I took a philosophy class in college last year and have come to the conclusion that it's only point was to try to talk people out of believing in God. Needless to say I argued with the teacher on a daily basis (I still say that's why I got a C). Anyway I came up with answers to allot of his questions. I just wanted to see if you guys could come up with something to answer these. In a few days I'll post what I came up with.
The existence of a soul
Basically the arguments you'll find in a philosophy book (or at least the one we used) try to tell you, albeit summed up:
A human being is no different then a machine. Once we realize exactly how human intelligence works we'll be able to emulate it.
This is supported by the fact that the brain controls the body and interacts with it through purely physical means (ie. chemicals and electrical signals). If the brain is damaged, ones ability to think (the ability that most obviously makes us assume we have a soul) or even express emotion is impaired. If an immaterial mind exists, how would you explain this?
"Body am I entirely, and nothing more; and the soul is only the name of something in the body." - Friendrich Nietzche
There's also the problem if how something immaterial can interact with something material. Supposedly the immaterial cannot be detected by any of our physical senses. How could something interact with something else on a different plane of existence? This is a problem for both God and the existence of the soul.
As far as the design theory (if there's a design there must be a designer) for the existence of God goes, on a long enough time scale, anything that can possibly happen, will happen. The odds argument doesn't work. Since it's not possible to prove the non-existence of something, the burden of proof is on those trying to prove something exists. What other proof is there of God?
A man named Blaise Pascal came up with the argument that belief is like a gamble: Imagine I believe in God and you don't. If your right, we both lose. If I'm right, I win and you lose.
This argument assumes however, that that's the conclusion God wants us to come to. What if God actually exists and wants to be surrounded with people who would look at the evidence and have the confidence to say no to this wager?
If an all lover, all knowing, all powerful God exists, why does he allow the existence of evil? Why do bad things happen to seemingly good people? There's the story that we are punished because of the mistake made at the garden of eden, but is it fair to punish every generation for the mistakes of one? You could say that you endure trials for a reward in the end, but doesn't that assume your being compensated for being wronged? There's also the problem that IF God is all knowing and all powerful, he could have found a way to create a world where pain is unnecessary.
A man named Descartes wanted to prove the existence of God. He wanted to start with one thing he could absolutely know without a shadow of a doubt is absolutely true, and go from there. He came to the conclusion that even if everything else was an elaborate trick(think the matrix, only with no real world and no one else is plugged in, it just seems like there are other people), he could know that he exists simply because he can think. If he can think, he knows he exists. In the end wasn't all he really ended up proving was that all we can know for sure is that you can prove to yourself you exist? That nothing else is certain?
These arenít ALL the arguments the book presents, but it sums up its conclusions. As I said, I'll post what I came up with in a few days, but it'll be interesting to see what you guys can come up with.