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Definition of “natural theology”
The study of god by the unaided intellect (basic knowledge about God, not his intentions… hampered by the fallenness of the world)
How the a priori and a posteriori approaches fundamentally differ
A priori: proves God’s existence and attributes by reason alone (rationalistic approach)
A posteriori: appeal to experience: an empiricist approach
The approach taken by Thomas Aquinas
All 5 are posteriori arguments
The idea behind the cosmological, or first cause, argument
There must have been a God, the universe couldn’t just have happened. (couldn’t cause itself, couldn’t come form nothing, couldn’t be the result of an infinite causal chain – basically uncaused)
The idea behind the teleological, or design, argument
Because of the intricacy and co-adaptedness of its parts to preform a function, a watch had to have been designed by an intelligent being. Eye shows a similar intricacy and adaptedness of parts necessary to preform its function (…so also needed an intelligent designer) examples of design in nature can be multiplied at will, offering each an independent, and together a cumulative testimony of an intelligent designer
all things in nature are contingent (can “not be”). It is impossible for ALL things to be of this sort: That which can not be at some time IS NOT, Given enough time, all possible states occur, One such state would be that in which all things would simultaneously not exist. Therefore, in an infinite amount of time, such a state would already have occurred. Had that happened, nothing would now exist, but things do exist. THEREFORE: not all beings are contingent- there must exist something the existence of which is necessary: God
Thomas’s Five Ways & What is demonstrated by each way
1-2: First Cause
3: God cannot not exist
4. He is supreme in perfection (forms-y)
5. He is an intelligence that not only created the world, but providentially directs it
The meaning of “motion” in Thomas' first way
Thomas’s denial of an infinite regress of causes – temporal or ontological?
The infinite series that Thomas denies is NOT temporal, he assumes an infinite temporal series (eternity of the universe) because it cannot be ruled out apart from divine revelation. This assumption strengthens the force of his proofs. Instead, the infinite series that Thomas denies is simultaneous: the entire chain of temporal causes could not have come about were it not for a cause outside of time, supporting it.
How Thomas’s first cause argument differs from the Kalam argument
Kalam argument argues AGAINST an infinite temporal series. Thomas assumes an infinite temporal series/an eternal universe
Reasons why a Christian philosopher might assume the eternity of the universe
It cannot be ruled out apart from divine revelation?
Hume’s three criticisms of the teleological argument
1. Casual reasoning is analogical. In order to infer “like effects, therefore like causes” the analogs must be similar. Paley’s analogies (aren’t close enough
2. the argument from design commits the fallacy of composition?
3. Causal reasoning requires repeated observation of cause and effect, which isn’t possible because the origin of the world was a one-time event
How modern molecular biology relates to one of them
Molecular biology’s contribution to our understanding of hume’s vegetative and gererative principles: the cell is like a self-automated factory in which tens of thousands of machines (proteins) operate in concert with one another. Both of Hume’s alternative analogies therefore reduce to the machine analogy.
Paley’s watch analogy – what is it?
Because of the intricacy and coadaptedness of its parts to preform a function, a watch had to have been designed by an intelligent being (same with the eye) such examples of design in nature can be multiplied at will, offering independent and cumulative testimony of an intelligent designer.
Which of Thomas’s Five Ways is an early version of the watch analogy
The idea present even in the mind of the atheist that provides the basis for the ontological argument
God is by definition, the greatest conceivable being. Which is greater, something that exists in the mind only? Or in reality too? Therefore, God being the greatest, must exist in reality.
Advocates of the ontological argument
St. Anselm: its false that the greatest conceivable being exists in the understanding alone
Renes Descartes: god;s existence is deduced in the same way that mathematical theorems are.. casts the argument in a “reductio and absurdum” form… A supremely perfect being that exists in the understanding alone is LACKING a perfection, a manifest contradiction
· Opponents of the ontological argument / Specific criticisms made against the argument
Gaunilo: one might just as well conclude from the idea of a perfect island that IT exists
Kant: existence is not an attribute since it doesn’t enlarge our conception of a thing.. rather is the positing of the thing together with its attributes. If existence is not a predicate, then the ontological argument’s minor premise is invalidated
Norman Malcom: existence per se is not a predicate
Anselm’s second version of the argument and its bearing on Kant’s criticism
Malcolm’s “weak” form of the argument
The existence of God is necessary for it belongs to the concept of God that he cannot not exist. This is logical necessity. It derives from a concept by logical implication… yet we don’t always know the full implications of our ideas. Such might be the case with our idea of God.. either the concept is coherent and God’s existence necessarily flows from it or the concept harbors a hidden contradiction in which case His existence is impossible.
The idea present even in the mind of the atheist that provides the basis for the moral argument
The moral law exists, and we did not give it to ourselves… there cannot be a law without a lawgiver. The only one who could have given the law is God.
The condition that must be met if the moral argument is to succeed
The success of the moral law argument depends on whether there is such a thing as an objective moral order. Many aruge that there is not, citing the variety of moral outlooks from person to person and culture to culture (moral relativism)
Advocates of the moral argument
Fredrick Copelston (other BBC debater)
Clive Staples Lewis
Opponents of the moral argument
Bertrand Russell (BBC debater)
Definition of “theodicy”
The justification of God against the charge that He is either unable or unwilling to prevent evil
Hume’s formulation of the problem of evil
“is god willing to prevent evil, but unable? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence is evil?”
Mill’s “solution” to the problem
To deny one of the premises (God’s omnipotence, and therefore appeals to the teleological argument). The universe’s intricate design and adaptation of parts not only gives evidence of a skillful designer, but one who is limited by the means at His disposal. The very use of contrivance is a sign of limited power, and the skillful choice of contrivance even more so.
Advocates of the therapeutic view of evil (evil as “soul-building”)
Irenaeus, John Hick (evil is the means by which God builds character in us.. trials are the only way for us to attain the spiritual maturity that God has for us.
The theistic evolutionist’s explanation for evil
F. R. Tennant: natural evils are unavoidable, yet redeemable.. they contribute to the ascendancy of the spirit. (Natural evil unavoidably exists) takes this point to necessity for the furtherment of evolution.
How Leibniz accounts for the world’s imperfection
A perfect world is a logical impossibility… the most that can be expected is the best possible world. God is perfect, and could do no less than create the best possible world. God alone possesses absolute perfection.. hence the best that one can expect is not absolute goodness but the greatest possible goodness. The order of this entails the possibility, at least, of natural evil.
Augustine’s (and Plato’s) conception of evil as a privation, and its bearing on the problem
Evil is parasitic on the good- consuming it and producing a lack of it. Evil isn’t a thing but a corruption and diminishment of a thing. (Evil cant be laid to god’s charge.. god created all things but evil aint no thang) Follow’s platos view of being/ nonbeing
The kind of evil best explained by the privation theory (natural or moral?)
The main shortcoming of the “privation” theory
How did this impairment of being come about?
The origin of evil according to the free will defense
The will, actively defecting from the good. Although god created the will, it is THE WILL that chooses evil.
Advocates of the free will defense
Alvin Plantinga, Augustine (plato.. sorta)
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