All papers below require at least some research. Besides the book(s) assigned in class, it is highly recommended that you cite some secondary, scholarly sources. Please do not directly cite Wikipedia. A work by a major philosopher, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, the Oxford Companion to Philosophy, a journal article, et cetera, are all legitimate sources which you can use. Please do not uses as sources biography pages on popular websites or dictionary definitions.
Please send your papers as attached .rtf or .doc files with the file name First Name Last Name Paper1. The subject line by of the e-mail should read: Baruch – Paper I. My e-mail address is James.Rowe@Baruch.Cuny.Edu.
1. There are four major arguments for the existence of God. Which one KOdoes the best job at proving God? If none, which critiques are the most devastating? Defend your position against counter-arguments. Example of a potential topic: Does the ontological argument really prove God’s existence as deriving from being the “greatest possible being that can be conceived”?
2. Are the properties that are traditionally ascribed to God coherent or possible? That is, are omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, eternity, infinity, et cetera, either coherent or possible for one object/being to have? What about such features as omnibenevolence? Can these be defended? Defend for or against, and of course, consider rival conceptions. Example of a potential topic: Omnibenevolence is often thought of as being weak due to the Riddle of Epicurus, but this is by no means certain….
3. There are several rival conceptions of ethics. Which do you support and for which reasons? Defend them against other conceptions and criticisms. Example of a potential topic: Utilitarianism makes a great case for seeking the happiness of the many, but is it fatally flawed by potentially allowing the sacrifice of the few by ignoring natural rights?
4. Take an ethical dilemma, such as the Trolley Problem or the Violinist dilemma, and employ an ethical theory to provide your solution. Consider objections from other ethical systems and the opinions of other scholars on this point. Example of a potential topic: According to Kantianism, one cannot use another merely as a means to an end, and thus it is impermissible to sacrifice the man on the opposite track to the five on the track where the collision will occur.
5. We have read several Platonic dialogues in class. Take one, argue for or against the main themes of philosophical interest, and defend those critiques against rival positions. Example of a potential topic: Was Socrates right to assume that he showed the slave boy had innate knowledge?
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