philosophy summary notes

a summary of philosophy including ontological argument, cosmological argument, design argument 

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  • Created on: 24-04-12 19:57
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The Ontological Argument
A priori ­ use of logic alone, no empirical evidence
Uses deductive reasoning as the conclusion follows necessarily from the premises
Classic Form ­ Anselm in a book called The Proslogion presented in two forms:
1st form: God is `that than which nothing greater can be conceived' God must exist in the mind (in
intellectu) and in reality (in re)
2nd form: It is greater to be a necessary being than a contingent being therefore God is a
necessary being if he is the greatest being
Descartes ­ God has all perfections, existence is a perfection, therefore God exists ­ Existence is
an essential quality of a supremely perfect being, just as a triangle has to have 3 angles
Norman Malcolm ­ God's existence is either necessary or impossible, a necessary God cannot be
impossible, therefore God necessarily exists
Plantinga ­ There is a possible work in which there is a being who is maximally great and
maximally excellent. This being must exist in any possible world as it has these attributes, this is a
possible world = this being exists in our world
Kant ­ Existence is not a predicate, it does not add anything to a concept
Kant ­ the statement `God exists' can be denied without contradiction ­ if you reject both the
subject and predicate then it is not contradictory
Gaunilo ­ `I can conceive of a most perfect and real island', it is better to exist in the mind and in
reality so the island must exist. The notion of a real and perfect island is absurd and so is
Anselm's argument.
Aquinas ­ Rejected the argument on the ground that it has no basis as there is no agreed
definition of God
Strengths Weaknesses
Makes use of reduction ad absurdum There may be problems with the definition of
Anselm says that Gaunilo's argument is God
weak as the island he described is Just because you can imagine something does
contingent and not necessary so you mean it must exist ­ Cannot move from a
cannot compare the two concept to reality
Kant ­ Existence is not a predicate
Plantinga's form only shows that God is possible
not that he is actual
The Moral Argument from Kant:

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Two things fill the mind with ever new increasing admiration and awe... the starry heavens
above me and the moral law within me' ­ Kant
Deontological and absolute
We all have an innate moral awareness; true virtue is rewarded with happiness.…read more

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Also known as the first cause argument and is an a posteriori argument that is based on what
we observe in the world and the apparent order in the universe
States that there must have been a first cause of the universe and this first cause was God
Thomas Aquinas put forward the five ways for the existence of God ­ `demonstratio'.…read more

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Design qua Regularity ­ Looks at design in relation to the order and regularity
Design qua Purpose ­ Looks at design in relation to the ways in which the parts of the universe
appear to fit together
Aquinas' Fifth Way ­ Beneficial order exists in the universe so that things work to an end
purpose.…read more

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Age-day flat creationism ­ Creation occurred through divine intervention in separate acts of God
over a long period of time
Young-earth creationism ­ Creation occurred through divine intervention over a period of 144
hours, 6-8 thousand years ago
The big-bang occurred between 10 and 20 billion years ago where a cosmic explosion hurled
matter into space and laid the foundations of the universe
Evolution ­ All living beings are descended from common ancestors and have evolved in
response to natural competition for survival
Strengths Weaknesses…read more


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