The Praxeological Argument

Introduction

This argument can be formulated as follows:

P1. God exhibits all perfections

P2. Aseity is a perfection

C1. Therefore God has aseity and has no need to do anything

P3. God has taken actions (e.g. created the world)

C2. This shows a contradiction

C3. Therefore God does not exist

Analysis

Aseity in the sense of this argument means that God is impassible. God is in need of nothing at all. In Mormon thought, God does not have the property of aseity in this sense. David Paulsen said:

The scriptures that Joseph Smith brought forth are replete with testimony of God’s personal passibility. Enoch became an eyewitness of the Father’s loving vulnerability and of his sensitive and responsive nature, when he saw the God of heaven weep over the wickedness and suffering of his children (Moses 7:28–29, 32–33, 37).1

The scriptures referred to above include Moses 7:28-29 which says:

And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the residue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?

And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?

In summary the argument fails to address God in Mormonism, so does not conclude that the Mormon concept of God does not exist. Although the argument may be successful for the Philosopher’s God. 

Conclusion

In Mormonism, God is not a necessary unmoved-mover but instead passible. So the argument fails against the Mormon concept of God.

  1. David L. Paulsen. 2006. Are Christians Mormon?: Reassessing Joseph Smith’s Theology in His Bicentennial. [ONLINE] Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.co.uk/&httpsredir=1&article=3752&context=byusq. [Accessed 3 April 2018].[]