Phil 100, Summer 2011 Introduction to Philosophy Benjamin Visscher Hole IV

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1 Phil 100, Summer 2011 Introduction to Philosophy Benjamin Visscher Hole IV

2 Part One:

3 The Logical Problem of Evil Inconsistency between these four statements (inconsistent tetrad). 1. God is omnipotent. 2. God is omniscient. 3. God is omnibenevolent. 4. Evil exists.

4 Responses 1. Denying Evil (in whole or in part) Evil is an illusion Much more good than evil Evil is just an absence of good 2. Giving reasons for God s allowance of evil Free Will Appreciation of the good Good would not exist without evil Evil is a test/good for us Evil builds our souls for heaven

5 Where to go from here? If we somehow already knew that an all PKG/OOO God exists, then maybe we could be assured that there must be some reason for all the evil in the world. But in the absence of an a priori argument, Philo is skeptical...

6 The Logical Problem of Evil The Logical problem says that the existence of evil is inconsistent with a 3 O God. To defeat the Logical Problem, a theodicy need merely to show that it is logically possible that the 4 statements could all be true. Cleanthes worry about arbitrary suppositions doesn t matter.

7 Pointless Evil An evil that an all PKG/OOO God (if he exists) could have prevented without thereby losing an outweighing good or having to permit an evil equally bad or worse.

8 The Evidential Problem of Evil 1. There are probably pointless evils. 2. If God exists, there would be no pointless evils 3. Therefore, God probably does not exist.

9 The Panglossian Theodicy Leibniz: This is the best of all possible world.

10 Part Two:

11 THEORY PRACTICE The theoretical aim of moral theory is to discover those underlying features of actions, persons, and other items of moral evaluation that make them right or wrong, good or bad and thus explain why such items have the moral properties they have. Features of this sort serve as moral criteria of the right and the good The practical aim of a moral theory is to offer practical guidance for how we might arrive at correct or justified moral verdicts about matters of moral concern verdicts which we can then use to help guide choice What is the aim of ethics? (Timmons, 3 4)

12 DCT An act is right if and only if (and because) God does not command that we do not do the action (Timmons, 31).

13 DCT An act is right if and only if (and because) God does not command that we do not do the action (Timmons, 31). Why might we accept this? (1) Consistency: religious values and ethical values are equivalent (2) Theological backing: provides divine punishment as reason for caring about ethics

14 If there is no God, then all is permitted. Or if there is no divine punishment, what reason do we have to be ethical?

15 There are some problems with this view, though. Assume that an All PKG/OOO God exists. Can we avoid doing moral philosophy? Can we simply use revelation? Unlike Hume s problem of evil, the Euthyphro dilemma is not anti theist. Rather, it argues that even if an All PKG God exists, we still need to do philosophy to ground ethical theory.

16 There are some problems with this view, though. Assume that an All PKG/OOO God exists. Can we avoid doing moral philosophy? Can we simply use revelation? One worry right off the bat: (1) Multiple religions (2) Multiple interpretations Unlike Hume s problem of evil, the Euthyphro dilemma is not anti theist. Rather, it argues that even if an All PKG God exists, we still need to do philosophy to ground ethical theory.

17 The Euthyphro (pgs ) Euthyphro Dilemma Euth: The pious is what all the gods love, (the impious is what they all hate). Soc: Do the gods love it because it is pious, or is it pious because the gods love it?

18 EUTHYPHRO DILEMMA: Is it a good/right thing because God commands it, or does God command it because it is a good/right thing?

19 There are problems either way you turn: Dilemma Horn One: If it is a good thing because God loves it: Then is there no reason for God to love it? Isn t it capricious, or random? What if God commanded the torture of all left handers? If it is right because God commands it, then there is no basis for the word of God.

20 There are problems either way you turn: Dilemma Horn Two: If God loves it because it is a good thing: Then isn t God constrained by some moral order, so that we might look directly at that order? If God commands it because it is right, then there is some standard for rightness besides the word of God.

21 Different thinkers have answered differently: William of Ockham: God could indeed make murder mandatory. St. Thomas Aquinas: God has a reason for what he says, and this reason constrains Him.

22 This doesn t seem to describe ethical motivation very well, though. (1) People can be motivated by ethics without a concept of a God. Very few of us avoid murder because we re afraid of punishment.

23 This doesn t seem to describe ethical motivation very well, though. (2) It doesn t describe religious believers, either! We don t treat other people well simply out of a fear of punishment, but because we think that is what they deserve.

24 The Euthyphro Dilemma Divine Command Theory: An act is right iff (and because) God commands it. The Dilemma: Either it right because God commands it or God command it because it is right. Horn One: If it is right because God commands it, then there is no basis for the word of God. Horn Two: If God commands it because it is right, then there is some standard for rightness besides the word of God.

25 Discussion Questions: 1. Suppose Bob asks you to explain some particular term, such as reggae music. Why is giving an example of something an insufficient response? If you merely gave an example of reggae music, maybe played a song, would Bob understand the meaning of the term reggae music? What else should you do? (Adapted from pg. 26) 2.Is it problematic for the word of God to be constrained by something? Consider each of the following examples and explain why or why not: God constrained by a) ethical principles, b) the Form of the Good, c) the laws of logic, d) the laws of nature, e) or the laws of some particular religion. 3. Can God make murder, torture, etc., mandatory? But if there are constraints, we might think that God cannot exist (at least not the Judeo Christian Islam idea of God). All things considered, which of the following is the better view: a) God can command anything or b) God s commands are constrained?

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