Thursday, December 21, 2017

Global Atheism Versus Local Atheisms

This makes a point which dovetails with a point I've made on more than one occasion. The argument from evil is typically formulated against a very abstract concept of God, a concept derived from some version of classical theism or philosophical theology, rather than a more concrete, specific concept such as biblical theism:

Jeanine Diller (2016) points out that, just as most theists have a particular concept of God in mind when they assert that God exists, most atheists have a particular concept of God in mind when they assert that God does not exist. Indeed, many atheists are only vaguely aware of the variety of concepts of God that there are. For example, there are the Gods of classical and neo-classical theism: the Anselmian God, for instance, or, more modestly, the all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good creator-God that receives so much attention in contemporary philosophy of religion. There are also the Gods of specific Western theistic religions like Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism, which may or may not be best understood as classical or neo-classical Gods...Diller distinguishes local atheism, which denies the existence of one sort of God, from global atheism, which is the proposition that there are no Gods of any sort—that all legitimate concepts of God lack instances.

Global atheism is a very difficult position to justify (Diller 2016: 11–16). Indeed, very few atheists have any good reason to believe that it is true since the vast majority of atheists have made no attempt to reflect on more than one or two of the many legitimate concepts of God that exist both inside and outside of various religious communities. Nor have they reflected on what criteria must be satisfied in order for a concept of God to count as “legitimate”, let alone on the possibility of legitimate God concepts that have not yet been conceived and on the implications of that possibility for the issue of whether or not global atheism is justified. Furthermore, the most ambitious atheistic arguments popular with philosophers, which attempt to show that the concept of God is incoherent or that God’s existence is logically incompatible either with the existence of certain sorts of evil or with the existence of certain sorts of non-belief [Schellenberg 2007]), certainly won’t suffice to justify global atheism
Nor is it obvious that evidential arguments from evil can be extended to cover all legitimate God concepts, though if all genuine theisms entail that ultimate reality is both aligned with the good and salvific (in some religiously adequate sense of “ultimate” and “salvific”), then perhaps they can. The crucial point, however, is that no one has yet made that case.

1 comment:

  1. It seems that at least for the militant atheists who make Hitler a Christian but deny atheism had anything negative to do with chairman Mao etc, and presume omniscient morally superiority to God when railing against Him to exterminating terminally wicked cultures (when they are not blaming Him for not dealing with the wicked), then it seems that the God they have such animus to may be a supernatural version of their own father, since it can seem so personal. Which is the nature of us after all.

    In any case, this imaginary god is from the devil, who, right from the beginning, presented God (to Eve) as a malevolent tyrant who selfishly kept her from what was rightfully hers, thus making her a victim of injustice by God, who needed to "share the wealth" - not in mercy or grace (which is antithetical to the ethos of the devil), but as a matter of justice.

    And which was an extension of the "share the wealth" demand behind the first "occupy movement," that of the devil presuming to occupy the position of God, not at a matter of grace to an object of mercy, but as his right, as the first of the liberal self-proclaimed elites, who "climb up some other way" (Jn. 10:1) to obtain what God gives in grace in recompensing the obedience of faith, and seduce souls with the idea that they are victims of injustice if they do not have what others obtained by merit. And to such these political psychologists present themselves as saviors, though they typically will not share the plight of their victims, but present themselves as examples of what can be obtained if they are given or maintain power.

    And having success with Eve, and Adam being more culpable, the devil has continued to seek reign, to gain increasing allegiance thru proxy servants, whether it be a Stalin, a Pol Pot or an Obama, using the same victim entitlement tactic to incite souls with a false sense of injustice, or by magnifying any actual justice they did experience, and to motivate them with envy, with his proxy servants being the saviors.

    And working to create an alternative society with perversions of what God has ordained, even that of the most fundamental union, with the end being that all are brought into increasing reliance upon the government of his proxy servants, both for security and material providence, vainly hoping for himself that which shall surely come:

    And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

    I guess i got carried away, but the atheists are apostles unawares of the Evil One. May our bodies and minds instead by instruments of righteousness to the glory of God in Christ the Lord.