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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Metaponderance on 'A Neglected Argument'

Tracy Witham at his blog Metaponderance discusses features of Peirce's "Neglected Argument for the Reality of God" (Click on the essay title for Peirce's complete essay). His posts on the article are a tad too thoughtful for me to quickly summarize here, so here are just a few notes.

In his post "'A Neglected Argument'" (March 7, 2009), near the discussion's end, Witham says that Peirce's view of God "turns the Templeton Foundation's Big Question, 'Does Science Make Belief in God Obsolete?' on its head. To investigate Peirce's point of view we would have to ask, 'Does Science Make Belief in God More Credible?'"

In his post "A Fascinating Feature of Peirce's Neglected Argument'" (March 13, 2009), Witham starts off by saying that Peirce's "A Neglected Argument" has "this extraordinary feature: It blocks critique on the level at which it is presented. That feature is at once, potentially, a troubling and/or exciting feature of the argument. It deserves our attention."

In his post "Peirce's 'Suggestion' of God" (March 16 2009), Witham starts off by saying about Peirce's "A Neglected Argument" that "1. It overturns the usual view that science and belief in God are at odds. And 2. It has a one-way valence with respect to logical entailment." Witham says, among other things, that the Anthropic Principle can't be used against Peirce's argument.
Witham also gets at something which seems to me to be at least akin to a transcendental argument, possibly a retorsive argument, about an abductive inference. If human understanding's aptness and provision for its own future stages suggests something mindlike about the universe, then a critique of the analogy arguably supports it by purporting to understand it, enough so at least to make it impossible to eliminate the suggestion of God's existence.