Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chapter 6.1 (Review)

Find a succinct breakdown of some of the most important arguments and counterarguments from 6.1 under Theism.

Cosmological Argument by St. Aquinas: The universe must have a “first cause,” which must spring from an eternal Being. That eternal Being is God. Aquinas is doing 12th century physics. He is trying to demonstrate the existence of God from a series of (cause and effects), i.e., the series must have a beginning = GOD.
C/A: In the Big Bang Theory the universe just “happens”. The universe is not caused because time and space begin with the Bing Bang.

Analogical Design Argument: A watch is to a watchmaker as the universe is to God. C/A: 1- John Stuart Mill sees the creation of the universe as evidence against the omnipotence of God. If God needs the universe to accomplish HIS goals, then HE is not omnipotent. 2- One can see the universe an "organism" rather than a machine (where living things come into being through reproduction rather than conscious design).  2- One could cite the evidence of Evolution (i.e. natural selection, speciation, etc).

St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument: If one can conceive of a God (the greatest possible Being), then that God could also exist in reality, but then it would not be the greatest possible Being. So, God must exist in reality. C/A: Following Anselm's argument one could easily justify the “Superman”'s existence (ex. just plug "Superman" wherever you see God in Anselm's proof).

Argument from Miracles: The universe must have been performed by a miracle worker. C/A: Why should God bend its own rules?

Argument from Religious Experience: A subjective experience that’s so powerful and unique that the only possible explanation is that it was produced by a supernatural being. 
C/A: Hallucinogenics have been used by ancient civilizations as worship experiences to tap into altered states. This kind of experience is internal and vague and not enough to warrant an external source.