Does Kryptonite Exist?

May 29, 2007

You might have recently read online that a mining team in Serbia came across a rock with precisely the same chemical name as Kryptonite, the fictional rock from the Superman comics.  So did they find Kryptonite?  ‘Well of course not,’ you say.  ‘The thing doesn’t exist.’  But then this question arises: To what do you refer when you say of this object “Kryptonite,” that it does not exist? 

After all, I can point to it.  Well, perhaps not with a finger, but when I say the name “Kryptonite,” you know what I mean:  That there is something there that I am singling out; something to which I refer, and it is this thing, we are saying, that doesn’t exist.  But how can there be something there that doesn’t exist?  Does the name Kryptonite, have a referent? 

Here’s how a Meinongian might respond.

(1) We have intentional states (e.g. ‘fear’) only if there is some real object responsible for that intentional state (e.g. fear of a dog).

(2) We have intentional states about Kryptonite (e.g. we admire Kryptonite).

(3) No non-Kryptonite entity is responsible for the intentional state e.g. of my admiring Kryptonite.

(4) Therefore, there is a real entity Kryptonite.

Now to back-pedal a bit, I should say that the Meinogian will parse the “is” in that last proposition as “subsists” and not “exists”, but for now, that’s neither here nor there.  What’s important is that when we say the name Kryptonite, the Meinongian argues that it does refer to a real object and not something merely the figment of our imagination.

Theological Hospitality: 2 responses to Beckwith’s conversion

May 23, 2007

A few weeks ago, as Beckwith’s reversion to Roman Catholicism was the town buzz, I came across these two comments in response to Frank’s post/announcement. The first was posted by New Testamant scholar Craig Blomberg, and the second by pastor Greg Miller. Notice any differences?

Read the rest of this entry »

“They’re leaving in droves!”

May 22, 2007

Dr. Robert Koons, professor or Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin, has decided to swim the Tiber  along with Dr. Beckwith.  Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be the same amout of vitriol there was when Frank spoke of his decision.

King Herod’s Tomb Unearthed?

May 14, 2007

Hebrew University professor Ehud Netzer and colleagues say they solved one of Israel’s great archaeological mysteries by unearthing the remains of Herod’s grave, sarcophagus, and mausoleum at the Herodium complex.

See the article here at National Geographic’s website.

HT: J.C. Miller

Bonaventure Quote

May 13, 2007

[J]ust as the eye, intent on the various differences of color, does not see the light through which it sees other things, or if it does see, does not notice it, so our mind’s eye, intent on particular and universal beings, does not notice that Being which is beyond all categories, even though it comes first to the mind, and through it, all other things.[1]


[1] Bonaventure, The Journey of the Mind to God, trans. Philotheus Boehner (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1956; orig. 1259), p. 29.

A Comparison of how Aquinas & Scotus make Negative & Positive Predications of God

May 12, 2007

In Question 13, article 5 of his Summa Theologica, Aquinas identifies three forms of predication (or 3 ways to use words to predicate things of God). The first is univocal—using a term in exactly the same way of more that one subject (this desk and that desk are both “desk”; no need to change the term). The second is pure equivocal—this is to use the same word, but the subjects are different (e.g., pointing to a picture of someone and then to the actual person and calling each “Bob”; there’s something in common, but the two are obviously different). Third is analogical—this is what Aquinas uses between creatures and God. Read the rest of this entry »

Tulane Scientist Frank Tipler in News on God’s Existence

May 9, 2007

See here. This was on the local news this evening.