1.Arguments for God, 2.The Cartesian Circle
Terms in this set (42)
what is an ontological argument?
one that attempts to prove God's existence by showing that his nonexistence in inconceivable
Anselm's ontological argument
1. God is a being so great that none greater can be conceived
2. God exists in the understanding (bc we understand the mere definition)
3. assume that God exists only in the understanding, and not in actuality
4. we can now conceive a being just like God that exists in reality ("Gob")
5. to exist in actuality is greater than to exist only in the understanding
6. Gob is greater than God
7. God is not God
8. assumption 3 is false and God exists in actuality
what kind of proof did Anselm use?
a reductio ad absurdum
define reductio ad absurdum
a proof in which one proves that A is true by assuming that A is false and showing that this assumption leads to a contradiction.
what is important to include in a reductio?
what are the reasons for each step of Anselm's reductio?
1.God is a being so great that none greater can be conceived.
definition of God
2. God exists in the understanding
reason - we can understand the definition
3. assume that God exists only in the understanding and not in actuality
reason- assumption for proof by reductio
4. we can now conceive of a being just like God, but one that exists in actuality
reason- add concept of actual existence to concept of God
5. to exist in actuality is greater than to exist in the understanding only
reason - obvious
6. Gob is greater than God
reason - to exist in actuality is greater
7. God is not God
reason - God cannot be greater yet Gob is greater
8. therefore, assumption 3 (that God exists only in the understanding) is false and God exists in actuality
reason - proof by reductio ad absurdum
what is the name of an objection to Anselm's argument?
the lost island objection
(remember: Anselm proves that God exists in the understanding and in actuality. He's basically don't it all so he might as well get on a jet and go live on his own private island)
describe the Lost Island problem
(proposed by Guanilo)
1. a lost island is an island so great that none greater can be conceived.
2. follow reductio proof and replace God with Lost Island
- it proves that Lost Island exists in actuality, but we know it doesn't exist.
- therefore Anselm has not proves anything
what is a possible reply to the Lost Island objection?
we can only use this proof to prove that there is a God. If we try to use it for anything else, we get into trouble at step 2 because we can always think of something greater for anything less than supernatural (God).
"an island so great than none greater can be conceived" makes no sense because we can conceive something greater. therefore it doesn't even exist in the understanding.
if the ontological argument is sound, what does it prove?
that God exists and has every possible perfection
how many steps are in Anselm's proof?
(remember: I'm On To you, Anselm)
what is the cosmological argument?
who was it invented by?
a proof that there must be an original cause to the universe, and this cause is God.
"God caused the cosmos"
how many steps are in the cosmological argument?
(remember: c.o.s.m.o is 5 letters so there is 5 steps)
what are the 5 steps of the cosmological argument?
1. something exists now ("XYZ")
2. nothing comes to exist without a cause. (XYZ has a cause, and that cause has a cause, etc) -- we have a chain of causes stretching back in time
3. if there were no first cause, then the chain couldn't have started
4. if the chain never got started, nothing would exist now
5. therefore, the chain must have a first cause and that cause is God
what is an objection to the cosmological argument?
maybe there was no first cause and the universe has always exists and had no beginning in time
what would be the cosmological reply to the objection?
even if the universe has always exists, we still must question the cause of its existence.
something can be described as "always existing: but even that thing still has a cause (God).
God may not be the first cause, but God is the most fundamental cause.
how do the terms "dependent being" and "self-sufficient being" relate to the above reply?
God is a self-sufficient being, so he needed no cause, his cause was inside of himself
Humans and everything else are dependent beings, so we needed a cause outside of ourself, and that cause is God
If the cosmological argument is sound, what does it prove?
that God exists and has enough power to create a universe.
what does the cosmological argument not prove?
that God is all-knowing or good, etc
what is a sound argument as opposed to a valid argument?
valid- the process of reasoning is valid if the premises do provide some sort of justification for the conclusion
sound- valid, and the premises are actually true
what are the 3 steps to the argument from design?
1. the universe has some natural features that are very intricate and serve valuable purposes
2. things rarely have such intricate structures and useful purposes unless designed to be that way
3. therefore, there is probably a designer behind the universe and that is God
what is an objection to the design argument?
living things acquired their intricate and useful structures as a result of evolution
what is a reply to the evolution objection?
it requires a designer to design useful intricate structures.
it requires an even greater disgner to design and implement a process that without further intervention produces even more useful and intricate structures.
if sound, what does the argument from design prove?
that God has the ability to design and produce a universe and perhaps sufficient benevolence to make the universe as good as it is
what does the argument from design not prove?
that God is all-powerful or omniscient
who was the cartesian circle developed by?
Descartes, from his "Meditations"
define vicious circle
a supposed proof in which the conclusion appears in the premises, maybe in a hidden way. it assumes the very thing you are trying to prove
what does Descartes claimed to have proved?
that all clear and distinct ideas and true
outline the 5 steps of the Cartesian circle proof
1. all clear and distinct ideas are true
2. this is true because God exists and is not a deceiver
3. this is true because we have proved the existence and benevolence of God
4. this proof is sound because we conceive of the proof clearly and distinctly
5. this has merit because it means all clear and distinct ideas are true
how is the proof like a circle?
step 1 and 5 are the same, so the whole thing just goes round like a circle
Descartes thinks he can get out of the circle. How?
he believes he has eliminated all ordinary doubt regarding statement 1 (all clear and distinct ideas are true). only metaphysical doubt remains
define ordinary doubt
define metaphysical doubt
ordinary: doubt that exists when you can see a way that you ould have come to a mistaken belief
metaphysical: doubt that exists when you can't think of a way in which you could come to be wrong, but you know that an evil venom could cause you to go wrong.
when can metaphysical doubt be had?
in prospect (future) or retrospect (past), not at the time one is thinking about the thing in question
the cartesian circle appeared in which of Descartes' meditations?
the third meditation
since Descartes holds in his mind all of his meditation, he thinks of them clearly and distinctly. what does this mean?
that metaphysical doubt is also removed, so no doubt remains at all