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Sample Argument Essay #1 - Mesa Community College
This reply raises an issue that must be faced by all forms ofpractical or pragmatic arguments for belief. Many philosophersinsist that rational belief must be grounded solely in theoreticalevidence. The fact that it would be better for me to believe pdoes not in itself give me any reason to believe p. Thiscriticism is aimed not merely at Kant, but at other practical moralarguments. For example, Robert Adams argues that if humansbelieve there is no moral order to the universe, then they will becomedemoralized in their pursuit of morality, which is morally undesirable(1987, 151). The atheist might concede that atheism is (somewhat)demoralizing, but deny that this provides any reason to believe thereis a moral order to the universe. Similarly, Linda Zagzebski(1987) argues that morality will not be a rational enterprise unlessgood actions increase the amount of good in the world. However,given that moral actions often involve the sacrifice of happiness,there is no reason to believe moral action will increase the goodunless there is a power transcendent of human activity working on theside of the good. Here the atheist may claim that moral actiondoes increase the good because such actions always increase goodcharacter. However, even if that reply fails the atheist mayagain simply admit that there may be something tragic or absurd aboutthe human condition, and the fact that we may wish things weredifferent is not a reason to believe that they are. So theproblem must be faced: Are practical arguments merelyrationalized wish-fulfillment?
Obviously, those who do not find a DCT convincing will not thinkthis argument from moral obligation has force. However, Adamsanticipates and gives a forceful answer to one common criticism of aDCT. It is often argued that a DCT must fail because of a dilemmaparallel to one derived from Plato's Euthyphro. The dilemma for a DCT can be derived from the following question: Assuming that God commands what is right, does he command what is rightbecause it is right? If the proponent of a DCT answersaffirmatively, then it appears the quality of rightness must holdantecedently to and thus independently of God's commands. If, however, the proponent denies that God commands what is rightbecause it is right, then God's commands appear arbitrary. Adams' version of a DCT evades this dilemma by holding that Godis essentially good and that his commands are necessarily aimed at thegood. This allows Adams to claim that God's commands makeactions obligatory (or forbidden), while denying that the commands arearbitrary.
Argumentative essay introduction powerpoints - Anton …
Moral realists such as David Enoch (2011) have attempted to respondto Street's argument, though Enoch acknowledges its force andevidently has some worries about the strength of his reply. However, itis not hard to see that a good deal of the force of Street'sargument stems from the assumption that naturalism is true, andtherefore that the evolutionary process is one that is unguided. It does appear that in a naturalistic universe we would expect aprocess of Darwinian evolution to select for a propensity for moraljudgments that track survival and not objective moral truths. Mark Linville (2009, 391–446) has developed a detailed argument for theclaim that it is difficult for metaphysical naturalists to develop aplausible evolutionary story as to how our moral judgments could haveepistemological warrant. However, if we suppose that theevolutionary process has been guided by a God who has as one of hisgoals the creation of morally significant human creatures capable ofenjoying a relation with God, then it would not seem at all accidentalor even unlikely that God would ensure that humans have value beliefsthat are largely correct.
In any case a divine command metaethical theory provides thematerial for such an argument. The revival of divine commandtheories (DCT) of moral obligation is due mainly to the work of PhilipQuinn (1979/1978) and Robert Adams (1999). Adams' versionof a DCT has been particularly influential and is well-suited for thedefense of the claim that moral knowledge can provide knowledge ofGod. Adams' version of a DCT is an account of moralobligations and it must be distinguished from more general“voluntarist” views of ethics that try to treat other moralproperties (such as the good) as dependent on God's will. As explained below, by limiting the theory to obligations, Adams avoidsthe standard “Euthyphro” objection, which claimsthat divine command views reduce ethics to arbitrariness.
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Even if that is the case, however, a moral argument could still playa valuable role. Such an argument might be one way of helping anindividual understand that moral obligations are in fact divinecommands or laws. Even if it were true that some ordinary peoplemight know that God exists without argument, an argument could behelpful in defending the claim that this is the case. Aperson might conceivably need an argument for the second level claimthat the person knows God without argument.
How can such an awareness be converted into full-fledged belief inGod? One way of doing this would be to help the person gain theskills needed to recognize moral laws as what they are, asdivine commands or divine laws. If moral laws are experienced,then moral experience could be viewed as a kind of religious experienceor at least a proto-religious experience. Perhaps someone who hasexperience of God in this way does not need a moral argument (or anykind of argument) to have a reasonable belief in God. This may beone instance of the kind of case that Alvin Plantinga (2000) and the“Reformed epistemologists” have in mind when they claimthat belief in God can be “properly basic.” It isworth noting then that there could be such a thing as knowledge of Godthat is rooted in moral experience without that knowledge being theresult of a moral argument.
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Powerpoints for writing an evaluation essay - …
Some people have claimed that Marilyn is a boring and dull person; however, all of her friends agree that they have never met a more adventurous person.
ESL - English PowerPoints: Writing an Argument For and Against
It is easy to see then that the proponent of a moral argument has acomplex task: She must defend the reality and objectivity of thefeature of morality appealed to, but also defend the claim that thisfeature can be best explained by God. The second part of the taskmay require not only demonstrating the strengths of a theisticexplanation, but pointing out weaknesses in rival secular explanationsas well. Both parts of the task are essential, but it is worthnoting that the two components cannot be accomplished simultaneously. The theist must defend the reality of morality againstsubjectivist and nihilistic critics. Assuming that this task hasbeen carried out, the theist must then try to show that morality thusunderstood requires a theistic explanation.
Argumentative Essay English 101 Free Essays - StudyMode
However, the theist may hold that this account does not accuratelyrepresent the situation. Instead, the theist may argue that thedebate between atheism and theism is not simply an argument aboutwhether “one more thing” exists in the world. Infact, God is not to be understood as an entity in the world at all; anysuch entity would by definition not be God. The debate is rathera debate about the character of the universe. The theist believesthat every object in the natural world exists because God creates andconserves that object; every finite thing has the character of beingdependent on God. The atheist denies this and affirms that thebasic entities in the natural world have the character of existing“on their own.” If this is the right way to thinkabout the debate, then it is not obvious that atheism is safer thantheism. The debate is not about the existence of one object, butthe character of the universe as a whole. Both parties are makingclaims about the character of everything in the natural world, and bothclaims seem risky. This point is especially important in dealingwith moral arguments for theism, since one of the questions raised bysuch arguments is the adequacy of a naturalistic worldview inexplaining morality. Evidentialists may properly ask about theevidence for theism, but it also seems proper to ask about the evidencefor atheism if the atheist is committed to a rival metaphysic such asnaturalism.
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But what about the randomness that is a crucial part of theDarwinian story? The atheist might claim that becauseevolutionary theory posits that the process by which plants and animalshave evolved in one that involves random genetic mutations, it cannotbe guided, and thus God cannot have used evolutionary means to achievehis ends. However, this argument fails. It depends on anequivocation in what is meant by “random.” Whenscientists claim that genetic mutations are random, they do not meanthat they are uncaused, or even that they are unpredictable from thepoint of view of biochemistry, but only that the mutations do nothappen in response to the adaptational needs of the organism. Itis entirely possible for a natural process to include randomness inthat sense, even if the whole natural order is itself created andsustained by God. The sense of “randomness” requiredfor evolutionary theory does not imply that the evolutionary processmust be unguided. A God who is responsible for the laws of natureand the initial conditions that shape the evolutionary process couldcertainly ensure that the process achieved certain ends.
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