The Meaning of Life-Baier

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14 Dec 2011
Lecture 8
-begins by contrasting the medieval Christian view and scientific explanations. When
looking at the medieval Christian views, science has discredited each view
-he focuses on Christianity, what he’s saying does not justify the Christian faith.
-modern scientific view has undermined that of the Christians.
-he will argue that science does not take away the meaning of life
-half the article today, and the other half on wed
-the explanation of the universe. In this view, he’s looking at science with only explaining
the physical views.
-what we need for real explanations are teleological explanations which can be called
final causation.
-how do you explain God if you use him to explain the universe? Theologians reply that
God is a necessary being so there is no infinite regress.
-from his perspective, God does not need an explanation.
-he has two replies. He says the idea of a logically, necessary being. The concept alone is
like the concept of a married bachelor, it is a contradiction of terms. Logically necessary
belongs to propositions. His response to the theologians is that this is an oxymoron. Even
if there was such a God, it does not automatically follow that a specific kind of
explanation follows rather than another one. In the traditional view of God nowadays, he
created the universe out of nothing.
-he says perhaps both types of explanations, the efficient causal and the teleological
involve an infinite regress. They cannot help us explain the universe. Maybe we just cant
explain it.
-he thinks scientists will never go all the way because there is always some new
phenomena to discover. Science will never be able to discover all of particular
-although science is getting closer and closer, he doesn’t think it will, his point is that
scenting explanation does not involve an infinite regress. It gets more inclusive but it
does not involve an infinite regress.
-If science would get this, the final theory would give a perfectly full and consistent
-why is there anything at all? His reply is that the feeling is understandable. It doesn’t
follow that it is a good thing to cultivate why there is something rather than nothing. He
points out that having the feeling of awe is nothing the same thing as asking a meaningful
question. He says this may not be a meaningful question after all. Something things are
more an expression of a feeling rather than a meaningful question
-he says we need to determine whether this is a meaningful question. He says one may
argue that the statement the universe started out of nothing for example needs to be
explained. He then says that even if the universe were to arise, it is fallacious. We move
toward the fallacy of composition. This fallacy is about the part-whole relationship. For
example, lets say a team has a few good players, it does not follow that the team is
amazing. Even if all the players are amazing, it does not follow that the entire team is
amazing. With the universe, people look at something arguing that it has the cause and
the universe therefore exists.
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