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A Philoshpical Approach to the Finding of God?

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Essay title: A Philoshpical Approach to the Finding of God?

The question of God's existence has been debated through the history of man, with every philosopher from Socrates to Immanuel Kant weighing in on the debate. So great has this topic become that numerous proofs have been invented and utilized to prove or disprove God's existence. Yet no answer still has been reached, leaving me to wonder if any answer at all is possible. So I will try in this paper to see if it is possible to philosophically prove God's existence.

Before I start the paper there are a few points that must be established. First is a clear definition of Philosophy of Religion, which is the area of philosophy that applies philosophical methods to study a wide variety of religious issues including the existence of God. The use of the philosophical method makes Philosophy of Religion distinct from theology, which is the study of God and any type of issues that relate to the divine. Now there are two types of theology, Revealed and Natural Theology. Revealed Theology claims that our knowledge of God comes through special revelations such as the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and the Koran. Saint Thomas Aquinas indicates that Revealed Theology provides what he calls "Saving Knowledge", which is knowledge that will result in our salvation. Now Natural Theology is our knowledge of God that one ascertains through natural reasoning, or reasoning that is unaided by special revelations. Saint Thomas noted that this type of reasoning can provide knowledge of God's nature, or even prove his existence, but can never result in the person attaining salvation for as he states, even demons know that God exists. A note must be made before we press on; as one might notice Natural Theology is akin to philosophy of religion in the sense that both use human reasoning in their attempts to explain the divine. The main difference between them of course is the range of the topics considered.

Ontological Argument

The Ontological Argument, which argues from a definition of God's being to his existence, is the first type of argument we are going to examine. Since this argument was founded by Saint Anslem, we will be examining his writings. Saint Anslem starts by defining God as an all-perfect being, or rather as a being containing all conceivable perfections. Now if in addition of possessing all conceivable perfections this being did not possess existence, it would then be considered less perfect from a being that does exist. Since by definition God is all-perfect, and a being that does not exist is less perfect than one that did, it must be deemed that God exists. As one can see, Anslem explains God's existence just by utilizing our concept of God as an all-perfect being. Simply put, the definition of God guarantees his existence just as the definition of a triangle guarantees that all triangles have three sides. This argument is a hard one to follow due to the fact that it utilizes Reductio Ad Abusdum form. This is when you support your conclusion by showing that the negation of the said conclusion will lead to a logical paradox.

Numerous Philosophers, Immanuel Kant being one, have refuted Saint Anslems assertion. Kant's main objection is that the argument rests on the idea that existence is a quality or property. He asserts that the word "exist" has a different meaning from property-words such as "green", or "pleased". He then goes on to state that only characteristics or qualities can clarify or describe a concept, and since existence is neither it cannot be utilized in the argument. Kant then points out that the concept of God existing cannot be derived from the definition of him being all perfect, just as the concept of a leprechaun or unicorn's existence cannot be derived from it's definition.

Another problem with the Ontological Argument is the belief that existence is a real predicate. A predicate is something that adds some type of description to a subject. To say that something exists is to merely state that there is something in our reality that correlates with the description we have. It answers the question of "Is there any", but not the one "What is it". It can also be pointed out that if the Ontological Argument was valid then one could prove the existence of a perfect singer, perfect scientist, or any other perfect beings. This alone should make it clear that there is something drastically wrong with this argument. Lastly this final note must be made, the Ontological may prove God's existence but the question of his nature is never dealt with.

Teleological Argument

The next type of argument is called the Teleological Argument, or the argument from design. This argument starts by saying that the universe exhibits some type of purpose or order, and draws the

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