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University Degree: Philosophy and Theology

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  1. What is the mind body problem? Provide details of some responses to it from history and explain their impact on psychology.

    They argued that all sense perception and mental experience was derived from the brain (Hothersall, 2004). Thus, they proposed early monist materialistic responses to the mind body problem. From a materialist perspective, the mental is not distinct from the psychical; all aspects of mental experience (e.g. its processes, properties and operations) are identical to those of the psychical realm (Fodor, 2006). Such responses to the mind body problem were singular for their time. Alcmaeon and Hippocrates? suggestion of the brain as the centre of conscious experience may seem obvious from our modern perspective.

    • Word count: 1815
  2. Morality is the refuge of the weak. Discuss with reference to Platos ideas on justice and egoism.

    Finally, I will contrast these ideas with those of Plato, who holds that ? contrary to Glaucon ? the make-up of man?s soul reveals that justice is available and desirable to all of us, and that morality is not the refuge of the weak but instead the expression of the harmonious soul. The phrase ?morality is the refuge of the weak? immediately resonates with the position attributed to Callicles by Plato in Gorgias. As a Sophist, Callicles challenges Socrates? objective theory of justice by proposing a - distinctly separate - perspective of relativism.

    • Word count: 2236
  3. The one true substance in the world it is God. How far do you go along with this and why?

    The notion of God and Him as a concept has been regarded as perfection by classically theistic philosophical approaches. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and part of his philosophical concept is known as ?The unmoved mover?. Aristotle described this concept as a primary caused or ?mover? of all the motion in the universe. One can argue that the ?unmoved mover? is God. To support the argument one must understand Aristotle?s understanding of ?Being?, which he calls ?Substance?. According to his Aristotle?s Metaphysics, he argues that the ?unmoved mover? exists by necessity and is eternal.

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    .[4] When the person does not response to prayers and deliverance, it is concluded that the person is either resisting prayers or unrepentant. For this reason the proper diagnosis is not given. This results to a person who has a mental health issue not be given the right support or required treatment. This has been a concern and prompted me to this study; how the Pentecostals perceive mental health issues and how they treat it. These cases were handled in the church as purely spiritual cases which at the end compound their condition.

    • Word count: 2503
  5. A Discussion on the Defence of Compatibilism

    The opposing viewpoint claims free will is just that: free and uninfluenced, therefore it cannot exist while determinism does. This paper will propose that free will, in fact, cannot exist at all without determinism. Compatibilism is, therefore, plausible at the very least, and arguably the only way to reconcile the points of view on this spectrum. Determinism can be summed up as the belief that everything that happens ?can, in principle, be explained, or that everything that is, has a sufficient reason for being and being as it is, and not otherwise.? (Hoefer, 2010).

    • Word count: 1733
  6. The Case of the Shot Burglar-Ethical Question

    Under the law, you are entitled to defend what is yours, without having the duty to retreat before applying the use of force as a means of self-defense, defense of another or defense of property (Petryszyn, 2012, para. 8). According to the FBI statistics, police reported 278 justifiable homicides in 2010, of which 232 were committed with a firearm and the rest with a knife or other weapon. Generally, it is legal to have a firearm in your house, even if you do not possess a concealed carry permit (Petryszyn, 2012, para.

    • Word count: 1046
  7. The chief vehicle for Voltaires satire on optimism is Pangloss, a caricature of Leibnizian optimism and Candides mentor.

    Voltaire demonstrates a variety of irredeemable evils in the world including the Lisbon earthquake and disease, as well as evils of human design such as thievery and murder. The chief vehicle for Voltaire’s satire on optimism is Pangloss, a caricature of Leibnizian optimism and Candide’s mentor. Pangloss instills in Candide the principle that this world must be “the best possible one” (48), since God, who is perfect, created it and he cradles Candide in a womb of simplicity and naïveté.

    • Word count: 1242
  8. Platos Symposium. If love has the power to make men virtuous, why has it not had more effect upon the character Alcibiades?

    Alcibiades? fixation with sexuality is what keeps him from becoming virtuous. Because heterosexual relationships were justified as giving birth to children, to justify homosexual relationships one would have to prove them equally productive. This forces Alcibiades to consider his own behavior in the context of these expectations and justify his sexual relationships. On the other hand, Socrates tries to justify homosexual relationships by relating Diotima?s differentiation between heterosexual relationships, those who are physically pregnant with babies, and homosexual relationships, those who are pregnant in terms of the soul and produce virtue in their partner.

    • Word count: 827
  9. Robots as Weapons in Just Wars by Marcus Schulzke and Robots, Trust and War by Thomas W. Simpson both examine the inevitable clash between robotics and modern modes of warfare.

    His analysis is a vast oversimplification; Schulzke too narrowly focuses on human soldiers. In reality, his quote should say that locals can interpret the presence of foreign influence rather than just soldiers. Due to language barriers, robots could be programmed to be more effective at communicating with indigenous populations than humans. Furthermore, robots could just as easily perform humanitarian functions like distributing food and medical supplies as human soldiers. I fail to see how locals could not analyze the actions of robots and determine whether they are a positive or negative force in their community.

    • Word count: 1552
  10. Platonic love. The Symposium and the Phaedrus. Each of these works is a different expression of Plato's view on love.

    Each of these words presents a different concept. ρως (eros) is the most commonly used version of the word. It is associated with romantic love and desire. This passionate love was often referred to as madness and was responsible for disastrous results such as war or murder. This is the Platonic concept that will be discussed later. á¼γάπη (agape) is a love that refers to a deep rooted love like the love of a mother for a child or a long-lasting marriage. Φιλία (philia) is the most general kind as it often refers to friendship.

    • Word count: 2972
  11. Jackson aims to establish, by way of his Knowledge Argument, that the world has non-physical features. Reconstruct and assess this argument

    Jackson, who believes these non-physical features are vital to someone?s knowledge of the world, uses thought experiments to justify his viewpoints. In one example, Jackson introduces a situation with a man, Fred, who can hypothetically distinguish two different colors, red1 and red2, while the rest of the world can only distinguish what we currently know as ?red.? Fred proves his ability to distinguish these two colors and says that the difference between red1 and red2 are as apparent to him as the difference between yellow and blue.

    • Word count: 2496
  12. In both Immanuel Kants Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and John Stuart Mills Utilitarianism, the authors give several strong, well structured arguments on the composition of ethics.

    Rephrased, Kant calls these two choices the categorical imperative (from duty), which is completely unconditional in its call for action, and the hypothetical imperative (according to duty), which has one or more conditions that have to be satisfied for an action to be initiated. Further elaborating on this subject, Kant postulates two different forms of the categorical imperative; the first says that one should only act in accordance with a maxim that he or she wills to be a universal law (often known as the concept of universalization), while the second states that others should be treated only as an end, not merely as a means to an end.

    • Word count: 1980
  13. Plato and Aristotle on Learning through Imitation

    By allowing ourselves to learn from various secondary sources, evaluating the possibilities of the absolute truth become clearer. In De Poetica, Aristotle explores the possibilities of learning through imitation. He describes how people find imitations less disturbing and easier to learn from than the real subjects. Rather than witnessing a gruesome war, learning about the war through art or literature is easier to mentally handle. ?Experience: though the objects themselves may be painful to see, we delight to view the most realistic representations of them in art, the forms for example of the lowest animals and of dead bodies.? (Aristotle 1457)

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  14. Euthanasia: Murder under a nice name

    Stories like Carol?s roam the realms of the heated discussions of euthanasia that rattle many of our medical discussions. The questions about legalizing euthanasia run deep in human history. It has troubled and brought a lot of anguish to the generations from the past and present and, will continue puzzling those to come. Euthanasia-in others words called ?mercy killing?- came from the Greek origin ?easy death? or ?good death?. In the past euthanasia was viewed very differently than it is interpreted in today?s society. Euthanasia used to signify the ending of a person?s suffering and pain, but after war world two the Nazis used this term to cover up the deaths of thousands of deaths of those that were deemed unfit to society.

    • Word count: 1358
  15. Is there an explanatory gap such that even perfect knowledge of the physical facts could never be sufficient to predict a persons conscious states?

    The ?explanatory gap? The ?Point of view? of someone?s conscious states The possibility of inverted qualia 1. The ?explanatory gap? Human beings are intelligent creatures, who have in time discovered a lot of physical information about the world around us. Using sciences like physics, chemistry and biology; we have been provided with a great deal of information about the world we live in, and also about ourselves and other human beings. However these physical facts never seem to be sufficient enough to have perfect knowledge of our mental states. Knowing a lot about neuroscience gets us quite far, but it seems that there are certain features of our sensations or consciousness that can never be explained in physical terms.

    • Word count: 1763
  16. Using texts from Pauls letters, what does he mean by Justification by faith?

    The insufficiency of mosaic law sparks the idea that Galatians are the fulfillment of the promised end of the jewish religion. Furthermore, in Galatians, which held a primarily gentile christian audience, Paul was arguing that gentile christians need not follow the Torah and that faith in Jesus and his faith in the lord was all that was necessary. ?...we know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but through the faith of Jesus Christ.? Justification then, in Paul?s eyes, transcends the workings of the law and is found both through complete faith in Jesus and faith in his own love for his father.

    • Word count: 1049
  17. Hobbes and group incorporation

    person for whom things are expressed with a spokesperson. One of Hobbes fundamental claims is that incorporation of members is a necessary step in political organization as individuals leave a natural state into an organized one and incorporation requires personation. Indeed, Hobbes insists on the inseparable nature of those being represented and that which represents them. He goes to far as to say that we cannot speak of the united group without the manifestation of a representative because ?it is the Representer that beareth the Person, and but one Person: And Unity, cannot otherwise be understood in Multitude.?[1] In our

    • Word count: 2063
  18. Egalitarianism accentuates inequality

    All of these agree that equality should be universal in its application and should treat people impartially. The American philosopher Larry Temkin, however, contends that ?universality? and ?impartiality? are insufficient criteria as they pursue equality as a means of achieving another ideal ( Temkin, p.156). He believes in the principle of ?equality as comparability? ( Temkin, p. 156), which analyses a person?s situation in relation to a group or society. Thus inequality, as Temkin intends it, stems from a situation in which a person, though no more deserving, is better off than another, especially if this wealth is obtained through

    • Word count: 1252
  19. Compare St Augstine and Rousseau's view of justifying authority and power.

    Discuss with reference to both Rousseau and Augustine. Are they using philosophy to simply justify power as it exists, or are they making a different argument? What is distinct in their philosophical questions, approaches, and potential answers? Conclude by examining why their differences matter for the way we conceive of the proper role of society and our roles within it. St Augustine and Rousseau had both justified legitimacy from the origins, aiming to inaugurate an unprecedented society where denizens or people can enjoy a prosperous life, albeit that they lived under different social backgrounds.

    • Word count: 2771
  20. The Myth of Mental Illness

    Also called mental disease, mental disorder." These definitions of mental illness are very revealing. The first definition explains mental illness through contrast with ?normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning?, and the second labels it as ?abnormal behaviour?. Of primary relevance to both definitions, therefore, is what supposedly normal behaviour is considered to be. Society?s understanding of mental illness, in other words, is contingent on its understanding of mental health, of sanity. Schizophrenia is a prominent and widely misunderstood type of mental illness. Again, its definitions in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language and The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary are revealing: ?1.

    • Word count: 2627
  21. United States History. Religion has always had a central role in the history of this country and to a certain extent, was a fundamental player in the establishment of the American state.

    Having landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620, the Pilgrims established a colony bearing the name of their place of landing where they established self rule in accordance to their puritan values. Despite initial hardships, the colony of Plymouth was rather successful, self sufficient, and given the general sentiments and beliefs of the population, it was a colony of a people united through faith. Though the Pilgrims sought the freedom to practice their creed, being Puritans they wanted to as the name suggests, ?purify? the Anglican Church from years of perversions by the English monarch.

    • Word count: 4043
  22. Are atrocities an integral part of war?

    others still raped and killed, women and brutally murdered men, children and even the animals.[2] Its use as a case study is pertinent due to the extent of the atrocities that took place there and usefulness in ascertaining what causes soldiers to commit atrocities. For my purposes ?war? is defined as a legal condition which equally permits two or more groups to carry on a conflict by armed force[3]. To be ?legally? permitted war has to have some just war justification, which will help to direct the ethical focus of this essay.

    • Word count: 2731
  23. Descartes' Meditation two is a work of reflection on the nature of existence of an intellectual being and what can be known.

    He cannot, however call into question that whether hard or soft, solid or liquid, this is the same wax regardless of the fact that its properties are changing. Descartes goes on to assert that the wax cannot be defined by what he can perceive of it through his senses. As a result he decides that it also can?t be distinguished through his imagination. When the sensory properties of the wax are dismissed all that can be left to be said of the wax is that it is ?Extended, flexible and mutable.? (Descartes, 2006 p495).

    • Word count: 856
  24. Explain the principle of sacramentality and evaluate how well Collins (2008) promotes that principle as a characteristic of Catholicism in chapter 6 (Characteristics of Catholicism) in Catholicism: A Very Short Introduction

    Sacraments celebrate God?s gift of grace in us and give us a stronger relationship with Christ and also the church. De Gidio( 1994) argues that rather than just happening in church sacraments happen in people who come together as a church community to celebrate the experience of God in their daily lives. Therefore, we can certainly experience a deepening of God?s gift of grace through our celebration of the Sacraments (De Gidio, 1994). Rolheiser (2001) states that the gift of the Eucharist empowers us with the grace of God to the humble service of others.

    • Word count: 1185

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