Contra Mozilla

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


James Chastek has a series of short posts challenging agnosticism. Most recently, he states that the term is improperly defined. The question is not so much whether we can be certain of God's existence (or non-existence), but whether we can be certain of the possibility of His existence.

It's an interesting argument--he claims to be borrowing it in part from Leibniz. It seems to me that this is an interesting variation of the ontological argument. Specifically, if it is possible for God to exist, then He either actually exists, or exists contingently. But God by definition is a necessary being, and thus is not contingent. Therefore, if it is possible for God to exist, then it is necessary that He does exist. Therefore, a consistent agnostic (and not an intellectually lazy "lukewarm" would-be agnostic) is committed to arguing the it is impossible to know whether it is even possible for God to exist.

If this argument is valid, there is a further implication: an atheist must therefore maintain, not that God does not exist, but that God is in fact impossible.

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