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Sun, Feb. 13th, 2005, 08:18 pm
jianna: Philosophy review

1.1 Does God Exist?

Yes: Causal Theist [Transcendentalist]
-Everything has a cause.
-We can't concieve of an infinite chain of causes, so there must be a first cause.
-The first cause, then, must be god.

Yes: Design Theist [Transcendentalist]
-The World works much like a machine
-every machine had a designer
-the designer of the world is god.

Yes: Logical Theist [Transcendentalist]
-God is the greatest thing that can possibly concieved. we can't concieve of anything greater than god.
-A greatWOWamazing being that exists is better than one that does not exist
-God must necessarily exist

No: Atheist [Naturalist]
-Religious belief is a response to a threatening environment we used to not understand
-we can explain these things with science now
-Thus, We don't need to believe in God anymore.

1.2 Is God Like Human Beings?

No: Abstractionist [Transcendentalist]
-God and love are the same thing since they have the same characteristics (creative force, eternal, all powerful, guiding force),
-We aren't literally in the image of God, but we resemble god since we love.
-God exists since Love exists.

Yes: Personalist [Naturalist]
-Freud: God is an idealized father.
-Realization that our fathers our imperfect makes us search for a perfect one, so we made up god
-Belief in God is irrational since you can't just believe in something because you want to.

1.3 Can God Allow Innocent Suffering?

No: Contradictor [Naturalist]
-God is supposed to be all-loving and all-powerful
-there is tons of suffering and evil in the world
-God can't allow this if he is supposed to be all-loving and if he can't stop it then he isn't all powerful. therfore god doesn't exist.

Yes: Reconciler [Transcendentalist]
-If we didn't suffer we'd all be stupid spoiled whores like paris hilton, so suffering is necessary to build character.
-A world with suffering then, is better than one withoug
-Therefore god created the best possible world. He doesn't stop the evil for the sake of a greater good.

1.4 Is the Soul Immortal?

No: Terminator [Naturalist]
-Death is the loss of a physical body
-a person isn't really a person without the body. (can't interact with the world, can't do anything. Energy =\= Person)
-There is no life after death.

Yes: Survivor [Transcendentalist[
-Evidence in favor of afterlife is stronger than against
-Therefore it is reasonable to believe in an afterlife

1.5 Is Faith an Answer?

Yes: Believer [Transcendentalist]
-Faith is a choice, not a belief based on evidence.
-A foundational belief is one which we use in suport of other beliefs, but isn't itself supported by anything. All arguments my come to an end (the toddler's infinite chain of WHY)
-Foundational beliefs are ok.
-Faith in god is foundational
-Therefore it's ok to believe in God without having evidence.

No: Questioner [Naturalist]
-People have faith because someone either told them to or they take comfort in it.
-The consequences of believing for these reasons should be avoided
-people shouldn't have faith.

Is Exclusivism Arrogant?

Yes: Pluralist [Transcendentalist (?)]
-People with different religious views can all potentially justify them equally. (epistemic parity- all religions basically lead to the same thing just in different ways)
-To believe that yours is better is arrogant since it assumes that you have more justification than others.
--Furthermore, most believers accept the religion of their time and place (Christianity -> US, Buddhism -> Thailand etc)
--The time and place of your birth is arbitrary
--To accept those beliefs as exclusive is an arbitrary preference
--therefore, exclusivism is arrogant.

No: Exclusivist [Transcendentalist]
-Most religious believers don't accept epistemic parity
-Exclusivism thus isn't arrogant.
--Furthermore, to reconcile the religions of the world is to claim that religious language is merely myth
--Sincere belief commits to the view that religious language is the truth
--Pluralism thus undermines sincere religious belief whereas exclusivism preserves it.

Transcendentalist: a person who believes there is a reality that transcends the everyday measurable world of our senses
Naturalist: a person who believes that what is real is observable and measurable


Determine which of the following statements characterize the Transcendentalist and which characterize the Naturalist.

N - 1. Human beings are intelligent animals, biological systems that are born and that cease to function.
T - 2. Human beings have a kinship with the Creator; essentially we are not animals but embodied spirits.
T - 3. There are many ways to reach an understanding of reality, the mind, and truth; science shows us only one limited aspect of truth.
N - 4. To anyone who is willing to think, the existence of evil proves that there is no God.
N - 5. Believing things on the basis of faith is a dangerous practice, harmful to the individual believer and society.
T - 6. There are many reasons for us to believe in a divine Creator, who is eternal, all-powerful and good.
T - 7. The world is too vast, complex and mysterious for us to understand completely.
N - 8. The spectacular progress of science during the past four hundred years shows that science is the best way to understand the world.