Faculty of Arts
Philosophy of Religion
Under what conditions, if at all, is it justifiable to hold religious beliefs? Do religious beliefs have to be "reasonable"? Can it be justifiable to hold and act on beliefs "by faith", and, if so, under what conditions? The course focuses on "theist" religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). The course investigates both arguments for God’s existence (eg, cosmological and "design" arguments, arguments from miracles) and arguments for God’s non-existence (the Argument from Evil and the Argument from Divine Hiddenness). The course then proceeds to consider the thesis of the "evidential ambiguity" of God’s existence, and investigates attempts to respond to the ambiguity, for example: by emphasising subjectivity (Kierkegaard); by appeal to "properly basic" beliefs (Reformed Epistemology) and according to the modest fideism proposed by William James in his famous lecture "The Will to Believe".
Coordinator(s) Professor John Bishop
Brian Davies, An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2003, ISBN: 0-19-926347-7.
Coursework + exam
PHIL 327: 15.0 points
Any 30 points at Stage II in Philosophy