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Brief notes on some influential philosophers - Design argument

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Introduction

Some Influential Philosophers - A background to the teleological argument Socrates (470-399 BC) - 'Father of Philosophy' - Contribution to moral philosophy. - Development of philosophy. - Personally wrote very little, teachings revealed by student: Plato - Knew nothing! We must be careful before asserting that we know anything. - Renowned 'method' of inquiring --> critical scrutiny --> defining and using inductive arguments. - Knowledge = greatest virtue, understanding of human condition --> live properly. Plato (c. 428 - 347 BC) - 399 BC - left Athens, angry at condemnation + execution of Socrates. - Early work recorded Socrates' teachings - investigations into ethical questions, immorality of -the soul + political philosophy. - Idea: Cannot say anything about something until it is defined. Underpinned Socrates' ethical thinking - important to Plato. Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) - Studied under Plato in Athens from 17. - Areas of interest: work on logic and ethics. ...read more.

Middle

- Our senses can deceive us and the only certainty was doubt. - Could not doubt thoughts: 'I think, therefore I am' (cogito ergo sum) - he had proved his own existence but not the existence of the outside world. Therefore he needed to prove the existence of God - as God is perfect and would now allow deception. - If God existed and had created the world, we can accept the reality of the external world's existence. The Classical Argument for Design (in summary) - The design argument for God = the teleological argument. Telos (Greek) = end / purpose - It is an a posteriori argument. It is based on observation of the apparent order in the universe and natural world, to conclude that it is not the result of mere chance, but design. - The evidence from design points to a designer and the argument concludes that this designer is God. ...read more.

Conclusion

for all he knows, is very faulty and imperfect, compared to a superior standard; and was only the first rude essay of some infant deity who afterwards abandoned it.' - There is no evidence to support this 'benevolent' God - the very existence of evil in the world would suggest a designer who is not benevolent or all-powerful. - To try to discuss the design of the universe in human terms was not an acceptable analogy, because God transcends human understanding. If we use the analogy of manufactured objects, then it is more useful for a machine to be designed and made by many hands. This analogy would suggest many gods rather than one God. - Hume dislikes the analogy of likening the universe to a vast machine. It is more like a vegetable or inert animal - something that grows of its own accord, rather than something made by hand. This concludes the basic summary of the argument's premises and a background of the contributory philosophers. ?? ?? ?? ?? DJkG.1 ...read more.

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