Friday, April 23, 2010

Monday, we will talk about arguments for and against Hell. I will send out some possible readings about this, but you should be sure to read the chapter in Stairs on surviving death, since that would be needed to make it to Heaven or Hell.

Wed. we will discuss the Stairs chapter on religious diversity. I will send out some more readings on that as well

Monday, April 19, 2010

Final Exam Paper

Your final exam, due at the time of the final, in class, is to write an essay where you do all the following:

0. Read the two reviews of Pinn that I posted online on the blog at

1. Develop a general argument for non-existence of God from the existence of certain kinds of evils. This version of the argument should be the strongest version you can develop (e.g., a version of the evidential argument from evil). You should reference the Stairs book on the development of this argument.

2. Present Pinn's version of the argument from evil: explain what kind of evils he claims are evidence to rethink the nature and existence of God and why he thinks this.

3. Present at least five responses to this argument from evil, i.e., responses to try to explain why this (or these) argument(s) from evil is (or are) not sound. At least three of these responses should be ones that Pinn discusses (and should be, in your view, the strongest responses that Pinn discusses). Some of these responses are theodices.

4. Explain whether any, or all, of these responses are successful and why. Fully explain and defend your views from possible objections. So, you must raise objections that someone who disagreed with you would raise and respond to them, trying to explain why the objection does not show that your view is mistaken.

5. Explain whether any of the objections raised by the two reviewers of Pinn’s book are strong or not.

So, overall, you should explain what difference, if any, the recognition of various kinds of evils -- especially those resulting from slavery, racism, etc. -- should make to one's belief that God exists or does not exist (and/or what God is like, what his nature and abilities are), from a rational or intellectual point of view.

You essays should be organized and structured so as to ensure that you address all the issues above. You should be thorough and explain everything fully: assume that your reader is not at all familiar with these issues. Your paper should be free of grammatical and spelling errors. It should be word processed, double spaced, and stapled.

You should hand in a hardcopy and email the instructor a copy, which he will process to check for plagiarism.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wed, Jonathan is presenting on the first half of Pinn ch. 3, until MLK.
Friday, Rachel is is presenting on the second half of Pinn ch. 3, from MLK to the end.