Essay on Philosophy Culminating Report

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Does God Exist?

Introduction Philosophy is the study of and the attempt to answer, the fundamental questions pertaining to nature, morality, and conduct. It is divided into various disciplines including logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and social and political philosophy. Metaphysics, or the “first philosophy,” investigates questions that lie at the core of many other areas of inquiry. One of the most controversial questions in metaphysics is the question of the existence of a supreme being. There are many different concepts relating to this question. The philosophers that hold these conceptions identify as theists, deists, polytheists, monotheists, pantheists, panentheists, and atheists. Three philosophers with interesting notions on the topic are Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Kierkegaard was an existentialist and believed that God’s existence cannot be proved. He believed that one should have faith even if it seemed absurd (“Philosophy and the proof of God’s existence”). Sartre, an existentialist and an atheist, believed that the individual designs their own individuality by their free choices (“The Pillars of Unbelief - Sartre”). If “God makes our what, but we make our who,” then this disproves God as it would make us a mere artifact of God and not free (“The Pillars of Unbelief - Sartre”). Nietzsche was an atheist. He believed that the concept of God was a human creation, and once we accept this then we can no longer base our religious or moral beliefs on any idea of a supreme being, but be forced to allow ourselves human creativity (“Philosophy and the proof of God’s existence”). The three philosophies extend forward interesting concepts that can be used to derive a new philosophy. God does exist, even though it cannot be proven, God must not be blamed for one’s life situations, and we must use our moral thinking independently of God in order to not debase God.

Area of Philosophy Metaphysics is the study of the fundamental structures and nature of reality. Metaphysical questions have a profound significance in people’s lives. Metaphysics encompasses questions about the existence of a supreme being or beings, the possibility of immortal souls, the relation of mind to body, freedom of life and choices, the reality of reality, nature, morality and the purpose of existence (Flaherty et al. 18, 112). The first known Pre-Socratic philosopher to tackle metaphysical questions is Thales of Miletus. Thales rejected mythical and divine explanations. (Wikipedia “Metaphysics”). He sought after a single first cause under which all phenomena could be described, and established that this first cause was water (Wikipedia “Metaphysics”). Other Milesians, such as Anaximander and Anaximenes, also had a monistic approach toward determining the first cause (Wikipedia “Metaphysics”). The Eleatics, Italy, of the 15th century B.C.E, also began to metaphysically question. They included Parmenides, Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos. Parmenides' main principle was that reality is a single unchanging and universal Being. Zeno used reductio ad absurdum, to demonstrate the misleading nature of change and time in his paradoxes (Wikipedia “Metaphysics”). On the other hand, Heraclitus of Ephesus, believed that change was central to all things in the universe, teaching that "all things flow". Post-Socratic philosopher, Plato, is famous for his theory of forms which briefs upon many metaphysical questions including his ideas: the Form of the Good sets an objective standard for morality, the world of the Forms is eternal and unchanging; time and change belong only to the lower sensory world, "Time is a moving image of Eternity"; and knowledge of the Forms is more certain than mere sensory data (Wikipedia “Metaphysics”).
Plato's disciple, Aristotle, wrote extensively on metaphysics.
The arguments Aristotle held revolve around the “senses, knowledge, experience,