02 Existence of God II

02 Existence of God II - 1) Theism a. Lesser (minor)...

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1) Theism a. Lesser (minor) Arguments: i. The argument from personal experience. Struck down for 4 reasons 1. Not an argument at all, just a personal account 2. Other individuals have personal experiences that don’t agree 3. Revelations are saturated in symbols of one’s own culture 4. Difficult to distinguish between mundane and revelation ii. Inerrant Scripture: I believe there is a God because the bible is the word of God and it says there is a God. petitio principii – circular reasoning iii. Argument from Miracles – how do you explain the seemingly miraculous without God’s interruption of the natural causal sequence? 1. David Hume – in the tradition of British Empiricism (1. John Locke and 2. Berkeley are in here as well): the theory that the mind at birth is a blank tablet and all we know comes from experience. Sun comes up the air gets warm. Sun comes up the air gets warm. Sun comes up the air gets warm. This leads us to saying that there is some property of the sun – some force or power – that causes the air to get warm. This cannot be proved, though, for who has observed this power? 2. A devastating critique of theism: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion by David Hume. Natural Religion is religion that you attempt to base on reason. Hume attacks the argument from miracles. Hume’s argument: 2 possibilities if you are confronted with some unusual, inexplicable event: 1) God caused nature to deviate from its course or 2) the eyewitnesses to this event were ignorant, misinterpreted what was happening, hallucinated, lied or they saw an original natural event that was good but the story of it in its retelling gets transformed into miraculous. Which is more likely? 3. Another thing that has really hurt this is the higher criticisms of the Bible that came about in the 19 th century: geology, archaeology, evolutionary theory, etc. b. Major Arguments i. Ontological Argument – St. Anselm in the 11 th Century– this argument has had no public appeal, strictly a philosopher’s argument. 1. St Anselm - (11 th Century was dark ages, no body could read original Greek, Millennialism was rampant [the world is coming to an end] etc.) – Proslogelium and Monoslogelium . Medieval philosophy is very dry and abstract. 2. Two parts to Argument a. Definition of the term God: That than which no greater can be conceived. (Sometimes the term “perfect being” is used – a being than which no greater can be conceived would be omniscient and omnipotent and omni benevolent.) The Polar Eskimo has a conception of God that he is the greatest seal hunter who never gets lost, etc. This is the greatest conceivable thing given their experience. Whereas the Mayans who were dependent upon agriculture had to get the planting, etc. time perfectly. The Mayan gods kept perfect time. b.
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02 Existence of God II - 1) Theism a. Lesser (minor)...

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