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PHIL 101 Weeks 3 and 4 Lecture Notes (Philosophy of Religion)

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PHIL 101
Christopher Stephens

PHILWeeks 3 and 4 Philosophy of Religion cont., September 16, 2013 Paley’s Design Arguments - Likelihood principle, again - Role of background assumptions - Home on analogy and induction - Objections to Hume - Objections to design argument William Paley (1743-1805) Paley begins his famous argument with an analogy (watches). He notes how intricate and complex the parts of the watch are. O: a watch with complex and intricate parts is found on a heath H1: Randomness Hypothesis H2: Design Hypothesis Likelihood principle favors H2 over H1. O: Organisms have even more complex and intricate parts than watches H1: Random Hypothesis H2: Design Hypothesis The only game in town fallacy reminds us that these two hypotheses are not the only possibilities, another could arise. H3: Evolution by natural selection. - This is not randomness as it is not a random result if one organism is favored by natural conditions than the other. Paley’s analogy His argument seems abductive P1: Watches have intricate and are well suited to the task of measuring time. C1: Hence, the watched was created by design P2: Organisms have complex and intricate parts just like watches and accomplish tasks which are even more impressive than measuring time: they are suited to survive and reproduce C2: Hence, organisms were created by I. Design H2 (a) Separate creationist design: God -> life today (Paley’s belief) H2 (b) Theistic evolution: God -> Laws/word -> evolution by natural selection -> life today H2 (c) Superintelligent aliens created us H2 (d) Multiple designers (the watch analogy does not dismiss the possibility that there could be multiple watch designers) Hume on Design as InductiveArguments I’ve observed X number of other Universes be designed Hence, our Universe was designed. How big is our sample size, X? 0. Lol. Thus, Hume shows that Paley’s design argument is poor as an inductive argument __ Darwin’s two part theory (1)Tree of Life: all (or almost all) present day life is related. (2)Natural selection is the primary explanation of evolution. Example: Deer -> Necessary natural trait: run over 24km/h -> One deer runs 25km/h, all others run under 24km/h -> Natural selection ->All deer run over 25km/h 1) Variation 2) Fitness 3) Heritability – it is necessary to pass down the same or similar traits in order for evolution to take place under natural selection Principle of Common Cause: if two things display an intricate set of similarities, it is more plausible to explain the similarity by appeal to the hypothesis of common cause than by appeal to the hypothesis of separate causes. Ex. Here are three languages. Why do we suppose that French and Spanish has a similar origins? Spanish French Japanese Uno Un Ichi Dos Deux Ni Tres Trois San The similarities between the first three numbers in French and Spanish are arbitrary similarities. Functional similarities, such as the similarities that all languages use nouns and verbs, are not evidence of common ancestry. Arbitrary vs. functional similarity - Which is evidence of common similarity? Gould and the panda’s thumb O2: Panda’s thumbs are imperfectly adapted H1: Life evolved by natural selection H2: Species arose independently of one another by superintelligent design What does the Likelihood Principle say? September 23, 2013. * - Group exercise review - Hume on design - Gould on evolution - Falsifiability - Quine-Duhem thesis Thesis: What you’re going to argue and how. Don’t tell the reader that your essay is fascinating, make it so. Hume’s criticisms on Design Hume often represents the design argument as an argument from analogy Eg. Compare: - Humans circulate their blood. Hence, dogs do too. - Humans circulate their blood. Hence, plants do too. Humans are an analogue, plants and dogs are a target Hume suggests that arguments are stronger or weaker depending on how similar the analogies are to their targets. Paley’s argument: Watches are a product of Design. Hence, the Universe is a product of Design. Hume thinks the DesignArgument is very weak due to the dissimilarity between a watch and the universe. Gould and the panda’s thumb O2: Panda’s thumbs are imperfectly adapted H1: Life evolved by natural selection H2: Species arose independently of one another by superintelligent design The likelihood principle says that O2 favors H1 over H2 since one would not expect panda’s thumbs to be imperfectly adapted if a panda arose independently by superintelligent design Trickster God Hypothesis O: Organisms are complex and imperfectly adapted H1: Evolution by natural selection H2: Superintelligent design H3: (Trickster God): God created each species separately, but made them have the same traits they’d have if they evolved by natural selection. Lol why. We favor hypotheses that are more simple than complicated, so although the likelihood principle favors both H1 and 3, H1 is stronger. Occam’s Razor: Prefer explanations that are simpler (all else be equal). Newton said God made the universe simple, that’s why we should believe the simple hypothesis Falsifiability and Testability Can the existence of God be empirically tested? Karl Popper (1902-1994) Ahypothesis H is strongly falsifiable if H deductively implies at least one observation statement O. An observation statement is one whose truth or falsehood can be determined by direct observation. Falsifiable: means could be found false O1: There are at least 50 people in this room (Falsifiable) O2: There are at least 250 people in this room (also falsifiable) When we test claims, we rarely, if ever, test them in isolation. We test them in auxiliary. H: Newton’s laws of physics A1: there are 7 planets A2: There are 8 planets. September 25, 2013 * DesignArguments: Local design arguments look at some part of the universe that you think requires a designer (Paley) Global design arguments: appeal to some features of the universe as a whole, ie
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