History of Modern Philosophy
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. John Culp
February 2, 2004
"Existence of God"

I.   Quick Survey of God's Existence
A.   Ontological Argument
B.   Cosmology Argument - we can't explain the cosmos so therefore God has to exist
C.   Design Argument - there is an intelligent design to creation so it takes an intelligent creator
II.   Descartes Proof of God
A.   Meditation Three
1.   Basic principle: causes are greater than effect
a.   Something has to cause the effect
b.   He wouldn't be able to think about God, since He is not perfect if there were no God
2.   He knows he exists - he thinks
a.   There has to be something in existence for him to be able to think
b.   When do we have knowledge?
i.   We something is clear
a.   The content of the idea includes the nature or essence of the central aspect of the idea
b.   If you say someone is a father simply because they are male is not "clear" enough
ii.   When something is distinct
a.   There can't be anything contrary to the statement
b.   If you say that someone is a father with out children is contradictory
3.   He is not a perfect being - it couldn't have come from himself
4.   Yet he can think about a perfect, eternal being
5.   He wouldn't be able to think of it if it didn't exist
B.   Meditation Four
C.   Meditation Five
III.   Blaise Pascal
A.   Overview
1.   We can't know that God exists (compared to Descartes we can know)
2.   If you fake it long enough, you'll believe it
3.   When Pascal talks about intuition, he means direct knowledge (planted within you)
B.   Major Ideas
1.   Reason and science are useful and important but they are limited
a.   The first principle in any system of knowledge (system of reason) are known intuitively, known directly, known by the heart
b.   Therefore, how could we limit all knowledge and understanding to reason and science
2.   Intuition is as important as reason because it provides the basis of reason
3.   Why does knowledge have to be clear (attacking Descartes)
4.   In our thinking we often times have to hold our contrary together
a.   We are humans are both great and insignificant
b.   Reasoning ability gives us a greatness over any animal
c.   We bridge this gap by being in Christ - in Christ we have the capabilities of knowing God (which is our greatness), yet are reflective of our insignificance
d.   We don't come to know God by getting information from other people; but rather seeing other people living out the commitment
C.   Pascal's relationship to other Philosophers
1.   He was a challenger to the dominant way of thinking
2.   Kierkegaard feels you can know God by reason (he responds to those who believe you can know God by experience)