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Australian philosopher, literary critic, and professional writer. Author of FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THE SECULAR STATE.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Ophelia Benson on divine hiddenness.

"One compelling reason not to believe the standard-issue God exists is the conspicuous fact that no one knows anything at all about it. That’s a tacit part of the definition of God – a supernatural being that no one knows anything about. The claims that are made about God bear no resemblance to genuine knowledge. This becomes immediately apparent if you try adding details to God’s CV: God is the eternal omnipotent benevolent omniscient creator of the universe, and has blue eyes. You see how it works. Eternal omnipotent benevolent omniscient are all simply ideal characteristics that a God ought to have; blue eyes, on the other hand, are particular, and if you say God has them it suddenly becomes obvious that no one knows that, and by implication that no one knows anything else either."

Read on.

6 comments:

Ophelia Benson said...

Thanks Russell!

So far 50% of the commenters at the Dawkins cite have decided to buy the book. Not bad! Even if it is two out of four...

Ophelia Benson said...

Doesn't that sound venal. Well I'm pleased for you. For my part I'm pleased that people like it.

Russell Blackford said...

It's a wonderful article, Ophelia, and we must have been very smart cookies when we invited you to submit something. ;)

Miranda Celeste Hale said...

Lovely piece, Ophelia! I'm looking forward to getting the book.

NewEnglandBob said...

uh oh. Brain freeze: "...at the Dawkins cite..."

WCG said...

Superb article! I was trying to resist the book (trying to keep my expenses to the minimum right now), but if that's an example, I guess I'll HAVE to buy it!