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Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Quick remark on Levinas', Meillassoux's and Whitehead's God

The last centuries might have produced interesting mid-house alternatives to the debate between the believer pole (either in the religious, theist, deist or a variation thereafter) and the atheist pole. These alternatives explore the mid-way between positions that carried a great deal of emotional content. The issue then will be what kind of emotional content could be carried by these alternatives.

God is often conceived at least as existent, having an essence and having a substance (in the sense of being self-standing). God exists because otherwise there could be no difference God could make on the course of things (apart from differences in our thoughts, as somehow explored by Pascal´s wager). God has an essence for it is this essence that is in question when we wonder whether God exists(necessarily or contingently) or not. God is self-standing because otherwise it would be too dependent to be either omniscient or omnipotent. God is therefore taken to be at least an existing self-standing essence (and therefore could have all sort of special or infinite powers).

Levinas, Meillassoux and Whitehead challenge this common assumptions about God. Levinas has that God as the Other, cannot be taken as an essence, God doesn´t appear to us except as infinity in the sense of an openness.Whitehead challenges that God is self-standing: it depends on what happens in the world - the world writes up its nature - and would be an impossible vacuous actuality - God is an actual entity and not a substance of any kind - if there were no world. Finally, Meillassoux challenges God existence:God doesn´t have to exist to play divine roles - God´s contingent inexistence is enough, that is it is enough for God to be able to exist in the future. Incidentally, these alternatives open new views to the problem of evil. Meillassoux simply does away with it, as the existence of God doesn´t co-exist, as a matter of fact, with any evil. Whitehead takes self-correction as part of the novelty which is a feature of God: the world is always building new things into God. Finally, Levinas connects God with a call, an infinite call, a call beyond any violence.

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