Read Philosophy Here and Now Sections 2.1 and 2.2 and answer one (1) of the questions below. My sense is that an adequate response to the question should be roughly 200-250 words in length. Please note that for this assignment you may not use any resource outside of the textbook or any of the other assigned material.
1. What are the premises and conclusion of Paley’s design argument? Do you think his argument is successful? Why or why not? How might an evolutionary biologist respond to Paley’s argument?
2. Many scientists say that some events (on the quantum level, for example) are literally uncaused, and some say that the universe itself could have been uncaused. If these claims are true, how would they affect the cosmological argument? How does Craig respond to the suggestion that science shows that some events are uncaused?
The cosmological argument attempts to prove a god exists by showing that the universe has an underlying creative force or intention. It’s often presented in the form of a question: if there is no God, then how can this universe be here?
The cosmological argument is an important part of Craig’s case for God’s existence. It states that the universe had a beginning and it is finite in age, which means there must have been a cause for this. This cause is an uncaused, timeless, spaceless, immaterial being (UITB).
Craig explains how this concept fits into his overall argument: “The UITB cannot be described by any words or concepts we currently possess; therefore it cannot be empirically verified.” To illustrate this point further, he gives an analogy: “If you were walking down a road at night toward your house when suddenly someone jumps out at you with a knife in their hand and stabs you twice before disappearing again into thin air…you would naturally think that there was something else causing these events.”
The cosmological argument is a philosophical argument for the existence of God. The basic premise of this argument is that everything that exists must have a cause; therefore, if you find yourself in a position where there are things which do not have causes, then something must be responsible for them being so.
Craig says he doesn’t know whether or not his universe had a beginning and (if it did) how long it took for him to begin. However, we don’t seem to be able to determine the temporal direction of events in the world at the quantum level; therefore, Craig cannot say whether or not one thing caused another thing to begin—as such we can only accept that both things began together as either simultaneously existing or separately existing at some point during their existence.
While it’s hard to determine the cause of an event from our limited knowledge of physics and philosophy, we can at least say that no one really knows how long ago something began. The universe may have always existed; it may have been created by God; or it may have been created by a big bang. We can’t know for sure because our current understanding of physics only allows us to see so far into the past.
This doesn’t mean that science disproves God’s existence—it simply means that scientists don’t currently have enough information about how things work at this level (the quantum level) to determine whether or not there was ever an initial cause for everything else in existence today.
The cosmological argument is based on a number of different assumptions. We can’t say for certain that the universe began, but neither can we say that it didn’t. The events of time seem to have no direction in space or time and there’s no way to prove that anything other than God created everything. If this is correct, then what we’re left with is an open question: did something cause the universe?
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