On this blog I will irregularly post my personal thoughts on Christian / Catholic apologetics, natural theology, philosophy of religion, and the intersection of religion and science (incl. Intelligent Design and Biblical Creation). I will discuss philosophical and empirical arguments for the truth of the Christian / Catholic faith and the historical reliability of the Bible.
On March 19th 2016 University of Toronto's Wycliffe College hosted the grand debate "God, Science and the Universe: What's behind it all?" (YouTube) with atheist physicist Lawrence Krauss, Intelligent Design theorist Stephen C. Meyer, and theistic evolutionist Denis O. Lamoureux.
In this debate Denis Lamoureux presented several arguments against Intelligent Design that I here want to discuss and show why they fail.
Because Christopher Brown's excellent book "Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus" is not easily available and very expensive, I simply have to share these few paragraphs about the subject of 'substantial forms', which plays such a crucial role in the Aristotelian-Thomist metaphysics of matter and form (hylemorphism):
Here is my own condensed version of the Christian faith in only 250 words:
Atheists often claim that the traditional arguments for the existence of God (i.e. ontological argument, Aquinas’ five ways incl. the first cause argument, Leibniz’ cosmological argument, Kalam cosmological argument, teleological arguments incl. the fine-tuning argument, moral argument, transcendental argument, etc.), even if all true, could at best establish a kind of monotheistic deism, but not the truth of any particular religion like Christianity. And guess what, these atheists are indeed right. However, these arguments do not even claim to prove Christianity in the first place, but "only" to demonstrate the truth of classical monotheism, with a God that has the following properties: a metaphysically ultimate, transcendent, uncreated, necessarily existing, simple (not composed of parts), immaterial, spaceless, timeless / eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, unembodied mind, endowed with freedom of the will, who is the creator and sustainer of all that exists, indeed being subsistent Being and the standard of Good himself, as well as the ultimate source of all values and meaning.
The Ontological Argument is a highly sophisticated philosophical argument for the existence of God that is often poorly understood by believers and universally dismissed or even ridiculed by atheists, who usually do not properly grasp the argument either. In his anti-religious pamphlet "The God Delusion" Richard Dawkins made a complete fool of himself with the embarassing remark that the defendants of the Ontological Argument even "felt the need to resort to Modal Logic", which showed that he was completely ignorant of the fact that this argument simply is an exercise in modal logic (see this Q&A by William Lane Craig). The atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell once mocked the Ontological Argument as nothing but "a case of bad grammar". We will get back to him at the end of this post.