Arguments for the Existence of God (Phil) Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Arguments for the Existence of God (Phil) Deck (29)
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What is an a posteriori argument?

Arguments that depend on sense experience


What is an empiracle argument?

An argument that is based on the experience of the senses. 


What is an inductive argument?

Based on Probability. 


What is an analogical argument?

An Analogy is an attempt to exmplain the meaning of something which is difficult to understand by comparing it with soemthing that is more securely within our reference-frame. 


Who's Design Argument did we look at?

Paley's Analogical Design Argument. 


What type of argument is Paley's argument?

  • a posteriori
  • inductive
  • analogical


What is natural theology?

  • The view that questions about God's existence, nature and attributes can be answered by reasoning, science, history and observation. 

Paley's argumetn uses the approach of natural theology. 


What three observations of the world is Paley's argument based on?

  • The world is complex
  • The world has purpose
  • The world has regularity


What is Paley's analogy of the watch?

  • When we observe the watch we see it is complex and its arrangement of parts erve a purpose.
  • This could not have occured by chance - it must have a purpose giver.
  • An intelligent watchmaker must have designed it. 


What is Paley's argument in reference to the analogy?

  • The universe is complex, it shows precise parts and arrangement to serve its purpose.
  • This could not have occured by chance - it must have been designed by a universe maker
  • The far greater complexity etc of the world requires an infinitely greater designer.
  • The universe designer is God. 


What quote did Paley use?

'Design must have had a designer. that designer must have been a person. that designer is God'


What are the weaknesses of Paley's Design Argument?

  • There is no evidence to support the idea of a designer God
  • Existence of evil suggests an incompetent, malevolent designer - or no designer at all.
  • Apparent order and purpose are just chance (Dawkins and Darwin support this)
  • The universe could have 'designed itself' by chance. 


What are the strengths of Paley's Design Argument?

  • Swinburne says the existence of a single omnipotent God is the simplest explanation.
  • Evolution itself required explanation 
  • Paleys claim that nature shows intention is supported by the Anthropic Principle (The universe has to be exactly what it is like for intelligent life to develop)


Who did we learn that criticises Paley's Design Argument?

David Hume. 


REMEMBER - He died before Paley published his DA. So Humes criticisms of DA's can be applied to Paleys. 


What are Hume's two main challenges to the Design Argument?

  • He rejects the idea of design
  • He says little can be said about a designer. 


How does Hume challenge the DA through rejecting the idea of design?

  • He says Mechanical analogies are inappropriate.
    a) They are deliberately chosen as they encourage the idea of a designer.
  • the apparent order in the world could be by chance. 
  • atoms constantly chance over time - it was inevitable that order would eventually happen. 
  • the world could alternate between periods of chaos and order - we are currently in a period of order. 


How does Hume challenge the DA through stating little can be said about any designer?

  • The mechanical analogy is anthropomorphic - humans have no knowledge of how universes are made.
  • we dont know anything about the capacities or nature of any designer.
  • the mechanistic analogy creates a universe designer in our image.
  • the designer is not necessarily the God of classicdal theism. 


How does the problem of evil challenge the DA?

  • the existence of evil is evidence of flawed design. 
  • Hume considered God's omnipotence and onibenevolence to be incompatible with the existence of evil - thus calling into question God's character. 


Why is the DA not 'proof' of God?

  • Only deductive arguments can give absolute proof - the DA can never be certain.
  • Paleys obervations to support his arguments can be explained naturally. - if we look at things likie the planets staying together because of gravity - the apparent design is pure chance. 


Why is the DA 'proof' of God?

  • Most things that we accept in life are based on inductive arguments - the stronger the evidence, the more likely the claim is to be true. 
  • some would argue the laws of nature require explanation and we cannot be sure multiverse theory is true. so the challenges to proof do not diminish the probability that his argument is true. 


Why does the DA have value for religious faith?

  • it is consistent with the biblical idea that there is a guiding hand in creation.
  • Theists cannot prove it and Atheists cannot disprove Gods existence.
  • Paleys argument gives evidence to support the 'belief that' God exists.
  • His description of the universe's design encourages 'belief in' God.


Why doesn the DA not have value for religious faith?

  • For Fidests (people who view religion as a matter of pure faith) rational arguments play bo part in faith.
  • Paley's argument does not successfully address the issue of evil - it ignores it. 


What is the difference between 'belief that' and 'belief in' by H.H Price?

H.H Price distinguished between the two.

  1. 'Belief that' is acceptance of propositions about something.
  2. 'Belief in' is an attitude of commitment and trust. 


What type of argument is Anselm's Ontological Argument?

  • A Priori
  • Deductive
  • Analytic
  • Contains suvjects and predicates
  • Has necessary truths/things. 


What is an A priori  argument?

  • idependent of sense experience
  • non-empiracle
  • it relies on logic. 


What is a deductive argument?

  • aims to give proof
  • if the premises are true then the conclusion must be
  • it is a set of premises on which an argument is based or from which a conclysion might be drawn. 


What are analytic statements?

  • based on logic
  • true by definition
  • E.G - a bachelor is an unmarried man 


What is a subject and a predicate?

  • the subject refers to who/what the sentence is about
  • the predicate gives information about the subject.