Arguments for the Existence of God

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  • Created by: BeckiJaz
  • Created on: 07-05-15 10:05
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  • Arguments for the Existence of God
    • Teleological
      • Paley's Watchmaker Argument
        • Universe has order, purpose and regularity
          • The complexity of the universe shows evidence of design
            • Such design implies a designer
              • The designer of the universe is God
                • Big jump to God?
            • For example, the human eye
        • Paley
          • July 1743 - May 1805
          • English
          • Christian Apologist
          • Philosopher
          • Utilitarian
        • Watch and rock in a field
          • You'd assume the rock had always been there
            • You would not think this of the watch as it looks as though it has been designed
              • It is not reasonable to assume the watch did not have a watchmaker
                • Therefore, it is not reasonable to assume the universe does not have a universe maker
      • Aposteriori
      • Objections
        • Hume
          • Dialogues between Dema, Cleathes, and Philo
            • Philo
              • Products of human design are not much like nature
              • No good reason to choose design as an explanation for the universe
              • Arrangement of parts for a purpose does not, on its own, show that the cause is a designer
                • Paley
                  • All you need to know is organisation of parts for a purpose
                    • Any argument which is better will overrule this
                      • Darwin
                        • Blind Watchmaker
                          • Natural Selection
          • Response
            • Richard Swinburne
              • 1934 -
              • Christian Apologist
              • Universe is either ordered or chaotic
                • Cannot be ordered by chance
                  • Laws of nature have no scientific  explanation
                    • Only explanation is God
                • Two types of order
                  • Spatial Order
                    • Different things existing at the same time in an ordered way
                  • Temporal Order
                    • The way in which one thing follows another
              • Universe is unique
        • Makes God too anthropomorphic
        • Goldilocks zone, evolution, oxygen...
          • Multiverse theory
        • Dawkins
          • Illusion of design
      • Swinburne's Argument
        • There are some temporal regularities that are explained in terms of persons
          • There are other temporal regularities related to nature, similar to those explained in terms of persons
            • We can, by analogy, explain the regularities relating to the laws of nature in terms of persons
              • (Only two explanations, persons or nature - nature gives no explanation of laws)
                • Therefore, there is a desginer
    • Cosmological
      • Three of Aquinas' Five Ways
        • Motion
          • Things in the universe are in motion
            • These things were moved by other things
              • This chain of motion can't go back forever
                • Therefore, there must have been an unmoved  mover
        • Causation
          • Everything in the universe that exists has a cause
            • This chain of causation can't go back forever
              • Therefore, there must have been a first cause
                • This first cause is God
        • Contingency
          • Things in the universe exist contingently
            • Therefore, it is possible that at some time there was nothing in existence
              • But if at some time, nothing was in existence, nothing could begin to exist
                • Since things did begin to exist, there must be a necessary being to cause this
                  • This being is God
          • Objection
            • Just because it is possible that nothing existed doesn't mean it is certain
        • Aquinas
          • Roman Catholic
          • 13th Century
          • First person to try to ground Catholic faith in logical reasoning
      • Aposteriori
      • Cosmos - referring to the universe as a perfect and well ordered system
      • Rejects infinite regress as it is impossible
      • Copleston
        • Contingency
          • Things in the universe exist contingently
            • Something that exists contingently needs an explanation of why it exists
              • You can't keep going back and back forever (infinite regress)
                • Therefore, there has to be a necessary being
                  • This necessary being is God
          • Objections
            • Russell
              • You can't go from talking about one thing in the universe to talking about the whole universe
            • Hume
              • It is not an analytic truth that everything has a cause
    • Ontological
      • Descartes' Argument
        • God is a supremely perfect being
          • A supremely perfect being contains all supreme perfections
            • Existence is a supreme perfection
              • Therefore, God, a supremely perfect being, exists
        • Objections
          • Can God really be thought of?
            • You can think of a triangle whose angles don't add up to 180, but you can't once you have a clear idea of a triangle
          • Existence isn't a predicate
      • Anselm's Argument
        • By definition, God is a being than which no greater can be conceived
          • It is greater to exist necessarily than contingently
            • Therefore, God exists necessarily
              • Therefore, He has to exist
        • Objections
          • Gaunilo
            • This argument doesn't work because you could say anything is the greatest possible thing, but it wouldn't make it exist (the greatest possible island)
              • Anselm
                • Islands are contingent, God is necessary. This argument only works for God.
      • Apriori
      • Unpacks the concept of God

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