PHIL 3600 Lecture Notes - Lecture 16: Theism, Impermanence

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12 Mar 2015
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Philosophy 3600
Dharmasiri- Examines proofs for the Existences of God
Cosmological Arguments:
Aquinas: Start with the Universe/Cosmos and argue to God’s existence. (A posteriori
argument)
oIE: The argument of first cause: the contingent argument that whatever happens
was caused by someone else, which leads to a first cause. Aquinas doesn’t agree
with infinite regression. This beginning is the first cause. “The First Mover”/“The
Necessary Being”
Buddhism: All is changing, everything is fluid, lack of essence, everlasting & oscillating theory
of the universe, lack of beginning or ending- expansion and contraction, interdependence – all
things relying on other things
Dharmasiri
Major issues with Western arguments for the existence of God, since Buddhism believes that
things have been forever flowing.
Infinite regression is ok
No start
Forever flowing universe
Regression is appropriate
Static essence of God
Creation out of nothing doesn’t apply if the universe was always in existence
oOnly getting a God that is creating a world out of stuff, not out of nothing (Laws
of matter state that it can never be created or destroyed)
Concept of God is arbitrary because it’s just humans’ needs to have a starting point
Fable of the Arrow:
Getting wrapped up in contingency (according to the Buddhist) is like a man who is shot by an
arrow and asks questions about it (like “What is the arrow made of” “Who shot the arrow?
“Where was he standing?” etc) rather than trying to focus on what the real issue is- getting the
arrow out of the man’s chest. The questions are just distractions and aren’t focusing on relieving
suffering.
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