Philosophy Essay Samples

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In the state of nature described by Locke, all men have the right "to dispose of himself and his possessions as he thinks fit" (Plamenatz, 1992, p338). This broad conception of property makes it equivalent to freedom and is limited only by man's obligation to God to not destroy himself and by the recognition of the same right of others. Property in a narrower sense for Locke meaning the right to exclusive use of an object that no one else has previously claimed is derived from man's right to dispose of himself as he sees fit and is acquired, as already mentioned, by mixing one's labour with an object in its natural state.
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Descartes even subjects our own reality to doubt, as in the dream doubt that is addressed in meditation one; "how often have I dreamt that I was in these familiar circumstances - that I was dressed, and occupied this place by the fire, when I was lying undressed in bed?" Descartes feels that there is no certain way of distinguishing dream from reality, and even the fact that he is questioning his dreams is subject to doubt, for he could be dreaming at that moment in time also. He recalls that while dreaming it has felt so real, and only upon waking has he realised it a dream.
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The Cosmological Argument is an 'a posteriori proof' of God's existence, i.e. It is based on a set of premises which are drawn from experience but do not necessarily contain the conclusion within the premises.
The fact that the argument is a posteriori has advantages however. It relies on experience which may be universal, or at least testable. It is flexible, i.e. there is more than one possible conclusion and it does not demand that we accept the definitions as fixed. The strengths of the Cosmological Argument lie in both its simplicity and easily comprehensible use of logic. This perhaps provides an explanation as to why, in various forms, philosophers have used it throughout time to demonstrate God's existence
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