Month: January 2011

How Many Ways to Analyze the Word ‘God’? – Part 2

I will now try to determine how many different definitions of ‘divine person’ can be generated from the four previously specified attributes, in the case that all four attributes are relevant to a definition of the phrase ‘divine person’. I. All Four Attributes are Relevant A. Four Conditions are Criterial and None are Necessary ConditionsIf How Many Ways to Analyze the Word ‘God’? – Part 2

Three Million Ways to Analyze the Word ‘God’

Assume there are only four possible divine attributes: powerknowledgefreedomgoodness Each of the above attributes can occur in four degrees: humansuperhumanperfecteternally perfectThere can be 14 different combinations of acceptable degrees for each attribute: Four combinations with just one acceptable degree (e.g. only ‘perfect’ knowledge is acceptable).Six combinations with just two acceptable degrees (e.g. either ‘superhuman’ or Three Million Ways to Analyze the Word ‘God’

What God Cannot Do – Part 6

I did not especially want to get into a discussion about Jesus, the incarnation, the trinity, etc. However, my claim that God cannot suffer or be harmed leads naturally to objections like this one from Lincoln: God can be hurt. In fact Christianity is based off the fact that God can not only be hurt, What God Cannot Do – Part 6

Demographic implosion

There is a common worry particularly among right-wingers, both religious and secular—that secular postindustrial populations are aging and reproducing below the replacement level. This, apparently, is going to lead to all sorts of disasters (doomed social insurance systems etc.), or, alternatively, is symptomatic of cultural disaster (a society in demographic decline has lost the will Demographic implosion

What God Cannot Do – Part 5

Could God be a hero? I don’t think so. Based on recent discussion of this question, I can formulate an argument for the claim that God is not capable of being a hero: 1. Only a being who can suffer or be harmed can be a hero.2. A person who is eternally omnipotent, eternally omniscient, What God Cannot Do – Part 5

What God Cannot Do – Part 4

Swinburne takes the word ‘God’ to be loosely tied to a list of criteria or descriptions, similar to how he takes the words ‘person’ and ‘bodiless’ to be criterially defined concepts. Among the criteria or descriptions used to denote or identify an individual as ‘God’, if there is such an individual, is the criterion that What God Cannot Do – Part 4

Secularism and positive rights

I was flipping through Stephen Holmes and Cass Sunstein’s The Cost of Rights, which points out that the distinction between positive and negative rights is dubious, or at least not very sharp. This is because assertion of a negative right—a right not to be interfered with by others or the state—is empty without the demand that Secularism and positive rights

I’m (In)famous!

My “retirement” notice posted on SO last Sept. 1 got MUCH more attention than I expected–or wanted. Religion Dispatches has an article about the announcement and the subsequent brouhaha: Several letters were written and a couple of questions were raised that I would like to address: 1) Q: If I no longer respect the I’m (In)famous!