Dialogue Concerning God’s Existence

Rural-World-Famous-Painting-WallpaperIJane: What is red?
John: It is a concept.
Jane: What are concepts?
John: They are the constituents of complete thoughts.
Jane: If concepts are constituents of complete thoughts, where do they exist?
John: They exist in our minds, of cause.
Jane: Are there eternal concepts?
John: What do you mean by eternal concepts?
Jane: I mean concepts that are independent of our minds for their existence.
John: Do you mean concepts that are true even if there was no contingent rational being?
Jane: Yes, John. Example could you say that 2 = 2 or the law of non-contradiction is an eternal concept?
John: Yes, I believe so.
Jane: So, if there are eternal concepts, would you agree that there is at least one eternal mind?
John: Mmh!
Jane: If there exist eternal concepts, and concepts are the constituents of complete thoughts, are we not rational to believe that there is transcendental mind?
John: I am persuaded to think it is rational, Jane.
Jane: Well John, monotheists would call this transcendental or eternal mind, “God”.

Those in doubt about any of Jane’s assumptions (e.g. conceptual realism & Platonism) may take her main conclusion conditionally. Is Jane’s argument for existence of God as an eternal mind persuasive? It depends on whether or not you share her assumptions. For those who do not, it is not a persuasive case. Why present such a dialogue then if it persuades only those who share Jane’s assumptions. My aim is not so much to persuade all, mostly atheists, to reconsider their position on the existence of transcendental mind. I do not believe in transcendental mind because of such arguments. My aim is to show that belief in God, a transcendental mind, can be rationally justified. Monotheists can (and do) have rational reasons to believe in such a being.

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8 thoughts on “Dialogue Concerning God’s Existence

  1. The EXACT TIMING for listening to God, i.e., Christ’s death on the cross, defines his word, a.k.a., “life-giving Spirit”, in contrast to “the written word” which kills if not used as indicative only.

  2. Lost me here: Jane: I mean concepts that are independent of our minds for their existence.

    A concept, by definition, is an idea. According to Mirriam-Webster: con·cept noun \ˈkän-ˌsept\
    : an idea of what something is or how it works

    Full Definition of CONCEPT

    1
    : something conceived in the mind : thought, notion
    2
    : an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances

    So, at least for me, the logic fails with an attempt at redefining concept.

  3. ‘Red’ refers to a specific band of frequencies in the EM spectrum. ‘Red’ is a concept which is either valid (true) or invalid (false) depending on how we use it (ie which objects we claim are red).

    I don’t think being valid/ invalid equates to ‘existence’ at all – not even ‘existence’ in our mind.

    The ‘existence’ of concepts like ‘red’ is just a useful metaphor, much like ‘laws of nature’ is a useful metaphor for commonly and consistently observed natural phenomena (‘laws’ are a social construct – there are no actual ‘laws’ in nature!).

    If a god exists because of the ‘existence’ of the concept ‘red’ then we might as well argue that a cosmic judge must also exist because of the ‘existence’ of ‘laws’ of nature.

    It’s all just word play.

  4. Personally, I disagree…

    No, concepts do not exist outside our minds. Facts do. For example, we have a concept of red, which is based on the fact that there appears to be a certain wavelength of light we perceive as a certain color “red”. So, this wavelength exists even if there is no one to think about it, but the concept “red” exists only in our minds.

  5. Jane: Do these eternal concepts exist independent of any mind, contingent or not?

    John: Yes, that makes sense. We can define “concept” such that even if noone is thinking that 2==2, the concept of it still exists since it’s still true. It doesn’t require that a mind is thinking about it for it to still be true.

    Jane: Great, then no eternal transcendental mind is needed.

    Or:

    Jane: Do these eternal concepts exist independent of any mind, contingent or not?

    John: No. We can define “concept” such that it requires a mind to hold the concept. No concept, no mind.

    Jane: Great, then no eternal transcendental mind is needed.

    All you’ve done is play usual trick of refusing to define any of your terms.

    Try defining “exists” and “concept” in a way such that it’s immediately obvious by definition whether concepts exist, and whether concepts require a mind.

    As soon as you do that definition, your entire argument disappears.

    • Dear John,

      Just to clarify. I might be wrong but I think you’re ignoring that the original sentence stated no contigent rational being:

      “Do you mean concepts that are true even if there was no contingent rational being?”

      The key word is contigent. Concept and abstractions exist independently of a mind that is dependent upon other things for its own existance. The author argues that if such concepts can exist independently of a rational contigent mind then it is reasonable to assume that there is a non-contigent, absolutely independent and simple trancendent mind that hold those concepts and abstractions.

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