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UNLV / Philosophy / PHIL 459 / What is an omnipotent being?

What is an omnipotent being?

What is an omnipotent being?


School: University of Nevada - Las Vegas
Department: Philosophy
Course: Philosophy of Religion
Professor: Willam ramsey
Term: Spring 2019
Tags: philosophy
Cost: 50
Name: PHIL 459 Study Guide Midterm
Description: This is the start of the study guide given to us. I will finish it by tonight and send out the updated study guide, and after going over it in class I will send out the finished and polished study guide.
Uploaded: 03/10/2019
6 Pages 189 Views 4 Unlocks

Agreement vs tolerance

Agreement is when one agrees with  ones religious views. Tolerance is not agreeing with their religious beliefs,  but you do put up with them

“theistic” conception of God

Monotheism. Divine Attributes:  omnipotent, omniscient, eternal and self-existent and morally perfect.


All powerful


“great-making” qualities. Properties  that make something better

existence in reality is a perfection;  makes something worthy or worship  relates to the idea of the existence  of God

Impossible things

Impossible things are things that do  not and cannot exist in reality Something that can never be  instantiated because the definition  of the thing itself includes some sort of contradiction

Blind date example

“youre being set up on a blind date  and the friend is describing the blind date, you are blown away by his  attributes described by the friend,  but there is one property that this  person lacks, they only exist in our  minds, not in reality. The blind date  would have been better if the  individual had the added feature of  existing in reality instead of just in  our mind

Reduction ad absurdum

Assumes negation of conclusion to  establish conclusion

Negation of thesis leads to  


Concept of instantiation

There must be an instance in the  world that matches

Principle of sufficient reason

For every substantive fact Y there  are some facts, the X’s, such that (i)  the x’s ground Y and (ii) each one of  the x’s is autonomous  

Individual things and events need an explanation  

All individual things and events have an explanation. All positive facts

What is an omnipotent being?

If you want to learn more check out What is the greenhouse effect and what causes it?

have an explanation

Fallacy of composition

Just because members of set need  explanation, the set itself does not  The error of assuming that what is  true of a member of a group is true  

for the group as a whole

Dependent being

A being that is explained by another. Every being is either a dependent  being or self-existing. By definition,  dependent beings need to be  explained by another, all dependent  beings need to be explained by  another, all dependent beings need  to be able to depend on something.  And a dependent being can’t  depend on another dependent  being.

Hume’s bumbling God

It was an attempt to get non

believers to believe in someone who initially created the universe. Trying  to get them to believe that  

something, some bumbling upstart  deity had to create the universe  initially

Kalam cosmological argument

1. everything that begins to exist  has a cause

2. the universe began to exist 3. therefore, the universe has a  cause of its existence

4. this cause is God

Teleological argument

First way: argument by analogy 1. Aspects of natural world are like  machines

2. machines are produced by  intelligent design  

3. therefore, aspects of natural  world are produced by intelligent  designer (God)

Second Way: interference to best  explanation  

1. World contains many well-crafted  machines with functional parts  2. best explanation for this is an  intelligent craftsman/designer 3. therefore, there exists an  

intelligent craftsman/designer (God)

What is an example of reductio ad absurdum?

We also discuss several other topics like Which part of the brain is the primary site for the receipt of visual input?

Garden analogy

A way from going our random  process and our selection process to create the illusion of our intelligent  design when there really is no  intelligent design. There are plants  lined in perfect rows so we assume  there is a gardener. There is some  functionality for doing this. But then  we discover that these plants will  only grow where a mineral is, as well we discovers the mineral naturally  occurs in straight lines. As well we  discover the seeds got scattered  everywhere. So the selection  process comes about in natural  order. You no longer need to assume the existence of a gardener. This is  what Darwin did.

Blind watchmaker

Argument for intelligent design. The  physical laws that revealed the  mechanical perfection of the  

workings of the universe to be akin  to a watch wherein the watchmaker  is God.

Natural selection

Darwinism. Where an organism  becomes better fit to its  

environment to survive.

Intelligent design

The argument that essentially God is a creator, that only some kind of  intelligent designer could result in  the fine-tuned universe we have.


1. the universe is fine-tuned

2. the existence of fine tuning is not  improbably under theism. God  would design universe to make  intelligent life possible. There are  certain assumptions made about  what needs to be in place, such as  organizational structure when it  comes to the potential existence of  intelligent life.

3. the existence of fine-tuning is  very improbable under atheism.  Incredible coincidences can’t be  accidental.  

4. therefore the existence of fine-

What is the teleological argument simple?

Don't forget about the age old question of What is the value of temperature and pressure at stp?

tuning provides very strong  

evidence for theism over atheism.  Understanding the point, inadequate to simply say the universe had to be some low-probability way, so whats  the big deal? There was only . 000001% of this universe actually  coming into existence.  

There is something specific about  the way the universe came about  and it is irrational to assume it  happened by chance or by nature.

Anthropocentric fallacy


Proper explanandum

Reverse/inverse gambler’s fallacy

Unanimity thesis

Mystical religious experiences

Checkability criterion

Hume’s miracle criteria

Theory-laden perception



2 notions of eternity

Ontological argument

A priori vs a posteriori

Anselms definition

Gaunilo’s island

A fully perfect island is not possible.  The argument for God’s existence  concerns only things in general not  anything in specific. It really just  focuses on the idea of theory.  Gaunilo points out that because a  perfect island does not and cannot  exist, a perfect being cannot exist in reality


Cosmological argument

1. things are  

moved/changed/caused by  

something else

2. this cannot go on forever

3. therefore, there must be a first  mover/changer/cause  

4. this is God

Unmoved mover

God; a way in which people have  described his is an unmoved mover.

Don't forget about the age old question of Why is there seasonal variation in temperature on earth?

What they are doing is looking at  the world, and seeing that  

something is caused by something  else, so it leads to the regress of  moving things. But he himself is not  moved by anything even though he  moves thing. Relates to the  

cosmological argument

Infinite regress

Brute facts

Simultaneous causation

Watch analogy

Each part of the watch was created  for the purpose of functionality,  much like others being in nature

Inference to the best explanation

Appealing to the best hypothesis.  Form abduction. Take a phenomenon that needs an explanation, so you  infer to the hypothesis that does the best job of explaining the  


Panda’s thumb

Irreducible complexity

Mousetrap analogy

Prime principle of confirmation


Goldilocks Earth

Mutant bug case

Prison break analogy

Extrovertive vs introvertive religious  experience

Strong vs weak justification

Principle of credulity

Inviolable laws of nature

Confirmation bias

Don't forget about the age old question of What are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa?

1.  Carefully explicate the ontological argument for the existence of God.  What is a common  objection to this argument?  Do you think this objection works?  Explain. Don't forget about the age old question of What is the difference between taxonomy and systematics?

2.  What is the 'principle of sufficient reason', and how does it operate in Clarke’s version of the  cosmological argument for the existence of God?  Do you find this principle plausible?  Why or  why not?

3.  Present the Kalam version of the cosmological argument.  What is the mathematical defense  of the claim the universe had a beginning?  Do you find this defense compelling?  Why or why  not.

4.  Please explain Paley's argument for the existence of God as an argument by analogy  (including a discussion of the analogues the way in which they are similar).  What do you as the  advantages and disadvantages of this argument?  Do you think the argument ultimately  succeeds?  Explain.

5.  Carefully explain the so­called “fine­tuning” version of the argument by design.  Describe the “multiverse” response to this argument, and one of the rebuttals that could be (or has been)  offered by the fine­tuning advocate.  Who do you think wins this debate and why?  

6.  For Broad, what is it about mystical religious experiences that suggests we should take them  seriously as evidence for God?  What is a possible criticism of his position, and how could Broad respond to this criticism.  Which side do you think is right and why?

7.  What is Hume’s argument against believing in miracles (be sure to explain how he defines  miracles)?  Describe one of Rowe’s objections to Hume’s argument.  Who do you think is right  and why? 

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