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revision notes…read more

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cosmological argument
· motion, causation and contingency
· the five ways ­ first three form the cosmological
· names
­ aquinas, hume and russel.
· 1 way ­ everything that is moving and that is in motion and changing has
to have been set off by something, nothing can move on its own. there must
be a prime mover to have set this off, external of this chain of being moved.
this external being is God.
· 2nd way ­ everything has to have been caused by something, cause and
effect, and hence the universe must have been caused by something. what
else could have it been caused by except God?
· 3rd way ­ contingency. everything in the world is either in existence or not,
dead or alive, no halfway space. there must have been a time when nothing
existed, but things exist now, so something must have brought them into
existence. this is a necessary being called God. everything depends on
something else for its existence.…read more

Slide 3

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challenges to the cosmological argument
· russell ­ 1947 radio debate ­ `just because each human has a mother does not mean that the
whole human race has a mother,' (you cannot say that just because everything has a cause, the
universe as a whole must have a cause.)
· He thought that the universe was just a brute fact and needed no explanation for its existence.
· hume ­ the law of cause and effect is something humans have made up and imposed ourselves,
not an actual law of nature.
· we have never seen a rubber ball dropped and watched it bounce hundreds of times. instead they
have witnessed one event in hundreds of different occasions. from the one event people draw
false connections about cause and effect in order to help them make sense of the world. hume is
suggesting that there may well be uncaused events, and the universe may be one of these
uncaused events.
· fallacy of composition ­ if you had a collection of paintings and someone asked how you got
each of your paintings, you would not expect at the end for the person to ask, yes, but how did
you get the whole collection? in explaining the parts, you have explained the whole, so don't need
to give it an explanation.
· what caused God? He just is. and yet what caused the universe? cannot accept just is. why?
· it doesn't show a theological God, just a God or being with omnipotence.…read more

Slide 4

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the teleological (design) argument
· aquinas and william paley
· fifth way ­ there is design and purpose in everything, and it needs a
director. an arrow needs an archer, and so the world needs a
designer, and this designer is God.
· design qua purpose ­ the universe is like a watch, too
complex to have just made itself without an element of design and purpose. the watch
has been specifically made to tell the time, and cannot have happened by chance.
· paley uses the human eye to show design in nature, the eye is too complex and has
too clear a purpose to not have been designed! The designer of nature is required
then, and this is God.
· design qua regularity ­ the universe shows order, patterns
and regularity. something or someone must have implemented this order, it cannot all
simply be chance. the planets and their orbit, gravity etc.…read more

Slide 5

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hume's challenges to the teleological argument
· hume - the world is imperfect, flawed, and the design is not quite as perfect as paley
implies, and neither is the order (natural disasters) does this now imply an
incompetent designer and imperfect God? (like effects imply like cause)
· It is quite possible and likely that the universe came about by chance, more so than
an external unproven being designed it. a baby is an intelligent outcome of a non
intelligent act. maybe the universe is the same.
· from our tiny part of the universe, how can we tell everything is designed and has
· to stick with paley's analogy, things being made and designed often have more than
one maker, so why is God the only creator of the whole universe? it is more accurate
to suggest that a team of gods created the universe.
· hume also supported the idea of natural selection. He proposed that it was entirely
possible that a series of random adaptations made humans seem like designed
· to say the world is like a watch is not a true analogy ­ the watch is mechanical and
man made. why is the world not like a vegetable then? It grew from a seed. or like a
web, designed by a giant spider? sarcasm but making a point...
· if god is only needed for design, then do we need Him now? what is his purpose
now?…read more

Slide 6

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mill and darwin: challenges to the teleological argument
· mill -nature is guilty of so many crimes, yet she goes unpunished. natures
atrocities would not go unpunished if they were the work of a human, so
why does God allow nature to be like this? it suggests an immoral god.
· the world doesn't show order - quite the opposite! `dysteleological
argument' nature is cruel, and unforgiving, and unpredictable. natural
disasters, disease, natural poverty, animals attacking each others, and so
· darwin ­ natural selection and evolution are the reason why design seems
so apparent in our world. the survival of the fittest and the best features
adapting and developing are the reason for the `design.'
· natural and random processes are a series of successful mistakes that have
created the illusion of design, not God. a giraffe has a long neck. design or
natural selection ­ quite clearly natural selection ­ the shorter necked
giraffes didn't survive.…read more

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