Pascal’s Wager, the objections against it, and Lycan & Schlesinger’s responses t

PHI 101 Paper 2 assignment

For the second paper, present an issue/view and the arguments we’ve covered in the philosophy of religion/metaphysics unit. Your two short essays should be on other topics within the unit, so you shouldn’t spend most of your paper on anything you wrote on for those. Explain the issue as covered in the readings and lecture, taking into account any issues that came up in the discussion as well. I don’t expect additional research beyond class readings, lectures, and discussions.

I do expect some form of thesis that you are arguing for. It doesn’t need to be complete agreement with any of the people we have looked at on the topic, although it could be. It could be a more nuanced view, agreeing in part with one side but in part with another side. Just be clear about which precise claims you want to make, and then defend them. Give reasons for them. They can be reasons we have looked at in the readings, and they can be reasons you have of your own (or some combination). I do expect you to take into account the reasons we’ve looked at, though, which means having a response to any arguments that go against your thesis.

Feel free to message or email me if you have further questions, and if you’d like to write about something that doesn’t fit easily into one of these topics, run it by me first to make sure it would be all right to do. You can use the short essay topics for more detailed questions to help you think through what kinds of things you can discuss in your paper, since this list is much briefer.

Length: 3-4 pages (meaning that, given a header on the first page, it needs to go onto the third page to meet the minimum page requirement).

Papers should be double-spaced, in a normal, easily-read font (e.g. Times New Roman or Arial), with standard margins (most word processors set it at 1 inch).

Papers are to be submitted in Blackboard. See further instructions in Blackboard about that.

Topics

(choose one or combine elements of more than one if they can fit together well):

Pascal’s Wager, the objections against it, and Lycan & Schlesinger’s responses to objections

One or more than one version of the design argument

The moral argument

One or both versions of the cosmological argument

One or both versions of the problem of evil

Personal identity

If you want some help in thinking about more detail on any of these questions, you can use the short essay topics as guides to think through the sub-questions and different views and arguments that come up in these topics. I don’t want to repeat all that in this document, but those questions can help you think through your papers too.

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