Book used for class: Problems from Philosophy 3rd edition by James Rachels and Stuart Rachels.
Below is a list of issues from which you may choose. Please select only one issue from this list.
• Whether I believe God exists
• Whether I believe that the existence of evil and suffering can be reconciled with the existence of an all-loving, all-powerful God
• Whether I privilege a utilitarian moral theory that emphasizes the happiness produced by the act or a Kantian moral theory that emphasizes whether the act respects an individual’s dignity and worth
• Whether I believe that my mind is more than simply my brain – and that my thoughts, sensations, and emotions are more than simply electrochemical impulses in my brain
• Whether I believe that there is a ME that exists over time – and whether this ME is my soul, my body, or my memories. (Or perhaps you believe that there is no ME that exists over time.)
• Whether I believe I have free will
• Whether I believe that a life of ignorance, skepticism, and suspension of belief (about issues pertaining to philosophy, morality, politics) is a good human life.
1. Describe your view on the issue coming into this class. In doing so, discuss your journey in coming to this view while giving mention to personal experiences, ruminations, upbringing, influential figures (e.g., parents, teachers, friends, pop culture icons, pastors), books, poems, films, etc. Also, discuss why this issue is important to you, including how it is relevant to your fundamental beliefs about the world, your place in it, and who you are.
2. Take some time to revisit the readings, lectures notes, and discussions from this course. Then, discuss very specifically how these theories, arguments, or ideas have influenced your view. Here, it is important to show that you are (or have been) wrestling with the details of these theories, arguments, or ideas in an honest, critical, and personal way. When doing so, please make reference to the readings, lectures, and/or discussions when possible.
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