Philosophy of Religion, exam 1 topics
This is just a list of terms, examples, concepts, etc. that you ought to be familiar with, and some questions you should be able to address. Simply memorizing terms isn't sufficient for understanding the class material, of course, but this might be of some use to you as a start to approaching what you ought to know. This list is in addition to the items mentioned explicitly in the essay questions; I've haven't included all those items here, for the sake of saving time and space. Look over the list of possible reading response paper topics too to get a handle on what we've covered.
Divine Command Theory
- What 'right' means, according to Paley
- What makes God's commands obligatory
- Our motive for obeying God's commands
- Difference between prudence and duty
- How we know God's will (2 sources)
- What God wills us to do; why he thinks we can know that God wills this
- The Euthyphro objection
- Leibniz on the DCT
- Relationship between God's goodness and God's will
- The goodness of God's creation
- How DCT destroys the love of God
- 4 'legs'
- 4 'arrows,' and Q's replies to them
Natural Law Theory
- What law is (conditions on being a law)
- The 4 types of law
- The eternal law: what is it, what makes it a law
- Natural law: what is it? What does it command?
- What is human nature?
- How do we know the natural law?
- The relationship between natural law and eternal law
- What virtues are
- Human law: what is it
- Differences between human law and natural law
- Whether human law can change (and why)
- Whether human law can vary from place to place and time to time
- What Aquinas would say about unjust human 'laws'
- "Existence precedes essence"
- Analogy between God and a craftsman; artifacts vs. humans
- Why we cannot base ethics on human nature
- Why we cannot base ethics (and our decisions) on our feelings
- Bad faith
- Choosing for all humans: what does this mean?
- Why existentialism doesn't make ethics arbitrary
- What sense of "freedom" is at issue
- Why believe God is omniscient and has foreknowledge
- Initial argument for incompatibility of foreknowledge and freedom
- God's timelessness
- Hypothetical vs. simple necessity
- Can we frustrate God's foreknowledge?
- What it means for the knowable thing to be 'prior' to knowledge of it, in most human cases.
- Analogy between God and a craftsman.
- God's providence, God's knowledge, and the eternal law
- Characterizations of knowledge and of God as essentially omniscient
- Why God's foreknowledge is unlike ours with respect to human freedom
- What sorts of abilities we would have to have if we were able to act otherwise than we acted, if God foreknows what we will do.
Return to the Philosophy of Religion page.
- Definitions of compatibilism vs. libertarianism
- How compatibilism solves the problems of foreknowledge & freedom and of providence
- Why libertarian freedom is irrelevant to salvation
- The relationship between sin and will
- Why we are not just puppets