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Study Guide for Philosophy of Religion Essay

PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION 1. Thomas Aquinas gave us five proofs for the existence of God. His second proof is known as the Cosmological Argument. experiment. 1) There are things that are caused. 2) Nothing can be the cause of itself. 3) An infinite regress of causes is impossible. 4) Therefore, there must be an uncaused first cause. 6) Therefore, God exists. perfectly loving, and eternal. These characteristics are not described in this argument. 2) How do we know an infinite regress of causes is impossible.

William Craig argues for the third premise in the argument from Aquinas. An infinite regress of causes would be an example of an absolute infinite. Craig believes that an absolute infinite is impossible. He demonstrates this by means 1) Assume an actual infinite is possible. 2) It would be possible to build a hotel with infinitely many rooms. 3) It would also be possible for all the rooms to be full. 4) Suppose twenty people check out of the hotel. 5) Now there are twenty fewer people in the hotel.

6) However, infinity minus twenty is still infinity, so there are the same number of people in the hotel. 7) Premises 5 and 6 contradict. 8) Therefore, an actual infinite is impossible. 1) Human artifacts are the product of intelligent design. 2) The universe resembles human artifacts. 3) The universe is vastly more complex than human artifacts. 4) Therefore, the universe is probably the product of a vastly more intelligent designer. 2) The universe and human artifacts are too different to compare. 3) Anthropomorphic.

This is placing human characteristics onto something else. 4) Flawed universe: The universe is too flawed for a perfect creator to have made it. 1) Assume that the Greatest Conceivable Being (GCB) exists in the mind alone and not in reality. 2) Existence in reality is greater than existence in the mind alone. 3) It is possible that the GCB could exist in reality. 4) In such a case the GCB would be greater than the GCB. 5) This is a contradiction. 6) Therefore, the GCB exists in reality, not just in the mind alone.

one of the properties. This is the fallacy of begging the question. 4. Epicurus gave us the Argument from Evil against the existence of God. Give that argument. How does Augustine respond to this argument? 1) If God exists, then God is perfectly good and all powerful. 2) A person is morally obligated to stop evil if it is within their power to do so. 3) Since God is suppose to be perfectly good God would want to stop evil. 4) Since God is suppose to be all powerful God could stop evil. 5) Evil exists.

6) Therefore, either God is not all powerful, or God is not perfectly good. 7) Therefore, God does not exits. Augustine responds to this argument with the free will defense which goes like this: 1) It is possible that God created people to love and be loved. 2) One cannot truly love without freely choosing to love. 3) One cannot freely choose to love without free will. 4) Therefore, God had to create people with free will;; 5) Once people have free will it is possible that they will choose to do evil.

6) People have chosen to do evil. 7) Therefore, it is possible for a perfectly good and all power God to exist in a world with evil. 5. There are four possibilities concerning the existence of God: (You can draw the squares if you like. ) 4) I do believe God exists, and God does exist. The likely outcome of 1 and 2 is extinction. A possible outcome of 3 is hell. The likely outcome for 4 is heaven. Therefore, it is rational to choose to believe 4. 6.

1) There is great unanimity among mystics concerning a spiritual aspect to reality. 2) When there is such agreement among observers their observations are usually correct. 3) There is no reason to believe these mystics are delusional. 4) Therefore, there is probably a spiritual aspect to reality. Objection: Mystical experiences cannot be repeated in the laboratory. While these experiences may be convincing for those who experience them, their interpretation of their experience cannot be verified.


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