In 2011, James Anderson and Greg Welty published a paper in Philosophia Christi, titled, “The Lord of Noncontradiction: An Argument for God from Logic” (Winter 2011: 321-338). The paper appeared in the same issue as our “God and Abstract Objects” discussion with Paul Gould, Keith Yandell, Richard Davis, and William Lane Craig.
Anderson and Welty’s article sought to “offer a new argument for the existence of God.”
We contend that the laws of logic are metaphysically dependent on the existence of God, understood as a necessarily existent, personal, spiritual being; thus anyone who grants that there are laws of logic should also accept that there is a God. We argue that if our most natural intuitions about them are correct, and if they are to play the role in our intellectual activities tht we take them to play, then the laws of logic are best construed as necessarily existent thoughts – more specifically, as divine thoughts about divine thoughts. We conclude by highlighting some implications for both theistic arguments and antitheistic arguments
In recent months, we have also featured three responses at the EPS website:
- Nathan Shannon, “Necessity, Univocism, and the Trinity God: A Response to Anderson and Welty.”
- Alexander Bozzo, “Are Propositions Divine Thoughts”?
- Tony Lloyd, “An Equivocation in Anderson and Welty’s ‘Argument for God from Logic'”
Anderson and Welty have now offered a reply to these three critical responses, titled, “In Defense of the Argument for God from Logic.”
This article interacts with critiques (Tony Lloyd, Alexander Paul Bozzo, and Nathan Shannon) of some of the more salient and recent criticisms to our 2011 Philosophia Christi article, “The Lord of Noncontradiction: An Argument for God from Logic.” Yet even by taking seriously such interesting criticisms, we continue to be persuaded by the defense of our original thesis and argument. For example, we are not persuaded that Shannon has identified any false premises or fallacious inferences in our argument, or that he has demonstrated our conclusion to have theologically problematic entailments. Contrary to Lloyd, the laws of logic are “contingent on God” only in the sense that they are metaphysically dependent on God’s existence, in precisely the way that God’s thoughts are metaphysically dependent on God’s existence. Moreover, in response to Bozzo, we deny that human thoughts are numerically identical to God’s thoughts, because we deny that human thoughts are identical to the propositions expressed or contained by those thoughts. But we do affirm that the propositions expressed or contained by human thoughts should be identified with divine thoughts.