Notes for Does God Exist?
St Anselm (1033-1109) is the author of the ontological argument (in
chapter two of his Proslogian), one of the traditional theistic
proofs for the existence of God. He famously said: I believe [in God]
in order that I might understand.
William Paley (1743-1805) popularised natural theology and the argument
from design (longhand: the argument from the evidence of design in
nature to the existence of God). His major work: Natural Theology;
or Evidence of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity, Collected
from the Appearances of Nature. Also known as the teleological
argument. He was also the author of such gems as Insect Theology.
Paley thought of God as the Divine Watchmaker
Richard Dawkins, populariser of evolutionary Darwinism, and author
of The Selfish Gene (1976).
Does Hawkins in his A Brief History of Time (1988) leave
space for God?
Verses 5 & 6
There is a rich vein of anthropomorphism running through The
The Anthropic Principle, a modern theory in cosmology, which says
roughly that the fundamental constants of the universe are fine tuned
/ were fine tuned at moment zero-plus to make intelligent life possible.
Some see it as breathing new life into the teleological argument.
Pascal's Wager. Pascal (1623-1662) offers a pragmatic reason for
believing in God: even under the assumption that God’s existence
is unlikely, the potential benefits of believing are so vast as to
make betting on theism rational.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)), an opponent of religion. Author of The
Future of An Illusion (1927). Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) split
with Freud, finding his emphasis on the unconscious as a repository
of sexual repression and little else to be too negative. Jung developed
what he thought of as a more positive, integrative view of the unconscious,
and is a founding father of much of American 'depth psychology'.
Matthew Arnold (1822 - 1888). Arnold's poem, Dover Beach, is
a lament for the loss of religious faith which in the poem leaves a
vista of a barren void before humanity: "And we are here as on
a darkling plain / Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
/ Where ignorant armies clash by night."
Don Cupitt, the doyen of non-realist religion, took the phrase, The
Sea of Faith, from Arnold's poem and used it as the title of his book, The
Sea of Faith (1984). (Also see http://www.sofn.org.uk/)
The last poem of Louis MacNeice (1907-1963) is Thalassa (Greek for
'sea'), which (poignantly) espouses a tenaciously secular view of life.