Transcendental Argument

A typical version of the transcedental argument (TAG) is as follows:

P1. Objective logical absolutes exist (law of non-contradiction etc)

P2. These logical absolutes are concepts and not physical

P3. Concepts require a mind.

P4. Logical absolutes are always true so exist within an infinite mind.

P5. This mind is God.

C. God exists

The summary of this argument is that God is the source of logic and therefore God must be transcedental which contradicts Mormon thought. An interesting question here is whether God is able to change the laws of logic. 

Objections

Of the TAG, Bob Seidensticker has said:

Many apologists dodge the “Can God make a rock so heavy he can’t lift it?” puzzle by saying that God can’t do anything illogical… —he can’t make an impossibly heavy rock, a square circle, a married bachelor, and so on. The question is ill-formed. But by dodging this pitfall, they land in another as God’s actions become constrained by an external logic. If God is bound by logic, logic isn’t arbitrary. God can’t change it. He acts logically because he must, just like the rest of us.

This creates a Euthyphro-like dilemma: either God is bound by an external logic (and God answers to a fixed logic that he can’t change) or he’s not (and logic becomes arbitrary—it is what it is simply because God said so, and he could change it if he wanted to). The apologist will try to propose a third option (again, as with Euthyphro): logic is simply a consequence of God’s nature. It’s neither external nor arbitrary. But this simply rephrases the problem. Is this nature changeable? Then logic is arbitrary. Is it fixed? Then God is again bound by logic. Can God be the origin of logic if he’s bound by it? 1

  1. Bob Seidensticker. 2013. A Dozen Responses to the Transcendental Argument for God. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/11/a-dozen-responses-to-the-transcendental-argument-for-god/. [Accessed 11 August 2016].[]