Presentation on theme: "Is Religion Reasonable? Are religious beliefs (about the universe’s relation to the supernatural) reasonable? Faith seeking understanding: ontological,"— Presentation transcript:
Is Religion Reasonable? Are religious beliefs (about the universe’s relation to the supernatural) reasonable? Faith seeking understanding: ontological, cosmological, teleological arguments for the existence of God (monotheism); pantheism (God=universe); panentheism (all is in God) Are religious experiences (about one’s personal relation to divinity) reasonable?
The Ontological Argument u “God” means the greatest conceivable being u A being that exists in one’s mind and in reality (outside of one’s mind) is greater than one that exists only in one’s mind u Therefore, God must exist in reality St. Anselm (1033-1109)
Kant’s Objections to the Ontological Argument u If there is a greatest conceivable being, then he exists. But we cannot conclude from the sheer possibility of such a being that he exists u A concept of God + a concept of his existing may be greater than a concept of God alone; but these are still only concepts, not proofs of God’s existence outside our concepts
The Cosmological Argument: St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74) u If there is no ultimate cause of the universe (that is, if the causal sequence is infinite), then nothing would ever have happened or be intelligible here and now. But things do exist here and now, so God exists here and now u The universe, like all things in it, is contingent (i.e., depends on something else as the cause of its existence); otherwise, it is unintelligible
Hume’s Criticisms of the Cosmological Argument u Fallacy of composition: parts whole u Why should we think that everything has a cause or reason for its existence? u Besides, the argument does not prove that God is anything other than a cause of things who might not care at all about his creation u Perhaps the universe has always existed: if this can be said of God, why can’t it be said of the universe?
The Teleological Argument: Argument from Design/Purpose u The order and intricacy of things in the universe make sense only if an ordering and purposive mind is their cause Wm. Paley (1743-1805) u Analogy: watch.. universe watchmaker.. universe-maker
Criticisms of the Teleological Argument: David Hume u Even the claim that the universe exhibits order is doubtful; it is a human imposition u We cannot use analogy in discussing the universe: we do not experience universes or know that intelligent beings produce them u Even if we argue analogously, we cannot conclude that its creator is one, wise, or good
Criticisms of the Teleological Argument: Charles Darwin u Things in nature exhibit order, but that is not the result of design or purpose u Things appear orderly because random variations produce adaptive individuals (1809-82)