Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Is Open Theism Actually Theism?

The position (or perhaps group of positions) known as Open Theism represent a god that is rather different from the God of the Scriptures. Still, is their god even the kind of god that we could properly refer to as theistic?

Cosmological Argument
The god of Open Theism does not fully map to the cosmological argument for the existence of God. Although the god of Open Theism may be viewed as the Creator of all Creation, the god of Open Theism comes to be in various states and consequently requires a prior explanation. Thus, the god of Open Theism does not provide a solution to the problem of infinite regression.

Ontological Argument
The god of Open Theism does not correspond to the ontological argument for the existence of God. The god of Open Theism is not the greatest conceivable being, since the god of Open Theism can change.

Teleological Argument
The god of Open Theism does not correspond well to the teleological argument for the existence of God. Although the god of Open Theism may have some purposes or intentions in things, those purposes or intentions do not extend to all things. In other words, many things exist that the god of Open Theism did not intend or have a purpose for.

Transcendental Argument
Naturally, the god of Open Theism cannot correspond to the transcendental argument for the existence of the Christian God - both because the god of Open Theism is not the Christian God, and because the god of Open Theism does not provide meaning to everything, as required by the argument.

There may be some other arguments for the existence of God that the god of Open Theism would fit (or to which its adherents would attempt to fit it), but it is interesting to note how many of the significant arguments cannot map to the god of Open Theism.

-TurretinFan

4 comments:

David Brainerd said...

Cosmological Argument
"Although the god of Open Theism may be viewed as the Creator of all Creation, the god of Open Theism comes to be in various states and consequently requires a prior explanation."

"Comes to be"? You're making stuff up. Open theists don't say that.

Ontological Argument
"The god of Open Theism is not the greatest conceivable being, since the god of Open Theism can change."

One might argue that the Superman of the silver age DC was the greatest conceivable Superman because he could fly around the Earth and reverse its orbit and thus reverse time, or stand on his head and do a handstand and push the earth out of its orbit. Yet he's so much less great than the modern incarnations of the Superman because he's so boring. You can conceive of your God as being so great that he loses all his greatness by becoming trite, which is what classical theism has done, and the result is the massive atheism of modernity.

The fact is classical theism was NEVER accepted by the common people prior to modernity, but only by moron monks and Catholic priests. Only in the past 200 years or so has classical theism become widely accepted, and along with it has come a boredom and disinterest in God akin to the disinterest in Superman that existed prior to him being brought down to size in the Death and Return of Superman comics around 1992.

Furthermore, this same argument can be used by Jews against Jesus for the very same reason: a death and return is a change. Any Calvinist argument against Open Theism that works just as well when a Jew uses it against Christianity is obviously a problem.

David Brainerd said...

Teleological Argument
A stupid argument anyway. Furthermore, no good person needs an argument to prove God's existence. Even when they doubt in times of distress, they make it through it without demanding anyone prove God's existence to them. Only the evil who will never be saved demand for proof. To put it in Calvinist terms so you can understand it (since good and evil are categories you abhor): only the non-elect care about philosophical proofs of God's existence, while the elect just accept that God exists and move on to understanding what we're supposed to beleive about God.

Transcendental Argument
"the god of Open Theism does not provide meaning to everything, as required by the argument."

You would have to explain this more for it to make sense what you are actually claiming.

There may be some other arguments for the existence of God that the god of Open Theism would fit

The moral argument, which Calvinism with its pure rejection of morality in favor of fatalism cannot even allow anyone to make.

Anonymous said...

@David Brainerd

I actually don't believe the moral argument to be a good argument that the god of Open Theism would fit into.

A god that is always learning is always going to be faced with more and ever changing moral dilemmas. The moral argument is best used with an objective, infallible, and exhaustive knowledge of all things, which thereby produces a sure and unchanging ethical standard.

A god who sets aside information is not capable of producing standards, such as an unchanging ethical standard, which necessarily requires an exhaustive knowledge of all things.

Also if, as it seems Open Theism suggests, God were capable of changing his mind, how can you assert a moral argument that requires an unchanging standard of ethics that is potentially subject to change?

I reject your assertion that the moral argument favors Open Theism.

David Brainerd said...

I think you're just using the Mormon conception of God as a bludgeon against an opponent you have no chance against (i.e. Open Theism, not myself, I'm not that conceited)...because Open Theists say that God simply doesn't know the future exhaustively not that he is still learning concepts! Not knowing the choices that free agents will make in the future in an absolute way is no equal to not having all conceptual knowledge. Don't strawman.