Concluding Lecture on Philosophy of Religion
1. Where we are
Arguments for Theism
o Cosmological = Four Ways, Design Argument,( First mover, first cause, contingency),
Aquinas, Paley, Fine Tuning
o Pascal's Wager-not really an argument for the existence of God, it is just rational to believe
2. Two other pro-arguments
a. The moral argument-the only way good and bad in morality can be objective is if they are
given by the will of God.
b. The argument from religious experience- some people have intense religious experiences
(mystical experiences), which are, it seems taken to be self-validating
3. Arguments against theism
o Evil= Moral Evil, Natural Evil
o Divine Hiddenness
o Cognitive Science of Religion
4. Divine Hiddenness
This is a really new player in the old field
The person who has championed the argument is Canadian
John Schellenberg, Halifax
o Wrote: Divine Hiddenness and Human Reason
The Abrahamic God is thought of as omnipotent and loving, and desiring to have a loving
relationship with every individual human being.
o Such a God wouldn’t make it difficult for humans to figure out if she/he even exists!
o But it is incredibly hard to figure that out
o Therefore, no such God exists
The argument has clear affinities with the argument from evil
5. Cognitive Science of Religion
Why is theism such a widespread phenomenon in homo sapiens?
o It seems that many people feel an invisible presence;