Coming Soon:

The following books by Robert Paul Wolff are available on Amazon.com as e-books: KANT'S THEORY OF MENTAL ACTIVITY, THE AUTONOMY OF REASON, UNDERSTANDING MARX, UNDERSTANDING RAWLS, THE POVERTY OF LIBERALISM, A LIFE IN THE ACADEMY, MONEYBAGS MUST BE SO LUCKY, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE USE OF FORMAL METHODS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY.
Now Available: Volumes I, II, III, and IV of the Collected Published and Unpublished Papers.

NOW AVAILABLE ON YOUTUBE: LECTURES ON KANT'S CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON. To view the lectures, go to YouTube and search for "Robert Paul Wolff Kant." There they will be.

To contact me about organizing, email me at rpwolff750@gmail.com




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Friday, April 12, 2013

THAT IRRITATING, IRRESISTIBLE ONTOLOGICAL ARGUMENT

As I anticipated, the discussion of the Ontological Argument for the Existence of God provoked a blizzard of comments and a guest post.  I discovered long ago, when I first started teaching, that there is something uniquely irritating about that argument.   As an atheist, I am an equal-opportunity doubter of Proofs for the Existence of God, but I must admit that the Ontological Argument makes me want to reach across the centuries and strangle Anselm for ever having proposed it.

But enough God Talk.  I will leave that to Andrew Sullivan.  [I have stopped reading his blog because his obsession with religion is so off-putting.]  It is time to take at least passing notice of the real world.  In the pursuit of which, will someone please explain to me the current fascination with Bitcoins?

6 comments:

Nick said...

Just my two cents, but for some reason libertarians seem to love the idea of a currency unregulated by the government. Oddly enough, the first place I read about something similar was in the (rather awful) Neal Stephenson sci-fi novel Cryptonomicon which is about how smart, moral people always win wars/battles (focusing on WWII and the Enigma machine).

I dismiss it as libertarian craziness, but maybe wrongly so.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

I read up on it in an article I found on Wikipedia, and was mystified. It sounded like a scam, but then so does money. :)

The thing I could not figure out was how one actually used it as money to buy things. The technical description, which was not terribly perspicuous, made it sound as though every transaction in which a bitcoin is involved trails along with it as a part of its ever growing tag. Is that so?

Nick said...

Probably should have someone more knowledgeable than I step in, but ZDNet has a practical guide to using Bitcoins. And you're right that the Bitcoin's transaction history is attached to it, which seems rather odd since its main use appears to be for buying illegal drugs.

CGE said...

Forgive me for suggesting more God Talk, but I would love to get your take on the argument offered some time ago by the late Oxford theologian Herbert McCabe, posted here: .

McCabe taught with Anthony Kenny, who admired Herbert without agreeing with him. As a Thomist secundum quid, he also rejected the Ontological Argument.

CGE said...

Herbert McCabe OP
"God and Creation"
can be found at

newsfromneptune.com/2010/08/14/god-and-creation/

Don Schneier said...

While you are at it, strangle Augustine, for his theological stopgap, 'Free Will', which serves him to reconcile these three premises: 1. God is omnipotent; 2. God is good; and 3. Evil exists. What began as, perhaps, imagery on the theological cave wall, transformed the ancient Voluntary-Involuntary contrast into a cosmic 'Free Will vs. Determinism' cottage industry.