Further, this essay must establish a definition of ontological so as to differentiate between ontological and other forms of argument for the existence of God. As such, this essay will consider an argument to be “ontological” if the proponents the argument consider it that . However, one potential exception to this rule must be made for Leftow’s modal argument which must be considered an ontological argument despite Leftow consciously avoiding this term. This is because it is similar enough to other modal forms of ontological arguments like Plantinga’s. Having established the parameters for this essay, I will first assess the plausibility of Anselm’s version of the ontological argument.
One particular theme in the Guide to the Perplexed is Maimonides' theory of the attributes of Hashem via negativa. The definition of the phrase " via negativa" is to attempt to describe Hashem through what He is not and if one tries to describe God in term of what He is it will then introduce complexity of Hashem which is opposite His oneness. Those who study this theory pose some questions in order better to comprehend this lofty notion. How can one actually know Hashem via negativa? Can one discuss Hashem's unity and incorporeality without limiting His essence?
When searching for the truth about reality, I believe it is important to start with reason and then move to faith. In addition, this is where I believe commonsense is a major necessity towards believing in a pluralistic and monotheistic perspective. One of the most inter-esting things about philosophy is the idea that although we may not be able to answer our meta-physical questions, we still cannot help but to continue to ask these questions regardless. I agree with this idea, and I remain unsure if we can truly answer the questions and ideas concerning metaphysics. In many cases, the answer to these questions often requires a certain amount of in-terpretation and opinion, as well as reason and
While this two ideas are foundational to being a good reader and thus being a good interpreter, the most important part of any interpretation is reading in context. Individual words and ideas are important, but the big picture view of a passage is what the author is attempting to convey first and foremost to the reader. There are passages in the Scriptures that, taken out of context, seem to contradict each other. This is why the context is vital when interpreting the Scriptures. Carson goes on to explain the “analogy of the faith”.
We will take a closer look at each of these principles as illustrated by William James and Soren Kierkegaard, to see how these concepts effect our views of religious experience. The thrust of William James' argument in The Will to Believe is captured in the following argument; "Our passional nature not only lawfully may, but must, decide an option between propositions, whenever it is a genuine option that cannot by its nature be decided on intellectual grounds; for to say, under such circumstances, "Do not decide, but leave the question open, " is itself a decision—just like deciding yes or no,--and is attended with the same risk of losing the truth." While not denying the importance of reasoning and evidence for many of our beliefs, James forsakes objective certainty. He claims that we can never be absolutely sure of anything except that consciousness exists. The belief in truth springs more from desire and feeling than from reason.
Therefore, an attempt to use seams and shifts in the biblical text to discover its textual precursors is based on a fundamentally faulty assumption that one might recover a stage of the text that lacked such fractures (Carr 23-4). I do not so much wish to emphasize the deconstructive rhetoric of this approach as the fact that religious texts lend themselves to creative readings that originate in the reader's experiences or historical circumstances. In other words, the history of Scriptural interpretation exemplifies the text's role as a space where emerging ideologies may be refigured and incorporated into an authoritative cultural tradition. One may think of the genesis of such readings in terms of Harold Bloom's notion of literary succession as "an act of creative correction," the difference in this case being that Anne Hutchinson's creative act involves reviewing the Scripture itself and deriving spiritual knowledge from a finite textual canon (Bloom 30).
The understanding of his intent influences what meaning a person gains from reading his parables. In order to properly understand, one must reach past any pre-conceived notions or understandings of the parables and examine three major functions of influence on interpretation: the nature and context of the parables, whether the parables were meant to have simple or complex meanings, and whether Jesus meant for the meanings to be hidden or revealed. To neglect any of these criteria would be to reject full understanding. Different theories of understanding the parables have risen based upon the different criteria mentioned. Nature of Parables In order to even begin to understand the theories of explaining Jesus’ use of parables, one must first understand the definition and function of a parable.
The term ‘greater’ requires a comparison between itself and one or more things, which could pose a problem for Anselm’s argument; however Professor Thorp states that the only difference between these two things is that one exists in the mind, while the other exists in the mind and in reality. If we understand that a God that exists in the mind and in reality is greater than one that merely exists in the mind then we must understand that God exists. We need to examine this, however, much more closely to discover the problem with this statement; and I will do so using an example given to us by Professor Thorp. During the discussion of the Ontological argument, the professor asked us whether we would prefer ‘a real beer’ on a hot day, or ‘an imaginary beer’. The real one is preferable and it is greater than the imaginary one.
This distinction is important, as it allows Hume to differentiate perceptions as true or false notions. With this, Hume puts forward his concepts of belief and fiction. Belief is defined in perceptions that one, simply put, believes, and fiction encompasses the thoughts that are not believed. These definitions seem redundant when viewed as so, but further examination of Hume’s framework sheds light on the meaning of what he attempts to establish concerning belief. In order to fully understand the difference between belief and fiction, Hume’s definition of thought must first be studied.
Descartes’ Argument for the Existence of God In Descartes’ second meditation, he offers up an argument for Defective Nature Doubt that brings forth the idea that we can’t be certain of anything we perceive being actual and real (153). Descartes thinks that there is a possibility that we are constantly being deceived due to the fact that we don’t know, with perfect certainty, know where our ideas originate from (154). He tries to describe a method in order to dispel this Defective Nature Doubt by giving an argument for the existence of God. I think that the argument he gives for the existence of God is valid, yet I find it to be unsound due to the fact that a few of his premises are can easily be debated. In order to express this opinion, I will first provide explanations of the premises and conclusions of the argument, and then I will critique the premises that I find to be inadequate in order to support my opinion that Descartes’ argument is valid but unsound.