List of Possible Questions for 2018 – Philosophy of Religion
March 27, 2018
Possible Exam Questions – Philosophy of Religion GCE H573/1 2018
Answer three questions in two hours.
Plato – the Cave/Forms
- Critically compare Plato’s Form of the Good with Aristotle’s Prime Mover.
- “In their attempts to make sense of reality, Plato relies too much on rationalism and Aristotle relies too much on empirical observation”. Discuss
- Assess the claim that Plato does not value experience enough.
- ‘Plato’s Theory of Forms explains how we know what we know.’ Discuss
Aristotle – Empiricism
- ‘Aristotle successfully proves the existence of the Prime Mover.’ Discuss.
- Assess Aristotle’s argument for the Four Causes.
- “Aristotle’s reliance on empiricism has many weaknesses”. Discuss
- Evaluate whether Plato’s rationalism is superior to Aristotle’s empiricism in making sense of reality.
Soul – Mind, Body, Spirit
- Assess the claim that disembodied existence is possible.
- “The body is separate from the soul.” Discuss
- “The concept of the soul is best understood as a metaphor.”Discuss
- “The mind/body distinction is a category error.” Evaluate this view.
Soul, Body, Mind, Spirit – Monism
- “The body and soul cannot be separated.” Discuss.
- Assess whether the soul is best considered as reality or as metaphor.
- Evaluate what Aristotle meant by arguing that the soul is the form of the body.
- “The body dies, but the soul lives forever”. Discuss
- ‘Anselm’s Ontological Argument proves God exists logically.’ Discuss.
- Assess the claim that existence is a predicate.
- “A priori arguments for God’s existence are more persuasive than a posteriori arguments”. Discuss
- Critically evaluate the view that the ontological argument contains a number of logical fallacies which nullify the conclusion that God exists.
- Assess the claim that the cosmological argument proves that God exists a posteriori.
- ‘Hume’s challenges successfully disprove the cosmological argument.’ Discuss.
- “The cosmological argument jumps to the conclusion that there is a transcendental creator without sufficient explanation”. Discuss
- “Aquinas’ first three ways provide compelling reasons to believe in God”. Discuss
- ‘The teleological argument proves that the universe is designed.’ Discuss.
- Assess Hume’s challenges of the teleological argument.
- Critically evaluate a priori against a posteriori arguments for God’s existence.
- Can teleological arguments be successfully defended against the challenge of ‘chance’ and natural selection?
- Assess the claim that religious experiences prove that God exists.
- ‘Religious experiences are nothing more than forms of psychological neurosis.’ Discuss.
- “Personal testimony can never be reliable evidence for God’s existence”. Discuss
- Critically compare corporate religious experiences with individual experiences as a basis for belief in God.
Problem of Evil
- ‘There is no solution to the problem of evil and suffering.’ Discuss.
- Assess the success of John Hick’s argument for soul-making as a development of Irenaeus’ theodicy.
- Assess which logical or evidential aspects of the problem of evil pose the greatest challenge to belief.
- Critically assess whether it is possible to defend monotheism in the face of the existence of evil.
Nature of God
- Critically assess the philosophical problems raised by believing in an omnibenevolent God.
- Evaluate the philosophical problems raised by the belief that God is eternal.
- Assess the claim that the universe shows no evidence of the existence of a benevolent God.
- Critically assess the problems for believers who say that God is omniscient.
- Boethius was successful in his argument that God rewards and punishes justly. Discuss.
- Critically assess the philosophical problems raised by belief that God is omniscient.
Classical Religious Language
43. To what extent is the Via Negativa the only way to talk about God?
44. Evaluate the claim that analogy can successfully be used to express the human understanding of God.
45. Critically assess the views of Paul Tillich on religious language.
Religious Language – Twentieth Century Approaches
46. Critically assess Wittgenstein’s belief that language games allow religious statements to have meaning.
47. The falsification principle presents no real challenge to religious belief. Discuss
48. Critically assess the claim that religious language is meaningless.