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Examine the key features of utilitarianism and its strengths and weaknesses

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Introduction

Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the cosmological argument. The cosmological argument has been debated thoroughly by different scholars since it was introduced, with each having their opinion on the various strengths and weaknesses of the argument. Both one of the key strengths and one of the key weaknesses of the Cosmological Argument is the fact that it is an a posteriori argument, meaning that it is based on our empirical knowledge of the world. As a strength being a posteriori means that it is testable, for example, when we say that all events have a cause, ultimately this is something we can test ourselves, in nature we observe that things don't usually happen without a reason. However, other philosophers such as Hume would say that we can't trust knowledge which is purely a posteriori cannot be trusted, since, as Hume says we can never know it to be absolutely certain, we can only deal in hopeful probabilities. ...read more.

Middle

Despite this many other philosophers would disagree and see the argument as weak. For example, Bertrand Russell famously refused to even debate the issue since as far as he concerned, it was something we just couldn't ever know for sure, and therefore wasn't even worth talking about, as Russell said: "The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our imagination. Therefore, perhaps, I need not waste any more time upon the argument about the First Cause." Coplestone also argues that partial explanations are unsatisfactory and that an adequate explanation is one to which nothing further can be added therefore the idea that the universe 'just is' is insufficient. This though is completely ignoring one of the key points of the cosmological argument, the concept that God is self-causing and does not need an explanation. It can be considered a 'logical' argument as of course we see order, cause and effect all around us everyday. ...read more.

Conclusion

really the case as he believed that infinite regress would be impossible as if God exists he would always be there, so Leibniz states some of the strengths and weaknesses in this book. One of the remaining criticisms of the argument is that, if God caused the universe, who caused God? The answer from the proponents of the argument is that God is omnipotent and the rules which apply to our world don't apply to them, therefore God can be without cause. But, as David Hume said: "But if we stop, and go no further, why go so far? Why not stop at the material world?" What Hume is saying is that if we are willing to accept that God is uncaused, why can't we accept that the universe is uncaused to? In some ways this is using the idea of Oakham's Razor (simplest explanation is the most satisfactory), usually used to support the Cosmological Argument against the proponents by saying surely the easiest way to stop looking for causes is simply to accept that the universe is uncaused. ...read more.

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