Project #34780 - Four Questions!

Unit Five DQ-

 

This Unit asks you to consider arguments for and against the belief that we human beings possess souls or minds or spirits distinct from our physical bodies. Do you think we are purely physical mechanisms - just our bodies - or do you think souls or spirits (non-physical substances) exist? What do you make of the question whether animals other than humans have souls? Do the arguments that support human souls also support animal ones? Why or why not? Please do not respond to these questions by saying, "I believe X because this is what my reiligion says, and I believe my religion." This may in fact be why you believe what you do, but in Philosophy it is an Appeal to Authority. It doesn't really give us the grounds or justification or reason why the belief is true. It's like when you asked your parents why you had to do something and they responded, "Because I said so." (Or vice versa if you are now in the position of being the parent). So what do you think - are there grounds for believing in a soul (or not) independent of the appeal to the authority of one's religion?

 

Unit Six DQ-

 

So what do you think happens to you after you die? If you think you might survive the death of your physical body, how do you respond to the argument given by Gretchen Weirob in this week's reading that YOU, the person you are, are not your soul. So (if she is right) even if you have a soul and it continues to exist after your body dies, that's not YOU, anymore than the continued existence of the atoms and molecules that make up your physical body is YOU surviving the death of your body.

 

Unit Seven DQ-

 

My question (or questions) for you this week, as we begin our discussion of Philosophy of Religion concerns how you conceive of God. When we ask “Does God exist?” what precisely do we mean by the term “God?” Different religions, as I’m sure you know, have very different conceptions of God. Do Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc. all worship the same God, but conceive of God differently, or do they genuinely worship different Gods? Christians, of course, conceive of God as having three aspects, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jews and Muslims see God as being essentially one. The Bible talks of God as being Male. Is God male? Is God living? Does God think? Is he (if you will grant me the male pronoun) conscious? Does he intervene in human affairs? Did he create the world, or is he, as some hold, part of it? Or is the world, as some Hindus and others believe, part of God? Is God finite or infinite? Limited or unlimited? Is God in time, or does He transcend time?

 

Unit Eight DQ-

 

The death of some 150 people caused by the recent tornado in Joplin raises obviously the question of the capriciousness of nature that lies at the heart of the Problem of Evil. Tornadoes are "acts of God," in the parlance of the insurance industry, and if you believe in God and that God has something to do with what happens here on earth, then, as several of our writers on this topic state, you have a problem reconciling what happens with God's omnipotence and benevolence. To make the problem graphic, consider something that was claimed to be evidence of God in the aftermath of the tornado - something you probably all heard about. There was apparently a Church in the path of the destruction - I'm not sure which one - but the Church was apparently destroyed while the Cross that stood outside the Church remained intact. This was cited by many, many people as evidence of God's hand. God spared the Cross. But some fifty people, I heard, were killed inside the Church by the tornado. If the survival of the cross is evidence of God's hand, isn't it evidence of a capricious, cruel, ironic God, with a nasty sense of humor? I was at a service for a colleague of mine who was killed in the tornado, and the mourners present called on God for help in getting them through their grief. Does this make sense? Wasn't God the cause of his death? I must admit that as one of the mourners, if I were a believer I would have felt more tempted to curse God than to praise him and pray to him for relief from my grief.

Subject Philosophy
Due By (Pacific Time) 07/06/2014 12:00 am
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