Whose perspective is that of the whole world? Whose comprehension is competent to the whole world?
At the end of my last post, I said:
In the absence of God, both the theories we’ve talked about boil down in the end to “there is no absolutely binding, objective moral truth, but rather only happenstance.” When push comes to shove, then, the only way there can be such a thing as morality is if there is an omniscient, necessary God who knows without possibility of error what is right.
But watch what happens when I make a few substitutions:
In the absence of God, there is no absolutely binding, objective truth, but rather only disparate subjective impressions. When push comes to shove, then, the only way there can be such a thing as truth is if there is an omniscient, necessary God who knows without possibility of error what is true.
Atheism, then, is acosmism.
Acosmism doesn’t say there is nothing at all. It says only that there is no such thing as a cosmos – an ordered, coherent world, in which the motions of creatures (including their motions of knowledge) are coordinated. If God does not exist, then I have my perspective, and you have yours – although I have no way of knowing about that, do I? – but there is no deciding between us, no way those two perspectives are joined together in a single perspective that reconciles them both. Thus there is no way to tell, in the end, who is right and who is wrong, who is mistaken and who is correct. There’s just me and you, and about you, I’m not so sure.
There is furthermore no way that any empirical tests we run on our hypotheses are going to generate anything but purely private phenomena, because private phenomena are by definition the only thing any of us can apprehend. Private phenomena exhaust the category of phenomena. The only way I can gain access to your experiences is by being you.
Thus if there is no God out there who knows exactly, perfectly, and from an utterly comprehensive perspective what has happened, then there is no world out there, no overall situation that obtains regardless what anyone thinks. There is, rather, only what various creatures think, experience, feel. Thus there is nothing out there for such thoughts, experiences and feelings to be about. There is then no way that anyone at all can make a statement about the world. All they can do is make statements about themselves, and there is just no such thing as a public truth, an objective truth. But this means that no matter what we say, and no matter what we think we are saying it about, really we are only talking about ourselves. This applies equally to our thoughts, feelings, and actions. If there is no cosmos, then each of us is utterly alone.
Thus if there is such a thing as a world that exists objectively so that it can function as the object of our apprehensions, and so that our apprehensions can then be in the first place about something real, and in the second either wrong or right, mistaken or correct, there must be a God to provide it.
If God exists, then there can be worlds. If not, not.