Philosophical Arguments For The Existence Of God

If the Principle of Sufficient Reason is not known to be true, what conclusion should we draw about the Cosmological Argument? What is Anselm’s Ontological Argument? What is a teleological system? Is it reasonable to believe that the universe is a teleological system?

Although there are arguments that are true, using something that is not known to be true can make an argument seem false. St. Thomas Aquinas uses the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which is false, to try and justify his Cosmological Argument that “everything has a cause, there must have been a first cause [God], and that this first cause was itself uncaused [self-existing]” (Cosmological Argument). Although the Principle of Sufficient Reason appears to be logical, it actually goes against Aquinas’ argument. For instance, the COSMOLOGPrinciple of Sufficient Reason states that “there must be an explanation of the existence of any being and of any positive fact whatever.” (Rowe, 23). However, if every being was a dependent being then there would be no explanation for its existence. Basically, there would be no first cause if everything needed an explanation of its existence. If the Principle of Sufficient Reason goes against Aquinas’ argument but is used to justify it, then we can conclude that the Cosmological Argument is false because there must be an explanation for the first cause to exist, which creates an “an infinite series of explanations” (A Critique of the Principle of Sufficient Reason).

An a posteriori argument is an argument developed from our experiences. For example, you are one of many people who do not believe in ghost. But one night you’re sitting in your room and all of a sudden a ghost appears. The next day, you go online and around town developing an argument that states the existence of ghost. Although there are many people who don’t believe you, whether for lack of evidence or that everyone knows your crazy, you can still make this claim because it “can be known only by means of [your] experience.” (Rowe, 19). Another example of an a posteriori argument can be the rain. You know that it is raining based on your experience of being out in it. These two examples also show that an a posteriori argument can either be realistic or nonrealistic. One final and essential example of an a posteriori argument is the Cosmological Argument itself. The Cosmological Argument is an a posteriori argument because of Aquinas’ experience of the knowledge of God; he developed this argument after ascertaining knowledge of God’s existence. In other words, an a posteriori argument’s conclusion is based on experience.

In contrast, an a priori argument is an argument “known independently of our experience.” (Rowe, 19). This means that no experience is needed to make a claim. To be specific, at a traditional American wedding the bride is supposed to wear white to symbolize purity. I’ve never been to a wedding, but I can say this based on common knowledge. Another common knowledge example is that President Obama and his family all live in The White House. I didn’t have to sneak into the white house to find this out. The whole United States knows this. In brief, an a priori argument is an argument whose conclusion was developed on knowledge prior to experience.

Anselm’s Ontological Argument states that there’s a being “that is so great that nothing greater can be conceived.” If that non-greater thing does exist, then it would only exist in the mind, not in reality. If that non-greater thing somehow existed in reality, then it will still remain non-greater than that which is so great that no other thing can be greater than it (Anselm’s Ontological Argument).

Anselm’s key idea in his argument is that, “If something exist only in the understanding and might have existed in reality, then it might have been greater than it is.” (Rowe, 41). To illustrate this key idea, consider the following example using Santa Clause:

  1. Santa Clause exist only in the understanding (only in our minds)
  2. Santa Clause might have existed in reality (the real world)
  3. Therefore, Santa Clause might have been greater than what he isimg002

Basically, if Santa Clause existed in the understanding, and might have existed in reality, then he would be greater than himself which exists in the mind.

Teleology is, “The study of design and purpose in nature.” For everything made, there’s a maker (Teleology – The Study of Design and Purpose in Nature). For instance, the program, Microsoft Word, didn’t just come into existence on its own, someone designed and created it.  A teleological system is any system of parts that work together to achieve a specific purpose. The individual parts that make up the system may also be teleological systems (Rowe, 57). A teleological system, to be specific, can be a cell phone. All of its sub teleological systems, such as the buttons, the battery, and its overall operating system (OS), come together under proper conditions to enable people to talk, text, or surf the web. All parts of the system have a purpose, and the system as a whole also have a purpose. When one part of the phone (system) breaks down, then the whole phone breaks down; this is known as Irreducible Complexity.

Based on my understanding of a teleological system, it is reasonable to believe that the universe is a teleological system. The universe, just like the previous example of a cell phone, also have sub parts that makes up the whole part. For example, by definition, the word, “universe” means “all of space and everything in it including stars, planets, galaxies, etc.” (Merriam-Webster). If all of these things were not included into our universe, then there would be no universe. What’s important to remember about this is that the universe, which is a teleological system, did not just come into existence on its own. Some being had to create it, and that being is God.

                                                       NEVER FORGET: John-3-16-christianity-12464035-979-1302References

“A Critique of the Principle of Sufficient Reason.” <i>A Philosophers World</i>. 26 Oct. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. &lt;http://tudorfd.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/a-critique-of-the-principle-of-sufficient-reason/&gt;.
“Anselm’s Ontological Argument.” <i>YouTube</i>. YouTube, 19 Mar. 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. &lt;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4jzfJsTdD8&gt;.
“Cosmological Argument.” AllAboutPhilosophy.org. 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. <http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/cosmological-argument.htm&gt;.
“Teleology – The Study of Design and Purpose in Nature.” <i>YouTube</i>. YouTube, 14 Dec. 2014. Web. 28 Sept. 2014. &lt;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLhDK0een6s&gt;.
“Universe.” <i>Merriam-Webster</i>. Merriam-Webster. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. &lt;http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universe&gt;.
Rowe, William L. “The Cosmological Argument.” Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction. 4th ed. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Thomson, 2007. Print.
Rowe, William L. “The Ontological Argument.” <i>Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction</i>. Encino, Calif.: Dickenson Pub., 1978. Print.

Evil and Suffering: Why Does God Allow it? Why Can’t Humans Be All Good?

why_did_god_allow_the_possibility_of_evil_and_suffering_tWhy does God Allow evil and suffering? Why is it that God didn’t make us all good and not evil?

If God made humans completely good, there would be no free will because God is not “able to create a world in which there are free human creatures without, thereby, permitting the occurrence of considerable evil.” (Rowe, 117). However, because God allows evil in order for humans to have complete freedom, some think that God “is probably either evil or both good and evil.” (Johnson, 120). But God is not evil or both evil and good, he is all good. This does not mean that God does not have the power to do evil, but God “will never exercise” that power (Rowe, 7). Because God gave us free will, does this make God responsible for natural disasters and evil? Yes, the fact that God allows free will to people is the cause of evil and disasters. But Satan as well as humans are also responsible. Free will means that Humans can choose to stay on the path towards Heaven or stray away to the path of Hell. Satan manipulates the freedom of humans, which makes Satan the indirect cause of destruction and evil.

Most Christian theologians and philosophers reject a world without suffering and harm because suffering and evil isThe-Problem-of-Evil_Eastside1 a part of our moral development. Suffering and evil is necessary in order to teach people. It’s the same as a young child learning what hot is. For instance, a child likes to play around the stove and dose not yet know or understand why it’s dangerous. One day the child touches the stove while it’s on and gets a little burn. The child did not like that feeling so the child won’t touch or go near it again. That child has just learned what happens when you touch something really hot. That’s what God wants from us; God wants us to learn from experiences through temptations, suffering, pain, and free will. Free will is the key to all pain and suffering, and God values our freedom so much that he risk us doing something extremely evil in hope that we learn and change.

References

Rowe, William L. “The Idea of God.” Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction. 4th ed. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Thomson, 2007. Print.
Rowe, William L. “The Problem of Evil.” Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction. 4th ed. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Thomson, 2007. Print.
B.C. Johnson: Why Doesn’t God Intervene to Prevent Evil?

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INVINCIBLE

Beautifully written

tHE tERRY tREE

Invincible

When everyone else has left
When every expectation is not met
When emptiness sets in
And heartache finds a way to begin
You are there
Again and again

My eternal light
Love of my life
Under every rock
Every leaf I overturn
Every note I sing
Every tear that I cry
Every ripple
That I swim
You carry me
You are my
Eternity
My sacred
Home

With you I am
Never alone
Never alone
Even in the darkest alley ways
We find light
A light so bright
Even in the darkest of
All nights
Midnight black
Pitch packed
The cards are stacked
Against the atmosphere
Manipulated by
The world
If but to
Curl up
And fade
Away

No
Not another day…

The Universe is so big
Filled with
Friends I thought were friends
Yes even when all friendships end
You do not leave my side
You do not run…

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How It Feels To Emancipate

Girl holding a sign that reads
myskyisfalling.com

Knowing that in a couple of days you will no longer have the same support from the Child Welfare Agency is scary. Children or young adults who have been in the foster care system and emancipated out at 18 or 21 experience financial problems and or homelessness. This fact can bring feelings of frustration, fear, anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Many foster youth don;t have the support of their families; so once they emancipate, all of the responsibilities are on them. This is not to say that youth who’ve emancipated shouldn’t get responsibilities, but let’s be honest.

How many 18 and 21 year olds can fully support themselves? After care services are provided, sometimes, but is that really enough? Sure, a $1,000 gift card to target can help furnish your home; that is, if you can afford a home at 18 and 21. Sure, Rapid Housing is available for one year to help you pay rent, but what happens when that year is over? And sure you can get a job, but what happens if you’re in college full-time and grades start to slip because you’re working to try to survive “adulthood?” Welfare is available,– well, kind of– but with how screwed up the “Land of Freedom and Opportunity” is, can we really say this is enough? Can we truly tell someone on the verge of emancipation, while considering the cost of living, that this is enough? Think about it.

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