Atheism and Theism (Great Debates in Philosophy) by J. J. C. Smart

By J. J. C. Smart

The talk among atheism and theism spreads a ways around the variety of philosphical questions about the prestige of technology, the character of brain, the nature of fine and evil, the epistemology of expertise and testimony, and so forth. during this e-book philosophers every one devoted to unambiguous models of trust and disbelief, debate the significant problems with atheism and theism.

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Could the existence of the universe as a space–time whole be explained by an atemporal necessary being not itself in space or time? A theologian, such as Aquinas at his best, need not be worried about whether there was a first moment of time, at which God created the universe just before the cosmic ‘big bang’. The universe might be finite in earlier time (as cosmologists believe) and yet have no first moment. Time might be like the set of real numbers greater than zero, of which there is no first number, or even like the positive fractions .

66 It is the argument most relied upon by modern Thomists. Copleston reminds us that there are in the world contingent beings. Hence the universe must have a reason for its existence that is external to it. C. Smart outside it also. If we proceed in an infinite regress in this way we are left with an infinity of things which in aggregate still does not contain the reason for its existence. Hence, Copleston argues, the explanation for the existence of the universe must lie in some being ‘which contains within itself the reason for its own existence’, which necessarily exists.

Is it appropriate to say that a person who believes that God is an axiarchic principle is a Christian, or even a theist? I gather that there are indeed Catholic theologians who hold that Leslie’s sort of neo-Platonism is compatible with the notion of God as a person. 49 The idea is that when we apply a predicate to God we do not do so in quite the same sense as we do when we apply it to humans, but nor do we apply it quite in a different sense. There is an analogy between the two uses. So perhaps in an analogical sense an ethical principle can be a person.

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