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University Degree: Philosophy and Theology

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  1. Plato and Descartes. In the works we studied by Plato (Apology, The Idea of the Good, and On the Shadows and Realities in Education) and Descartes (Meditations on the First Philosophy), both philosophers argue that we consist of a mind, or soul, which is

    He comes to this conclusion from the two points within his argument that argue God exists. The first point being that we have an idea of God and the second being that the only way to have an idea of God is if God exists. "By the word God I understand a substance that is infinite, eternal, immutable, independent, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful, and which created both myself and everything else...there is more reality in the infinite substance than in the finite on" Descartes deduces that God provided us with a mind and senses that do not deceive, inferring that we can rely on the reality our senses provide us.

    • Word count: 805
  2. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech Aug. 28, 1963

    We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force'. Martin Luther King, Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech Aug. 28, 1963 More than 40 years ago America was captivated with Martin Luther Kings breath-taking Speech ' I have a dream' from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. His Speech portrayed a none idealised American dream, but a demand for racial justice. Through his words, the nation was given vocabulary to understand and express the turbulent social and political situation at that time, in 1963.

    • Word count: 680
  3. Rationalism vs. Empiricism

    Despite the conflict between both, is there anything they may have in common? The common factor between rationalism and empiricism is skepticism. Skepticism addresses the question of justifying our knowledge. It asks the question on how do we know that we know? Michael Huemer offers four arguments for skepticism. However, I shall only focus on the infinite regress argument. This paper aims to provide an answer to the following question, how will an empiricist and a rationalist respond to Huemer's infinite regress argument and claim that he does have at least some knowledge?

    • Word count: 623
  4. Free essay

    In 1990 his article Making Ethical Decisions, that appeared in his book American Business Values, Cavanagh speaks about utilitarianism and how it is the action that produces the greatest net good for all those who are affected by the action.

    For me this was an article that lacked information and examples of utilitarianism, individual rights, and justice. I believe he used pathos appeals for his readers, however, he lacked at presenting information and helping the reader understand the statement. Utilitarianism originated from an ethical principle under Jeremy Bentham, who theorized an action is right if it produces the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Cavanaugh (2004) informs readers that utilitarianism is rarely possible to measure the costs and benefits. I found that utilitarianism is measured by hedons (which is positive), and dolors (which is negative).

    • Word count: 859
  5. The Mistreatment of Aboriginal Canadians in Colonial Canada

    In On the Edge of Empire, Adele Perry makes it obvious that the white elites in British Colombia and England saw the interracial relationships between white men and Aboriginal women to be a problem that needed to be fixed. They decide the necessary course of action was to bring boat loads of white women to British Colombia to distract the men from Aboriginal women and straighten out this wayward settler society.4 These boat loads of women would be taken from England where they felt there was a "surplus" of unmarried women;5 this is an example of how women were objectified.

    • Word count: 983
  6. Philosopher comparison chart

    Indust rev. (rise of factories) no sexual division of labor -right after fr. + am. Rev -inv. Of childhood new role for women as maternal -same historical context- De Gourges -wrote revolutionary text on rights of women -her book is called: A vindication of the Rights of Women -rise of democracy -Associated with Am + Fr. Revolution (50, 40 yrs) -rise of popular sovereignty -suffrage gets expanded -Rise of popular newspaper -increased literacy -On liberty - personal rights has a new enemy the ppl themselves -old enemy defeated (powers of kings, clerics, arist.)

    • Word count: 855
  7. Mappess view of sexual

    Thomas Mappes builds his ethical view upon never using someone as a mere means to the end. Mappes defines using someone as intentionally treating them in a way that violates the requirement that our involvement with others be based on their voluntary and informed consent (Mappes). He also states "Deception is the means by which one interferes with another's actions of being informed." We are able to use his Kantian view to look over many forms of sexual behavior found in today's society, including this article by Taylor. In Having Love Affairs there are a few items that encompass the ideas encountered within Mappes's view of Sexual Morality.

    • Word count: 646
  8. The Purpose of Education

    Education is a necessity in order to 'live' in the modern world and has always been important. Fear exists anywhere and everywhere; therefore, it is inevitable even in fearing fear. Essentially, one cannot live life completely avoiding fear. We are bound to meet fear and face problems in our daily lives. Education may bring some fears but it also eliminates others. For example, education may have the fear of passing and understanding the study material but it eliminates the chances of being poor and walking the streets empty. Fear is a part of life and it gives experiences which help to understand life.

    • Word count: 710
  9. Justice Thesis

    Woodruffs characteristics are apparent in Greek culture, but are mainly tied to justice and law. Punishment, retribution, violence, peace, and authority are the ingredients needed to create a rich, long-lasting culture, which the Athenians did very well. Justice is just one attribute that the Athenians valued, but is definitely the most important. Whether it is being instituted to decide the fate of a city, or being used to condemn or release a criminal, it was undeniably a part of everyday Athenian life. Some believe that violence is justice, and depending on the instance, that may be true; but who is to judge whether it is appropriate to use violence?

    • Word count: 809
  10. Formula of Universal Law

    This law states: Act always in such a way that you can at the same time will the maxim of your action to become universal law. This simply means that when you perform an action, you must be able to first pick out and filter the maxim, or principle, of the action. Then, you must be able to apply that maxim/principle to everyone in the universe without exception. But, if you are not willing to universalize the maxim, then you cannot perform that action.

    • Word count: 902
  11. What attitudes towards the roman games did the ancient writers express? How would you account for their difference and similarities between these attitudes?

    The women who fought in the arena were compared to Goddesses and held on such a high pedestal as that of men. He compares the gladiators to the various Roman Gods multiple times in his writings. This fact alone is a clear representation of his opinion about the Roman games. There is nothing greater than one's God/s and to compare the contenders of the Roman games to them is a sign of his approval. Apuleius views the arena activities as a necessity of Roman tradition and culture.

    • Word count: 823
  12. A Reflection on Sin

    23 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." Sin was mentioned tons of times in the Bible, talked about hundreds of times in daily lives, and is a word very common in an average person's vocabulary. We live in a culture where the concept of sin has become entangled in legalistic arguments over right and wrong. When many of us consider "What is sin?" we think of violations of the Ten Commandments.

    • Word count: 851
  13. Justification and discussion of moral relativism

    For instance there is no objective knowledge, because all knowledge depends on perceptions of the person and there is no objective truth as truth is only true for you or true for me. Basically a right answer or no real evaluation can ever be found of practices such as the burning of witches, human sacrifice, slavery and the holocaust by using relativist views.

    • Word count: 400
  14. Explanation of moral absolutism ethics

    Another example is lying, absolutists feel that one should never lie no matter what the consequences are, even if it was in order to save an innocent persons life or to promote some sort of good. Two actions which are deemed to be held to be absolute prohibitions are torture and executing the innocent. This led to the introduction of the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1987). This resolution states that "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture".

    • Word count: 891
  15. Kant and the Categorical Imperative

    When Kant was attempting to discover an absolute rule, he decided that there has to be no 'ifs' or 'buts' and no place for emotion within the rule. Kant maintained that an action is only good when a person acts from a sense of good will. For example Kant felt that the act of helping someone carry a box from A to B is only good if the person has to chosen to act out of a sense of good will towards another human being.

    • Word count: 951
  16. 'Utilitarianism is the best approach to

    This would make people all over the world happy. However, future generations would be left with freak weather conditions and other terrible consequences because of our actions. So if you weigh up the happiness of our generation against the unhappiness of future generations, rule utilitarian's would probably decide that we should reduce our emissions so that future generations can be happy because there will be more people who in the future who can enjoy the environment than there is people currently enjoying the growing production and therefore; increasing levels of carbon.

    • Word count: 985

    Chomsky argued that language structures we have are innate. For example, Dutch, one of the hardest languages to learn, is known without any experience. Small children are able to grammatically construct sentences that make sense. We can see in Descartes third wave of doubt that god is a concept that we are born with. Everything that we experience is false, as we are being deceived by a malicious demon. A priori knowledge and innate ideas are two out of three viewpoints of rationalism.

    • Word count: 664
  18. The Problem of Evil

    One is the atheist's logical, clear reasoning, and the other is the believer's guilt racked doubts. Here is a classic example of the atheist's argument: 1. God exists; 2. God is omnibenevolent (therefore must wish to eradicate evil); 3. God is omniscient and omnipotent (therefore must be able to eradicate evil); 4. Evil exists and always has. If we are to believe the Scriptures, then the first three points above are correct, and the last we can see is correct. But the last contradicts the rest, so one of the four must be wrong. But the Scriptures say the first three are correct, and the last is evidently so.

    • Word count: 754
  19. the message

    His hairline had begun to recede, and grey hairs were already found among the brown. His face was overwhelmed with creases near his eyes and forehead. Deep wrinkles ran from his nose down his cheeks, all the signs of ageing were painfully clear. His eyes held no joy or happiness. They only held one emotion, determination. Pure, concentrated determination. He wore an old, grey, well-used jumper and a cheap pair of jeans stained and torn from his months of reckless and misunderstood work. Next to him sat a brown woven sack containing a brown substance, a block of a white substance, an assembly of tangled wires and finally his work of art; his final product after months of craftsmanship.

    • Word count: 700
  20. The Holocaust proves that God is dead. How far do you agree with this statement?

    Many different people have different views on God, and his various promises with his people. Some Jews, believe that God is now dead. If there was a God, he would have prevented the Holocaust. Since God did not prevent it, then God has for some reason turned away from the world, and left us for forever more. This is probably the most logical thought towards agreeing with the statement and so therefore has the most Jews believing it over other views concerning the agreement of the statement. This theory is known as theothanatology or the God is dead movement.

    • Word count: 603
  21. what conscience is?

    However conscience is not what emotion we feel at that time is not always the right answer as that might not be part of Gods plan for us. After all what we pray for is not always what we get as God knows it is not in our plan. So we must not do things because we believe that it is right but that we believe that God believes it is right. The only way to really hear God is to listen to our conscience.

    • Word count: 466
  22. Examine how Golding presents Goody and Roger

    In chapter one the reader is given the view that Goody Pangall is a religious character and therefore we feel that she would not sin. Goody Pangall is a "daughter in God". Goody's name also suggests that she is good instead of evil because of the 'Good' in Goody. However, as we already know the relationship she has with Roger is not a good one but is evil. This contrast highlights the evil in Goody more because it is not expected.

    • Word count: 836
  23. Descartes First Meditation

    Descartes acknowledges that he doesn't destabilize his beliefs very successfully as it seems that he is sat by the fire holding, a piece of paper and contemplating philosophically. How could his senses be deceiving him about these entire things? Descartes goes on to discover we cannot distinguish between dreaming and 'real life' which leads him to doubt his existence in this world, for how do we know that we are not dreaming all the time? This is his second wave of doubt.

    • Word count: 911
  24. The body/ soul distinction is a myth derived from philosophers such as Plato and Descartes. Discuss.

    For Plato, the body and soul are in opposition as the soul wants to learn knowledge about the true forms whereas the body is just interested in empirical pleasures and needs which "takes away from us the power of thinking at all". Descartes reaches the conclusion that the nature of the mind (a thinking, non-extended thing) is completely different from that of the body (an extended, non-thinking thing), and therefore it is possible for one to exist without the other.

    • Word count: 884
  25. Arvaipa Canyon

    Twain declares that God is excused for many things for which humans would not be excused, such as the creation of the fly. The real question is, why do we excuse God for violating the moral code when humans in the same situation would not be given the same favor under the same circumstances? If God is the symbol of man and man relies on his moral and ethics, what does God rely on? This implies that there must cease to be a true concept of morality if the one person we incorporate these laws from can't even abide by them himself.

    • Word count: 786

"The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder."

?Augustine of Hippo

If you routinely annoy your friends by questioning their every view, then a university degree in philosophy or theology might be perfect for you. Whether it be Socrates or St. Augustine, you'll study the history of thought in your chosen field, and equip yourself to criticise established ideas and construct your own thoughts. If taken together, the two disciplines complement each other nicely, allowing you to use the tools of philosophy to investigate the texts and ideas of religion.

Strong writing skills are absolutely crucial to success when studying philosophy or theology. If you need any help translating your brilliant thoughts intowriting, study Marked by Teachers' collection of teacher-annotated historical and philosophical studies essays. With the techniques you learn here, you'll soon transform your writing into a fitting showcase for your ideas.

Philosophy and theology students might stay in academia, become religious leaders, or pursue careers in fields like policy, teaching, management and media.


Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Outline the Cosmological Argument for the existence of God and assess its claims to prove that God exists.

    "The Argument attempts to proves Gods existence but in many cases jumps from one conclusion to the fact that God must be the cause of this with no evidence to lead from the conclusion to a God. It would be wrong to say that the argument does not prove the existence of God at all but the evidence it is based on is weak and not very persuasive."

  • I intend to assess two pieces of such knowledge Descartes which believes himself to prove with logic. The two ideas being the existence of God and the duality of the body and mind.

    "I think in the contexts of the meditations the ontological argument and the arguments for dualism don't work due to the Cartesian circle, as Descartes never gets past proving undoubtedly anything but; I think therefore I am. Descartes reasoning in my opinion does not prove God's existence or the duality of mind and body but more shows that it may be possible. This is largely due to the criticisms raised in this essay, such as the problem of interaction. It is maybe that we do not yet now enough about the essence of the mind to understand it completely."

  • Explain and discuss the significance of Descartes' work on Epistemology.

    "In the conclusion, Descartes made a large impact of Epistemology, as he did not rely on others teaching to assist him in his search for indubitable knowledge. He founded the 'Cogito ergo Sum' - which managed to show that he could be certain that whenever he was thinking or doubting, he was thus at the same moment existing too. Descartes also managed to prove the existence of God, through various arguments, such as the 'Trademark' and 'Ontological' argument. Other philosophers prior to him, like Aristotle and Aquinas, were also in search for certain knowledge, although, Descartes, discovered, how to find indubitable knowledge of the world, simply by his 'clear and distinct' rule, and by confirming this rule by the existence of God. Thus, forming his infamous 'Cartesian Circle.' Descartes inspired and influenced other philosophers, such as Baruch Spinoza."

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