Blog Archives

Theism Revisited: God, Gods, and Íñigo Montoya

Eight years ago, I looked at the various forms of theism and considered what they meant for us moderns, particularly my fellow Catholics.  For various reasons, I want to return to that topic and look at it from a different perspective.

I’ll start with a common atheist slogan often used in discussion with monotheists (usually Christians).  I should make clear upfront that I am not deriding or criticizing atheists as such.  I put in that disclaimer because a commenter on one of my posts a year or so ago took considerable umbrage at my noting that he was, in fact, an atheist in linking to his blog.  I thought that by doing so I was indicating that people who disagree on substantial matters can actually agree on other things.  He seemed to think I was somehow calling him a horrible, awful, evil person because he was an atheist.  That was a complete and total mischaracterization of what I said, and bore no resemblance to it, in fact, and we ended up having a fairly long (and, alas, pointless) argument in the comments.

Thus, I want to note here that while I’m going to discuss a view that many atheists hold that I think is mistaken, this is in no way meant to disparage atheists as such, or paint them as evil people.  In fact, plenty of theists consistently make the very same mistake.  It is a somewhat subtle mistake that is very widely held; and thus I think it to be worth discussing, from either a theistic or atheistic perspective.  Onward, then!

Read the rest of this entry

God and Rocks

Atlas lifting world

This post is a short aside in which to put a necessary part of an argument I’m making in its own place.  I’ve discussed what I’m going to talk about in other posts, in bits and pieces; but this way it’ll be a one-stop shop that I can always link back to.

God is typically defined as being omnipotent–Almighty or All-Powerful.  This is conventionally understood to mean that He can do anything.  Of course, when it comes to philosophy or theology, sooner or later someone will toss out a question such as this:  Can God make a married bachelor?  Can he make it so that 2 + 2 = 5?  Of course, the classic question of this type is, “Can God make a rock so big even He can’t lift it?”  In classical theism, the answer to all these questions is “No.”  What I want to do in this post is to show why.

Read the rest of this entry