Arguments for the Existence of God - MB Soft

Like most arguments for the existence of God, the cosmological argument exists in several forms; two are discussed here: the temporal, (i.e. the first cause argument), and the modal . The main distinguishing feature between these two arguments is the way in which they evade an initial objection to the argument, introduced with a question: “Does God have a cause of his existence?” [Robin Le Poidevin, Arguing for Atheism, Routledge 1996, Chapter 1]

The Existence of God and the Beginning of the Universe
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Modern thinkers do not use God so much for the reward as forproviding a ground for the moral law in the first place.The moral argument starts with the simple fact of ethicalexperience.


The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God …

This argument is subject to a simple objection, introduced by asking, “Does God have a cause of his existence?”
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Some of these arguments find God's existence incompatible with observed facts; some are arguments that God does not exist because the concept of God is incoherent or confused.


Aquinas’ Philosophical Theology | Internet …

Therefore, there is no proof behind this statement.
2.
God is extraordinary so we can not speak of him in human language.
'Perhaps not everyone who hears the name 'God' understands it to signify something which is greater can be thought seeing that some have believed God to be a body.

Aquinas: Philosophical Theology

Anselm titled 'On behalf of the fool', we know relatively little about him
'The Lost Island example
Replace God with island and it is easier to see how Anselm's argument is flawed.
You may think of an island to be perfect, but if this island had one more beach, or one more palm tree, it will surely make it even more perfect
St Anselm thought that Gaunilo devised a good argument, but he misunderstood one thing
God has necessary existence
Necessary
logically impossible for it not to be true
if something has necessary existence then it is logically impossible for it not to exist
Contingent
something that is dependent on something else
if something has contingent existence then it might, or might not exist, but importantly, it does not NEED to exist.
God has necessary existence, whereas everything else in the world, including a perfect island has contingent existence.
For example: we would say that a train carriage has necessary existence, whereas the train tracks will have contingent existence.
Anselm's 2nd
Argument
God is the Greatest Conceivable Being
A God that can not be thought of as not existing, is greater than that which can be thought of as not existing
Therefore, God exists
St Thomas Aquinas
1225 - 1274
1.
God's existence is not self evident
'Truth does not exist'
God's existence is logically impossible because 'the fool said in his heart'.

But: Ignorance of the law excuses no one

How was the fool able to 'say in his heart' what he was unable to conceive?!
Necessary and Contingent
Predicate
Empiricism and Rationalism
Cartesian
'A Priori' and 'A Posteriori'
Knowledge gained before experience
Conceptual, logical knowledge
'All bachelors are unmarried men'
Knowledge gained from empirical experience
Knowledge based on the senses
'All bachelors are happy'
Analytic and Synthetic
A statement that is true by definition
No evidence is needed to prove it
'All bachelors are unmarried men'
A statement in which the predicate is not necessarily part of the subject
'All bachelors are happy'
'God is the Greatest Conceivable Being'
Anselm believed this to be an analytic a priori statement - The concept of existence is part of the concept of God.
Criticisms of Anselm
Gaunilo
Contemporary of St.