Schedule for Philosophy of Religion, Fall 08, Hettinger (revised)


1.           Introduction

The Cosmological Argument

2.           William Craig and JP Moreland, “The Kalam Cosmological Argument," Text 33-45

3.           Paul Draper, “A Critique of the Cosmological Argument,” Text 45-51

The Teleological Argument, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

4.           William Paley, “The Watch and the Watch Maker” Text 54-56

              David Hume, “A Critique of the Design Argument” Text 56-63

5.           Robin Collins, “A Scientific Argument for the Existence of God, Text 74-84 (or 91).

6.           Catch-up

7.           *Elliott Sober, “What is Wrong with Intelligent Design?” available at (link on course web page)

Science and Religion

8.           Richard Dawkins, “Science Versus Religion,” Text 426-430

              Stephen Jay Gould, “Nonoverlapping Magisteria,” Text 430-438

Further resources: See Templeton Website: (Link on class webpage)

9.           Catch-up

Religious Experience

10.         Sigmund Freud, “The Future of an Illusion,” Text 114-119

              C.D. Broad, “The Argument from Religious Experience,” Text 119-127

The Problem of Evil

11.         Fyodor Dostoevsky, “Rebellion,” Text 158-165

              David Hume: “The Argument from Evil,” Text 147-152

12.         John Hick, “Evil and Soul-Making,” Text 165-169

              Edward Madden and Peter Hare, “A Critique of Hick’s Theodicy,” Text 169-173

13.         J.L. Mackie, “Evil and Omnipotence,” Text 173-181

14.         Same as above

Fall Break

15.         Midterm exam, Thursday, Oct 16.

Religion and Politics

16.         *Separation of Church and State (Article by John Arthur on class website; two chapters on website, only required to read the 1st--Chap. 5, "Religious Establishment")

Humanism and Atheism

17.         Humanism

              Class visit: Herb Silverman

              Reading on class website: Silverman, "A Candidate Without a Prayer" and "Oxford Union Debate"

18.         *Bertrand Russell, “Why I am not a Christian,” available at

Video clips: Jonathan Miller “A Brief History of Disbelief” BBC (link on class website)


Paper proposal due Wednesday, Oct 29th, 1pm 14 Glebe, mailbox


Religion and Ethics

19.         Plato, “Morality and Religion,” Text 556-558

              Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship,” Text 574-578

20.         George Mavrodes, “Religion and the Queerness of Morality,” Text 578-586

Faith and Reason

21.         Blaise Pascall, “The Wager,” Text 364-366

              W.K. Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief,” Text 366-370

22.         William James, “The Will to Believe,” Text 370-379

23.         Louis Pojman, “Faith, Hope, and Doubt” Text 412-422

**Paper due Friday, Nov 14th 1pm, 14 Glebe (inside) mailbox

Religious Pluralism

24.         John Hick, “Religious Pluralism and Ultimate Reality,” Text 509-516

Dali Lama, “Buddhism, Christianity, and the Prospects for World Religion,” Text 537-542

              “Can nonbelievers be saved?” (Link on class web page)

25.         Alvin Plantinga, “A Defense of Religious Exclusivism,” Text 516-530


26.         Bertrand Russell, “The Finality of Death,” Text 336-339

              Jeffrey Olen, “Personal Identity and Life after Death,” Text 345-355

Religion and Environment (links to reading on class webpage)

27.         *Lynn White, “The Historical Roots of our Ecological Crisis”

              *Ari Goldman, “Focus of Earth Day should be on Man, Cardinal Cautions,”

              Video: Spirit and Nature

28.         *Wendell Berry, “Christianity and the Survival of Creation”


Final Exam: Thursday, Dec 11, 8am in classroom