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PHLA10H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Theistic Evolution, Cosmological Argument, Intelligent Design


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHLA10H3
Professor
William Seager
Study Guide
Final

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Philosophy Final Exam
Textbook notes:
Chapter Four: Aquinas’s first four ways
Aquinas believes God is a person who is all-powerful(omnipotent), all knowing (omniscient), and
entirely good (omnibenevolent).
the first two arguments: Motion and Causality
motion:
p1: in the natural world there are objects in motion
p2: in the natural world, objects that are in motion are always caused to move by objects
other than themselves
p3: in the natural world, causes must precede their effects
p4: in the natural world, there're no infinite cause/effect chains
p5: therefore, there is an entity outside of its natural world (a super-natural being) which
causes the motion of the first moving object that exists in the natural world
c: therefore God exists.
causality:
p1: the natural world includes events
p2: in the natural world, every event has a cause, and no event is a cause itself
p3: in the natural world, causes must precede their effect
p4: in the natural world, there are no infinite cause/effect chains
p5: therefore, there is an outside entity (a supernatural being) which causes the first
event that occurs in the natural world
c: God exists
Aquinas on the cause of motion:
Aquinas thinks that if an object is in motion, something must have caused this and he
got this from Aristotle's physics but this is no longer true in modern physics.
an object remains in constant uniformed motion unless acted on by another force
newtons law says that an object will remain in motion forever unless acted on by another
force
i.e. for Aquinas argument to remain true, replace motion with acceleration, a supernatural entity
caused the first acceleration.
*p5 says there is an outside entity but that does not guarantee that that entity is god. if god is
understood to be a person with the three properties it doesn't guarantee that the outside entity is
him.
Birthday fallacy: “every event in the natural world traces back to an even that occurs outside
nature. there is a single event outside of the natural world to which each event in the nature
traces back”
“every person has a birthday. there is a single birthday that everyone has”
contingency:
contingent things exist.
necessary vs. contingent beings:
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necessary beings: exist in all possible worlds, doesn't depend on anything else for its existence.
contingent beings: exists in some possible worlds
Possible Worlds: any world that might've been.
p1: contingent things now exist
p2: each contingent thing has a time at which it fails to exist (contingent things aren't
omnipresent)
p3: so if everything were contingent there wouldn't be a time which nothing exists
(“empty time”)
p4: that empty time would have been in the past
p5: if the world were empty at one time, it would be empty forever after (a conservation
principle)
p6: so if everything were contingent, nothing would exist
p7: but clearly, the world is now not empty (see p1)
p8: so there exists a being who is not contingent
c:God exists.
Reductio Ad Absurdum
Aquinas proof from 6-8 has distinctive logical form.
“making a mockery of an idea” reductio arguments are perfectly deductively valid
how it works:
if P is false, then A is true.
A is false.
P is true.
contingency and eternity:
Sober believes a contingent thing can be eternal.
just because an object is contingent doesn't mean there is a time in which i didn't
exist.
Necessary beings other than God:
Sober does not believe that the existence of god follows from the existence of necessary beings
Numbers are necessary beings:
a philosopher of math might say that 11 is a necessary being but that doesn't mean that god
exists.
Properties that come in degrees:
p1: objects have properties to greater or lesser extents
p2: if an object has a property to a lesser extent, then there exists some other object that
has that property to the maximum possible degree (call this a maximum exemplar of the
property)
p3: so there is an entity that has all properties to the maximum possible degree
c: God exists.
sober: if each property has a maximum exemplar, it doesn't mean that there is a maximum
exemplar of all properties
Chapter Five: The Design Argument
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three main arguments for why god exists: 1. cosmological argument 2. design argument 3.
ontological argument
Aquinas 1,2,3 ways are all cosmological arguments
cosmological arguments: each cites a general feature of the whole universe as evidence that
there is a god.
*Aquinas’s fifth argument: Argument from design
p1: among objects that act for an end, some have minds whereas others dont
p2: an object that acts for an end, some have minds whereas others do not
p3: therefore there exists a being with a mind who designed all mindless objects that act
for an end
c: god exists.
*p2-p3 commits the birthday fallacy
guided missiles are goal-directed systems but they dont have minds
these are artifacts, built by creatures with minds, namely human beings.
two kinds of design argument:
-global design argument: cites general features of the whole universe and argues that this
feature should be explained by the hypothesis that it is the product of intelligent design
ex. the argument that argues why the laws of nature are simple
-local design argument: focuses on a more specific feature that one or more object in the
universe has and claims that the hypothesis that god exists is the best or the only plausible
explanation of that fact
Paley’s watch:
-walking on the beach
-find a watch lying in the sand’
-the watch is an intricate piece of machinery
one hypothesis: Random hypothesis; through the action of the waves and sand, a watch
was produced
design hypothesis: the watch exists because there was a watchmaker who produced it
(intelligent)
The analogy:
-organisms are far more complicated than watches
-Paleys argument leads us to believe that if the watch is this intelligent design that the watch
maker is an extremely intelligent designer.
the design argument claims that there is something that we observe, the complexity and
adeptness of living things- best explained by the hypothesis that there is a god.
Paley claims that if you believe the watch argument is convincing than you should also
believe that the organism argument is convincing as well
Humes criticism:
believes the arguments as inductive arguments or arguments from analogy
analogy argument: Human beings circulate their blood. Dogs circulate their blood.
humans: the analogs
dogs: the targets
logical form;
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