David Berman Dr.

Hagan 11/30/2010 PHI 320 Paper #2 In Defense of the Classical God

In this paper I will argue that theism provides a stronger inductive argument for the existence of god than naturalism because it can explain the existence of contingent beings.Naturalism argues against God s existence by argument is formulated as such: (1) There is a self-organizing physical reality (i.e., there is a physical reality who s nature is not imposed by god or by any other force or agent (2) Physical reality exists either necessarily, eternally, or by chance, and (3) leaving aside all possible special cases, all entities are physical entities. (Layman, 16). Classical theists would argue that (1) there is exactly one entity,(2) that is perfectly morally good, (3) is almighty, and (4) exists out of necessity (Layman, 93) The theist position explains that God is the cause and sustainer of the universe. We may not know why God would create the universe, however it seems more probable that a morally perfect being would create people because it would want to love and care for something other than itself. Naturalism would attempt to explain the universe as purely physical processes.According to the premises of both arguments, naturalism is simpler than theism, it has fewer steps, and the terms of theism are more complex. An example of the greater complexity of theist terms comes from its third premise; almighty. A being that is almighty is all powerful, however, what an all-powerful being can do needs to be explained, but there are no terms in the premises of naturalism that need such an explanation. But where naturalism fails theism succeeds. Naturalism cannot explain the presence of contingent beings, however, theism can.

(Hume. Whatever exists must have a cause or reason for its existence we must either proceed to trace an infinite succession of events without any cause at all. but functioning to support a whole. at least within this universe because of the . somehow randomly sprang up out of nothing? Without question the probability of that is very low. the gravitational pull on earth being 9. My contentions about the universe being necessary are logical. 102) Hume criticizes himself and the argument by articulating through another character.792. or we must have recourse to an ultimate cause that exists necessarily. I think that it is unreasonable to claim that anything can exist without cause. It is remarkable how intricate and complex this system. each force with its own power.Contingent beings are beings that did not need to exist. so complex.The theist might argue that the probability that the human eye was created by chance is low. what chance would there be that the human. In Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion David Hume uses one of the characters of the dialogue.8 meters per second. Consider how the cosmological constants of the universe have been created. as they may well have been when the universe came into being.485 meters per second. light traveling at 299. But this claim is contestable. yet they are they exist. The human is the perfect example of a contingent being. composed of living tissues. each cell interdependently living. For what reason would a system so complex exist? Theists would critique naturalism by arguing that it cannot explain why something exists rather than nothing. Cleanthes how it is possible that the material universe could be the necessarily existing being (Hume. 104). complex in its makeup.if these had been different. a part of the even more complex human. The human eye has lenses that bend light and reflect it onto ocular cells called cones and rods where it is processed into the brain and changed into an image. with even more complex parts. Demea to articulate a similar argument. particularly something as complex as the human eye.

In essence the naturalist would postulate some kind of unperceivable contingent being generator that is not God. the pervasiveness. Necessity naturalism states that (1) there is a self-organizing physical reality.laws of logic. In sum contingent beings create a stumbling block for naturalism. The probability of a contingent being generator that cannot be perceived.g. Because of this binary dichotomy. at least it seems more reasonable that way. thereby reducing the simplicity of their argument to at least that of theism. at least as unlikely as a God. which depend on the existence of humanity should not be as pertinent to forming a judgment about God s existence and should not carry a high enough degree of weight to tip the balance one way or the other in favor of naturalism or theism. Once these other problems that naturalists may or may not have claims about are . Naturalists generally answer the claim that their argument cannot provide an explanation for contingent beings by reformulating their argument into what is known as necessity naturalism. In order to explain contingent beings naturalists must either add steps to their argument. and the problem of life after death. (e. because of its ability to explain to contingent beings seems to be a stronger argument for Gods existence thannaturalism. and the two extra stepsincrease the complexity of naturalism to the point at which it is no longer simpler than theism.(4) leaving aside all special cases. and importance of contingent beings. sets or numbers) (Layman. is unlikely. which either must add steps to its argument or cannot explain contingent beings. which gives theism an edge in explanatory power. or they cannot explain contingent beings. If a thing were extra-universal I think it may not be bound to logic. depending on how the naturalist would argue. So theism. other polemics like the problem of evil. 96). (2) Some aspect of physical reality exists of necessity (3) the necessary part of physical reality generates additional aspects in a contingent manner. In either case theism emerges as the stronger framework because it has either a stronger ability to explain why God exists or it is simpler.

I argue it is clear that theism is a stronger framework. the winner of the argumentbetween naturalism and theism is still is not clear. .dismissed as unimportant compared to being able to explain contingent beings. however.

David. and Henry David Aiken.Dialogues concerning Natural Religion.Bibliography Hume. Letters to Doubting Thomas: a Case for the Existence of God. 1948. New York: Oxford UP. New York: Hafner Pub.. Print. Layman. Stephen C. Print.. 2007. .

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