PHIL 111 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Bertrand Russell, Gaunilo Of Marmoutiers, Ontological Argument
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September 24, 2013
Some Topics in Philosophy of Religion
- How is god to be conceived?
- Does god exist?
- What ought god’s relation to political institutions to be?
- What ought god’s relation to morality be?
- Arguments for and against the existence of god, conceived in a particular way
- Arguments for and against the rationality of belief in god, conceived in a particular way
Who is God?
- When you think of god, what comes to mind?
oAn all-knowing being
oAn unquestionable figure of authority
oCreator of all things
oSpiritual essence implicit in everything
- Philosophers have thought that god is the supremely perfect being
oWhat is the supremely perfect being?
A being with the sum of all perfections
•The most important perfections are power, knowledge, and
•So god is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent
•Does such a god exist?
The Ontological Argument
- In favour of the existence of such a being
oDesigned to show that god exists using premises derived from some source
other than observation
- St. Anselm of Canterbury was a Benedictine monk, born in Italy, who gave up his wealth
to devote himself to god. He became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093 and died there in
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