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Introducing the philosophy of religion
In this unit Timothy Chappell, Professor of Philosophy, asks what the words 'God' and ...
In this unit Timothy Chappell, Professor of Philosophy, asks what the words 'God' and 'religion' mean, and what it means to ask philosophical questions about them.
By the end of this unit, you should:
- be clear about the meaning of the words ‘God’ and ‘religion’
- understand what the main questions are in philosophy of religion, and which of them most interest you
- have a better sense of the differences between philosophical questions or arguments and other kinds of questions or arguments
- have thought about the relation between belief and evidence, faith and proof
- have a sense of the variety of arguments for or against God’s existence, and of how to categorise this variety
- have thought carefully about Aquinas’s ‘Second Way’, and about possible questions and criticisms that it faces.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- Getting straight what we mean
- Argument or blind faith?
- Collecting arguments for God’s existence
- Aquinas’s ‘Second Way’
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Introducing the philosophy of religion
In this unit, you will consider the meanings of the key terms ‘God’ and ‘religion’; identify some key questions in the philosophy of religion; think about the difference between philosophical and non-philosophical questions about religion; and look at the often-discussed question of whether argument and evidence are even possible when we are thinking about religion. Then we will note the variety of possible ways of arguing for or against God’s existence; distinguish three different arguments; and describe and assess one of them in more detail.
This unit is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 10th April 2012
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