Full Exam Review

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Bernard Katz

Part 1: 1:Theism: the belief that there is a deity. Monotheism: the belief that there is exactly one deity. Polytheism: the belief that there are many deities. Pantheism: the belief that God is identical with nature or the world as a whole. Henotheism: the belief that there are many deities, but we should restrict our allegiance to one particular deity. Deism: the belief that there is a deity who created the world but is not active in it. —Atheism: the belief that there is no deity of any kind. —Agnosticism: the withholding of belief on the question of whether there is a deity; in other words, the denial of both theism and atheism. 2:What is meant by the idea of a self-existent being? Anselm argues that the supreme being’s existence must be due to itself. In other words, the explanation of the existence of the supreme being is to be found within the very nature of that being. - It is inconceivable that something should exist and that there be no explanation of its existence. Therefore, - There must be an explanation of the existence of the supreme being. - The supreme being would not be supreme if it depended on anything other than itself for its existence. Therefore, - The explanation of the existence of God (the Supreme Being) is to be found within His own nature. Nature was not brought into existence with the help of any external cause, yet it does not exist through nothing, or derive existence from nothing, how existence through self, and derived from self, is conceivable Set out and explain Anselm’s reasons for claiming that God is a self-existent being? - Because he does not exist through something else, and cannot derive existence from itself because that presupposes that it existed before itself - Cannot exist through nothing or through another thing - cannot derive existence from another - from itself and through itself it is whatever it is - It did not creates itself, nor did it spring up as its own matter, nor did it in any way assist itself to become what it was not before, unless, haply, it seems best to conceive of this subject in the way in which one says that the light lights or is lucent, through and from itself. 3: Explain the notion of a necessary being and contingent being: This is primarily a metaphysical distinction. A natural way of explaining this distinction is in terms of the notion of a possible world, that is, a possible situation or set of circumstances, a way that things might have been. A proposition is necessary if and only if it is true in every possible world. A proposition is possible if and only if it is true in some (in at least one) possible world. A proposition is contingent if and only if its does not have the same truth value in every possible world. - So God is a necessary being because he is true in every possible world 4: What is the connection between God is self-existent being and that God is necessary being? A necessary being is self-existent, which means a necessary being exists without the influence or help of anything else. A self-existent being does not necessarily have to exist in every possible world. 5: analytic statements: Analytic-Synthetic Distinction This distinction was first explicitly made by Immanuel Kant The distinction is primarily a semantic one: roughly, an analytic truth (or falsehood) is a statement that is true (or false) solely as a matter of logic and the meanings of its constituent terms: - A statement is analytic if it is a truth or falsehood of logic or it may be turned into a truth or falsehood of logic by substituting synonym for synonym. - A statement is synthetic if it is not analytic. The following statements are analytic: - All roses are roses. - All bachelors are unmarried. - Either Biscuit is a cat or Biscuit isn’t a cat. - Some triangles are four-sided plane figures. Given their logical structure and the meanings of their constituent terms, the first three statements must be true and the last must be false. On the other hand, the following statements are synthetic: - This flower is a rose. - Bachelors die younger than married men. - The speed of light is a constant. - There are more women than men in Toronto. These statements depend for their truth or falsity, not simply on the meanings of their constituent terms, but on how things actually are in the world. Since the truth of a synthetic statement depends on how things are in the world, when we come to know that a synthetic statement is true, we have learned factual information about the world. By contrast, analytic statements reflect the meanings that have been assigned to words or symbols. Accordingly, they are devoid of factual information, and when we come to know that an analytic statement is true, we have not learned anything factual about the world. A Priori-A Posteriori Distinction This is primarily an epistemological distinction, concerning how we acquire knowledge. Again, the contemporary understanding of this distinction, as an epistemological distinction derives mainly from Kant, although versions of it precede Kant in the writings of Leibniz and David Hume. A priori knowledge is supposed to be a kind of knowledge or justification that does not depend on evidence, or warrant, from experience (that is, experience from the senses, memory, or testimony); it contrasts with a posteriori knowledge, knowledge requiring evidence derived from experience. Roughly speaking, a posteriori knowledge is empirical, experience-based knowledge, and a prioriknowledge is non-empirical knowledge. (Standard examples of a priori truths are the truths of mathematics, whereas standard examples of a posteriori truths are the truths of the natural sciences.) The Linguistic Theory of Necessity Thus, we have three distinctions, a semantic one, an epistemological one, and a metaphysical one. The semantical distinction between analytic and synthetic truth is not the same as the epistemological distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge; nor are either of those the same as the logical or metaphysical distinction between necessary and contingent truth. There remains, however, the question, To what extent do these distinctions correspond? Obviously, many analytic truths are knowable a priori and are necessary. Perhaps all analytic truths are necessary; and perhaps all analytic truths that are knowable are knowable a priori. Are there, however, a priori truths that arenot analytic? Or necessary truths that are not analytic? According to the Linguistic Theory of Necessity, a view popular during the first half of the 20th century, modal propositions are true, not by the way the world is, but by the way we conceive or describe the world. On this view, modal truths simply reflect linguistic conventions. Hence, ‘analytic’, ‘a priori’ and ‘necessary’ 6: What does Findlay mean by the notion of an adequate object of religious attitudes? Findlay defines an object worthy of our worship. He says: - For all limited superiorities are tainted with an obvious relativity, and can be dwarfed in thought by still mightier superiorities, in which process of being dwarfed they lose their claim upon our worshipful attitudes. And hence we are led on irresistibly to demand that our religious objects should have an unsurpassable supremacy along all avenues, that it should tower infinitely above all other objects. And not only are we led to demand for it such merely quantitative superiority: we also ask that it shouldn’t owe it no allegiance, or set limits to its influence. The proper object of religious reverence must in some manner be all comprehensive: there mustn’t be anything capable of existing, or of displaying any virtue, without owning all of these absolutely in a single source. - True object of religious reverence must not be one, merely, to which no actual independent realities stand opposed: it must be one to which opposition in totally inconceivable. - Must not only cover realm of actual but the realm of the possible - Not only must his existence of other things be unthinkable without Him, but his own nonexistence must be unthinkable in any circumstance. There must, in short, be no conceivable alternative to His existence properly termed “divine”: God must be wholly inescapable, as we remarked previously, whether for thought or reality. And so we are led on insensibly to the barely intelligible notion of a Being in Whom Essence and Existence lose their separateness.  So this is saying that is in God’s very essence that he is logically necessary, and if He wasn’t, he wouldn’t be God. - Not only is it contrary to the demands and claims inherent in religious attitudes that their object should exist “accidentally”: it is also contrary to those demands that it should possess in various excellences in some merely adventitious (added from outside and often unexpected source rather than intrinsic) or contingent (possible but not certain) manner. - It would be quite unsatisfactory from the religious standpoint, if an object merely happened to be wise, good, powerful and so forth, even to a superlative degree, and if other beings had, as a mere matter of fact, derived their excellences from this single source. An object of this sort would doubtless deserve respect and admiration, and other quasi-religious attitudes, but it would not deserve the utter self-abandonment peculiar to the religious frame of mind. - 7: What however, are the consequences of these requirements upon the possibility of God’s existence? Findlay doesn’t believe it God existence because: - Plainly they entail (for all who share a contemporary outlook) not only that there isn’t a God, but that the Divine Existence is either senseless or impossible. The modern mind feels not the faintest self-evident force in principle which trace contingent things back to some necessarily existent source, not does it find it hard to conceive that’s things should display various excellent qualities without deriving them from a source which manifests them supremely. - Those who believe in necessary truths which aren’t merely tautological think that such truth merely connects the possible instances of various characteristics with each other: they don’t expect such truth to tell them whether there will be instances of any characteristics. - And of a yet more modern view of the matter, necessity in propositions merely reflects our use of words, the arbitrary conventions of our language. Conclusion: modern views make it self-evidently absurd (if they don’t make it ungrammatical) to speak of such a Being and attribute existence to Him. Anselm bare something that is of the essence of an adequate religious object, but also something that entails its necessary non-existence. 8: what are the two objections to the idea that God’s existence is logically necessary that Adams discusses? How does Adams reply to these objections? - Many philosophers believe that the proposition that a certain thing exists is simply not of the right form to be a necessary truth. They think that necessity cannot be understood except as consisting in analyticity and those existential propositions cannot be analytic.  So God cannot be necessary because the only things that can be necessary are analytic truths like logic and non-existential entities. - We are not likely to get a satisfying analysis of necessity from which it will follow that such existence cannot be necessary - An second objection to the doctrine of divine necessity is that if God exists His existence is too real to be necessary. Many philosophers believe that absolute necessity is “logical” or “conceptual” in such a way as to be confirmed to a mental or abstract realm that it cannot escape from the playground of the logicians to determine the real world in any way. On this view necessary truths cannot be “about the world,” and cannot explain any real existence or real event, but can only reveal features of, or relations among, abstract or mental objects such as concepts or meanings. They cannot govern reality, but can only determine how we ought to think or speak about reality. Adam’s response - If on the other hand, it is a necessary truth that God exists, this must be a necessary truth that explains a real existence (God’s); indeed it provides the ultimate explanation of all real existence, since God is the creator of everything else that really exists. Thus if God’s existence follows from his essence in such a way as to be necessary, His essence is no mere logician’s plaything but a supremely powerful cause. This is a scandal for the view that necessary truths cannot determine or explain reality. - It seems commonsensical to say that the necessary truths of mathematics that enter into those calculations also contribute something to the determination of the real events and form part of the explanation of them. Ayer: writes that if we admit that some necessary truths are about the world, - We shall be obliged to admit that there are some truths about the world which we can know independently of experience: that there are some properties which we can ascribe to all objects, even though we cannot conceivably observe that all objects have them. And we shall have to accept it as a mysterious in explicable fact that our thought has this power to reveal to us authoritatively the nature objects which we have never observed.  The main assumptions of this argument seem to be first: that if necessary truths are about the world, we can sometimes know that they apply to objects that we have not experienced and;  Second, that if we know something about an object, there must be some explanation of how it comes to pass that our beliefs agree with the object.  Both seem plausible  From these assumptions it follows that necessary truths are about the world. Question 9 God created everything, but he cannot create himself. Something cannot create itself because that would imply the it existed before it was created in order to create itself which is obviously a contradiction. So god exists through himself, not from himself. God being the creator is very important for theism and is a strong motivation for peoples worship. Creation is not an essential characteristic of god though. Question 10 On the face of it, the characteristics of transcendence and immanence appear to be in conflict. A transcendent God is one who is beyond perception, independent of the universe, and wholly “other” when compared to us. An immanent God, is one which exists within — within us, within the universe, etc. — and, hence, very much a part of our existence. How can these qualities exist simultaneously? Clearly there is some conflict between these two characteristics. The more God’s transcendence is emphasized the less God’s immanence can be understood and vice-versa. For this reason, many philosophers have tried to downplay or even deny one attribute or the other. Kierkegaard, for example, focused primarily upon God’s transcendence and rejected God’s immanence — this has been a common position for many modern theologians. The need for both qualities can be seen in the other characteristics normally attributed to God. If God is a person and works within human history, then it would make little sense for us not to be able to perceive and communicate with God. Moreover, if God is infinite, then God must exist everywhere — including within us and within the universe. Such a God must be immanent. On the other hand, if God is absolutely perfect beyond all experience and understanding, then God must also be transcendent. If God is timeless (outside of time and space) and unchangable, then God cannot also be immanent within us, beings who are within time. Such a God must be wholly “other,” transcendent to everything we know. Because both of these qualities follow readily from other qualities, it would be very difficult to abandon either without also needing to abandon or at least seriously modify many other common attributes of God. Some theologians and philosophers have been willing to make such a move, but most have not - and the result is a continuation of both of these attributes, constantly in tension. 11. The idea that God is omnipotent means that God is able to have unlimited power, or able to do anything. According to the traditional conception of God’s omnipotence, he is able to do everything due to his absolute power, be without limits, and violate the laws of logic. 12. Aquinas says there are two kinds of possibility, relative possibility and absolute possibility. Relative possibility lies within the power of the individual to act. Eg. Birds can fly, people cannot. Absolute possibility is logical power and in no way contradicting. Eg. Defeating a chess master at chess. This is possible, but hard. But, the chess master could check mate one, and one could not win. This would be a contradiction. This distinction is relevant to understanding the notion of divine omnipotence because it deals with whether or not God can defy logic because there seem to be tasks that God cannot logically perform, like riding a bike because he is not physical. This shows contradiction, i.e. that God could not be omnipotent. 13. The paradox of the stone explains whether God can create a stone that he cannot lift. If he can, there is something that he cannot do, which is lift the stone he has created. If he can, there is also something he cannot do, make the stone. Since he must either be able to make it or not make it, explains that there is something he cannot do, and therefore that he is not omnipotent. Mavrodes solution to the paradox is God’s omnipotence extends only to what is logically possible. He cannot do what contradicts his nature, but this does not show that He is not omnipotent since it does not imply any deficiency or lack of power on His part. This means that God can perform an action A provided its possible logically for God to do A. E.g. God couldn’t ride a bike because he does not have a body. God, being omnipotent, can bring about any state of affairs that is logically possible for Him to bring about. 14. Does God have the power to alter the past? Why/why not? Difficulties involved in construing divine omnipotence. Can God change the past? It seems reasonable to think he can, but maybe a changed past is no longer the past at all – in which case this also involves a logical contradiction. Another interesting question is whether God can commit an evil act. This is connected to the attribute of perfect goodness and is sometimes resolved by claiming: while it is possible for God to sin, it will never happen, as he is by nature a perfectly good being. Alternatively, since sin is an imperfection, it may be seen as logically impossible for a perfect being to sin. This combination of omnipotence and goodness also gives rise to the problem of evil: how can evil exist when God has both the means and the motive to prevent it? One resolution to this problem argues that evil is the result of free will which God cannot – to be logically consistent – control. *The past cannot be undone because what God has made cannot lose its status of having been. **God is immutable, both in himself and in his relation to creation. He is not in any time or place, but all times and places, as well as all creatures, are contained in “the treasure of God's wisdom”, or in his providence. To God there is no past or future; everything is present to him in an eternal now. To him, nothing changes or moves; everything that streams by or goes past in time stands immutably and eternally in his providence. 15. The problem with divine foreknowledge and human freedom is that God is claimed to be omniscient yet God has supposedly given humankind free will. Attempts to solve the apparent contradiction often involved in attributing to God special properties, is for example, being “outside” of time. The solutions are unsatisfactory. They leave untouched the problem posed not by God’s foreknowledge but that of any human being. Do human beings have foreknowledge? Yes in some behaviors. But, there is another problem to this: A human being’s foreknowledge, exactly as would God’s, of another’s choices would rule out the exercise of human free will. Incompatibility of foreknowledge/free will rests on a subtle logical error. When the error, a modal fallacy, is recognized and remedied, the problem dissolves. 2 definitions of freedom mentioned in class: 1) Free act is a voluntary one 2) The agent could have done otherwise *If God causes you to do something, you’re not free *Events with no cause, if God knows beforehand, then it’s gonna happen (Knowledge cannot lie because: No human actions are free, (so reward/punishment lose their basis) -if something is out of control of the agent (can’t punish/reward) virtue & vice is also incoherent. Difference between Doctrine of Divine Predestination and Doctrine of Divine Foreknowledge. *the relation between foreknowledge and predestination is central part of Newcomb's Paradox Open theists think that God does not/cannot foreknow the future decisions of free moral agents (humans). To foreknow our future actions would make them certain/no longer free. While open theists are still willing to use the word “omniscient” of God, they understand omniscience in a new way. God is omniscient in that He knows all that can be known. He knows the past and present perfectly, and knows what He will do in the future, but He does not know what humans will do in the future, for such future free actions are not real; This is central issue in open theism. One can hold many of the emphases of open theism (freedom, a loving/relational God, a concern over the problem of evil), and still reject its view of God’s foreknowledge. -DDP= God chooses who will believe in him (humans don’t have free will to choose God) (by: John Calvin) Explanations seek to address the “paradox of free will” which is that God’s Omniscience is not compatible with human free will. Different from ideas about determinism & free will. Predestination involves whether God is omniscient, eternal or a temporal (free from limitations of time or even causality). God may see the past, present, and future, so that God knows the future. If God knows ahead of time what will happen, then events in the universe are effectively predetermined from God's point of view. This is a form of determinism but not predestination since the latter term implies that God has actually determined (rather than simply seen) in advance the destiny of creatures. -DDF=God's foreknowledge of the future includes that which is determined as time progresses often in light of free decisions that have been made and what has been determined. So, God knows everything that has been determined as well as what has not yet been determined but remains open. As such, God is able to anticipate the future, yet remains able to respond and react to prayer and decisions made either contrary or advantageous to His plan or presuppositions. "Open theism" is an inappropriate term since the position posits more about the nature of time and reality than it does about God itself. Open theists do not believe that God does not know the future, but that the future does not exist to be known by anyone. For the open theist the future has not happened yet, not for anyone, and thus is unknowable in the common sense. (I.e. God does not know the future is akin to saying that God does not know about square circles). 16. Argument Boethius sets out to support the claim “Divine Foreknowledge Precludes Human Freedom” 1* If God foreknows that some person S will do action A, then it is necessary that S do action A. 2* If it is necessary that S do action A, then S does not do action A freely. 3* If God foreknows that some person S will do action A, then S does not do action A freely B’s argument: God forsees all things: therefore can’t be mistaken *Problem with this argument is statement #2. (its misleading) *You can have false beliefs but you can’t have false knowledge* *Boethius’ interpretation of the argument against the compatibility of God’s foreknowledge and human free actions, he believes that the problem is generated from the pastness of God’s knowledge **God’s knowledge of anything is essential knowledge; all God’s beliefs are necessarily true beliefs. He cannot be wrong without ceasing to be God. “Free" actions, though, involve a person having power to refrain from doing the action. But the power to refrain from doing an action (which God believes a person will do) carries with it impossible consequences for the God and his cognitive life. Roughly, it entails that someone will have it in their power to make it true that God held a false belief about someone’s actions. But this is not possible. Ex: If at any time God believes that ______, then it is not the case that it within his power to refrain from throwing the football to Jerry [essential knowledge premise]. Remember, the case that none of God’s beliefs are false, there is a necessary connection between God’s believing some proposition, and the proposition being true. His beliefs cannot possibly be false. Therefore, if God is the one who holds the belief that… EX. Steve will throw the football to Jerry at some future time, then it will not be within Steve’s power to refrain from that action for the simple reason that the ability to do so would be the power to make it the case that God held a false belief. And since God ceases to be God if he holds a false belief, Steve’s freely throwing the ball to Jerry entails that Steve has the power to make it the case that Go does not exist Remaining problem: This undercuts Boethius’s earlier argument against the outcome of things being the cause of God’s past knowledge. Divine knowledge is not said to depend on things which happen later. But in the analogy, the human knower’s knowledge is dependent on what is happening at present. Similarly it would seem that God’s present knowledge must depend on what is present to him in the eternal present. Making God timeless does not let God escape having his knowledge based on things as they are happening, though it does free those things from having to happen out of simple necessity. And if God’s knowledge is based on things, and is a knowledge of vision (seeing the future as present), we must ask whether God can in fact have such knowledge without the future already existing If we suppose that God’s knowledge is a timeless gaze directed toward the whole of human history present to God at once, it will be too late for God to act on his knowledge. What he knows is everything and only those things which people will freely do, what happens out of necessity, and what God already (in some sense) chose to do, for he sees all of human history at once, and that includes God seeing His own actions. There is no sense to speaking of God doing anything. *Boethius objection commits a modal fallacy because: Point 4 simply assumes that fore knowledge and free will is incompatible. It uses circular logic to "prove" this, by stating that "a being that knows its choices in advance has no potential to avoid its choices". Point 4 is saying, "A being that knows its choices in advance has no free will, and therefore has no free will". By assuming what it is trying to prove, that point undermines the entire argument. **Point 4 commits the modal fallacy of assuming that because some choice is known to be true, it must be necessarily true (i.e. there is no way it could possibly be false. Logically, the truth value of some proposition cannot be used to infer that the same proposition is necessarily true. There is a marked distinction between the statement “It is impossible (for God to know a future action to be true and for that action to not occur)” and the statement “If God knows that a future action is true, then it is impossible for that action to not occur.” The two statements say the same thing, but they’re not logically equivalent. The second sentence false because it commits the modal fallacy of saying that a certain action is impossible, instead of saying that the two propositions (God knows a future action to be true, and that action does not occur) are jointly impossible. By asserting that God knows a future action still leaves the possibility for the action not to occur. The confusion comes in mistaking a semantic relation between two events for a causal relation between two events. 17. Argument from the Necessity of the Past claims that: (explain/evaluate) -If God knows in advance what you are going to do, then there is no human freedom The principle of the necessity of the past- What do we mean when we say that the past is necessary? Ex. There is no use crying over spilled milk,” they mean that there is nothing anybody can do now about the spilled milk; the spilling of the milk is outside the realm of causal control. But it is not at all clear that pastness per se puts something outside the realm of our causal control. Rather, it is pastness in conjunction with the metaphysical law that causes must precede their effects. If we decided that effects can precede their causes, we would no longer speak of the necessity of the past. Necessity of the past-principle that past events are outside the class of causable events. There is asymmetry in causability because everything causable is in the future. But some future is non-causable as well. There are some events in the future that are causally necessary. If a future event E is necessary, it is causable, and not E is not causable. Deeper problem with idea of the necessity of the past. The modes of causable/not causable do not correspond to the standard modes of necessary, possible, impossible, and contingent. Actual past is not causable, but alternative pasts are not causable either. If it is too late to make something have happened, it is too late to make something else have happened instead. **If a proposition p about the past is not causable, not-p is also not causable. This is a disanalogy with the logical modalities since if p is necessary, not-p is the contrary of necessary; it is impossible. Another disanalogy between necessity and non-causability is that if p is necessary, p is possible, but if p is not causable, there is no category parallel to the possible that applies to p. impossible. The attempt to assimilate the causal categories to modal categories is a mistake. These considerations indicate that premise (2) should be given up and replaced by: (2a) If E is an event in the past, E is not now causable. 18. Responses to the problem of Divine Foreknowledge/Human Freedom *Comapatiblism- Freedom consists in no more than acting in accordance w/ your wants/desire. Does not require the power to do otherwise (Jonathan Edwards arg). *The future is not Real- Propositions about future contingents are neither true nor false. They become true/ or false when the events that they report occur. Thus, God does not have foreknowledge of free actions. *Timeless Eternity-Since God exists outside of time, he is not in the position to know something will occur in advance of its occurring. He knows that everything is occurring, will occur in the same way humans know what occurs in the present. Accordingly, God’s knowledge of what you’re going to do is no different than an ordinary person’s knowledge of what you’re doing now. This is no way limits the possibilities open to you. (Boethius/ Aquinas) *Ockhanism- Not all facts about the past are necessary. Some facts about the past are within our control. (Particularly) facts concerning divine foreknowledge of free actions are. (William Ockham) *___________ is the best solution. Because… 19. The problem between the relation of God and Morality is: *Argument from moral evil attempts to use the existence of moral evil to disprove the existence of God. If there were a God, it is argued, then he would prevent such evil; that he does not do so therefore proves that he does not exist. Response to this argument is that not only does moral evil not disprove God’s existence, it in fact proves it. The very existence of a moral standard, this argument runs, presupposes the existence of God. There can only be moral evil, then, which involves the violation of a moral standard, if there is a God. The argument from moral evil is taken to be self-refuting. Though it concludes that God does not exist, it is suggested, it tacitly assumes that he does, and so contradicts itself .Just as the theist faces the problem of reconciling the existence of evil with the existence of God, the “problem of evil”, the atheist faces the problem of reconciling the existence of a moral standard with the non-existence of God. 20. Four Metaphysical attributes God is supposed to have: (see Krietzman Essay) 1) Immutable- God is unchangeable (can’t undergo change) what does it mean to say something changes? Change- to lose/ or acquire a property 2) Impassible- God is without passion or emotion b/c he is immutable. For if God was able to feel emotion, he would be able to change. Also assoc. w/ divine perfection. 3) Simplicity- God is completely one (whole) (basic idea in monotheistic religion) no difference between God and his properties 4) Eternal-God may be thought of as “everlasting,” which means that God has existed through all of time. On the other hand, God may be thought of as “timeless,” Meaning that God exists outside of time, unconstrained by the process of cause and effect. **Omniscient-
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