PHIL 1000Y Study Guide - Robert Merrihew Adams, Divine Command Theory, God Game

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15 Nov 2011
Response to Pascal’s Wager
To play the God game, one must believe in God. If you play, the happiness you get if you
win is infinite. If there is no proof of God’s existence, then the odds of his existence and
heaven must be set at 0.
Happiness (Infinite) x Odds (0) = Expected Utility (0)
Since the expected utility is 0, a rational person would only play the God game if there
were no costs. However, there are costs to playing (ex. no drinking, smoking, premarital
sex, etc.), so it is not rational to believe in God. Even if the costs are viewed as benefits to
leading a healthy lifestyle, they have nothing to do with going to heaven.
Response to the Argument Against Logic, Philosophy, Science
Firstly, it is only important to believe in God is God’s existence is actually proven. If
there is no evidence of God’s existence, it shouldn’t matter either way if you believe in
him because either way, nothing good or bad would happen.
Also, this argument assumes the more important a situation is, the less relevant science
philosophy and logic are, which is false. Faith should only be used in situations with no
serious consequences (ex. what colour of pants you should wear).
Reponse to the Argument from Evil (Robert Merrihew Adams)
God isn’t obliged to prevent evil, he is only obliged to respect people’s rights, not show a
bad character and show a minimum amount of generosity. He has not violated anyone’s
rights by creating us imperfectly, because if he made us perfect, no one would be
themselves. He hasn’t shown a bad character by making people imperfect, but has shown
tolerance for imperfection. He has shown a minimum amount of generosity because no
one’s life is so bad that it would better if they had never existed. Furthermore, God
cannot be faulted for not creating a ‘perfect world’ because there is no such thing, just
like trying to find the highest number.
Response to the Divine Command Theory of Morality
Something is either right because God says it’s right, or because God figures it out to be
right. If God were to say something was right, it can’t make it any more true than if a
random person on the street says it. If God figures something out to be right, then
morality has nothing to do with God, he just discovers and reports it.
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