- Количество слайдов: 51
Philosophy of Religion Foundation
Plato and Aristotle • Analogy of the Cave • Concept of the Forms, especially the Form of the Good • Concept of Body/Soul distinction Ø Ideas about Cause and Purpose in relation to God Ø Concept of Body/Soul distinction Ø Aristotle on the Forms
The Nature of God • i. e. what is God like? • Examining the attributes of the JC concept of God • Need to define the kind of being we’re talking about in order to go on to enquire whether any such being exists
We have established so far: • • Creator Sustainer Personal Transcendent Self-existent Eternal Incorporeal • • • Omnipotent Omniscient Omnipresent All loving Perfectly good
For the exam you need to know: 1. The attributes 2. In more detail: a) The concept of God as Creator. Genesis 1 -3. b) The goodness of God. Exodus 20 c) God’s activity in the world and the concept of miracle. Joshua 10: 1 -15
Assessment K and U = • Define • Describe • Examine • Explain • Identify • Outline • Select E= • Detailed critical assessment
The Existence of God • Theism = the belief in a personal diety, creator of everything that exists and who is distinct from that creation • A priori = prior to experience, an argument starting from a definition of God, not experience. The argument is that by understanding the definition, God is proved to exist. • A posteriori = from experience, an argument based on sensory experience and experiential evidence
• There are five classical theistic proofs for the existence of God • Four of theistic proofs attempt to demonstrate the existence of God from some observation or experience of the universe- a posterior argument • These are as follows:
The Cosmological Argument • An argument which attempts to infer the existence of God from the existence of the cosmos or the phenomenon within it. • It is an argument based on cause and effect. • Thomas Aquinas 1273 • Frederick Copleston 1907 -94 • Objections. David Hume 1711 -76 Bertrand Russell 1872 -1970
The Teleological Argument • An argument which infers a designer from the occurrence of order and regularity in the world. This evidence points to a designer • Aquinas’ Five Ways 1273 • William Paley 1743 -1805 • The Anthropic Principle- F. R. Tennant 1930 • Challenges. Hume 1779 John Stuart Mill 1806 -73 Darwin 1809 -82
The Moral Argument • An argument infers God as the explanation for moral consciousness, or the guarantor for the highest good • God must exist to ensure that all can achieve that which they are morally required to pursue. It is illogical to be required to seek an impossible end. God’s existence is morally necessary.
• Aquinas’ Fourth Way • Kant’s Moral Argument 1785, 1788, 1797 • Other versions. Cardinal Newman 1870 Robert Adams 1987 • Challenges. Sigmund Freud 1856 -1939 Richard Swinburne 1979 Ayer and Nietzsche
The Religious Experience Argument • An argument which sees God as the best explanation for experiences that people claim are beyond the normal • Rudolph Otto 1936 • William James 1902 • Swinburne 1979 • Challenges. Freud 1927 Karl Marx 1844
The Ontological Argument • This fifth argument is in contrast to the others. It is a priori. This argument is not verified by experience. It concludes that God’s definition entails his existence, i. e. for God to be God, he must exist. • Ontological literally means ‘concerned with being’
St. Anselm 1033 -1109 • Proslogion chapters 2 -3 • Anselm’s argument is a reductio ad absurdum argument, an argument that makes a proof by showing that the opposite cannot possibly be true. • A priori argument starting from a definition of God, not experience • The argument is that by understanding the definition God is proved to exist
First Form • Anselm says: “God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived. ” • Something that exists in reality is greater than something that exists only in the mind • In other words, if it is the greatest, then it must be something more than merely existing in people’s thoughts. We can think of something greater than a mere idea.
• If God is the greatest, he must really exist separately from people’s thoughts. He must exist actually, in reality.
As a formal deductive argument, it goes like this: Ø God is the greatest possible being (nothing greater can be conceived) Ø If God exists in the mind alone (only as an idea) then a greater being could be imagined to exist both in the mind and in reality Ø This being would then be greater than God Ø Thus, God cannot exist only as an idea in the mind. Therefore God exists both in the mind (as an idea) and in reality.
In summary • It is self-contradictory to be able to conceive of something that which nothing greater can be thought and yet to deny that something exists.
Second Form • So far Anselm has suggested a proof for God’s existence. However, for God to be God there must be more to him than that he simply ‘exists’ (after all, that would make God fundamentally similar to ourselves). • In the next stage of Anselm’s argument therefore, he attempts to demonstrate that God’s existence is necessary
What does he mean by ‘necessary’? • It is impossible to conceive of God as not existing. • He has necessary existence. • He could not be. • This state is greater than a being who comes and goes out of existence.
As a deductive argument it is: • God is the greatest possible being (nothing greater can be conceived) • It is greater to be a necessary being (cannot be) than a contingent being (can cease to exist) • If God exists only as a contingent being he can therefore be imagined not to exist. Then a greater being could be imagined that cannot be conceived not to exist
• • This being would then be greater than God is therefore a necessary being Therefore God must exist in reality In summary: God must be a necessary being, i. e. he cannot exist Necessary here means logical necessity It would be a logical contradiction to claim that God does not exist since any being who has the property of necessary existence could not fail to exist
• The OA claims to reveal that inherent in the concept of God is necessary existence • When you come to analyse and examine the ‘concept’ it becomes clear that existence is part of the concept • Such propositions are called ‘analytic’ • This is a statement where the predicate is contained in the subject • The predicate is that which is said about the subject
• E. g. of an analytic sentence is ‘all bachelors are single’ • All bachelors = subject • Being single = predicate • An analytic statement does not contain any new information but clarifies the term • Analytic statements can be true or false • The proposition ‘all bachelors are married’ is analytic but false • It is analytic because the married state is part of the concept of bachelor
• The way to decide if it is true or false is by considering the meaning of the words • ‘The cat sat on the mat’ is not an analytic statement since there is nothing in the analysis of the concept of ‘cat’ that contains the idea of ‘sitting on the mat’ • This is synthetic, i. e. the truth value of the statement, whether it is true or false, is determined by empirical evidence.
Descartes 1596 -1650 • Regarded as the founder of modern philosophy • In Meditations he put forward his arguments for a unified and certain body of human knowledge • He broke free from the dogma of Aristotle and supported instead the new age of science
• He favoured independent enquiry from first principles and asserted only that which could be known to be certain • A crucial part of his argument involved the existence of God as a guarantor for the certainty that the external world exists • The argument he uses is a form of the ontological argument:
Ø God, a supremely perfect being, has all perfections Ø Existence is a perfection Ø Therefore God, a supreme perfect being, exists • In Meditation 5 Descartes argued: v. There are some qualities that an object necessarily has or it can’t be that object
v. E. g. a triangle must have three angles adding up to 180° v. The notion of a hill demands the idea of a valley v. Existence cannot be separated from the concept of God v. Existence, singularity and perfection, are God’s characteristics. In fact, God’s essence is existence. If something is supremely perfect and if existence is a perfection, God by definition exists.
Modern Versions • Norman Malcolm 1960 and Charles Hartshorne 1962 centre their arguments on the idea of necessary existence • If God does not exist then God cannot come into existence as that would require another force which would mean that God was limited and could not be God at all • If God does exist God cannot have come into existence nor cease
• God’s existence is either impossible or necessary • It can only be impossible if the idea of God is logically absurd • Assuming that it is not, then God necessarily exists
Alvin Plantinga 1974 • Develops the idea of infinite possible worlds • In a possible world a maximally great being could exist (omnipotent, omniscient, morally perfect) • For there to be a maximally great being he would have to exist in all possible worlds so a maximally great being exists (this argument only proves possibility, not actuality)
Criticisms of the OA • Gaunilo’s challenge on behalf of the fool 11 th century (and Anselm’s reply) • Gaunilo, a monk, argued if someone were to describe to you a ‘most perfect island’, lost somewhere and untouched by man, and then state that it must exist because of it’s perfection, you would be a fool to believe him.
• He is trying to criticise the process by which Anselm moves from his definition of God to his suggestion of God’s existence • Gaunilo’s criticism is not valid in this context. Anselm never compares things of a like kind above. • He speaks of God ‘that than which nothing greater can be conceived’ • Gaunilo, on the other hand, occupies himself with a comparison between islands
• Anselm replied that God is a special case • There may be a thing greater than a perfect island, but not God • Only God has all the perfections and so the argument can only apply to God
Immanuel Kant 1724 -1804 • Kant opposed Descartes’ version of the argument • He objects to Descartes’ claim that denying God’s existence is the same as denying a triangle has three sides, which is contradictory
• He states that if one dismisses the idea of the three sides (predicate) and that of the triangle itself (subject), one is left with no contradiction • He is saying you can define a thing in any way that you want but whether or not anything matches that definition in reality is another question all together • Kant feels he has dealt with Descartes’ notion of existence as a predicate
• Kant argues that we can only know the world through our experience of it • We cannot know any aspects of existence beyond our experience • Experience is not a predicate (an attribute or quality) of perfection that a thing can lack • Existence is the thing and all its attributes • Therefore Kant raises this second objection to deal with Anselm
• Kant states that existence is not predicate, e. g. x exists says nothing about x (e. g. is x female, is x tall, etc. ) • Kant says a predicate must give us information about x • The statement ‘x is’ does not
Bertrand Russell • 20 th century philosopher • Claims that Anselm uses the word exist incorrectly • Existence cannot be a predicate, if it were we could construct this argument: Men exist. Santa Claus is a man. Therefore Santa Claus exists.
Summary • Theistic a priori argument • Two principle contributors to the classical argument: q. St Anselm of Canterbury (1 st and 2 nd Form) q. Rene Descartes
Modern Versions • Norman Malcolm (1911 -1990) • Alvin Plantinga (1932 - )
Objectors • Gaunilo (11 th century) and Anselm’s reply • Immanuel Kant (1724 -1804) • Gottlob Frege • Bertrand Russell • Brian Davis
Criticisms of the OA • • Definition of God Logical tricks Existence is not a great-making quality You cannot have an analytic existential proposition • You cannot define things into existence • It is criticised as not an argument at all, but a statement of belief for those who believe in the first place.
What you need to do now Read Read
What ? • Philosophy of Religion for A Level. Jordan, Lockyer, Tate • Philosophy of Religion. Peter Cole • Philosophy of Religion. John Hick
• Philosophy of Religion. C. Stephen Evans • The Puzzle of God. Peter Vardy • Questions About God. Patrick J. Clarke • Handouts from Mrs. O-M
To Buy 1. Philosophy of Religion for A Level OCR edition Jordan, Lockyer, Tate Nelson Thornes ISBN 0 -7487 -8078 -5 www. nelsonthornes. com 2. Study Guide- Robert A. Bowie ISBN 0 -7487 -8081 -5
Essay • Due in Wednesday 13 Feb. a) Explain the traditional forms of the ontological argument put forward by Anselm and Descartes (33). b) ‘The criticisms presented by Gaunilo and Kant successfully reject these arguments. ’ Discuss (17).