Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Bill Vallicella takes a closer look at C.S. Lewis and the problem with his famous 'trilemma'. (He doesn't spare Peter Kreeft either.)


The Deuce said...

But there are other, more overt passages (particularly in John) where Jesus says stuff like "Before Abraham was, I am" which immediately caused the Jews who heard it to try to stone him. So, it seems to me, there are only the three choices if you assume that the statements attributed to him in the Gospels are actual.

If you're picking and choosing which ones you like, on the other hand, then of course the choices are pretty much limitless, and you can have Jesus be whatever you like.

Brandon said...

We also have to be careful about taking the argument out of context. In every case where Lewis himself uses it, it's reasonable to interpret him as using it only within a specific kind of context (and sometimes he is very explicit abou this) -- namely, it's an argument to use as an objection against a particular kind of position, which Lewis saw as fairly common in his time. Context is important, because it is relevant to assessing whether any division is logically exhaustive -- if some things are ruled out before you even get around to the division then a division that fails to be exhaustive of all possibilities may yet be exhaustive of all relevant possibilities.

John Farrell said...

Interesting. Bill just posted a critique he received from a Czech philosopher.