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AS and A Level: Philosophy

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 13
  1. Marked by a teacher

    Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the design argument for the existence of God.

    4 star(s)

    * P2: Order, beauty, and complex do not arise by blind chance. * P3: We can look at the world and see that there is order, beauty and complexity in it, which work well to perform a function. This is a close resemblance to human inventions. * P4: Therefore the natural world, like machines, must have been created by an intelligent being * Conclusion: God is an intelligent being, therefore God exists. In the middle ages, design arguments were used by Thomas Aquinas in his 'Five Ways', which were five ways of demonstrating the existence of God through inductive argument, based on observation and evidence (a posteriori).

    • Word count: 1731
  2. Marked by a teacher

    Theories of the resurrection of the body are logically coherent.

    4 star(s)

    For instance, the example of Jesus' resurrection fits exactly the category. The body is destroyed and then resurrected exactly to how it was prior death. According to the doctrine of the resurrection the body is a necessary element to ensure life after death. However, if we were dualists we would argue that we are not merely made of material substance; we are not merely a 'body'. Plato argued that we have a soul that constitute our spiritual -self (including our spiritual experiences, such as thinking and acquiring self-knowledge).

    • Word count: 1269
  3. Marked by a teacher

    Explain how moral decisions should be made according to: Act and Rule utilitarianism

    3 star(s)

    He believed everyone had an equal right to happiness, irrespective of their situation. He wanted morality to be fair and democratic. Furthermore, because he was practical, he believed that things should be judged right or wrong according to whether or not they benefited the people involved. Therefore an act that brings happiness to an individual is right for the society. This was judged by the principle of utility. This means the rightness or wrongness of an action is determined by its utility or usefulness.

    • Word count: 1272
  4. Marked by a teacher

    Defenders of situation ethics would argue that one of its key strengths is its flexibility; it allows for pragmatic decisions to be made where rule-based ethical systems follow their own absolute commandments.

    3 star(s)

    permissible, but the modern scientific technique of just removing the foetus, which has the significant advantage of letting the mother still bear children, is not. Opponents would say that doing something like murdering Hitler brings you down to his level, and point out that it is against our consciences. But the phrase 'bringing you down to the same level' which disguises the fact that most people just find killing uncomfortable.

    • Word count: 486
  5. Marked by a teacher

    Evaluate the weaknesses of design arguments for the existence of God

    3 star(s)

    The design argument is also a posteriori argument which means everything is based on experience of the world. This means that we can find evidence in the world to support the premises of the conclusion. Although, Kant emphasised that the design argument depended on the assumption that there is design in the universe. The design must be the independent work of a designer who imposed order and purpose in the universe. The argument is based on the assumption that there is irregularity, order and purpose in the universe.

    • Word count: 708
  6. Marked by a teacher

    The design argument is also known as the teleological argument. The argument looks at the idea of purpose and order within the universe to argue for the existence of God.

    3 star(s)

    and therefore it's not reasonable to assume that the watch came about without the agency of a watchmaker. Paley's analogy compared the watch with the universe, arguing that it is equally unreasonable to suggest that universe, with all its intricacies, came about without the agency of a world-maker. Paley proposed that this world-maker is God. This argument has also been applied to other comparisons between nature and manufactured items. Such as the human eye and an auto-focus camera. The basis of Paley's argument is that there is evidence of design in the universe around us. Everything appears to have been designed to fulfil some function.

    • Word count: 1445
  7. Marked by a teacher

    Give an account of Kant's ethics

    3 star(s)

    According to Kant one should not behave out of any inclinations or love and compassion. In this essay I will be giving a clear and detailed account of Kantian ethics by explaining the idea of good will and duty, the categorical imperative and it's sub-sections. According to Kant, the highest form of good is good will. He mentioned that good will is carrying out one's duty and doing only the actions which are morally required whilst avoiding any thought of the benefits that will be achieved which are considered to be morally wrong. A duty is good because it is good within itself meaning that one does his duty due to the fact that it is his solely one's duty.

    • Word count: 712
  8. Marked by a teacher

    Explain how Benthams version of Utilitarianism can be used to decide the best course of action

    3 star(s)

    An example of when Act Utilitarianism could be used to decide the best course of action would be in a group of people choosing what topping to order on their pizza. If, for example, 3 out of the four people wanted pepperoni but the fourth person wanted ham, it only seems logical to order pepperoni. This is because the collective pleasure or happiness to be had by the first three outweighs the possible unhappiness, or possibly pain, of the fourth person.

    • Word count: 916
  9. Marked by a teacher

    Give an account of Kants Ethical Theory

    3 star(s)

    Only good will can be unconditional love. So for his theory, we humans must do our duty, which makes the will good. He says that duty is done for its own sake and not for any kind of benefit to our self. He says we know what is good by using reason. Kant says we have an obligation to do our duty; he calls this the Categorical Imperative. Kant has 2 categories, hypothetical and categorical imperatives. The hypothetical ones involve achieving specific targets and goals.

    • Word count: 922
  10. Marked by a teacher

    Situation ethics

    3 star(s)

    to decide what's best and what action has the best outcome which is in some ways more demanding for the person as this will make us stronger emotionally and spiritually closer to God than any conformist could ever be. Fletcher has some basic principles that are the basis of his beliefs. He says that love alone is intrinsically good and that it should be the sole guide of more decisions and actions, which is the opposite of Utilitarianism. He also says that love and justice are the same as justice is love distributed to the community and nothing else.

    • Word count: 1538

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Religious responses to the verification principle have been largely unsuccessful. Evaluate this claim.

    "To conclude, I think there are a few reasonable responses to the verification principle such as the falsification principle, as this does not limit God to our understanding but we can still talk about Him. Also the doctrine of analogy is a strong theory as we can compare one thing to another thing we are familiar with without properly describing the unfamiliar thing and this makes it easier for us to understand. However, symbols can often be misinterpreted and lead to confusion, as they don't say enough about God and religion for people to fully understand."

  • "The design argument is challenged far more by science than by philosophy." Discuss with specific reference to the work of Darwin and Hume.

    "In conclusion, which is actually the bigger challenge science or philosophy? Darwin can't explain the goal of evolution so he doesn't get rid of the idea of the designer. So, in effect Darwin's theory can work in tandem with the Design argument. On the other hand, some say that Hume destroys the Design argument whereas others say that it is just there as evidence for people who already believe. However, should you need proof? All in all, science provides evidence against the argument whereas philosophy only provides ideas and arguments."

  • Compare and Contrast the Philisophical Contributions of Nietzsche and Mill to our understanding of political and social tyranny.

    "Both have similar views on the topic of religion, arguing that no longer should one set of religious truths be imposed on a population. To move forward, to progress, is to explore the world through the exercise of human reason and critical enquiry. For Nietzsche, we must continually question everything, for there is no absolute truth. We have to find our own truth. We do this by being individual, and not following a herd. For Mill, we are rational thinkers, and bases his theory on this view - that we will come to sensible conclusions. Hence, both philosophers advocate maximising negative liberty as a necessary condition for human flourishing. With the freedom to be individual without the barriers or constraints of tyranny, we as a society and as individuals' progress and new ideas are formed. New values are made, replacing old ones. The Elitist vs. the Liberalist approach is where the two philosophers differ in attitudes. Taking into consideration a rejection of negative liberty, this could be used to pave the way for an alternative account. Hollie Mckechnie"

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