Philosophy of Religion

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Philosophy of Religion by Mind Map: Philosophy of Religion

1. Evil and Suffering

1.1. Many religious thinkers offer theodicies to justify God's existence in spite of evil and suffering.

1.2. St. Augustine's Theodicy

1.2.1. Evil is not a substance or a thing, instead it is a lack of good.

1.2.2. People who turn away from God - who represents good - suffer from evil.

1.2.3. Evil comes from the misuse of freewill.

1.2.4. Criticisms

1.2.4.1. Logical error

1.2.4.1.1. Logical contradiction as a perfectly created world goes wrong.

1.2.4.1.2. Two possibilities.

1.2.4.2. Moral error

1.2.4.2.1. If the world is not perfect, God must bear responsbility for the evil.

1.2.4.2.2. The concept of hell

1.3. Irenaeus' Theodicy

1.3.1. God's aim was to make Humans flawless in his image.

1.3.2. However if this was to be done, he would have to get rid of our freewill.

1.3.3. Instead he chose to give us freewill and gave us the potential to be perfect through evil.

1.3.4. Concept of Heaven and Hell

1.3.4.1. Concept of Hell exists so God may have anticipated the world to go wrong.

1.3.4.2. However without any concept of evil, there would be no concept of good.

1.3.5. God chose good and evil, instead of taking away our humanity and creating us as perfect beings.

1.3.5.1. For humans to be genuinely good, they would have to be responsible for their own goodness.

1.3.5.1.1. John Hick

1.3.5.2. Responsibility only comes through making moral decisions.

1.3.5.2.1. This is why this theodicy is known as a "soul-making" theodicy.

1.3.6. Criticisms

1.3.6.1. 1. Concept of Heaven for all seems unjust

1.3.6.1.1. Irenaues' Theodicy suggests that everyone will eventually go to heaven.

1.3.6.1.2. This is morally unacceptable.

1.3.6.2. 2. Quantity and gravity of suffering is unacceptable

1.3.6.2.1. We can accept that the world may not be perfect.

1.3.6.2.2. But we have to ask whether God has "gone too far".

1.3.6.3. 3. Suffering can never be an expression of God's love

1.3.6.3.1. Love can never be expressed through the magnitude of suffering present in our world.

1.3.6.3.2. It is not justifiable to hurt someone to help him

1.3.7. Freewill Defense

1.3.7.1. A God who intervenes to prevent evil and suffering jeopardizes freewill.

1.3.7.2. If we did not have choices that have the potential for large scale horrors, our sense of responsibility would be compromised.

1.3.7.2.1. The choices we would make would be meaningless as we are aware that God makes the "real" choices.

1.3.7.2.2. This can be compared to a child and his/her over-protective parents.

1.3.7.3. Death allows us to be aware of our responsibilities.

1.3.7.3.1. It makes us more aware of our choices as we realize we only have a limited number of choices until we inevitably die.

1.3.7.3.2. If God removed death, our choices would be meaningless as there would be another chance to make amends.

1.4. Process Theodicy

2. Existence of God

2.1. A priori

2.1.1. Ontological Argument

2.1.1.1. This argument assumes that God is the God of classical theism.

2.1.1.2. St. Anselm

2.1.1.2.1. Defines God as: "that than which nothing greater can be conceived.".

2.1.1.2.2. If this definition is true, God must exist in the mind.

2.1.1.2.3. If God exists in the mind, then God must exist in the reality and existing in reality as well as the mind is greater than just existing in the mind.

2.1.1.2.4. Gaunilo of Marmoutier

2.1.1.2.5. Anselm not only demostrates that God exists, but also that His existence is neccessary.

2.1.1.3. René Descartes

2.1.1.3.1. He said that God is perfect.

2.1.1.3.2. For someone to be perfect, he must exist.

2.1.1.3.3. For someone to be perfect and not exist is illogical, can be compared to a triangle without three sides.

2.1.1.3.4. Immanuel Kant

2.1.1.3.5. There is no good reason to see existence as a perfection.

2.1.1.4. Norman Malcom

2.1.1.4.1. Avoids the problem of predicates by pointing out that Anselm's argument avoids the problem.

2.1.1.4.2. Anselm does not treat God's existence as a predicate

2.1.2. Moral Argument

2.2. A prosteriori

2.2.1. Cosmological Argument

2.2.1.1. Argument based on contingency

2.2.1.1.1. Things come into existence because something has caused them to exist.

2.2.1.1.2. There is a chain of causes that goes back to the beginning of time.

2.2.1.2. Thomas Aquinas

2.2.1.2.1. He put forward his Five Ways to prove the existence of God. The first three are the cosmological argument.

2.2.1.3. Kalam Argument

2.2.1.3.1. First part

2.2.1.3.2. Second part

2.2.1.4. The argument put forward by Aquinas and the Kalam argument are a contridiction.

2.2.1.4.1. Both arguments deny the concept of infinite.

2.2.1.4.2. However both arguments define God as an infinite being.

2.2.1.5. Gottfried Leibniz

2.2.1.5.1. Principle of sufficient reason

2.2.1.5.2. He rejected an infinite universe. You cannot describe the present if the past is infinite.

2.2.1.5.3. We would not be able to apply reason to many concepts if it is infinite.

2.2.1.6. Arguments fails to clarify the nature of God.

2.2.1.6.1. God of which religion?

2.2.1.6.2. Could there not be many causes to one cause?

2.2.1.6.3. Immanuel Kant

2.2.1.6.4. The argument only introduces more questions, does not resolve anything; therefore it cannot be seen as an argument at all but just pure speculation.

2.2.1.7. Infinite universe is possible

2.2.1.7.1. Modern science has no problem with accepting an infinite universe as seen in the Big Bang theory.

2.2.1.7.2. If mathematicians can grasp abstract concepts such as pi or infinity, then there is no reason to not accept the possibility of an infinite universe.

2.2.2. Teleological Argument

2.2.2.1. Basic Argument

2.2.2.1.1. The universe has order and purpose.

2.2.2.1.2. The complexity of the universe shows evidence of design.

2.2.2.2. Anthropic Principle

2.2.2.2.1. The argument that claims that the universe was designed for the development of intelligent life.

2.2.2.2.2. Development of Human life is evidence of God's plan.

2.2.2.2.3. Aesthetic Argument

2.2.2.3. Darwin's Theory of Evolution

2.2.2.3.1. Can be used in both sides of the argument.

2.2.2.3.2. Either, The theory is evidence of design.

2.2.2.3.3. Or, it shows that creatures with good design is a result of natural selection.

2.2.2.3.4. Cannot be taken as criticism as it reaches a limit to what it can explain.

2.2.2.4. David Hume

2.2.2.4.1. Fails to identify with the God of classical theism.

2.2.2.4.2. Hume does not agree with comparing the universe to a machine. Instead he compares it to a vegetable or inert animal - something that grows by itself.

2.2.2.4.3. We can accept that there is a designer to the universe.

2.2.2.5. Evil and Suffering

2.2.2.6. Epicurean Hypothesis

2.2.2.6.1. Proposes that before the universe consisted of random particles.

2.2.2.6.2. As the universe is eternal, it would be inevitable for a orderly world to be created sooner or later.

2.2.2.6.3. Can be compared to the "monkeys and Shakespeare" analogy.

2.2.2.7. Metaphysical Idealism

2.2.2.7.1. Ideas of Immanuel Kant

2.2.2.7.2. We may have imposed order onto the world ourself.

2.2.2.7.3. Our mind may have the tendency to order things so the universe may appear to have order from the way we look at things.

2.2.2.7.4. We cannot be certain of the reality of the situation.

3. Religious Language

3.1. Logical Positivists

3.1.1. They reject metaphysics as knowledge as it cannot be verified or falsified by doctrines.

3.1.2. Verfication Principle

3.1.2.1. Analytic statements

3.1.2.1.1. "All cats are cats"

3.1.2.1.2. Statements that prove themselves.

3.1.2.2. Synthetic statements

3.1.2.2.1. "It rained on Tuesday"

3.1.2.2.2. Requires empirical justification.

3.1.2.3. Anyone that puts foward a knowledge claim must know the conditions by which it is true or else it is meaningless.

3.1.3. Falsification Principle

3.1.3.1. Statements that are meaningful should be falsifiable.

3.1.3.1.1. To assert something is to deny something else.

3.1.3.1.2. Religion doesn't deny anything therefore it is meaningless.

3.1.3.2. e.g. Nothing can be against religious claims therefore it is meaningless.

3.1.3.2.1. Religious claims die the "death by a thousand qualifications"

3.1.4. Criticisms

3.1.4.1. Logical Positivists cannot pass their own test.

3.1.4.1.1. They themselves are making a metaphysical claim about reality.

3.1.4.2. Ludwig Wittgenstein

3.1.4.2.1. Meaning of words cannot be secured by setting up relations between words and things.

3.1.4.2.2. Instead, meaning of words depends on the context in which it is used.

3.1.4.3. St Thomas Aquinas

3.1.4.3.1. He argued that language has a different meaning when we describe God because God is perfect.

3.1.4.3.2. Therefore we use analogies to describe God.

4. Religion and Science

4.1. Conflict

4.1.1. Scientific Materialism

4.1.1.1. Makes epistemological assumptions that science is the only reliable procedure for knowledge.

4.1.1.1.1. Claims that only science can reveal what is real.

4.1.1.1.2. Logical postivism

4.1.1.2. Makes metaphysical assumption that experience/physical stuff is reality.

4.1.1.2.1. Direct realism

4.1.1.2.2. Idealism

4.1.1.3. They suggest that religious claims are just pseudo statements without any real meaning.

4.1.2. Biblical Literalism

4.1.2.1. They suggest that the scripture should be interpreted literally.

4.1.2.1.1. Can be seen as a reaction against evolutionary biology as Darwin's Theories present us with a new world view without having to rely on the Bible.

4.1.2.2. Creationism

4.1.2.2.1. Scientists who support creationism try to verifiy claims in the Bible using scientific methods.

4.1.3. Both schools of thought agree they are in total conflict.

4.1.3.1. The aims of both schools are not clearly distinguished. Therefore, the methods of both schools are seen in direct competition.

4.1.3.2. The objects, aims and methods are not clearly differentiated. This provokes conflict.

4.1.3.2.1. Conflict can be resolved if both side recognizes the epistemological differences in their roles.

4.2. Independence

4.2.1. Existentialism

4.2.1.1. Religion is purely subjectives and involves a lot of introspection.

4.2.1.1.1. Kierkegaard points out that reason has no place in religion. He says that faith is key to understanding religion.

4.2.1.2. Whereas science involves the study and manipulation of inpersonal objects.

4.2.2. Wittengenstein's "Language games"

4.2.2.1. Two schools can be seen as two different language games with wildly different rules.

4.2.2.2. The technical language only makes sense within a school. The language of both schools have different aims and offer different methods.

4.2.3. Here, the two schools are completely distinct unlike when they overlap and engage each other in conflict.

4.3. Dialogue

4.3.1. Boundary questions

4.3.1.1. Questions that arise due to the limits science reaches in its scientific theories.

4.3.1.1.1. If we assume that all scientific knowledge has been discovered, we can still recognize unanswered questions that entail the metaphysical nature of these discoveries.

4.3.1.2. Boundary questions arise due to the fact that science bases itself on certain presuppositions.

4.3.1.2.1. E.g. Science takes a physicalist approach to the universe which sometimes involves aspects of realism or idealism.

4.3.1.2.2. Science reaches a limit to what it can explain.

4.3.1.3. The relationship between science and religion is different.

4.3.1.3.1. Religion is not thought of "filling the gaps" as it is has completely different aims to that of science.

4.3.1.3.2. Anyways, we can assume that science will eventually fill the gaps as it will explain all there is to explain in the physical world.

4.3.2. Methodological parallels

4.3.2.1. Shows that science is more subjective than originally thought.

4.3.2.2. Communal Paradigms

4.3.2.2.1. Theories and observations are dependant on the current paradigm of the scientific community.

4.3.2.2.2. Established theories within a paradigm are resistent to simple falsification.

4.3.2.2.3. Scientific revolutions

4.3.2.2.4. Religion paradigms often operate in the same principles.

4.3.2.3. Observer Participation

4.3.2.3.1. Theories of modern science suggest that we have a more personal role as an observer. This is parallael to personal involvement in religion.

4.4. Integration

4.4.1. Empirical observation can be made to infer the existence of God

4.4.1.1. Cosmological argument

4.4.1.2. Teleological argument

4.4.2. Religious teachings can be reinterpreted through the scientific method.