Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Revisions on Pinn on Argument from Evil paper,

due at time of final, along with other paper: Tuesday, May 3, 1PM

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself to revise or rewrite, or redo, your paper:

·         Is my paper an essay? Does it have an introduction? A conclusion? Multiple paragraphs? Does each paragraph focus on a main idea?

·         Could I read my paper out loud to people not familiar with the topics and they would understand it?

·         Could I construct an outline of my essay to show that it has a structure?

·         Does my essay address all the areas of the assignment? Do I take enough words to do that?

·         Does my paper show an understanding of the argument from evil and various responses to it?

·         Does my paper show that you have read the Pinn book and understand the theodicies he discusses there?

·         Do I show that I understand common responses to various theodicies, i.e., objections that people raise to them?

·         Do I write in grammatical sentences with no spelling errors?

                                                               i.      Do questions have question marks?

                                                             ii.      If I have quotes do I use open and close quotes? Do I put the page number?

                                                           iii.      Are any random words capitalized?



Paper on Arguments from Evil

Please write an essay, due Friday, April 22, in class 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 your book and the assigned article to develop 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.

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