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Flashcards in Arguements based on observation Deck (30)
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What is a A posteriori argument?

They depend on experience and observation, using them to draw conclusions. They look at different possible explanations for whatever it is that we are observing or experiencing, and draw conclusions about which explanation provides the best fit.


what is the teleological argument?

Where you use observation of order, beauty, complexity to draw the conclusion that God exists. Teleological comes from the Greek word ' telos' which means 'tail' or 'end', because the argument uses the end results as a basis for drawing its conclusions.


what is the cosmological argument ?

It is where you use observation of the fact that the universe exists at all to draw conclusions that it must have been brought into existence by God.


What is natural theology?

Seeks to understand the existence and nature of God through observation of the world around us.


What is Ockham's razor?

A principle which says that the best explanation is usually the one which requires the fewest extra assumptions.


what was Aquinas teleological (design) argument?

Aquinas thought God gave us reason so that we could learn about him. He uses the fifth of the five ways a short teleological argument to explain this.


What is the example of the fifth of the five ways ?

An arrow heading for a target. If we saw the arrow in flight we would conclude that it must of been shot on purpose because arrows cant move on their own.
When we see plants moving in an orderly way, we can therefore conclude that a divine mind must have put them in motion on purpose, because plants cant move on their own.


what is Paley's teleological argument?

He set out his teleological argument in his book natural theology.
He used the analogy of someone finding a watch on a health, to show that we see things working in a orderly and purposeful manner, we know they must have been designed.


What did Paley also suggest?

He said we see order and purpose in the world too, in the structure of animals and plants, and can conclude they must have been designed by God.
We can tell from the care God put into creation that God must care for us.


cosmological argument addresses what?

The question of why the universe exists at all, and conclude that it must be because of God.


What is Aquinas first way of Aquinas five ways that are his variations of his cosmological argument?

The first way is the unmoved mover- we observe motion and change in the world. There must be a reason for it, must be God.


What is the second way?

The second way is the uncased causer- we observe chains of cause and effect in the world. There must be a reason for it, which must be God.


what is the third way?

The third way is contingency- we observe that everything in the universe depends on something else for its existence, There must be something that doesn't depend on anything else, otherwise nothing would ever started, and this must be God.


What is Leibniz and the principle of sufficient reason?

Gottfried Leibniz argued that there must be a ' sufficient reason' or explanation for everything.
The universe requires a sufficient reason, and the only reason sufficient to explain the existence of the universe must be God.


What is the anthropic principle?

This is a principle that says the universe seems expertly fine- tuned to allow for human life to exist. It seems more likely that this fine- tuning is a result of deliberate design, than that it happened by chance against enormous odds.


What did Hume criticise?

The teleological and cosmological arguments.
He argued that the analogy between the world and the watch is weak; the world is not very obviously like a watch in its mechanisms.
The universe is unique, so we cannot know how universes are usually made or whether ours is unusually orderly.


What does Hume say about the universe as its cause?

Just because things in the universe have causes, it does not follow that the universe as a whole must have some kind of universal cause.
Perhaps the universe has its own cause.


Hume said we cannot do what?

We cannot look at the effects (the world) and confidently infer the cause (God);
- It might nit be the God Christians describe
- It might be a God who is stupid, arriving at this design only after countless mistakes or copying someone else's ideas
- it might be a whole committee of gods, or angels or even demons.


The teleological argument might be considered to have what?

To have strengths because we all see the world around us and appreciate elements of beauty, order and purpose. Such beauty order and purpose on a global scale could be best explained by the existence of God.


Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection provides an alternative explanation for what?
(criticism of teleological argument)

For the characteristics of living things. chance is another possibility. This might be considered a better fit than the God hypothesis.


what is a criticism for the teleological argument?

Not everyone sees the world as orderly and beautiful and purposive. some see it as chaotic and full of ugliness and pointlessness.


what is a criticism of the teleological argument?

As an a posteriori argument, it can only lead to a probable conclusion and does not prove anything.


How can a posteriori arguments be appealing?

They usually use evidence that we all can see for ourselves.


what is a criticism of the a posteriori arguments?

We dont always see the same things when we look at the world, and our experiences are not always the same as other peoples so a posteriori arguments do not appeal to everyone.


what is a criticism of the a posteriori arguments?

They try to find the best fit explanation, but they can never be certain.
They cannot prove, they can only suggest strongly probable conclusions.


what is criticism of the a posteriori arguments?

some new evidence might come along which forces a need for a new explanation.
The need for constant review of a posteriori reasoning can be considered a strength as well as a weakness, as it discourages arrogance and encourages questioning.


How is the cosmological argument considered to have strength?

The argument might be considered to have strength because we all share the experience that the universe exists. God could be the best available explanation.


What is a criticism of the cosmological argument?

Other theories suggest different explanations for the existence of the universe, such as the Big Bang theory, or chance. These might be considered a better fit than the God hypothesis.


What is a criticism of the cosmological argument?

Not everyone thinks the universe requires any explanation or reason.


what is a criticism of the cosmological argument?

It is an a posteriori argument, it can only lead to a probable conclusion and does not prove anything.