Concepts of God

By Claire, Kendall, Kaz, and Brian


A particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things that have existence (Merriam-Webster)



  • Born on March 31, 1596 in La Haye, France
  • Died on February 11, 1650 in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Father of Modern Philosophy
  • Attended liberal arts Jesuit college in La Flèche to study logic, grammar, verbal skills, mathematical arts, and philosophy.
  • Published Meditations on First Philosophy in 1639
  • The roots are metaphysics, the trunk is physics, and the branches emerging from the trunk are all the other sciences, which may be reduced to three principal ones, namely medicine, mechanics and morals."
  • Ontological arguement: "Supremely perfect being" cannot be separated from Existence
  • Cogito, ergo sum"I think, therefore I am."
  • (

St. Anslem:

  • Archbishop of Canterbury. Doctor of the church
  • Born at Aosta, Lombardy in 1033
  • Died April 21, 1109
  • Love of learning, inspired to question the world
  • Founder of scholarism, western theology, and first ontological argument for the existence of God
  • "Faith seeking understanding."
  • Exiled twice for thinking beyond the authority of the church. He used logic in addition to simply believing in the Bible.
  • (


Exhibiting or relating to design or purpose especially in nature


St. Thomas Aquinas:

  • 1225-1274
  • Priest in the Dominican Order
  • Teleological arguement
  • Wrote the Summa Theologica in three parts to prove the existence of God: God, Ethics, and Christ.
  • States that sacraments "have efficacy from the incarnate Word himself."
  • (

William Paley:

  • Born in Peterborough, Englahd in 1743
  • Died at Lincoln, Englahd in 1805
  • Christ College, Cambridge
  • The Moral Philosophy (London, 1786)
  • Teleological argument for design for God's existence
  • The Evidences: "there is clear proof that the apostles and their successors underwent the greatest hardships rather than give up the Gospel and cease to obey its precepts" and that "other miracles than those of the Gospel are not satisfactorily attested."
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Richard Taylor:

  • Born November 5, 1919
  • Died October 20, 2003
  • American Philosopher
  • PHD from Brown University
  • Specialized in Metaphysics (1963)
  • Bee-keeper
  • “We see only a part of the surface of things. The rest will be forever hidden from us, to be appreciated for its felt but unfathomed presence.”
  • (;

Why were philosophical arguments for the existence of God NOT used by the Biblical authors?
The biblical authors used evidence, specifically of Jesus' life and death. They chose to use evidence of what they had experienced rather than base the Bible of theory and speculation that goes along with philosophical arguments.

Why were philosophical arguments for the existence of God eventually developed by theologians and philosophers?

Philisophical arguments were created to use reason and logic to find proof for the existence of God rather than stories of the Bible. When philosophical arguments began to arise, they were not supported, because people were reluctant to stray from the Bible.

Why did ontological arguments arise?
Ontological arguments arose to derive proof for God's existence from a source other than observation of the world. Instead, these arguments use reason alone.

Examine What Descartes adds to Anselm’s argument?

He adds more tangible logic to it and adds more premises for reality. He compares God's existence with metaphors of a mountain and a valley, stating you need one to have the other. You can't have God without existence and vice versa.

Why did cosmological arguments arise?
Cosmological arguments arose to state that things can be caused by something uncaused cause. This uncaused cause is presumed to be God.

What are Aquinas’ Five Proofs? Strengths and weaknesses?

  • The first mover (the unmoved mover)
  • The first cause (the uncaused cause)
  • Possibility and necessity
  • Gradation
  • Design

3.04 Aquinas' Five Proofs

What is the argument from contingency according to Taylor?

There is a necessary belief, and the contingency belief is based off the necessary belief.

  1. There is A contingent being
  2. This contingent being has a cause of or explanation for its existence.
  3. The cause of or explanation for its existence is something other than the contingent being itself.
  4. Contingent beings alone cannot provide an adequate causal account or explanation for the existence of a contingent being.
  5. Therefore, what causes or explains the existence of this contingent being must include a non-contingent (necessary) being.
  6. Therefore, a necessary being (a being such that if it exists cannot not-exist) exists.

Why did design arguments arise?
The Design Argument seeks to prove God's existence by citing the appearance of design or purpose in the world. This argument is different than other arguments for God's existence (i.e. Ontological) because it does not depend on any potentially controversial metaphysical assumptions.

What is Paley’s main argument for the existence of God?

William Paley’s introduced the “watch” argument. This argument says that a the world, like a watch, with its many intricate parts that work together, must have a creator, since it is too complex to have come into being through evolution. The argument is as follows:

1. Human artifacts are products of intelligent design; they have a purpose.
2. The universe resembles these human artifacts.
3. Therefore: It is probable that the universe is a product of intelligent design, and has a purpose.
4. However, the universe is vastly more complex and gigantic than a human artifact is.
5. Therefore: There is probably a powerful and vastly intelligent designer who created the universe.

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