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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
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
  • Fideism: religious belief must be based on faith alone
  • 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
The Cosmological Argument
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)
aquinas first cause argument
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
the cosmological argument1
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 argument2
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
The Design Argument
  • Teleological Argument: The argument for God’s existence based on evidence of design in the world
the design argument1
William Paley: Natural Theology

Analogy: discovery of a watch on the ground

The Design Argument
the ontological 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
the ontological argument1
St. Anselm (1033-1109)

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

The Ontological Argument
the ontological argument2
God is the greatest conceivable being

Existence is greater than non-existence

Therefore God necessarily exists

The Ontological Argument
science and religion
Adversarial Model: Science and Religion attempt to answer the same questions about reality but give conflicting answers Science and Religion
science and religion1
Territorial Model: Science and Religion cannot conflict because they deal with different realms (or territories) of realityScience and Religion
science and religion3
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 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 evil1
The Problem of Evil
  • 1. God is all powerful /knowing
  • 2. God is good
  • 3. Evil exists
the problem of evil2
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 evil3
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
The Greater Goods Defense
  • God allows evil to exists because it is necessary to achieve a greater good
the greater goods defense1
The Greater Goods Defense
  • Hick: Evil and suffering needed for “soul-making”
the natural order defense1
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