Explain, reconstruct, and evaluate three objections to logical behaviorism as discussed by Searle (do not discuss the antecedent hypothetical objection). Make sure you first present a general view of this type of behaviorism and only after that the four objections discussed by Searle. Next, present possible rejoinders from the logical behaviorists. Finally, evaluate the rejoinders: Are the rejoinders enough to salvage logical behaviorism or not?
Your papers must be 5-6 pages long Word Documents (1250-1500 words), 12” font, typed, double spaced, with 1”margings all around, and properly footnoted. In addition, you should place your name only on the last page of your paper. You must turn in both a hard copy in class during the first fifteen minutes of the class on the due date, April 23 and an electronic copy through Turnitin on the same day, April 23. Late papers will suffer the penalty of a reduced grade (whether they are handed in late or electronically late). All papers will be checked for possible plagiarism through Turnitin, and any found to be in violation will be dealt according to the administrative guidelines outlined in the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. For sources, you area only allowed to use your textbook by Elliot Sober and the audio files of Dr. John Searle used in class. Refer to John Searle audio files as John Searle Audio 1, 2 or 3.
Down below I'll leave the videos, and if you need Sober's book please let me know.
You need an Introduction (I), Solutions (II), Logical Behaviorism (III), Evaluation (IV), Conclusion (v)
You also have a file as a sample on how the paper should be structured (including footnotes)
Also, I'll leave some notes so you can see the format as requested by the professor
The Argument from Evil
In the philosophy of religion, one of the most controversial arguments is the Argument from Evil[footnoteRef:1]. This argument represents that since there is evil in the world, it proves that there is no God. Good examples of evil are many, but they are categorized in two forms: the ones that are brought into existence by human actions, and the ones that exist because of natural events that are not under human control[footnoteRef:2]. When it comes to examples by human actions, there are wars, tortures[footnoteRef:3], scams, robberies, and so many others that imply a certain kind of evil in everyday life. There are also natural events, as said before, like tornados, earthquakes[footnoteRef:4], tsunamis, or even illnesses like cancer, HIV, arthritis, Alzheimer, and so on; however, these kinds of natural evil cannot be controlled, and can harm humans, as well as other beings and the planet. [1: Sober, Elliott. (2013). Core Questions In Philosophy. New York: Pearson, 2013, p. 120.] [2: Ibid. p. 119.] [3: Ibid. p. 121.] [4: Ibid. p. 120.]
Now, there is something unexplainable when it comes to Evil and God. When it comes to God, it is said that it is all-powerful, all knowing, and all-good (all-PKG, for short)[footnoteRef:5]. However, if this is true, why is there so much evil in the world. Is it because God really exists, and it is letting us have free will? Or is it because it cannot differ from good and evil? It is an argument that it is not only interesting to me, but also because of the awareness it can represent to a lot of people. The Argument from Evil supports atheism[footnoteRef:6] and it gives a good lead to logic and self-explanatory things in the world. I will be presenting God’s attributes (II)[footnoteRef:7] in the most concrete way possible to have a correlation with the Argument from Evil (III). The Theodicy (IV) of the Argument is something that will be presented in this paper as a tool to explain why some of the evils are not as bad as they seem, in fact, they can help people build a stronger character. With Theodicy will come its own Evaluation (V) as an objection of the corresponding topic. [5: Ibid. p. 119.] [6: Ibid. p. 119.] [7: Ibid. p. 119.]
I will now be presenting God’s Attributes[footnoteRef:8] and explaining why the problem could not be arise if one the properties were removed. Also, I will cover why the Argument from Evil does not work into God’s existence. [8: Ibid. p. 119.]
II. God’s Attributes (PKG)
It is said that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good (PKG)[footnoteRef:9] and it is what describes this being as the most perfect being of all. However, these could also be a reason why evil exists, and God might not. Moving on, I will explain why the problem of evil arise with the 3O God. [9: Ibid. p. 119.]
A. All-Knowing, All-Good (KG)
If we look at God as all-knowing, and all-good, it is possible that since it is not all-powerful, God does not have control over evil and many other things in the universe. For example, God might be in control of you passing a test with an A, because it is something good, but God is not in control if your book bag was stolen. This example demonstrates that good and bad may or may not be related to each other, so God does not have the power to stop evil. Hence, God does not exist[footnoteRef:10]. If God is all-powerful, he can prevent evil, should he wish to do so[footnoteRef:11]. [10: Niemi, Jari. In Class Lecture. Florida, 2019.] [11: Sober, Elliott. (2013). Core Questions In Philosophy. New York: Pearson, 2013, p. 120.]
B. All-Powerful, All-Good (PG)
God can all also be all-powerful, and all-good, but not all-knowing. This means that God might have the power to control the universe and all good can happen with him, but this being is not aware of the evil that exists around the world since it is not all-knowing. As an example, imagine being a major, and running the city, and you see everything in control, but you do not know that people are conspiring against you, which is something categorized as an evil action. This is why God cannot exist as well, imagine being all PKG, and not knowing everything that happens in the world, when it is very clear most of the time. If God is all-knowing, he knows the difference between right and wrong and knows how to prevent evil from coming into existence[footnoteRef:12]. [12: Ibid.]
C. All-Powerful, All-Knowing (PK)
In this situation, God can be all-powerful, and all-knowing, but is not all-good. This means that this being can have control of the universe, and knows and everything that is happening, but allows good and evil to coexist. This could be a good explanation to understand why evil exists, however, it does not support the idea that God should be all PKG to exist, hence, there is no God. As an example, a father that controls all expenses and everything around the house, knows everything the kids do, but he allows them to hit each other when they are playing. It shows that he does not really care whether they are playing with good or bad intentions. If God is all-good, he wants to prevent evil[footnoteRef:13], and not let the universe seem affected by it. [13: Ibid.]
The problem of the 3O God could not be arise because if there is an All-PKG God, it implies that there should not be any evil in the world. Since there is, this argument does not work by itself.
III. Argument from Evil
The Argument from Evil goes as follows:
If God existed, it would be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent.
If such a God existed, certain kinds of quantity and quality of evils would not exist.
These certain quantities and qualities of evils do exist
Therefore, God does not exist[footnoteRef:14]. [14: Niemi, Jari. In Class Lecture. Florida, 2019.]
The second premise is something that might not be self-explanatory: How could we ever know these certain levels of evils? Of course, there are things that have been bigger than others, for example, World War II and the genocides, but if we are taking this with quantities and qualities, should not be good seem with the same characteristics?
Of course, if God existed, I do not think he would just want to stop certain kinds of evils, but all evils. There is no efficiency for me whether there are bigger evils and why God should be able to stop some of them. Also, since he is all-PKG[footnoteRef:15], why would he even allow some type of evil to exist? Following with an example, imagine if the Cold War does not happen because God did not allow it, since he is all-PKG, but allowed a father to kill a woman because he drove drunk to his house. I still do not see why a 3O God could not stop these types of evils if we are concentrating on quantity and quality. We can also look at the quantities and qualities of evils as he can control what the father would do, but not the Cold War. It still does not make sense to me why an all-PKG God would not stop that “level” of evil. With all these said, I would like to introduce Theodicy (IV). [15: Sober, Elliott. (2013). Core Questions In Philosophy. New York: Pearson, 2013, p. 119.]
Inferring from Sober’s point of Theodicy and Defense[footnoteRef:16], a theodicy is looking to see that if there is a God, it tries to permit some levels of evils. A Theodicy is looking to reject premise (2) because it is pursued by theists who think premises (1) and (3) are true[footnoteRef:17]. [16: Ibid. p.121.] [17: Ibid. p. 121.]
There could be an explanation of why God lets certain levels of evil into the world, which are the Soul-Building Evils.
A. Soul-Building Defense
Soul-Building evils are the ones that makes us better people[footnoteRef:18] by letting us suffer through events, strengthening our character and being a better person. I would say that this is a valid way of why an all-PKG God might let this type of evil coming to our lives, as God is all-good, he wants us to be better human beings by trying to teach us lessons with harm, which I would actually not like this idea, but apparently could be the best to improve our common sense and appreciation for life. [18: Ibid. p. 121.]
This is the point where I ultimately think that the Theodicy attempt to refute the problem is not successful. I believe that certain kinds of evil could help us build a strong character among other events, eventually leading us to be better people, but that does not lead to conclude that the Theodicy works, since there are all kinds of evil, and with respect, I still do not think that bigger evils helps achieve a better character. As Sober said, “Sometimes suffering doesn’t make the victim stronger; sometimes suffering destroys people[footnoteRef:19]”. This is a rebuttal from the Theodicy attempt, since it does not seem to work completely. I do not understand why there is the discussion where some evils should disappear or not, but why is there evil at all[footnoteRef:20]. To me, it is not possible that an all-PKG God would allow this in any way. [19: Ibid. p. 121.] [20: Ibid. p. 122.]
The Argument from evil does not explain in a concrete way why is there so much evil around the world. From any aspect, looking at the Theodicy attempt, to the Self-Building Defense, and the all-PKG God, there is always an objection about the argument. If we look at the all-PKG God, we can see that with or without any of these gifts, there is evil in the world and proves there is no God[footnoteRef:21]. The Theodicy attempt tries to explain that there can still be evil with the existence of God, but these gets us back to square one. Finally, the Self-Building Defense can have a valid point, but it can still be attacked from many different ways, arguing that there is evil in any way as the strongest one. I personally agree with Sober that the Argument from Evil is a vague explanation of why God would allow evil to exist. [21: Ibid. p. 119.]
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