Combining Philosophers

Ideas for Speussipus, Noam Chomsky and George Berkeley

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4 ideas

28. God / B. Proving God / 1. Proof of God
There must be a God, because all sensible things must be perceived by him [Berkeley]
     Full Idea: I immediately and necessarily conclude the being of a God, because all sensible things must be perceived by him.
     From: George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713], II p.198)
     A reaction: Daft. This contradicts Berkeley's whole empiricist position, that existence depends on known experience. Who knows whether God is thinking about trees?
There must be a God, because I and my ideas are not independent [Berkeley]
     Full Idea: From the dependency I find in myself and my ideas, I do by an act of reason necessarily infer the existence of a God.
     From: George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713], III p.222)
     A reaction: No. Hume answered this, by showing how big abstract ideas are built up from experience. This is a future bishop's wish-fulfilment.
28. God / B. Proving God / 3. Proofs of Evidence / b. Teleological Proof
It has been proved that creation is the workmanship of God, from its beauty and usefulness [Berkeley]
     Full Idea: Divines and philosophers have proved beyond all controversy, from the beauty and usefulness of the several parts of creation, that it was the workmanship of God.
     From: George Berkeley (Three Dialogues of Hylas and Philonous [1713], II p.198)
     A reaction: Not convincing. Beauty is probably a sublimation of sexual desire (or an echo of the human mind in the external world, in music), and utility is relative to homo sapiens, I presume.
28. God / C. Attitudes to God / 5. Atheism
Speusippus said things were governed by some animal force rather than the gods [Speussipus, by Cicero]
     Full Idea: Speusippus, following his uncle Plato, held that all things were governed by some kind of animal force, and tried to eradicate from our minds any notion of the gods.
     From: report of Speussipus (thirty titles (lost) [c.367 BCE]) by M. Tullius Cicero - On the Nature of the Gods ('De natura deorum') I.33