UCORE 3000

Classified in Philosophy and ethics

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Argument: a set of statements where some (premises) are intended to support another (conclusion); putting ideas into clear, concise, readily understandable language
Valid: an argument is said to be valid IF the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true (hypothetical); the truth of the premises guarantees the truth
Sound: has two feature: (1) it is valid (2) all its premises are true
Invalid: on the assumption that the premises are true, the conclusion could still be false Unsound: either invalid or it has at least one false premise (or both)
Modus Ponen: "mode of affirmation"- valid form If A, then B A So, B
Modus Tollens: "mode of denial"- valid argument form If A, then B Not B So, not A
Denying the Antecedent: Invalid form If A, then B Not A So, not b
Affirming the Consequent: Invalid form If A, then B, B So, A
Theism: a worldview that claims/believes that there is exactly 1 being that is perfectly morally good, almighty and exists out of necessity
Naturalism: a worldview that believes there is a physical reality that is by nature organized (not imposed by a god), that reality exists eternally or by chance and leaving aside possible special cases (#s) all entities are physical
Reason: our natural cognitive faculties such as our 5 senses, memory, introspection and capacity for logical inferences. Common to the average adult
Strong Rationalism: in order for a religious belief system to be properly and rationally accepted, it must be possible to prove that the belief system is true. Clifford said it, must be able to convince non-biased person.
Epistemology: study of knowledge and justified belief, 1. Have beliefs and 2. Be rational
Critical Rationalism: religious belief-systems can and must be rationally criticized and evaluated although conclusive proof of such a system is impossible.
Fideism: Fundamental religious beliefs should not be subjected to rational evaluation. Mistake to apply the standards of rationality to such beliefs
problem of Evil: a problem raised by naturalists that states that given the amount of suffering in the world that it is unlikely there is an almighty God who is all-powerful, all-loving and perfectly good
The Problem of Divine Hiddenness: There are people who are capable of relating personally to God, but who through no fault of their own, fail to believe that God exists. If there is a personal God who exists, then there are no such people, so God does not exist
Problems with Fideism: which religious beliefs should one “leap” for when we say that some beliefs is a superstition, aren't we expressing disapproval of it, & isn't the disapproval at least in part because the belief is thought to be groundless or poorly grounded if we disapprove of superstition, shouldn't we disapprove of groundless faith?
the principle of simplicity: says that given two competing theories which make exactly the same predictions the simpler theory is to be preferred
Principle of Credulity: any experience of something has to be regarded as veridical (truthful) unless we have sufficient reasons to the contrary
Veridical Experience: an experience that is really what it appears to be of, instead of an hallucination or an optical illusion.
Necessary being: one that cannot fail to exist under any circumstances.
Contingent being: one that exists but could fail to exist under different circumstances.
Necessary truth: one that cannot be false under any possible circumstances.
Contingent Truth: one that is true but could be false under different circumstances.
Moral Evil: Committed by people to other people and the suffering that results from it.
Natural Evil: Suffering caused by non-human causes.
Cosmological argument: (1) there are contingent beings (2) Theism explains the presence of contingent beings better than Naturalism (3) if hypothesis 1 explains the presence of some phenomenon better than hypothesis 2, we should accept hypothesis 1 (4) presence of contingent beings gives us reason to accept Theism over Naturalism.
Fine-Tuned universe: ultimate (most basic) structures of physical universe support life and slight changes in these structures would destroy their capacity to support life.
Single-universe Naturalism: doesn't explain fine-tuning, assumes physical reality can only have one form (it can't), complicates naturalistic hypothesis.
Appeal to Simplicity as an argument for Naturalism. (Layman) Naturalism: there is a physical reality by its very nature organized 1) physical reality exists eternally / chance 2) leaving aside possible special cases (such as numbers) all entities are physical The appeal to simplicity; theism is an unnecessary hypothesis.
3 problems with strong rationalism. 1. Do our moral/political beliefs meet the standard 2. Does strong rationalism itself meet the standards? (self-defeating).3. What about the "starting points" for our reasoning?
5 Types of "Religious experience:"1. Via perceiving a common object (e.G. Night sky) 2. Via perceiving an uncommon object (e.G. Miracle) 3. Via private describable sensations 4. Via ineffable indescribable mystical experience 5.Via describable experience apart from any sensory.
Worldview Definition 1: the very act of perceiving is interpretive. Definition 2: a particular conception of the world. A collection of beliefs held be an individual or group. CLIFFORD: Act of perceiving is interpretative.
Theodicy: An attempt to give reason for God to permit evil. (Actual or possible.) Premises: The statements of an argument on the basis of which the conclusion is affirmed, give good reason for believing that the conclusion is true.
Critical Fideism (from lecture): 1. Fundamental element of RBS came from faith 2. Faith changed Reason in some way 3. Use reason regarding our RBS.
What are the Four Features of Philosophy?: Articulation, Argument, Analysis, Synthesis. Arguments for Fideism: a) If religious belief is rational, there is no need for faith b) If you base your belief on arguments, your commitment will be partial c) if religious beliefs must be rational, certain distinctive Christian beliefs must be rejected (ex: the trinity, incarnation) d) if religious beliefs were supported to be rational, then the Bible would contain arguments for God's existence (if we were meant to know x- then it would be in the bible).
Faith+Reason- Fideism: according to faith, religious beliefs SHOULD NOT be subjected to rational evaluation (it's a mistake to apply the standards of rationality to religious beliefs).
Arguments for Strong Rationalism: a) if we ought to care about truth, then we ought to base our beliefs on sufficient evidence b) we ought to care about truth c) so, we ought to base our beliefs on sufficient evidence (it is irrational to do otherwise).
Faith+Reason- Strong Rationalism: a religious belief is rationally accepted ONLY if it is possible to PROVE that it is true.
Fine tuning Design Argument: 1. The physical universe is fine-tuned (i.E., the most basic structures of the physical universe support life and slight changes in these structures would destroy their capacity to support life). 2. Theism explains the presence of a fine-tuned universe better than Naturalism does. 3. In general, if hypothesis H1 explains the presence of X (some phenomenon) better than a rival hypothesis H2 does, we have a reason to accept H1 over H2. 4. So, the presence of a fine-tuned universe gives us a reason to accept Theism over Naturalism.
Underminer: a true proposition that counts against some other proposition being true; conclude that a person's testimony gives little to no reason to believe what they've said.
deductive argument: claims if premises are true, conclusion must follow
Multiverse hypothesis & objections to single-universe naturalism:maybe there are many universes differing randomly in laws, constants and initial conditions Objections: Greatly complicates naturalism. How many universes would be needed to make a fine-tuned universe probable? Would infinitely many be enough? U1, U2, U3, . . . ? But if there are infinitely many, maybe only a few of the even-numbered universes support life. So, there could be infinitely many universes--namely, the odd-numbered ones--NONE of which support life. If we assume there are enough universes to explain fine-tuning, won't there be enough to explain any physical phenomenon? "Oh, that's not surprising. It was bound to occur in some universe." So, does the multiverse hypothesis explain too much, too easily?
Religious Experience Argument Any apparent experience of something is to be regarded as veridical unless we have sufficient reasons to the contrary. [Principle of Credulity] 2. Experiences occur which seem to their subjects to be experiences of God. There are no good reasons for thinking that all or most experiences which seem to their subjects to be of God are non-veridical (delusive). So, some experiences of God should be regarded as veridical.
What are the reasons that have been given for doubting that alleged experiences of God are veridical? What are the arguments in response to these reasons? 1. Religious experience cannot be tested in the way sense experience can. 2. Religious experience conforms to one's prior belief.  3. Most people do not have experiences of the presence of God. 4. Religious experience has natural causes. 1 response: Not all veridical experiences can be tested as sense experience can. Example: introspection. 2 response: All experience is interpreted. Conversions sometimes occur because of unexpected religious experience. 3 response: Most people are unable to experience the subtle harmonies (and disharmonies) that musically talented people experience. Is that a good reason to reject the latter as non-veridical? 4 response: The brain is always active when one has an experience; this doesn't mean that the experience is caused simply by brain processes. We must distinguish between the proximate ("near") cause of an experience and more remote causes. 

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