God Can’t Do Everything.

I had a few realizations lately about the idea of the “triple-O God” and I would like to share them with you.

If an Omnipotent being is a being that can do anything then God seems to be omnipotent.

God (in Christianity) can’t break promises.

There exists at least one thing God can’t do.

Therefore, God is not omnipotent.

But, If an almighty being is a being who has power over everything then God is definitely almighty.

 

Faith Paradox

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”.-John 20:29 ESV

This verse, and many other verses that seem to exemplify blind faith, create a paradox for me. It seems that that faith is viewed as a virtue, but faith can reach a level of being unreasonable and thus unrighteous. Let me give you an example.

Christianity seems to be okay with casting doubt on instances of faith with a weak foundation. The parable of the seeds and various soils is often used as an example of this in modern Evangelical churches. But how does this help poor Thomas, who is being spoken to by Jesus in the above passage, since it seems like Thomas just wanted a rich and enduring soil to have the seed of knowledge planted on? This is where faith can get confusing. If I promise you apples but I don’t seem to be able to provide apples, because you have no evidence that I can provide apples, then you will not have faith in my ability to give you apples. This is where evidence can bolster faith. And, it would in fact, seem like the most devoted of followers are those who truly have evidence for what they believe. But at the same time it seems like the most faithful are those who do not need any evidence.

Pruss’s Draft Example

Alexander Pruss wrote a brilliant article in response to Thomson’s “violinist” case. In summary, Thomson cleverly shows us that abortion is analogous to being asked to hook yourself up to a machine in order to keep someone else alive, which, would be a significant sacrifice of some of your critical freedoms. Pruss replies that it is more analogous to a draft for a war. So, Pruss and Thomson both seem to recognize that it encroaches on one’s freedoms but the argument comes down to whether it is justified or not. Pruss presupposes that a draft is just therefore he concludes that denying a woman’s right to an abortion is just. Pruss states the main problem here, “I think the draft case underlines that Thomson’s cases underestimate the degree to which we can be legitimately morally required to make significant sacrifices to save the lives of others”(Pruss).

Examining Pruss

It seems totally reasonable to disagree with Pruss and instead argue that Thomson didn’t underestimate the degree to which we can morally limit freedoms and perhaps it is the case that she is, in fact, against the draft (which would be a consistent belief). It seems that logically we only have 4 scenarios to conclude from this, two being consistent and two being inconsistent and even sexist.

1)If we accept the draft but do not deny women the right to an abortion then we have a case of sexism against men. Men would be making a more than equivalent sacrifice by offering our lives to a war effort. So, it would seem reasonable that women could deny themselves the freedom of abortion.

2)If we deny the draft and deny women the right to an abortion then we are accepting one of two things: abortion and the draft are at different “degrees” as Pruss would say or we are being sexist toward women.

3)If we accept the draft and deny women the right to an abortion then we have a consistent scenario.

4)If we deny the draft and let women have an abortion we have a consistent scenario.

 

One can then create a flow chart of sorts (presuming you understand how conditionals work logically) to see what would be the case. I think the draft is moral. So to have a morally consistent scenario it seems to be necessary to deny women a right to an abortion. Are there more options that I have overlooked?

Feel free to comment, please refrain from emotional responses. I am trying to stimulate a logical ethics discussion not push my opinion so please refrain from pushing yours (provide reasons for your opinion).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited: Alexander R. Pruss.  ”The Draft”. Alexanderpruss.blogspot.com. web. 1/12/2014
a link to his article below

http://alexanderpruss.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-draft.html#links

I think the draft case underlines that Thomson’s cases underestimate the degree to which we can be legitimately morally required to make significant sacrifices to save the lives of others.

Hume: Reasoning About Matters of Fact Part 2

Sorry for not being able to post last week. Here is this weeks post.

Perhaps Hume would say that the event of a shadow coming to be, like the event of the sun rising, would pass the IOC test. Hume may say that the physical event is different from the definition and then Hume may be allowed to accept definitions as relations of idea but still not certain matters of fact about shadows. Perhaps, then, our expecting shadows to be there is simply pattern recognition in humans. Perhaps there being shadows is a cause and effect relationship we set up between light and other objects that doesn’t seem justifiable. What about a world where light behaves differently? What if we were to imagine a place that exists such that if I were to cast a light on you no shadow would form behind you and instead of a dark shape of you we would just have an area of indistinguishable darkness? Or maybe the light would completely permeate you and travel behind you as well thus the light is visible infinitely in the direction it is pointed.

Rebuttal

            I think this is interesting to consider but yet again I do not believe this holds up well for two reasons: my imagining the way things could have been doesn’t affect the cause and effect relationship that holds between objects in this world; and some definitions are matters of fact. My first statement is the strongest statement against the IOC test. I don’t believe my imagining the world differently really makes a difference as to whether cause and effect is reliable. I don’t believe my ability to imagine the contraries of real events would give me a reason to doubt cause and effect.

My second point is that the definition of a shadow seems to also be a MOF. Take this statement as an example, “shadows are dark”. Does this set of words point out a MOF? Most would agree it does. Does it also point out part of what it is to be a shadow? Yes, it seems shadows need to be dark. Shadows, then, have some matters of fact that seem to be part of the definition of being a shadow. So, it seems that I would fail IOC test. But now we have a MOF that is also an ROI. If any MOF is given the same status as an ROI it means maybe some MOF are more trustworthy as others? This makes me doubt Hume’s skepticism even more.