PHIL 3600 -- Philosophy of Religion
Prof. Chris Heathwood
University of Colorado Boulder
3-5 pages (900-1,500 words)
due Friday, February 21 in class
Option 1: Pre-Assigned Topics: Write a 3-5 page (900-1,500 word) paper on one of the following topics. Indicate at the top of your paper, by letter and name, which topic you have chosen. Please also read these paper guidelines. Although they were written especially for those not writing on a pre-assigned topic, these guidelines will still help you if you are doing a pre-assigned topic.
- Omnipotence. Is Aquinas' account of omnipotence true? Write a paper in which you
(i) introduce the topic of the nature of omnipotence and explain what an account of omnipotence is;
(ii) clearly and thoroughly explain Aquinas' account of omnipotence, including explaining any techincal terms; illustrate things with examples when helpful
(iii) explain the problem of divine sin for Aquinas' account.
(iv) explain whether you think this is ultimately a problem for Aquinas' theory.
- God and Morality. Is the Divine Command Theory plausible? Write a paper in which you
(i) explain in detail the Divine Command Theory of ethics (DCT);
(ii) of the three objections to DCT (or, more exactly, "Horn 1") that we discussed in class, pick the one that you think is the most interesting, and explain the objection throughly
(iii) present a rebuttal to this objection on behalf of the DCT
(iv) explain whether you think this rebuttal is successful; if not, explain why it fails.
- The Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge. Is divine omniscience compatible with human freedom? Write a paper in which you
(i) lay out our official version of the dilemma in your own words; be sure to identify and explain all the principles that are needed to run the argument; make sure you explain the argument so that a non-philosopher could understand it; make sure you explain the significance of the argument
(ii) explain what you take to be the most promising response to the argument that a traditional theist could make
(iii) explain whether this response is ultimately successful. If not, explain why not, and then say what you think we should conclude from the fact that divine omniscience and human freedom are incompatible (that God doesn't exist?, that we're not free?).
[If this topic takes a little longer than 1,500 words, that's ok.]
Option 2: Open Topic: Write a 3-5 page (900-1,500 word) paper in which you defend, by means of rational argument, a thesis of your choosing on one of the following topics: the nature of God, Divine Omnipotence, God and Morality, or the Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge. Indicate at the top of your paper that you have chosen the "Open Topic" option. Before you begin, read the paper guidelines.