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Author: Ian Kluge

The God Debates #2: Theology Beyond the World

The God Debates #2: Theology Beyond the World

Part 2 of a discussion and critique of John R. Shook’s The God Debates Behind the logical plausibility of God lies another argument Shook dismisses in The God Debates, namely, the “Theology beyond the World”(3) which argues that “god is the necessary condition for the universe, for its order, and for its intelligibility.”(4) He recognizes that this assertion appeals to the principle of sufficient reason which he takes seriously — except, of course, in this case. He calls this “the…

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The God Debates #1: Less Than Meets the Eye

The God Debates #1: Less Than Meets the Eye

Let’s start with the good news: The God Debates maintains a civil tone amid the often shrill abuse of the real-world God debates. Nothing like the late Christopher Hitchen’s somewhat hysterical contention that teaching children religion is equivalent to child-abuse;  no suggestion of Harris’s ominously totalitarian claim that even tolerating religious belief and freedom is intolerable; none of Dawkins’ withering scorn for philosophical texts and arguments he obviously hasn’t read and just as obviously doesn’t understand; and no sign of…

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Grand Design Part 5: The God of Science

Grand Design Part 5: The God of Science

This is the fifth and final installment in Ian Kluge’s series on Hawking and Mlodinow’s The Grand Design. ————————————————————————————————— The reference to something transcending matter is, of course, a reference to God in His ontological fu nction i.e. God as the source and ground of being, not the “personal” God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This “God of the philosophers” is independent of all physical entities; He transcends it, and is therefore, not subject to the limitations of time, space…

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Grand Design Part 4: Doing Away with God

Grand Design Part 4: Doing Away with God

This is the fourth in a series of commentaries on Hawking and Mlodinow’s The Grand Design by Common Ground contributor Ian Kluge. ============================== Doing Away with God Hawking and Mlodinow propose to do away with God as a necessary part of explaining the existence of the universe. They believe that the three “why? questions” (171) can be answered “purely within the realm of science, and without invoking any divine beings” (172). These questions are (1) “Why is there something rather…

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Grand Design Part 3: Model-Dependent Realism

Grand Design Part 3: Model-Dependent Realism

In this third part of my review of The Grand Design (Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow), I’d like to take a closer look at their theory of “model-dependent realism”(42). This is one of Hawking’s and Mlodinow’s main contributions in The Grand Design. According to this theory: a physical theory or world-picture is a model (generally of a mathematical nature) and a set of rules that connect the elements of the model to observations. This provides a framework with which to…

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Grand Design Part 2: Multiverses

Grand Design Part 2: Multiverses

This is the second in a series of discussions of Hawking and Mlodinow’s The Grand Design. Today:  The Logic of Multiverses Multiverses are another source of logical difficulties for Hawking and Mlodinow. The Grand Design claims that the existence of multiverses can explain why the universe we inhabit is fine-tuned for life without resorting to God as an explanation. In an infinite array of possible universes, one that contains life is likely or even inevitably bound to appear. Saying that…

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Grand Design Part 1: God, Creation and Miracles

Grand Design Part 1: God, Creation and Miracles

Ian Kluge reviews The Grand Design Stephen Hawking’s and Leonard Mlodinow’s The Grand Design begins with a grand or perhaps, grandiose, claim that “philosophy is dead” and goes on from there. The book proceeds to tell us that an infinite stack of multiverses – instead of turtles – explains our allegedly ‘fine-tuned’ existence on earth. For good measure, the authors throw in what they think is a new philosophy of science, model-dependent realism, and, thus, demolish free will. They also…

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The “New Atheism” and the Bahá’í Faith: A Meaningful Dialogue?

The “New Atheism” and the Bahá’í Faith: A Meaningful Dialogue?

As is to be expected, there are far more differences than similarities between the new atheist philosophies and the Bahá’í Writings—though the extent of the similarities and their foundational nature is surprising. The question remains, however, “Are these similarities enough to allow a meaningful dialogue between the two?” Can the differences between the new atheists and the Bahá’í Writings be bridged? In other words, is there anything the two can build on together?    Send article as PDF   

The “New Atheism” 22: Realist Ontology

The “New Atheism” 22: Realist Ontology

Along with a realist ethics and a realist epistemology, the new atheists and the Bahá’í Writings share a realist ontology. In its simplest terms, ontology is one’s theory of reality, its nature and modes of being. Although ontology seems far removed from ordinary human concerns, all human beings and cultures possess an ontology, although it is usually unconscious. For example, the simple statement, “I shall walk the dog” assumes (a) that an “I” exists in some way, (b) that “I”…

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The “New Atheism” 21: Objective Correspondence Epistemology

The “New Atheism” 21: Objective Correspondence Epistemology

The agreement between the new atheists and the Bahá’í Writings on ethical realism has far-reaching implications—in the area of epistemology for example. If there are universal, objectively knowable (and innate) ethical standards, then it follows that at least some knowledge is objective, that it is possible to evaluate at least some knowledge vis-à-vis truth and falseness. This lays the basis for an objective epistemology, i.e. the claim that all truth-claims are not necessarily mere individual or cultural constructions without correspondence…

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