Miracles: A Comparison between George Berkeley and Baruch Spinoza

 

It has long been the position of the Abrahamic faith, and especially Catholicism, that the history of man has seen numerous miracles—divine intervention in the physical world.[1] George Berkeley positions himself in agreement with the claim that God has in fact intervened in ordinary physical series of things, whereas Spinoza rejects this notion, appealing to God’s substantive relationship to Nature. Comparatively, not only does Berkeley provide a strong objection to his own position, but Spinoza’s stance on miracles remains far less susceptible to attack and provides meaningful benefits.

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Arguments for the Existence of God: A Look at St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument for God and why it Fails

St. Anselm, philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church, attempted to construct an ontological (of or relating to existence) argument for the existence of God—specifically, a God whose qualities resemble that of the Catholic God. Anselm argues that because we can think of God (denoted in his argument as the greatest conceivable being), we would be contradicting ourselves to say that God does not exist, for existence would surely be a quality of the greatest conceivable being. In this paper, after explaining the terminology and arguments used by Anselm, I will employ a proof by contradiction to demonstrate that Anselm’s argument forces us to accept the highly improbable conclusion that all possible beings exist. Lastly, I will present one possible objection to my conclusion and a response.

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