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Adapted from the work of Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. acelli Arguments for the Existence of God.

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Presentation on theme: "Adapted from the work of Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. acelli Arguments for the Existence of God."— Presentation transcript:

1 Adapted from the work of Peter Kreeft and Ronald K. acelli Arguments for the Existence of God

2 Argument from design

3 God as the Designer Where there is a design there must be a designer Consider the different nationalities, personalities, likes, dislikes creativity etc. that exists amongst people CONCLUSION: there must be a universal designer

4 The Human Brain The human brain best represents this argument – Most complex piece of design in the universe – Consider what the brain is responsible for and capable of doing – Is it truly reasonable to think that the human brain developed by chanceby chance it is more advanced than other animals??? – If it were developed by chance we would all be the same

5 Anthropic Principle Universe has been specifically designed from the beginning for human life to evolve If the temperature of the primal fireball that created the Big Bang was a trillionth of a degree off, the carbon molecule would not have developed The same is true for the development of the hemoglobin molecule s_view_on_big_bang_theory/

6 Atheism and Argument from Design Improbable argument that the universe was created by chance Relatively few atheists among neurologists, brain surgeons and astrophysicists A universe designed and ruled by chance has no intelligence Therefore, there must be a cause for human intelligence that transcends that universe

7 Evolution Beautiful example of design Scientific evidence of evolution No scientific evidence of natural selection as the mechanism of evolution NOTE: Catholics do believe in evolutionwe are not creationists

8 The first cause argument

9 Principle of Sufficient Reason Everything that is has some adequate or sufficient reason why it is We look for physical, psychological and supernatural causes We may never find the cause, but there must be one if something exists Never deny this principle

10 The First Cause The universe is a vast and complex chain of causes Without a first cause, there would be an infinite number of causes It would have to explain itself – If it didnt, it would also need a cause, and would not therefore be the first cause – It would have to transcend all other causes If we can prove there is such a first cause, we have proven there is a God

11 Why??? Without a first cause, the whole universe is unexplained – Each thing would be explained only in the short run or in relation to something else The Principle of Sufficient Reason would be violated Consider a chain with many links: each link is held by the one before it, but the whole chain is held by nothing

12 Contingent and Necessary Beings Contingent: beings that need causes; their essence does not contain the reason for their existence; DEPENDENT Necessary: a being whose essence is to exist The universe contains only contingent beings – If there is not independent being, there are no dependent beings – Sine dependent beings exist, there has to be an independent = GOD

13 STAs First Version of the Argument CAUSE OF MOTION The chain of movers must have a first mover because nothing move itself Moving: any kind of change (not just location)

14 STAs Second Version of the Argument CAUSE OF A BEGINNING TO EXISTENCE If there were no first cause of the universes coming into being, then there could be no second causes Second causes are dependent on the first cause

15 STAs Third Version of the Argument CAUSE OF PRESENT EXISTENCE If everything could die, then eventually everything would die NOTHING COULD START AGAIN Universal death since a being that has ceased to exist cannot cause anything else to exist There must be a necessary being that cannot cease to be

16 STAs Fourth Version of the Argument CAUSE OF GOODNESS OR VALUE Must be a first cause of perfection, goodness or value Need a standard (the ideal) by which things are ranked Without a most-perfect being, there is no standard to judge by All of our judgments would be meaningless


18 Obligation To Be and Do Good Everyone knows that he is obligated to be and do good Obligation could only come from God Therefore, everyone knows God by this moral intuition = conscience

19 Conscience Modern definition: feeling that I have done or am about to do something wrong Traditional definition: knowledge of what is right and wrongintellect applied to morality – Intuitive knowledge not rational or analytical – Knowledge of my absolute obligation to goodness (justice, charity, virtue and holiness) – Second-place knowledge: moral facts (whats right/wrong)

20 Authority of Conscience Must admit its authority for this argument to work Most people admit the premise (though it may be explained differently) Once you admit the premise of the authority of conscience, you must admit the conclusion of God The only possible source of absolute authority is an absolutely perfect will, a divine being

21 Why must the authority come from a divine being? If the moral idea exists only in the mind of people, what right do they have to impose this idea of theirs on me? There is no instinct that should always be obeyed Instinct doesnt tell us what we ought to do Society cannot determine conscience as it doesnt mean something above human beings

22 Forming our Conscience First obligation to our conscience is to form it We may not always hear the voice right Must seek the truth If our conscience seems to be going against the truth, it is not working properly In other words, dont merely rely on the feelingsrely on knowledge

23 JOURNAL TOPIC Reflect on the following quotation from Peter Kreefts article Argument from Conscience: Conscience tells you that you ought to do or not do something, while instincts simply drive you to do or not to do something. Instincts make something attractive or repulsive to your appetites, but conscience makes something obligatory to your choice, no matter how your appetites feel about it.

24 The Argument from pascals wager

25 Pascal 17 th Century philosopher, scientist and mathematician Lived in a time of great skepticism, and thus forms his work Most philosophers think Pascals Wager is the weakest of all arguments Doesnt prove Gods existence but argues its safer to assume He does than to assume he doesnt

26 The Wager Suppose you hear reports that your house is on fire and your children are inside. You do not know whether the reports are true or false. What is the reasonable thing to doto ignore them or to take the time to run home or at least phone home just in case the reports are true?

27 Hedging Your Bets with God It is foolish not to bet on God, even if you have no certainty or proof that your bet will win Believing in God only as a bet is not deep or mature or adequate faith, but its a startits enough to dam the tide of atheism Appeals to the instinct for self-preservation (to be happy and not unhappy)

28 Betting is Better than Agnosticism The agnostic says it is better not to wager at all If you dont wager, you have no chance of winningyou automatically lose

29 Only One LOGICAL Choice Once it is determined that not choosing isnt an option (because you cant win if you dont choose), there are two choices 1) God does not exist (atheism) 2) God does exist (theism) ***atheism is a bad bet = no chance of winning

30 Theism = Winning If you believe in God and He exists, you win everything If you believe in God and He doesnt exist, you lose nothing However, if you dont believe, and He does exist, you lose everything!

31 Is it worth the price??? Whatever you must give up to bet on God is finite (only of this world) The prize is infinite (eternal happiness) Giving up illicit pleasures to gain infinite happiness is reasonable Living with peace, hope, joy, etc. makes this life good and the possibility of the next life VERY good

32 Practical Objection to the Wager The listener just cannot bring himself to believe According to Paschal, if youre unable to believe, it is because your passions are blinding you Instead of concentrating on the proofs of God, diminish your passions

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