Forget faith, brothers, Ive got logic. Religious Rationalism: The existence of God can be proven. Unbelief is irrational. Anselm, Aquinas, Paley. Fideism: Objective evidence for Gods existence is neither possible nor desirable; it must be accepted on faith. Kierkegaard.
Voluntarism: The existence of God cannot be proven or disproven, but religious belief is rational if our passions lead us to prefer the religious hypothesis. (James) Religious empiricism: The existence of God cannot be demonstrated, but reports of religious experience provide evidence for the existence of an
Ultimate Reality. Naturalism: Naturalistic explanations (of the origin of the universe and human life, and of claims to religious experience) are superior to supernaturalistic explanations. Hence, religious belief is probably illusory.
P1. God=df. a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. P2. This concept exists in the understanding. P3. If this concept exists only in the understanding, and not in reality, then it is not the concept of a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. A being than which nothing greater can be conceived exists in reality. Assumes that something is greater if it is both conceived of and really existing than if it is merely conceived of. Implies that existence is a perfection. Existence is
not a perfection A being can exist without being just or wise, but it cannot be just or wise without existing (for then it has no attributes whatever). Existence isnt an attribute: My future son will be better off if he is honest. My future son will be better off if he exists. (?)
First Way: change, motion. P1. Everything moved is moved by something outside itself. P2. Infinite sequence of movers- impossible. A first, unmoved mover must exist = God. This argument is so moving
Whatever exists has a cause. Nothing can be the cause of itself. Causes cant go back infinitely, for, if there was no first cause, there could be no subsequent causes. There must be a first uncaused cause of the causal series. = God. 3rd way: Many things are contingent. If everything is contingent, then once there was nothing.
Something must be necessary =God 4th Way: Some things are sort of wise and not too pretty. Something is sort of wise by sharing in perfect wisdom. A supreme being exists. = God Nature operates according to regular patterns that allow life to flourish. It is no accident that the goal of flourishing is everywhere attained.
An unconscious thing attains its goal only when guided by intelligence. An intelligent force guides the universe. = God. Paley: Find a watch, infer a watchmaker. The human eye is more complex than a Rolex. It is highly probable that a divine eye
designer exists. Natural selection and genetic mutation explain the slow evolution of the eye. The big bang hypothesis explains the origin of our universe. Are you sure the fossil record will confirm this? David Hume 1711- 1776
Humes critique: The design argument rests on a weak analogy. The universe is unlike any product designed by humans. Living things differ from artifacts in relevant ways (begotten not made; organic; etc.) We have no past experience of the origins of a universe. The design argument fails to show that the designer is all powerful, morally good, or one god rather than a
divine committee. Wouldnt an all powerful creator display better craftsmanship? Our experience, so imperfect in itself, and so limited both in extent and duration, can afford us no probable conjecture concerning the whole of things. But if we must needs fix on some hypothesis; is there any rule other than the similarity of the objects compared? And does not a plant or animal which springs from vegetation or generation bear a stronger resemblance
to our world than does any machine which arises from reason and design? The empirical evidence suggests that our universe was probably designed by a finite god who is benevolent but not clearly just. A god who allows evil, disease, ignorance, and suffering to attain some greater good is not omnipotent. If the creator is morally good that Being intended nature as a scheme to be amended, not imitated, by man. We must assist god in ameliorating the human condition.
God is all powerful. God is perfectly good. Evil exists. [Inconsistent statements] If God is all powerful, he could eliminate evil and suffering. If God is perfectly good he would wish to eliminate evil and suffering. Deny omnipotence. Kushner When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Denying omnipotence solves the logical problem but leaves the question of Gods apparent absence unresolved Deny the reality of evil: Christian Science.
Claiming that evil is illusion creates a new evil, viz., the widespread delusion that evil exists. Cosmic harmony. The extent of evil and suffering leaves one wondering, does the harmonious end justify the means? If evil is just an illusion then the illusion that evil exists is an evil . Evil enters the world when angels and
humans choose to disobey God. Evil, pain, and suffering are the consequence of free will. Free will helps with moral evil but doesnt adequately address natural evils. Soul making: A pilgrims long journey towards moral perfection. Evil and suffering are necessary to provide us with the opportunity to develop courage and
compassion. How much suffering is required to shape a soul? Brilliant mathematician and scientist who also wrote on theology. In order to show that a hypothesis is evident, it does not suffice that all the phenomena follow from it; instead, if it leads to something contrary to a single one of the phenomena, that suffices to establish its falsity.
Believe Possible Realities God is No God Belief Options Disbelieve Outcomes Existential Eternal Hell!!! Eternal Bliss! Wasted Sundays. Had less fun. Lived without
illusion. God is, or he is not. But to which side shall we incline? Reason cannot decide it at all. There is an infinite chaos that separates us. A game is being played, at the extremity of this infinite distance, in which heads or tails must come up. Let us weigh the gain and the loss, in taking heads that God exists. If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, That He is, without hesitation. (Blaise Pascal) Philosopher and Psychologist.
Founder of the Psychology Department at Harvard University. Radical empiricist, pragmatist, and pluralist. After all that reason can do has been done, there still remains the opacity of the finite facts as merely given. To the very last there are various points of view which the philosopher must distinguish in discussing the world. I. Our epistemic situation-- theoretic ambiguity (evidence for and against Gods existence is inconclusive). II. Our existential situation:
A. Importance- it matters greatly to us. A momentous hypothesis B. Inevitability of choosing; forced hypothesis. When we are forced to decide on a momentous issue with inconclusive evidence, it is rational to follow our instincts and desires, to embrace the religious hypothesis.
John Hick wonders: Is the will to believe a license for wishful thinking? Can the argument support a right to believe if religious experience confirms that an Ultimate Reality exists?
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