CT Exam 3

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CT Exam 3
2012-11-14 20:23:05
CriticalThinking3 CT3

Exam 3
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    • P1. The universe exists.
    • Self-evident
    •  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.
    • 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.
  3. Pascal's Wager
    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
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. adequacy VOE
    • 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.
  12. Modesty VOE
    • 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.
  13. Power VOE
    • 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
  16. Conservativeness VOE
    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.
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. 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)
  20. 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
  21. False Dichotomy
    • 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
  22. 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.