Also, many people do not believe in God. Jung himself countered this argument by stating that atheism itself is a religion. It seems that he will not allow anything to counter his ideas. If his theory is not open to falsification, some would argue that it is meaningless. • Jung’s idea of religious experience – Martin Buber argues that an experience which takes place in the mind, rather than externally to the individual, is not a religious experience.
They treated claims made about God as cognitive, meaning that the assertions made are meant to be taken as facts or universal truth claims rather than non-cognitive meaning on a personal level for believers. They believed that language was only meaningful if it was analytically or synthetically verified. Analytic statements are a priori (based on logic) and synthetic statements are a posteriori (based on empirical evidence). They created a test called verification principle to see if religious language was meaningful; Statements can only be meaningful if it can be demonstrated. One could argue that the logical positivists were unsuccessful in arguing that religious language is meaningless because the verification principle has many weaknesses.
For our purposes, theism will be defined as belief in the existence of God, as defined above. Atheism, then, is the “critique and denial of the major claims of all varieties of theism” (Nagel 168). These two views provide metaphysical arguments concerning the nature of man and God. A third commonly held belief about the existence of God is known as agnosticism. Agnosticism is the purely epistemological stance that sufficient evidence does not exist for or against theism therefore the best stance on the argument is no stance at all.
If God breaks this, then he is not being omnibenevolent (all good), which is another of his attributes. However lust is far from morally right, so God cannot experience it. Leading on from that, since God is confined to being morally perfect, he has no choice whether he is or not, he can’t be omnipotent. Another aspect of this argument is can God fear? We are either scared of the unknown (e.g death) or something more powerful than ourselves (e.g lions).
Recognising this reaffirms that God is more than we can ever imagine – he is ineffable, can never be described so we cannot say what they are not. Strengths of via negativa are that it allows things to be said about God without implying that the finite (humans) can grasp the infinite (God), it also asserts the claims of revelation, that God is good and then recognises goodness to be a human word and so must be negated by saying too that God is not good to
Aquinas Five ways consisted of motion, causation of existence, contingent and necessary objects, the argument for degrees and perfection and the argument for intelligent design. Aquinas thought without this we could not assume God’s existence hence why he would have disagreed with proving God’s existence through definition alone. One of Aquinas’s points was that God’s existence cannot be regarded as ‘self-evident’, in other words you can’t simply say God is real you must back it up with evidence. Aquinas believed that although we have a understanding of what God is, God will always remain unknowable to the finite human mind. Kant argued that existence was not a ‘predicate’, in other words existence is not a characteristic or an attribute of something.
This is called the inconsistent triad. David Hume thus believed that God is either not omnipotent, or not omnibenevolent or evil does not exist. According to Mackie, each of these possibilities answers the problem of evil but none of them are orthodox. Since we have sufficient direct experience to support the existence of evil, if God exists he is either an impotent God or a malicious God — not the God of classical theism. Hume and Mackie conclude that God therefore does not exist.
He believed that life is meaningless and that we have no souls, so we should therefore grasp everything that the world has to offer whilst we can as there is no chance of an afterlife in his perspective. Neitzche also said that everyone should strive to seek pleasure and success wherever it could be found, he also thought religious beliefs to be false. But what did Neitzche mean by God is ‘dead’? He felt that religious outlook is no longer credible for the modern intellectual person. He meant that humans had advanced their understanding of the natural world enough to realize that the literal teachings of the religions that espoused God were not true.
On one hand you have the philosophers who believe you can speak and write about God, because God is reality. On the other hand, are the Logical Positivists who claim that statements about God have no meaning because they don’t relate to anything that is real. There are a number of philosophers who claimed to have proven conclusively that religious language is meaningful, for example Aquinas’ theory of analogy. An analogy is an attempt to explain the meaning of something which is difficult to understand and forming relations through attributes or relations that are similar. Aquinas rejected univocal and equivocal language when talking about God.
Generally as long as we have reason behind something we believe it. “Faith is defined, at best, as unprovable opinions about highly speculative subjects. It is narrow minded, judgmental, resistant to scientific truth, and insists on blind obedience to its authority”(25). Unlike reason faith requires no justification and has no argument. Faith and science are opposites as reason and science are not.