maandag 31 mei 2010

Does the existence of a good omnipotent God imply the existence of supernatural post mortem human states?

It can be argued that the propositions (a) God exist, (b) God is omnipotent, and (c) God is good together imply that there have been, are, and will be humans who enter supernatural post mortem states while preserving their personal identity.

The argument goes roughly as follows. Suppose God exists and suppose that God is both good and omnipotent. Assume for reductio that no human ever enters a post mortem state. In that case our mortem lives are the only occasion for justice to manifest itself. Now, surely, the natural world we live in is a place in which unjustice is present almost everywhere. Therefore, if no human being ever enters a supernatural post mortem state, unjustice for a lot of human beings would in fact prevail. It seems evident that such a condition is not acceptable for a God that is both good and omnipotent. If God indeed exists and if God is indeed both omnipotent and good, then plausibly God would not accept unjustice for humanity to prevail. From this it follows that if a good and omnipotent God indeed exists, it is not the case that no human ever enters a supernatural post mortem state. Hence there have been, there are, and there will be human beings who enter supernatural post mortem states while preserving their personal identity. As a side-remark: Kant advances a similar type of argument in one of his critiques if I'm correct.

The above implies that the claims (i) 'theism is true' and (ii) 'no human ever enters a supernatural post mortem state' are incompatible. They cannot both be true. This observation is important for contemporary accounts of theism, such as 'bare' or 'minimal' theism. If (i) and (ii) are indeed contradictory, then any contemporary account of theism needs to incorporate the claim that there have been, are, and will be humans who enter post mortem supernatural states. It appears that one cannot both be a theist and deny the existence of such states.

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