Presentation on theme: "Is there a rational basis for the belief in God.."— Presentation transcript:
Is there a rational basis for the belief in God.
Metaphysics is the study of ultimate reality. Common sense can fool us. So metaphysics set out to explore what is beyond the physical. What might these questions be? Metaphysics deals with questions about the essence and the existence of things. What is the true nature of reality.
St Thomas Aquinas. Believed everything had two principles which explain its being. A things essence is its whatness. This is independent of a particular existence. e.g essence of a frog is its frogness. We can know what makes up a frogs- ness without thinking about a particular frog. Existence is completely different from essence. Essentially to say what a frog is and to say that a frog is, are completely different statements.
Metaphysics is concerned with what there is or what we refer to by using such terms as ‘reality’, ‘being’ and ‘existence’, beyond the physical nature of these terms. Most people rely on common sense or a religious authority to answer them. But philosophers try to build up a picture of the structure of reality based on reason and logic.
As we have seen before common sense can get it wrong. From a common sense point of view we may think that the sun orbits the earth but we would be wrong, on further scientific inspection the earth goes round the sun. Common sense realism is the view that the world is just as it appears to be. But there are a lot of problems with this.
Since we are concerned with beyond the physical, this question rates high on the list of questions that metaphysics attempts to answer. Theology and metaphysics share a common interest, they both interested in finding proof of God’s existence.
In philosophy we are not talking about a God of a particular religion but God as a word that means creator, causer, intelligence, sustainer of the universe. the arguments that philosophers consider,examine whether it is reasonable to suppose there is such a being.
The many arguments for the existence of God fall into two types: A priori and A posteriori.
A priori: prior to experience. These are arguments we can make independently of our experiences. They don’t have to be confirmed by our experience. Things we can work out without using our senses at all; just thinking will suffice. We know that a triangle must have three sides, even if we never saw one, because this is something which is true by definition. We know that parallel lines will never meet because if they did they would not be parallel. Knowledge that we know to be true without using our senses, but just by thought is termed apriori knowledge. To a large extent Mathematics and logic deal in apriori knowledge.
These are arguments from our experiences and our senses. They have to be confirmed by our experience. These arguments come after experience. For example: all swans are white. We have to examine all swans in the world to know if this is right. So then we can justify our statement. Then we see it is untrue by our discovery of a black swan. Note: A Posteriori statements can only be justified with reference to experience. That is, you have to find out through experience whether it is true.