Westar Institute Spring Meeting
Santa Rosa, California
The theist claims to believe that there exists an all-powerful, willful, immortal and profoundly benevolent entity whom we call God and who is the creator of the universe and everything in it. The atheist asserts that no such entity exists and that the universe is the product of natural and scientifically discoverable forces. The agnostic claims to be unsure, one way or the other, and awaits further evidence. Peter Steinberger will argue that each of these positions is incoherent. With respect to God, there is only one position that makes sense, only one position that’s possible for us coherently to adopt. Steinberger calls it aprolepticism, and he will suggest that we should all be—and, indeed, already are—aproleptics. In this presentation, Steinberger lays out his thesis and, in response to audience Q&A, addresses the implications of aprolepticism for ethics, the meaning of life, and the limits and aspirations for human knowledge of the universe.
Peter Steinberger (Ph.D., University of California, Riverside) is Professor of Humanities and Political Science at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. A writer whose essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor, he is the author of several books, including The Problem with God (2013), which forms the basis for this talk from the Westar Institute Spring 2015 national meeting.