Computational Theology

by Rachel Baker on September 5, 2014

Its Friday, and that means its time to put up a theology article!

Here’s an interesting one about a interesting field of philosophy called Computation Theology. Its not very long and there are some pretty interesting links embedded in the article.

Computational Theology.

There is a burgeoning field within philosophy known as computational philosophy. This term covers a large amount of work being done, including everything from computationally discovering connections between different philosophical topics to artificial intelligence and the philosophy of mind. One fun example is how automated search methods found a connection between a medieval philosophical idea and a modern one. (In this case, the weird but fascinating outdated idea of “divine illumination” is connected to “mental representation” through “the medieval problem of universals.”)

One of my favorite examples of computational philosophy is in metaphysics. During the Middle Ages, it became fashionable to attempt proofs for God’s existence. And the most famous of these (and most logically strange and not compelling) is Anselm‘s ontological argument for the existence of God. Essentially, the argument revolves around assuming that God is the most perfect being imaginable and since existence is more perfect than non-existence, God must exist (here’s the argument in more detail).

Since then, others have come and refined the argument as well as criticized it. But one of the most intriguing variants of this argument comes from computational theology.

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