Online quiz and preparing

Preparing for Quiz 7

The preparation assignments for this section are:

A Short video on the debate between James and Clifford (Links to an external site.)

Anti-Vaxxers, Conspiracy Theories & Epistemic Responsibility: Crash Course Philosophy #14 (Links to an external site.)Anti-Vaxxers, Conspiracy Theories & Epistemic Responsibility: Crash Course Philosophy #14

  • Watch:

Indiana Jones & Pascal’s Wager: Crash Course Philosophy #15 (Links to an external site.)Indiana Jones & Pascal's Wager: Crash Course Philosophy #15

Objectives for Quiz 7

You should be able to answer the following essay questions:

  • Explain (briefly) the Bible story of Abraham. Why did Kierkegaard find it so striking?
  • Religious people often say something like, “you better believe in God, or you might not get into heaven and you might go to hell!” Which philosopher presents this basic argument? (albeit, a more sophisticated version). And what are some criticisms against this argument? (as described in the reading).
  • Explain why Kierkegaard’s view of faith could justify terrorist acts.
  • Both James and Pascal offer pragmatic arguments for belief in God. What ideas do they have in common, and how do they differ?
  • Let’s say two medieval theologians are arguing about how many angels can fit inside a thimble. One says 52 can and the other says 53 can. What would William James’ say about this issue, given his pragmatic theory of meaning?
  • What is James’ argument (premises and conclusion) for religious belief? Who was James’ opponent in this debate? And what were his arguments?
  • Does religious experience of God prove God exists? Give at least one argument why or why not.
  • How does William James’ argument for belief resemble Pascal’s Wager? How does James’ argument differ from Pascal’s?

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