- P1. The universe exists.
- P2. Either it has a beginning or it does not have a beginning.
- Follows from logic alone
- P3. It is not possible that the universe is eternal (i.e., have no beginning).
- Supported by argument against the possibility of actual infinities
- C1. Therefore, the universe has a beginning.
- Follows from P1, P2,
- P4. If the universe has a beginning, the existence of the universe has a cause.
- “Ex nihilo nihil fit.” Apparently plausible claim about causation
- P5. If the existence of the universe has a cause, the cause of the universe is immaterial, timeless, and changeless.
- Follows from the cause preceding spatiotemporal reality
- C2. Therefore, the cause of the universe is immaterial,timeless, andchangeless.
- Follows from C1, P4, P5 (Modus Ponens)
- P6. If something that created the universe is immaterial, timeless, and changeless, then that thing is God.
- (This was the conclusion of the sub-argument considered earlier.)
- C3. Therefore, God exists.
OBJECTION to COSMOLOGICAL ARG.
- Suppose God exists. If God exists, God either has a cause or
- exists uncaused. If it is not possible that something exists uncaused, then God also has cause. Call this God-2. But, then God-2 also has a cause, God-3. This leads to an infinite regress of infinitely many beings, each creating a God-like being.
- The defender of the Cosmological Argument has to allow that God be self-caused but this undermines the premise that it is not possible that something exist uncaused.
Reason why we SHOULD BELIEVE God exist
- Using expected utility theory, any action that leads to infinite utility is always *the rational course action*, since any probability multiplied by infinity delivers infinite expected utility, where expected utility is determined by multiplying utility.
- P1. If believing in God has a higher expected utility than
- disbelieving in God, you ought to believe in God.
- according to utility theory
- P2. Believing in God has a higher expected utility than disbelieving in God.
- Results in pleasure in both cases of whether god exist or doesnt exist
- C1. Therefore, you ought to believe in God.
- Based on P1 & P2
Objections to Pascals Wager
- Why would God reward someone who is faithful on the basis of its potential benefits?
- Could an argument like this actually cause someone to
- believe in God if they didn’t believe beforehand?
- How could one successfully be faithful to the “correct” God,
- given that there are many “possible God” one might strive to
- be faithful to?
Moral Arguments for Existence of God
- aim to show that the objectivity of morality is best explained by the existence of good
- however if morality is obj. than moral claims (truths or false) is independent of our attitudes toward these claims
- many people believe that morality is not obj but believe in moral relativism.
- an action is right or wrong to the extent that it conforms or diverges from the moral code of the culture that performs it
- ie. -cannabalism in cannabilistic cultures
problems w/ moral relativism
- moral progress: abolishing slavery is a good thing but at the time that slavery existed it was seen as good
- moral critics: MlK spaking out againt Jim Crow was TRUE, but if people belived that the laws at that time was good then MLK was wrong. -> every moral critic who critisizes moral code was is mistaken, which seems implausible.
standard form moral arg
- p1 Therre are obj. moral values
- p2 If God does exist, then obj. moral values do not exist
- C1. Therefore God exist
Problem of evil
- P1. If God exists, God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent.
- Abandoning this premise would require compromising either the moral excellence or the power of God which are non -negotiable among theism.P2. If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, then it is not the case that there is unnecessary or undeserved suffering or evil in the world.
- (More strongly, it would always do the best thing.) If something is both all-powerful and all-good, then it should never be the case that anything bad happens.
- P3. There is unnecessary or undeserved suffering or evil in the world.
- Children die of illness. & Innocent people are victims of violence.
C1. Therefore, it is not the case that God exists
Objection to Power of Evil
- Greater Good Response in light of Freedom
- There must be freedom, if there is to be moral goodness. And the price of giving humans freedom is that sometimes they will misuse it which result in evil
- -natural evil
- aims to explain,accounts for all phenoma.
- IE. if a friend did not show up to meet you for dinner and didnt answer your call the best explanation would cover all aspects.
- Powerful explanations are good, but explanations
- shouldn't be too powerful
- ie. you discover that your best physical theory has an unbalanced equation. You posit an “X particle.” You do the
- same in chemistry, biology, and everywhere else,
- these are not genuine theories they do not improve our explanatory account of the world.
- A good explanation should not only explain the phenomena in question, but also suggest explanations for a wide range of other phenomena
- they have implications for a variety of theories
- (e.g.,Newton’s laws of motions provide a powerful explanation of planetary orbits as well as the motions of particles)
- The best explanation will improve our understanding & answer more questions than it raises.
- ie friend didn’t meet you by
- claiming that your friend went to rob a bank, leads to more questions
- Given two otherwise equal explanations, the better explanation is the one that posits the fewest kinds of,
- laws, or modifications.
- i.e. Your friend not meeting you because they forgot vs. they forgot and they're in Chicago
- Easier to accept doesn't require much modifying or effort
Explanations that require us to abandon previously well-established beliefs are worse than otherwise equally good explanations that are compatible with our previous beliefs.
- IE: if your explanation requires you to attribute to your friend forgetting when they are among the most well organized people you know, this explanation is not likely to
- be a good one.
Statisical Generalizations can be flawed..
- Sample size
- Representative Bias: random samples represent the chateristics of the entire population
- Biased Sample: not representaive of the intended population (research methods)
- Biased results:letting bias creep in other ways (e.g., the
- phrasing of questions).
strengths and Weaknesses of Analogical Arg.
- Relevant analogies: The similarities between the objects under comparison to be important and relevant.
- Few strong disanalogies: There should be no significant disanalogies between the objects under comparison.(NO STRONG CONTRAST)
- Diverse objects: If a wide range of objects that have X, Y, Z, all have F, then our confidence that things with X, Y, Z have F should go up, so, if we know that object A has X, Y, Z our analogical argument improves.
- Strength of Conclusion: Like statistical generalizations, analogical arguments are better when their conclusion is weaker.
Straw Man fallacy
makes an argument against a claim that wasn’t made in the first place by mischaracterizing the views or claim
ie. continental drift & the speed (being fast)
Reductio Ad Absurdium
- aim to show that a conclusion or premise if it’s true is absurd
- i.e. Tiger Woods being better than any golfer when he can't be better than himself--> better than any other golfer
- offering a limited number of choices and presenting them as the only option even though there are clearly more options.
- i.e. if you don't use social media you are shut in when in fact there are other options
Refutation by Parallel Reasoning
- argues that the structure of the claim is bad or problematic.
- i.e. sking causing injuries so so children under 16 shouldnt be allowed to ski is just like saying automobiles causes death so they should be banned.