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'Knowledge Of Angels' Essay.

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Introduction

'Knowledge Of Angels' Essay Question "Wait," said Beneditx. "You speak like a man who, seeing that a twig springs from a branch and that many twigs spring from a branch and that many twigs spring from many branches, denies the existence of a trunk to the tree. Follow the multiplicity back and back, and you will find the single trunk." In this extract, Beneditx and Palinor argue about the existence of God. Show how the key idea about the proof of God's existence is presented in the dialogues between Beneditx and Palinor. One of the focal points in Paton Walsh's novel 'Knowledge Of Angles' is the question of whether or not God exists. She presents this argument to the reader in a number of ways, but the bulk of the argument is put across through the dialogues between Beneditx and Palinor. Severo assigned Beneditx to show Palinor that God exists by defeating Palinor's beliefs through argument. Palinor is reluctant to accept this proposal without a fight, and he battles with Beneditx throughout the book, constantly destroying whatever proof Beneditx cares to present him with. 'How could you assert that this being you imagine does not exist? ...read more.

Middle

It was very popular with some people, but others refused to accept it as a relevant way of answering a question. For example, 'it is sunny in the summer. It is sunny today, therefore it must be summertime.' This argument is not contradictory, but it cannot be branded as being pertinent unless we know for sure that it is summertime, which would be drawn from experience, providing an A Posteriori proof. The reason A Priori proofs were so popular when it came to arguing for the existence of God was because it was very hard to overcome. To say that God is perfect, is to say that he is perfect at everything, which means that he must exist. To say that God does not exist is to say that he is not perfect; therefore he is not God. The irony of these two arguments is that they essentially prove the same thing. The first argument states that God exists because to be perfect one must exist. The latter of the two is showing that in order for God not to exist, he must be flawed, so if he does not exist he cannot possibly be God. ...read more.

Conclusion

Beneditx replies by saying that God has revealed himself to humans, to which Palinor says that God has not revealed himself to humans, but humans have revealed God to themselves. He uses a practical demonstration to prove his point that to know something and to trust a person who says that they know something are two very different things. The very essence of this message is that A Priori proofs rely on trusting information derived from other sources; whereas A Posteriori proofs are founded upon knowledge drawn from ones own experience. Paton Walsh fundamentally shows the key idea about the proof of God's existence through A Priori and A Posteriori proofs put across to the reader in the dialogues between Beneditx and Palinor. The message that she puts across to the reader is that there is no way of knowing A Posteriori that God exists, but we can only assume A Priori that he must exist simply because in order to be God he must exist, an argument which in itself goes round in an endless circle. The arguments between Beneditx and Palinor do not reveal to us whether or not God truly exists, but simply that having knowledge and trusting knowledge are not the same thing, and that humans must make their own decision as to whether or not God exists. - 1 - ...read more.

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