God and the world

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  • God and the world
    • The Problem of Evil
      • A god who is benevolent will have a motive to remove evil.
        • A god who is omnipotent will have the ability to get rid of evil.
          • Evil exists in the world.
            • Therefore god either does not exist or he is not omnipotent or benevolent.
      • Natural evil
        • Caused by nature.
      • Moral evil
        • Caused by humans.
      • Plantinga: God allows evil for the purpose of free will.
        • We are responsible for moral evil, not God.
          • "The price for creating a world in which they produce moral good is creating one in which they can also produce evil.
        • Mackie: free will does not excuse God because we could have free will and moral perfection and so choose good in ever situation.
      • Augustine: evil is the absence of god
        • The entities which held free will in the beginning (Adam and Eve) turned their backs on God and settled for lesser goods (original sin)
          • Phillops: "a dying child is bad, that it is an eternal plan is horrifying"
          • Evil cannot be justified as it would've meant that god created it on purpose and so his own evil is revealed.
            • Phillops: "a dying child is bad, that it is an eternal plan is horrifying"
      • Hick:if we love God without question we would be undermining free will; evil allows questions and throught; the world began in chaos and will reach perfection in time.
        • Why do we need evil to develop?
      • Swinburne: the fewer evil God provides, the less opportunity he provides for men to exercise responsibility.
        • Evil cannot be justified as it would've meant that god created it on purpose and so his own evil is revealed.
      • The Religious Point of View
        • Seeing as
          • Viewing the world according to our own interpretations of it.
            • A religious believer may see acts of God and believe that the order and purpose of the world is proof of design.
        • Hick and the Celestial City
          • An example of 'seeing as' because the believer sees challenges as a test of faith
        • Flew and The Parable of the Gardener
          • 'Seeing as' isn't enough because regardless of the evidence the believer will always believe.
            • Religious statements are meaningless because there is nothing to test against them.
        • Hare and the Paranoid Student
          • a BLIK is not grounded in evidence but the belief is held anyway despite evidence against it
            • BLIKS are the nature of belief and not a bad thing
        • Mitchell and the Resistance Movement
          • Religious believers do weigh up the evidence both for and against their views but side with that which supports their views
        • The Verification Principle
          • AJ Ayer said that for something to be meaningful, it should be verifiable.
            • Makes history and the principle itself meaningless
            • Eschalological Verification
              • Hick said that belief can only be verified in death
        • Evidentialism
          • A belief cannot be held without sufficient evidence.
            • To a religious person, there is proof of God in the world.
        • Falsification principle
          • If something cannot be proved wrong then it is meaningless
            • Religious statements are meaningless because there is nothing to test against them.
      • The Argument from Design
        • Paley's Watch Anaology
          • The universe is like a watch because it should complexity, intricacy and functionality, therefore - like the watch - indicating a designer.
          • A human eye has the same qualities as a watch as so could be seen as proof of design.
        • Mill: objected to the design argument because there is evil and suffering. If God was a designer then he must be limited if he cannot prevent the suffering caused by the forces of nature.
        • Kant: The design argument is an assumption that the world was designed. We can't assume that there is regularity, order and purpose in the universe.
          • Perhaps the universe is in order because of the way our minds organise it, rather than because God has done.
        • Anthropic Principle
        • Aquinas said unintelligent beings have an end or purpose but have to be directed  by an intelligent being, who is God.
          • The archer and the arrow analogy: we are the unintelligent arrow.
            • Hume: the analogy between the universe and human artifacts is not a good one because the universe is unique and we do not have another one to compare it to.
          • The overall order in the world is proof of a designer.
        • Darwin: the complexity of life comes from evolution.
          • To liberal christians, the theory of evolution does not contradict the idea of God's design.
        • Aesthetic Principle
          • Anthropic Principle
          • Tennant: beauty is no good for the survival of natural selection so why do we hold the ability to appreciate beauty? The capacity for joy was put in us by our designer, God.

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