Terms in this set (58)
What is the difference between objective and subjective?
Subjective-if its truth or falsehood depends on what occurs in the mind of some subject. Opinions and beliefs that people have.
Objective-if the proposition is true (or false) independently of whether anyone believes that the proposition is true (or false). Facts.
When is a statement or idea valid?
Never. Arguments can only be valid.
Define what it means to say that an argument is deductively valid.
If you accept all the premises true (if and only if the premises are true), then the conclusion cannot be false.
What does it mean to say that an argument is "circular", that is "begs the question"?
Argument begs the question when you wouldn't accept the premises unless you already believed the conclusion. The argument doesn't tell you anything. you haven't proven anything. It uses one of the premises as the conclusion so you assume the truth of what you are trying to prove.
Deductive validity v inductive strength
Deductive validity-an argument is deductively valid because of the logical form it has. It is one in which the conclusion must be true if the premises are true.
Inductive strength- is a matter of degree and depends on 2 factors: sample size and the representativeness or unbiasedness of the sample
Induction v abduction
Induction-a non deductive argument in which characteristics of individuals not in a sample are inferred from the characteristics of the individuals in the sample. (Allows us to test the hypothesis through confirmation or falsification)
Abduction-non deductive inference (known as inference to the best explanation). Plausible hypothesis, not valid arguments. The Surprise Principle and the Only Game in Town Fallacy determine the strength. (Gives us a plausible explanatory hypothesis)
Only Game in Town Fallacy
The error of thinking that you are obliged to believe a proposed explanation of an observation just because it's the only explanation that has been proposed. (You cannot come up with, or imagine, alternative hypothesis does not mean that what you can think of is all that possible)
The Surprise Principle
Principle governing abductive inference. An observation O strongly favors on hypothesis H1 over another H2 when the following two conditions are satisfied, but not otherwise:
(1) If H1 were true, we would expect O to be true.
(2) If H2 were true, we would expect O to be false.
Not strong, only stronger by adding relevant information to the premises.
A set of declarative sentences, premises followed by a conclusion declarative sentence.
Conclusion must follow from the premises and premises must be true
An argument is deductively valid if and only if: if the premises are true, the conclusion cannot be false
Definition of God
Person who is: all powerful, all knowing, and entirely good OR a being that is the greatest possible being to exist
Aquinas's First Argument
P1 In the natural world, there are objects that are in motion.
P2 In the natural world objects can't set themselves in motion.
C There has to be an (external) first mover and that is God.
Objections to the first argument
Newton's law of motion-everything is already in motion, unless a force is acted upon it. Aquinas believes everything is constant (at rest) until a force acts upon it.
Motion is an illusion-Parmenides
Birthday Fallacy & how does it come into play with Aquinas's arguments?
The error in reasoning that one would make in thinking that "everyone has a birthday" deductively implies that "there is a single day on which everyone was born."
Aquinas's argument only states that there is only one first mover, when there could be multiple movers/Gods/causes
Aquinas's Second Argument
P1 The natural world includes events.
P2 In the natural world, every event has a case, and no event causes itself.
P3 In the natural world, causes must precede their effects.
P4 In the natural world, there are no infinite cause/effect chains.
C Hence there is an entity outside of nature (supernatural being), which causes the first event that occurs in the natural world and that is God.
Explain what it means for an object to be necessary or contingent. What is a "possible world"?
Contingent-being that could not have been. Existence depends on others existence. Doesn't exist on other possible worlds, so exists in some worlds but not all.
Necessary-being that could not not have been. Must exists on all possible worlds.
"Possible world"-a way a world might have been.
Aquinas's Third Argument
P1 Contingent things now exist.
P2 Each contingent thing has a time at which it fails to exist (contingent things are not omnipresent)
P3 So if everything were contingent, there would be a time at which nothing exists (call this an "empty time")
P4 That empty time would have been in the past
P5 If the world were empty at one time, it would be empty forever after (a conservation principle)
P6 So if everything were contingent, nothing would exist now
P7 But clearly, the world is now not empty (see P1)
C So there exists a being who is not contingent and that is God
What is a reductio argument?
A deductively valid for of argument in which:
If P is false, A is true
A is false
P is true
If God does exist, then there would be no evil.
There is evil.
There is no God.
What is the difference between necessity and certainty?
What is meant by saying that necessity is "objective"?
Certainty-what you know/believe (subjective) People may change their degree of certainty about a proposition; one day think it is true, the other day false.
Necessity-truth (objective); proposition will always be true or false even though if you think otherwise.
Necessity is objective because it is truth.
What would it mean for something to be a first cause without being God? What would it mean for something to necessarily exist without being God?
Not sure of the answer...but both shows the birthday fallacy that it does not mean there is one God-that there can be more than one.
First cause is just a first cause, it may have been a natural event of some sort.
Something to exist without being God - tautology (needless repetition of an idea) All cats are cats/all humans are humans. Could be anything!
What does it mean to say that the design argument is an abductive argument?
It is inferring someone, an intelligent designer, designed the universe with a purpose
An argument for the existence of God that begins with the observation that features of the universe show evidence of design. The inference is then drawn that at an intelligent designer brought these features into being. The most familiar form of this argument cites the complex adaptive features of organisms. Creationists endorse the argument from design and reject evolutionary theory.
What is the difference between a global design argument and a local design argument?
Global-argue from a general feature of the universe that the universe must be a product of design (general)
Local-one or more objects in nature, these objects must be the product of design (specific)
How does Paley's argument about the watch use the Surprise Principle?
It is more plausible that an intelligent human created the watch than a chimp
Aquinas's Fifth Argument
P1 Among objects that act for an end, some have minds whereas others do not.
P2 An object that acts for an end, but does not itself have a mind, must have been designed by a being that has a mind.
C Hence, there exists a being with a mind who designed all mindless objects that act for an end.
Hume formulated a principle that states how the strength of an analogy argument may be measured. What is it?
The number of agreements.
What two criticisms did Hume make of the design argument? Are these good criticisms if the argument is understood to be adductive in character?
Criticize the global&local design argument because we are comparing two very dissimilar things. pg 63-64
Criticize that the argument must be inductive to make sense pg. 65
They are not good criticisms.
His criticism was that the design argument is a weak argument from analogy and it is a weak induction. Global - you need 2 comparisons, trying to compare the universe to a watch = not much in common. Local - sample size - we have one actual world and nothing else to compare it to. Could also be biased because this is the only world we live in.
What are two main elements of Darwin's theory?
All present-day living things are genealogically related (Evolution) AND idea of natural selection.
Describe what the Principle of the Common Cause says. How is this principle related to the Surprise Principle? How is it used by biologists to decide whether different species have a common ancestor?
A principle governing abductive inference. It asserts that when two or more objects exhibit an intricate series of similarities, the similarities should be explained by postulating a common cause; this is preferable to a separate cause explanation, according to which each object obtained its characteristics independently. Ex. Two students hand in the identical paper. More plausible of plagiarism than to think they each worked independently.
Related to Surprise Principle because you would be surprised if two very similar organisms weren't related.
Common Cause underlies the belief that evolutionary biologists have that all living things on Earth have common ancestors. Organisms have same genetic code.
What does it mean to say that two theories are predictively equivalent? Can the design hypothesis be formulated so that the existence of imperfect adaptations isn't evidence against it?
The outcomes are the same, but the steps to reach that outcome are different. Both theories predict the same things (how organisms on Earth are today).
Yes, because God need not have created organisms perfectly adapted to their environments. (Some elk has extremely heavy antlers so that seems to be a nuisance and all Pandas are able to eat is Bamboo - must eat it constantly. Why would those be necessary?)
What is the difference between a global why-question and a local why-question?
Global-ask for an explanation of the totality of what has happened in the whole universe's history
Local-focus on part of what has happened in the world's history
Can science answer global why-questions? Why or why not?
Science can't answer global questions because science can't answer questions about the totality of the universe, science can only study the actual world. ***
Is it possible to have evidence that something exists without having an explanation for why the thing exists?
Does not require explanation to be true.
What does it mean to say that causation is a relationship that obtains between events in space and time? If this were a correct claim about causation, what implications would it have for the idea that God explains the sorts of global facts discussed in this chapter?
The relationship has an effect. People can't say God did it because it leaves a lot unexplained. We see the effects, but not the causation, the relationship between events in space and time.
What is the difference between an a posteriori proposition and an a priori proposition? What is the difference between saying that a proposition is a priori and saying that it is innate?
A priori means propositions that can be known to be true by reason alone. It doesn't mean that this knowledge is innate, but if you understand the concepts involved and have acquired them through experience, then reason will suffice for you to decide that the proposition is true. A posteriori is knowledge through sense experience.
What is the difference between saying that a proposition is possible and saying that it is conceivable?
Saying something is conceivable is a subjective notion. We are knowing subjects who can conceive of things. Possibility means things don't vary among individuals like conceivability. Possibility is whether anything could truly exist or happen like something going faster than light.
How does Gaunilo's point about islands bear on Anselm's argument about God? What is a reductio argument?
Gaunilo swapped God for island in Anselm's argument and Anselm said it was invalid even though they had the same logical form. Cannot get the written conclusion from premises stated. A reductio argument is deductively valid and two propositions, one is true and the other is false depending on each other. Guano says that since the island argument is not deductively valid, neither is the ontological argument.
Suppose God is, by definition, a being that exists in all possible worlds. Does it follow that God exists?
No. God exists does not follow from the definition of a being that exists in all possible worlds because existing isn't an identifier or property.
What does it mean to say that a hypothesis is falsifiable? Does this mean it is false? Is the hypothesis that organisms contain genes falsifiable?
A falsifiable hypothesis means that the results could be false, that not every result would indicate the hypothesis is true. So falsifiable does not mean false. The hypothesis that all organisms contain genes is not falsifiable because it has been proven to be true.
What is an auxiliary assumption? How does testing the hypothesis that God exists depend on a choice of auxiliary assumptions?
An auxiliary assumption is background information about something to prove/support a hypothesis. They are used to help deductively imply an observational hypothesis. Testing the hypothesis that God exists depends on choice of auxiliary assumption because you could test the assumption depending on what it reads and if you could check by making observations.
What does it mean to say that Holmes could independently confirm the auxiliary assumptions he needs concerning Moriarty? Independent of what?
Holmes could independently confirm the auxiliary assumptions he needs concerning Moriarty because that means that he wouldn't change what he knows about Moriarty to prove that he was the murderer. It is independent of the hypothesis under test, if Moriarty is the murderer.
How does the Surprise Principle explain why the existence of miracles would be strong evidence for the existence of God? In what way are auxiliary assumptions needed if one wants to interpret miracles as evidence favoring the hypothesis that God exists?
The Surprise Principle could explain why the existence of miracles would be strong evidence of the existence of God because if God were real, you would expect miracles to be real and of his doing whereas if he wasn't real, you wouldn't expect miracles to be real. Auxiliary assumptions would be needed to interpret miracles as evidence for God's existence because this would be background knowledge you could use that God grants miracles.
What is the difference between a prudential reason and an evidential reason for believing something?
Prudential reason is believing in something because it is in your self-interest and it will serve you better than not believing (better safe than sorry) whereas evidential reason is believing based upon evidence and facts.
Can it ever make sense to bet on something that probably won't happen?
It would make sense to bet on something improbable only if the payoff was big enough. If you win, it's huge and if you lose, it's only a small cost ($1).
Given the payoffs Pascal assigns to outcomes, what is the expected value of believing in God? Of not believing?
Huge expected value if you believe in God and he IS real (Heaven). Just a minor cost if he is NOT real.
Not believing, eternal punishment if he IS real (Hell), if not, you receive a benefit.
Do people believe what they do because they "decide to believe"? If not, does it follow that Pascal's argument is mistaken?
No, people can't necessarily control their believing. Pascal argued that people could change their lifestyles to make believing come more naturally, so his argument isn't really mistaken.
How does Pascal's argument depend on a set of auxiliary assumptions about God's nature?
Pascal's argument depends on a set of auxiliary assumptions about God's nature because it is based off one's religious traditions, Christians, where believers go to Heaven and non-believers go to Hell.
Describe a prudential argument for believing in God that avoids the problem that Pascal's argument confronts.
A prudential argument for believing in God could be the way to maximize expected utility would be for you to be a theist. This argument doesn't make assumptions about what God would do to believers and non-believers on the psychological consequences of theism.
Why did Clifford reject James's pragmatic argument for theism?
Clifford rejected James's pragmatic argument for theism because he said it is always wrong to believe in something with insufficient evidence. It could be wrong because it could have bad consequences.
Consider the proposition that God is all-PKG. Should we regard this proposition as a definition of what the word "God" means? If it isn't a definition, does this mean that the proposition is false?
This is the definition of God (we are stipulating it is true), but truth or falsity doesn't apply. It makes it a declarative sentence, which is either true or false.
It sometimes is suggested that imperfections must exist if human beings are to be able to form the idea of God (a perfect being). Is this a solution to the problem of evil?
No! There is too much evil in the world that is needed for us to differentiate between us and God.
Does the fact that some evils are soul-building while others are consequences of human freedom solve the problem of evil?
No, it doesn't solve the problem because there is too much evil in the actual world. We need some, but there is way more than the minimum.
What is the difference between theodicy and defense as criticisms of the Argument from Evil?
Theodicy is to try to explain why an all-PKG God would allow evil to exist (soul-building, human freedom). Defense believes that God may have reasons for why, but we don't know. (Simply enough, he may just have his reasons)
A criticism was presented of the third Argument from Evil. The argument is valid. And the criticism did not claim that any of the premises are false. What, then, is the criticism?
We lack the knowledge of what an all-PKG being would be if he existed. Don't know if premises are true, same with conclusion (we aren't sure).
What is the evidential argument from evil? Is it more successful than the arguments that attempt to prove that there is no God?
The evidential argument from evil is the evidence against the existence of an all-PKG being. It is more successful because we have more evidence against his existence than for it.
Can we have a free will if the only things we desire are good? Is this a solution to the problem of evil?
I would think so because that would be our free will, to do what we please. Why couldn't the things we wanted to do be good? I feel like this would solve the problem of evil because we'd be doing good things that obviously aren't evil.
If "God exists" is a meaningless sentence, does this mean that atheists are right and that God does not exist?
It doesn't mean it's true or false, just that atheists claiming it to be false.
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Chapter 5: The Design Argument
Chapter 4: Aquinas's First Four Ways