On Monday, February 28, there will be an exam in this class.
This exam provides an opportunity to demonstrate that you deeply understand the various arguments for God's existence that we have discussed in class and read about through the various assigned readings.
To demonstrate this understanding, you will be asked to:
- state and explain some specific arguments (e.g., a version of the design argument, a version of the cosmological argument, a moral argument, etc.: you must review the readings to identify all the arguments we have discussed prior to the ontological argument [which will not be on the exam]);
- to do this, you must give the argument's conclusion, as well as the premises, and present this in a manner where the premises lead to the conclusion;
- you must be able to explain at least three objections to the argument, i.e., reasons to think that a premise is false or reasons to think that there is insufficient reason to accept some premise;
- these objections must be directed at specific premises: they cannot be vague complaints, concerns or rhetorical questions about the arguments.
- You must explain whether these objections are good objections, i.e., whether they show that the argument is unsound or weak.
- You need to conclude by explaining whether the argument is sound or strong or not and why, given your previous discussion.
Students will be able to use any graded homework they have turned in for this course. No other exam aides will be permitted, however.
Students are encouraged to form study groups to prepare for the exam.
Exams will be graded on the basis of whether the student demonstrates that he or she has excellent, good, fair, poor or very poor understanding of the arguments and the critical discussion of the arguments.