Friday, April 17, 2009

The Last Disappointment, Part 2

This is the second post on this book that I wanted to make, and I'm still not out of the Preface. Feser's entire thesis in this book is that he can make a logical argument for the existence of God. Which is pretty amazing considering the diversity in beliefs, rituals, and claims about the religious supernatural. So here's how he gets around that:

...I should make it clear at the outset that this is not a defense of an amorphous ecumenical something called "religion," but only and specifically of the classical theism and traditional morality of Western civilization, which, I maintain, are superior -- rationally, morally, and socio-politically superior -- to absolutely every alternative on offer."

The amount of sheer arrogance in that statement is mind-boggling. Realize that when Feser is talking about the "classical theism of Western civilization", he's basically talking about conservative Christianity. Also realize that Feser bases his book almost entirely on two things: Platonic ideals and the Arisotelian final cause. The two are entirely unconnected.

Feser's argument is basically that you can logically prove God exists and that he is a being of pure Being. I may or may not deal with the absurdity of that statement in a later post, if I get around to it. But nothing in Feser's claim is exclusive to Jehovah. It applies to YHWH to about the same degree as Vishnu. But Feser disregards all the other possibilities out of hand because they're not Western enough. Ooooh, scary foreign philosophies.

It's also an unfair statement because the God in Feser's logical argument isn't the God of Western Civilization, i.e. Christianity. There really isn't a religion in the world that says God is a being of pure Being and stops there. No, they all carry the baggage of specific supernatural claims with them. God is triune, transubstaniation, demonic possession, an angel that wields a sword of fire that turns every which way. You can't have just a vague, hand-waving claim about God that you say proves how superior "Western civilization" is without also claiming all the supernatural baggage that comes with the dominant religion of Western Civ.

In other words Ed, Quetzalcoatl called while you were out and, man, is he ever pissed.

1 comment:

David said...

Isn't Quetzalcoatl really a giant dragon going by the snappy nickname of "Q"? I'm pretty sure I saw that in a movie, so it must be true.