Most scientists argue that "God" is not a scientifically proven cause, whereas Aristotle would argue that God is ‘a remote and unchanging being who allows his world to be changeable so that it can gradually move towards the perfection which he already enjoys.’ A further fault with this would be the principle that the universe can’t explain its own existence, Why is it here at all? Why is it like this? Why isn’t it different? Why something rather than nothing?. Critics such as Dawkins and Russell say the universe is here today due to ‘brute fact’ whereas Swinburne would argue highly with that and say ‘God is simpler than anything we could imagine and gives an explanation for the system’.
Outline two key objections to the Ontological Argument and explain the responses made to them. The ontological argument was first introduced by Anselm in the ‘Prosologian’. It is an a priori argument as it is not based on empirical evidence but id deductive and analytic in that it allows one to use logical reasoning to reach a logically necessary conclusion which, in theory, cannot be disputed. Anselm defines God as ‘that than which nothing greater can be conceived’ (TTWNGCBC) and states that everyone, theist or not, can accept this definition. He argues that ‘the fool’ in Psalm 53 can conceive of God but fails to believe he exists.
J. Ayer claimed that to speak of a designed universe is meaningless. Unless we could say what the world would have been like without a designer, we cannot reach the conclusion that this world is designed. Who establishes that there is beneficial order in the universe? How do we argue from that to the conclusion that god has designed it? Swinburne counted this by claiming that the order in the universe does require an explanation.
His first form of the argument runs as follows: (P1) God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived (P2) If God exists in the mind alone (in intellect) then a greater being can be conceived (in re) (P3) God to be the greatest being, has to existing the mind and in reality, otherwise another being would be greater than God. (C) Therefore God must exist both in the mind and in reality. This method of reasoning aims to demonstrate the truth of something by reducing to absurdity the very opposite of what you are trying to prove. In Anselm’s case this would be that God does not exist, which he claims is absurd by means of an argument which he claims is logically necessary. For Anselm, God cannot not exist.
If the teleological argument is correct in saying that God created humans like a machine, then you would expect humans to be perfect creations, but we are not. Humans are flawed in many ways including the fact that we have extra organs, and that our skeletons are not created properly for the way we walk. Humans are not machines in any way, and the fact that we are not perfect machines is explained by the theory of evolution. Therefore the theory of evolution is proof against the teleological argument and that God is the creator of the human race and the earth. I feel that this argument fails to prove the existence of God.
Meanwhile, McCloskey believes that the only conclusion we can reach is that something caused the universe to exist. From reading his article, I feel that he does not formulate a valid argument as to how the power exists or how it created the universe. He goes onto to describe any creator that could exist is either a powerful being or a muddler and is not a god, but an evil spirit or a being that had very disastrous consequences due to their limitations ( McCloskey, pg.64). McCloskey closes his argument of the cosmological argument by stating that belief in either is not a source of strength or security ( McCloskey,
And so Metaphysical claims such as ‘God is omnibenevolent’ are meaningless, the Statements they did find acceptable were analytic statements, which are true by definition and those which are synthetic, which is confirmed through the senses. Ayer does not just deny God’s existence, he denies the possibility of God’s existence altogether on the grounds that there is no way of empirically verifying his existence. Needless to say, Ayer would disagree with all of the traditional arguments for the existence of God, as none of them conclusively and empirically prove the existence of God. Flew also put forward an argument called the ‘falsification principle’. Flew argues that when we say something is the case such as God is good we are also denying the opposite saying that God is not good but also denying at the same time by saying that God is not, not good.
The counter argument to this though, is that animals do not fall under his jurisdiction and so the brutality that is nature is out of his control. God can only then make humans all good; which is apparent to be untrue (war, rape, murder.) In effect, Gould has showed that there could very validly be no active god. Whichever way a person’s belief systems lean, this paper by Stephen Jay Gould is a very insightful read into one way of thinking. Whether that means it solely educates those who firmly believe in god that there are other views, or it converts a person to non religious views, it is a worthwhile read.
Aquinas argued that the definition of God cannot be comprehended by humans. As humans are finite, and God is infinite, it is impossible for humans to make an accurate definition of God. Another issue with the ontological argument is its problems with proving existence just from a description. David Hume claimed that it was impossible to derive existence from a definition. Hume was an empiricist, and therefore believes that for something to exist, there must be evidence that can be accessed by the senses.
The ontological argument states that there is absolutely no need to search for physical evidence of the existence of God. By definition, God is a perfect being, which means that God must exist. If God did not exist, that would make Him imperfect which is contradictory to the fact that God is a perfect being, which means it is impossible for him not to exist. This