Philosophy

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  • Plato
    • Forms and the form of the Good
    • Solves the problem of the many and the one
      • It may explain how knowledge works
        • seems something right in that people only do something wrong as they don't know what is good.
    • Popper
      • Knowledge doesn't require eternal certainty
      • Aristotle
        • The form's have no practical value
        • There is no agreement about the concept of Good
        • The third man argument - infinite
  • Aristotle
    • four cause of being
      • Material-made Formal-shape Efficient-how Final-purpose
      • prime mover
    • the four causes seem to explain things well
      • the four causes are really practical
        • If you believe everything has a purpose there must logically be a prime mover
    • Wilkinson
      • not everything appears to have a purpose
      • Aristotle is too quick to dismiss rationalism
        • Russell
          • the fallacy of composition  (bricks)
          • Dawkins
            • Evolution is blind
            • The prime mover is a rubbish God
  • Soul/Mind/ Body Problem
    • Dualism
      • Plato - Descartes
        • The Malevolent Demon analogy is correct (physical world could be an illusion
          • Numerous thought experiments support the idea the mind and body exist seperatly
        • Lacewing
          • Piercing things as seperate doesnt make them seperate
          • Descartes fails to explain how the two worlds interact
            • The mind is really just the physical brain
    • Monism
      • materialism  Dawkins/ behaviorism Skinner
        • Dawkins- there is a huge scientific evidence supporting monism
        • Materialism doesn't recognize we have personalities
          • Behaviorism ignores our internal thoughts
  • Design Argument
    • Aquinas 5th way
      • Kant it can be supported by empirical examples Whales migrating
        • The principle of non-rational beings are being guided by a being can be supported by an analogy, animal instincts
      • non-rational being act inn a beneficial order and  God must be guiding them
      • Hume, we cannot accurately assess the beneficial order of the world (nothing to compare it to
        • Hume it anthropomorphize God.
    • Paley's Watchmaker Analogy
      • watch found on a heath, evidence of a watchmaker, just as world is evidence of a world maker.
      • Swinburne, any analogies like that of science showing an order to the world
        • Tennant, you can add beauty to strengthen the argument
      • Dawkins, Evolution is more convincing (puddle and hole analogy)
        • Dawkins, we see the world through purpose coloured spectacles
          • Mill The problem of suffering
  • The Cosmological Argument
    • Aquinas' 1st way
      • The argument from motion, must have been a prime mover to put the whole world in motion
      • Mackie, a convincing analogy can be used, train carriages
      • Hume, we cannot make judgments about the universe as it is outside our experience.
        • Hume, we don't need to explain the universe,if we can explain parts of it, like planets being in motion due to gravitational pull
    • Aquinas' 2nd way
      • The uncaused cause, everything in the universe has a cause so the universe must have a cause
      • Russell, the universe is brute fact
      • Hoyle, the big bang theory supports the view the universe has a cause
        • Craig, infinite chains do appear impossible, Kalam cosmological argument.
          • Infinite chains cannot exist in real life
    • Aquinas' third way
      • The argument from contingency, contingent objects depend on something else, so a necessary being must have created the universe
      • Coppleston, contingent beings cannot rely on themselves to exist
      • Hume, we have no evidence of necessary beings existing.
        • Hume, this doesn't prove the God of classical theism
  • Ontological Argument
    • Anselm
      • "that than which nothing greater can be conceived"
      • The main principle is convincing, (money is better in re then intellectu)
      • Gauinilo Pi-land to replace God with an island it doesn't work
        • Gasking, you can make a reverse ontological argument , not existing and creating the world is better then existing
    • Descartes
      • innate idea of a supremely perfect being so it must necessarily exist
      • ANALOGY, triangle must have 3 sides
        • Plantinga, modal versions of the argument support the ideas of perfections
      • Kant, existence is not a predicate  Russell cows are brown
        • Hume, you cannot define things into existence
  • The Argument from Religious Experience
    • The Argument from Religious Experience
      • Swinburne
        • credulity-should accept experiences unless defeater present testimony- accept testimony- of others unless defeater is present
        • Mackie: deluded people may think they are telling the truth
          • Davis: Religious experiences require more evidence than other experiences
            • Martin: you can use the principles to prove there is no God.
    • Psychological interpretation of religious experience
      • Freud
        • human mind is ego, id and super ego, when stressed we project an image of God to help understand the world
        • Freuerbach: the idea of projecting a God seems reasonable
          • People tend to have religious experiences under stressful situations
        • Lowenthal: not all religious experiences are projective
          • Persinger: Neurology may explain these religious experiences better then psychology (magnetic helmet)
  • The Problem of Suffering
    • Augustinian Theodicy
      • evil is not a substance itself but a privation of good
      • ANALOGY of blindness
        • There seems something right that free-will would justify some evil
      • HIck: there are scientific problems with Original Sin
        • Schleiermacher: how can perfect beings go wrong
    • Hick's soul making theodicy
      • two stage first image then likeness
      • HIck avoids the problems with the Augustinian theodicy
        • Epistemic distance as a justification of free will is very persuasive
      • Stump: there is too much evil in the world
        • Not all suffering leads to people becoming better people
    • Logical, Hume and Mackie, inconsistent triad
    • Evidential, Rowe, each example of evil is another reason God doesn't exist
  • Problems with the attributes of God
    • Omnipotence
      • Can God create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it
      • God is Omnipotent
        • Descartes: God can do anything including the impossible and paradoxical
          • Firstly, this makes God seem arbitrary as he could make torture appear good.
            • Secondly it makes God outside of human understanding
              • Thirdly it contradicts theodicies in response to the problem of evil as you can argue God could have made a world with no evil in it
      • Omnipotence doesn't mean the power to do anything
        • Aquinas, it is the power to do anything which is not a logical contradiction
          • many feel this is not real omnipotence
        • Vardy God chooses to limit his own power
          • This appears that God was not omnipotent in the first place
    • Omniscience and free will
      • Go is timeless and can see all of time
        • Aquinas and Augustine; God exists outside of time
          • God already knows everything and so we don't have free will
          • The problem of evil cannot be solved
          • God cannot interact with the world
      • God is timeless but experiences time all at once
        • Boethius: God experiences time simultaneously
          • God cannot interact with the world
          • It contradicts many holy texts
  • Types of religious language
    • Via Negativa
      • Maimonides, understand God by knowing what he is not
      • Cole: avoids the problems of other interpretations
        • Dionysius: it recognizes the transcendent nature of God
      • Flew: you may as well be an atheist
        • Via negativa contradicts most religious texts
    • Analogous Language
      • Aquinas: in between uni-vocal and equivocal
      • We use analogous language in other situations (snow blanket)
        • Analogy of proportionalit: we use words proportionaly in different contexts
        • analogy of attribution: we use a word when something gets its quality from something else
      • Swinburne: it is really uni-vocal language in disguise
    • Symbolic language
      • Tillich: symbols represent what they participate in
      • There are clear examples of this in the bible
        • Bultmann: many people argue that stories are symbols of myths
      • Flew: religion dies the death of a thousand qualifications
        • Hick: symbols might lose its meaning (British flag)
    • Cognitive/non-cognitive, uni vocal/equivocal
  • The meaningfulness of religious language
    • The Verification Principle
      • Hume: abstract reasoning or experimental reasoning only have meaning, VIenna Circle, Ayer
        • analytic statement (true by definition) or synthetic statements (verified by evidence) are true
          • Ayer saw religious statements were neither so meaningless
      • The verification principle rightly identifies some meaningless belief's (flying spagetti monster
      • The verification principle cannot be verified itself
        • The verification principle makes history meaningless
          • Hick: eschatological Verification, we can verify God when we die
          • Ayer added in weak verification
    • Langaue Game Theory
      • Wittgenstein: language follows different rules in different contexts
      • It explains the disagreements in religious language (category error, using the wrong rules)
      • It reduces all religious language to non-cognitive claims
    • The Falsification Principle
      • Flew, you must be able to state what would falsify the belief for it to be true
      • Swinburne: lots of unfalsifiable beliefs are still meaningful (Toy Story)
        • Hare: religious language is a bilk (unfalsifiable in our world)
      • Parable, garden
    • logical positivist movement: does religious language have any meaning at all

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