Phi 111 Final 1

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Philosophy 111 – Introduction to Philosophy (Fall 2002)

Final 1

[Students and professors, please read.]

1. Take a philosophy (or approach you hate) and argue for it.

Can I opt out of this question? grumble…

There is no Creator.  This universe is all there is.  There is no beginning to the universe–it has always just existed.  If it began, logic began with it, so there is no explanation for that either–it just began.  Even if there is a Creator, there is no reason to believe it is a loving one–it didn’t create us loving humans, it created the material universe, devoid of self-based emotion–we just evolved, with no proof of help from the Creator, long after the universe began–if it began.  There is no explanation for why the Creator would want the universe to begin, if that was even the case, and even less of a reason to believe the Creator shares any properties of any part of the universe, including any of our own traits, like love–since in order to create the physical (love having physical roots), the Creator is not itself physical (granted that does not necessarily rule it out as, in a way that attributes its properties independent of physical causes, sharing any properties of any part of the universe, if that made any sense).  Therefore, we have no certain idea of the nature of the Creator, except that it is creative, but only by assumption that there is a Creator, and that without certainty of its motivation.  Such speculating with wishful thinking, as seen in every religion fashioned by humankind, will not get us any closer to knowing the truth of the matter.  If the Creator, if it exists, meant for us to relate personally with it, we would, each and every one of us from the first to the last, know beyond a shadow of a doubt, without one sliver of uncertainty.  Arguing the matter would be futile, as it is now.

The fact that believed-divine revelation to date is debatable proves it is not divine.  If you want Skeptic to know that you exist and love them, do you tell Faithful Believer to let Skeptic know, and never personally introduce yourself to Skeptic directly?  Do you expect Skeptic to take Faithful Believer’s word for it?  What if they never met eachother before and Skeptic has no reason to believe a word Faithful Believer says?  If you want Skeptic to know that a relationship with you is the entire point to Skeptic’s existence (that sounds egotistical, doesn’t it?)–wouldn’t you want to tell Skeptic yourself?  Wouldn’t only telling Faithful Believer mean that you only wish to relate with Faithful Believer, and not Skeptic?  If you can reveal yourself to Faithful Believer–why can’t you reveal yourself to Skeptic–or why don’t you ‘want’ to?  If it has to do with your holiness–since no one is perfect–isn’t telling Skeptic just as do-able as telling Faithful Believer?

And if you love us no matter what crap we’ve done (oh, reader, now you’re pretending to be the loving Creator), and if the point of Jesus coming was to tell us that (assuming you are the loving Christian Creator) your love is unconditional and you want to be our Heavenly Father–why are you waiting until after we die to be ‘with’ us, why can’t you be ‘with’ us as you were in Eden, or with Abraham, or with Moses–or all the others you supposedly revealed yourself to?  If I wanted my children, best friend, husband–whoever–to know that I exist and love them, I wouldn’t leave it up to them to figure it out through a third party–especially if I had taught them to use the brains I gave them (okay, I didn’t give them any brains).  I more sure than hell, regardless if I was perfect, wouldn’t be too holy to make myself presentable to them and hold up my end of the personal relationship–and I wouldn’t expect them to hold up their end if I abandoned them–or never showed up in the first place.  I would expect them to be skeptical–I would pity their ignorance and foolishness if they put faith in me under those conditions.

A revelation most monotheistic religions have in common is that the Creator is just.  Again–the same series of questions if your goal (as the just Creator) is to communicate to Skeptic what you consider right action and wrong action, and the consequences for each.  Would not a loving, just Creator know exactly how to reveal itself so that every single individual, including scientists (no mistaking the Creator for an alien life form), knows exactly who is speaking, and exactly what their message is, and so there would be no misunderstanding–considering that message to be the reason we exist?  Would not we expect the messenger’s behavior to be consistent with its message?

There is no heaven or hell, and there is no Creator.  When our bodies die and our brain function ceases, our sense of self ceases along with it.  The human race and its religions will eventually die out, the earth will eventually collide with something else, and the universe will carry on without us.

Tell it:

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