Philosophy of religion final exam

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  1. Religious Language
    What do religious assertions really mean?
    • Standard response:
    • Terms must be predicated of God analogically, not univocally or equivocally

    Analogically: Of, expressing, composed of, or based on an analog (example he ate like a pig)

    Univocally:having only one possible meaning

    Equivocally: uncertain or questionable in nature
  2. Religious Language
    Problem with standard response for "what do religious assertions really mean?"
    1. It is sometimes difficult to identify clearly the diffierences between predicating a term of God and of humans and this can cause confusion and complications

    2. Since religious assertions do not describe empiracle (observable) reference, competing interpretations often come into play
  3. Religious Language
    Falsification Argument
    1. A statement is a factual claim if and only if we can stipulate conditions under which it would be true and under which it would be false

    2. Theological assertions are often non-falsifiable, that is, nothing is allowed to count against them

    3. Therefore, theological assertions are often not really factual statements; rather they express a personal opinion

    response: theological assertions are basic core beliefs and such beliefs are not based primarily on evidence but on individual perspectives
  4. Religious Language
    Standard argument for inclusive language
    Premise 1: "male language" originally reflected the cultural diminance of males

    Premise 2: to continue knowingly or unknowingly to use such language peroetuates the concept of male dominance

    Premise 3: Christians, however, ought no longer affirm such a concept

    Conclusion: Our language must be changed to reflect this fact
  5. Religious Language
    Standard supernatural argument for inclusive language
    Premise 1: Language about God is analogical-that is, only some of the characteristics attached to the term on the human level apply to God

    Premise 2: The use of "he," "his," and "Father" are especially misleading because it leads people (especially children) to assume wrongly that God is in some way more male than female

    Premise 3: Moreover, since humans relate differently to members of the opposite gender, this false assumption is significant.

    Conclusion: Thus, we should use language about God that transcends gender
  6. Arguments for God's existence
    Pacal's Wager
    • Assuming that there is no conclusive evidence fr or against God's existence, it is most reasonable to believe God exists
    • -If you are right, you gain a great deal
    • -If You are wrong, you lose nothing

    • Issues:
    • 1. God will not honor belief based on this line of reasoning
    • 2. Many theistic systems are mutually exclusive so belief in any specific God also comes with the risk of a big loss
  7. Arguments for God's Existence
    Design Argument
    • 1. Design or order in non-natural objects is rightly considered the result or product of human intelligence
    • 2. Nature displays a great deal of design or order
    • 3. Therefre, it sis most plausible to believe that an intelligent designer exists

    • Problems:
    • 1. Not everything is well designed so this argument alone doesn't support the existence of the Christian God (or creation)
    • 2. What we perceive as intentional design is simply the result of natural selection
  8. Arguments for God's existence
    Belief Forming Faculties Argument
    1. Core belief: experiencing God is like having a visual or auditory experience: each is formed by belief forming faculties,and in all these cases we are justified in assuming that the cause for our experience is what it seems to be, unless we have good reason to believe otherwise

    • Problems:
    • 1. Pervasive religious pluralism greatly weakens this argument
    • 2. We have religious belief forming faculties, but they weren't intended to give us the truth. Rather, they are intended to give you beliefs compatible with your cultural condition and context.
  9. Arguments for God's existence
    Cosmological Argument
    • 1.We believe that every object we experience has a preexisting cause
    • 2. There cannot be a infinite regression of caused causes
    • 3. Therefore, there must be an eternal first cause which itself has no cause
  10. Arguments for God's Existence
    Moral Argument
    • 1. If there were no objective moral standard, there ould exist no justification for making objective moral judgments
    • 2. Moreover, most humans believe that some of the same basic moral principles are objectively true
    • 3. These moral principles are either the product of a huma law giver or a non-human law giver
    • 4. If morality had its origin in the human mind, then it wouldn't be so uniform and persistent
    • 5. There must be a transcendent law giver and that happens to be God.

    • problems:
    • 1. This is a false dilemma because more principles could simply be innate
    • 2. are there really moral principles that have been affirmed by everyone in all cultures at all times?
  11. Arguments for God's existence
    Ontological Argument
    • 1. Some objects exist in the mind alone
    • 2. Some objects exist in the mind and in reality
    • 3. An object that exiss in the mind and in reality is greater than (more perfect than) one that exists in the mind alone
    • 4. We can all conceive of a greatest possible being (one that is infinite in every respect)
    • 5. This being cannot exist in the mind alone, for then it would not be the greatest concievable thing
    • 6. The greatest conceivable being must exist in reality
  12. Theological issues
    • Traditional Claim:
    • -Jesus Christ was fully God and fully human

    • Problem:
    • To be God is necessarily to be omnipotent, omniscient, and fully good while to be human is to be necessarily limited in these areas and therefore Jesus could not have been both simultaneously
  13. Theological Issues
    Morris' response
    To be fully human is to have all essential human characteristics. Jesus possessed all these characteristics but was not merely human. Jesus was also fully God.

    • Problems:
    • 1. If being finite in power, knowledge, and goodness is essentially human, then Jesus was not fully human
    • 2. If Jesus always had the God conciousness, then how could Jesus understand what we experience?
  14. Theological Issues
    • Traditional Claim:
    • -Jesus died to pay the price for all of our sins; a price that no human could pay alone

    • Complexities:
    • 1. Why can't of simply forgive the debt owed by those who didn't generate it?
    • 2. Can one person obsolve someone else of moral responsibility for his or her wrongdoing?
  15. Theological Issues
    Life after death
    Arguments against personal survival
  16. 1. If Christians really believed in inmortality, they would not fear and try to avoid death to the extent they do.
    • 2. Memory isn't capable of indefinite existence
    • 3. The resurrection of the body is impossible for there will not be enough matter to go around
    • 4. We have no credible direct evidence to substantiate the claim that we live on, therefore it is most reasonable to believe that we don't
  17. Theological Issues
    Life after death
    Arguments for personal survival
    • 1. Some people communicate with the dead
    • 2. Some people die and then return to tell us about another realm
    • 3. The Christian faith demands it
  18. Views on the end of life
    Theological Determinist: People die when it's their "time," when it's God's will

    Free Will Theist: It may or may not have been their "time" or God's will

    Process Theist: God can't give you a "time" because he can't interact
  19. Theological Determinism
    God is all controlling, humans are free and responsible for their actions, but all and ony that which God has determined shoud occur does in fact occur. This is the best of all possible world
  20. Free Will Theism
    God could be all controlling, however to the extent that God grants us meaningful freedom He has voluntarily given up control over what will occur (self-limitation)
  21. Process Theism
    God cannot unilaterally control anything. All entities always retain some power of self determination. God is though at every moment attempting to persuade all entities to choose the best available option
  22. Present Knowledge
    God knows all that has occurred and is occurring and can predict but does not know what people will freely do in the future

    problems: limits God, problem with Prophecy
  23. Simple Foreknowledge
    God know all that has occurred, is occurring, and will actually occur

    • TIMELESS: God knows what from our perspective is past, present, and future. But God is outside of time. For God, all exists in the eternal now
    • problem: then how can God interact inside of time??
  24. Middle Knowledge
    In addition to knowing all that has happening, is happening, and will actually happen. God also knows exactly what would happen given every possible situation
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Philosophy of religion final exam
Philosophy of religion final exam
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