Vallicella’s Theism

It may well be that one cannot prove the existence of God: one will be hard-pressed to produce a theistic argument with power sufficient to compel acceptance from everyone who understands it. But then no argument for any broadly philosophical thesis has this sort of power. If one is unprejudiced, however, one will have to admit that there are arguments for the existence of God that satisfy the following conditions: (i) they are valid in point of logical form; (ii) they fall afoul of no informal fallacy such as petitio principii; and (iii) they feature premises that it is reasonable to accept given the present state of scientific knowledge. [1]

At the end of the day you must decide which of these interpretations to accept. You will not find some plain fact that will decide it for you.  There is no fact you can point to, or argument you can give, that definitively rules out theism or rules it in. [2]

In general, I do not try to convince anybody of anything; I am satisfied if I can get my ‘opponents’ to appreciate the merit of the positions they oppose. (For example, I would not try to make a theist out of an atheist; I would simply try to get him to stop saying stupid Russellian things like, ‘God is as incredible as a celestial teapot.’) [3]

I am quite at a loss to explain why anyone should think the Teapot analogy any good. It leaks like a sieve. [4]


[1] Vallicella, William. From facts to God: An onto-cosmological argument, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 48: 157-181, 2000.

[2] Vallicella, William. Is Atheism Intellectually Respectable? On Romans 1:18-20, Maverick Philosopher.

[3] Vallicella, William. Simone Weil and the Illusoriness of Worldly Goods, Maverick Philosopher.

[4] Vallicella, William. Russell’s Teapot: Does it Hold Water?, Maverick Philosopher.

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Published in: on May 21, 2010 at 7:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

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