The assignment is to write an essay upon a philosopher that was not discussed in this course. I want you to find a historic philosopher whom you find interesting and summarize their philosophical view or a finer point of their philosophy. Do you agree with this philosopher? Why or why not? If you need help with starting research, I would look at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy . The essay should be 3-4 pages in length (not counting sources, headings, cover page, etc.), double-spaced, 12 point Time New Roman font, and 1-inch margins all the way around. This is not going to be a long essay, so you are going to have to be parsimonious with your words.
USE TOPICS EXCEPT THIS LIST ABOVE :
1. Suppose someone claimed to have a device that destroyed people’s souls, but otherwise had no discernible effect on that person. How would you evaluate such a claim? Is the claim that people have souls any more plausible? Why or why not?
2. What is the purpose of consciousness? That is, why did consciousness evolve (or why was it created)
3. Let’s say that someone who knows you well believes he can predict everything you do and say within a 24 hour period. Without telling you what he’s up to, he writes down his prediction in great detail. As it turns out, his predictions are correct. Does the fact that someone can accurately predict the behavior of another show that the behavior was determined? Explain.
4. Suppose that you created an robot that was so advanced it could act independently in very complex situations. It made its own decisions and always did exactly what it wanted to do, in accordance with its programming. Would such an robot be capable of free action? Why or why not?
5. Is resurrection a more plausible view of the afterlife than reincarnation? Why or why not?
6. What does the nonbranching proposal say about split-brain patients? Are there two people present in the one body? If so, is either identical with the person who occupied the body before the operation?
7. The Bible contains many commands that seem immoral to obey. For example, Numbers 31:17 and Psalms 137:9 command followers to kill the children and babies of their enemies; I Corinthians 14:34 commands women to stay silent in church. Why do we no longer follow these commands? What does this tell us about the relationship between religion and morality? Explain.
8. What is our obligation to future generations? Must we take into account what our actions will do to them? Why or why not?
9. Are taxes for entitlement programs, such as: welfare, Medicare, and Medicaid immoral? Why or why not?
10. Suppose you are trying to make a rational choice among religions. What criteria would you use to determine which religion is best? Would those be the same criteria you would use to determine which religion is true? If not, how would they differ?
11. Is faith a virtue? Why or why not?