Philosophy 101, Week 3 Notes
Philosophy 101, Week 3 Notes PHL 101
Popular in Introdution to Philosophy
Popular in PHIL-Philosophy
This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Madeline Lathrop on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHL 101 at University of Rochester taught by Clatterbuck in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 128 views. For similar materials see Introdution to Philosophy in PHIL-Philosophy at University of Rochester.
Reviews for Philosophy 101, Week 3 Notes
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 02/03/16
“Evil and Omnipotence” by J.L. Mackie God is omnipotent; God is wholly good; and yet evil exists. Therefore, we must conclude that the belief in a God who is both omnipotent and wholly good is irrational, as to support this claim, one must sacrifice one of these three constituent premises and admit: 1. God is not omnipotent. 2. God is not wholly good. 3. Evil does not exist. Responses to Mackie’s Argument and Mackie’s reply: 1. Good can’t exist without evil; evil is a necessary counterpart to good. 1.1. This seems ridiculous, clearly, goodness can exist without evil. 1.2. Even if it can’t, this response works only if there is just enough evil and not one bit more for goodness to exist. However, there a lot more evil than is necessary in the world. 2. The existence of evil is the only possible way to get certain important goods. 2.1. Unless it is logically impossible for God to get these goods without evil, it follows that God is not omnipotent. 2.2. But it certainly seems possible to get any important good without the existence of evil. 3. The universe is better with some evil than it would’ve been without. (Two Interpretations) 3.1. The “Aesthetic Analogy” Interpretation: Notice that some bits of a painting or song are sometimes ugly by themselves, however, they contribute to the beauty of the painting or the song when placed within them. The history of the world is like a painting or a song in the sense that certain things in it appear (or are) evil. However, they contribute to the beauty and goodness of the history of the universe when placed within them. 3.2. The “Progress” Interpretation: In a world in which evil exists, but is steadily overcome and defeated through moral progress, is superior to any world in which evil never exists and only goodness exists. Examples of goods that cannot exist without evil: sympathy, benevolence, heroism, and the gradual success of doctors and reformers to overcome these evils. 3.2.1. Mackie’s Reply: This response only works for evils like pain and disease, not for other sorts of evil. True pain and disease may well be necessary for goods such as patience, sympathy, courage, etc. but there are many evils that aren’t required in order to get these important goods such as cowardice, wickedness, etc. But if so, then this response is useless as an answer to these sorts of evils. 4. Evil is due to a misuse of human free will. Free will is a great good, it is better for God to create a world with free creatures than a world full of creatures that aren’t free, but obey God and do what is right out of necessity. This is so even if these free creatures frequently misuse their free will and do evil. When free creatures do evil it isn’t God’s fault; rather only the free creatures who commit these evils are to blame. 4.1. Mackie’s Reply: If it’s possible for people to choose to do what is right on one occasion, then it’s possible for them to freely choose to do what is right on every occasion. So why didn’t God make this a possibility a reality (why didn’t God create a world with just people who freely do only what is good?) To say that he 4.2. can’t is to say that God is not omnipotent. Philosophy Class 02/01/2016 PKG = Powerful, Knowing, Good Last Week: Observations that give us reason to believe God exists. This Week: Observations that give us reason to think God does not exist. Next Week: Do we need evidence in order to believe that God exists? Making Sense of Evil: 1. Moral Evil: Evil that is caused by the actions or negligence of humans acting wrongly. 2. Natural Evil: Evil that is not the result of the actions or negligence of humans acting wrongly. The Following claims all endorsed by most theists are incompatible: 1. God is all powerful. 2. God is all knowing. 3. God is wholly good. 4. Evil exists in the world. Mackie’s Argument: If you accept 13, 4 cannot be true or vise versa. Responses: 1. Reject one of these claims. 2. Show how they are actually compatible (theodicy). a. Attempt to rebuttal evil by showing the compatibility of 14. 3. Show how how could rationally believe all of them together (defense). Deductive Argument: If evil exists, then by necessity, an allPKG God cannot exist. Defense Version: God is mysterious, so we can’t know whether the argument is sound (whether the evil we see is compatible with God’s existence.) Book of Job: Why do the righteous suffer? (God has his ways.) Inductive Version: Evil is evidence that an allPKG God does not exist. The amount of evil that exists is evidence than an allPKG God does not exist. (Surprise Principle) Problem of Evil: 1. If God exists, then an allPKG being exists. 2. If an allPKG being were in existence, there would be know evil. a. An all powerful being could eliminate all evil. b. An all knowing being would know when and where evil will occur. c. An all good being would want to eliminate all evil. Problem of Evil: 1. If God exists, then an allPKG being exists. 2. If there were and allPKG being, there would be no evil. 3. There is evil. 4. From 2,3, there is no allPKG being. C: From 1,4 God does not exist. Objection to 1: Evil as a Means to an End 1. Some good things could not exists unless some evil existed. 2. A world with these good things and some evil is better than a world without these goods. C: An allgood God would allow some evil to exist as means to those good things. Reply: Couldn’t God just have given us these goods directly? Reply: A world with no suffering and no bravery is better than one with both. Reply: The goods and evils are not fairly distributed. Reply: Too much evil Not all evil leads to a greater good. Objection to 2: Free Will 1. Free will necessarily results in some evil. 2. A world with free will and some evil is better than a world with no evil. C: An all good God would allow some evil to exist. Reply: Create us to only freely choose the good. (Is this genuine free will?) Reply: God could allow us to create our own choices, but still prevent evil. (Manipulate Circumstances) Objection to 3: There is evil. Objection: “Evil is relative.” Objection: “It is logically impossible to create good without creating evil.” Do we even have free will? Paradox of Omnipotence: Can God create beings that God cannot control? Maybe free will is just an illusion… Q: According to Adams, why hasn’t God harmed you by creating a world that is not the best of all possible worlds? Does this resolve the inductive problem of evil? “Must God Create the Best?” by Robert Merrihew Adams Common Belief: If a perfectly good moral agent created any world at all, it would have to be the very best world that he could create. This belief can create problems for theists. Adams rejects this common belief: God need not create the best of all possible worlds. That is, even if it were true that God is omnipotent and perfectly good, it would not thereby follow that God must create the most excellent world that he is capable of creating. Adam’s Two Reasons Why: 1: Consideration 1: God creating a world other than the best possible world violates the rights of some beings. Failing to create the best possible world violates the rights of the beings that would have existed in that world. Response: As these beings are not actual, their rights could not be violated. Consideration 2: If not these beings, it must be the beings that exist in the world which God has created whose rights are violated. Response: God creating a particular set of beings, even beings whose lives are not optimal, or who would not even exist in the best possible world is consistent with his not violating those creatures rights. 2: Consideration 1: God must create the best world of which he is capable of making because otherwise would demonstrate a character flaw in him. Response: God’s creating a lessthanperfect world may actually reveal a virtue in his character, rather than a defect. This is the concept of grace; loving creatures which may not perfectly deserve it. It follows that one way in which God can demonstrate his goodness is through creating and loving lessthanperfect creatures. Philosophy Class 02/03/2016 Theodicies: Trying to show that the best of all possible worlds would contain some evil. Implicit Assumptions: “If a perfectly good moral agent created any world at all, it would have to be the very best world he could create.” (Adams argues against this.) 1. A perfectly good moral agent does not perform any morally wrong actions. 2. Making a world that is less than the best of all possible worlds would be morally wrong. C: Therefore, if a perfectly good moral agent created any world at all, it would have to be the very best world he could create. (Adam denies premise 2) Making a world that is less than the best of all possible worlds would be wrong. Why? Utilitarianism An act is morally wrong if and only if it results in less overall happiness than other possible actions. By not creating a world with the most overall happiness, God did something wrong. Why? Deontological Views An act is morally wrong if and only if it violates someone’s rights (or treats them unkindly.) Adams: God did not violate anyone’s rights by making less than the best of all possible worlds. In order to violate someone’s rights, that person must exist. Did God violate any of our rights (or treat us unkindly) by creating a less than best of all possible worlds? Adams: You wouldn’t even exists in the best of all possible worlds. God made everyone that actually exists better off by creating less than the best of all possible worlds if: 1. None of us would exists in the best of all possible worlds. 2. None of us would be better off having never existed. 3. This is the best world that contains us . Why? Virtue Ethics An act is morally wrong if and only if the manifestation of a defect of character. God does not show a defect in character in creating less than the best of all possible worlds. Grace: Disposition to love which is not dependent on merit. God saw what was valuable in us, despite the fact that God could have created perfect beings. Objection: Zika Virus Case If Maria conceives now, she will have a child microcephaly. If Maris waits a month to conceive, she will have a child without microcephaly. Assume: The lives of children without microcephaly are better than those with the condition. Maria chooses to have a child who is born with microcephaly. Q1: Has Maria done anything wrong? Q2: If so, why? Who has she wronged? Implications: Does this provide a satisfying theodicy? Does it solve the inductive problem of evil? Hume argues that it is never rational to believe that a miracle occurred on the basis of testimony. Suppose Hume is right. Is there any evidence of a miracle that you think would make it rational to believe one occurred?
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'