PhilRel - notes gen

PhilRel - notes gen - What is religious faith supposed to...

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time space Initial cosmological singularity August 28, 2007 What is religious faith supposed to do for you? o The “human problem” and its “solution” – religious beliefs propose some sort of solution and sometimes even a problem o Sin/salvation (Christianity, etc.) – central problem is sin (state of being) and the solution is there is a plan of salvation o Ignorance/enlightenment (Buddhism) – suffering comes from ignorance and the solution is the path to enlightenment Some important religious beliefs: o There is a God (“Western” belief) Who created the universe Who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and perfectly good Who wants us to love and serve him o We will live on after our bodies die Some of us will end up in heaven, some in hell (“Western” customarily) Alternatively: we have many different lives in many different bodies, and will have many more (increasing belief) Philosopher asks – “But is it true?” An assumption – that there is a truth, even if it’s hard to know what it is o Three examples: 1. Does the earth go around the sun? (definite answer) 2. Does spinach taste good? (matter of opinion) 3. Does the universe have a creator? (either/or) Does truth matter? o The case of suicidal bombers o Of course it matters! Method: o Clarifying concepts The concept of God Omnipotence, omniscience, perfect goodness, eternity o Giving an argument Deductively valuable argument – when both premises are true (not necessarily a good argument though) Evaluating arguments: o Two questions: Are premises true? How much support, if any, do they provide for the conclusion? August 30, 2007
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The concept of God: o Creator o Omnipotent o Omniscient o Eternal (always have/will exist or outside time) o Necessarily existent (absolutely could not have failed to exist) (We are contingent beings – things could have happened to prevent our existence, and we depend on things to exist – i.e. food, water, etc.) o Wholly good o God = The Greatest Possible Being St. Anselm (1033-1109) o “That Than Which Nothing Greater Can Be Thought” i.e. “nothing greater can be consistently thought” o The greatest consistently thinkable being o The greatest logically possible being Existence in the Understanding vs. Existence in Reality o A greatest possible being exists “in the understanding” o But does it exist in reality as well? The Ontological Argument (p.4, c.1) o Ontology – categorization of different beings o “…Surely that than which a greater cannot be though cannot exist only in the understanding o “For, if it exists only in the understanding, it can be thought to exist in reality as well, which is greater.” 1. Suppose God does not exist in reality 2. Then there could have been a being greater than God (since there could have been a being having all God’s other perfections, plus the perfection of existing)
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This note was uploaded on 02/28/2008 for the course PHIL 1600 taught by Professor Wesleymorriston during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.

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PhilRel - notes gen - What is religious faith supposed to...

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