I think my latest comment on the other thread may point some in this direction. There has also been repeated intermittent discussion of this theme elsewhere at this site, for instance here: https://ckmacleod.com/2010/09/26/two-questions-regarding-post-christian-religion/ and around this comment: https://ckmacleod.com/2010/08/23/america-agonistes/comment-page-1/#comment-30029 Other posts and threads will turn up if you search the blog for "Hegel atheism."
Otherwise, I think you will very much enjoy, or possibly love-hate, Kojeve's Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. The particularly relevant chapter on the atheistic Hegel is #5, "A Note on Eternity, Time, and the Concept" - a work that I still find rather astounding and hiliarious, not least because it includes helpful diagrams describing all major ontologies. After you've read Kojeve's introduction and Hegel's Preface to the Phenomenology, you may feel more confident about tackling however much of the rest of the Phenomenology seems appropriate to you for your purposes.
A one-more-time/once-and-foreverish examination of the topic is another item on my things-to-do-if-ever-actually-doable list.
Rosenzweig certainly understood that uttering the question was possible, so was aware that the question is possible in that sense, in that it is possible to ask it. He also did not identify as an agnostic, and even less as an atheist. What I would say he meant is that the question is not possibly a sensible question, since it assigns a mere "what," or a finitude, to the being defined as other than a what or as infinite. The discussion we had last year regarding Aquinas suggests the he was quite aware of and in fact quite interested in these difficulties, which are logical difficulties already known to and exhaustively examined by the ancient philosophers.
Aquinas might say that God is just the sort of thing that would be like something that must necessarily be.
I don't think that's what Aquinas would say. As I understand his argument, it cannot identify God as any "sort of thing" as "like something." It would be an exercise requiring the utmost care in language and logic, but the statement of the necessarily true for Aquinas could be demonstrated to be fully compatible with, to imply and to be implied by, the statement of the necessarily impossible for Rosenzweig.
I find Kojeve compelling, but I don't accept his definition of atheism to be an adequate definition. I think he might be right about the necessary implications of Hegel's views regarding particular alternative theological statements or theological concepts, but that his proof also puts in doubt "what an atheist would be."
Sometimes, as with that comment, the plan text isn't really very helpful, or a common interpretation is faulty. In this instance, I don't know what understanding you're referencing.
I enjoyed writing it, bob, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to set such thoughts down to pixel in dialogue. Just wish I had the free time to devote sustained attention to the questions (or to complete the now 1-year pending 3rd part of the Voegelin essay on this subject).
For now, I think you might be saying that the actual or indefeasible contingency (or inherent non-inherency) of supposedly non-contingent existence suggests a point of agreement or at least of parallel thinking between the philosophical monotheists properly understood, the radical doubters properly understood, and the Tsongkapa Buddhists properly understood. If so, then it wouldn't answer everything, and the agreement would be subject to collapse as soon as one side or the other of the dialogue slipped into the conventional delusionary mode even for a moment, but it might be a starting point.
Are you responding to a twitter discussion or to something else?
I wonder what word Aquinas actually used for "existence." You can get a flavor of the Heideggerian treatment of the term from the etymology dictionary entry:
existence (n.) Look up existence at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "reality," from Old French existence, from Medieval Latin existentia/exsistentia, from existentem/exsistentem (nominative existens/exsistens) "existent," present participle of Latin existere/exsistere "stand forth, appear," and, as a secondary meaning, "exist, be;" from ex- "forth" (see ex-) + sistere "cause to stand" (see assist).
So the word "existence" still carries with it, I think, the aspect of something produced either by God or by our minds or the particular interactions of our minds and infinity to produce finitudes, but is not Being or the All, and not even the entirety of "material being" or "mere being," since much of "mere being" is hidden from us or unimaginably remote to us, as when we speak of the "existence" of galaxies whose light reaches us from billions of years ago. We guess that something like what we imagine that galaxy to be or have been may still exist in some vicinity whose precise location we can theorize, but for all we know there's no there there at all anymore, or there's a road sign the size of supercluster that flashes on and off saying "Eat at Joe's." We don't know, and will never know. The theory of the galaxy's existence is more what is "existent" for us, and if someone comes up with a better theory tomorrow, the galaxy will flash out of existence as far as we're concerned, never to be thought of again, or maybe to be found a billion light years over to the left. So when we say "existence" we indicate what "stands forth" for us as it does or can - the computer screen as I watch my words appear on it right now and the unimaginably large unimaginably old unimaginably distant galaxy as I imagine I imagine it or the unimaginably tiny microbe or atom of a microbe.
The key point in this digression is that if God is "unseen" or in some major aspect the "hidden one," then the absurdity of searching for his or her or its "existence" becomes more plain. We're asking for snapshot of the invisible.
The "transitive-existing" of the rock is the "standing forth to someone" of the rock, or the actual being of its supposed being. "Mere being" is something we theorize and pre-suppose, but never actually encounter, the tree falling in the forest without anyone hearing it. We can't really believe in forests unless we trust that they're going to be there with their falling trees whether or not we happen to be observing them - the problematic that absorbed so much attention from Berkeley, Hume, and stoners in general, and that Descartes sought to answer. So we have to believe in a kind of passive, mute, non-contingent, etc., unobserved existence of existence, of rocks that will remain rocks whether or not a living being ever encounters them, but we never encounter a rock that's never been encountered. All actually existing existence is encountering of existence in eternal presence, and this encountering is always multi-sided, exactly equally "creation" of what we can henceforth refer to as existence as though of independent existents.
The divine principle as "Creator" is that all-encompassing process or source of the process that's more than a process because it's all-encompassing, and is always subjective as well as objective, always uniquely "individual" and "particular," yet absolutely universal - all that ever "really" "is." So we believe the rock "is" passively. The divine principle or god concept or God in this framework is the is-ing ("to be" as a transitive verb) of the rock to us or anyone. We conventionally understand "to be" and "to exist" as intransitive verbs: "states of being," but certainty of the (non-)thing whose "existence" our conventional modes of speech lead us to doubt is in this sense the only certainty at all or conceivable. The state of being is what's always in doubt, or is nothing until and unless it is created being. It remains nothing and infinitely in doubt except as created to created beings.
God or "God" - the quotes denoting the untenability or possible untenability of this god concept - as a "mere what" would be that disembodiment. Or: God misunderstood as "body" disembodies. That "God as body" disembodies all would be the logical result of the illogical statement, the sign of its absolute infirmity - "infirmity" being the condition of the supposedly "firm" existent detached from its being "firmed" (affirmed, confirmed, formed): de-realization of reality. I understand de-realization of reality to be another version of the Buddhist thought, its paradoxical de-objectifying objective or unmotivated or demotivating motive. The monotheistic idea could be understood in this context or in this format as the de-paradoxicalization of the non-objective or de-objectifying objective, or the completion of the all-as-nothing as things-at-all after all: "God" is or would be or would also be the word for that which alone and indispensably confirms the object in its objectivity, which really is only an in this sense divine and divinized objectivity. God endows the verb "to exist" with transitivity, or you could say that for God and God alone "to exist" is a transitive verb (same for "to live"). The Buddhist thought would be that the rock as non-contingent existent is illusion or delusion. The monotheist thought would to agree except that God in the monotheist thought would be the enablement of the non-illusive mode of existence of the rock, or non-delusionary comprehension of the existence of the rock, the causing of the actual existence of the rock, or the transitive-existing of the rock.
Usually translated as "evidence of": Here's a link to some alternative translations: http://www.biblestudytools.com/hebrews/11-1-compare.html
It's a useful passage in this context. I'm not sure what causes you to perceive me to be expressing a particular difficulty on my own, or for that matter any reference to the state of my personal beliefs or experiences of belief.