Reli122.exam1

Reli122.exam1 - ANDREA N DEVOS PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION EXAM I Essay Question I Two arguments for the existence of God that we have examined are the

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A NDREA NDREA N. D N. D E V OS OS F EBRUARY EBRUARY 18, 2008 18, 2008 P HILOSOPHY HILOSOPHY OF OF R R ELIGION ELIGION – E – E XAM XAM I I Essay Question I Two arguments for the existence of God that we have examined are the cosmological and teleological arguments. Both these arguments are a posteriori arguments for the existence of God predicated on our observations of the nature and behavior of the universe, and use deductive reasoning to conclude that God exists. Though they are similar in this and other regards, they have very different logical structures while both leading to the same conclusion that God must necessarily exist. The cosmological argument in essence is based on the logic that every finite being or occurrence in the universe as we observe it has a cause, and that nothing finite or contingent may be the cause of itself. Since a causal chain may not be infinite in length, as is argued by Aquinas and others based on the nature of causation, there must be a first cause or prime mover of the universe. The cosmological argument has also historically invoked the principle of sufficient reason stating that for every entity or event that exists, there is a sufficient reason or explanation as to why that entity or event exists. Aquinas asserts that the only entity capable of being without cause is God. Since the universe does in fact exist, this in turn necessitates the existence of God. The teleological argument is fundamentally based on the concept of design which we as humans observe and experience as a natural part of the universe and our own creative ability. This argument reasons that the universe is among many things complex, orderly, and purposeful. More important to this argument than simple inert physical matter, are processes such as evolution, biological life forms, and the capabilities thereof. Since none of the aforementioned entities or qualities occur randomly or accidentally, they must have been created or designed by a sentient, intelligent, or purposeful being. As the teleological argument reasons, complexity implies a designer. Since this complexity and purposefulness are clearly evident in the universe and in nature, it follows that the universe has a designer. Page | 1
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A NDREA NDREA N. D N. D E V OS OS F EBRUARY EBRUARY 18, 2008 18, 2008 The differences between these arguments is apparent upon examination of their descriptions in that the cosmological is derived from our understanding of existence and causality, while the teleological appeals more to our notions of purpose and design, and makes inductions based on these concepts. They are both important arguments that raise reasonable questions and conclusions based on our understanding of the universe and nature, but there are however substantial and valid weaknesses and contentious areas
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2008 for the course RELI 122 taught by Professor Na during the Spring '08 term at UNC.

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Reli122.exam1 - ANDREA N DEVOS PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION EXAM I Essay Question I Two arguments for the existence of God that we have examined are the

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