Questions and answers
- Describe St. Augustine’s conception of the City of God; what distinguishes this community from the one Augustine calls the City of Man? (2 pts)
St Augustine perceives the city of God as a heavenly city that is occupied by people who strive to praise and glorify God. According to St Augustine the city of God is destined for eternal life. The city of God is surpassingly glorious and looks like no other city. The city of God distinguishes from the city of man in many ways; the city of man is selfish and tries to rival God while city of God is social and works with a common welfare for the sake of having a celestial society. The first society prefers truth while the second is greedy for the purpose of praise; the first is friendly while the second is envious.
- Which philosophers relied mostly on the argument from design in support of God’s existence? How did their use of this argument differ? (4 pts)
St Thomas of Aquinas is the philosopher who relied on the argument from design in support of God’s existence. His version of the argument is heavily reliant on a very strong claim concerning the explanations for ends plus processes. He contends that existence of certain things and process can best be explained through logical matters. He contends that there is an intelligent being that is responsible for directing systems and processes to their end. On Aquinas view all natural bodies are directed towards more specific ends that conduces to the preservation of objects, these operations could be explained through the existence of intelligent beings
- Explain what philosophers mean by the question of free will. What dilemma, do we face when we try to answer the question? (4 pts)
The free will question is a philosophical question that is used to analyze what is to act freely. Through the question of free will philosophers are able to determine if we are responsible for what we do. It emanates from free will which is a concept discussed without referencing the will. The dilemma faced when we try to answer the question of free will is the reconciliation of the element of freedom together with apparent determinism in a world full of causes plus effects, if determinism is held to be true, then no person in the world has free will, if indeterminism is also true no person in the world has free will.
- Using an example (do NOT use the example from the textbook) explain Aristotle’s “Four Cause Doctrine.”
In Aristotle’s view, there are four things which can be called a cause; these are namely formal, efficient, material and the final causes. Aristotle uses cause to refer to an object that refers to the origin of the object. The significance of something is the property of that thing whose absence would result in it not being what it is. This means that if something does not have property of R then it cannot be an E. For example, the organizing Jimmy the Dog is the “Dog” the material cause, meaning the property of the object which refers to the composition of the object would be the flesh. If the organizing principle and the elements of her makeup are changed, she is no longer Jimmy the dog. The final cause of the dog has to do with its Telos, natural end or even purpose. If one cause is tampered with, the dog is tampered with to, and it ceases being a dog. The four cause doctrine is therefore significant in the specification of essential properties of a particular object and every cause in turn serves as an explanation for essential properties it specifies.
- Explain why Hume thought it was impossible to empirically prove cause-and-effect.
Hume argues that it is impossible to empirically prove cause and effect because causes and effects are discoverable, not by reason but through the use of experience. He contends that there is no logical that can result in the mind ascertaining the effect of a situation, this is only possible through observations. The knowledge through the empirical observations cannot be able to admit to any new knowledge behind what is contained in its definitions, for this reason it is useless to drive at any solution that are not contained there within.
- Explain the difference between the phenomenal world and the noumenal world as described by Kant. In which of these worlds do we find autonomy/freedom and why?
According to reality, there are two worlds, the phenomenal world and the noumenal world. The phenomenal world is the world as we experience it; the noumenal world is the intelligible or the non sensual world. Many people are more aware of the phenomenal world because it is the world which they construct using the sensations that are in our consciousness. The noumenal world is consistent with things that we believe in but which we can never know. The noumenal world is made up of factors that lie behind or beneath sense impressions that we receive. We find autonomy more in the phenomenal world this is because freedom is found more in immediate experiences.
7. Present and explain the teleological argument from William Paley (include his allegorical narrative).
In the teleological argument by Paley, he argues “if I stumbled on a stone and ask how it came to be there, it would be difficult to show that the answer, it has lain there forever is absurd. Yet this is not true if the stone were to be a watch.” Paley contends that inference observations of intricate designs of the universe to conclusions of the people who made the universe are inevitable. He argues that in the same way the functions and sophistication of a watch implies a watchmaker, the functions plus the complexity of the universe implies the existence of the universe maker. He explains that human artifacts are products of intelligent designs. According to Paley the universe resembles human artifacts and for this reason it is a product of the intelligent design. The universe is complex and big when compared to the artifacts, for this purpose it is possible that there is an intelligent designer who was responsible for creating the universe.