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Flashcards in ch.1 God Deck (38)
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What is primarily the philosophical debate of God?

About theism



Is the view that there is one God who created us that is omnipotent(all powerful), omniscient(all knowing, and benevolent(all good)


The Design Argument

According to this argument there is evidence of Gods existence everywhere in the natural world


Example for The Design Argument

The human eye


What is the human eye claimed to be?

The eye is claimed to be very similar to a watch


What do defenders of The Design Argument reason?

They reason that since watches must be designed by watchmakers then an eye does too


Which analogy does The Design Argument rely on?

The argument relies on the analogy between an eye and a watch and is an example of an "argument from analogy"


What are the main criticisms for The Design Argument?

1- Weakness of analogy
3-Limitations on Conclusion


Weakness of analogy

States that "similar things have the same qualities" is false because similar things are not the same thing as well as their qualities. Even identical twins have different qualities. An eye and a watch are different one is a living organ and the other is a nonliving artifact.



"Natural selection" explains how animals and plants adapt to their environments, explains how complex and efficient organisms can evolve without the need of any designer. Which states that The Design Argument is wrong to suppose that an organ could exist only if it was designed.


Limitations on Conclusion

-Why does it have to be one God? since many impressive things humans have created are the result of a team
-If the designer is one God does it have to be the God of theism? Why should we believe that the designer must be omnipotent and omniscient?
-If the eye were designed very well, shouldn't it be free of such problems? we can see many design faults in the human eye
-The world is full of evil if the world is actually omnipotent, omniscient why should such evil and so much suffering exist?


The Fine Tuning Argument

It preserves the basic idea of the design argument but the reason why there must be a designer is different, the world is conducive to human survival, but its difficult for a place to be conducive to human survival.


Criticisms for The Fine Tuning Argument

The Lottery Objection


The Lottery Objection

-Is the fact that things that have a very small chance of happening can still happen.
-Our ability to survive on this planet is not surprising unlike the lottery there are no losers in this sense nothing that cant survive on this planet is around and complaining
-The world wasn't designed to suit us in fact we evolved to suit this planet


The First Cause Argument

Relies on the principle that everything that exits has been caused by something prior to it. It is assumed that the series of causes must stop somewhere.


Criticisms on The First Cause Argument

-Self contradictory
-Not a proof
-Limitations on conclusion


Self Contradictory

The first cause argument appears to be self contradictory because it claims that everything that exists has a cause and that there is a first cause that does not have a cause


Not a Proof

Assumes that the series cant go on forever. If it can go infinitely in one direction why cant it go on infinitely in the other direction?


Limitations on Conclusion

If we agree that there must be a first cause why should we accept that it must be God of theism? Why must we accept that the series stops with a single first cause rather than a set of first causes?


The Ontological Argument

This argument does not rely on any evidence which is why its a "priori" argument. They argue that if you understand what God means you will understand that it must exist. Where God is an existent God rather than a nonexistent one.


What is a priori argument?

Its an argument that does not rely on evidence


What is a posteriori argument?

Its an argument that relies on evidence


Which of these two Gods are better?

-God 1: Creator, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Benevolent, Non existent.
-God 2: Creator, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Benevolent, Exists.
-God 2 is definitely better


Criticisms of The Ontological Argument?

-Absurd consequences
-Existence is not a property
-Knowledge, proof, and the existence of God
-The problem of evil


Absurd consequences

When we define something as perfect then it must exist. Perhaps the difference is that other things are perfect in some ways but God is perfect in everyway.


Existence is not a property

The argument fails to know the difference between the existence of a thing and the qualities of that thing. Existence is not a property of something. So it cant be something that contributes to Gods perfection


Knowledge, proof, and the existence of God

-Do we know that God exists? it is not enough to just believe
-Should a rational person believe that God exists? if all arguments of God are bad where does that leave a rational person


The problem of evil

There is a lot of evil in this world. The existence of all this suffering questions the existence of God "an all knowing God would know that evil exists, an all powerful God would be able to prevent it from occurring, and an all good God would not want it to exist"


What is evil on a large scale?

holocaust, pol pols massacres, the rwandan genocide which are also called "moral evil"


What is "natural evil"?

Natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis


What are attempted solutions to the problem of evil?

2-Artistic analogy
3-The free will defense



The existence of evil in the world can lead to greater moral goodness. If there were no evil there would be no occasion for saints to emerge


Two criticisms of the saintliness attempt to solve the problem of evil

-There is too much evil to allow saint to perform their acts of goodness
-Is a world with so much evil along with saints and heroes better than a world without evil and no saints and heroes?


Artistic analogy

Proposes that there is an analogy between the world and a work of art "A work of art may not be beautiful by itself but it contributes to the overall beauty of the work" the evil in the world is similar to this " It may look bad when you focus on the evil but it contributes to the overall beauty in the world"


Criticisms of the artistic analogy

-How can somebody dying in a horrible way contribute to the beauty of the world?
-What kind of God would allow so much suffering for aesthetic purposes just because the world appears more beautiful?


The free will defense

God has given us free will if we did not have free will then everything we do would be determined by previously existing factors like our genes, upbringing and so on



Is everything that we do that is already determine by previous factors such as our genes, upbringing, our environment, what we eat and drink.


Criticisms of the free will defense

-It is better to have a world with free will than a world where we are all designed to behave well
world 1: world 2:
free will No free will
+ +
Evil No evil
-Why cant there be a world where we are all nice people who freely choose to do good things?
Free will Free will
+ +
Evil No evil
-Why doesn't God intervene when or before something bad happens? some claim that God intervenes in cases called "miracles"
-No explanation for why God allows "natural evil". Some claim that all such evils are punishment for Adam and Eves mistakes