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Philosophy Final Notes

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PHIL 1000Y
Duncan Macintosh

Philosophy Final Notes Definitions: • Consistent – sentences that can be true together • Premise – reasons in an argument • Conclusion – statements argued for in an argument • Sound – argument is valid and all premises are true • Valid – conclusion is true (can have false premises and a true conclusion, true premises and a true conclusion, but not true premises and a false conclusion) Burden of Proof Argument: • It is irrational to believe in something you cannot prove • Ought implies can, if you ought to prove something, then it must be the case that you can prove something • Impossible to prove the non-existence of something – you would need to search the entire universe and not find what you were looking for, which would take an infinite amount of time Argument from Miracles: • God is the greatest explanation possible • When disproving an argument, you want to use the simplest explanation possible that still explain the facts • Even if one miracle was performed, it doesn’t make someone all-powerful, all- knowing, etc. It would take an infinite amount of time to see all the powers and label someone all-powerful First Cause Argument: • Argument does not establish that the first cause is God st • Even if the premises are true, the conclusion that God was the 1 cause is false • Infinite number of 1 causes – ex. first tree, first hydrogen atom, etc, if it were to be true, there would be no one first cause • Even if the universe is finitely old, there is still enough time for an infinite regress of causes (ex. between 1 and 2 seconds, the possibility for an infinite number of events exists) Design Argument: • Humans have evolved over millions of years and are the result of many mutations. Watches cannot reproduce, so the processes that create the two are not the same • Every process that resulted in the creation of humans is equally unlikely. Just because something is unlikely is not evidence that the process has been tampered with • If it is suspected that someone tampered with the universe, namely God, direct evidence of tampering is needed. No matter how unusual the outcome, it is not good evidence of tamping because every outcome is equally unlikely (ex. how every number being drawn from a lottery is unlikely) The Ontological Argument: • Can be used to prove all sorts of false things. By saying a perfect anything must exist, and that it would be more perfect if it existed (ex. a hamburger), could be used to prove something that didn’t actually exist. Can be driven to absurdity on that basis • Cheats – circular definition. Cannot use the word “exists” in the definition of “God exists.” The argument would become “God exists blah blah blah exists,” which defines the thing you are trying to prove as itself Pascal’s Wager: • To play the God game, one must believe in God. If you win you get infinite happiness. Since there is no evidence of God’s existence, the odds of his existing and your odds of going to heaven must be set at 0 • Happiness (infinite) x Odds (0) – Cost of playing = Expected Utility (0) • Since the outcome is 0, a rational person would only play if there are no costs • But there are costs (no drinking, smoking, premarital sex, etc.) • Even if the costs are viewed as benefits to a healthy lifestyle, they have nothing to do with the prospect of going to heaven Argument Against Logic, Philosophy, Science: • It is only important to believe in God’s existence if it’s actually proven. If it isn’t, it shouldn’t matter what you do because nothing good or bad would happen either way • Argument falsely assumes that the more important a situation is, the less relevant logic, philosophy and science are. Faith should only be used in situations with no serious consequences (ex. what colour shirt you should wear) Argument From Evil: • God isn’t obliged to prevent evil, only: o Respect people’s rights – has not violated anyone’s rights by creating them imperfectly in an imperfect world. Had we been perfect, we would not be ourselves o Not show a bad character – he has shown tolerance for imperfection o Show minimum generosity – has not made anyone’s life so bad that it would have been better if they’d have never been born • No such thing as a best world; for every world God could make, there could always be a better one 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 Philosophical Ethnics Problems: 1. How can morality be factual, objective and absolute? 2. What are our moral duties? 3. How can we tell what our moral duties are? 4. Why should we obey them? Act Utilitarianism: • The act-utilitarian would break a promise if doing so would cause the most happiness, so his making a promise is no guarantee he will keep it • People should keep their promises – so it offers false moral advice Rule Utilitarianism: • Rule utilitarianism says follow the moral rules the following of which would cause the most happiness for ever
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