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Mid-Term Test Philosophers review

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Diana Raffman

PHL 105Y Midterm Test Review Philosophers and Their Philosophy RELIGION AND BELIEF FOR & AGAISNT EXISTENCE OF GOD Saint Anselm (15-17) Ontological Argument The person who has said to himself there is no God, is able to understand the concept or definition of God, once he thinks about this concept or definition, he will have to realize that God actually exists. God = the being greater than which nothing can be thought. Existing in mind vs. actually existing. (I.e., the painter has the picture in mind then executed it) A being which exists in both mind and actuality is greater than a being which exists only in the mind. Gaunilo (against Anselm) He tries to show that if Anselms argument works, wed also be able to prove the real existence of a maximally wonderful island. But thats crazy. So there must be something wrong with Anselms argument. The Fool can reply that this thing is said already to exist in the mind only in the sense that I understand what is said. Richard Taylor (25-31) Cosmological Argument Principle of sufficient reason according to Taylor there is an explanation for the existence of anything (anything that exists). The world exists, so the worlds got to have a cause. Cause could be internalexternal. Some truths depend on something else is called contingent (sorts of things that could have gone either way truefalse). Other truths depend only upon themselves, true by their natures is called necessary (could not have been otherwise, maybe either truefalse). Only necessary thing can be self-caused (internally). God exists, creates the world, world is not self-caused (externally-caused), God is external cause of world. God is creator of the world. God is self-caused. www.notesolution.comWilliam Paley (to Taylor) (31-34) Argument from DesignTeleological Argument Not like Taylor who demands explanation for anything at all, Paley focused on needs to explain existence of certain special sorts of things. Rock vs. watch, rock is unexplained; watch demands explanation special for it has many parts. Several parts are framed and put together for a purpose. There must have existed at some place or some time or other a maker or makers who formed it. Something can show evidence of being designed even if its imperfect. Where there is a law, there is a lawgiver; laws dont make things on their own. Ernest Nagel (against Taylor, Anselm, Paley; with Kant) (34-39) Does God Exist? Every event must have a cause. The chain of causes cant go on back infinitely. So there must be a first cause (=God). Nagel objected to Taylor with the self caused world. Thinks that something about character of world made it seem not sort of thing that could be self caused or exists as result of its own nature. On ontological argument, Nagels view is that existence is not an ordinary predicate, and cannot be part of the characterization or definition of anything. Nagel sees the Argument from Design as focusing in particular on the existence of living beings. Living beings dont seem to come into being in the way that watches do parents dont create their offspring by designing them on a workbench. Nagel argues that Darwins theory of chance variation and natural selection would in any event provide a better explanation of the characteristics of living things. On Moral Argument, belief in God is morally necessary by Kant. Kants argument might be appealing if we have already brought into the nature of human morality. On Spiritual experience, acknowledges that many people have religious belief because of personal experiences of spiritual character. Nagel brought against religion with the argument from evil, which is not possible to reconcile the existence of a benevolent and all-powerful God with existences of pain & suffering in the world. John Hick (39-44) The Problem of Evil
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