Philosophy and Ethics Revision

Philosophy Section

The Ethics Section

©       Religious Experience

©      TheOntological Argument

©       Critiques of Philosophy

©       Life after death

©       Virtue ethics

©     Objectivism,Subjectivism, Relativism

©       Justice Law and punishment

©       Natural Moral Law

please note *not all the content written is mine, I have collected from a number of resources, I hope it helps :)

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Revision for Philosophy and Ethics Summer 2012
About the Exam: There are two RS papers, the first is on May 31st and the other is on the
11th June. The first exam is the developments paper where you are required to write 3 essays
(each 30 marks) this paper is out of 90. The second paper is the synoptic paper where you
are required to analyse philosophical work from Ayer, Westphal or Donovan. This paper is
worth 50 marks. Each paper will last for 1hour and 30minutes, or 1hour 50minutes with extra
Background Information:
Philosophy Section The Ethics Section
Religious Experience Virtue ethics
The Ontological Argument Objectivism, Subjectivism, Relativism
Critiques of Philosophy Justice Law and punishment
Life after death Natural Moral Law
The Synoptic Paper
Ayer with Religious Language
Donovan with Religious experience
Westphal with a philosophical movement
Key Words in Philosophy:

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The Different Philosophers, Their centuries and their books:
Aristotle C3 Nichomachean Ethics Unknown
Anselm C11 Proslogion Theist
Augustine C4/5 Confessions Theist
Aquinas C13 Summa Theologica Theist
Buber C20 I and Thou Theist
AJ Ayer C20 The Central Questions of philosophy Atheist
Brian Davies C20 Thinking about God, and an introduction into Theist
Charles Darwin C20 philosophy Atheist
Richard Dawkins C21 On the Origin of Species Atheist
Rene Decartes C17 The Selfish Gene Theist
Anthony Flew C20 Meditations Theist
John Hick C20 Essay in Philosophy Theist…read more

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The Ontological Argument:
An argument for the existence of God was named the `Ontological Argument' by a
German Philosopher, Immanuel Kant in the eighteenth century.
Ontology is a branch of metaphysics and is concerned with the nature and relations
of being `Onto' meaning being from the ancient Greek language.
The ontological argument uses an a priori method, which means it is based on logic
rather than the evidence of senses or the world around us.…read more

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Anselm explained that God is In re he is reality rather than De ray, part of reality. This
is regarded as a higher status than being in intellectu.
This can be shown using the example of a painting in Anselm's second form of the
argument a painting is superior in reality than in the mind.
He stated that `There exists, in both the understanding and in reality, something than
which a greater cannot be thought'.…read more

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C17 `Meditations'
rationalist philosopher
He was a devout Catholic and agreed with Anselm that perfection is necessary for
Reformulated the ontological argument.
He believed that reason was very important and experience from the senses is
inferior to this.
His most important and acknowledged quote `Cogito, Ergo sum, I think, therefore I
am' is recognised throughout the world of philosophy.
It proves that if we doubt the facts, this proves existence.
Existence is a perfection of God therefore God must necessarily have existence.…read more

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C18 `Dialogues concerning natural religion'
Considers the argument a failure because it has made a false assumption on the
subject of existence.
He believed that the existence of God was incoherent contingent.
Therefore existence is only contingent and any form of existence that is not analytically
true is just a statement of fact
`we cannot define something into existence ... even if it has all perfections we can
imagine.…read more

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Uses an example of the equator to show how the existence of God cannot be seen as
a predicate because it is written in an antirealist context.
Therefore overall Anselm's proof fails.
No one claims that the equator does not exist, however in the flesh the equator does
not exist.
In the same way Gods reality is as real for the believers as the equator is to
geographers.…read more

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There are a variety of different forms to the ontological argument
Gödel C20 who postulated a mathematical form for the existence of God
Leibniz C18 who stresses the perfections of God.
The Islamic religion also has a form of the argument called the `Suhrawardi Method'
created by Avicenna.…read more

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On the one hand the ontological argument can work for the atheist, as an atheist will
not have aposterirori knowledge of God.
Looking at the existence of God in logical perspectives appeals to many atheists, as it
allows them to see the Christian viewpoint as well as allowing them to have their own
opinion, unlike the cosmological and teleological argument.…read more

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The Ontological Timeline
Religious Experience: At A level we are looking at the argument for the existence of
God, Not just the concept of religious experience. The main difference is reason,
moving word of thoughts and feelings being verified as rational reasons for the
existence of God.
The Beginning Paragraph:
Some people say we know what it is to be known through experience and reasoning.
As stated by Descartes C17 `Meditations' or in Latin `cognito ergo sum' `I think
therefore I am.…read more


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