06/24/2004: Because I feel like it....
I'm just going to pass this on, without comment, for now. I'm hoping that maybe this will shame me into actually doing some thinking about this problem, and maybe even writing down my thoughts. From a new blog devoted to philosophy of religion, titled Prosblogion we get a fascinating post on the question of whether the problem of God's existence is even solvable.
Following Thomas Nagel, Colin McGinn maintains that the mind-body problem is not solvable. His widely read paper, 'Can We Solve the Mind-Body Problem', begins in the following way:
'We have been trying for a long time to solve the mind-body problem. It has stubbornly resisted our best efforts. The mystery persists. I think the time has come to admit candidly that we cannot resolve the mystery. But I also think that this very insolubility -- or the reason for it -- removes the philosophical problem.'
Owen Flanagan has labelled McGinn a 'mysterian' about the mind-body problem. Mysterianism, to use such a horrible word, is not confined to the mind-body problem: there are mysterians about the origin of the universe, mysterians about the nature of thinking, and so on.
Taking my cue from the proliferation of such mysterian positions and also from the spectacular failure of the natural theological and atheological arguments to convince the other side, I wonder if we should be mysterians about the problem of rationally resolving whether God exists. One who is a mysterian about this problem maintains that there could (epistemic sense of 'could') not be a rationally compelling argument, one that should convince everyone concerned, for theism or for atheism. And perhaps, as McGinn maintains about the mind-body problem, the very insolubility of the problem of whether God exists removes the problem, that is, removes it as a distinctively philosophical problem.
Len on 06.24.04 @ 10:04 PM CST