Ch5-Ch6 - Chapter 5 Philosophy of Religion The existence of...

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Chapter 5 Philosophy of Religion The existence of God o Arguments for o Arguments against o Whether it matters Can any formal arguments convince you either way? (It did for Bertrand Russell.) Rationalization Wishful thinking Personal identity Theism – God exists o Three traditional arguments Ontological – definitional St. Anselm Cosmological – based on observations and experiences St. Aquinas Teleological – based on observations and experiences St. Aquinas Ontological Proof o It is possible to conceive of a being “than which nothing greater can be conceived.” (By “greatest” Anselm does not mean “bigger,” but “most perfect “) o If that being exists only in the mind, then it is not the greatest being that can be conceived.
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o Therefore, the possibility of conceiving a being than which nothing greater can be conceived entails the logical necessity of the real existence of such a being. o That being is God. P. 163 Objections o Using an a priori claim to draw an a posteriori conclusion. o Hume objects: Along the lines of the naturalistic fallacy – can’t move from a formal definition to facts about reality. Definitions are about logic, while facts are based on observation. Fundamentally illogical. Kant doesn’t like it either o Give’s argument the “ontological” title—recall what ontological means o Problem with grammar “Being” isn’t a rea predicate. A predicate adds or defines a concept. See the thought experiments on pp. 166-67. Proofs that appeal to experience of the world o Cosmological-the existence of the world is evidence of God’s existence. The world didn’t just appear…something/someone must have “caused” it. That “something” is God. o Teleological-everything appears to have an end or purpose, and all things seem to fit together. Such order requires a designer-God. The Cosmological Proof o Objections 1 & 2 – Hume
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Hume has a cow: he things cause and effect are—at best—reliable suppositions. Infinite causes are possible in the way that an infinite series of numbers is. o Objection # 3 – general Even if the argument proves the necessity for an “ unmoved mover, “ aka a “ first cause,” it does not prove it would necessarily be the Christian God. Teleological – telos, teloi o Telos = goals, purposes and ends. Generally used in reference to humans, and has to do with intentions. The teleological proof is at the heard of creationism and intelligent design. Teleological Proof – Aquinas o The order of the world requires a “designer.” (It isn’t rational to explain this order in terms of accidents and coincidences.) o The world can only be explained in terms of the purposes and intentions of an intelligent creator. o
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course LAIS 220 taught by Professor Woodson during the Spring '08 term at Mines.

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Ch5-Ch6 - Chapter 5 Philosophy of Religion The existence of...

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