Answer both questions. Answers should be about 1000 words each.
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1. The best argument for the existence of God is generally taken to be the Argument from Design, while the best argument against the existence of God is taken to be the Problem of Evil. Choose one of these arguments and explain the argument and responses to the argument as presented in our textbook. If you choose the Argument from Design, discuss Aquinas’ argument (The fifth way in the Third Article), as well as Paley’s and Inwagen’s versions. If you choose the Problem of Evil, discuss Aquinas’ contribution (Third Article, Objection 1 and Reply 1), as well as Johnson’s and Inwagen’s arguments. Do not simply summarize each author separately. Your task is to show the relationship among the authors, how they criticize one another’s position and arguments. Remember, the authors are offering arguments that are designed to convince their audiences of their positions. They are not just offering opinions.
2. Most people base their belief in the existence of God on faith, rather than reasoned arguments. Many cynical people say that faith is believing what you know is not true. Bertrand Russell sees faith as a form of indoctrination, making it essentially a form of child abuse. Certainly, on first look, it appears to be unreasonable to believe something for which there is little or no evidence. Yet, Blaise Pascal argues that it is reasonable to have faith. Discuss Pascal’s argument, along with the objections and responses found in the Lycan and Schlesinger’s updated version of Pascal’s argument in our textbook, in relationship with Russell’s discussion of faith and St. Thomas Aquinas’s discussion about whether the existence of God is self-evident in the First Article of the “Five Ways to Prove the Existence of God.” What do each of these authors make of faith and how would they respond to one another? Remember, the authors are offering arguments that are designed to convince their audiences of their positions. They are not just offering opinions.