Monday, May 3, 2010

April 30 (question number 14 and 15)

14. What, according to Pascal, does one gain in this one by taking side of God?

According to Pascal, there are many positive attributes yo can gain in taking side of God. It will help us become a better person. Conscience and the sense of helping other people will develop in us. It is part of God's teaching that we should love each other. This are some of the benefits we can get in taking side of God.

As we look at the status quo, crime rates are fast increasing. This may due to the fact that they do not follow god's teachings. They are not afraid to commit bad things because they do not believe in God. This is one of the positive effects if you will not believe in the teachings of god. Your conscience will slowly fade and you will be blinded from the truth.

It is important that we take side of God. It will serve as our light in the darkness. Taking side of God will turn as into well being. We should serve as an agent of change in our community and to our country. This will enable us to live our life to the fullest.

15. How is Pascal's own religious faith evident in the last passage the wager?

Pascal believes that faith is the key in answering God's existence. This may seem true to most of the religious scholars. But some of them still believes that we cannot really study God because he is an infinite being. a being that is supreme and so powerful. This is the argument raise by some other people.

The last wager is more about hierarchy. Pascal's faith is evident in the last wage because he claims that God is the most high. This means that God is the one who creates everything in this world. And without him we wouldn't exist. This was also stated by Aquinas in his 5 ways. But still many arguments have been raised about the wager.

It is clear that Pascal believes that faith will help us eradicate argument on the existence of God. People will tend to doubt the existence of God if he lacks faith. It is also said that faith begins when people losses their hope. It is important to have faith in what we do in order to be successful. This is an evident of Pascal's religious faith in the last wager.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 28 (question number 5 and 6)

5. Why do we need to bring in an uncaused cause to explain the existence of things? why could there not simply be an infinite series of things mutually keeping one another in existence, thus, eliminating the idea of a first cause?

It is important to know the cause why does an object exist. Humans are gifted with the intellectual capacity. This enable us to think and question things that are existing in our environment. There should be a cause to explain everything because it is said that there is no effect when you take away the cause. This is stated in the second way.

We cannot eliminate the idea of first cause because this will create another cause in order for us to explain the existence of an object. To eliminate the first cause means eradicating the existence of God. As we all know fire is the cause of heat. Heat won't exist if there is no fire.

I believe that it is very impossible to eliminate the idea of first cause. There should always have a cause for there to have an effect. God is the cause why we exist. We are the cause why other things also exist. It is like a chain reaction created by a supreme being.

Granting that all things are contingent, hence perishable( thus, there could have been a time in the past when nothing was in existence as Aquinas argued in the third way), is it not also possible that even if all things are contingent, their finite life spans could overlap so that there is no point in time when all of them ceased to exist? Think for instance, the life span of human beings. Does this line of reasoning refute the argument for the existence of a necessary being?

April 27 (question number 1 and 2)

1. The first way regarding motion presupposes that " the natural state of things" is rest. Sir Isaac Newton, however, asserts, " motion was a natural a state at rest. This means that the things already at rest tend to continue also in motion. Does this view, if correct, invalidate in a way the argument of Aquinas regarding motion?Why does motion require an explanation anymore than rest?

The first way is about the argument of motion. It states that there must be a mover in order for a thing to move. God is considered the first mover by the people. A thing is at rest if there is no mover. It is impossible for a thing to move without a thing moving it.

Aquinas presupposes that the natural state of things is rest. This may mean that all object are at rest. It will only be in motion if someone or something move it. In the field of Science, objects that are at rest is at the state of static. It needs a kinetic energy in order to make the object in motion.

Newton based his conclusion on a scientific study. Motion requires more explanation because it is more complicated than those things that are at rest. If Newton's view is correct,this will not invalidate the argument of Aquinas. They both have the same idea but they explained it in different ways. Newton uses scientific basis in his argument.

2. If everything that exists must have a cause, as Aquinas contends, what caused god? Is the question what or who made god a valid question? Why and why not? Defend your answer.

Aquinas believes that the existence of everything must have a cause. It is explained in the second way that God is the efficient cause. He claims that to take away the cause is to take away the effect. In this argument, he is trying to say that we wouldn't exist if God does not exist.This conclusion is contrary to the scientific explanation how humans came to this world.

What caused God? this is a question that cannot be answer by us. This is due to the fact that we don't even know how we came into this world. Faith is the only way that can help us forget this question. We will not tend to ask or doubt the existence of God if we have faith in him.

The question about who or what made God is invalid. This is invalid because God is infinite. It means that we cannot fully know God. No one has ever answer this question because it is impossible to know an infinite being. It's all just a matter of faith.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 26 (The Five Ways)

1st Way:

The first way is the argument from motion. It concludes that it is necessary to arrive at a first mover which everyone understands to be God. Saint Thomas Aquinas believe hat there must be a mover to move an object. He also quoted in his writings that it is impossible for a thing to become a mover and moved at the same time. This argument of motion makes him conclude that God should exist for us to exist.

2nd Way:

The second way is about the nature of efficient cause. It concludes that we should admit a first efficient cause. The author believe that this efficient cause is what everyone believe to be God. He claims that we should take away the effect if we want to eradicated the cause. This way of efficient cause states that there is no first cause among efficient causes.

3rd Way:

The third way is the possibility and necessity. It concludes that we cannot but admit the existence of a being having of itself its own necessity which everyone calls God. Aquinas believe that a thing exist only through something that is already existing. We will not exist if God does not exist. This 3rd way is different from the explanation presented by the scientist regarding the existence of man.

4th Way:

The fourth way is the gradation to be found in things. This is also known as hierarchy.
It concludes that the God is the cause of our being good and every other perfection. There always exist an hierarchy state in our world. Everyone believes that God is on the top of the hierarchy and he is the cause of our goodness.

5th Way:

The fifth way is the governance of the world. It concludes that all natural things are directed to God. Aquinas states that whatever lacks knowledge cannot move towards the end.God is the only being who has a complete knowledge on all the things. Therefore, we see him as a supreme being to guide us towards the end.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

10 books that deals on the subject of God's existence

1.Belief in God: a course of sermons on faith by Tihamer Toth; translated by V.G. Agotai; edited by Newton Thompson

call number:HS 251 T64 1938

-an argument starts from one or more premises which are propositions taken for granted for the purpose of the argument, and argues to a conclusion.

2.. Does God exist?: a believer and an atheist debate by Terry L. Miethe and Anthony G. N. Flew.

call number:CO BT 102 M53 1991

- it talks about the debate of the evangelical and the atheist regarding the existence of GOD.

3..The Existence of God By: John Hicks

call number:CO BT 98 B76 1964

-the author propose moral arguments from religious experiences

4. Are You there God? its me Margaret by Judy Blume

call number:GS Are Blu 1970

-this book talks about a girl in her quest to find God and her religion

5.Does God exist?: an answer for today by Hans Kung

call number:CO BT 102 .K86 1980

-this book contains lot of critics about atheism

6. Al-Qur'an a contemporary translation by Ahmed Ali.

call number:CO BP 109 A46 1994

-Ali has haelp the reader to easily understand the words of God by translating the Quran.

7. Anselm's discovery: a re-examination of the ontological proof for God's existence by: Hartshorne, Charles

call number:CO BT 102 .H36 1956

- this book shows Anselm’s argument and criticism and the different reactions of some philosophers to his argument.

8. I believe in God: a meditation on the Apostles' creed by Paul Claudel; edited by Agn{grave}es du Sarment; translated by Helen Weaver; introduction by Henri de Lubac.

call number:CO BT 993.2 .C52 1963

- it consists of beautiful poems about faith

9. God: the evidence (The reconciliation of faith and reason in a postsecular world) by Patrick Glynn.

call number:ICS BT 102 G59 1999

- contains scientific explanation regarding the existence of God.

10.Do you believe in God? by Karl Rahner; translated by Richard Strachan.

call number:CO BT 1102 .R33 1969

- it shows the relationship of the author with god.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 22 Question number 8 and 10

8. It is said that even the devil knows that God exist. What importance or value does knowing God's existence have in human life?

It is true that the devil knows that God exists. The devil have tried to lure Jesus into evil things but he didn't succeed. Through this we can say that the power of goodness is greater than the evil. The devil will also try to lure us to do bad things. He will not succeed if we have faith in God.

There are lots of benefits that we can get if we believe in the existence of God. We will tend to follow all his teachings. It is better to believe in the existence of God so that we would be afraid to do bad things. This will help us become a better person.

People tend to do bad things when they don't believe in God. They are not afraid of doing bad things since they believe that God does not exist. We could become a good person if we believe in God and follow his teachings. This will hinder us from doing bad things. It could also help us to live our life to the fullest.

10.Gregory of Nyssa once said, "... finding God consists in endlessly seeking God." Do you think trying to find God through the arguments or proofs is an essential part in seeking God? Why or why not?

The Bible is only as reliable and trustworthy as its author and this it was set forth by God who was “in the beginning” and who knows the end from the beginning. God is someone who is eternal. Many have described the Bible as our owner’s manual. Since God made us, He knows how we are to live. He knows what will keep us healthy in mind, body and spirit. He knows what will make us happy.

I believe that trying to find God through the arguments or proofs is an essential part in seeking God. It can help us answer our doubt about the existence of God. As human beings it is just natural for us to look for some proofs in order for us to distinguish right from wrong. Through this we will be able to know more about God. This may also strengthen our faith.

As we look at the status quo, many of the scholars are still arguing about the existence of God. This is just a way of showing that there are still people longing for more evidence to believe that God really exist. Through this argument, we will tend to continue searching for the answer if god really exist. It is a fact that we should seek god endlessly because he is infinite. We can eradicate those doubt if we have faith in god.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 21 (question number 5 and 6)

April 21, 2010

5. Do you think God's existence is all a matter of faith? What about "blind faith"?

We usually react when people say they do not believe in God, but we are not bothered when so many live ungodly lives. Those who express no belief in God are called Atheists.They say that religion is the opiate of the people, because it lulls people into passivity. Does God really exist is a medieval question that is alive up to the modern days. Faith is needed in order for us t say that God really exist.

It is very hard to convince the Atheist that God really exist. This is due to the fact that there is no proof that God really exist. But we need to have faith in God in order for us to accept and believe that God really exist. Faith is the only key to prove God's existence. The Bible somehow may have a little prove that God really exist.

Faith is the dominant role of God's people in the old testament. God's people express their faith and gratitude for his help by worshiping him. God's existence is not just a matter of faith. Faith only helps us accept God's existence even though we have not seen him with our own eyes. We express our faith by reverence and worship.

6. As an adult believer and has the time and the luxury of higher education, do you think you have the responsibility to be aware of the ground/s of why you believe?

It is the responsibility of each individual to be aware of his beliefs. Base on our philosophy class, one should question what he believes in order to know if it is a fact or just an opinion of others. Questioning has the task of checking, scrutinizing and systematically reflecting on the content of our beliefs. It is a fact that what we believe may sometimes be wrong. This is the main reason why we need to question our own belief.

There are many factors that could contribute to our belief in the existence of God. One of the factors is through our family wherein they have inculcated to us their belief. The second factor is through the religious teachings of the school. The opinion of our friends may also help us to question our own belief. It depends on us whether to believe if our beliefs are true or not.

Questioning is a tool to help us determine what is right and wrong. It is impossible for us not to question our belief even if we had faith in God. It is one way to strengthen our faith. We need to be aware why we believe on something in order to help us verify that this is our own beliefs. Therefore, it depends on our reason and reflection whether to believe in God's existence or not.