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DCC Philosophy Discussion

Part II of the final assignment: (50 points total)

For this next portion of the final assignment, you will select one reading from your textbook that was NOT an assigned reading in class. You will email the title of your selection (and what edition you are using—- 8th, 9th, or 10thto your instructor PRIOR to turning in your paper—this is the first 10 points of the assignment.

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Carefully read the essay/text you have selected and outline the author’s argument. Some selections with actually have the argument outlined by the author or the editors’ of the textbook. Provide the outline of the argument in the following or similar format:

Anselm’s argument for the existence of God

  1. God does not exist (the assumption)
  2. God defined as that which no greater can be conceived (NGC)
  3. NGC does not exist (1 and 2)
  4. NGC only has existence in my understanding and not in reality (2 and 3)
  5. If NGC can exist in reality and in my own understanding, it would be “greater.”
  6. NGC is not NGC (4 and 5)
  7. NGC cannot exist just in my understanding (6)
  8. NGC must also exist in reality (5 and 7)
  9. God exists (2 and 8)
  10. God exists and God does not exist (1 and 9)
  11. Premise 1 cannot be true (1-10 and reductio ad absurdum)
  12. God exists (from 11)

Another Example—William Paley’s argument for Intelligent Design:

  • Because of the complexities of objects (human artifacts), such as a watch, we can infer an intelligent design
  • The world (universe) resembles artifacts
  • The world (universe) contains many artifacts that are complex and have purpose and the result of intelligent design
  • The world (universe) is more complex and larger than human artifacts
  • Therefore, there probably exists a powerful and intelligent designer who created the universe.

Depending on the essay you choose, you may end up with longer sentences.

After you have provided the outline of the author’s argument, you are now ready to critique the essay/excerpt. In your analysis, you must determine, illustrate, and explain why the author’s argument is successful or why it is not successful. If you think the author’s argument succeeds in some aspects and fails in others, you must provide sound reasoning (as you would for a successful or not successful) for your position. Your critique should be about three to four paragraphs in length. Provided below is a sample objection to Paley’s argument by David Hume. Your response/critique must be written in paragraph form. It does not have to be formal like Hume’s argument. I want to see your analysis on the text you have selected.

David Hume’s objection:

1The universe does not exhibit that much order as there are many indications of disorder such as the collision of galaxies, black holes, nova and supernova, cosmic radiation, gamma radiation, meteor impacts, volcanoes, earthquakes

2 argument from parts to whole is not valid

3 analogy fails because there are no other universes to compare this one too

4 the argument does not prove the existence of only one (1) such god

5 the argument does not prove that the creator is infinite