Keith --Your Buddhist could use a good dose of St. Anselm, couldn't he?(But then, I guess most Buddhists could....)
I'm not familiar with St. Anselm beyond his ontological argument. Is there something more apropos he has to bring to this discussion?
Keith --It's the ontological argument I was thinking of. Or, more precisely, Anselm's working definition of God -- "id quo maius cogitari non potest" (that than which nothing greater can be conceived).When your Buddhist interlocutor asks, "Did a higher being than god give god a purpose too?" he is clearly talking about something other than (less than) the Christian God (which you kindly point out to him). But I'm endlessly surprised at how common this misunderstanding about the nature of God is. Sam Harris in *Letter to a Christian Nation* clearly thinks that the question "Who created God?" is a rhetorical knockout punch for his side. Does he not know that that line of argument hasn't really worked since the 12th century? As the professor in the Narnia Chronicles repeatedly asks, "What do they teach in schools these days?"
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