Wednesday, May 22, 2013

On Troikas 8: Religious Troikas

Religious Troikas

C. S. Lewis devised a trilemma, proceeding from the assumption that Jesus claimed to be God, and that therefore one of the following must be true:
“Lunatic”: Jesus was not God, but he mistakenly believed that he was.
“Liar”: Jesus was not God, and he knew it, but he said so anyway.
“Lord”: Jesus is God.
Let Moe vote the Lunatic theory, Larry the Liar theory, and Curly the Lord theory. Then by 2/3 majorities each:
ML: Jesus was not God.
KM: Jesus believed he was God.
LK: Jesus knew himself.

Later the Stooges got tacos; Curly said he saw Jesus on his taco. This taco, said Curly, is scientific evidence that God exists.
Moe: you need evidence to assert an existence; God is not evident; God does not exist
Larry: you do not need evidence to assert an existence; God is not evident; God exists
Curly: you need evidence to assert an existence;  God is evident; God exists.
By 2/3 majorities:
KM: You need evidence to assert an existence;
ML: God is not evident;
LK: God exists.
After tacos, the Stooges got to talking about the world. They deplored the evil in the world, then asked themselves; why does evil exist? By 2/3 majorities each, the Stooges affirmed:
That God is omnibenevolent;
That God is omnipotent;
That God is omniscient;
            yet they all agreed that if God is omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient, then evil would not exist; yet it does!  
            This “Paradox of Evil” resembles the “Manager’s Trilemma” of the previous section (fast, good, cheap, choose two), if you identify fast = omnipotent, good = omniscient, and cheap = omnibenevolent.

Exercise for the Student: expand these troikas:

“Omniscience Troika”:
M&K: God is omniscient.
L&M: If God is omniscient, then there is no free will.
K&L: There is free will.

“Mortality Troika”:
M&L: The soul is not immortal.
K&M: If the soul is not immortal, then life is not worth living.
L&K: Life is worth living.

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