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One of the biggest issues debated by many scholars and philosophers is the existence of God (Vaughn 19). The design argument presented below tries to prove that God exists.
- Modern infrastructures and artifacts portray the purposeful design of mankind.
- Similarly, the natural universe has unique features as those of the artificial world.
- That being the case, there are high chances that the natural world was created by an intelligent and all-knowing God who had a unique intention.
- However, the natural universe is characterized by gigantic, complex, and fascinating features compared to those of the artificial world.
- Therefore it should be agreeable that a Supreme Being (also God) must have created this natural universe.
From a personal perspective, I strongly believe that this argument is credible. This is the case because everything in the universe manifests God’s power and superiority. Those who want to believe that God exists should look at the things around them. By so doing, they will observe that such things must have originated from a Supreme Being (Vaughn 22). This is also the same thing with the built environment. The presence of magnificent artificial structures is a clear indication that someone must have worked hard to produce them.
Some people might go further to present an argument against the existence of God. For example, they might argue that the features observed in the world might have been designed by more than one divine creator (Vaughn 23). This means that there is no conclusion to a single creator of the universe. Such individuals might go further to argue that the universe was created by aliens or different deities.
The Problem of Evil
The problem of evil continues to take center-stage in many theological and philosophical arguments. The existence of human suffering and evil challenges the notion that there is a perfect Supreme Being or God. With God being all-knowing, chances are high that He understands the presence of evil in the universe (Vaughn 13). This means that the all-powerful Supreme Being should always do something to address all forms of suffering in the universe. The presence of endless suffering, therefore, contradicts the existence of a good creator. The challenge associated with this conflict is what constitutes the problem of evil.
I strongly think that theists have a strong defense against this argument. Although the existence of evil is something unwelcoming to many, it tends to encourage man to focus on his creator. Evil and suffering can encourage human beings to humble themselves. The experience of suffering has the potential to guide people to overcome the challenges of the world. Evil must have been allowed by God to become the only source of hope and eventually bring mankind closer to Him (Vaughn 32).
On the other hand, an objection can be presented to the above answer. This is the case because evil cannot coexist with goodness or holiness. This means that God might not be omnipresent and powerful. God might be aware of evil in the world but lack the powers to eliminate it. Since God is aware of suffering and does nothing to prevent it, it might be a clear indication that he is not all-knowing or all-powerful (Vaughn 19). Such views have been presented by many people to support the notion that God does not exist.
Substance dualism is a philosophical notion stating that the physical and mental parts are separate entities existing independently. The notion goes further to indicate that physical things will occupy space but lack thinking abilities. Mental things, on the other hand, lack physical attributes but have thought (Vaughn 48). This means that the mind and the human body are separate entities. The physical body is usually extended to space while the soul (or mind) is not.
Personally, I think that substance dualism is not a credible theory. This is true because the human mind (or that of any other creature) cannot operate independently without the physical body. The most undeniable fact is that the mind is a critical part of the physical body thus making the two inseparables. This fact explains why the two should not be treated as independent substances because they coexist (Vaughn 49). The notion that the mind or the soul inhabits the human body temporarily is refutable. This fact explains why the substance dualism theory is not credible.
My answer can also be counter-argued. Those who embrace the thoughts of Plato would argue that the human soul is distinct from the physical body. This argument indicates clearly that the mind exists as a separate entity from the body. It also exists in a different form or the metaphysical realm which is infinite in nature (Vaughn 57). The mind possesses ontological differences thus making it significantly unique. This argument is widely embraced by religious leaders and scholars. They tend to argue that the mind and the soul are different from the physical body. The notion indicates that the mind and soul do not occupy space unlike physical things.
Mind-Body Identity Theory
The Mind-Body Identity Theory is the belief that the human mind is nothing but an integral part of the material body. Proponents of this theory assert that there are no differences between brain states and mental states. The proponents go further to indicate that some abstract properties, laws, or states emerge to explain the relationship between the human mind and the brain (Vaughn 65). Some philosophers have even gone further to indicate that the mind might not exist independently without the brain. This means that the mind is an entity that does not have any causal influence on the material world or universe.
It should be observed that the Mind-Body Identity Theory is credible because it presents irrefutable arguments. For instance, the decision to identify the brain with the human mind is something spectacular. One of the best arguments presented to support this fact is that any sort of brain damage will adversely affect mental properties (Vaughn 65). Some proponents of the theory have gone further to assert that the mind usually surfaces from the human brain thus producing new aspects or laws. This explains why the human mind can have different states or events.
However, the model has been refuted by some scholars such as Rene Descartes thus presenting the mind-body problem. This predicament is founded on the idea that the brain is material in nature while the mind is immaterial (Vaughn 68). Consequently, these different substances cannot interact. Some skeptics have gone further to present a new model known as identity theory to address the mind-body problem. The concept indicates clearly that the mind and body are unlike substances that do not coexist in the material world.
Vaughn, Lewis. Philosophy Here and Now: Powerful Ideas in Everyday Life. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Print.