Religious scepticism about the teleological argument essay

Many philosophers, as well as many people studying philosophy for the first time, have been struck by the seemingly indecisive nature of philosophical argumentation.

Religious scepticism about the teleological argument essay

These are mostly toy examples. But they serve to highlight the deficiencies which more complex examples also share. God is a being which has every perfection. This is true as a matter of definition.

Existence is a perfection. I conceive of a being than which no greater can be conceived. If a being than which no greater can be conceived does not exist, then I can conceive of a being greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived—namely, a being than which no greater can be conceived that exists.

I cannot conceive of a being greater than a being than which no greater can be conceived. Hence, a being than which no greater can be conceived exists. It is possible that that God exists. God is not a contingent being, i. Hence, it is necessary that God exists. See MalcolmHartshorneand Plantinga for closely related arguments.

Hence, the existent perfect being is existent.

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Hence, God is existent, i. The last step is justified by the observation that, as a matter of definition, if there is exactly one existent perfect being, then that being is God.

See Rescher for a live version of this argument. Whenever a bunch of things exist, their mereological sum also exists. Therefore the sum of all things exists. Therefore God—the sum of all things—exists. Say that a God-property is a property that is possessed by God in all and only those worlds in which God exists.

Not all properties are God properties. Any property entailed by a collection of God-properties is itself a God-property.

Religious scepticism about the teleological argument essay

The God-properties include necessary existence, necessary omnipotence, necessary omniscience, and necessary perfect goodness.

Hence, there is a necessarily existent, necessarily omnipotent, necessarily omniscient, and necessarily perfectly good being namely, God. Of course, this taxonomy is not exclusive: Moreover, an argument can be ambiguous between a range of readings, each of which belongs to different categories.

This latter fact may help to explain part of the curious fascination of ontological arguments. Finally, the taxonomy can be further specialised: Characterisation of Ontological Arguments It is not easy to give a good characterisation of ontological arguments.

Consider, for example, the claim that I conceive of a being than which no greater can be conceived. However, it is unclear how that traditional characterisation should be improved upon.

This procedure would make good sense if one thought that there is a natural kind—ontological arguments—which our practice carves out, but for which is hard to specify defining conditions.

Moreover, this procedure can be adapted as a pro tem stop gap: On the other hand, it seems worthwhile to attempt a more informative definition.

Focus on the case of ontological arguments for the conclusion that God exists. Theists and non-theists alike can agree that there is spatio-temporal, or causal, or nomic, or modal structure to the world the basis for cosmological arguments ; and that there are certain kinds of complexity of organisation, structure and function in the world the basis for teleological arguments ; and so on.

Of course, the premises of ontological arguments often do not deal directly with perfect beings, beings than which no greater can be conceived, etc.

Religious scepticism about the teleological argument essay

However, the basic point remains: Note that this characterisation does not beg the question against the possibility of the construction of a successful ontological argument—i. For it may be that the vocabulary in question only gets used in premises under the protection of prophylactic operators which ward off the unwanted commitments.

Of course, there will then be questions about whether the resulting arguments can possibly be valid—how could the commitments turn up in the conclusion if they are not there in the premises?Intimations of a defensible mereological ontological argument, albeit one whose conclusion is not (obviously) endowed with religious significance.

Leibniz, New Essays Concerning Human Understanding. Teleological Argument; Cosmological Argument; Ontological Argument Schleiermacher’s insights into the regularity and natural occurrence of these experiences force us to re-evaluate our scepticism as experiences, whether religious or not, if they are private rely on both our belief in them and other people’s acceptance of our claims.

Academic Tools Either the universe had a beginning or it did not.

In addition to the cosmological argument, the design argument was also widely endorsed by religious philosophers and scientists at this time, including Newton himself.

It is these two alleged proofs for the existence of God that Hume’s philosophical writings are particularly concerned with discrediting. Free Essay: Atheists There are quite a few people who have made important contributions to atheism, scepticism, agnosticism and religious critique through.

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An investigation of the fundamental paradoxes of religious belief. Questions to be considered will include the arguments for the existence of God, the problem of suffering and evil, the nature of.

Teleological argument - Wikipedia