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Philosophy 267 - Study Guide for Final

Philosophy 267 - Study Guide for Final - Phil 267 Autumn...

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Phil 267: Autumn 2007 Study questions for midterm: (you are, of course, also responsible for knowing the material from the first half of the term as well, you we advise you to look back at your midterm study guide) 1. Explain why one might think that the free will defense requires a supporting theodicy. The freewill defense may require a supporting theodicy, because it cannot account for natural evil, only moral evil. Plantinga would respond by saying that it is logically possible that all natural evil (tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, fires, etc) is caused by satan and lesser demons. He would maintain that a defense merely must show that it is logically possible that all natural evil is a result of satan’s actions or lesser demons, and does not need to account for God’s reasons for doing things. Because it is logically possible, although potentially crazy, this defense is valid. The freewill defense successfully attempts to combine all natural evil into the category of moral evil. In order for the free will defense to be even possible, Plantinga must state that the world would be better with freewill, thereby requiring him to include the freewill theodicy in his defense. 2. Explain and evaluate either Plantinga’s positive or negative project. Page 153-168. The evidentialist objection claims that good arguments are required for belief in God to be justified. The purpose of Plantinga’s negative project is to show that no good reason exists to think that we need arguments to be justified in believing in God. This is a defensive point because it blocks moves by critics of theism, whereas the positive project is offensive because it attempts to show that belief in God can be justified without evidence. In Plantinga’s negative project, he breaks the root of the evidentialist objection down to classical foundationalism, and attacks that. Plantinga claims that classical foundationalism is flawed, and therefore the evidentialist objection based on it is flawed as well. 3. What do the design argument and the argument from evil have in common and why is that a problem? You will need to explain the content of both arguments in your answer. The three prevalent design arguments = analogy, abductive, and fine tuning – all have the same basic argument: we observe evidence of design in the world, so we infer that there is a designer. The three prevalent arguments from evil – logical, inductive and abductive – have a similar basic argument: we observe evidence of evil in the world, so we infer that there is not an omni- ____ being. The similarity here is that both types of arguments, design and evil, infer causes from effects. Inferring causes from effects is logically unjustified, because there can be many causes for the same effect, so we cannot logically infer the “right” cause from examining the effects. This creates a problem that undermines both arguments: i. Inferences from causes to effects are unjustified
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ii. The argument from evil and the design argument both make
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