Exam Questions practice 1. “The Scientific method is no more reliable than revelation”. How far would Christians agree with this statement? 6AE 2. In what ways does the cosmological argument answer the questions about the origins of the universe? 4KU 3. Explain two criticisms of the cosmological argument. 4AE
“The Scientific method is no more reliable than revelation”. How far would Christians agree with this statement? 6AE The sense of meaning, value and purpose in human life is provided by religion and is often related to the concept of God or other spiritual aspects so religion is necessary to do this We also need a set of moral values/principles to live by science cannot give us this as it is not in this ‘business’ Issues which are beyond the scope of science eg beliefs about good and evil, existential questions, the question of God …. are not scientific
Religion is concerned with aspects of reality which aim to relate to why things are as they are eg the significance of human consciousness, transcendence, the intelligibility of the world etc • Religion operates at the personal, individual, subjective level and not with the universal … as science does therefore it is much more meaningful • If you add religious beliefs and values to scientific ideas you can get a much more complete picture than just science on its own • Scientific bias not always objective • Falsifiability - scientific statements are tentative
In what ways does the cosmological argument answer the questions about the origins of the universe? 4KU • The universe itself is the most vital piece of evidence for the existence of God. If God does not exist the world as we know it cannot be explained • Everything that moves is moved by something else. This cannot be infinite or the movement would not have started in the first place. There must be an ‘unmoved mover’ – God • Everything has a cause. There cannot be an infinite number of causes therefore there must be an ‘uncaused cause’ – God is the First Cause • Nothing can come from nothing. Something only comes into existence as a result of something that already exists. There must be some ‘necessary being’ that exists of itself – God. • If you then consider the universe, you can follow the same logical argument until you get to a stage of the First Cause of the universe as well • This First Cause of the universe has not been caused by anything else so must be the ultimate First Cause. This is what we mean by God.
Explain two criticisms of the cosmological argument. 4AE • There does not have to be a First/final Cause to the universe – it might have come into existence spontaneously with no actual/first cause • The First Cause of the universe may not be God … it may be a natural event • If everything has a cause, then God must be caused by something, you cannot just stop at any point in the chain and randomly call this God • Just because individual things within the universe have causes, it does not mean that the world/universe itself has a cause • Just because every human being has a mother it does not • follow that the universe has a mother. This is too simplistic an argument … God is far greater than we can ever explain with our finite logic. • Hume’s criticisms
Design • When designing a product several issues must be taken into consideration to ensure the product works successfully. • For example: • Size • Weight • Material How do the following products show design?
Produces oxygen. Cleans water and air Produces food for animals and humans Gives animals a home Produces material to build with Trees- A perfectly designed product?
Aim • To able to identify how nature shows evidence of a design. • To relate the concept of a designer to the argument for God
Design Argument • The argument from design finds its origins in Aquinas’Summa Theologica and is the fifth of his five ways of proving the existence of God.
Aquinas argued from design qua regularity. He saw the overall order in the world as proof of a designer: ‘this being we call God.’ • Aquinas stated that everything works together to achieve order, despite the fact that inanimate objects have no mind or rational powers to achieve this.
Aquinas explained his point by using the example of an arrow, saying that for an arrow to reach its destination it must be directed first of all by the archer. • In the same way, ‘natural bodies’ seem to act in a regular fashion to reach a specific purpose. As they, like the arrow, are not able to direct themselves, there must be a God doing the directing.
Arguments for the Existence of God These types of argument are often called ‘Teleological’ arguments. They basically works like this: 1. To design something takes intelligence and thought. 2.The universe appears to have been designed. 3.Therefore, a being with intelligence and thought must have designed the universe. 4. Only God could design something as complex as the universe. 5. Therefore, God must exist. The philosopher, William Paley, used the idea of design to try and prove the existence of God.
WilliamPaley (1743-1805) then took this further when he formed his own version of the teleological argument in his book Natural Theology (1802). • Paley uses the analogy of the watchmaker to explain his argument. He asks you to imagine a man walking across a heath. The man comes across a stone and a pocket watch and analyses both. His inspection of the stone leads him to conclude that it could have been there forever; there is nothing about the stone that leads the man to believe it lies on the heath for a particular reason.
Paley’s watch Walking through the hills you come across a watch. You notice how complex it is. It could not have happened by chance/accident. It must have had a ‘DESIGNER’.
The universe is far more complicated than a watch. If a watch has a designer then surely the universe has. The only thing powerful enough to make the universe is God…SO… God must exist. Watch the following video clip that explains Paley’s watch in more detail
Just think for a moment how amazing the human eye is. The eye: • Automatically adjusts to see in the dark • Can see underwater • Keeps a still, steady picture when your head moves • Cleans itself of dust with tears • Can reveal your emotions • Can repair itself to a certain extent • Can work well for about 95 years
The Design Argument Design: When things show evidence of being planned for a purpose. Q. How does a camera show design? Q. What was the inspiration for the first camera?
Q. How do these items show design? Your heart keeps you going with 100,000 beats every day, 365 days a year, for life. A Computer Your brain is 4000 times more powerful than the largest supercomputer A Battery A Pocket Watch The human body works in complete harmony with itself without any need of conscious instruction from you. Your central nervous system can send millions of messages to anywhere in your body, instantly. The World Wide Web Q. Why are they not better than the human body?
Pebble – simple – explanation = natural Watch – complex – explanation = designer Eye – complex – explanation = designer?
Make notes:William Paley (1743-1805)Paley put forward the watch analogy to explain his design argument. Finding a stone would not puzzle us and we would know it to be a natural occurrence. However, if we found a watch we would be puzzled. It is composed of finely adjusted parts. Its interaction serves a purpose = TO TELL THE TIME.If things have order and purpose they usually point to an intelligent designer.We can recognise elements of the watch argument in nature. Therefore, if we argue that:Watch = watchmaker> both intelligent designs(ers).World =World makerThe degree of creation are different but the same principle can be applied.
Paley’s Watch Analogy 2 This argument is an analogy – comparing one thing with something similar, so the second half of Paley’s argument compares the watch with the universe. • Similarly, if you look at the world we live in you will see how complex it also is. • You could examine it and see that it has very complex systems – weather, gravity, etc. It also has so many complex organisms living on it, perfectly suited to their environments. • You would conclude that such complexity and harmony could not have just appeared randomly, but that it must have been designed somehow (like the watch was). • You might also conclude that everything seems to be working together to a similar end. • Therefore, you could finally conclude that there had to be an intelligent ‘world-maker’ who designed this universe and all of life with a purpose in mind. • This ‘world-maker’ must be God, as God is the only being out-with the universe, and is the only intelligent, powerful and loving creator.
How the world began. Things I find amazing in the world are ________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________ Christians believe that the world is too a_ _ _ _ _ _ to be an accident, someone must have _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ it. Christians believe that G _ _ designed the world. Scientists believe that the w _ _ _ _ has become amazing because it has developed over millions of years, they call this e _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _. At first there were simple fish and insects which became d _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ and then a _ _ _ and then h _ _ _ _ _. Humans, God, designed, world, evolution, dinosaurs, apes, amazing. I think _________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ I think this because_______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________ I disagree with _______________because ____________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________