1)Nature of the Contradiction in an Athiests’ State of Mind (Anslem):
– Believing that there is no God, but knowing there is meaning of God (“A being than which nothing greater can be conceived.”) – The atheist believes that there is no God – They understand the term “God” as “a being than which nothing greater can be conceived” -Existence in reality is greater than non-existence in reality. – If God does not exist in reality, then a being greater than God can be conceived namely by the one who actually exists in reality. -If a being greater than God can be conceived, then God is NOT that being than which nothing greater than be conceived -Therefore, in order for God to be that being than which nothing greater can be conceived, God must exist in reality and in the understanding. -Hence, the belief that there is no God and the understanding that God is that being than which nothing greater can be conceived are contradictory states of mind.
2)Relationship between Conceivability and Existence:
Necessary Existence: X necessarily exists just in case the non-existance of X is inconceivable Contingently Existence: Y contingently exists just in case the non-existence of Y is conceivable Guanilo: “Perfect island” analogy, one can conceive a most perfect island, but that does not necessarily mean it exits. Anselm’s Response: God vs. an island (there’s a difference), what is true about [X] doesn’t mean it’s true about God.
3)Two Posteriori Proofs for God’s Existence:
Teleological and Cosmological Argument.
4)Posteriori vs. Priori Proofs
Priori: Independent of the senses, before experience (2+2=4) Posteriori: Dependent on the senses, after experience (the folder is in the backpack)
5) Scientific Challenges to the Posteriori Proofs for God’s Existence
– “If you want to understand the world, understand motion” – everything that moves must be moved by something else, must need a first unmoved mover – Nature of Efficient Cause – Possibility and Necessity
6)Aquinas’ use of the concepts of Necessary and Contingent Existence in his formulation of a Theistic Proof:
“Everything is existing contingently except God, so God must have created something necessary.” “Anything that exists contingently exists because something created it. It cannot exist on its own. There must be a necessary existence.”
7)Aquinas’ use of the concept of Efficient Cause in his formulation of a Theistic Proof
“Cathy Eats Mexican Food Forever” Cosmological Argument – Aristotelian Science Efficient Cause: “Sculptor”, imposes changes Material Cause: “Clay”, that which is being changed Final Cause: “Intended Design”, end/purpose for which a change is produced Formal Cause: “Statue”, that into which something is changed
8) Hume’s Criticisms of the Teleological Argument
“No need for an intelligent designer.” “Given time, anything is possible. Design can come about.” Multiverse Theory
9) Pascal’s Wager
-If you believe in God and He exists, you are able to go into heaven (infinite gain), but you are not allowed to do whatever you want (finite loss). -If you believe and God does not exist, you are just living a life that is restricted with no gain (finite loss). -If you do not believe, and God exists, you will be in hell for eternity (infinite loss), but able to live however you want (finite gain) -If you do not believe and God does not exist, you’re allowed to do whatever you want with no repercussions (finite gain) -Therefore, it is better to believe than not to believe
10) Pascal on Theoretical Reason and Belief in God
Theoretical Reason: 1. Formal Reason: Logic and Mathematics 2. Evidential Reason: Science
11) Pascal’s Psychology of Belief
“Faith and Reason are incompatible” “Faith is the courage to believe a belief that one can reasonably doubt”
12) Evil and the Different Kinds of Evil
Evil: anything that causes human/animal suffering 1. Natural Evil: Illnesses 2. Moral Evil: Responsible moral agent involved – where people have a choice
13) The Problem of Evil as an argument for atheism
P1. If God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, then there must be no cases of evil that God has no morally sufficient reason to allow.
P2. There are at least some cases of evil that God has no morally sufficient reason to allow.
P3. Hence, God is not all-powerful, all-knowing, or all-good. [from P1 and P2 through modus tollens]
P4. If God is not all-powerful, all-knowing, or all-good, then no being is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good.
P5. Only a being that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good is God.
C. Therefore, God does not exist.
14) Two formulations of the problem of evil: logical and evidential
Premise 1: The idea of God who is all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing is logically compatible with the reality of evil Premise 2: Evil exists – Premise 3: Therefore God who is all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing must not exist
Evidential: Considering the cases of senseless evil in the world, it is more likely the case that a God who is all-powerful, all-good, and all-knowing does not exist.
15) Hume’s Formulation of the Problem of Evil
1. Pain 2. General Laws: Cause and Effect. 3. Limitations: Some animals can fly, but humans cannot. Death. Life is fragile.
4. Inaccuracies: Earthquakes
16) Hume’s thought experiment about the one who was briefed prior to birth and the one who was not briefed prior to birth:
Person A: – Briefed before birth about God being all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good Person B: – Was NOT briefed before birth about God being all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good
17) Hume on the Four Circumstances of Evil
1. We are able to survive without pain 2. Volitions Special 3. More than enough powers and faculties 4. Accuracy
18) Hick on the Difference between Augustinian and Irenaean Theodicies
Augustinian Theodicy: – God created a perfect world, but became imperfect when Adam and Eve sinned – Implausible Irenaen Theodicy: – Creation of Humans has two stages A. Image of God (beasts > humans) B. Likeness of God (humans > children of God)
19) Hick’s Soul-Making Theodicy
“God’s righteousness” Any type of attempt to justify the reasonability of the belief in existence of God in light of reality of evil
20)Clifford’s stories about the ship-owner and the religious islanders
Relevant Facts about the Emigrant Ship: old, not over-well built, constantly used, and often needed repairs
Relevant Conclusion from such Facts: Its seaworthiness should be doubted.
Relevant Duty based on such Conclusion: The ship owner ought to have it thoroughly overhauled and refitted, even though this should put him to great expense.
A Case of Biased Belief (Confirmation Bias) or Self-Deception: The ship-owner succeeded in overcoming the demand of the relevant duty. He did that by favoring other facts or beliefs that can cancel out the duty: its many successful voyages and the trust in Providence that guarantees the safety of passengers. He dismissed from his mind all ungenerous suspicions about the honesty of builders and contractors, while he acquired sincere and comfortable conviction that the ship was thoroughly safe and seaworthy.
Suppose the ship went down and the ship-owner got his insurance money.
Question: Is the ship-owner responsible for the deaths of passengers for ignoring the belief that he had the right to believe due to the relevant facts and the relevant conclusion from such facts?
Answer: YES, even if he sincerely believed in the soundness of his ship. Despite the sincerity, he had no right to believe it, considering the evidences that are available and accessible to him. He has a duty to honestly earn a belief through patient investigation (not by stifling his doubts).
Suppose the ship was not unsound, i.e. it made numerous safe and successful voyages.
Question: Does that diminish the ship-owner’s responsibility for ignoring the belief that he had the right to believe due to the relevant facts and the relevant conclusion from such facts?
Answer: NO. “When an action is once done, it is right or wrong forever; no accidental failure of its good or evil fruits can possibly alter that. The man would not have been innocent, he would only have been not found out.”
the religious islanders:
False Accusation and the Right to Believe
· An island with some religious inhabitants who do not believe in the doctrine of original sin or eternal punishment
· Suspicion: They had made use of unfair means to get their doctrines taught to children.
· Accusation: They removed children from their parents or legal guardians, stole them away, and kept them from their friends and relatives.
· Some men gathered themselves into a society to agitate the public about the matter, published grave accusations against individual citizens of the highest position and character, and did everything within their power to injure them in the exercise of what they claim to believe.
· A commission was appointed to investigate the facts, but, after careful inquiries into all the available evidence, it appeared to the commission that the religious inhabitants were innocent. There is no sufficient evidence for the accusation. As a matter of fact, the evidence of their innocence would have been readily available, if the agitators inquired fairly.
· The agitators lost their credibility in the eyes of people, since “they had no right to believe on such evidence as was before them,” despite the agitators sincere and conscientious belief in the charges that they made.
· The agitators’ sincere convictions, instead of being honestly earned by patient inquiring, were stolen by listening to the voice of prejudice and passion.
True Accusation and the Right to Believe:
· Suppose the accused are guilty.
· Would this make any difference in the guilt of the accusers? NO!
· “[T]he question is not whether their belief was true or false, but whether they entertained it on wrong grounds.”
· “Everyone of them, if he chose to examine himself [conscientiously], would know that he had acquired and nourished a belief, when he had no right to believe on such evidence as was before him; and therein he would know that he had done a wrong thing.”
21) The fine tuning argument:
P1. It is an indisputable and yet remarkable fact that the universe appear to have been designed. P2. The best explanation for this appearance of design is that the universe really is designed. P3. Therefore (via inference to the best explanation), one should believe that a designer of the universe exists. P4. God is the designer of the universe. C. Therefore, one should believe that God exists.
Anselm’s argument in a nutshell:
Anselm made two claims in his version of the ontological argument:
1. There is a contradiction in the states of mind of an atheist: believing that God does not exist and understanding that God is that being than which nothing greater can be conceived.
2. God necessarily exists.
22) Paley’s Argument
This philosopher offers an analogy of a watch and watch maker. If someone found a watch on the beach they would assume that someone made that watch. It’s order and intricacies imply design and a designer. Thus, the universe implies a designer. Example: The eye ball.
P1. The atheist believes that there is no God.
P2. She understands the term “God” as “a being than which nothing greater can be conceived.
P3. Existence in reality is greater than non-existence in reality.
P4. If God does not exist in reality, then a being greater than God can be conceived, namely the one who actually exists in reality.
P5. If a being greater than God can be conceived, then God is not that being than which nothing greater can be conceived.
P6. Therefore, in order for God to be that being than which nothing greater can be conceived, God must exist in reality and in the understanding.
C. Hence, the belief that there is no God and the understanding that God is that being than which nothing greater can be conceived are contradictory states of mind.
P7. A thing that necessarily exists is greater than a thing that contingently exists.
P8. If God contingently exists, then a being greater than God can be conceived, namely the one who necessarily exists.
P9. If a being greater than God can be conceived, then God is not that being than which nothing greater can be conceived.
C. Therefore, in order for God to be that being than which nothing greater can be conceived, God must necessarily exist.
P1. One can understand the descriptions of the most excellent island [X hereafter].
P2. An existent island is more excellent than a non-existent island.
P3. So, X must exist, in order to be considered as the most excellent of all islands.
P4. However, the fact that one can understand the descriptions of X does not entail the actual existence of X.
P5. If such a fact does not entail the actual existence of X, then Anselm fails to prove that the conceivability of God as that being than which nothing greater can be conceived [G hereafter] entails the actual existence of G.
C. Therefore, Anselm fails to prove that the conceivability of G entails the actual existence of G.
P1. If there is a categorical difference between X and G, then what is true about X is not necessarily true about G. [For example, the fact that the conceivability of X fails to entail the actual existence of X does not necessarily mean that the conceivability of G fails to entail the actual existence of G.]
P2. Whereas there is no contradiction in the idea of a non-existent X, there is a contradiction in the idea of a non-existent G.
P3. So, there is a categorical difference between X and G.
P4. So, what is true about X is not necessarily true about G.
P5. If there is a contradiction in the idea of a non-existent G, then the conceivability of G entails the actual existence of G.
C. Therefore, the conceivability of G entails the actual existence of G.
Apriori Knowledge: Knowledge that we can be 100% sure of. -Something we know without experience -True in all situations -Limited amount of things we can know
A posteriori Knowledge: Not 100% certain -Something we know due to experience -Alot more we can know, but not necessarily 100% certain -Not always true in every instance
Two Types of Infinite: Actual and Potential
Actual Infinite: No beginning and no end (example: numbers)
Potential Infinite: Has beginning and potentially no end, used to support physical world
Five Ways of Proving God’s Existence:
Argument from Motion:
P1. Some things in the world are in motion.
P2. What is moved is moved by another that is in the state of actuality.
P3. A thing is either in the state of actuality or in the state of potentiality.
P4. So, a thing cannot be both the mover and the moved, or cannot move itself.
P5. If the mover is also moved, then it is moved by another.
P6. There must be a first mover.
P7. So, the movements cannot go on infinitely.
P8. So, there must be an unmoved first mover.
P9. The unmoved first mover is God.
C. Therefore, God exists.
Argument from the Nature of Efficient Cause:
P1. There is an order of efficient causes in the world.
P2. A thing cannot be the efficient cause of itself, since it cannot be prior to itself.
P3. There must be a first cause.
P4. So, the efficient cause cannot go on infinitely.
P5. Without the cause , there is no effect.
P6. If P4 is false, then there are no efficient causes, since there is no first efficient cause.
P7. Therefore, there must be a first efficient cause.
P8. God is the first efficient cause.
C. Hence, God exists.
Argument from Possibility and Necessity:
P1. There are things in nature that contingently exists.
P2. Things that contingently exist did not exist prior to their existence.
P3. So, before they even existed, there was nothing in existence.
P4. A non-existent thing begins to exist only through an existent thing.
P5. If everything has contingent existence, then nothing should be in existence.
P6. Therefore, there must be something that necessarily exists.
P7. Things that have necessary existence either have their necessity caused by another or not caused by another.
P8. The causation of necessity cannot go on infinitely.
P9. There must be a necessary existent thing, whose necessity is not caused by another, but causing the necessity of others.
P10. God is the necessary existent thing.
C. Therefore, God exists.
*How is Hick’s Irenaean-type theodicy different from theodicy in the Augustinian tradition?
The Augustinian theodicy offers a view of the world in which there was a fall from a state of perfect goodness due to human decisions. In some ways, Hick’s theodicy is the opposite, viewing evil as a stage in human progress. In this Irenaean-type view, the soul-making process must be made out of a state containing evil. Over the course of time, people learn from bad things and through spiritual and moral growth, the world achieves a more mature state.
*How does the evidential problem of evil differ from the logical problem?
Evidential problem of evil: -the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism 1. There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. 2. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. 3. (Therefore) There does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being Logical problem of evil: 1. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not. 2. There is evil in the world. 3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God does not exist