By Peter Cole
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Extra info for Access to Religion and Philosophy. Philosophy of Religion
Hence as Kant said ‘Being’ is the positing of a thing. Key question Does existence add anything to a concept? Key people Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) was a British philosopher who pioneered ‘linguistic philosophy’ which centred on the task of establishing the meaning of statements. ’ KANT We do not add anything to the concept when we declare that it ‘is’. Otherwise it would not be exactly the same thing that exists but something more than we had thought in the concept; and we could not, therefore, say that the exact object of my concept exists.
It is an assumption that actual x can only be brought about by what is actual x. For example, two cold objects rubbed together will cause heat. Why cannot there be an endless series of causes? In reply Mackie (The Miracle of Theism, 1982, p. 90) cites the analogy of a railway train consisting of an infinite number of carriages. Each carriage may move the next carriage but ultimately it only makes sense if there is an engine. The problem then becomes one of demonstrating that Aquinas’ three ways have such a relation of dependence.
Rather it is a concept. Hence it is meaningless to speak of ‘adding more moments of time’ or ‘traversing infinite years’. If there were no starting point, then from any specific point in past time there is only a finite stretch that needs to be traversed to reach the present. Given that the universe had a beginning, some philosophers question whether God must be the cause. Even if God did start it, God could then cease to be. This is very far from the traditional view that God not only began the world but sustains it, and that without God things would cease to be.
Access to Religion and Philosophy. Philosophy of Religion by Peter Cole