Philosophy Study Questions

Philosophy Study Questions - Introduction to Philosophy...

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Introduction to Philosophy Study Questions 1. There are two kinds of “grounds for belief”. There is nonjustifying grounds, or causal/historical grounds, and grounds that justify a belief. A causal or historical ground for a belief is an individual’s “historical or psychological explanation of the origin of a certain belief.” If I was raised in a household in which watching pornography was a viable form of entertainment, then the grounds for my belief in pornography is that “I was brought up to think that pornography is okay.” Causal or historical grounds for a belief does not justify theism because merely citing the cause or history of a belief is not enough to show that the belief is a rational or appropriate thing to hold. Therefore, one cannot simply say that God exists because he/she was raised in a devout household. Three grounds that justify a belief are theoretical, pragmatic, and moral justification. By providing evidence for a certain belief, we can show that certain beliefs are theoretically rational. For example, we believe that the Sun is in the center of the solar system, and we have sufficient evidence to support this belief. Pragmatic or practical justification says that adopting a certain belief is in my best interest. For example, it is in my best interest to believe that smoking weed will not lead to any negative secondary effects. Such a belief may not be theoretically rational, but it is pragmatically rational. Lastly, a moral justification for a belief is the concept that holding onto a certain belief is morally required. Unlike theoretical and practical justification, moral justification for a belief does not rationalize a belief. You may find it morally correct to defend a friend’s innocence in face of a guilty verdict, but your believing in such moral grounds do not make your conviction of your friend’s innocence a reasonable one. 2. William Paley’s primary objective in “The Argument from Design” is to suppose that the universe is the way it is because it was created by an intelligent being in order to accomplish that purpose rather than it is to suppose that it is the universe by chance. In the “Argument from Design”, Paley stumbles upon a rock and a watch. The watch is more complex and its parts were put together for a certain purpose. Based on the complexity of design and purpose of the watch, Paley believes that there must have been an artificer/contriver who created it. He bases this assumption on several factors. We do not know how put together such an invention; therefore, a contriver who has full knowledge of the complexity of the contrivance’s design must exist. Also, if the watch were to unexpectedly bring about the creation of a new watch, then the observer can only associate such a trait to design. Moreover, if such a thing were possible, an even greater being could only carry out this complex procedure. Paley’s final case in his “Argument from Design” purports to the belief that universe was created with a certain design
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Philosophy Study Questions - Introduction to Philosophy...

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