are non-identical to God. How would you block that from generating a cumulative case for God, simply by increasingly inventing fictional characters that are not God?
This is an honest question I have. I am not trying to provide some bizarre cumulative case for God’s existence, as I perceive that this would prove too much.
I suppose this just is Hempel’s paradox, but I don’t think I have seen it applied to existential claims about singular terms before.