In order to determine a meaning for our lives, the question of the existence of God is a vitally important concern.


 Thus, in this part of the course we consider whether philosophy  can shed any meaningful light on the traditional arguments for the existence of God.  


If no deductive proof is achieved, then, how would philosophical reasoning  be relevant to determining how we ought to live?



Links to Lecture Notes…

  • The Ontological Argument  
    Anselm's a priori argument based on the definition of God as a being than which no greater can be conceived is analyzed.
  • The Cosmological Argument  
    Thomas Aquinas' Five Ways, a posteriori proofs for God's existence, with some objections to those proofs are outlined.
  • The Teleological Argument  
    Will Paley's famous Watch Argument, a version of the teleological argument for God's existence, is analyzed.
  • Pascal's Wager  
    The argument we have everything to gain and nothing to lose by believing is offered;  two well-known, substantial objections are described.
  • Can God's Existence Be Proved?  Soren Kierkegaard's insights that existence cannot be proved but must be assumed are discussed.
  • The Problem of Evil 
    Fyodor Dostoevsky's Ivan from the Brothers Karamazov ponders how to account for the death of an innocent child .
  • Evil Can Be Allowed 
    John Hick accounts for some of the questions surrounding the problems of moral and nonmoral evil.

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