Philosophy of religion
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What is religion?. “Religion is the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern, a concern which qualifies all other concerns as preliminary and which itself contains the answer to the question of a meaning of our life.”. Philosophy of Religion.

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Philosophy of Religion

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What is religion?

“Religion is the state of being grasped by an ultimate concern, a concern which qualifies all other concerns as preliminary and which itself contains the answer to the question of a meaning of our life.”

Philosophy of Religion


Evidentialism: Belief in God must be supported by objective evidence

Philosophy of Religion


Atheism: Claim that God does not exist

Evidentialism


Agnosticism: Not enough evidence to know whether God exists

Evidentialism


Basic beliefs can be held without objective, rational evidence

Nonevidentialism


Nonevidentialism

  • Fideism: religious belief must be based on faith alone


Evidentialism

  • Natural Theology: The project of attempting to provide proofs for God based on reason and experience alone

  • The Cosmological Argument for God


The Cosmological Argument

  • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)


Everything in this world is dependant upon some cause

There cannot be an infinite regress of causes

There must be an uncaused first cause

An uncaused first cause is what we mean by God

Aquinas’ First Cause Argument


Principle of Sufficient Reason -Everything that exists must have a reason that explains why it exists and why it has the properties that it does

The Cosmological Argument


The Cosmological Argument

  • Argument from Contingency –

  • Contingent Beings – a beings whose existence is dependant upon something outside itself

  • Necessary Beings – a being who contains the reason for its existence in its own nature


The Design Argument

  • Teleological Argument: The argument for God’s existence based on evidence of design in the world


William Paley: Natural Theology

Analogy: discovery of a watch on the ground

The Design Argument


Argument based solely on an a priori analysis of the concept of the being of God.

God's existence is derived from the very concept of God's being

The Ontological Argument


St. Anselm (1033-1109)

Definition of God: a being than which nothing greater can be conceived

The Ontological Argument


God is the greatest conceivable being

Existence is greater than non-existence

Therefore God necessarily exists

The Ontological Argument


Adversarial Model: Science and Religion attempt to answer the same questions about reality but give conflicting answers

Science and Religion


Territorial Model: Science and Religion cannot conflict because they deal with different realms (or territories) of reality

Science and Religion


Perspective Model: Science and Religion cannot conflict because they describe reality in different ways

Science and Religion


Harmony Model: Findings of Science and Religion are consistent.

Truths of Science make plausible claims of Religion

Science and Religion


The Problem of Evil

  • The difficulty of reconciling the existence of suffering and other evils in the world with the existence of God


The Problem of Evil

  • 1. God is all powerful /knowing

  • 2. God is good

  • 3. Evil exists


Moral Evil: Bad actions and their unfortunate results for which humans are morally responsible

Natural Evil: The suffering resulting from natural causes such as genetic defects, diseases and natural disasters

The Problem of Evil


The Problem of Evil

  • Religious Responses to the Problem of Evil

  • Theodicy: the attempt to justify God's permitting evil to occur in the world


The Greater Goods Defense

  • God allows evil to exists because it is necessary to achieve a greater good


The Greater Goods Defense

  • Hick: Evil and suffering needed for “soul-making”


God could not create creatures who have freedom of will but are incapable of doing evil

The Free Will Defense


In order for there to be free choices, there has to be a stable, reliable order of natural cause and effect

The Natural Order Defense


The Natural Order Defense

  • In order for there to be free choices, there has to be a stable, reliable order of natural cause and effect


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