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Title: Philosophical Questions


1
Philosophical Questions
2
Problems?
  • If a tree falls in the forest and there is no-one
    there to see it, does it make a sound?
  • If God created all things? Who created God?
  • If it is about the survival of the fittest - then
    I can do whatever I am able to do?
  • How do I know I am not a brain in a jar?
  • If I transport my brain into a robot - is it
    still me?
  • If God is good - why is there evil/suffering in
    the world?
  • When is a chair not a chair?

3
Philosophy
  • Philosophy the love of wisdom
  • Philosophical argument deductive
  • The Eiffel tower is in Paris premise, Paris is
    in France premise The Eiffel tower is in France
    conclusion
  • The Eiffel tower is in London premiseLondon is
    in England premiseThe Eiffel tower is in
    England conclusion
  • A proof - that which results from a valid
    argument constructed from a set of true premises
  • Philosophical argument inductive
  • If it rains, I shall get wet premise I get wet
    conclusion
  • The premises provide some but not absolute
    support
  • You need to decide how persuasive the inductive
    argument is

4
Existence of God
  • There are five classical proofs for the existence
    of God
  • Four of these are a posteriori arguments from
    the evidence
  • The cosmological argument which infers God from
    the existence of the world or from phenomena
    within it, such as causality
  • The teleological argument which infers from a
    designer from the occurrence of order and
    regularity in the world
  • The moral argument which infers God as the
    explanation for moral consciousness or the
    guarantor for the highest good
  • The religious experience argument which see God
    as the best explanation for experiences that
    people claim that are beyond the normal
  • One is an a priori argument from deduction
  • The ontological argument which concludes that
    Gods definition entails his existence

5
The Ontological Argument I
  • Ontological means concerned with being
  • Anselm (1033-1109) in Prologion (1077-78)
  • Anselm defines God as a being than which nothing
    greater can be conceived
  • The argument goes
  • God is the greatest possible being (nothing
    greater can be conceived)
  • If God only exists in the mind (as an idea) then
    a greater being could be imagined to exist both
    in the mind and reality, as existing in reality
    is greater than existing in the mind
  • This being would then be greater than God
  • Thus God cannot exist only in the mind but must
    exist in reality
  • Thus God exists

6
The Ontological Argument II
  • Criticisms of the ontological argument
  • The definition of God
  • We do not know what God means. We need to start
    withcauses and then argue for God from these (a
    posteriori) Aquinas
  • Is it logical (possible) to move from a concept
    to a reality?
  • Are we starting from the definition in order to
    prove it?
  • To exist states that a concept has an actuality
    Kant it adds nothing to our understanding of
    the concept
  • You cannot define things into existence
  • Conclusion
  • Does the ontological argument convince the
    atheist?
  • At best we can say that if God exists then he has
    necessary existence

7
The Cosmological Argument I
  • Infers the existence of God from the existence of
    the cosmosor the phenomena within in
  • Plato says that every created thing must come
    from somecause Timaeus and the argument is
    also found in Aristotle. Aquinas presented the
    idea in three forms and further support was given
    by Descartes and Leibniz
  • Three of Aquinas five ways are concerned with
    the Cosmological argument
  • The Unmoved Mover Everything that is in a state
    of change is changed by something so there must
    be a first mover infinite regress is impossible
  • The Uncaused Causer Everything that is, is
    caused by something so there must be a first
    causer infinite regress is impossible
  • Possibility and Necessity Contingent things
    that are born and die exist, if all things were
    contingent there would be a time where there was
    nothing, there could not be such a time as
    contingent beings have prior cause, thus a
    necessary immortal being must exist
  • All these arguments are a posteriori from
    experience

8
The Cosmological Argument II
  • Criticisms
  • Assumptions are out of date e.g. things can be
    created from other things
  • Why cannot there be an endless sequence of
    causes?
  • Contingency may be true for some beings - they
    have just not shown it yet
  • If nothing can cause itself why is God an
    exception to this premise?
  • Why a single first cause - not a multiplicity
    (gods not god?)
  • Could each of the ways lead to a different god?
  • The argument is from experience but considers
    non-experienced things e.g. infinity
  • The universe is not contingent - matter and
    energy are eternal - form changes but not
    substance
  • Why cannot things come from nothing?

9
The Cosmological Argument III
  • Arguments from science
  • The nature of the universe
  • Big-Bang - implies a finite history of the
    universe andthat all that is was created from
    nothing, including time
  • Steady State - the universe has always been
  • Oscillating universes - the universe comes and
    goes for infinity infinity is not a single
    concept
  • Energy cannot be created or destroyed only
    changed (after the initial creation)
  • Matter does come into and out of existence

10
The Teleological Argument I
  • The cosmological argument said that things cannot
    just come into being, the teleological argument
    infers the existence of God because of purpose in
    the world
  • Teleological refers to order or purpose
  • This is an a posteriori argument from
    experience
  • Swinburne identifies two elements the argument
    from design and the argument to design
    Anthropic argument
  • Argument from design
  • Aquinas Order must come from an intelligent
    being
  • Hume Dialogues concerning Natural Religion A
    dialogue which uses the idea of analogy of
    machines. Intelligent humans makes simple
    machines, the world is complex so needs a more
    (most) intelligent designer. Hume uses houses and
    watches as particular examples.
  • Paley Natural Theology If you came across a
    watch you would not think it had come about by
    accident
  • Swinburne The Existence of God Suspicious of
    Hume and Paley. Nature conforms to a formula but
    you cannot explain law by law - appeals to Occum
    and God is the simplest explanation

11
The Teleological Argument II
  • Argument to design
  • Also called the Anthropic Argument. Nature seems
    to plan for higher order organisms. Life is
    highly improbable so there must be a plan and
    thus a planner ... God
  • Davis God, Reason and Theistic Proofs argues
    that modern science supports this argument as a
    number of things are fine tuned for life
  • Cosmological constants - e.g. gravitational,
    speed of light, plank, quarks
  • The rate of expansion of the big-bang
  • Thermal properties of water
  • An initial problem Is the analogy to the whole
    or part of the universe? Can it be said that the
    whole of the universe is working towards a
    purpose? Ir order to know this you would have to
    be outside the universe or have special
    revelation. It is a logical fallacy to assume
    that because parts of the whole are working that
    the entirety is working.

12
The Teleological Argument III
  • Humes Criticisms
  • The analogy between a machine and the world is
    weak
  • Why should we assume intelligence and not nature?
  • The world does not closely resemble a created
    object - and why infer one and not many gods as a
    team are often involved in machine creation
  • Analogy makes God more human than divine as the
    created world is imperfect
  • Analogy makes a non-moral god as the world
    contains natural disasters and disease
  • Other criticism
  • We can only know what designed and not
    non-designed looks like, hence it is a WYSIWYG
    universe
  • We define the world as designed but this is a
    language game
  • From science
  • Richard Dawkins The blind watchmaker - the
    octopus eye
  • Richard Dawkins The selfish gene - why do we
    assume purpose?
  • Charles Darwin origin of the species evolution
    and natural selection
  • The multi-verse concept - that there are many
    universes and the one we can observe is the one
    we are in

13
The Moral Argument I
  • It is God that is best explanation for the common
    human experience of moral consciousness and
    obligation
  • Four approaches
  • Aquinas We experience things which are good,
    noble, true and valuable these must take form
    from things which are even more so - this is God
    influenced by Plato and the cave, and
    Aristotelian forms
  • Moral experience There seems to be an agreement
    that there is right and wrong, these seem to be
    objective values, conscience is a popular name
    for the voice of right and wrong. If this moral
    law is so then there must be a lawgiver
  • Criticisms
  • Cultural relativism Morality is a product of
    culture there are no universal morals
  • Emotivism A statement of wrongness is a personal
    expression i.e it is good if I approve and bad
    if I do not
  • Evolution Humans who were kind, helpful etc...
    were more likely to survive - this trait has been
    genetically transmitted

14
The Moral Argument II
  • Anything goes In denying God we remove any
    sanction and thus any need to act morally. John
    Hick Arguments for the Existence of God points
    out that self-sacrifice makes no sense and it is
    difficult to justify such acts is God does not
    exist.
  • Criticisms
  • There is much amoral and immoral behaviour in the
    world
  • Self-sacrifice can be justified in other ways or
    be delusional
  • Kant God is required for morality to achieve its
    end. Kant argued that the mind determines the way
    we experience the world, all we know about the
    world is the way that our mind organises the
    sense experiences, we cannot know things only how
    we perceive them. The mind imposes categories on
    experience - we cannot prove a cause we assume it
    and confirm it by experience. The reason for
    being good is comes from how we organise
    experience of goodness - this is his categorical
    imperative. So we strive for the summum bonum
    (the highest good) and this highest good is
    personified in God.
  • Criticisms
  • Why should we strive for the summum bonum?
    Evidence suggests many do not
  • Why make the assumption that the personification
    of goodness is God .. again this may just be a
    language game

15
The Religious Experience Argument I
  • Many people claim to have had experiences of God
    which are, in some way, revelatory. The premise
    is that God can be experienced and having been so
    exists.
  • The Religious Experience Research Unit (RERU) in
    Oxford reports that 25-45 of people in the UK
    reported having been aware of a presence or
    power beyond themselves
  • Difference between religious and ordinary
    experience
  • Religious experiences have an experience of
    otherness
  • It can be difficult to describe the religious
    experience
  • A religious experience is often subjective
  • Religious experiences may be uncheckable
  • Religious experiences only happen if God permits

16
The Religious Experience Argument II
  • Types of religious experience these may be
    spontaneous or the result of training and
    discipline but they share a sense of an awareness
    of the divine, this may be
  • A sense of oneness or union with the divine
  • A sense of dependance on the divine
  • A sense of separateness from the divine
  • Swinburne The existence of God has centred on
    religiousexperience as a key argument for Gods
    existence
  • Is a religious experience authentic /
    philosophically sound?
  • An encounter with God is not a sense experience
    in the same way asencountering a table - it is
    not verifiable
  • Is it like an experience with another person (do
    we experience people in more than a physical
    way?). This assumes duality (mind-body) or
    accepts some corporality in encounter is either
    sense it is different from an encounter with the
    divine
  • How do you know it is God? Can you recognise
    things that are outside of your experience? e.g.
    creator, omniscience?
  • Can the finite encounter the infinite?

17
The Religious Experience Argument III
  • Is there a natural explanation?
  • Experience is often deceptive however many
    people who we trust claim to have had this
    experience we cannot logically assume all
    experiences are hallucinations
  • Does religious experience fulfil a psychological
    need? Freud saw religious experience as a
    reaction to a hostile world - seeking a perfect
    father figure to protect us. Is there a religious
    gene?
  • Further questions?
  • There is no God thus the experience of God is
    invalid. This is an a priori conviction which is
    only as valid as its opposite
  • There is a lack of uniformity of experience. A
    variety of experience does not swing the argument
    either way - this lack of uniformity may be
    different to interpretation and not falsity of
    the experience
  • If there was a God wouldnt experience be
    universal? It could be that a precondition, such
    as faith is needed or that God does reveal
    himself to everyone but that only some are
    receptive

18
Miracles I
19
Miracles II
  • Key questions What is a miracle and Is it
    reasonable to believe that a miracle has taken
    place?
  • If God is good and loving will He intervene in
    His creation in special ways?
  • Miracles as interventions An event that without
    God would not have taken place, Aquinas defined
    threetypes of such miracle
  • Events that nature could never do The sungoes
    backwards
  • Events that nature can do but not in thisorder
    Someone living after death
  • Events that nature can do but outside of
    normalprinciples A very quick recovery from an
    illness

20
Miracles III
  • Hume defined a miracle as A transgression by the
    law of nature by a particular volition of the
    Deity or by the imposition of some invisible
    agent
  • Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1777
  • Problems with this - the idea of a law of nature
    and the nature of god
  • Laws of nature
  • Is a law of nature being broken - or is this or
    lack of understanding? Should we not redfine any
    law to take account of new experience?
  • Is it coherent to talk about laws of nature at
    all? If, to some extent, as quantum / choas
    theory suggests nature is to some extent random
    then we should expect the unexpected
  • Nature of God
  • The idea of an interventionist God denies classic
    theism where God is the sustainer and preserver
    of the universe
  • If God is outside of space and time then is it
    incoherent to suggest an entry into time and space

21
Miracles IV
  • Miracles as having religious significance
  • Some people think that miracles need to have a
    deeper significance than intervention
  • If a god intervened in the natural order to make
    a feather land here rather than there for no
    ultimate purpose, or to upset a childs box of
    toys for spite these would not be described as
    miracles
  • The Concept of Miracle, Swinburne, 1970
  • Miracles are a sign from God
  • The gospel miracles were not ends in themselves
    but were pointers to something beyond the actual
    event
  • Problem about the nature of God, if God is all
    good and all powerful why then are there so few
    miracles? Is such a God worthy of worship?

22
Miracles V
  • Miracles as interpretations
  • A boy is in his toy car, the car gets caught on
    the train track, the train is approaching. The
    mother can see both her son and the approaching
    train. The train starts to slow even though the
    driver could not have seen the boy. The train
    stops a few metres from the boy. The mother sees
    this as a miracle, even when she was told later
    about the drivers heart attack which caused the
    automatic break to come on.
  • Roy Holland presents this as a miracle of
    interpretation an event that has taken place
    within natural law but than can be taken as a
    religious sign, he calls this a contingency
    miracle
  • Holland seems to argue for the concept of divine
    providence
  • Some call this an anti-realist approach - a
    miraculous event is an event that is a
    disclosure, it is not a supernatural event but a
    supernatural interpretation of a natural event
  • Strauss and Bultmann used this approach to the
    gospel miracles - the mythological world-views as
    portrayed by the gospels was unacceptable and
    needed to be reinterpreted and the spiritual
    truths made clear.

23
Miracles VI
  • Is it reasonable to believe in miracles?
  • This depends on the definition of miracles - if
    we accept Hollands interpretation then miracles
    occur whenever someone interprets an event as a
    miracle. Most debate centres on the more
    traditional understanding of miracle.
  • Hume As an empiricist he believed that all
    questions of truth should be based on experience
    - which involves an enquiry into evidence.
  • It will always be more reasonable to assume that
    the laws of nature have not been broken -
    especially as there were no modern day
    equivalents of biblical miracles
  • Hume argued that no miraculous event could be
    proved to be true because
  • No miracle has a sufficient number of witnesses
    A quantity of educated trustworthy witnesses who
    would have much to lose if found to be lying
  • People are prone to look for marvels and wonders
    We all like stories and are prone to repeat them
    even when we do not believe them
  • The source of (gospel) miracles stories are from
    ignorant people The miracle stories in the bible
    (gospels) gained authenticity without critical or
    rational enquiry
  • The writers of the gospels had a vested interest
    This was particularly the case if a miracle is
    being used to establish a religion i.e. the
    Resurrection
  • Miracles from different tradition contradict each
    other The evidence from the witnesses of one
    miracle is contradicted by the evidence from the
    witness of others

24
Miracles VII
  • Responses to Hume
  • Hume and his empiricism An event is only
    miraculous if it violates natural law and its
    empirical nature suggested that the law has no
    exceptions. However this suggests that law should
    never change in response to exceptions of which
    the miracle may be one. Logically, thus, we
    should never accept an exception andtherefore
    never change a law - which contradicts
    empiricism.
  • Probability Hume assumes that the should be more
    miracles. If naturalism(assuming the world runs
    on natural law) is assumed miracles will be
    rejected.For theists miracles are about Gods
    purpose not about quantity.
  • Criteria for testimony Many think Humes
    criteria (before) as too rigid, if weapplied
    these to other areas we would have no history. It
    is doubtful if Humewould ever have accepted any
    miracles.
  • Self-cancelling argument Many people are now
    willing to accept that different religions have
    aspects of truth (Hick et alea). Also the
    evidence for miracles is not equitable - it could
    be more impressive in one religion than another.
  • Other evidence In Humes time evidence was based
    on testimony. Now we can appeal to other forms of
    evidence.

25
Miracles VIII
  • What might miracles prove?
  • Proof of God Miracles have been viewed as
    inductive proof of the existence of God. It is
    the best explanation for inexplicable events
  • Questions
  • How do we identify an irregular state of events?
  • Is it justifiable to introduce God as the
    explanation?
  • Is Humes definition correct?
  • Authenticity of revelation Miracles could be a
    divine signature. Swinburne argues if we expect
    revelation we should accept miracles.
  • Nature of God Miracles are an essential part of
    the content of Christian revelation (virgin
    birth, resurrection, gospel miracles)
  • Questions
  • Is the historical evidence convincing (Humes
    tests)
  • Is the incarnation coherent with the nature of
    God?
  • If Jesus is God, how can he die? (c.f proofs of
    existence of God)
  • Why does God intervene so few times and so often
    in such limited situations (the problem of evil)?
  • How can a timeless God intervene in time?

26
The Mind Body Problem I
  • Our views on the mind-body problem affect our
    understanding of human nature and life after
    death
  • Humans appear to have both body (physical) and
    mind (consciousness) properties.
  • Body properties include mass, size, shape,
    spatial and temporal position, it is composed of
    material parts. These exist independent of what
    you think about them - you cannot will changes -
    your bum does look big in this!
  • Mind properties include self-consciousness. The
    characteristics of mind include
  • Qualia Felt experiences - the senses
  • Intentionality aboutness we dont just think
    we think about things
  • It would make no sense to talk about a chair
    directing its attention so philosophy often makes
    a distinction between body and mind
  • Monistic Mind and body are of one nature
  • Dualistic Mind and body have different natures -
    which begs the question how do they interrelate?

27
The Mind Body Problem II
  • Dualism has been the prevalent view. Dualists
    argue that people have composite natures both
    material and non-material
  • The non material element is often called the
    mind, spirit or soul (some argue for separation
    between mind and soul mind being the rational
    and soul the spiritual - which begs another
    question!)
  • Dualism is key in concepts such as reincarnation
    and life after death in many religions
  • Descartes argued the body is spatial and not
    conscious and the mind is non-spatial and
    conscious. He held that the mind was affected by
    the state of the body and the body affected by
    the state of mind - known as interactionism.
    Examples would be drugs (body) changing my
    perceptions (mind) or a nightmare (mind) causing
    me to screm (body)
  • Epiphenomenalism Bodily events can cause mental
    events but not vice-versa. Causal effect is one
    way. Man has a computer is not a computer
    Wilder Penfield - Neurosurgeon
  • Does our mind survive death? We know the body
    does not but the nature of dualism allows the
    possibility that our mind or soul does.

28
The Mind Body Problem III
  • Materialism Holds that so-called mental events
    are really physical events that happen to
    physical objects
  • Dualism is attacked as the ghost in the machine
  • Philosophical Behaviourism Mental events are a
    complex pattern of physical behaviours (including
    body and brain behaviour)
  • The identity theory Mind and brain (body) while
    having different meanings are the same.
    Developments in neurosurgery which link
    thoughts/actions with part of the brain
    popularise this theory
  • Functionalism Mental states are defined in terms
    of their function - so pain is a damage detector
    inputs include damage and disease, outputs
    include groan and escape behaviour. All mental
    states have a causal role the concept of mental
    state is therefore of an internal state caused by
    sensory input and causing behavioural output
  • Implications of materialism
  • Moral responsibility Is free will compatible
    with the idea that all brain events are
    physically determined?
  • Nature of the universe Do we live in a causally
    enclosed physical universe that excludes the
    metaphysical?
  • Life after death Dualism favours survival more
    than materialism
  • A couple of thoughts from scientific development
  • Artificial Intelligence and cloning

29
Exam Specifications I
  • AS/A2 AQA
  • AS Unit C Philosophy of Religion
  • The cosmological Argument Aquinas God as first
    cause and necessary being, differentunderstanding
    s of the role of God, key criticisms of the
    argument Religious Experience Variety of
    religious experience, argument from religious
    experience for the existence of God,the
    challenges to religious experience from
    philosophy and science
  • AS Unit D Religion, Philosophy and Science
  • Miracles As violation of of Natural Law, as an
    event of religious significance, events of
    religioussignificance Creation Religious
    beliefs about the creation of the world, outline
    of the scientificprinciples, an outline of
    evolutionary theory and the challenge to
    religious belief presented bythese theories The
    design argument Aquinas, Paley, Hume and
    Dawkins Quantum mechanicsand a religious world
    view Key ideas from quantum mechanics linked to
    parallels with mysticinsights e.g. Capras, The
    Tao of Physics
  • A2 Unit 3B Philosophy and religion
  • Ontological Argument Anselm and Descartes, key
    objectives of the argument, relationship between
    faith and reason Religious Experience Questions
    about language, verification principle (Hare,
    Hick), Body Soul and personal identity Nature of
    body/soul, possibility of existence after death,
    nature of near death experiences The problem of
    evil Concept of evil (natural and moral),
    religious responses to the question of evil,
    Augustine and Hick

30
Exam Specifications II
  • AS/A2 Edexcel
  • A2 Unit 1 Foundations
  • A study of philosophical arguments about the
    existence of God includingdesign, cosmological
  • A study of the key problems in the philosophy of
    religion including problemsof suffering and
    evil, different types of problem and solution.
  • A study of the philosophical deabtes about
    miracles, concepts of miracles,reasons to
    believe in miracles, philosophical problems with
    reference to Hume
  • AS Investigations an enquirybased approach to
    teaching and learning
  • Religious belief, faith and reason, revelation OR
    Religious experience, meditation OR
    Relationships between mind and body OR
    Religionand Science OR A study of one or more
    philosophers of religion
  • A2 Developments
  • Religious experience, ontological arguments,
    non-existence of God and critiques of religious
    belief
  • A2 Implications
  • Religious language, religious experience,
    emergence of modern philosophy of religion

31
Exam Specifications III
  • AS/A2 OCR
  • AS G571 Foundation for the study of religion -
    Plato, concept of forms, body/soul distinction,
    Aristotle, God as Creator, the goodness of
    Godontological argument (Anselm, Descartes,
    Gaunlio and Kant), Cosmologicalargument
    (Aquinas, Coppleston, Hume,Russell) Teleogical
    argument(Aquinas, Paley, Hume, Mill Darwinism)
    Moral argument (Kant, Freud),problem of evil,
    religion and science.
  • A2 G581 Religious language use and purpose, via
    negativia, verificationand falsification, use of
    symbol and analogy the Vienna circle (Ayer,
    FlewWittgenstien, Tillich) Religious
    Experience, arguments from experience
    (James)visions, voices, numinous, conversions,
    corporate experience, revelation fromexperience,
    Miracles, definitions including Hume, Biblical
    concepts, miracles and the concept of evil.
    Modern nature of miracles. Nature of God, God as
    eternal, omniscient, omnipotent and
    omni-benevolent and the philosophical problems
    arising from these concepts Boethius Life after
    Death, body soul, Plato, Aristotle, Hick and
    Dawkins, resurrection and reincarnation,
    disembodied existence, afterlife and the problem
    of evil.

32
P4C - I
  • http//sapere.org.uk
  • Education is what survives when youve forgotten
    all that youlearned (B.F.Skinner)
  • Education is a social process, education is
    growth, education is not apreparation for life,
    education is life itself (John Dewey)
  • If your plan is for one year, plant rice If your
    plan is for ten years, plant trees If your plan
    is for one hundred years, educate the children
    (Confucius)
  • Philosophy for children (P4C) is a programme
    developed by Matthew Lipman to encourage children
    to be more reasonable - that is able to reason.
    Like the Greeks he saw practical wisdom as the
    goal of education.
  • Lipman emphasised the importance of questioning
    or enquiry in the development of reasoning. He
    also appreciated from Lev Vygotski, the Russian
    psychologist, that we learn to think much as we
    learn to speak - by internalising the patterns of
    speech and thought that we hear around us.
    Thinking to ourselves is, in effect, borrowing
    the language of others to talk to ourselves.
  • Lipman developed a new model of learning - the
    community of enquiry

33
P4C - II
  • The approach is generally to use narratives -
    thinking stories and then encourage students to
    ask questions of the narrative - these are not
    closed questions that demand a correct answer but
    open questions that encourage debate, reason,
    logic
  • The group is encouraged to create its own
    question set from the narrative, to decide which
    questions to pursue, to respect, but not jsut
    accept, the contributions of every member of the
    group, to demand reasons for answers
  • The teacher is seen as a guide and a modeller NOT
    as a sage (S)he should be using language like
  • Challenge Can anyone respond to that?
  • Questions What dont we understand, what kind of
    questions can we ask?
  • Hypotheses Does anyone have an alternative idea?
  • Reasons What is the evidence / reason for
    thinking / believing this?
  • Examples Can anything think of an example or
    this / a counter-example?
  • Assumptions What assumptions lie behind /
    underpin this?
  • Intentions What is really happening? Is that
    what we really mean?
  • Criteria What makes that an example of X? What
    are the important things here?
  • Consistency / Logic Does that conclusion follow?
    Are these premises consistent?

34
P4C - III
  • Example A story about vegetarians and meat
    eaters who are trying to understand each other.
  • Incoherence Why should vegetarians want meat
    eaters to give up eating meat while meat eaters
    don't particularly care whether vegetarians eat
    meat or not?
  • Reason
  • Vegetarians think meat eating is morally wrong.
  • Meat eaters think it's just a taste preference.
  • Respective Assumptions
  • Animals have rights that we must respect.
  • Preferences are a just a matter of personal
    taste.
  • Unacceptable Implications
  • All animals have rights including houseflies.
  • Its perfectly all right to drop horses off high
    buildings if you like tosee them splash.
  • Questioning assumptions
  • All humans have rights but are all animals lives
    to be treated with respect?
  • Should any preferences be treated with tolerance?
  • It's all right to prefer chicken to pork.
  • Is it all right to prefer splashing horses to
    splashing water filled balloons?
  • Articulating new assumptions
  • How should we think about animals so that we
    could eat them with a clear conscience?
  • How should we think about preferences to avoid
    splashing horses?

35
Task
  • Choose one of the things that we have looked at
    this morning.
  • Choose a target group (KS3 / KS4 / KS5)
  • Plan a sequence of tasks to introduce
    thisconcept to the group, including
  • lesson objectives
  • key questions
  • success criteria
  • tasks
  • resources
  • You have an hour for the task. Meet back in here
    at 1410 ready to give a 5-10 min presentation.
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