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COLUMBIASTATE PHIL 1030 - Philosophy Final Exam

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Topic OneAquinas' second way of proof for God's existence states that every observable thing has an efficient cause (Vaughn, 2019). He reasons that God is that first event for all things that happen, thus proving the negation of an infinite regress of causes. For an event to cause itself, it would be required to have happened before itself, which is impossible (Vaughn, 2019). This impossibility proves that nothing can genuinely cause itself. Without a leading efficient cause, the proceeding cause will not exist either. For example, a car's efficient cause would come from amechanic building the car into existence. The vehicle can not exist without the mechanic possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to plan and construct the car into a reality. In Aquinas's theory to prove God's existence, he poses that God is the initial trigger in all events since events cannot cause themselves or happen without a trigger (Vaughn, 2019). To Aquinas, God is the beginning of all happenings, which proves his reasoning that infinite regresses do not make any sense. Using this first-cause argument, Aquinas posits that every efficient cause, such as the universe, must have an initial cause, being God (Vaughn, 2019). Hume criticizes this argument by attacking Aquinas's assertion that every cause must havean initial cause, essentially accusing him of committing the fallacy of composition (Vaughn, 2019). Hume asserts that every event in a series having a cause does not mean that the entire series itself has a cause (Vaughn, 2019). This would mean that just because events in the universehave a cause, the universe itself may not have a specific cause. This directly relates to Hume's epistemology, where he argues that neither reason nor experience can provide us with proof of causal relationships. In this, he says that as we repeatedly observe events associated with other events, we rush to conclude that they are causally connected. This circles back to Hume'sargument against Aquinas that the universe's events having specific causes do not confirm that the universe itself has a cause (Vaughn, 2019).Topic TwoPlato describes three classes in his just society: the producers, the auxiliaries, and the guardians (Vaughn, 2019). The producers are driven by their appetites and consist of people like laborers, carpenters, farmers, and those who work to produce goods and services (Vaughn, 2019).The auxiliaries are driven by spirit and consist of soldiers, law enforcers, and city protectors (Vaughn, 2019). The guardians are guided by reason and are the leaders of the society who rule the other classes and consist of rulers and philosopher-kings (Vaughn, 2019). These classes are meant to be kept separate, with no citizen able to move to a different category, to maintain a levelof inequality. This is a direct reflection on Plato's theory of the tripartite soul. The tripartite soul consists of three parts, hence its name, much like the three classes in Plato's just society. Plato's just society of three classes is considered a conflict-free, peaceful community governed by reason (Vaughn, 2019). Similarly, a virtuous person is a tripartite soul governed by the soul's logical function and reasoning (Vaughn, 2019). The three parts of each theory are ultimately controlled by reason. Marx's idea about alienation happens through continuous exploitation by capitalists (Vaughn, 2019). His theory of alienation is that as conditions within a society worsen, a person's sense of significance begins to diminish (Vaughn, 2019). This happens through soaring unemployment and dwindling wages (Vaughn, 2019). The people start to feel as though they are insignificant and devalued, merely a speck among the system's giant portrait. They know they arenot valued by the system, which inevitably brings them to the point of finding little to no satisfaction or pride in their work, perpetuating the sense of alienation (Vaughn, 2019). Marx'snotion of alienation could criticize Plato's ideal society, particularly looking at the producers. Forexample, the producers may feel like the guardians are exploiting them for their goods and services while they sit back as rulers and reap the benefits of what the producers have created. This could cause a rebellion of those in the producing class who are just destitute and enraged enough to revolt against the guardians, potentially leading to a collapse of Plato's vision of an ideal republic.ReferencesVaughn, L. (2019). Philosophy Here and Now (Third Edition). Oxford University Press.

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