God

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God

  1. 1. INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHYSection 701, Summer II Online<br />WEEK OF JULY 11, 2011:<br />EXISTENCE OF GOD<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />Several philosophers throughout history have tackled the question whether the existence of God is logically defensible. <br />They have presented arguments that we are going to examine. We are going to look at these positions: <br />The Cosmological Argument<br />The Argument from Design<br />The Ontological Argument<br />
  3. 3. Kinds of Arguments<br />A posteriori – proving the existence of God from evidence in the world<br />A priori – proving the existence of God from thought and reason alone<br />
  4. 4. The Cosmological Argument<br />St. Thomas Aquinas<br />First Mover<br />Causation<br />Degrees/Perfection<br />Intelligent Design<br />(textbook pg. 47–48)<br />
  5. 5. Example: Causation<br />Some things are caused by other things. <br />Nothing can be the cause of itself<br />it would have to exist before it causes itself – that would be a logical contradiction<br />There cannot be an endless string of objects causing other objects to exist<br />If there were no first cause at the beginning, the rest of the chain could not exist<br />Therefore, there must be an uncaused first cause called God.<br />Possible objections to this position? <br />
  6. 6. The Argument from Design<br />In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there forever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer I had before given, that for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there. (...) There must have existed, at some time, and at some place or other, an artificer or artificers, who formed [the watch] for the purpose which we find it actually to answer; who comprehended its construction, and designed its use. (...) Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater or more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation.<br />— William Paley, Natural Theology (1802)<br />
  7. 7. The Argument from Design<br />Paley’s Watchmaker Argument<br />A posteriori<br />Stone vs. Watch<br />Analogy to the world<br />Existence of God<br />Possible objections to this position? <br />
  8. 8. The Ontological Argument<br />A priori<br />From the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: <br />Imagine the greatest possible being that can be imagined (God). <br />God exists as an idea in the mind.<br />A being that exists as an idea in the mind and in reality is, other things being equal, greater than a being that exists only as an idea in the mind.<br />Thus, if God exists only as an idea in the mind, then we can imagine something that is greater than God (that is, a greatest possible being that does exist).<br />But we cannot imagine something that is greater than God (for it is a contradiction to suppose that we can imagine a being greater than the greatest possible being that can be imagined.)<br />Therefore, God exists.<br />Possible objections to this position? <br />IF it existed, it would have to have these properties… <br />

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