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PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
FINAL EXAM STUDY REVIEW
Exam Date: 12/17/02

 


I) CONTENT

A. New Material (approximately 60%)

1. Problem of Evil
Epicurus
Hume
Statement of the Problem
Versions: logical/probabilistic
Internal inconsistency
Definition of evil, types
Logical problem in argument form
Suppositions illustrating dilemma
Theistic responses: defense/theodicy
General response
Free will defense
Argument form of free will defense
Greater good defense
Issue of counterevidence and falsifiability

2. Philosophical Atheism
General definition and historical usage
Versions: evidential/suspicion
Evidential atheism: negative/positive
Burden of proof: logical and legal meaning
Proponent/opponent: logical roles in any argument
Atheism of suspicion: false consciousness, genetic or genealogical theory about roots of religious consciousness, exhibits functions and effects of religion

3. Friedrich Nietzsche’s Critique of Religion
Overcoming Nihilism: The Revaluation of All Values
Nietzsche’s Parable The Madman
The Historical Problem of Nihilism
: systematic unity, complex problematic (French, problématique), historical character
Diagnosis of European Nihilism: historical and cultural sources of European nihilism (Judeo-Christian religious tradition, Western philosophical tradition)
Nietzsche’s Own Historical Present: nihilistic décadence and the “death of God”
Christian Concept of God: The Anti-Christ: # 15, 16, 18, 47; Beyond Good and Evil: # 53; The Will to Power: # 151

B. Prior Course Material
(approximately 40%)
Concepts of God (theism, deism, pantheism, etc.)
Concept of God in traditional Western theism
Immanence/transcendence distinction
Principle of sufficient reason
Problem of infinite regress
Revealed religion/natural religion distinction
Xenophanes: anthropomorphism of mythic gods, idealized projection
Man as image of God (creation)/God as image of man (idealized projection)
Design/order distinction
Naturalism
Necessity/contingency distinction
A posteriori argument: empirical, inductive, probability
Teleological system
Explanatory hypothesis
Brute fact

II) FORMAT
1. 10 T/F questions (15 points)
2. 30 Multiple-choice questions (45 points)
3. 8 Short answer questions (24 points)
4. 2 Essay questions (16 points)
5. Extra credit


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