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The goodness of God People could use religion as a comfort blanket.

Marx: religion is the opiate of the people Freud: religion was wish fulfilment Plato and the Euthypho dilemma: is something good because God made it good before. If it was good before God; is there a higher power than God? Why do Judaeo/Christians believe God is good? Because of heaven belief in the after life Because of teaching of Jesus Because of sacrifice of Jesus so that all humans can be forgiven Because he provides solace/comfort answers prayers Even though Adam and Eve sinned, God provided a way back to the first perfect relationship. Bible- Ten Commandments.

The Concept of God God as a creator: 2 creation accounts within Bible Genesis 1 +2 o 1: 7 day account. o 2: Adam and Eve Creation is purposeful it isnt the result of an accident order structure in creation. Adam and Eve are a special of Gods creation God made man in this image They have dominion over animals/plants but are stewards of that creation. God is ultimate authority. God keeps the world going. He is distinct from creation though. He doesnt rely on humans because God is omnipotent. So you shouldnt worship creation but the creator God. Creation out of nothing ex nihilo. Until God started creating there was no time. He made not Earth but the spiritual realm of angels. Creation is good; God saw that it was good. God creates by command.

The nature of God as revealed by creation God is omnipotent. Psalm 115:3 He does whatever he pleases God is fair He warned Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit. God is omniscient Job 28:24 He sees everything under the heavens. He knew Adam and Eve had sinned.

God is omnibenevolent all loving he cares about creation created a lovely place. o Created a partner for everything. God is omnipresent everywhere. Psalm 139:7-8 where can I flee your presence if I go to the heavens you are there if I make my bed in the depths you are there. God is a designer or craftsman. Psalm 8:3 the work of Gods fingers the moon and the stars that God set in place. Psalm 147:8-9 God covering the sky with clouds to supply the earth with rain, to make grass grow so the cattle can have food. o All this indicates design. Christians prefer to use the word artist rather than sculptor because to sculpt something implies there was something there to begin with and Christians believe creation is ex nihilo. God is involved in creation immanent and transcendent. o The bible is full of examples of God involving himself with creation.

The goodness of God Biblical evidence Gods goodness is revealed in the act of creation. God is the source of moral authority. o Fits with natural law theory Thomas Aquinas recognises primary precepts through human reason but that ability to reason comes from God. Even though Adam and Eve sinned because God is good and loving he provides a way for humans to get back that perfect relationship. Send down prophets and rules to follow The Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments might be straight but done because God is loving in the same way that parents set rules to protect their children. Jesus is sent by God to allow all to atone for their sins and enter heaven. o Jesus died on the cross so man could be forgiven. Contrasting the Judaeo/Christian God with the prime mover. Similarities Aristotle doesnt explain where the prime mover comes from and the Christian tradition just says that God exists. He is a necessary being. Things are drawn towards the prime mover to help achieve their final purpose or actuality. Christians are also drawn towards God. (Worship.) Both are eternal. Both are transcendent. No confirmed evidence for either. They both lead to a chain reaction. Differences The prime mover is disinterested in the world but God is involved with the creation. God created the world ex nihilo however the prime mover created out of matter that was already there. God is a designer or craftsman. The prime mover just starts off creation as a first cause. The prime mover is more of a force whereas God is considered more as a being.

Evil and Suffering Atributes of the concept of God Omnipotent Omnibenevolent Omniscient Omnipresent

Two types of evil Natural evil Moral evil (man-made)

Possible problems if evil and suffering exists God cannot be all knowing, or all powerful or all loving.

Possible solutions Part of Gods plan Epistemic Distance We need opposites So can value good Test of faith

Theodicies The theodicy is an argument used to defend the attributes of God in the face of evil. Augustine Augustine argued that the Bible shows that God is wholly good and that according to Genesis 1, created a world perfectly good and free from defect, evil and suffering; God saw all that he had made, and it was very good Genesis 1:13. o o o God created all things good Evil is not good Therefore God did not create evil

Privation lack of something Evil is the privation of good, just as darkness is the absence of light. Augustine said that evil didnt come from God, whom is all-good, but from those entities which had free will angels and humans who turned their backs on God, the supreme good and settled for lesser goods. As a consequence, the start of perfection was ruined by human sin and the delicate balance of the world was destroyed.

Augustine Evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name evil Natural evil came about through the loss of order in nature, due to human sin. Moral evil came from knowledge of good and evil which humanity had discovered through their disobedience. It would not be right for God to interfere to put a stop to suffering. God is just therefore he has to allow for us to face the punishment of sin, which is death. Augustine concludes that if God was simply just everyone would get their full and rightful punishment in hell. However in his infinite love and grace he sent down his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to take punishment for all of our sin and to die on the cross so that all those who believe and accept can be saved. Augustine since there is happiness for those who do not sin, the universe is perfect and it is no less perfect if there is misery for sinners, the penalty for sin corrects the dishonour of sin Soul-deciding theodicy. Weaknesses

Schleiermacher (1768-1834) argued that it was a logical contradiction to say that a perfectly created world had gone wrong. Either the world was not perfect to start with or God made it go wrong. If so then God is to blame and not humanity. Augustines view that the world was made perfect and damaged by humans is contrary to the theory of evolution, which asserts that the universe began as chaos and has been developing continually. Suffering is essential to survival things must die in order that other things might eat and live God must be responsible for this. The existence of hell as a place of eternal punishment seems a contradiction for an all loving God. If hell was part of the design then did God plan that the world would go wrong? A God who cannot get rid of evil cannot be called omnipotent; because he is not all powerful enough to make freewill and a perfect world work hand in hand.

Irenaeus Irenaeus also suggested that evil could be traced back to human free will. However he differed from Augustine by saying that God did not make a perfect world and that evil has a valuable part to play in Gods plan for humanity. He thought God created humans imperfectly in order that they could develop perfection over time. Goodness and perfection had to be developed by humans themselves through willing cooperation with God. This meant God had to give humans free will and such freedom requires the possibility of choosing evil over good. Irenaeus thinks evil allows us to develop virtues such as compassion and mercy, which are needed for perfection. how if we had no knowledge of the contrary, could we have instruction in that which is good Evil and suffering will be overcome and humanity will develop into Gods perfect likeness and live in heaven, where all suffering will end forever and Gods plan will be completed. John Hick supported the Irenaean theodicy. If God made humanity perfectly, then we would have the goodness of robots, which means that we would automatically love God without thought or question. Such love would be valueless and if God wanted humans to genuinely love, and then he had to let us have the freedom to develop this love for ourselves. To achieve this, God had to create humans at an epistemic distance from him a distance in knowledge or dimension, by which God is not so close that humans would be overwhelmed by him and have no choice but to believe and obey. By keeping a distance God allows humans to freely choose. Soul making theodicy. Humans have to strive to meet challenges in order to gain perfection. Weaknesses Irenaeus suggested that everyone goes to heaven. This doesnt seem just; it contradicts religious texts of many religions and suggests that there is ultimately no reason for good. Challenges do not always result in positive human being development. They often seem to cause much suffering. Was the holocaust really necessary for human development? D.Z Phillips: what are we to say if a child is dying from cancer> if this has to be done for a purpose planned from eternity that is the deepest evil. If God is this kind of agent, he cannot justify actions and his evil nature is revealed Love cannot be expressed by allowing suffering.

Process Theodicy Developed by David Griffin as a radical theory that suggests that God is not omnipotent. God did not create the universe because the universe is an uncreated process of which God himself is a part. God himself is a part of the universe and is bound by natural laws. He suffers when evil occurs he is the fellow sufferer who understands Gods role in creation was to start off the evolutionary process that led to the development of humans. But God doesnt have total control and humans are free to ignore him. God cannot stop evil since he lacks the power to change the natural process, yet he bears some responsibility for it, having started off the evolutionary process knowing that he would not be able to control it. God is responsible for evil in the sense of having urged the creation forward to those states in which discordant feelings could be felt with greater intensity Gods actions are justified on the grounds that the universe has produced sufficient good to outweigh evil in other words this universe is better than no universe at all. Problems of process theodicy. Traditional Christians wouldnt like it because it undermines Christian tradition of creation. How can God be powerful enough to create the world but not influence it and stop evil? Absence of evil = total good. Strengths Acknowledges that God has some responsibility over evil. Acknowledges evolution.

Ontological argument A priori argument which tries to prove the existence of God. Based on logic. This argument might be logically true but it doesnt mean it is true in reality. Ontos being. The ontological argument starts from the concept of God as a being and uses this to prove Gods existence. Circular argument.

Inductive this is where you infer the conclusion from the premise. E.g. twix example. Deductive if the premises are true then the conclusion has to be true. E.g. all girls like pink. Kiah is a girl therefore she likes pink. So the ontological argument asserts that if the first 2 points about the concepts of God are true the conclusion has to be logically true. So they think the argument about Gods existence to be conclusive.

Philosophers: St Anselm of Canterbury. o Fools say in their hearts, there is no God Psalm 14:1 A predicate an intrinsic property or quality of something. Anselm claims: o Existence is a predicate of God (it is a property or quality of Gods nature). o Proslogian 1: 1. God is the greatest possible being which can be conceived (thought of). 2. God may exist either in the mind alone, or in reality as well. 3. Something which exists in reality and in the mind is greater than something which exists just as an idea in the mind alone. o Conclusion: 4. God must exist in reality and in the mind (or we have not thought of the greatest possible being) o Proslogian 2: o God is that being nothing greater than which can be thought of. o Something which cannot be thought not to exist is greater than anything which can be thought not to exist. Conclusion 3. Therefore, it is impossible to think that this being (God) cannot exist.

Gaunilo challenges Anselm just because you can imagine a perfect island, it doesnt mean it exists. Plantinga islands are different to God there could always be a more perfect island more dancing girls, lusher palm trees, twice the size, etc. idea of a greatest possible island is incoherent. God on the other hand is maximally great nothing greater is possible.

Descartes Background to Descartes argument: Wanted to get to first certain piece of knowledge that could be accepted. He found he could doubt everything apart from the fact he was thinking. I think therefore I am. So he was a dualist, mind and body are two separate things what is this thinking thing? The idea of God is firmly within this mind- because the idea of God is here, God must exist God is a supremely perfect being.

Descartes ontological argument. 1. 2. 3. God is a supremely perfect being. Existence belongs to a supremely perfect being. Therefore God exists Descartes argues that existence is a predicate of God. In the same way that a predicate of a triangle is 3 sides existence is a predicate of God.] You cant think of a triangle without it having 3 sides. You cant think of God without thinking that he exists.

Kant challenges Descartes. Gottlob: Argues that existence isnt a proper predicate as predicates should give information about the subject it describes. Existence doesnt really tell you anything about God. Kant argues that if you dont think about a triangle, you dont have to think about the 3 sides. So if you dont think about God, you dont consider the existence of god. So existence is not a predicate of God God (exists) does not exist.

Teleological argument: Inductive argument A posteriori (using the senses)

The design argument is a posteriori. It is built on our experiences of the world around us. (i.e. that there is evidence of design in nature etc.) It is also inductive. The premises that the world seems designed could be true, but it may still be false that God designed it. Aquinas archer analogy. Paley watch analogy.

The meaning of telos: Telos means goals, aim or purpose Design arguments put forward by philosophers refer to the sense of purpose we can find in nature and biology.

God is a craftsman How nature fits together: Mutualistic relationship ox and bird Fish cleaning sharks/whales Food chain Pollination

Qua purpose and qua regularity Paley argued that God designed the world. He said the proof was in the sense of purpose or telos we discussed earlier, but also in the regularity of nature. By regularity, he meant natures ability to order itself with the different aspects of our world working together seamlessly.

He therefore argued for: Design qua purpose And design regularity This means that the evidence of God designing the world is in both the purposeful nature of the world, and the regularity with which it meets that purpose. Aquinas had also argued for design qua purpose.

Aquinas teleological argument Five ways: Heart of the argument is that non-intelligent material things produce beneficial order and therefore require an intelligent being to bring this about God.

It follows Aristotelian thinking about final cause the purpose for which the thing exists or was produced. Aquinas views about nature included thinking that things develop toward the realisation of ends that are internal to their own natures. An archer must direct an arrow. In the same way God must direct nature. Aristotles God did not appoint the ends. They just were there. Aquinas argued that there cannot be purposefulness without a guiding intelligence. o There are beings without knowledge that act for an ends. o If a being without knowledge acts for an end then it must be because it is directed. o Therefore there must be a being with knowledge and intelligence God.

Criticisms of the design argument: John Stewart Mill o Argued against the design argument because of the evidence of evil within design. E.g. ichneumon wasp. An all loving God would have not put such evil into the design, but it is all just part of the cycle of life. Charles Darwin o Theory of evolution: origin of the species o The Beagle Galapagos island tortoises and finches. David Hume o In dialogues concerning natural religion he said the possibility that the universe was designed does not necessarily mean that God designed it. o The world is imperfect and infinite it is full of suffering. o It hardly suggests a good all perfect designing God o No evidence universe needs a designer could have come into existence naturally. o We have no evidence to suggest that the universe is not just a result of pure chance. o Hume also rejected the idea and use of analogies in the design argument. He said that analogies about design in the world bore no relation to design of the world. It is making a massive jump to move from talking about the way things are designed in the world to design of the world. o Just because you have a mother it doesnt necessarily imply the world has to have a mother. Anthropic principle o This is the idea that the universe supports the concept of an intelligent designer. So there is design in the universe but supporters wouldnt necessarily claim that this was God. o F.R. Tennant there is something about life their ability to be selfless and put others before them, I and to be moral, that just cant be explained by the process of evolution. Tennant argues that this suggests the work of intelligent designer.

Cosmological argument Inductive argument, A posteriori argument, First cause argument The universe has to have a first starting point which doesnt need explaining. Thomas Aquinas summa theologica o The 5 proofs (ways) for the existence of God. o The first 3 from the cosmological argument. o Aquinas = theist Classical beliefs about the attributes of God. Something cant come from nothing e.g. the world has to have a cause. There cant be infinite regress.

First way motion movement and growth: Aquinas argued that things cant move themselves. They need a cause to set them in motion. There cant be infinite regress, so there has to be a first cause, which cant itself be caused. The only being this could be is God as a necessary being. Refer to Aristotle and the prime mover.

Second way cause This is the idea that things cant cause themselves to exist. E.g. I am not the cause of myself. Wood has the potential to become fire, but it isnt actually fire. There cant be infinite regress so there must be a first cause that isnt itself caused. The only being this can be is God as an eternal necessary being. uncaused cause o Link to Aristotle potentiality and actuality.

Third way necessary being World exists a posteriori. Contingent and temporary. So there might have been a point when nothing existed. However the world does exist, so it must have a cause. This cause cant have come from within the world. It must have come from the outside. The cause must be God as the only necessary being.

Copleston vs. Russel radio debate 1948 Copleston religious supported Aquinas. Russel philosopher rejected the cosmological argument.

Copleston: everything that exists has to have an explanation for its existence. He called this the principle of sufficient reason. He argued that there had to be something that could be explained in itself. I.e. it contained its own sufficient reason for existence. This was God. Russel: why cant the universe just exist? Does it really need to be explained? You need to engage in the debate if you are playing a game of chess you need to move the pieces.

Humes challenges: We cannot know anything about cause. o Empiricist cannot be proved by senses. Rejection of the idea of moving from individual causes to a cause for the totality.

The moral argument Kant The basic idea is that because we have the ability to work out goodness there must be something that rewards that behaviour. This being is God. Two things fill my mind, the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me. 1. This idea of morality within you leads to the conclusion of the existence of God. Kant had rejected the other forms of argument for the existence of God, because they used arguments/logic that we could not have knowledge of. At least we are aware of the moral law within, so his argument is partly a posteriori. 2. Remember that Kant has already rejected Descartes ontological argument for claiming knowledge or predicates of a God that we couldnt possibly be aware of. Good will and sense of duty leads to morally good actions. if you keep on doing morally good actions youll reach summum bonum. Kant argues that we are autonomous beings. So you freely work out moral behaviour. If someone is coerced into an action it isnt moral. Humans can do this because we are all rational. The summum bonum means supreme happiness it is a combination of virtue and reward. Kant argues that the summum bonum cant exist here; because there are still evil actions therefore it must exist in the afterlife. So humans must be immortal in that you live in the afterlife. If our sense of duty tells us that we ought to do something using our rationality, Kant argued that it must be possible to do this. ought implies can Performing our duty (the categorical imperative) means that we can reach the summum bonum. Therefore this means that the summum bonum must exist. Humans cant ensure that virtue reward and happiness coincide therefore God is required to do this. There are 3 important features of Kants argument which are taken as a given: 1. Freedom/autonomy. 2. Rationality. 3. Afterlife/summum bonum. These are known as the 3 postulates of practical reason. A postulate is the term used to something that is a given in an argument.

Practical reason: how we rationalise. Pure reason: concerns objects or concepts that we cannot change. They are the same regardless of us.

The moral argument challenged by Freud: Freud explains our apparent moral awareness through the development of our psyche. Our moral ability is not god given. ID basic drives sleep, food, sex etc. selfish like a baby, Ego rational part that helps you function in society. Superego the internalisation of reaction to authority figures particularly according to freud your father this makes you feel guilty.

Oedipus complex: As a young boy you develop a feeling of wanting to sleep with your mother, but also knowing this is wrong. This leads to conflict and feeling hatred towards your father. This is known as ambivalence. You internalise these feelings. This sublimation of feelings can lead to religious belief.

Freuds theory of the development of religion: Alpha male primal horde kill the alpha male. Replace alpha male with totem animism spirit worship o Kill and eat the animal Replaced with human God this is the God of religion today. Pass down the guilt of primal crime Transubstantiation bread and wine because blood and flesh like totem meal.