Arguments for the existence of God:
(1) Aquinas’ cosmological argument. (Infinite regress of causes)
(a) If there is a chain of efficient causes, then either the chain goes back to infinity or there is a first cause
(b) The chain of causes cannot go back to infinity since it will not bring the effect. (c) There is a chain of efficient causes.
(d) Therefore, the chain begins with the first cause.
(e) First cause cannot be caused and called uncaused cause. This what people refer to as God.
(2) The Kalam Cosmological argument:
(a) Al-Ghazali- focuses on the beginning of the universe.
(b) William Lane Craig:
(i) Everything that begins to exist, has a cause.
(ii) University began to exist. (Big Bang Explosion)
1) The universe is finite in the past, because if it had been infinite
then we will be at the state of Heat Death. Since we exist, and we
are not at the point of the heat death. Then, the universe is not
infinite in the past.
(iii) By logic, the universe has a cause.
(iv) Cause has to be non-spatial, immaterial, and timeless (eternal).
(3) The argument from sacrifice:
(a) C.Stephen Layman: We also discuss several other topics like What is the hardy weinberg equilibrium equation?
(i) In every actual case, one has the most reason to do what is morally required.
(ii) If there is no God or afterlife, there are some cases in which one does not have the most reason to do what is morally required. (ex. Cases of
(iii) Therefore, there is God and afterlife.
(b) Response: Is not virtue is a reward in itself?
(i) Example of Ms.Goodwin and Mr. Gladwin and the virtue is not a reward in itself.
(c) Response to Kant’s categorical imperative violation:
(i) “Whenever I find myself in circumstance, in which I am very poor and can easily steal a large sum of money from a rich person and will inevitably
(неизбежно) be wretched (несчастный) others, then I will steal”.
(4) Moral argument:
(a) J.L Mackie puts argument against moral objectivism and states that moral objective values are beyond the scope of science.
(b) William Lane Craig:
(i) If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.
(ii) Objective moral values exist.
(iii) Therefore, God exists.
(5) Teleological Argument:
(a) William Paley- watchmaker argument:
(i) Watches require designers We also discuss several other topics like What should happen if mr>mc?
(ii) Human beings are analogous to watched.
(iii) Therefore, human beings require designers.
(b) Response to Paley’s argument from David Hume:
(i) Watches are not good analogs to humans. Similar but not the same. (ii) Nature could have created the watches.
*Euthyphro Dilemma is not the argument for God’s existence. It just states that morality is separate from God and God cannot be the source of morality. Does God will good actions because they are good, or the actions are good because God wills them?
- If God will the actions. Then objective moral values become arbitrary. God could have willed that killing people is good, frienship is wrong.
- If God wills actions because they are good, then objective moral values are independent of God.
Response to Dilema:
There is a third option.
- God wills actions because he is good. Wrong action do not conform to God’s nature.
Epistemology: the study of knowledge and the nature of knowledge.
Rene Descartes: used methodological scepticism→ Doubt everything to the extreme until come up with something that know 100%.
Candidates for certain knowledge:
(a) Descartes response is that senses can be misleading for example as in vivid dreams.
(2) Mathematical/ logical truths If you want to learn more check out Define law of diminishing returns.
(a) Descartes response is that even mathematical truths can be doubted. It is possible that something is deceiving to believe that mathematics is the correct way, but in fact it can be incorrect.
*Descartes: “I think therefore I am”. He employs methodological skepticism. He was doubting everything. The quote means: in order for your to doubt your own existence, you need to exist. You must exist in order to exist in the first place. Self- existence is the only thing that cannot be doubted. You have to exist in order to doubt everything else.
Extreme Evidentialism: the view that in order to be justified in believing anything whatsoever, you need an argument for that belief.
Response to extreme evidentialism:
(1) Yield infinite regress problem. Infinite number of arguments for premises etc. Rock beliefs are foundational beliefs, so there should not be infinite number of arguments. (2) Laws of logic and sense perceptions do not need arguments for themWe also discuss several other topics like What is the matched pairs experiment?
(a) Ex. law of noncontradiction. A and not A can never be true at the same time and at the same sense. There is no proof for this law.
Classical foundationalism: the view that in order to be justified in believing X, X must either be evident to the senses or self- evident.
Response to the classical foundationalism:
In order to belive in X, X must be either evident to senses or mathematically true/ self- evident. The classical foundationalism does not meet either criteria, therefore, it is true, but it is false. Self contradictory.
Proper Basicality: You are justified in believing in something only if it is evident to you (it seems to be true to you upon reflection), and you have no defeaters for that belief. - Alvin Plantinga: One does not need arguments/ evidence in order to be rationally justified in believing God. What is necessary is that God’s existence is evident to the person and that person lacks any defeaters for that belief.
Problem of Evil:
The idea that if God exists and if he is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent. How does amount of evil exist in the world with God having all those attributes. David Hume has most modern version of Evil: the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus when asks the following:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence evil?”.
* Defenses: attempts to show that arguments from evil are unsound (logically incorrect). * Theodicies: is the broad project to show why God permits evil in the world. If you want to learn more check out What are planned contrasts in anova?
Two different versions of the problem of evil:
(1) Logical version: attempts to show that there is a logical contradiction between the existence of God and existence of evil.
(a) Argument of atheists:
(i) Necessarily, if God is all knowing, all powerful, and all good then there will be no evil in the world.
(ii) There is evil in the world
(iii) Therefore, God does not exist.
(b) Response by theists:
(i) All the theists need to show that there is a possibility when God and evil can coexist.
(ii) Free Will Defense- Alvin Plantinga
1) there is a possible way to combine the existence of God and evil.
It is logically possible that God created creatures with free will and
that Evil arises from the exercise of Free Will. If that is the case,
then God and Evil would coexist.
(2) Probabilistic version: although there is no contradiction between God and Evil. The existence of Evil makes the existence of God less probable. If you want to learn more check out What is bask reflected glory?
(i) Probably, if God exists, then evil does not exist.
(ii) Evil exists.
(iii) Therefore, probably God does not exist.
(b) two responses:
(1) Alvin Plantinga: If God had reasons for permitting evil, would we be the first to know about them?
(2) Defenses: Probabilities are always relative to background knowledge. If evil is taken by itself, then perhaps one might be disinclined to believe in God. But relative to ALL the evidence, evil might not make God’s
Theodicies for the Problem of Evil:
(1) Soul Making Theodicy (Richard Swinburne)
(a) The reason that god permits evil is that there are certain things in the world that cannot be achieved without presence of evil. Ex. forgiveness, self-sacrifice, courage etc.
(b) Presence of evil makes the acquisition of virtues.
(2) Union Theodicy (Eleonore Stump):
(a) The ultimate fulfillment of human beings is the union with God. If humans beings are broken, then they cannot be united with God. The fixation of human beings comes from suffering.
*Skeptical theism: we do not know why God permits evil in the world.
Problem of Divine Hiddenness: the argument that God does not exist, because if God did exist then there will be no unbelief in God. Why would God leave a room for doubt? J.L Schellenberg
- If God exist, then God is perfectly loving
- If God is perfectly loving, then God will want to be in a relationship with all his creatures. - If God wants to be in a relationship with his creatures, then he will take necessary steps to be in the relationship with him.
- One such necessary requirement is the belief that he exists.
- Therefore, if God exists, then everyone will believe that he exists
- Many people believe that he does not exist.
- Therefore, God does not exist.