Ron Cooper and his students go back and forth discussing their views on classical theism. Cooper begins the discussion by asking his audience to describe a god, or to describe their God. Ultimately, the audience comes to the conclusion that god is what he or she is to each individual person, and that is the most powerful thing.
“It’s like a puzzle,” Cooper said.
Cooper breaks down the idea of a god. He states that he wanted to concentrate on the most popular views from philosophers throughout the centuries. When it comes to these many arguments, it isn’t necessary to believe or agree with them, only to know they exist and can be understood if one is willing to listen.
There are many popular arguments for religion that have sprung up over the many years of human history. Each argument listing the strengths and weaknesses for each respective religion. Most people have heard of at least one of these arguments at one point in their lives.
Mostly used during the Middle Ages, the idea of cosmological theism comes from the Greek word cosmos meaning universal. Men in the Middle Ages, based on Aristotle’s view of religion but built on Thomas Aquinas’s view of cosmological theism, believed in universal movement, and what Aristotle believed to be the mover or unmover.
“Something has to get everything moving,” Cooper said.
Another premise of the argument is the argument of contingent. Or you don’t have to be contingent on many factors. Rather, it depends on you—the individual’s choice. Nothing is a necessity but one: that being God and only God.
“If you buy the premise, you must buy the contingent,” Cooper said.
Deriving from the Greek word telos meaning purpose or design, comes the second view: teleological theism. The idea that anything that exhibits design must have a designer.
“Because something functions well, does it mean it has to have something pushing it?” Cooper said.
This design aspect is more favored by most people. When one looks around and sees a design—one recognizes that the universe is designed—one feels that God is the designer.
The third premise is ontological from the Greek word onto meaning being. Just the very being of something means that God has to exist.
“To exist as an idea as well as an actuality is [of] greater [value] than only as an idea,” Cooper said. “Nothing greater can be received.”
The God that is an idea and exists in actuality, that is the God you would want, if you agree to the premise that God is the greatest thing you can think of, then he must exist, according to Cooper’s description of ontological theism.
“You don’t have to agree to anything [to] understand the definition,” Cooper explained.
Cooper had many students and fellow professors questioning the philosopher’s ideas.
SAVA president Angelique Wilcox questioned Copper as to why a particular belief pushes you to acknowledge God. In return, Cooper said that that was the point: a person’s questioning of gods and the existence of gods is, in fact, acknowledging there is a God.
Every Mega Monday is different. Clubs and guest speakers, like Wilcox, encourage students and faculty to come out and have a good time while getting your brain going. Mega Mondays are held every Monday at 12:30-1:45 p.m. in Building 8, Room 110 (food is free).
Story and photos by: Lindsee Kirby