FINAL TAKE HOME EXAM FOR PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
Due: Wednesday, May 9th at noon in the classroom. NO EMAIL SUBMISSIONS.
(Entire final time is 1030 AM – 1230 PM). Final paper due then too!
Senior Finals Thursday & Friday, May 3rd & 4th
Your essay answers must have an introduction, a thesis, be well-organized, and clear. You must explain these issues and arguments so that someone who has not read and discussed these issues would understand them. You should explain the issues and arguments fully: do not make anyone guess at what you are trying to say. And, above all, you need to give reasons for what you think: you need to raise objections, respond to them, and defend your views!
Answer BOTH questions 1 & 2; pick TWO questions from 3,4,5, 6 and 7. TOTAL= 4 Q’s.
1. Using events of recent weeks (or other moral or natural evils) develop a William Rowe-style argument for God’s non-existence. Explain five of the strongest ways how theists might respond to this argument. Explain whether these responses show that Rowe’s argument is unsound or not and why. Defend your views from relevant objections and questions.
3. Blaise Pascal argues that you should “bet” on believing in God. Explain his wager. Explain whether he makes a strong case in favor of it or whether there are objections that defeat his strategy. Defend your views from relevant objections and questions.
4. Marx, Nietzsche and Freud object to religious belief, in particular theistic belief. What are there arguments? Are their arguments sound or not? Why? Defend your views from relevant objections and questions.
5. What is hell? Explain different theories of hell. Present some “universalist” arguments for the conclusion that nobody goes to hell (at least not permanently). Explain whether these arguments are sound or whether arguments for “separatism” are stronger. Defend your views from relevant objections and questions.
6. Many people think petitionary prayer is valuable and useful. Present theistic arguments for the conclusion that petitionary prayer is pointless. Explain whether these arguments are sound. Defend your views from relevant objections and questions.
7. What is the intellectually proper response to religious pluralism? Explain the options and defend your view about what you should think about your own religious beliefs (or lack thereof) in light of your knowledge of the diversity of religions. Defend your views from relevant objections and questions.