Phil 2120

Course: Phil 2120 – Philosophy of Religion
Semester: Fall 2015
Instructor: Colin Ruloff Ph.D.
Office Hours: Monday, 2:45-3:45, Fir Building, Room D309.
Class Meets: Monday 4-6:50, Fir Building, Room 328.

1. Course Description:

This course introduces the student to the philosophy of religion. In this course we will critically examine a range of arguments (both historical and contemporary) for the existence of God – call them “theistic proofs” – that have been advanced to justify a broadly theistic worldview, a worldview that is common among Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Although these theistic “proofs” clearly fail to constitute knock-down, drag out, arguments that command universal consent (what arguments do that?!?), such proofs are nevertheless intrinsically fascinating and, when taken together, might even establish the rational acceptability of theism. We will also examine a range of important defeaters for theism, most notably the problem of evil or suffering.

2. Grading Structure:

Test #1: 15%
Test #2: 20%
Test #3: 20%
Test #4: 20%
Mini-Paper: 15%
Participation: 10%

3. Tentative Schedule of Readings and Quizzes:

Sept 14 The Leibnizian Cosmological Argument.

Sept 21 The Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Sept 28 Test #1; The Analogical Design Argument.

Oct 05 The Fine-Tuning Design Argument.

Oct 12 No Class – Thanksgiving.

Oct 19 Test #2; The Argument From Consciousness.

Oct 26 The Biochemical Argument.

Nov 02 The Argument From Religious Experience.

Nov 09 Test #3; The Ontological Argument

Nov 16 The Argument From Proper Function.

Nov 23 The Problem of Evil (or Suffering).

Nov 30  The Incoherence of the Divine Attributes.

Dec 07 Wrap-up. Final Test Prep.

NOTE: Test #4 is scheduled for Dec 14, 3-6pm. Room:TBD.