Philosophy 383

Philosophical Approaches to Religion

Fall 2003

Instructor: Chris Heathwood

MWF 1:25 - 2:15 p.m.,  Bartlett 206

 Syllabus  Course Progress
 Course Outline  Readings
 Handouts  Exams


Wednesday, Dec. 10: Added Final Exam.  Due Wednesday, December 17 by 12:00 noon in my office (Bartlett 361).

Sunday, Dec. 7: Guardian Article Relevant to Problem of Evil: If you're not convinced that ours is a world with an abundance of evil, check out this piece from yesterday's Guardian on mass graves in Iraq: "Scientists to Excavate Iraqi Graves."  The relevant part is the beginning:

MAHAWEEL, Iraq (AP) - The killers kept bankers' hours. They showed up for work at the barley field at 9 a.m., trailed by backhoes and three buses filled with blindfolded men, women and children as young as 1.

Every day, witnesses say, the routine was the same: The backhoes dug a trench. Fifty people were led to the edge of the hole and shot, one by one, in the head. The backhoes covered them with dirt, then dug another hole for the next group.

At 5 p.m., the killers - officials of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party - went home to rest up for another day of slaughter.

In this wind-swept field in the central town of Mahaweel, witnesses say, this went on without a break for 35 days in March and April of 1991, during a crackdown on a Shiite Muslim uprising that followed the first Gulf War.

"I watched this with my own eyes," said Sayed Abbas Muhsen, 35, whose family farm was appropriated by Saddam's government for use as a killing field. "But we couldn't tell anyone. We didn't dare."

The mass grave at Mahaweel, with more than 3,100 sets of remains, is the largest of some 270 such sites across Iraq. They hold upward of 300,000 bodies; some Iraqi political parties estimate there are more than 1 million.

"It's as easy to find mass graves in Iraq as it once was to find oil," said Adnan Jabbar al-Saadi, a lawyer with Iraq's new Human Rights Ministry. ...

Thursday, Nov. 20: No Class on Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, Nov. 4: Added Two Handouts.  One on the Cosmological Argument, the other on the Teleological Argument.

Sunday, Nov. 2: Added Second Midterm.  The second midterm is due in class Monday, November 10.

Friday, Sept. 26: Added First Midterm.  Midterm is due in class Friday, October 3.

Thursday, Sept. 25: Added Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge Handout.  Will add more to this handout soon.  In other news, midterm not quite ready yet, but hang in there -- it will be soon.

Sunday, Sept. 21: Added very short reading on "Possible Worlds" to website (reading is here).  Please read by tomorrow!  It's very short.  Sorry I forgot to mention this in class.

Saturday, Sept. 20: Added Omnipotence Handout to website.  It includes some stuff we didn't have time to get to on Friday. 

Friday, Sept. 19: First midterm will probably be handed out this Friday, September 26.

Sunday, Sept. 14: Added Euthyphro Handout.  There is now a Handouts page (link above), which contains a link to Handout 1 - The Euthyphro Problem.  Since we discussed this a lot in class but there was only a short bit on it in the reading, I thought a little handout would be appropriate.

Thursday, Sept. 11: Better Link for ERes Readings.  The following link is better than the one below for accessing our readings on Electronic Reserves:  After clicking there, then click on "FOR COURSE READINGS, CLICK HERE!!!".  Then select "Philosophy" from the "Select a Department" menu and click "Go".  Then click on PHIL383.  Then type our password, 'phil383' (all lowercase), in the field and click "Accept". 

Monday, Sept. 9: Readings up on Electronic Reserves.  Electronic reserves finally has our first batch of readings up.  To access these readings go here:

Then select "Philosophy" from the "Select a Department" menu and click "Go".  Then click on PHIL383.  Then type our password, 'phil383' (all lowercase), in the field and click "Accept".  Please read Rowe, "The Idea of God" for Wednesday.