Paper 4 Notes

Very concise; this is what I tried to memorise before the exam to help me remember wider points - this will only work if you already understand the ideas in a broader context. Much more detailed revision notes are also up here:

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Most agree God can't be proven, but actually not even probable
Logical Positivism = not the same as atheism or agnosticism
Atheism: tries to contradict insignificant statement ("there is a God") = insignificant
Agnosticism: doesn't deny that theism and atheism ask genuine questions = wrong
The mystic only "gives us indirect information about the condition of his own mind"
BUT when deities are identified with natural objects they can be meaningful just
doesn't apply with "sophisticated religions", as they aim for transcendent Gods
Ward (WVP) "if I were God I would be able to check the truth of my own existence"
Language games (can't speak in true or false terms, but meaningful beats VP & FP)
Relates to Bliks
Braithwaite religious language need not be true, but influences towards morals
Tillich might have symbolic meaning, even if concept does not objectively exist
Smart AntiRealism
Arguably: intuitively know God by religious experience, similar to other intuition
Owen parallel between intuition regarding God and intuition about other people
Owen sees genuine religious experiences as ways of knowing that reality
BUT Owen doesn't set out a good case no empirical tests for Godstuff
HH Price point of God's revelation not knowing about God, but of God > faith
BUT psychological certainty (feeling certain)/rational certainty (knowing for sure)
...Intuition is not always right
Religious intuition might be right, but 'if' means it can only be supporting evidence
Taylor artist's eye sees beauty everywhere religious eye sees God everywhere
Categorisation of religious experience Swinburne's 5, James's 4
Marx opiate of the masses Freud wish fulfilment
Flew Parable of the Gardener experience can be interpreted deducing anything
from evidence that is neither empirical nor sensory is difficult
Greenfield she found religious feelings can be recreated by messing with the brain
o But Couchman: could attribute any beliefs, experiences or thoughts to brain
chemistry and thus conclude all thinking is false

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PreKant, two types of philosophical theology: scholastic (reason, faith and revelation
work together) + deistic (reason separate from faith and revelation)
Kernel = rational core of religion husk = religious doctrine, authority
Kant and Hume undermined the classical arguments for God's existence, also
undermining both forms of philosophical theology: scholastic and deistic
Kant, after removing the foundations of deism, tried to provide new ones
Where Kant restricts religion to morality, Schleiermacher restricts it to feeling
Hegel rejects Kant and Schleiermacher, in favour of…read more


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