Presentation on theme: "Arguments for the Existence of God II"— Presentation transcript:
1Arguments for the Existence of God II Design and Ontological Arguments
2Ontological Arguments An Ontological Argument argues from some fact about the concept of God to the reality of God, or the necessary existence of God.The most famous version of the Ontological Argument is due to Anselm.
3Teleological Arguments A Teleological Argument argues from the fact that the universe appears to be well ordered or seems to have a purpose, to the conclusion that the universe must either have a designer or a purpose.These are sometimes called arguments from design, or ‘Design Arguments’We will start with these….
4Design Arguments A model design argument: The clock has many different parts that must be well ordered if it keeps time.The clock does keep time.The clock’s order cannot be accidental.Therefore the clock must be designedIf there is a design, then there is a designerSo, the clock designer must exist.
5Comments on the Clock-maker argument Is there any meaningful difference between making a clock and making a universe?More that one clock maker is possible, so are teams of clockmakers.Not all clocks are good clocks.Are these worries for the design argument for God?
6A Theistic Design Argument [TDA] The universe contains many parts that are complex yet well ordered and suggest that they have a special purpose.It is impossible for this sort of order to appear accidentally.If the universe shows evidence of complex design which could not be accidental, then there must be a designer. Thus, there is a designer.If there is a designer, then that designer must comprehend the universe, God is such a beingTherefore God exists and designed the universe.
7Comments on TDAPremise 2 is a very strong claim. It maintains the IMPOSSIBILITY that order could exist without a designer. Is this true?Even if the argument to the existence of a designer goes through, does that argument support the further conclusion that God is the designer?
8Revised-TDAThe universe contains many parts that are complex yet well ordered and suggest that they have a special purpose.There is a low probability that this sort of order would appear accidentally.If the universe shows evidence of complex design which could not be accidental, then there must be a designer.Thus, there is a high probability that there is a designer.If there is a designer, then that designer must comprehend the universe, God is such a beingTherefore, there is a high probability that God exists and designed the universe.
9Comments on R-TDAThe Revised argument softens the key premise of the argument.The argument is still deductive, but the truth of premise 2 is now an empirical matter.How can we determine the probability that the universe would be otherwise???
10Probability worries…Probability is a function of frequency relative to a total class of events.If there is one universe, then the probability of the universe being THIS way is 1.00If there are many universes, then we need to know what they are like in order to determine probabilityIf there are an infinite number of universes, then all possible universes could come to be.Does it make sense to say that X is improbable if you don’t know the probability of the alternatives?
11A Prima Facie Reply to R-TDA Suppose that you play powerball. The Odds of winning the jackpot are:1 in 146,107,962.00A jackpot is an improbable event. It requires that a random process yield a special and well ordered set of numbers.If MY TICKET WINS, then a special event has occurred – a jackpot.
12The Jackpot replyThe POWERBALL drawing result contains many parts that are complex yet well ordered.There is a low probability that this sort of order would appear accidentally.If there is a JACKPOT, this cannot be accidental. Only a fixed lottery would produce a JACKPOT.(Or JACKPOTS are far more likely if the lottery is fixed.)Thus, there is a high probability that the POWERBALL is fixed.If the POWERBALL is fixed, the fixer must control POWERBALL, Charles Strutt (head of the MSLA) controls POWERBALLTherefore, there is a high probability that Charles Strutt fixed the POWERBALL drawing
13Lottery II Obviously lotteries don’t work THAT way. No matter how hard it gets to win a lottery, you never NEED to fix the lottery in order for a Jackpot to be possible.
14Lottery III WHO IS CHARLES STRUTT Anyway? present. Executive Director Multi-State Lottery Association 4400 NW Urbandale Drive, Urbandale, Iowa Phone ; Fax ;Other Facts:“wrote the prospectus and handled SEC filings for a movie to be called "Flesh Twister”. ”“got an autograph from Larry (of the Three Stooges). ”“did a little legal work for a rock band called Luxury. One of their biggest hits was "The Stupidist Thing." ”ROCK ON CHARLIE STRUTTS<http://www.musl.com/Chuck/chuck.htm>
15Hume’s Worries about TDA Hume also thought about a version of the Design Argument and had several worries:Can we know that there is only one designer and not many?Any designer would be a complex and well ordered entity, who designed the designer?Is our world a ‘rough draft’? Are there other copies of THIS design. Is our universe a school project?…etc…
16Final Remarks on TDAAccording to TDA undesigned order is impossible and any order necessitates a designer but this is too strong.According to R-TDA undesigned order is improbable and the presence of order makes a designer probable. But the lottery example suggests that order can randomly emerge.A fixed lottery would also be orderly, but why assume that the more complex theory is correct?Remember Ockham’s Razor!!!
17Ontological ArgumentThe original aim of the ontological argument was to convince non-christians that the Christian God was real.Someone would explain God to a person and then once they understood the idea of God….WHAM! The ontological Argument
18Anselm’s Ontological Argument We can think of a Being greater than any other being. (Greatest Possible Being –GPB)We all know that existence in reality is superior to existence in the mind alone.If a being exists only in the mind, then there is a greater being.Therefore the GPB must exist in reality, not just in the mind.The concept of God, is the concept of the greatest possible beingThus, God is the GPB and exists in reality.
19Comments on the Ontological Argument Is it Valid?Gaunillo’s Reply – The Perfect IslandAnselm’s Response- Assumes God exists- Uses Grammar to decide a substantive issue???
20Comments on the Ontological Argument II Is it Sound?Premise (2) – Greater to exist in reality?-- Assumes Degrees of Being?-- Is existence A property of things?
21Ontological Argument: Another Version God is the most perfect beingIt is more perfect to exist than to not existIf God lacked existence then God would not be God (by 1)Thus, To understand ‘God’ is to understand that God must exist.To deny that God Exists is a contradiction.Therefore, God Exists (Necessarily)
22Kant’s Reply What is the difference between saying: I have $100, and I have$100 that exist?-- Nothing.Therefore you say nothing about God if you say ‘God Exists’ and you take nothing away if you say ‘God’ without ‘exists’.The proper conclusion to the Ontological Argument:If God exists, then God Exists necessarily(not… God exists (necessarily)).
23Recap of Proofs of God…1) The Experiential Argument – assumes that causes are determined by their effects.2) The Cosmological Argument – cannot block a brute-fact account
24Recap continued…3) The Design Argument – depends on premises about probability that need more support4) The Ontological Argument – the conclusion is really conditional, not necessary.
25Other OptionsIf we cannot provide a definitive argument that God exists, then what arguments might decide the issue of Theism?Argument for the Rationality of Theism (Pascal’s Wager)Argument for the Irrationality of Theism (The Problem of Evil)
26The Rationality of Theism Pascal’s WagerandThe Problem of Evil
27Rational Choice Arguments A ‘Rational Choice’ Argument claims that its conclusion is preferable, maximizing, or optimizing relative to some goal AND according to the principles of human rationality.Examples include: Economic rationality arguments (pricing, purchasing, interest rates, etc.), Some Moral Arguments, Game theory applications.
28A Simple Rational Choice Argument You want to fill your gas tank within one hour and for the lowest possible cost.You can go to gas station A, which will cost $45 and take 63 minutes.Or, you can go to gas station B which will cost $50 and take 55 minutes.Which should you do?
29Absolute Restrictions… What if the time limit were absolute?Suppose you needed the gas so that you could go catch a flight, and if you leave more than 60 minutes from now you will miss the flight?In that case this goal sets an absolute restriction upon your choice.
30Relative Value issues Which is more important? Saving $5 at the cost of 3 lost minutesSaving 5 minutes at the cost of $5If you value money then you will sacrifice time for money. If you value time, then you will sacrifice money for time.
31Expected UtilityIn general rational choice arguments seek to present one possible choice (out of many) as maximizing expected utility (the amount of net gain) from the choice.Often we lack information, but we need to make choices anyway– this is called ‘decision under uncertainty’FYI: You know how this works if you have ever seen Deal or no Deal.
32PASCAL’s WAGERRational Choice Arguments need to be thought of relative to the choices we are considering.Blaise Pascal (a famous mathematician and philosopher) saw the issue of Theism vs. Atheism as a rational choice problem, along the lines of a bet or wager.
33A simple wager… Which is the best bet? Risk $1 with 1 chance in 10 of winning $10Risk $1 with 1 chance in 100 of winning $500Risk $5 with 1 chance in 10 of winning $100
34What is the expected utility? Figure out the payoffs for all possible outcomes then sum the outcomes to determine expected utility (EU).For Bet A: Risk $1 with 1 chance in 10 of winning $10EU (A) = (1/10 x $9) + (9/10 x -$1) = $0
35The Best Bet…IF I don’t bet I keep my ‘risk’ amount, if I bet my expected return could be lower or higher than that amount.A) Risk $1 with 1 chance in 10 of winning $10EU(A) = $0 [Return = -$1]There is no way that (A) is the best bet!
36Is B the Best bet? B) Risk $1 with 1 chance in 100 of winning $500 EU(B) = (1/100 x $499) + (99/100 x -1)=$4[Return = +3 over not playing]
37Is C the Best Bet C) Risk $5 with 1 chance in 10 of winning $100 EU (C) = (1/10 x $95) + (9/10 x -$5) = $5[Return = +$0 over not playing]
38The best bet is B B) Risk $1 with 1 chance in 100 of winning $500 EU(B) = (1/100 x $499) + (99/100 x -1)=$4[Return = +3 over not playing](B) is the only bet worth taking, even though you have the lowest chance of winning!!!
39Pascal’s Wager IPascal Assumes that we want to maximize the value of our choices about what to do and what to believe.He thinks the issue is a simple binary choice: Believe in God or Deny God
40Pascal’s Wager II CHOICE FACT BELIVE IN GOD DON’T BELIEVE IN GOD GOD EXISTSTrue Belief and infinite reward in afterlifeFalse belief and infinite torment in afterlifeGOD DOESN’T EXISTFalse belief but you waste time/money and restrict conduct during lifeTrue belief. You save time/money during life and you pursue all desires alike.
41How to decide?Pascal accepts that you control your choice but not the facts.If you don’t know which fact obtains then you should choose the CHOICE with the best overall outcome…For Pascal, the best Choice is theism.
42How to Decide II The reasoning is simple: If God Exists, the belief yields infinite benefit and finite loss (time/money) while non-belief yields infinite loss and finite gain.If God doesn’t exist, then belief yields only finite loss while non-belief yields only finite gainBelieve = (infinite gain-finite loss) [Positive return]Don’t Believe = (finite gain-infinite loss) [Negative return]
43Criticisms of Pascal’s Wager No way to assess the relative probability of ‘the facts’. Knowing them would change outcomes.Is the key assumption (infinite reward/loss) correct? How could we know?Revised Wager? What if God forgives non-belief? Does non-belief become the rational choice?
44A deeper problem? Voluntarism about belief… Pascal assumes that we can decide what to believe and what not to believe.-Is this true? (Can you believe that you are a rabbit?)-Perhaps we can choose to expose ourselves to reasons, and reason controls belief?…except many have read Pascal and rejected theism.
45Theism and MoralityMany theists argue that objective morality requires God.[No God, no source of morality for all]Some argue that life only has a purpose if God is real.Others still argue that God must exist otherwise there is no justice.The MAIN POINT is that theists tend to see God as contributing to the moral order of the universe.
46But what about EVIL? Where does evil come from? Why is there suffering in the world?Why do people die, get sick, and feel pain?…and more importantly, if God enhances the moral order, why doesn’t he do something about EVIL??
48The Problem of Evil (1) Classical Theists assume: God is omnipotent God is omnibenevolentGod is omniscient…Given A - C, God has the power and knowledge required to eliminate Evil in the universe.BUT, we still seem to find evil in the universe!
49Problem of Evil (2): The Logical Problem of Evil The Logical Problem of Evil (LPoE) is this:If God is omnipotent, all good and all knowing then God can and must prevent unnecessary suffering and harmSuffering and harm occurTherefore, God either chooses to allow evil or cannot prevent evilIf the former, then God is not all goodIf the later, God is not all powerfulThus, God does not exist (as conceived)
50Logical Problem of Evil (cont.) The consequence is that either (a) our conception of God is wrong or (b) we cannot recognize suffering, harm, and evil, or (c) God cannot existIf (a) then God might not be the sort of being worth believing in.If (b) then we cannot tell if God is good or evil, which means that our conception of God is wrong (thus (a))If (c) then we should deny theism.
51A Prima Facie Reply to the LPoE American Philosopher Alvin Plantinga has suggested that free-will explains why there is evil.Human morality assumes free-will. If God created us with free-will then God cannot prevent human evil that results from free actions. Thus, we create evil, not God.
52A quick reply (or three) to the Free-will defense Assumes free-will. There are good reasons to think free-will is an illusion.Free-will is incompatible with divine omniscience (if God knows what you will do before you do it, are you free?)If God made us free, isn’t God still responsible for what we do?
53The Evidential Problem of Evil… This is a rational choice version of the PoEThe fact is that evil and suffering existWe face a choice: should we be theists or not?LOOK OUT! BIG EVIL TORNADO!!!
54Evidential Problem of Evil (2) If we allow that there are ways to make God’s existence logically compatible with the presence of suffering, then we face a rational choice problem(A) Accept Theism; and a complex background story(B) Reject Theism; with no further assumptions.If there is no God, then evil does not need a special explanation. This, many argue, seems far more plausible on its face.
55Evidential Problem of Evil (3) Theists traditionally supplement their thesis with a THEODICY that helps to explain why people suffer even though God could have prevented it…
56Theodicy Continued Examples (after Rauhut): Its all part of a big plan that is good (Leibniz)We are being PunishedSuffering builds characterLimits of human knowledge (we can’t see it, but…)Contrast (need evil to see good)The active devilTest of faith