Philosophy of Religion Flashcards Preview

Philosophy Final Exam > Philosophy of Religion > Flashcards

Flashcards in Philosophy of Religion Deck (12)
Loading flashcards...

Implications of God Existing

If God exists, then there is a purpose behind our existence

Purpose behind everything

Nothing is "accidental"


Implications of God not existing

If God does not exist, then there is no purpose behind our existence

Purpose is man - made

We create our own beliefs



Belief in one God



God created the world but left it to operate on its own



We cannot know whether or not there is a God



God exists in everything


Teleological Arguement

There is a creator/designer behind all things

Evident in nature


Cosmological Argument

Everything has a cause - the universe

Dependent on something outside of itself for existence


St. Thomas Aquinas: The Five Ways

1. Argument from change: motion
2. Argument from causation: everything has a cause
3. Argument from contingency: things can exist and not exist
4. Argument from degrees of excellence: from different things we find one that is more or less good
5. Argument from harmony: things are driven by purpose, must be guided by something.


Samuel Clarke: Causal Argument

Everything must have a cause

World contains independent objects

A primary cause either exists in the object or outside of it.

It can't exist within the object because then the existence of the object itself would still be necessary

Therefore, the cause must exist outside of the object
I.e. Necessary being


Samuel Clarke: Necessary Being/Cause

The world contains a succession of dependent "beings"

A succession of dependent beings without an original independent cause, as a series of being that neither necessity nor cause nor any reason at all for its existence, neither within or without, is impossible.

Therefore, there must be an outside source or cause that is independent.


David Hume: Contradiction within "necessary being"

It is a contradiction to demonstrate matters of fact.

Any matter of fact cannot be demonstrated because it would require to prove something by means of a priori knowledge.
Since a matter of fact is based upon experience, then reasoning is limited to what we can know. So it is just as intelligible that an objects non existence exists. If God exists, then he is a concrete being, so all concrete things cannot be necessary and concrete at the same time - that would imply that He exists but He is also his own cause - contradiction against own argument.

Aka: there is no being who's non - existence is contradictory. Therefore, there is nothing who's existence can be demonstrated because all propositions concerning the existence of a thing are matters of fact and thus their contrary is just as intelligible.