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Chapter 12: Is There a God?. Introduction Can the existence of God be proven? Can the existence of God be proven? Philosophy of religion – philosophical.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 12: Is There a God?. Introduction Can the existence of God be proven? Can the existence of God be proven? Philosophy of religion – philosophical."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 12: Is There a God?

2 Introduction Can the existence of God be proven? Can the existence of God be proven? Philosophy of religion – philosophical study of a wide variety of religious issues Philosophy of religion – philosophical study of a wide variety of religious issues Theology – “study of God” Theology – “study of God” Revealed theology – claims human knowledge of God comes through special revelations such as the Bible or Qur’an Revealed theology – claims human knowledge of God comes through special revelations such as the Bible or Qur’an Natural theology – knowledge of God is possible based on “natural” reason, unaided by special revelation Natural theology – knowledge of God is possible based on “natural” reason, unaided by special revelation Theism – religious notion of ultimate reality based on God Theism – religious notion of ultimate reality based on God

3 Arguments for God’s Existence Cosmological arguments – argues from the existence of the universe to the existence of God as its cause, creator, or explanation Cosmological arguments – argues from the existence of the universe to the existence of God as its cause, creator, or explanation Aristotle argued from the existence of motion to the Unmoved Mover as the explanation of motion Aristotle argued from the existence of motion to the Unmoved Mover as the explanation of motion Aristotle’s principles: Aristotle’s principles: –Something cannot be the cause of itself –Something cannot come from nothing –There cannot be an infinite series of cause and effects Kalam – “speech” in Arabic; denotes the statement of points in theological doctrine; Islamic thought about God’s existence in relation to the created universe Kalam – “speech” in Arabic; denotes the statement of points in theological doctrine; Islamic thought about God’s existence in relation to the created universe

4 The Five Ways St. Thomas Aquinas 5 Arguments for the existence of God: 5 Arguments for the existence of God: –Argument from motion –There must be a First Efficient Cause –Argument of possibility and necessity- What caused something to exist from nothing, other than something that did not have to be created? –There must be something which is to all beings the cause of their being, goodness, and every other perfection –Some intelligent being exists which gives natural things a purpose or design

5 The Kalam Argument from Islam William Craig Modern version of the kalam argument Modern version of the kalam argument Concludes that the existence of the universe has a cause Concludes that the existence of the universe has a cause Syllogism for the need for a first cause: Syllogism for the need for a first cause: –Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence –The universe began to exist –Therefore the universe has a cause for its existence

6 Problems with the Cosmological Argument Gunapala Dharmasiri The Buddha did not think that one needed the idea of a creator God to explain the existence of the world The Buddha did not think that one needed the idea of a creator God to explain the existence of the world The causes of what exists can be found within the world itself The causes of what exists can be found within the world itself

7 Creationism vs. Evolution Teleological argument – argument from design; the universe exhibits order which is due to a supreme, divine intelligence Teleological argument – argument from design; the universe exhibits order which is due to a supreme, divine intelligence William Paley (1743 – 1805) saw the universe as a vast, harmonious, interconnected order designed for a purpose William Paley (1743 – 1805) saw the universe as a vast, harmonious, interconnected order designed for a purpose David Hume criticizes the teleological argument David Hume criticizes the teleological argument –Universe is not sufficiently like the productions of human design to support the argument –We would have to be able to compare our universe to another in order to decide if it was designed or simply grew on its own –An effect must be proportionate to its cause: Because the universe is imperfect, its cause must be imperfect Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species in 1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of the Species in 1859 –The order nature exhibits is the result of evolutionary processes

8 The Blind Watchmaker Richard Dawkins Argues for neo-Darwinian views of evolution Argues for neo-Darwinian views of evolution Argues that evolution uses the process of cumulative selection, as opposed to single-step selection, which explains how we now have an ordered, intelligent universe Argues that evolution uses the process of cumulative selection, as opposed to single-step selection, which explains how we now have an ordered, intelligent universe –Single-step selection – filters all items once and for all –Cumulative selection – filters repeatedly, passing on some of the results of the first selection onto the next and so forth

9 Why Do Babies Suffer? Problem of evil – why does evil exist; how can one harmonize the existence of evil with the existence of a perfectly good, all-powerful, and all-knowing God? Problem of evil – why does evil exist; how can one harmonize the existence of evil with the existence of a perfectly good, all-powerful, and all-knowing God? According to Aquinas, because God is infinitely good and all-powerful, he can bring good out of evil According to Aquinas, because God is infinitely good and all-powerful, he can bring good out of evil

10 God and the Problem of Evil B. C. Johnson Takes the concrete situation of a six- month-old baby painfully burning to death to demonstrate that traditional attempts to explain why God allows evil seem inadequate Takes the concrete situation of a six- month-old baby painfully burning to death to demonstrate that traditional attempts to explain why God allows evil seem inadequate Are we making excuses for God and allowing him to get away with behavior we would not tolerate from other humans? Are we making excuses for God and allowing him to get away with behavior we would not tolerate from other humans?

11 The Gender of God

12 Beyond God the Father Mary Daly Believes that human symbols and concepts of God have reinforced sexism Believes that human symbols and concepts of God have reinforced sexism


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