Apologetics to the Glory of God

Anthropic Arguments and Assumptions

If God is morally perfect then He must perform the morally best actions, but creating humans is not the morally best action. If this line of reasoning can be maintained then the mere fact that humans exist contradicts the claim that God exists.

HT: urbanphilosophy.net

Look at the assumption required for the second half of this sentence. “creating humans is not the morally best action”. Says who? By what standard? As usual, I think we can guess what that is.

Walker suggests that God is morally culpable for creating human beings with defective natures (defective in comparison to God’s).

Is He, now? Culpable to who? Oh, wait. That’s the assumption! The same assumption all of these dumb arguments make. God is answerable to man. That’s funny, here I thought Scripture answered that sort of ridiculousness.

What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I WILL HAVE MERCY ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY, AND I WILL HAVE COMPASSION ON WHOM I HAVE COMPASSION.” So then it {does} not {depend} on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.” So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it? Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use? What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, {even} us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. ~Rom 9:14-24

See, man always believes that he can pass judgment on God. That he is morally autonomous. Scripture says differently. This text rightly denies man’s ability to judge God. It then goes into an explanation of God’s intention in the creation of man. God is not unjust. A Holy God can rightly judge the man with a fallen nature – and the fallen man cannot judge the Holy God. This argument fails on point #7, for those interested in the formal argument also included in the post linked to above. I’m not concerned with the rest of the points, although I would likely dispute them if 7 didn’t fail so spectacularly. The reason 7 fails is because it introduces that pesky “should”. yourenotthebossofmeWho says He “should”? Man does. Man is not capable of imposing a “should” upon God, as man is not morally autonomous. Scripture relates to us why that “should” is incorrect, and the argument fails to even give any reason whatsoever why the “should” is applicable to God. It is an assumption of human autonomy.

I truly wish atheists who make these sorts of arguments would pay more attention to what they are arguing against. I’m sure this will be touted, with much hoopla, in that community – but it is not anything novel, damaging, or even explanatory. To break it down, a pot says “I don’t like the way you made things. If you didn’t make things the way I wanted, I deny that you exist – because I’ll only believe in a Potter that makes things the way I want them to be.” Not overly satisfying, or convincing. It would also help if they didn’t use an argument directly countered in Scripture. That would, of course, assume that they had read it. It doesn’t look like this atheologian bothered, sadly.



21 responses to “Anthropic Arguments and Assumptions”

  1. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar

    A couple of the points you’ve made are worth commenting on:

    1) The point about God being morally culpable in no way suggests that he is answerable to man, I don’t know why you’ve assumed such. It is a counterfactual statement: “If God exists, and his moral character were perfect, he could not do action X”. This is precisely what the argument is attempting to show, it’s not assumed at all, it’s deduced.

    We can even say that God is morally culpable based on his alleged nature insofar as his nature as proposed would prevent the action of creating human beings.

    2) About premise (7):

    “(7) So, a morally perfect being should attempt to maximize the likelihood of moral goodness and minimize the likelihood of moral evil in the world”

    You object to placing a ‘should’ upon God but it is difficult to see the weight of the objection. It is simply point out what it means to be morally perfect? If morally perfect beings do not attempt to maximize moral goodness, then what are they doing?

    The should is not prescriptive based on a purely human will, but rather it is prescriptive on what would be the case if X, namely, what would be the case if an agent had a morally perfect nature.

    In rejecting (7), without proposing some type of conditional, it seems that one falls into the problem of God’s moral goodness being arbitrary. If it indeed means something for God to be good, then how do we express this goodness propositionally? Are you honestly contending that a morally perfect being does not attempt to maximize moral goodness and minimize moral evil? This seems absurd.

    All in all, the “don’t judge God” objection is perhaps the weakest to these types of arguments. It’s a consistency check, examining the claims with the results, I thought that as a presuppositionalist you’d be fond of such an approach ;).

  2. RazorsKiss Avatar

    By what standard is creating humans “not the morally best action”? That is the problem. You should know Christian theology quite well enough to understand that God is definitionally good. His actions, by virtue of being His actions, are definitionally good. The next assumption is “attempt” – as if God could fail to accomplish His ends. Another impossibility.

    Then, let’s examine your claim that there is some arbitrariness involved here. By what standard is it to be considered?

    The basic problem here is that there is a disjunction of definitions in operation. The Creator is being judged by a putatively autonomous standard of His creation, and found “wanting”. How is the creature to do so, when God explicitly says that this is not only impossible, but foolish? God’s actions are that of an owner, doing as He pleases with His possessions, per the verse I quoted for you.

    Some possessions have greater mercy shown on them than others – but it is God who chooses what is to be done with them, and it is God’s standards by which His actions are judged. That is what it means to be self-sufficient, or self-existent, or omnipotent, or omniscient, or eternal, or sovereign, or good, or just. God is the sole, eternal, perfect arbiter – and is thereby, as a Sovereign – beholden to no one, and questionable by no one. His Word, most literally, is law.

    Most atheistic objections fail, most spectacularly, when applied to the Biblical conception of God. They do not recognize His attributes aright, and are therefore miserably incomplete in their recognition of the necessary conclusions which follow from who God truly is. They do not take into account the totality of God’s attributes, and resemble, most strikingly, what is said about them in Romans. They become futile in their speculations – and professing to be wise, they become fools.

    I understand that this may seem harsh to you – but I’m bound to say it. Arguments like this are simply ignorant. They are. When it is said, concerning a God who claims absolute sovereignty, that some nebulous conception of “immoral” adheres to Him – the sovereign, self-sufficient, self-existent, eternal, perfectly just and holy God – I’m sorry, but it looks utterly foolish. It is an obvious that the one making the argument essentially misunderstands who God claims to be, or is presupposing that this view is incorrect, and is creating a straw man of what is actually held to be true by that which describes Him.

    If an argument cannot actually depict that which it argues against, I simply fail to understand how it can be considered applicable. However, let me give you a possible out.

    Many Christian theologians are willing to portray God as other than He is in Scripture – or have an incomplete understanding of who God is. Against such a conception – the god described by a William Lane Craig, for example – such an argument may have force. The God I described – the God the Scripture describes – this argument has no applicability to.

    There is a very real tendency, I’ve found, to ignore what the conservative, Reformed Christians believe. It is far easier to argue against a God that is not found in Scripture. I’d like to know how that argument has any possibility of application against the description of God you know I believe in, and outlined above. I would respectfully posit that the god hemmed in by “all possible worlds” but not ordaining a singular possibility; a god that is not sovereign as you know I believe He is sovereign – is something utterly foreign to what I have consistently portrayed to you, and who has consistently been portrayed similarly in the Reformation tradition. That is why the argument fails. Because the god it is arguing against is not my God.

    Slow the reply down, and think about the conception of God you know me to hold. With that conception in mind, does this argument even have coherence? Then, think over the conception of god held to by a more libertarian tradition. Does it apply there? Perhaps. However, I’m not arguing for that conception, am I?

    Presuppositionalism *requires* Reformed theology. The more you encounter presup, the more you have to keep that in mind. The very definition of God posited in the rest of the argument demands that the definition used is intrinsically unusable against Reformed theology. I understand that this makes it annoying – and *trust* me, it annoys me far more. Regardless, you need to understand that for an argument to succeed, it has to *accurately* depict that which it argues against.

  3. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar

    As far as I understand it, the argument is not invoking any external standard of Goodness. It is merely testing the claims about God for consistency. It is examining the consistency of the claim of moral perfection, and the result of humans existing.

    As for the use of “attempt” in (7), there is some material here with which you must not be familiar. There are instances where God’s moral goodness may desire something, but he may be unable to actualize it. In fact, the free will defense to the argument from evil depends entirely on this (I know that you probably do not accept this defense).

    The claim is as follows, for every possible world where God is to create free human beings, there will be some amount of evil. That is to say, it becomes logically impossible for God to create a world of free human beings that is devoid of evil. In this regard, God desires a world free of evil but his competing desire for man to be free renders any attempt to create such a world impossible.

    Regardless of whether you accept this analysis, it is where the notion of “attempt” arises.

    The question of whether or not such an argument applies to your conception of God can be answered by a further question: Do you purport your God to be omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent. If this argument is successful this is precisely the combination of attributes the argument shows to be inconsistent with the existence of human beings (regardless of what other attributes the God may have, provided they are non-conflicting with the aforementioned three).

    The matter is a very simple one, and we can even accept YOUR standard of morality in the analysis:

    (1) If morally perfect God who wills to create, then morally perfect creation

    (2) No morally perfect creation (even by God’s standard, we NEED redemption, remember?)

    (3) Therefore, no morally perfect God who wills to create

    If this line of reasoning can be maintained, namely that God could have created ontological equivalents rather than comparatively ontological deficients but did not, he is not morally perfect, the conclusion that God does not exist would hold.

    Further, if it is not true that a morally perfect being should attempt to maximize the likelihood of moral goodness and minimize the likelihood of moral evil in the world, then what does “morally perfect” entail?

    You seem close to making the claim that whatever God does is morally perfect, because he is God. This is precisely the type of arbitrariness to which I’m referring. Normally, an attempt would be made to smuggle in God’s nature to explain the ‘moral goodness’, but this doesn’t seem to be the best idea here as we are precisely examining the consistency of God’s proposed moral nature.

    I understand that my brief treatment of the argument may leave some questions unanswered so I’d be happy to e-mail the full paper to you, if you so desire.

  4. Micah Avatar

    “As far as I understand it, the argument is not invoking any external standard of Goodness. It is merely testing the claims about God for consistency.”

    Consistency to WHAT? You’re the one deciding what is/is not consistent, therefore you’re creating the standard and thus fail.

  5. BK Avatar

    Hey Mitch – pardon me butting into this conversation 🙂

    Two points from two of your comments:

    “If morally perfect beings do not attempt to maximize moral goodness, then what are they doing?”

    They are busy *being* morally perfect. Can you show that being morally perfect requires “maximizing moral goodness”? I’m not claiming it does or does not, but I think you need to show it does, or show that Christians believe it does, in order to make the following statement:

    “The matter is a very simple one, and we can even accept YOUR standard of morality in the analysis:

    (1) If morally perfect God who wills to create, then morally perfect creation”

    Who’s standard are you accepting again? Ours? I don’t think so.


  6. RazorsKiss Avatar

    You’re doing it again. Where is God’s sovereignty addressed there? Where is God’s self-sufficiency? Eternity? Self-existence? You used an attribute that I would qualify the typical usage of, heavily – enough that it would be of no use to your argument (omnibenevolence), and two other attributes I mentioned only in passing. Where are the rest? If you’re not addressing *all* of who God is believed to be, by the position in question, you’re only addressing a strawman. Further, I explicitly stated in the prior comment that I don’t consider “all possible worlds” to be valid. As I said – there seems to be a hole large enough to drive a truck through in these arguments, as they relate to Reformed theology. Namely, that they *utterly* ignore the *rest* of God’s attributes.

    This argument fails – spectacularly – because God is believed to be exhaustively sovereign – that and that alone punches a hole in it – not to mention the rest of the areas I mentioned. Simply rewording it is not going to fix the central problem. It’s arguing against a strawman. It might bother someone who has a lower view of God – but it will, and just has been, identified as unusable against the God depicted by Scripture, and believed by historically Reformed theologians.

    “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!’” ~ Abraham Kuyper

  7. C.L. Bolt Avatar

    I only just scanned the article a moment ago, and I did not read all of the comments above, but this is a great discussion.

    Just in passing, near the end of the article it states:

    “What about Plantinga’s free will defense, which states that in every possible world, God must permit some moral evil to maintain free will? Walker proposes that this problem is resolvable by proposing a possible world in God creates an ontologically equivalent being who is free to sin, but would never do so because of their moral nature (in the same way God would never sin).”

    While I think Walker’s objection carries a great deal of weight and has been used by two of my favorite philosophers, David Hume and Greg Bahnsen; the point, or at any rate a very similar one, was raised in J.L. Mackies argument which is what Plantinga was mostly responding to in his couer argument. In other words, I do not know that what Walker states here actually provides much of an answer to Plantinga on the matter.

  8. C.L. Bolt Avatar

    Corrections: Mackie’s* counter*

  9. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar

    @BK: Hey BK

    I’ll accept that “being” morally perfect does not entail maximizing moral goodness in itself. But if a being that is morally perfect performs an action, surely that action must be one which maximizes moral goodness. Could one maintain that there is possibly a morally perfect being who performs morally imperfect actions?

    When I referred to ‘your’ standard of morality I was attempting to express that ‘morally perfect’ should not be taken as conflicting with a Christian concept of morality. I realize though that there may be many such conceptions so perhaps I should withhold that statement and apply it on a case-by-case basis.


    I find your response puzzling. The formal argument calls into account God’s omnipotence, his omniscience, and his omnibenevolence. If they are shown to be logically inconsistent with the fact that human beings exist it does not matter what other attributes God has, provided that the other attributes do not affect the aforementioned three. Further, even if we reformulated the argument to include all the attributes you attribute to God I do not see how it would change the conclusion. It would also be logically silly, we present premises for the purpose of deduction. If I’m not deducing from God’s eternity, the premise is superfluous and it’s bad form to include it. I suppose it is up to you to show that (i) God’s ‘other’ attributes formulate a sound objection to one of the premises in the argument (ii) they *must* be included. Of course, you have not even shown that the attributes mentioned do NOT imply the attributes you are stating as left out. For example, omnipotence implies eternality. For any being that has the power to bring about any state of affairs X (omnipotence), he must exist at every T (eternality) lest a state of affairs require existence at a T in which the being does not exist.

    As I’ve said, if it can be shown to be logically impossible that an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent God co-exist with the fact that human beings do, then any God which has those attributes, regardless of how many other attributes he has, cannot exist.

    It is also puzzling that you reject “all possible worlds” to be valid. On what basis are you rejecting an entire system of logic? Can you give any reason as to why one should not use counterfactual logic? Fortunately, rejecting logic does not make you immune to the conclusions. Additionally, if you reject modal propositions, as you’ve said you have, you cannot assert that God is a logically necessary being. Thus, it is even more puzzling as to why you’d do such a thing.

    On the issue of Divine Sovereignty, I am not clear as to the actual objection. Which premises of the argument are defeated by Divine Sovereignty? Surely this is not the issue of prescriptive propositions applying to divine actions, that point seems moot. I do not see any problem in examining the consistency of a beings nature with a beings actions.

    So, unless you show the necessity of bringing in every attribute of X to a deduction proof about X, even if they’d be superfluous if included in a deduction, this is not sound ground for an objection to the argument. This would only be required, as I’ve said, if excluded attributes directly affect the attributes that were brought into question. Further, the argument need not be an argument specifically against YOUR God, so long as the conclusion it is drawing would necessitate that a TYPE of God cannot exist, and if your God is included under that type, it is thereby disproved. In this case, the type of God being discussed is an all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good god and regardless of what other attributes it may have, the combination of these attributes couple with the fact that human beings exist is a logical contradiction. If the argument is successful, and you want to argue that it does not apply to the Christian God you must either show that the Christian God does not possess the combination of the three attributes mentioned above, or that humans do not exist, or that contradictions can exist in reality (since your God would be contradictory).

    I also look forward to your reasons as to why one should reject modal logic, and thereby counterfactual propositions. I’d also like to know if you consider God’s existence logically necessary and if so, how you could possibly do so without modal logic.

    I will be looking forward to an explanation of how Divine Sovereignty contradicts any of the premises as well.

  10. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar

    @Bolt: Ah, interesting. I’m looking forward to the professional responses on the paper and perhaps that will come up.

  11. BK Avatar

    BK said: “Can you show that being morally perfect requires “maximizing moral goodness””

    and then …

    Mitch said: “I’ll accept that “being” morally perfect does not entail maximizing moral goodness in itself. But if a being that is morally perfect performs an action, surely that action must be one which maximizes moral goodness.”

    Why, and (more importantly) according to *what* standard?

    Mitch said: “Could one maintain that there is possibly a morally perfect being who performs morally imperfect actions?”

    Well now you’re just begging the question, Mitch 😉 I would not maintain there is a morally perfect being who performs morally imperfect actions. However, it has not yet been demonstrated that *not* maximizing moral goodness is, itself, a morally *imperfect* action. I mean, it may be a morally imperfect action “according to Mitch”, but if Mitch is the standard being used to evaluate such actions, then (as RK has stated already) what is being argued is a strawman.


  12. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar


    I’m actually going to upload the paper and provide a link to it, as I don’t want to appear to speak for the author.

    To answer your question, I’ll quote from Leibniz (as does the author):

    “Yet God is bound by moral necessity, to make things in such a manner that there can be nothing better: otherwise not only would others have cause to criticize what He makes, but, more than that, He would not himself be satisfied with his work, He would blame himself for its imperfection; and that conflicts with the supreme felicity of the divine nature”

    The principle of course is that God, being perfectly good, creates the best possible world. And if it is not logically possibly to create a world without evil (free will defense), he creates the world with the best ratio of good to evil.

    The justification is thus, if there was a conceivable world that is greater than the world God chooses to actualize, then God has not performed the greatest conceivable action and is thereby not morally perfect.

    At this point, I’d really urge a reading of the article as in glancing over it now, it seems to me that RK’s objection to the use of ‘should’ is even addressed in a footnote to the usage of the term ‘should’:

    “It might be objected that it does not make sense to say that God has any obligations. Thus Kant: ‘Hence for the divine will, and in general for a holy will, there are no imperatives: “I ought” is out of place here, because “I will” is already of itself in harmony with the law’ (1964:81). Alston (1989) makes a similar point. For present purposes, nothing turns on this way of putting the point. For those who side with Kant in thinking that God does not for this reason have obligations, here and below locutions like ‘God has an obligation to do X’, or ‘God should do X’ can be read as ‘God will do the right thing, X’”

    Here’s a link to the paper: http://urbanphilosophy.net/files/anthropicargument.pdf


  13. C.L. Bolt Avatar

    “God will do the right thing, X”

    And by “right” we mean…

  14. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar

    The point was a footnote to premise (7), so that (7) can be read as:

    (7) So, a morally perfect being *will* attempt to maximize the likelihood of moral goodness and minimize the likelihood of moral evil in the world

    Further justification for this statement is presented in the paper, and in Leibniz’s quotation above.

    (P.S: I’m performing in an Improv show this evening, and I probably will not have any opportunity to reply to anything until tomorrow evening)

  15. Justin Avatar

    “7) So, a morally perfect being *will* attempt to maximize the likelihood of moral goodness and minimize the likelihood of moral evil in the world

    Further justification for this statement is presented in the paper, and in Leibniz’s quotation above.”

    God’s ultimate purpose is His own Glory. This is the premise that the Bible presents, yet you insist on putting forth the argument that He is restrained only to maximizing the moral goodness in the world, and with the presence of morally corrupt beings it could not be the case. That is a strawman argument. God is the definition of what is good, What is good is His glory, He can use morally corrupt beings for His purposes. Even though they may do these things for evil purposes, God is doing it for Good purposes. Therefore it He does not compromise any aspect of His perfection.

  16. BK Avatar

    Mitch said: “The principle of course is that God, being perfectly good, creates the best possible world. And if it is not logically possibly to create a world without evil (free will defense), he creates the world with the best ratio of good to evil.”

    I will ask the same question I asked earlier, as it applies to your summation of the author’s quote … “according to what standard?” It is paramount that any moral evaluation of God (I shudder to even say such a thing) take into account the proper *standard* of evaluation. In this case, the author presumes that the current world is not the “best world”. Well, I will ask it again – “best according to what standard?”

    What has yet to be demonstrated is that the “best” possible world is a world where moral goodness is maximized and moral evil is minimized. It may be “best” according to your standard, or Walker’s, or Leibniz’s, but that’s entirely irrelevant to God, of course.

    Unless you have an objective moral standard that even God is held accountable to, that is.

    Do you have such a thing?

  17. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar


    I do not see any strawman argument being presented. The premise is that if God IS a morally perfect being and if he acts, those actions must will be morally perfect actions. I am frankly surprised that there is this much disagreement on this fact. Is anybody here seriously proposing that God chooses anything other than the best possible action?

    What type of God are you worshiping if he is morally perfect, but chooses to perform morally evil actions? If it is true that God chooses morally evil actions, then in which capacity is he morally perfect? What does that term even mean anymore?

    I am happy in accepting that the greatest good is the glorification of God. The question then arises, does that necessitate the actualization of this specific world?


    Firstly, the author is not presuming that this world is not the best possible, it’s demonstrably not the best world possible unless someone can present some logical impossibility in God creating the type of world Walker proposes. It clearly is a greater conceivable world (which gives us our modal possibility). Greater according to who’s standard? Is anyone actually going to argue that a world with more evil and less goodness is the greatest possible world? Again, we can deal with this counterfactually: what type of world would God’s nature desire? If one is going to answer that the current world is such a world, the questions of “why?” and “which characteristics make it desirable?” and “why are these not able to be employed in a demonstrably greater world?” arise.

    BK unfortunately is in the minority position if he claims that God’s nature is perfectly good, but he does not always desire the perfectly good. The onus is on him to provide an argument as to why this should be the case.

    Keep in mind, of course, that any creating of human beings (in their current capacity), though they are deficient and this leading to some greater good could still be argued as God’s ordaining of the perfectly good. We would, however, need to see an argument showing us why the current world is optimal to a world with ontological-equivalents. “Optimal” as according to the desires of God’s nature.

    As for the moral evaluation of God, I stress that it need not refer to any external standard. We can counterfactually base our premises on God’s own nature, and thus his own moral standard. Unless you folks are asserting that whatever God does is good BECAUSE he is God, there seems to be no problem in doing this because it reveals an inconsistency between the two propositions “a perfectly good God exists”, and “human beings exist”.

    It’s very important that one take a non-question begging approach to the question. I do not think anyone would present such a laughable answer as to suggest that the argument is false because we exist and God does.

    To preemptively answer a question that may arise, when philosophers of religion use terms such as “evil” in these types of arguments, there is a paradigmatic bracketing that occurs. In this sense, moral philosophers may agree that the Holocaust is evil, for example, but not agree why it is evil. Obviously Utilitarians and Kantians would different on their justifications, but be in agreement as to the overarching moral claim. The same applies to Chumans, surely we can all agree that creating a race of severely deficient creatures is not the best thing to do. That is to say, there are still great disagreements in philosophy about how we should understand moral terms but we can bracket the disagreements for Walkers paper, as we do with all discussions on the problem of evil.


  18. C.L. Bolt Avatar


    While I did not read the entire article, as upon a surface reading it does not appear to be worth my time due to other current responsibilities, I am surprised that you would take this argument very seriously; especially given your background.

    A being ontologically equivalent to God would be indistinguishable from Him and hence at the very least is difficult to propose excepting that such a being is created at which point it is creation rather than Creator which not only serves to distinguish it from God and apparently resolve the difficulty but also then makes it ontologically non-equivalent to God. The author gives the ridiculous example of Jesus with respect to this type of consideration, but you should know and certainly this author should know if he had done any research at all in the realm of theology and was honest about his findings that Jesus is not created. Further, God created humans morally perfect, a claim which is assumed to be false throughout the argument.

    While this argument might cause some problems for the free will defense where the support for its premises is spelled out, that does not really disturb me. So far as I know no one on this site would present the free will defense. We have, in fact, argued against it ourselves on this site.

    God is the Creator who reveals His glory in what He has made by displaying, among other things, his wrath. Now can you tell me what a world without evil might look like where our just and righteous God is still able to display His wrath and thus also the riches of His mercy and grace?

  19. Mitchell LeBlanc Avatar

    Hi Chris.

    I see no reason to accept that a being that is ontologically equivalent to God would be indistinguishable from God. You’re invoking Leibniz’s principle of indiscernibles and this was actually the first objection I had hoped to raise against the argument. However, the created being would have, as a property of its existence, at least contingency in that he relies upon the first Creator God for his existence. As such, he cannot be identifiable with the Creator God because they would not share all properties in common. You argue that this no longer makes it an ontological equivalent but this is not true according to Walker’s definition. When Walker states “ontological equivalent” he means equivalent in omnipotence, omniscience and moral goodness. I see no such problem once this definition is understood.

    Also, I too did not think his example about Jesus was the correct example to give. I have no doubt that his theistic peers will promptly correct him.

    As for God creating humans morally perfect, are you suggesting that God made human beings with precisely the same moral nature that He has? If this is true, it should be as impossible for man to “fall” as it is for God to “sin”. If this is not the case, then in which manner have human beings been created morally perfect? It seems that there is still some distinction between the moral nature of God and the moral nature of a morally perfect human being.

    Perhaps you would argue that such a task is logically impossible for God to perform, I’d be interested to see a line of reasoning come from this approach.

    Your last paragraph is perhaps the most interesting in this entire string of comments and it seems that this would be one line of defense for, at least, the Calvinist tradition. Is it logically necessary that God display his wrath? I’m interested to hear the justification for this claim (I have no doubt that you have some). I think I have read something similar to this effect, though I cannot quite remember where. The argument was that it is necessary for God to display his grace, but such can only be done if he also displays his wrath. At any rate, I will leave you to support such a form of argumentation.

    It is important to note, though, that Walker suggests that there might still be evil in a world in which God has created ontologically equivalent beings but it certainly would be a different ‘type’ of evil than what we see in our Universe. In this possible world, perhaps it is still possible for God to display his grace.

    Talk to you soon Chris.

  20. C.L. Bolt Avatar

    “I am happy in accepting that the greatest good is the glorification of God.”

    This requires what I set forth in the last paragraph.

    Walker denies the Creator/creature distinction.

  21. […] Argument Against the Existence of God. Shortly thereafter, RK, from ChoosingHats, posted a response. The criticism was harsh as RK even went so far as to call the argument “dumb” and […]

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