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Saturday, 23 July 2016

Philosophy of Religion and God - Part 2

In my previous post, Philosophy of Religion and God - Part1, we discussed various arguments such as Ontological and Cosmological arguments to prove the existence of God and also their counter arguments. Today we will be looking at a few other arguments.

Teleological Arguments:
Image courtesy: www.britannica.com

In 1802, an English Clergyman,William Paley, presented his arguments for the existence of God. He used an analogy, where he took an example of a watch and told as the intelligent design of a watch and its purpose implied the existence of a watch-maker. Similarly, the intelligent design of this world and its purpose implied the existence of a world-maker. To understand the teleological arguments in detail, please refer to my previous post Understanding the Teleological Arguments. To refute this argument, many people used disanalogy, saying that a watch and world are two dissimilar things and hence same logic can't be used as we can clearly open a watch and see how the gears inside the watch fit to tick the hands of the clock, same is not possible with the whole world. These counter arguments were responded by saying just because you don't understand the design and working of something, doesn't imply it was not created by one. Let's take an example of a TV set, not many understand the interior design of a TV set, but that doesn't mean it was not created by one and it just happened to appear. One main problem with this argument is that as long as we see objects which are complex and seem to exhibit a purpose it works fine but for things which apparently has no purpose that's a flaw in his argument as the absence of any obvious purpose will lead people to create purpose.

Many people also argued that the complexities that body exhibit is a result of natural selection and random mutation. When there are a lot of objections to the arguments, you either need to reject your arguments or modify your arguments such that it answers all the objections. So the modern teleological argument presented by British philosopher changes the teleological arguments to make the existence of God more probable. He said though there is another explanation for the existence of the world we must go with the one which is highly probable and it is highly probable that god designed this world rather than it came into existence on the pure chance of natural selection and random mutations. These were again countered by claiming we can't make a probability claim when we have only 1 sample set.

Blaise Pascal's Arguments:

Image Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org

According to Blaise Pascal, a french philosopher,  believing in the existence of God is more rational. He derives his logic by employing decision theory. His logic can be represented using a two-by-two matrix, either God exists or does not and either you believe in the existence of God or you don't:

Table 1 God Exists God doesn't exist
You believe in God Infinite Rewards some finite reward
You don't believe in God Infinite Punishment somefinite reward

Now for the theist, if God exists they get infinite rewards and if God doesn't exist they get comfort with their faith in God. For an atheist, if God exists they will get infinite punishment and if God doesn't exist they get some finite rewards too. But in case the theist is a hedonist, then the rewards enjoyed by him will be greater than the theist who adheres to all moral beliefs strictly. However, if there is equal chance that God exists, then the infinite reward still make believing in God a more rational decision.

Hope these arguments provides you the reason for your belief in God and if you are a theist and think you have a better argument for the existence of God, please comment. If you are atheist and have a better counter-arguments to deny the existence of God, please do let me know your arguments through comment.





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