plato and arisitolte, moral aboslutism, ontological ect.

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Religion revision Notes for revision cards
Plato and Aristotle
o A follower of the Socrates
o Plato was interested in what is beyond everyday experiences ­ what
cannot be seen
o He believed you could know about what you cannot see by using reason
o He was a rationalist
Plato's ideas about reality, God, the world and the human condition are
expressed in the analogy of the cave.
The analogy of the cave
At the bottom of the cave are a group of prisoners. The prisoners are
restricted so that they can only face the wall of the cave.
Behind the prisoners a fire burns, there are people who are walking, talking
and carrying artificial objects made of wood and stone. Who are hidden by
a screen so the objects appear on the screen.
The shadows of these objects on the wall are what the prisoners can see.
The prisoners are not aware of what is happening, their reality consists of
shadows on the wall.
One day, one of these prisoners is let loose from his chains and is forced to
turn around, look and walk towards the fire. He is told that the objects he
now sees are the real objects and that what he had experienced all his life
where shadows.
The prisoner wants to return to the bottom of the cave, but he is dragged
further away and up towards the entrance. Faced by the daylight he is
unable to see a single object. Only over time can he gradually grow used to
it. After a period of getting used to the light of day, the released prisoner is
even able to gaze at the sun itself.
What each part of the analogy represents:
o Prisoners ­ represent ordinary human beings and how they are ignorant of
the outside world; accept for what they are shown.
o The cave ­ represents the world we live in, the prisoners where trapped by
their own ignorance
o The shadows ­ represents our limited understanding of the truth about
o The outside world ­ Represents the real world beyond the one we live in.
The realm of forms
o The prisoner that is dragged - represents we as a modern society are lazy
and accept what we are told as fact
o The sun ­ is a source of light which represents truth and goodness
o The chains ­ represent our senses that cause us to accept all that we see
and hear

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The prisoner who escapes ­ represents the philosopher who comes to
knowledge of true reality, he understands the real world.
o The return to the cave- represents the philosophers duty to return and
educate the others
o The purpose of this story is to show
o There is another world out there
o The cave represents this world, with the prisoners representing humans ­
in ignorance of the truth.…read more

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If there is a form of a form e.g. goodness what is stopping you having a form
of a form of a form (infinite regression).
3. There is no such absolute value of good. It is all shades of opinion about
what it good. People may also have different opinions on what they think is
4. It is unlikely that everything in existence has an ideal form. Could we have
an ideal slug or type of cancer for instance
5.…read more

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The prime mover has to be eternal and really exist but not in a bodily form
like us otherwise it will be subject to change just like we are.
Aristotle's prime mover can only exist in a spiritual way.
There are some similarities between Aristotle's prime mover and God;
people have referred to the prime mover as God.
Aristotle's God is eternal which he defines as not being dependant on
anything else for its existence.…read more

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An argument put forward by Gaunilo is a perfect island. He suggests that
anyone can think of the perfect island.…read more

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Kant agreed with Descartes definition of the 3 sided solid figure must be a
triangle, however Kant pointed out if you don't have a triangle in the first
place then it wont have three sides anyways
o Applying this to the existence of God Kant argued that if you believe in God,
it is logical to think his existence is necessary.…read more

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If we cannot in our present life attain this goal, there must be someone else
who can ensure that we can attain it in the future life. God as the cause of
the whole of nature has the necessary power.
God, the highest original good is both the ground for the moral law and that
which can enable us to achieve its goals. As Kant concludes therefore it is
morally necessary to assume the existence of God.…read more

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Life contains many situations which people automatically take an
absolutist approach to for example cruelty to a baby is wrong
Weaknesses of Moral Absolutism
It is too rigid sometimes it is better to break the rules e.g. breaking the
speed limit when trying to get to the hospital, lying to protect an
innocent fugitive
It doesn't consider different circumstances or cultural attitudes
Should rules, laws or principles be universal? E.g.…read more

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Easier to calculate than potential happiness - people know what their
preferences are.
BUT anything goes if that's what people want!
Every person affected by the action taken preferences count.
`Personhood' = sentience (having senses capacity for happiness &
Rational, autonomous, self-conscious.
Every rational being affected should have equal consideration.
`Non-persons' are Incapable of rational thought. Unable to exercise
autonomy (make decisions about own life). Limited / no self-awareness.…read more

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It is not up to us to take life away from anyone, it is up to
Quality of life is about being able to experience life and communicate with
others, being fulfilled and content inside you. If a person was being kept alive
artificially or was in constant terrible pain, some would describe their quality of
life as poor.
Arguments against abortion
The foetus is a child with a soul from the first moment of conception.…read more


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