Influences forming Plato’s views of the world workbook answers

It is important to understand this process otherwise you can end up saying that Aquinas believed something to which he was actually objecting

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It is important to understand this process otherwise you can end up saying that Aquinas believed something to which he was actually objecting.

5 Hume maintained that we take the notion of cause and effect for granted. He said that, when we have two events that are constantly conjoined, we become convinced that A will bring about B. He says that, because of their constant conjunction, we are psychologically certain that B will follow A, which gives us a very weak notion of necessity. Hume holds that it is not reasonable to make any inference about the world based on this tenuous conjunction.

6 Hume’s views on causation do raise issues for the Kalam Argument. He not only undermines the idea that every effect must have a cause, he also raises problems for a conclusion that the universe was brought about by a divine being. Even if you accept a cause, the cause does not need to be still existing, nor does the cause need to be one being rather than a committee of beings.

7 William Lane Craig’s version of the Kalam Argument is:

  • Everything that begins to exist has a cause for its existence.

  • The universe began to exist.

  • Therefore the universe has a cause for its existence.

Among other things, Craig makes use of our knowledge of the thermodynamic properties of the universe and its expansion to provide evidence in support of the second premise.

8 Here we are exploring the difference between what we learn from empirical evidence of the world and what we know from the meaning of words in an analytic sense. Anselm is postulating a logically necessary existence for God. As we have already seen, ‘God exists’ is, for Anselm, a tautology: if you understand the words, you cannot deny the existence of God. This topic has looked at factually necessary existential propositions, in other words working from what we can observe around us to the postulation of a divine cause.

9 By this, Temple meant that something is unthinkable if we cannot hold the concept without contradiction. The idea of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object is inconceivable because the two concepts contradict each other. However, he points out that ‘infinite’ does not contradict ‘regress’. While we cannot imagine infinity, we can think of it, we know what it means and we understand the idea.

10 Hume raised the idea that, as easily as postulating a divine Creator, we could postulate an infant deity who made this rather flawed universe, much like a child’s plaything that he has left in a corner while he goes off to play with something else. Alternatively, a group of beings may have been involved in the creation of the universe and again there is no evidence that they are interested in the outcome of their work.

11 There is no model version of a response here. You can choose from the many modern attempts to produce an updated cosmological argument, such as William Lane Craig’s, above, and produce an explanation to help you reflect on the issues surrounding this area of the specification.

12 A deductive argument is one in which it is impossible for the premises to be true but the conclusion to be false. Therefore a conclusion, in a deductive argument, necessarily follows from the premises and inferences. For example: All women are mortal; Mary is a woman; Mary is mortal.

An inductive argument is one in which the premises are supposed to support the conclusion in such a way that, if the premises are true, it is improbable that the conclusion would be false. For example, all swans seem to be white worked well for centuries until someone discovered a black swan.


This is not a question that is likely to appear in the examination, but a reflection on this topic will help with other questions. Ultimately it is a question that has no answer. For many, faith will always be what guides their lives and no argument will undermine their beliefs. The A2 course introduces you to philosophers and scientists who will accuse religious belief of dying the death of a thousand qualifications as believers refuse to listen to their logical arguments. On the other hand, many believers who are philosophers are looking exactly for logical arguments to support their faith.

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