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Assignment Questions

Assignment Questions

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Question 1

The philosophical method involves a commitment to an argument with logic to support it for people to believe. Philosophy as a discipline depends on a given method of enquiry to advance our understanding of the world and our place in it. The method is normally based on rigorous logical analysis and their components to make up a cohesive conclusion. A good philosopher is one who can bring out an argument, support the argument with logical analysis and introduce a conclusion that is full of merit.

On the other hand, scientific methods have a different approach. In this approach, a good argument originates from empirical testing of theory. It involves a systematic investigation of scientific theories and hypothesis. As opposed to the philosophical method, a theory or hypothesis is subjected to empirical testing and investigation to prof. Therefore, an argument will be confirmed true or false based on the result after empirical testing.

There are three characteristics of a philosophical question. First, the questions tend to be general. Based on this, they are not always specific when referring to some subjects or something. For example, what makes people happy? As opposed to what makes Sandra happy? Second, the progress of philosophical questions normally requires some analysis or investigation. For example, does good exist? Third, the philosophical questions are designed to seek fundamental feedbacks about a society. Therefore, they are normally important based on what they address.

Question 2

In the Apology, Socrates is put on trial for being an atheist and corrupting the youth. Based on the allegations, he is offered an opportunity to defend himself against the accusers. During his defense, he refuse to adhere to the notion of death as evil or punishment. According to Socrates, death is less to be feared compared to committing an injustice against the Gods. Despite his ignorance of life after death, he knows that it is wrong to corrupt an individual soul by committing an injustice. Moreover, Socrates does not consider death as a bad thing. He brings in different arguments to support the fact that death is good. For example, in his statement “and let us also reflect upon how good a reason there is to hope that death is a good thing” (p.51), he portrays death as being a good thing.

That said, Socrates also views death as an unconscious state or rather sleeping without dreams. In regards to this, Socrates tends to prefer death to being unjust while living on Earth. He believes that since death is an unconscious state, it will assist him to escape from the pains of the unjust society and world. Therefore, Socrates arguments on death are persuasive. First, it is true that death relieves an individual from the pains of the world. In death, it is believed that an individual will not be able to feel any pain. Second, death is good because it offers an individual the ability to see the other side of life commonly knowns as the afterlife.

Question 3

The arguments we considered for God’s existence are as follows. First, Christians state that everything with a beginning needs a cause hence; that cause is God. Second, the living creatures all over the universe display a form of design. Thus, since they must have a designer, that designer is God. Third, the Bible confirms that God exists which is his words to the people on Earth. Therefore, since the Bible is true, then the existence of God must also be true. Fourth, according to Anselm, the fact that God exists in people’s understanding confirms the fact that God exists in reality. God is described as omnipresent, omnipotent, eternal and omniscient, which makes him the greatest conceivable being.

On the other hand, arguments against the existence of God are also diverse. First, according to Gaunilo, if something is considered the greatest conceivable thing in the mind, does not confirm its existence. He confirms the argument by suggesting to the readers to think of an Island that is the greatest conceivable Island. In regards to this, God does not exist. Second, according to Atheist, even if it is true that everything with a beginning requires a cause, the cause does not have to be God. Therefore, why not believe that the universe was as a result of something else yet to be discovered. In regards to this, the Atheist believes that there is no God.

Question 4

Rene Descartes was a French mathematician. He differed with his predecessors on the mode of establishing ideas. According to him, predecessors established ideas based on what he considered to some extent uncertain and had an unstable foundation. To arrive at his conclusion, he decided to use various candidate. The first candidate; sensory perception guides us to the truth. He considered the principle unreliable because of the possibility for our senses to lie to us in making some decisions. As a result of this, he introduces another principle.

The second candidate; sensory perception, in ideal condition can guide us to the truth. In this principle, he considers human senses in ideal condition. However, he disregards the principle based on the fact that there is a possibility of doubt even in ideal conditions. As a result, he introduced another principle. Third candidate; non-sensory reasoning like arithmetic or geometry is true whether when we are asleep or awake. After a series of reasoning, he considers the last candidate true hence can be used as a foundation for knowledge. According to him, the principle cannot be doubted, and people cannot be deceived about it. Thus, since arithmetic is stable and no one can change the facts its present, it can be used as a foundation for knowledge.

Question 5

It has been a challenge to determine the relationship between the mind and the brain. The reasons for thinking the mind is just the brain are as follows. First, it appears that what occurs in consciousness relies on what happens in the brain. For example, if an individual stubs his or her toe, he or she will feel pain. Another example, if someone is hit on the head, the person will automatically pass out. As a result of this, it is apparent that for anything to occur in someone’s mind, something has to occur in his or her brain. Therefore, the relationships of these aspects provide the reasons as to why the mind is just the brain.

However, there are various factors that generate questions on whether the mind is something different from the brain. Considering the fact that a scientist opening a patient’s brain would only be able to view a grey matter with some complicated neuron system but he or she would not be able to find various aspects such as pain, or tastes of objects. Thus, since tastes or pain cannot be seen or viewed, while the grey matter in the brain can be seen, then the mind is something more than the brain. As a result of this, it can be said that brains are objects while the mind is some feelings.

Question 6

Free will is the ability of an individual to decide without any external interference. Under the state of free will, an individual is allowed to make decisions based on his or her conscience. Free will is the ability of an individual to have full control over what he or she wants to do or has done it already. Besides, it can be said that free will is connected to aspects such as responsibility and other judgment actions that may apply to the unlimited actions that an individual is allowed to make. For example, if an individual wants to travel, he or she can decide to change or continue freely without any influence from a third party.

There exist a various version of the idea of freedom. Freedom is divided into two; surface freedom and deeper freedom. Surface freedom is based on fulfilling an individual’s desires. It is the ability for one to act based on their desires without any external interference or hindrance. On the other deeper freedom is described as the ability of self-determination. It is where an individual has various choices that are not decided or forced on them by other people around. Therefore, deeper freedom involves an individual ability to determine their cause of actions for themselves without any hindrance.

Question 7

Time is like space due to various reasons. Space and time are considered as universal forms of existence of matter. The universality of these aspects depends on the fact that they are forms of existence of all the objects and processes that have existed or will exist. Besides, it is not only the events of the outside world but also the thoughts occur in space and time. It is apparent that, in the world of materials, everything has extension and duration. Therefore, time seems to be space.

On the other hand, there exist reasons as to why time is not space. Space has three dimensions; length, height, and width while time has a single dimension; from the past to the present and then to the future. Besides, it is believed that time takes us through some forms of seasons and durations while space has no significant impact because it is motionless. The parameters for the existence of time and space are different. Therefore, time is not space.

The ordinary conception of time, once an individual begins to think about it, it seems to make no sense. We consider the time to be like a river that flows, flies and goes on. Also, time waits for nobody, and it moves without any influence of human beings. In regards to the aspect that time moves, Sider claims that if an object moves with respect to time, then time also should move concerning time. For example, just like people say that a vehicle was in a place at some time, the same should also apply to time.

Question 8

  1. Ethical egoism

Ethical egoism theory is a moral principle that people should act to advance their interests exclusively. The theory is normally linked with selfishness, and disregard to other people’s interests in favor of one’s interests. An argument for the theory is that it can make consistent and correct even when proven false whereas arguments against are that the theory tends to contradict ethical institutions such as what it means to be just or friendly.

  1. Utilitarianism theory

According to the theory, the best action is one that maximizes on utility. The idea is tailored to the fact that all actions that are considered as right bring happiness while the ones that are considered to be wrong brings sadness. In this theory, happiness is a state of being happy or absence of pain while unhappy is the state of displeasure and pain. The reason for is that the theory tends to foster a world with happiness whereas reasons against are that the theory hinders speculations for the future.

  1. Divine command theory

According to the theory, what makes something right is that God desires it to be done that way. The theory is based on the idea that ethical actions are considered to correspond to God’s will. Thus, God’s command is deemed to be ultimate and that people should follow all that is described in the Holy Bible. The reason for is that the theory support what is considered right by most people in the society whereas reasons against is that the theory does not allow room for possible human misinterpretation of the Bible. 

Question 9

Stealing as an ethical issue. It is the act of taking an individual’s property without his or her permission. It is unethical for an individual to steal another person’s property. In regards to this, it is wrong for someone to take another person’s property without asking. From the Bible, it is clearly stated “Thou shall not steal,” which means that God does not want us to steal other people’s properties. Moreover, from the Utilitarian point of view, stealing is wrong because it results in a state of unhappiness. For example, it makes the other party sad. Based on these aspects, stealing is unethical, and people should avoid it.

However, from another perception or moral standpoint, stealing is not wrong. In this direction, it can be considered based on the motive behind stealing the property. If an individual steals with a positive motive to assist another person or to solve some basic needs, then other people cannot consider that as wrong. For example, police who kills an armed gang does not always go to prison because the action is sometimes regarded as necessary.

Question 10

The best configuration for society is one that is surrounding by logics. Logic is the ability of people to apply correct reasoning to issues before making decisions. A society with people who can apply logic to reason to make appropriate decisions on the contexts that is true and free from any influence. Logical reasoning allows people to foster effective thoughts on critical issues such as ethical dilemmas to make concrete decisions that are supported with effective decisions. Therefore, it allows individuals to display their state of being responsible for all the actions they perform.

Among the four possibilities, the best society is one that promotes ethical behavior that is supported with facts. It is apparent that most of the moral concerns are driven by beliefs and values that were passed on to the present society. However, society should allow people to exercise some thought process to make appropriate decisions on the best thing to do concerning convincing factors.