The existence of God: arguments based on observation

What is the teleological argument?
Any argument which is cast in terms of the end or purpose of something.
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What is the final cause?
Aristotle's idea of the ultimate purpose or thing
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What does Aquinas say?
Everything has a purpose. Unmoved mover. Uncaused causer. Contingency- we observe that everything in the universe depends on something else for its existence.
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What is the design argument?
Any argument which attempts to demonstrate that the patterns found in nature are explciable only by reference to a cosmic designer
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What does Paley say about the design argument?
He references a watch and how he could not account for it in the natural way he could do for a rock.
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What is the first one of Paley's vital comments?
Our inference would remain the valid even if we had never seen a watch. It must have had a different origin than the rock.
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What is the second one of Paley's vital comments?
Even if the watch did not work perfectly, there is enough design, to enable us to deduce the watchmaker
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What is the final one of Paley's vital comments?
Our inference would still be correct even if there were parts of the machine whose function we could not work out.
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What are Hume's criticisms?
Aptness of analogy- we couldn't find a cabbage maker. The Epicurean thesis. Argument from effect to cause- we can't go from looking at the evidence from this world to the infinite.
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What is the Epicurean thesis?
The theory that the universe is made up of a finite number of particles moving freely in infinite time in all possible combinations. Apparent order in the universe may thus be randomly explained.
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What is another criticism of the design argument?
Evolution- things change throughout history because of an ability to fit in.
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What is the anthropic principle? (F.R Tennant)
The view that the universe exits for the sake of humankind and is particularly adapted to that purpose.
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What does Richard Swinburne say?
The simplest explanation would be that God planned it. References Ockham's Razor- the simpler the theory the better.
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What is Aquinas' cosmological argument?
Arguments for the existence of God based on God's alleged ability to create the universe. Arguments generally refer to God as the first cause, Prime mover or explanation.
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What is the prime mover?
The divine initiator of all change and motion.
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What is motion?
Change of any sort.
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What is the first cause?
The uncaused beggining of all other beings, initiating all other causes.
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What does contingency mean?
Something is contingent if its existence is dependent on something else in order to exist.
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What can be a major criticism of Aquinas' work?
The alleged impossibility of an infinite egress. An endless sequence going backwards through time, without beginning.
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What is Leibniz' principle of sufficient reason?
If we follow the endless regression back to find the cause of the universe, we never come to a sufficient reason as everything has a cause. The sufficient reason for the universe must lie outside this series of contingencies – God.
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What is the fallacy of composition?
The logical error, cited by Hume, of assuming that what is true of the part is true of the whole.
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What does Aquinas say which can be considered the fallacy of composition?
Every part of the body has a purpose, therefore man must have a purpose.
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What is one objection to arguments from experience?
Whether God can ever be the stopping point in explanation. Is God a sufficient reason which explains everything?
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What is a second objection to arguments from experience?
The problem of evil
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What is a third objection to arguments from experience?
An explanation really needs to explain something to the person to whom it is addressed.
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What does Charles Darwin say?
Evolution is the explanation for why things are like they are now. Animals evolved to survive.
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What is a logical fallacy?
Jumping to too many conclusions.
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Card 2

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What is the final cause?

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Aristotle's idea of the ultimate purpose or thing

Card 3

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What does Aquinas say?

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Card 4

Front

What is the design argument?

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Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

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What does Paley say about the design argument?

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