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Describe how a sceptical problem arises in connection with one of the areas of thought we have studied Then discuss one or more responses to the problem Religious belief and the sceptical responses Although dismissed by many philosophers as nonsensical and irrelevant religious beliefs are still held by over half of the worlds population and therefore the subject must be valid as an area of intellectual discussion This particular area of thought gives rise to much sceptical debate as the proofs offered by believers seem flawed when held to close scrutiny It is particularly interesting in that the sceptical problems also go further than merely questioning the validity of the proofs but in fact can be taken so far as to actually question the validity of the original presupposition that is that we can even sensibly ask the question does God exist in the first place There are three primary proofs that have been offered by apologists wishing to defend their religious belief The first of these was a metaphysical proof originally invented by St Anslem and was formally envisaged by Descartes in his fifth mediation It is known as the ontological argument The foundations of this argument lay in the supposition that anyone attempting to deny the existence of God would be contradicting themselves in the act of merely conceptualising the thought To begin this argument it must first be determined that the idea of God is that of an omnipotent being whom by his very nature is a sum of all possible perfections Then the argument continues by claiming that for a sceptic to suggest that there is no God a person would need to envisage within their mind a God who lacks one vital perfection existence This it is concluded is a contradiction in terms as while this God is being envisaged another greater being who contains all those perfections while also containing the perfection of existence must also
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