PHI2010 Week 1 Notes
PHI2010 Week 1 Notes PHI2010
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lauren Carstens on Tuesday September 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHI2010 at Florida State University taught by Dr. Clarke in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 128 views.
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Date Created: 09/13/16
The Theological Argument What we can learn from experience about the world, not about what our view is personally The AllPerfect Being is o Omniscient – Knows everything o Omnipotent – Can do anything o Omnibenevolent – Morally Perfect The Teleological Argument (Analogical Version) o 1. The world, and every part of it, is like a machine, in that its parts are adjusted to each other, with means adapted to ends o 2. Machines are products of design, thought, wisdom and intelligence o 3. Generally, when effects resemble each other, their causes do, as well o 4. Therefor, the world, too, is a product of design, thought, wisdom and intelligence o It is an inductive argument The argument is a posteriori: o Meaning: it has at least one premise that can be known only from experience o If any of the three teleological arguments are known, they have to be known by experience Deductive Argument o With a wellformed (valid) deductive argument, the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the argument o Ex: Every human being has two parents Sue is a human being Sue has two parents Inductive Argument o The truth of the premises doesn’t guarantee the truth of the conclusion, but their truth is meant to show that they conclusion is probably true o Ex: The sun ahs risen every day so far The sun will rise tomorrow This is not guaranteed, but it is as good as guaranteed as an inductive argument can be o Can be about the present, past or future Something you can count on based on past evidence o The Teleological Argument Premise 1: The world, and every part of it is like a machine, in that its parts are adjusted to each other, with means adapted to the ends o Each of its parts are made out of specific stuff and arranged in a specific way that keeps everything running pretty well Ex: If one part of a watch was made out of something different (hands made out of string), it would not work nearly as well just as if they were arranged in a heap on the table, it would not work very well o Everything has this feature and the world, as a whole has this feature o These things are not made or designed to have this feature Observe nature and recognize this feature o We are able to affirm this premise just by observation/ study of nature Premise 2: Machines are products of design, thought, wisdom and intelligence o The watch is designed in a certain way and with specific materials because people were acting purposefully when creating it Premise 3: Generally, when effects resemble each other, their causes do, as well o If the symptoms are alike, it is likely that the illness (source) is alike o Things can be alike a little bit and unlike a little bit but have causes that are very different The argument relies on an analogy: o The world, and each thing in it, is like a machine. o The argument is only as as strong as is this analogy Maybe the world is similar to a machine, but is also different from any machine we have ever witnessed Critical Examination of the Teleological Argument David Hume, 18 Century, Scottish (Dialogues on Natural Religion) o Criticizing, evaluating and offering objections to the teleological argument o Does not reject religion, he just says it is not rational (we do not know his religion and views) o The Teleological Argument is supposed to say the world was created by a thinking thing (God) Objections argue that the argument doesn’t prove the claim to be true (he is not claiming the world wasn’t made by God and that the conclusion is false) o CompetingHypotheses Objections Even if the Teleological Argument provides good evidence for its conclusion, it fails to provide good evidence that it was God who made the world (and observation of the world can’t provide that further evidence) Observation of the world can not prove it was made by God o WeakAnalogy Objections In fact, the Teleological Argument doesn’t provide good evidence for the truth of its conclusion, because the analogy between the world and machines is not strong enough The similarity is not strong enough to support the conclusion o Some Competing Hypotheses about the Maker(s) of the world There’s just one It is (they are) infinitely perfect It is (they are) eternal It is (they are) immaterial (spiritual) There are many It is (they are) only finitely perfect It is (they are) mortal It is (they are) material By examining the world, can we tell which of these are true The objection no Even if by examining the world, we can determine that it was created by an intelligent being (or beings), o Consider each pairing: Examination of the world does not favor the first hypothesis of the pair over the second hypothesis of the pair There is just one intelligent being who made the world or the world was made by many intelligent beings (perhaps working together)? Our experience of the production of machines is that generally larger and more complicated machines are made by many beings, not just one o Maybe the world was made by a single being, but our experience and knowledge of machines make us believe it may not be so o The world includes very complicated things such as the human eye and brain so the world must be an extremely large machine The maker is (or makers are) infinitely perfect, or the maker is (or makers are) only finitely perfect When we find machines that are excellent in various ways, we can infer (based on our experience of the production of such machines) that their makers had various virtues and powers o Even the best watches are going to break down at some point o The space station has broken down on many occasions o Their makers are intelligent and capable, but their intelligence and capability are limited The world is certainly magnificent o If we could observe that it is perfect in every way, then we could determine that its maker was (or its makers were) infinitely perfect o However, we can’t see, by observing the world, that it is perfect in every way It seems to have many flaws and imperfections Things break down, there are earthquakes that destroy things and kill people, there are diseases, there is wickedness, etc. We have no reason to believe the maker was (the makers were) perfect in every way For similar reasons, our observations of the world can’t show us that the maker (or makers) of the world is (or are) eternal rather than mortal, or immaterial spirits rather than material beings with bodies like ours o Review Question: What is the main point of the Competing Hypothesis Objections? You can’t tell from observation which of each of the pairs is true Machine references show the right side while God would be the left side o Weak Analogy Objections The similarity that we can observe between the world and a machine isn’t strong enough to strongly support the conclusion that the world was made by design by an intelligent being (or beings). Something we learn from experience: Things that are similar to each other are generally produced by causes that are similar to each other More precisely: When things are exactly alike, generally they’re produced by causes that are exactly alike But we also learn that things that are somewhat similar can have causes that are very different Craters can be from meteors or a bomb or s group of people digging There are various ways in which the world is unlike any machine of whose production we have any experience The world is vastly older and vastly and bigger that any machine we have experience with o Causes of the large things we do know may or may not have different causes than smaller, newer things but we have no experience proving that So long as we can’t rule out that possibility, we can’t confidently conclude that the world came to be in a manner similar to the making of a machine The most similar things to our world would be another world But we don’t have any experience of the production of other worlds If we had observed the origin of other universes, then we could reason that, probably, our world was made the same way that we observed o We lack the knowledge from experience that would give us this kind of strong argument from analogy A different analogy o The world is somewhat like a machine We can take our experience of how machines are made to provide some evidence for how the world was made o The world is as much like a plant or animal as it is like a machine Our experience of the production of plants and animals is that they are products of “generation and vegetation.” A plant or animal also has “parts adjusted to each other, which means adapted to ends” Our experience of how plants and animals are produced then gives us equally good evidence that the world was produced in the way that they are We know plants and animals are produced by reproduction from other (similar) plants and animals If all we have to go on is our experience of the comingtobe of things like the world, we can infer that it’s just as likely that the world is the offspring of other worlds as it is possible that it was made by design by an intelligent being There can be a bad argument for a true conclusion o We are not focusing on if the conclusion is true or not, we are focusing on if the argument can make us believe the conclusion is true o Does the argument give us enough reason to believe it is true? Another cause of order o It’s not only machines that display order and have “parts adjusted to each other, with means adapted to the ends” Plants and animals do too o Random variation and natural selection o Processes involving principally random variation and natural selection can take as inputs very simple things and generate very complex, highly organized and highly capable of many more things over many, many years The complexly ordered plants and animals around today were produced, by random variation and natural selection, from very simple things that existed hundreds of millions of years ago o From experience, we know that there are two kinds of causes that can produce things Intelligent design Random variation and natural selection The world was probably made by intelligent design or by random variation with natural selection It doesn’t favor one over the other What is the main point of the Weak Analogy Objections? o Experience doesn’t favor a singe, all perfect designer o The similarity that we can observe between the world and a watch or machine does not give us enough information to believe the world was produced like a watch over something random/mindless natural processes He does not favor either side The world is as much like a plant or animal as it is a machine
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