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Flashcards in Arguments based on reason Deck (30)
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What is a priori argument?

it depends on logic rather than sense experience.


why would some people argue a priori arguments are more persuasive?

because they relay on deductive logic. If the premises are true then they lead to certainty.


A posteriori arguments can only lead to what?

Lead to a strong probability because they rely on sense experience, and a new evidence or better explanation could be found.


how can posteriori arguments be more persuasive?

They can lead people to see evidence for themselves.


What is meant my analytic propositions?

They are true by definition and needs no experience or evidence to support it. 'bachelors are unmarried men' is an analytic proposition.


What is meant by synthetic proposition?

A synthetic proposition needs evidence and experience to support it. ' There is a red car outside my house' is a synthetic proposition.


Who is Anselm?

he argued the ontological argument he lived in the eleventh century and was a Benedictine monk who became archbishop of Canterbury.


why was Anselm's argument written?

it was written for ' faith seeking understanding' not as an attempt to convert unbelievers.


Who did Anselm make reference to in his argument?

He made reference to the 'fool' who does not understand that God must exist: ' the fool says in his heart, " there is no God" (pslam 53:1, New international version)


where does Anselm's ontological argument appear in?

Writings called proslogion.


Anselm's argument takes two closely related forms called what?

The first and the second form.


what is the first form?

- God is ' that than which nothing greater can be thought'.
- A real, existent being is greater than an imaginary being.
- Therefore God must exist because the concept of God is not as great as the real existent God.


What is the second form?

-God is' that than which nothing greater can be thought'
- Contingent beings, which are beings that depend on other things for their experience, are inferior to necessary beings, which depends on nothing and exist eternally.
- God is inferior to nothing else, and so must have necessary existence.
- Therefore God exists necessarily.


who is Descartes?

He was a seventeenth- century mathematician and philosopher who argued the ontological argument.
He gave his ontological argument in his book Meditations.


What did Descartes argue?

He argued that people are born with some ideas already imprinted in their minds, including the idea of God.


We know God to have what?

All perfections as his attributes. God is the supremely perfect being.


Existence to Descartes is what?

Existence is perfection, therefore God must exist as he cannot lack any of the perfections.
Existence cannot be separated from God, just as all three angles adding up to 180 degrees cannot be separated from a triangle, or a mountain cannot be separated from its valley. `


How did Gaunilo criticise the ontological argument?

He was a French Monk and eleventh century contemporary of Anselm.
He said flaws in Anselm's argument was obvious if we replace 'God' in the argument with 'Lost island'


What did Gaunilo mean by using the Island instead of God?

We can imagine the most excellent island- such an island would not be the most excellent unless it existed in reality- therefore are imagined island must exist.

By using island instead of God we see flaws in the argument.- just defining something as superlative doesn't make it exist


What was Anselm's response to Gaunilo?

The ontological argument only works for God, because God exists necessarily whereas an island exists contingently.


How did Aquinas criticise the ontological argument?

Aquinas was a Italian monk from the thirteenth century,
- Aquinas said that God cannot be demonstrated through a priori argument, because it is not self- evident that God is ' that than which nothing greater than a thought'


Aquinas said people have different ideas to what?

People have different ideas about what God is, and they are able to conceive of God not existing. The human mind cannot comprehend God.
'Non existent God' cant be a contradiction in terms because people manage to imagine a world with no God.


Anselm's argument thought what?

Aquinas only shows that many people have a concept of God, but it does not show that there is an existent reality which matches that concept.


What did kant criticise?

Immanuel kant was a eighteenth- century German philosopher.
Kant addressed his criticisms of the ontological argument mainly to Descartes.


where did Kant criticise the ontological argument?

He criticised the ontological argument in his book critique of pure reason.


What did Kant argue?

He argued that existence is not a predicate.


What is a predicate?

It is a descriptor or characteristic.


Kant said existence Is not what?

A characteristic of something. If we know something exists, we do not know anything about its characteristics. We know instead, that there is an actual example of this thing.


what did Russell criticise?

Bertrand Russell was a twentieth- century British philosopher.
Russel criticised the logic of the ontological argument by using the example that 'the present king of France is bald'


what did Russell mean by using the example of ' the present king of France is bald' to criticise the ontological argument?

Statements about the present king of France can be neither true nor false because there is no present king of France.
Likewise making statements about the attributes of God are only meaningful if there is an actual God; the statements themselves do nothing to answer this question.