ask Dr. Fipple
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This week's question comes from Eric Fitts of Morgantown, West Virginia.
Well, Eric, I think your teacher must really respect your "brain power" to get a question like that in the 5th grade. Your question involves a very old problem that the great thinkers of the world have pondered for a long, long time. That is, of course, what is Chiff & Fipple and what is it really all about? Then, you have the extra aggravation of dealing with the whole teleological thing. Let me see if I can help.
"Chiff & Fiple" as you call it (misspellings like that are one of the things that can be so cute about you young people) is all about tinwhistles and about the crazy, mixed-up people that make them and play them. Here is a picture that may help you.
This is a tinwhistle--and it sort of illustrates what Chiff & Fipple is about. It may remind you of teleological/theological concerns in some ways. It reminds me of this and many more things.
Now, let's consider the topic of teleological arguments for the existence of God.
These are arguments based on our knowledge of the world. Especially those aspects of the world which appear to be designed and purposive, analogous to cases of human design. It is usually put probabilistically, arguing that the most plausible explanation is that of a world designer and creator, with intelligence, purposes, etc.
The theory of evolution (which still makes a lot of people really, really upset), suggesting an alternative explanation for some kinds of order, has reduced the power of older versions of the theory, kind of like a PokemonTM character saps the power of another Pokemon character, like maybe, SpleenLizardTM (picture not available, so here's a picture of BozoTM .) Anyway, this has incited the formulation of more broadly based versions of this argument, such as those of F. R. Tennant and Richard Swinburne.
I recommend you read David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1777). This is available in a Classic Comics version and it is coming out on VHS/DVD in March 2003. (A rumored PlayStation 2TM version has been scrubbed.)
I hope this has helped you with your question.
How is Chiff & Fipple different from the General Accounting Office (GAO)?
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