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Philosophy Studies

Question 1

The Cosmological Argument is the popular argument that explains the existence of God. Aristotle insisted on the necessary observations for the world to understand its essence. Cosmological Argument of Aristotle is the reliance upon observation and sense data. Analyzing Kalam Cosmological Argument, one should say that it differs from Aquinas's Cosmological Argument. First of all, Kalam Cosmological Argument insists that the universe has its beginning . Secondly, the beginning of the universe is evident. Thirdly, the beginning of the universe could be caused or uncaused . Fourthly, the beginning of the universe could be uncaused if God was not an event and possibility of holding some event without causes . One should say that David Hume had the contra argument to Kalam Cosmological Argument supposing that every event had a cause .

Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument relied upon such notions as the source of harmony, the cause of excellence, the sustainer, first cause and first mover . One can say that his Cosmological Argument is more complicated than Kalam Cosmological Argument and has many similarities with Aristotle’s. Thomas Aquinas believed that there was a series of events . The similarity between his Cosmological Argument and Kalam Cosmological Argument refers to the existence of caused and uncaused events. However, Thomas Aquinas paid his attention to the necessary being who is the cause of the series of beings and contingent being. Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument has more religious character and proves the Existence of God . Thomas Aquinas distinguished the argument from motion. One should say that Thomas Aquinas's Cosmopolitan Argument has a lot in common with Aristotle's Argument as they both relied upon observation and senses .

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Taylor's Cosmological Argument differs from Kalam Cosmological Argument and Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument. Taylor's Cosmological Argument relies upon two main postulates . First of all, one can not explain world's existence with the help of postulating a beginningless world. Secondly, if the world has always existed God can be the creator of the world . One should underline the similarity between Taylor's Cosmological Argument and Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument that is related to the existence of contingent and necessary beings. However, for Taylor, God is a necessary being and the world is a contingent being .

One should underline the similarities between Kalam Cosmological Argument, Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument and Taylor's Cosmological Argument. First of all, they all define caused and uncaused events. Secondly, they are complicated as are based on several postulates . Moreover, these arguments define such notions as contingent being and necessary being. Kalam Cosmological Argument, Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument and Taylor's Cosmological Argument rely upon argumentation (logos) and world (cosmos) . Moreover, Richard Taylor applies the experiment. He imagined finding a translucent and large ball in the forest during the walking. Such situation provokes the questions related to form and owner of that ball, the reason why this ball is in the forest . However, Taylor states that this ball is always existing thing. It means that if one can fail to answer such questions as how long, why, where, it does not mean that the thing does not exist .

The Kalam Cosmological Argument is based on four premises. The first premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument states that the universe can have or cannot have beginning. The second premise confirms that the universe has a beginning . Consequently, the universe can run out of energy because of the absence of ending. The third premise insists on caused and uncaused qualities of the beginning. The fourth premise states that the universe beginning is caused. Consequently, God can not be an event as every event has a cause .

One can distinguish two main kinds of argument: valid and solid. Valid arguments presuppose conclusions from the premises and are deductive. Sound arguments if the premises are true and if the argument is valid. The distinctions between valid and solid arguments are related to the differences of their forms. Another distinction is that valid arguments are deductive. In valid arguments, the conclusions must be true, in sound arguments, it is not obligatory. In valid arguments, the conclusion follows from premises. In valid arguments, conclusions must be true as well as premises . Consequently, the truth of premises is the basement for the truth of the conclusion. One should mention that the term of validity can be applied to deductive arguments. As to inductive arguments, they can be weak or strong, but not sound or valid .

Another difference between valid and solid arguments refers to structure. Only structured arguments are valid. Structured arguments are those which conclusion follows from premises. Soundness of the argument depends on validity of arguments and truthfulness of the premises. First of all, one should define whether the arguments are valid. It can not be valid if it is not sound . Consequently, one should not analyze it anymore. Valid forms consist of modus ponens, modus tollens, hypothetical syllogism and disjunctive syllogism . Invalid forms include fallacy of affirming the disjunct, counterfeit hypothetical syllogism, fallacy of denying the antecedent and fallacy of affirming the consequent .

As to atheists, they do not believe in the truthfulness of premises in the full measure. They do not comment premises on God as they are interested in the social effects of religion. However, atheists believe that there is no reason to analyze traditional approaches to God's existence. The atheists try to ignore analysis of premises to avoid possible issues.

Question 2

Anthony Flew was an atheist; therefore, he devoted his book to atheism. First of all, his journey is based on his denial of divine and his discovery of divine. This philosopher has passed the way from atheism to theism . One can notice his controversial opinions in his debates pastors and theologians. Anthony Flew believed that God-talk was absurd . It is a miracle that now this person believes in God after long debates and discussions. Anthony Flew has presented such notion as the “presumption of atheism” . However, soon he is disappointed with atheism and shows the interest to theists. The journey of Anthony Flew from atheism to theism is complicated. First of all, the philosopher studies atheism, its creation, evidence and his considerations on denial of the divine. One can say that his starting point in philosophy was denial of God and divinity. “To believe there is a God, we have to have good grounds for the belief. But if no such grounds are provided, there exists no sufficient reason for believing in God, and the only reasonable position is to be a negative atheist or an agnostic. ” It means that Antony Flew doubts in his beliefs. One can feel that here he is no atheist, nor theist.

Antony Flew is not very passionate supporter of atheism as he supposes atheism a regression to the logical philosophy. He addresses to atheism to explain the notion of evil which is not reveled by Antony Flew. A dramatic turn from atheism to theism is another proof of instability of philosopher' opinions.

The discovery of divine by Antony Flew was the result of lack of answers on many questions that cannot be fulfilled by atheism . First of all, atheism could not explain who wrote the laws of nature. Secondly, Antony Flew absorbed in the entity of the universe, and again he was confused as atheism did not provide the necessary answers . Another question that encouraged Antony Flew to theism was whether life went live. The philosopher also tried to understand whether something came from nothing. Furthermore, Antony Flew found the space for God and opened to omnipotence .

Antony Flew admits that his statements that there is no God and the system of beliefs about God is based on the contradictions are wrong and not justified. Moreover, everything related to nature and existence is God's affair that is unacceptable for atheists. One should say that enduring interest of Antony Flew to theology has changed his philosophical vision .

One can suppose that these were chapters “Who Wrote the Laws of Nature” and “Did the Universe Know We Were Coming” explain the most his arguments for theism. The arguments for God's existence emerge from the usual things and processes. From the first lines Antony Flew does not admit God's existence in full measure naming Him a cosmic Designer. Nature, its design and laws of nature are the results of his hands . Again, atheism does not explain the essence of these concepts. However, further the philosopher is more confident in his beliefs and uses the word “God” oftener. Origin of life and reproduction and the origin of the laws of nature are the key questions that turned his beliefs from atheism to theism. The chapters “Who Wrote the Laws of Nature” and “Did the Universe Know We Were Coming” are crucial because they reveal the changes in philosophical vision of Antony Flew. These chapters show philosopher's admiring with nature, its laws and particular building of the world .

The most specific pages that can be the climax of changes are pages 95-96. They refer to the starting points of admitting theism . First of all, these pages reveal the key points that have become the driving forces of changing mind. Secondly, from the first sentence “Perhaps the most popular and intuitively plausible argument for God’s existence is the so-called argument from design ” This sentence proves that Antony Flew is still doubting, but already ready to change his opinion for the sake of truthfulness. For him nature is design, God is a Designer. Consequently, Antony Flew relates both notions to the world creation . Antony Flew astonishes with order in nature and still has many questions. He is critical, but objective when it comes to analysis of theism and criticism of atheism. The most crucial point is that from the same beginning Antony speaks about his admitting of God's existence .

Antony Flew does not answer the problem of evil in his book because he concentrates his attention on God's existence. The philosopher relates the notion of evil to atheism. As his first part of the book about atheism is not so important, the notion of evil loses its actuality . One should say that Antony Flew supposes totalitarianism and anti-Semitism the twin evils. “The problem of evil was a decisive disproof of the existence of an all-good, all-powerful God”, writes Antony Flew . It means that Antony Flew can not oppose God to evil being an atheist. Antony Flew fails to explain the notion of evil because of his not full understanding of God and existence. Antony Flew admits the existence of suffering and evil but separates them from God's existence. Moreover, he states that the existence of God does not depend on evil.

Question 3

There are problems of evil: one is logical (deductive), one is evidential (inductive), and both of these are atheistic arguments. The problem of evil is the argument that God is all-knowing and all-powerful abs does not allow suffering or evil to occur . Logical argument from evil suggests that existence of God is unacceptable together with the existence of evil . The logical or deductive problem of evil is based on the following statements: God exists and Evil exists. Moreover, God is omniscient and omnipotent. Consequently, a goo creature always eliminates evil. God has no limitations in his activity .

Inductive or evidential problem of evil is more dangerous than the first one. Consequently, it is based on the following statements: Evil exists. If God exists, evil will not exist. Therefore, God does not exist. The problem of logical or deductive problem of evil and inductive or evidential problem of evil refers to the problem of God existence . Logical or deductive aspect is theist, and inductive or evidential is atheist. Moreover, these aspects prove that God allows free will. Theists support logical or deductive problem of evil as for them God has all rights to permit or ban evil as he is morally-sufficient .

There are the differences between the inductive and deductive arguments. Deductive arguments presuppose conclusions from the premises. Inductive arguments include true premises and valid arguments. The distinctions between deductive and inductive arguments are related to the differences of their forms . In deductive arguments, the conclusions must be true, in inductive arguments, it is not obligatory. In deductive arguments, the conclusion follows from premises. In deductive arguments, conclusions must be true as well as premises . Consequently, the truth of premises is the basement for the truth of the conclusion. One should mention that the term of validity can be applied to deductive arguments. As to inductive arguments, they can be weak or strong, but not sound or valid .

The evidential problem of evil is that it has an atheist entity. As most people believe that power of God is rationally possible, others support that the existence of God is controversial due to the nature of the evil. Atheists think that if a God existed, he would not allow so much evil in the world. Moreover, evil seems to have a purposeless nature . “If God exists and is a being who is good, all-knowing, and all-powerful, then there would be no evil in the world. ” However, there are responses to this challenge. Without a doubt, it is difficult to comprehend why God allows evil in the world. However, one can not object to the existence of God if he allows evil. Consequently, there are possible reasons that justify evil in the society .

The theist accepts the premise that God is omnipresent, and they justify his permission of evil. They distinguish two kinds of evil: natural and moral. Consequently, theists justify moral evil as it is necessary for existence . Indeed, most theists regard evils as pain. It means that they accept premise 4 that states that evil exists. However, they suggest the ways when these evils are unavoidable or justified. Moreover, one should mention that theists reject the premise 5 (If God existed, there would not be evil). God allows some evil to achieve good things. Consequently, four premises are acceptable for theists, and two premises are acceptable for atheists .

Theists do not agree with the premise 4 as it puts in doubts goodness, knowledge and power of God for the sake of evil. Moreover, theists do not agree with the premise 5 as it objects to the existence of God . For example, some Asian religions regard evil as illusion and do not pay attention to it. St. Augustine claims that evil does not have substantial and independent reality. Theists believe that everything created by God is good and cannot be corrupted. For them, evil is the absence of good and light. Theists do not suppose evil as a strategy for coping with the problems .

The theists can argue that the second premise is not true.”God is all-knowing (omniscient). ” The problem with this premise is related to the argument that God's knowledge is limited. The atheists prove that limitation of God's knowledge is that he does not know future in details, since the future is the product of human choices. However, this philosophy also does not solve the problem in full measure. For example, if God knew about Holocaust, why he would not prevent it with the massive mechanical failures. It means that the second premise is also controversial for atheists as well as theists .

The atheists have their explanation of the second premise. First of all, they reject to it. Secondly, they also do not understand if God is so powerful, why he allows development of evil. Consequently, they do not associate God with evil. Moreover, atheists insist on their opinion that atheism is true as nobody can explain whether God exists. Atheism and Theism give humanity the choice to believe in God or to object to his existence . Atheists are evidentialists, therefore inductive or evidential argument is closer for them than deductive one. One can see here the crucial difference between atheism and theism. Theism believes that everything is uncaused and eternal. Atheism believes that everything is caused and temporary . Atheist does not believe in the truthfulness of premises in the full measure. They do not comment premises on God as they are interested in the social effects of religion. However, atheists believe that there is no reason to analyze traditional approaches to God's existence. The atheists try to ignore analysis of premises to avoid possible issues .

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