Friday, October 10, 2008

Study Guide

Study guide.

In class exam, Friday, October 17, 2008.

You will be asked to provide answers to a select few of these questions and prompts.

  1. Basic concepts of arguments and logic: what is an argument? What is it for an argument to be valid? What is it for an argument to be sound?
  2. What is Clifford’s (and Stair’s) thesis about what we, intellectually, ought to believe or when we are within our “logical rights” in believing something? Are they correct? Why or why not?
  3. What is the basic, traditional monotheistic conception of God?
  4. God and Goodness: what is it for a being or person to be (morally) good? Explain the two options Rachels (and Plato) present. Which option is preferable when thinking about God? Why?
  5. God's Omnipotence: what is it for a being to be omnipotent? Arguably there are things an omnipotent being cannot do: what are these things? Can an omnipotent being create a stone so heavy he cannot lift it? Explain Mavrodes response to the question. Is he right? Why or why not?
  6. Related to omnipotence and other divine attributes:
    1. What is it for something to be possible, a claim that’s possibly true or a possibly existing being? Explain the different sense of possibility and impossibility: logically possible, physically possible, etc.
    2. What is it for something to be necessary, a necessary truth or necessary existence? Explain the different sense of possibility and impossibility: logically possible, physically possible, etc.
  7. Foreknowledge and free will: Present an argument for the view that God’s foreknowledge (what is this?) and human free will are incompatible (explain what it is for two things to be incompatible). Is this argument sound? Explain at least two responses for why it is not sound. Evaluate those responses.
  8. Can God change? Present some of the arguments given to think that God cannot change. Evaluate those arguments. (Hasker)
  9. Minas argues that God could not forgive. What are here arguments? Is she correct?
  10. Rachels argues that being a moral agent and someone who worships God are incompatible. What are his reasons? Is he correct? Explain.
  11. Cosmological arguments: what are Aquinas’s Five Ways of proving God’s existence? Explain the possible objections to, at least, the arguments from motion and efficient cause. These were raised by Hick.
  12. Cosmological arguments: Taylor suggests the Principle of Sufficient Reason. What is this principle? What is his argument from the Principle of Sufficient Reason to the conclusion that God exists? Is his argument sound?
  13. Design / teleological arguments: Present a version of the argument from design either as an argument from analogy or as an inference to the best explanation. Present these arguments’ possible weaknesses or prominent reasons to doubt that these arguments provide adequate support for their conclusions.

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