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Free «The Existence of God Review» Essay Sample

“God knows everything”. This is a common saying well-known to each Christian. Every day, when somebody does something wrong, people use this saying. Nowadays, theory of the God’s existence is divided into three main doctrines: ontological, cosmological and teleological. Each of them explains existence of God in different ways. Despite the existence of a great number of religious persuasions that represent ontological and cosmological disciplines, teleological one presents the most credible persuasions.

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In the first place, in teleological doctrine God is considered to exist and He has different features. Richard Swinburne in 1996 made an analysis of those features. First of all, God is considered to be “omnipotent, omniscient and perfectly free” (Swinburne, 1996, p. 9-12). As an author considers, such Creature can do everything what he wants and all human beings can do nothing to change his opinion. In reality, people don’t have any power and everything is happening as it must. Secondly, Christians and teleological supporters think that God is “eternal” (Swinburne, 1996). According to Swinburne (1996), “eternal” can be considered in two ways, as “timeless” and as “everlasting”. God is eager to influence time, as he exists “outside the time”. God is also considered as “perfectly good”, “bodiless” and “responsible” (Swinburne, 1996). Richard Swinburne (1996) supposes that having such features is far from being the truth and it is absolutely unbelievable. How can one creature be everywhere at the same time and how can it be responsible for the actions objects do on the Earth?

In the second place, David Hume (1799), the representative of philosophy of the end of XVII - beginning of XIX century developed the critical analysis of existence of God. In fact, he was the first critic of theism. In his famous work Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1799), he uses as a basis learning of Epicure. This work is a bright example of deism. Deism is an apprenticeship that stands in contrast with theism. It is oriented on four main truths: “truth of close”, “truth of existence”, “truth of notion”, “truth of intelligence” (Hick, 1990). These facts demonstrate coordination between existence and essence, after God created World, he doesn’t interfere in everything that is happening there (Hume, 1779).

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According to Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779), all the new discoveries in the world by man “prove the immense grandeur and magnificence of the works of nature”, which is also one of the truths of deism. Theism objects the greatness of man and emphasizes that God can “be present in all places at all times” (Hume, 1799). David Hume doesn’t give an exact conclusion about an existence of God, as nobody can practically prove it, in other words, he makes statements as a critic of theism, that doesn’t believe in real existence of God.

In the third place, William Paley (1854), a bright representative of philosophical doctrines of the XIX century considers the Universe as “the watch”. The author appears in this treatise as an adventurer who is searching for the sense in the world and finally finds “the watch” (Paley, 1854). At the same time, in the mind of this man appear a lot of ideas; one of them is “who has done this instrument?” (Paley, 1854). And in this case, the traveler would be surprised to hear that the watch “was no proof of contrivance”. The author discovers in the work a new law “law of metallic nature”, as “the watch” is made of such material that exists in spite of weather conditions and time. Of course, this man understands that there is a design of watch but doesn’t know the real designer of it. Nevertheless, Paley considers “the watch as separately calculated for the purpose of movement” (p. 8-12). “The watch” (Paley, 1854) is presented like a system that consists of people and exact rules on the Earth; this clock has a lot of in common with Universe. At the end of the book, William Paley makes a conclusion that people live in dependence with the world and it’s phenomena. He makes a statement that time for death and our happiness depends on the Being, “our existence is in his hands” (p. 165-166). He also considers that revelation is the thing that urges people on learning “the invisible things of nature”. An adventurer finishes the book with the words that our life “is passed in constant presence of Being” (Paley, 1854).

At the same time, John H. Hick (1990), a contemporary writer, in his work The Philosophy of Religion (1990) considers all aspects of religion and presents a full analysis of religion and God as a creature. First of all, he considers the question of Real. He explains that “Real transcends personality and impersonality” (Hick, 1990). Hick (1990) supposes that Real is beyond individuals’ understanding of Universe, it means that it really exists but in fact people don’t feel it.

In this case Universe is considered as a protector, it is “free and soul-making” (Hick, 1990). God, at any measure, appraises people and he wants to see “their development and fulfillment” (Hick, 1990). The author understands that people die only after reaching of maximum in each aspect of their lives and they get “a good outcome” after death (Hick, 1990). Hick (1990) also makes a suggestion that God is limitlessly good and limitlessly powerful. But in this idea he contradicts to himself as he suggests that God created the world (Hick, 1990).

 
 
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David Cheetham (2003) in his work John Hick: A critical introduction and reflection (2003) adjusts that according to the abovementioned work John Hick may turn to the “pluralism perspective of the religion” (p. 160- 164). In his book, he adds that Hick presents “attractive and rational religious beliefs as imaginative fictions” (p. 37) but not the real ones.

John Hick turns his attention to global experience of religion, as he puts philosophical questions considering not only Christianity but also other world religions. Cheetham (2012) says that Hick examines things in accordance with their existence and that there are objects far away from our mind that nevertheless can exist in our imagination.

In the fifth place, Kevin Meeker and Philip Quinn (2000), as adherents of theology, offered different interpretations of existence of people and called them ET (ephemeris time). The main idea of such time is that “most of the claims of our (Christian) tradition are true” (Quinn, 2000). Other traditions are also accepted by authors, but they insist on their doctrine of respecting the traditions of each other. Correctness and untruthfulness of different religions in the world have very thin boundary. It means that every religion is changing time after time but it doesn’t mean that every religion explains everything that happens outside and it doesn’t mean that people have steady views that don’t change at any measure under influence of different circumstances (Quinn, 2000).

Phillip Quinn became famous because of creating an idea of “thinner theologies”. Alston’s experiment influenced the philosopher. There is a permissiveness of such an idea but it shouldn’t be undeniable, according to the idea of the author. In his works, he always tries to “resolve the standoff between the various mystical practices” (Quinn, 2000). This writer always makes a fundamental analysis of everything he starts to study. “Thinner theologies” have a lot of features of Christian doctrine, at first that God really exists, then, He is really powerful and kind and also that for everything that happens with man, he should thank God (Quinn, 2000). Quinn considers Alston’s thought as “the best example of analytical philosophy of religion” (McKim, 2012).

To sum up, today, there are supporters and opponents of teleological theory. Each year there appears a lot of ideas and critical statements on teleological concept. The first critic was David Hume who wrote the book on deism doctrine. William Paley created an idea of “the watch” to explain everything that happens on the Earth. John Hick and Richard Swinburne’s analysis is one of the best analytical works of religion nowadays. The philosopher is a supporter of teleological theory and supposes that still there are exact rules on the Earth, to which people must stick.

   

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