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Introduction to Philosophy, Week 2: Forms of Logical Argument & The Ontological Argument

by: Andres Calvo

Introduction to Philosophy, Week 2: Forms of Logical Argument & The Ontological Argument Phi 2010

Marketplace > Florida International University > Phi 2010 > Introduction to Philosophy Week 2 Forms of Logical Argument The Ontological Argument
Andres Calvo
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PHI 2010: 8/29/16-9/02/16 Week 2's notes cover the forms of logical reasoning and argument: deductive and inductive, and the ontological argument for the existence of God created by the Saint, A...
Intro Into Philosophy
Kenton Harris
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andres Calvo on Tuesday September 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Phi 2010 at Florida International University taught by Kenton Harris in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views.

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Date Created: 09/06/16
● Logic of Philosophy: ○ Philosophical logic is concerned with the evaluation of both  deductive and inductive argument. ■ Deductive: if A = B and B = C, then A must equal C. ● Aristotle argued that deductive  reasoning and argument was the only true form of argument. ● Example: If 1) Aristotle is a human  and 2) All humans are mortal, then 3) Aristotle must be mortal. ■ Inductive: the facts and premises may make the  conclusion true. ● Example: the evidence presented in  a jury trial does not make it absolutely certain that the defendant is guilty. There is still a small probability that the defendant is  innocent, so the verdict must be reached and true “beyond a  reasonable doubt.” ○ Support question: if the premises were true, would that make the  conclusion more likely to be true? If yes, then move on to the: ○ Content question: are the premises “good?” ■ A good premise must not only be true, but clear  and reasonable. ■ Arguments must persuade; thus, they have a  practical use. The premises must be true, clear, and reasonable to more  effectively persuade. ■ If an argument is vague or so vague that it cannot  be understood, the argument is unpersuasive. ■ If a claim is controversial, it will diminish the  argument’s ability to persuade. The listener should agree and find the  premise plausible. ○ Validating and invalidating arguments constitutes philosophical  progress in the search for the truth or the answer to the question. If one proves  an argument to be false, there is one less argument to consider, bringing one a  step closer to the truth. ○ The Principle of Charity assumes or fills in the blanks in the  arguer’s vague premise in order to reveal what he or she meant. ○ Ultimately, the process of going through various arguments in the  search for truth embodies the philosophical method of theory postulation, critical  review and refutation, revision, and further review in order to answer a  meaningful, non­empirical question. ○ ● Evidential/Ontological Arguments for Theism ○ Ontological: latin etymology meaning “to be.” ○ It derives from St. Anselm (1033­1109) who calls one who says  “There is no God” a “fool.” ■ However, he uses natural reason because his  words are inspired by the Psalms, which only says that atheists are  foolish. ● Psalms 53:1 “The fool hath said  there is no God…” ■ Anselm wished to demonstrate that he who claims  God does not exist is truly a fool. Understanding the concept of God is  enough to convince one that God must exist. ○ “A priori,” or “independent”, means that without even having prior  experience, one should be able to understand that God’s essence is equivalent  to His existence. It is more logical/rational than the faith­based argument. ○ St. Anselm makes his argument by first scrutinizing the atheist  argument: when one claims that God doesn’t exist, Anselm asks what one  means by “God.” ■ There is only a conflict when both have differing  concepts of “God,” which Anselm sees as something which nothing  greater can be conceived and is the ultimate (omnipotent) force. ● Example: Zeus does not fit Anselm’s concept of God because Zeus is powerful, but not the most  powerful. He is sometimes morally wrong for his treatment of  mortals, and his father Titan is more powerful than he is. ■ If the atheist rejects Anselm’s definition, then he is  not denying that Anselm’s God exists. However, the atheist may accept  his definition. ○ Premises of the argument: ■ God is the greatest; nothing greater could possibly  be conceived. ■ It must be that it would be greater to exist both  abstractly/conceptually and physically. ■ Thus, the Greatest of all must exist both in one’s  mind and in reality or the physical realm. ■ Thus, since God is the greatest, he must exist in  both the mind and in reality. ○ In essence, according to Anselm, God exists in the mind and in  reality, while the Atheist claims that God exists only in the mind. ■ Anselm says it is foolish to think that God is not  existing because if one understands what God is, then He must exist in  reality. ■ His definition can reveal what a God is not rather  than what a God is. ● If one God (Zeus) is not as great as  another God (the Christian omnipotent God), then the first God  (Zeus) does not exist. ○ Criticism of the Ontological Argument: ■ A monk, Gaunillo, claims that St. Anselm’s  argument is flawed in that it can be extended to anything that isn’t good. If the argument is foolish when used to describe something else, then it is  foolish when used to describe God’s existence. ● If the Most Perfect Island is one with  all perfections and the concept of existence is a perfection, then  the Most Perfect Island must exist. ■ Later: St. Thomas criticizes it by claiming that  someone could not claim anything exists “a priori,” or without experience. ■ Finally, David Hume claims that something which  one could claim as “existing” could also be claimed as “not existing.”  Thus, God’s existence is not demonstrable. ● If existence is to be proved, then  non­existence must be shown to be contradictory in order for  existence to be proved. ● Non­existence is logically not  contradictory because non­existence can be conceived just as  existence can. ● Thus, if God’s existence can be  conceived, so can his non­existence. ○ Criticism of the Criticism: ■ Immanuel Kant eventually ends up actually  identifying the flawed premise, saying that Guanillo, St. Thomas, and  Hume do not actually refute Anselm’s claims. ● He debunks that “Existence is a  perfection” because the property of existence really is not a  property at all because it cannot be explained descriptively. ○ Describing something as existing does not change the mental concept of the  thing as previously described. ● Kant claims that while Anselm and  the Atheist hold the same concept of God (a perfect being), their  descriptions are either satisfied (Anselm’s God exists) or not  satisfied (the Atheist’s God cannot be found in an existing object). ○ “The Second Formulation” ■ Anselm refutes Guanillo by saying that his  ontological argument can only be applied to God. ● When Guanillo applies the argument to the “Most Perfect Island,” he claims that the Island can infinitely  exist through time and space. This is simply not true because as  time elapses, nature impacts the Island, such as through erosion  and the evolution of the Island’s flora and fauna. ● The Island’s existence is dependent  on other factors (contingent existence). God’s existence is  independent of all other things (necessary existence). ■ Revised Logical Argument: ● If “that then which no greater can be  conceived” has a contingent existence, then it really isn’t the  greatest because it depends on an external thing; it must have  necessary existence. ● God is “that then which no greater  can be conceived.” ● Therefore, God has necessary  existence. ○ Final argument: ■ If God were to exist, Then he would have the  described properties: omnipotence, omniscience, omnibenevolence,  necessary existence. ● Claiming that “If...the Necessary  Being Existed” assumes that something must have happened to  prevent the Necessary Being from existing (thus the “if”). If  something could prevent it from existing, then it could not be the  greatest. ●  Positions on the Belief of God: ○ Theism: holds that there is a God/divine reality to the universe. ■ Monotheism: belief in a single God. Judaism and  Islam are monotheistic religions, but Christianity is more complicated  because some believe in the Trinity. ■ Deism: belief that a God created the world, but  become indifferent to it. ■ Polytheism: belief in multiple Gods (i.e Ancient  Greek Paganism). Religions such as the African Yoruba religion believe  in multiple deities or powerful beings, but they must originate from a  single original God. ■ Pantheism: everything is divine and is God. ● Either divinity exists in all reality, or  reality and God are the same thing, or there is no divinity in the  real, but more like a reverence or respect for something  connecting the real. ■ Theistic Dualism: belief in 2 Divine Natures that are in opposition to each other (i.e Star Wars). It is not Western Monotheism  because God created Satan, so they are not equal. It would be dualism if  God and Satan always existed and always rivaled each other. ○ Atheism: holds that there is no God/divine reality to the universe. ■ Logical Atheism: HIs existence is logically  impossible. ■ Empirical Atheism: His existence is not a logical  impossibility, but there is currently insufficient empirical (observed)  evidence to prove or disprove His existence. ○ Agnosticism: holds that one cannot know whether there exists a  God/divine reality.


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