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AS and A Level: Philosophy

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  1. The suffering of children is enough to return the ticket back to God Discuss

    Unless, God didn?t cause the suffering of children and he isn?t omnipotent, so he can?t control the suffering put to children, as free will has caused it to happen. However, ultimately God also made free will, which allows people to be evil, so it is still his fault for the suffering of children and the evil in this world. Therefore the suffering of children is enough to return the ticket back to God as he is the one who caused it to happen.

    • Word count: 777
  2. Evaluate the claim that corporate religious experience is no more than an illusion

    Onlookers thought that they were drunk (Acts 2:13), but Acts 2:7 and 8 state ?In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, ?These people who are talking like this are Galileans! How is it, then that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages??? (Good News Bible), proving that this was not in fact merely hysterical babbling but that the disciples were actually speaking the languages of the nations surrounding their own country. A modern day example of a religious experience still continuing to this day is the Toronto Blessing.

    • Word count: 2001
  3. If god knows what we are going to do, does he have the right to reward the good and punish the wicked?

    If God is eternal, then god?s knowledge is not the same as human knowledge as God is outside of time and non-physical so for him, the past, the present and future exist simultaneously so he can view everything happening throughout time at once. Thomas Aquinas shows that he agrees with the concept omniscient. He suggested that God has knowledge because knowledge is not physical so he has non-physical knowledge of himself and everything that he created which includes humans. Knowledge being non-physical is important as it means that God, who is immaterial, still can have knowledge.

    • Word count: 1201
  4. The Cosmological Argument

    The cosmological argument was not just a Christian attempt to prove the existence of a classical theistic deity. Plato put forward, in his book Laws, the idea of primary and secondary movers. The argument began with the fact that in order for motion or change to occur, there must be a prior agent causing it to do so. A secondary mover can only move once moved by another and a primary mover can move itself and others. The power to produce motion is logically prior to the power to receive it and pass it on, meaning that there must be an a first uncaused, self- actualising mover- the primary mover which is the ultimate source of all the activity in the world.

    • Word count: 1143
  5. Evaluating Platos thought. Why do you think Plato had followers who believed what he said?

    It is consistent with an ever changing wold It gives someone the possibility to know things for sure in an ever changing world. Strengths of the Analogy of the Cave It seems that the analogy of the cave could be applied to today?s world of diversion, computer games and television. Some people know more about the soaps than they know about what is happening in the world. Weakness of the Analogy of the Cave Plato compares desires with shadows and truth and virtue with light.

    • Word count: 1003
  6. Plato's Analogy of the Cave

    Forms The distinction is crucial. The world we live is a world of appearances but the real world is a world of ideals, known as forms. World of appearance- imitations of the True Form. By form, Plato meant the idea of what a thing is. The term ?thing? can be applied to pretty much anything like a table or a cat but Plato was concerned with ?things? like beauty, truth, justice and the Good.

    • Word count: 498
  7. Plato and Aristotle offer highly contrasting definitions of the soul

    Like those that follow the excepted views on the body on souls given by the previously mentioned religions, Plato was a dualist meaning that he believes that the soul is independent of the body and also that it hold the true essence of the person within. This means that the essence of people have been among the forms which could suggest why humans can recognise goodness and beauty when the world doesn?t hold them in their perfect form for us to view.

    • Word count: 566
  8. Explain and illustrate the four different viewpoints on the state of nature of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and the Anarchists.

    Hobbes assumes that in the state of nature there is a scarcity of goods this will further cause conflict. Individuals will not be free from the fear of possible attacks, to obtain a good one posses, to take a preemptive strike upon a possible threat or to gain notoriety. Through these assumptions Hobbes comes to the conclusion that the state of nature will be one of scarcity, constant fear, brutish warfare with lives being short of poor quality. Hobbes believed the state of nature would be have a Natural Right of Liberty and would be subject to the Laws of Nature.

    • Word count: 861
  9. Explain the Analogy of the Cave in Platos Republic

    Behind the prisoners are a wall and a fire that burns. Occasionally individuals carry objects, like marionettes, in front of the fire and shadows are shown against the wall in front of the prisoners. Observing the shadows that appear before them, the prisoners develop a game over time, they try to predict the movements of the shadows and associate the sounds made by the individuals with the shadows as this is all they know. The prisoners think this is all true reality.

    • Word count: 1671
  10. "A good God will not allow people to suffer" Discuss

    However, many other people have a different view about the evil and suffering in the world. If God was a good God then why would thousands of innocent people die all over the world, even children who have barley even started their life yet. You could say that God does love us all, but that our lives on earth are a test for deciding if we go to heaven or h**l when we die.

    • Word count: 522
  11. Philosophers have proved conclusively that religious language is meaningful. Discuss

    love, walking, hair. So when we say ?God is good?, we need to know that we are using ?good? in that sentence. In univocal terms this would be claiming that God is good in some way that humans are, Aquinas rejected this as he believed God to be perfect. Because of this, imperfect humans can?t be good in the same way that God is. In equivocal terms, this would mean that God is good in a totally different way to humans, Aquinas rejected that too.

    • Word count: 2116
  12. Explain what is meant by natural in natural moral law

    We know this because it is what God has built in us so we are designed for it unlike the unnatural s****l ways of homosexuality and bisexuality. Another key concept within Natural Moral Law is the distinguishing differences between apparent and real good. This belief is that no one actually seeks evil, we all seek good but instead of real good we sometimes settle on apparent good which seems to be real but is actually resting on a mistake.

    • Word count: 471
  13. Explain Platos analogy of the cave

    Plato?s analogy of the cave emphasises the difference between the appearance of the world (inside the cave) and the reality behind this appearance (the outside world) each feature within the analogy develops this contrast so as to convince the reader of the importance of making the effort to discover reality. The people in the cave are everyday people who think they are seeing real things when they are only seeing the shadows of things and they have not yet discovered true knowledge. What the prisoners see and hear are shadows and echoes cast by objects that they do not see.

    • Word count: 1430
  14. Critically assess the claim that people are free to make their own moral decisions

    BF Skinner believed that behaviour is something that could be modified dependent on rewards or punishments. However he did argue that our actions were predetermined due to the fact scientists are able to modify and control human behaviour. Similarly Freud believed actions were pre-determined from as early as childhood. He felt strongly that early childhood has a huge impact on our futures. Freud?s theory suggests that prior causes determine our moral development and therefore actions in the future. He stated that all our actions, moral or non-moral and causes by repressed memories from our childhoods and these are what determine our actions in later life.

    • Word count: 1320
  15. The ontological argument of Anselm and Gaunilo's response.

    Therefore, the ontological argument does not rely on physical evidence to prove the existence of God, it merely uses the purest definition of the word God in order to create a situation in which God cannot fail to exist. The argument, as laid down by St. Anselm, reads as such: ?God cannot be conceived to not exist, God is that which nothing greater can be conceived, that which can be conceived to not exist is not God?. To explain, because of the very definition of God that Anselm suggests, that of a being that isthe greatest conceivable being, God must exist because a non-existent God would not be the greatest conceivable.

    • Word count: 687
  16. Religion- Good or Evil?

    Examples of these are many of the Ten Commandments and also examples set by Jesus in the bible that teaches people to love each other and give each other respect. Their faith in life after death and the belief in the idea of judgement mean that many Christians try to help and act morally throughout their life in order to reach heaven. This is shown in the statistics that religious people are almost 25 per cent more likely to give money/time to charities then secular people.

    • Word count: 755
  17. Miracles are more of a Hindrance than a help to Religious Belief. Discuss.

    Another argument is the metaphysical question of whether God acting inside his creation and therefore inside time and space can be eternal. This argument focuses on the fact that thing inside time and space are changing and come in and out of existence, also that if God comes into time and space then he changes and therefore cannot be the perfect deity which we think of him as. This angle questions whether or not miracles are conceivable at all rather than there impact on religious belief, however, the fact that religious believers use miracles throughout the bible and in debates

    • Word count: 1220
  18. Explain the Analogy of the Cave in Platos Republic, ) The Analogy of the Cave tells us nothing about reality Discuss.

    The chains represent our sense that causes us to accept what we see and hear. Behind the prisoners is a wall, with a fire behind it, shapes are moved in front of the fire to project shadows onto the wall the prisoners are facing. The prisoners perceive these shadows to be real, more real than truth itself, they are really just illusions of experience. The fire provides the only light in the cave and is a copy of the form of good (the sun). The prisoners are yet to discover the philosophical truth that they cannot trust what is real, purely because their senses say it?s real.

    • Word count: 976
  19. Explain Plato's Analogy of the Cave

    Another aim of the analogy of the cave is to argue that true knowledge can be obtained; in effect this makes the philosopher the most adequate figure to rule society. However, the human race being unappreciative and ungrateful may beg to differ and may kill the philosopher ? in the same way his teacher, Socrates was killed. The analogy of the cave I believe is also used by Plato in order to encounter to new philosophers: all the new stages you?ll go through as you eventually discover philosophy and the reason behind a philosopher?s way of pondering? Plato gives a description, of a cave in which prisoners are chained so that they are obliged to face the wall.

    • Word count: 1028
  20. Implications of Predestination

    John Calvin thought as God in control and there is nothing we can do to save our salvation. Augustine (Philosopher two) Similarly Augustine believed "the potter has authority over the clay" (Romans 9) this illustrates God power over us. in the divine election in a ccordance to his doctorine, God's choice is to give grace to some but not all, as a result of this God determines who will be saved and who is righteous.

    • Word count: 439
  21. Explain what it means to 'do philosophy'

    This, however, comes with the awareness that there is no definite answer. Bertrand Russell once said ?If there are no definite answers, then there is the freedom for the search of the unfound answers? which highlights that there is no certainty with philosophy and people can have their own interpretations of things because they can never be fully proved. Closely related to this is the idea of James Anthony Froude who stated that ?Philosophy goes no further than probabilities and in every assertion keeps a doubt in reserve?. This shows how the act of doing philosophy is delving beneath simplicity and trying to conjure answers to almost impossible questions, which explains why there is so much room for debate.

    • Word count: 810
  22. Explain the general principles of Utilitarianism, including reference to both Act and Rule.

    From this phrase came the concept of hedonism which was all about trying to maximise pleasure and minimise pain. He disliked the religious and traditional moralities of his day, created a secular, non-transcendental, independent ethical system which did not reply on religious authority. It was a teleological system, as Bentham believed that the value of an action is determined by the value of its consequences. Bentham created the ?principle of utility? which stated that the most useful act is the one which produces the greatest happiness stating, ?an action may be said to be conformable to the principle of utility? when it has the tendency to augment happiness? from Bentham?s introduction to Principles, Morals and Legislation.

    • Word count: 936
  23. Is Philosophy a threat to Religion?

    Religion is oftenly based on intense and mystical beliefs and personal experiences. Philosophy questions why. One off unrepeatable experiences can't be deemed absolute truth and furthermore why should a whole lifestyle be based on the experiences of a minority? Philosophy is also deemed a threat as it seeks to answer question religion asks too and attempts to answer. Why are we on earth?

    • Word count: 468
  24. Examine the key ideas and strengths of the design argument for the existence of God

    In his fifth way Aquinas explains, 1. Things in the universe work towards an end or purpose 2. Order cannot happen by chance 3. Unintelligent objects can?t move towards a purpose by themselves 4. An intelligent being must be directing them 5. This intelligent being must be God Aquinas observed the universe and saw that everything in the universe was working towards a purpose for e.g. Tress growing leaves every spring and losing them every autumn. He noticed that they lacked intelligence, but there was regular pattern of leaves growing and dropping off at changes of seasons.

    • Word count: 1076
  25. Evaluate the claim that the existence of natural evil in the world makes it impossible to believe in a God who is all-loving and all powerful

    The free will defence argues that evil is the result of free will, and we would not truly be free unless there was the possibility of evil. Richard Swinburne states ?The less he allows men to bring about large scale horrors, the less the freedom and responsibility he gives them? . However, natural evil is more difficult to justify. Firstly, how does original sin effect natural evil? Secondly, If moral sin is ?soul-making? then there is no purpose for natural evil.

    • Word count: 1292

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