Thursday, August 24, 2017

My Philosophy of Religion Class at MCCC

Fisherman, on the river off my back yard.

Tonight I begin another Philosophy of Religion class at Monroe County Community College. I've stopped teaching logic (after seventeen years), and will enjoy backing off to one class.

This class excites me. I'm teaching material very familiar to me. My ongoing growth includes continuing study in this area.

I'll begin section one of the class, on Philosophical Arguments for the Existence of God. Tonight - the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God. I'll present Anselm's version, and may introduce students to the Modal Version of the Ontological Argument. Which is...

1. God is, by definition, a necessarily existent being.
2. A necessarily existing being is possible; i.e., it exists in some possible world, W.
3. Since it is true in W that this necessarily existing being exists, it is true in W that this being exists in every possible world.
4. The actual world is a possible world.
5. Therefore, a necessarily existing being exists in actuality.

Heads will be twisting tonight as I explain such things to my students. In this class I will teach students to think!

(For another version of the Modal Ontological Argument, see E.J. Lowe, "A Modal Version of the Ontological Argument," in Debating Christian Theism, Moreland, Meister, and Sweis, eds.)