On Whitcomb's Grounding Argument for Atheism

Faith and Philosophy 30 (2):198-204 (2013)
Authors
Andrew Cullison
State University Of New York At Fredonia
Daniel Howard-Snyder
Western Washington University
Joshua Rasmussen
Azusa Pacific University
Abstract
Dennis Whitcomb argues that there is no God on the grounds that God is supposed to be omniscient, yet nothing could be omniscient due to the nature of grounding. We give a formally identical argument that concludes that one of the present co-authors does not exist. Since he does exist, Whitcomb’s argument is unsound. But why is it unsound? That is a difficult question. We venture two answers. First, one of the grounding principles that the argument relies on is false. Second, the argument equivocates between two kinds of grounding: instance-grounding and quasi-mereological grounding. Happily, the equivocation can be avoided; unhappily, avoidance comes at the price of a false premise.
Keywords atheism  grounding  omniscience  God  Whitcomb  theism
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ISBN(s) 0739-7046
DOI 10.5840/faithphil201330215
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