REL 302 Spring 2015 Philosophy of Religion (W)

Cross Listed as PHIL281
Our goal in this course will be to try to determine how far reason can justify belief in God. We will spend at least half of the semester examining the best-known philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God (including the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, the argument from religious experience, the argument from evil, and the argument from religious disagreement). For each one, we will first look at historically important formulations of the argument and then turn to contemporary reformulations. Our aim will be to identify and then evaluate the strongest version of each argument. After working through these arguments, we will reflect more generally on the proper roles of reason and faith in justifying religious belief. In the final section of the course, we will examine the relationship between god and morality. Authors will include Plato, Anselm, Aquinas, Pascal, Paley, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Freud, Marx, and several contemporary philosophers.
Class Format: tutorial; students meet with instructor in pairs for an hour each week; emphasis will be placed on developing skills in reading, interpretation and oral argument as well as critical reasoning and writing
Requirements/Evaluation: each student will write a 5- to 6-page paper every other week and comment on his or her tutorial partner's paper in alternate weeks
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: one PHIL course or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: current and prospective Philosophy majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II,Writing Intensive
Other Attributes: PHIL History Courses,REL Body of Theory Courses
Enrollment Limit: 10
Expected Enrollment: 10
Class Number: 3535
REL 302 - T1 (S) TUT Philosophy of Religion (W) Division 2: Social StudiesWriting Intensive Melissa J. Barry
TBA 3535
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