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Why do we need to petition God
- Elenore stump:
- to prevent spoiling
- to prevent opression
- create relationship
In what ways is prayer effacious
- 1. It effects the petitioner
- 2. It effects the knowlegable individual for whom the prayer is being offered
- 3. It directly effects the person, even if he or she is not aware of the prayer
- 4. It makes it more likely that God will intervene in the sense that it makes it more likely that certain things will happen that would not have appened if the prayer had not been offered
Does prayer make things happen that otherwise wouldnt have happened if we hadn't prayed?
1. Theological determinist: no, because human decision making can never limit God's ability to achieve desired ends
2. Process Theist: No, because God can't unilaterally intervene and is already doing all that can be done
3. Free Will Theist: Yes, since God has voluntarily granted us freedom yet can still intereven, this statement can be true.
FWT- Why would God wait until we pray to answer?
1. To create and maintain an appropriate and meaningful relationship with us, God must generally refrain from interveneing until requested
2.To preserve the integrity of our free will universe, God must generally refrain until requested to intervene
3. To help us learn God's values, God sometimes refrains until asked
What is a miracle?
1. A naturally unexplainable event caused directly by a God
2. An unexpected direct act of God for which a totally natural explanation is available, but not accurate in this case
Could a miracle occur
Naturalistic response: God and supernatural forces do not exist so there can be no miracle
process theism response: God cannot unilaterally intervene in earthly events
Can we establish taht the event reported has actually occurred?
Standard Negative Philosophical Response:
- 1. Laws of nature are based on uniform past experience and can be tested by anyone at any given time
- 2. Events that are considered miraculous are only suported by the testimonies of a few people and they can't be produced by anyone at anytime
3. Our past experience confirm that religious zealots are sometimes mistaken or confused
4. The wise person proportions his or her belief to the evidence
5. It is always most reasonable to believe that the resport of the alleged event is inaccurate
- 1. this overlooks the differing weight of various types of evidence
- 2. this overlooks the backgound or indirect evidence
Could we ever justifiably claim that a given event could be directly caused by God?
1. Affirmative argument: there are conceivable events such that if they were to occur, all reasonable people would have to acknowledge that God exists
- 1. there are always various plausible explanations for an event. the one that appears most plausible, depends on one's prior committments
- 2. the claim that God performs some miraces, makes God appear arbitrary and capricious
Tension for the Free Will Theist
To the extent that a FWT sites God's decision not to intervene as an exclamation for evil, the FWT is also giving a reason not to expect miraculous occurances with frequency
1. Internal Cognitive ot affective change caused by God
2. A direct encounter with God
3. An external observable change caused by God
Are there good reasons to believe people have religiouse experiences?
- Testimonial argument:
- 1. At various times and places, large numbers of people have claimed to have experienced God
- 2. Either some of these claims are true, or all such individuals are diluted, decieved, or are decievers themselves
- 3. The latter option is unrational
- 4. It is very plausible to believe that God does bring about some religious experiences
Challenges to the Testimonial Argument
1. Religious Diversity weakens this argument
- 2. A cause effect problem:
- a. to claim that one has had a religious experience is to claim that one has had an experience and that it was produced by God
- b. Having and experience is a subjective claim and cannot generally be refuted
- c. However, the experience being from God is an objective claim that cna always be justifiably questioned
- d. Therefore one can grant the accuracy of all claims of the event occuring without making a decision about if they were caused by God.
Revised Question: to what extent can we establish that God is the cause of the experience?
1. The fact that God is the cause is simply self-evident to the one who's experiencing it
2. if a person has a strong basis for believing that certain divine actions patterns are accurate, then that person can justifiably claim to have experienced God
Who can experience God now?
1. Exclusivist: only "true christians" can experience God now. All other alleged experiences of the divine are Satanically or self induced
2. Inclusivist: only "true christians" can experience God to the greatest extent possible. However, others can actually experience God to varying degrees
3. Pluralist: all who sincerely seek God are equally capabl of experiencing God to the greatest extent possible
Where can truth be found (about God and how to live)?
1. Exclusivist: the Bible and other "biblically sanctioned" texts contain all truth about God and living. The only truth found in other texts is truth that coincides with the Bible. These other sources add nothing new
2. Inclusivist: the bible and other "biblicallt sanctioned" texts are reliable sources for truth. Nothing in other sources that is incompatable with these texts is accepable. However, some of the other sources may contain additional or enhanced truth
3. Pluralist: Such truth is accessible in the sancitoned sources of various religious perspectives, although none of these sources is totally reliable
Who can spend eternity with God?
1. Exclusivist: only those who have accepted Christ (and possibly children) can spend eternity with God
2. Inclusivist: those who have accepted Christ will spend eternity with God. However, it may well be that some who have not accepted Christ will also spend eternity with God as the result of metting other sufficient conditions
3. Pluralist: the conditions stipulated by many varying religious perspectives are equally sufficient to ensure eternity in God's presence