PHL A10 - Exercise VI
1. What is the difference between prudential and evidential reasons for belief?
The differences between prudential and evidential reasons for belief are argument from design might be a very
weak inductive argument because the sample size for this inductive argument is zero. The argument that the
universe is the product of intelligent design should be an induction, and to have an induction, extrapolation from a
sample is necessary. A large number of other universes would have to be examined and if most of them were of
intelligent design, then it can be concluded that this universe is also of intelligent design. However, this uni verse
is the only universe mankind has experienced. Therefore, without a sample size, the argument becomes a weak
2. Consider this situation: you are rolling a single die and you get paid $1.20 if you roll either a 1, 2, 3 or 4
but you have to pay $1.50 if you roll a 5 or 6. What is the expected utility of this game?
The expected utility of this game is the average payoff received, if the game was performed over and over again.
There are 4/6 or 2/3 chances that you will receive $1.20 and 2/6 or 1/3 chances that you will pay $1.50. Therefore,
to calculate the expected utility:
($1.20)(2/3) – ($1.50)(1/3)
= $0.80 – $0.50
The expected utility of this game is $0.30.
3. What is "doxastic voluntarims"?
Doxastic voluntarims states that a closed system will (with high probability) move from states of greater order to
states of lesser order, and if the system were not closed, nothing will happen. The Second Law is a law about the
increase of entropy (disorder) within a system. Creationists claim that this law makes it imporssible for order to
arise from disorder by natural processes.
4. Try to explain Clifford's objection against Pascal's (and James's) argument.
Clifford’s object against Pascal’s argument made same observations and equally explains the phenomenon. To
decide between the two theories, Ockhan’s Razor, the Principle of Parsimony, is used. This is where the
“simplest” theory is chosen. By simplest, it means to have the fewest ontological commitments. Organisms are
suited in a makeshift way in order to avoid extinction for the short run. Vestigial organs are evidence that various
species have common ancestry. On the other hand, perfect adaptation pr ovides weaker evidence that all living
creatures have a common ancestor. The Surprise Principle explains why there are some similarities, but not all.
5. Outline the argument against the existence of God based on the presence of evil in the world.
The difference between local and global questions is that global questions do no seem to have any underlying
structure, which could explain them, whereas local questions are answerable why-questions with a focus on what
has happened in history. Science cannot ans wer global questions. Two hypotheses are predictively equivalent if
they predict the same observations and equally explain the phenomenon. To decide between the two theories,