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Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010

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COURSE INFORMATION PHIL216 Philosophy of God and Religion MWF, 9:00-9:50am; 140 St Charles 3 credit hours Course page: (please register ASAP) INSTRUCTOR INFORMATION Dr. Wm Mark Smillie, Associate Professor Office: 142 St Charles Hall; Office Hours: 10:00-11:00, MWF, and by appointment Ph: 447-5416; Email: Homepage: READING MATERIALS Arthur, John. Studying Philosophy: A Guide for the Perplexed. Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004. ISBN: 0-13-183942-X. $9.00 (new—$6.95 used) Available in Saints Shoppe. Required Text. This book is an introduction to all aspects of philosophizing as well as some handy information about college education in general. Plato, Apology. Available on-line, in moodle. Classic and famous dialogue of the great Greek philosopher. Presents philosophy as the search for wisdom and why this activity is valuable. Peterson, Michael, William Hasker, Bruce Reichenbach, David Basinger, Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings (4th edition), Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0539359-0. $55.95 (new) Required Text. This is an affordable and highly praised introduction to our subject. It has a good variety of readings on typical topics in philosophy of god and religion, and these are taken from different historical periods of philosophy: ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary. COURSE DESCRIPTION Philosophy of God and Religion surveys philosophical reflection on the topics of God and Religion. The course includes consideration of traditional metaphysical treatments of the nature of God, as well as more modern reflections on the nature of religious beliefs and institutions (called “Philosophy of Religion”). Students themselves will be encouraged to reflect philosophically on the philosophy they encounter in this class. Perennial and contemporary issues treated in this course include: the nature of religion, proofs for God’s existence, the problem of evil, the relation of religious belief (faith) to reason, and of religion to science. The course takes a philosophical approach to these topics, and not one dictated by any particular religion; but given the nature of Carroll College and the likely interests of many students, a great deal of emphasis will be placed on the context of Catholic Christianity. (Note: See appendix for graphic display of course organization.)

these will be due either before a class. and meet all other course requirements and expectations. Page | 2 (GRADED) COURSE REQUIREMENTS Student performance of course objectives will be evaluated through the following graded activities. the relationship between faith and reason. We will study these topics by reading philosophical articles. assignments will be short and frequent. To separate evaluation from grading. a secondary objective of the course is to improve student ability to read philosophical writing. a difficult concept. and creative thought (orally and in writing) which displays critical judgment and individual independence • Develop relevant objections to philosophical positions taken by others • Recognize and follow philosophical argument. . and lead students towards an assessment of the success of these discussions. and “do” philosophy. or an argument. Written assignments: 40 percent of your final grade Writing is probably the best way for you to demonstrate your mastery of philosophical skills. Student improvement over the course of the semester is expected. logically structured. In this class. including the nature of religion. a table connects each activity to the relevant learning objective. attend class regularly. create your own arguments • Comprehend philosophical writing and texts with sophistication and appreciation • Identify philosophical issues relating to God and religion Disclaimer regarding these objectives: 1) Students may vary in their competency levels on these abilities. 2) Students can expect to acquire these abilities only if they honor all course policies. or in class (often discussed with other students in class). “mini-papers” or reading questions. These are only general descriptions. General Objectives: to reflect on several philosophical issues that arise in religious belief.Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The learning objectives for this course are fairly typical for any philosophy course. Ultimate Student Learning Objective: students taking this course will understand and evaluate philosophical positions regarding God and religion Mediating Student Learning Objectives: • Exhibit clear. and so performance expectations will increase as the semester progresses. proofs for the existence of God. the nature of god. (c) reflect more carefully upon an author's theoretical position. grades for each assignment will only be posted on moodle. and the “problem of evil. more specific details will be provided later in the semester. many of these classical texts. Generally. These are assignment to allow you the opportunity to (a) practice the various skills mentioned in the course objectives above. (b) work towards a better understanding of a reading. All written assignments must be typed. complete all assigned work on time and in good faith.” The purpose of this reflection is to develop student abilities to understand philosophical discussion of these topics. Following the description of each. or (d) to offer the beginnings of a critical assessment of an author's work.

D (60) . explain. (You can “track” your grade throughout the semester on moodle. our “lectures” are provided by the philosophers we read.Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010 Project: 15 percent of your final grade. Tests will cover the material from our texts and class sessions. Students participate in different ways in a philosophy class—they summarize. Participation: 20 percent of your final grade “Participation” means your oral contributions to class (course-related) discussions. in class we will grapple with understanding those “lectures” and criticizing or assessing them. There will be participative review sessions the day prior to each test. either with the entire class or in smaller group discussions. In this class. The final exam for the course is cumulative and held on the day scheduled by the registrar. make your own arguments and inferences MEASUREMENT TOOLS: EVALUATED ACTIVITIES THAT INDICATE PERFORMANCE OF STUDENT LEARNING GOAL • Written assignments • Course Project • Tests and Exams • Written assignments • Course Project • Tests and Exams • Debates • Participation during class • Written assignments • Tests and Exams • Participation during class • Written assignments • Tests and Exams • Debates • Participation during class • Written assignments • Tests and Exams • Participation during class • Tests and Exams • Participation during class Page | 3 Comprehend philosophical writing and texts with sophistication and appreciation Identify philosophical issues relating to God and religion Final grade calculation: All points earned for each type requirement are added according to the specified weight.. a midterm (Mar 5) and the final exam during finals week. audio). At the beginning of the semester. and make evaluations. Letter grades for the course will be assigned as follows. or something we were unable to explore. offer analysis or objections. B Below 60…………… F 70-79………………. A 60-69………………… D 80-89………………. Exams: 25 percent of your final grade Two exams on the course material are scheduled during the semester. media presentations (video. C P/F Grade…………. as a class we will determine the specific policy for scoring different types of participation and then determining an overall score for the semester (in a participation policy).) Percentage points Grade Percentage points Grade 90-100……………. oral. These projects can take different forms: written. to total 100. Projects will be presented during the last week of the semester. STUDENT LEARNING GOAL Understand and evaluate philosophical positions regarding God and religion Exhibit clear. either covered in class. Working individually or in approved groups. students will provide a presentation of some aspect of the course material. logically structured. creative thought (orally and in writing) which displays critical judgment and individual independence Develop relevant objections to philosophical positions taken by others Recognize and follow arguments.

regular attendance at class is a college requirement (see College Catalogue. so please be on time! Even if you miss a class. with disagreements. but with respect. check the calendar in moodle or else contact me. I do not evaluate or grade your attendance in this class. I expect you to work with your team members and obtain their input when working on group exercises and projects. • In cases of group or team projects. The policy reads: “Students at Carroll College are expected to have high standards of integrity. and athletic team commitments. family emergencies. and while in class. • I expect you to understand that this class is a dynamic one. or fails to give requested academic information on admission documents . mastery of the material. • I expect you to show civility and human concern for each member of the class. and keeping cellphones and pagers off. and then inform me of their scheduled makeup date.Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010 CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING ASSIGNMENTS The following criteria are used for judging performance: effort. This includes such things as remaining alert (and awake!) in class. and join us as soon as you are able. Late assignments will be penalized one half a letter grade for every day they are late. you are still responsible for learning about upcoming work and assignments. Missed exams may be retaken at the ARC within one week of the exam date. so consequently.) Students having good reasons for missing a deadline or test should contact me in advance of the deadline. • I expect you to come to class regularly and on time. present a positive attitude and professional demeanor. See Studying Philosophy. Page | 4 OTHER COURSE "REQUIREMENTS" • I expect you to read this syllabus carefully. I also expect you to know when it is not appropriate to work with others and to ask me if there is any question about collaboration. let me know in advance by an email or telephone call. Chapter 8. However. for more detail. If you must miss a class. I expect you to take your seat quietly. limiting private conversations. not disrupting the class. sound organization and structure. respecting and never interrupting others. Late exams/assignments: Assignments are considered late if they are turned in after 5:00 of the day they are assigned. falsifies college records. pg 40). Tardiness is disruptive to other members of the class. (Students must make their own arrangements with the director of the ARC. documented court obligations. persuasiveness. Any student who cheats or plagiarizes on examinations or assignments. and prepare for all tests. good writing. Deadlines will be reset to mutually agreed times in these situations. Students missing more than nine class sessions may be asked to drop the class. I keep attendance regularly and expect to be informed if some legitimate excuse keeps you from attending class. commit a reasonable amount of time outside class to keep up with the assigned reading and assignments. ATTENDANCE AND TARDINESS Attendance of itself does not fulfill any of the student learning goals of this course. Good reasons include documented medical reasons. When you do arrive late. INSTITUTIONAL AND COURSE POLICIES ON ACADEMIC HONESTY Carroll College’s policy on Academic Integrity is stated in both the CC Catalogue and in the Student Handbook.

even if you changed words. class activities. Plagiarism is an act of fraud and will not be tolerated. contains specific guidelines for writing papers in philosophy. and academic counseling. All suspected cases of plagiarism will be investigated. Please see these publications for the correct procedures to follow if you have questions concerning the conduct of this class or the grading procedures (other than a final grade). advice on study skills.Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010 is subject to dismissal or other appropriate disciplinary action by the College. and copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work. helps students become academically successful through services such as peer tutoring. Plagiarism is both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it. If you are unsure about whether some actions constitute plagiarism. The moodle pages for the course contain other study or assignment aids. and where verified. please ask me.” Students violating the policy will be referred to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. writing philosophy Jan 25 Page | 5 . Note: See appendix for graphic display of course organization. COURSE CALENDAR (PROPOSED) Writing Assignments not included—to be assigned as semester progresses. CAMPUS SUPPORT SERVICES The Academic Resource Center. and always an up to date calendar of assignments. DATE TOPIC/ASSIGNMENT FOR THE DAY First class day Jan 11 Group development of the participation policy Jan 13 Finalizing the participation policy Jan 15 Begin Plato’s Apology (possibly). whether you give credit or not. First participation installment due Jan 20 Plato’s Apology Jan 22 Reading philosophy presentation. the penalty can be a severe as immediate failure in the course. RESOURCE CENTER HOURS: Monday-Thursday 9 am-4 pm Friday 9 am-12 noon Evening Tutoring: Sunday-Thursday 7 pm-9 pm In its recognition of the unique value of each human being. Studying Philosophy. etc. Please stop by or contact the director (Joan Stottlemyer) to request help. Carroll College is committed to making reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. It includes the following • Turning anyone else’s work (including other students’) as your own • Copying without giving credit (including copying from the internet) • Not putting quotations in quotation marks • Incorrectly identifying the source of a quotation Plagiarism also includes copying the sentence structure of a source. workshops. located in Simperman Hall. Jan 17—MLK Day—No Class Plato’s Apology. will be penalized. Our text. and paper and debate format. Students with special needs should contact the Academic Resource Center (ext 4504) for further information.

“Soul Making Theodicy. Read “Faith and Reason.” pgs 184186 Arguments for God’s Existence: “The Analogical Teleological Argument.” pg 212221 Arguments for God’s Existence: “The Analogical Teleological Argument. “Evil Makes a Strong Case.” pgs 276-281 Apr 2—Good Friday—No Class Apr 5—Easter Monday—No Class Due for Debate #3 teams: peer assessment analyses (on moodle) Problem of Evil. “God is Omnipotent” pgs 138-140 The nature of God. Hume.” pgs 104-110 Faith and Reason. “Some puzzles Concerning Omnipotence” pgs 141-143.” pgs 316-323 Religious Experience.” Pgs 163173 Arguments about God’s Existence. Second Participation Installment due. Reread Aquinas. Read “The Wager. “The Classical Ontological Argument.…” pgs 282-287 Problem of Evil. “God is Omnipotent” pgs 138-140 The nature of God. “Best of all Possible Worlds.” pgs 104-110 Feb 15—President’s Day—No class The nature of God.” pgs 123-132 The nature of God.” pgs 133-137 The nature of God.” pg 212221 Problem of Evil. pgs 509-526 Project presentations Project presentations (Final Participation Installment due) Project presentations (Last class day) Final Exam 7:30-9:15 (Thurs) Page | 6 Apr 7 Apr 9 Apr 12 Apr 14 Apr 16 Apr 19 Apr 21 Apr 23 Apr 26 Apr 28 Apr 30 May 6 . Test one Mar 8-12 Midsemester Break Arguments about God’s Existence. “Two Separate Domains. pgs 92-95 Faith and Reason. “The Classical Ontological Argument.” pgs 87-95.” pgs 184186 Arguments for God’s Existence: “The Classical Cosmological Argument. Faith and Reason. Read “The Ethics of Belief” pgs 99-103 Faith and Reason.” Pgs 163173 Arguments for God’s Existence: “The Classical Cosmological Argument. ReRead (to offer criticism) “The Will to Believe... Reread “God’s Necessary Existence” pgs 128-132 The nature of God.” pgs 509-522 Religion and Science. “Science Discredits Religion. “Negative Theology. Peer participation observations due—give to person you observed Review session for Test One.” pgs 35-42 Religious Experience. Leibniz. Reread (to offer criticism) Aquinas. “Religious Experiences.Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010 Jan 27 Jan 29 Feb 1 Feb 3 Feb 5 Feb 8 Feb 10 Feb 12 Feb 17 Feb 19 Feb 22 Feb 24 Feb 26 Mar 1 Mar 3 Mar 5 Mar 15 Mar 17 Mar 19 Mar 22 Mar 24 Mar 26 Mar 29 Mar 31 Faith and Reason.” pgs 96-98 Faith and Reason. pgs 92-95 Faith and Reason. Read “The Will to Believe. Pgs 269-275 Problem of Evil. Read “The Divine Attributes. ReRead (to offer criticism) “The Ethics of Belief” pgs 99-103 Faith and Reason. “Religious Experience…” pgs 43-50 Religion and Science.” pgs 509-526 Religion and Science.

using technology in the classroom (including Moodle). Business Ethics. St. "DJaying" at the high school dances at St. I spent two years in Massachusetts. and Medieval Philosophy. policies. The philosophy courses I most frequently teach here at Carroll are: Perspectives in Philosophy. and came to Carroll in 1995. My research interests are in Medieval Philosophy. I am an associate professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department. Thomas Aquinas. I enjoy traveling (when I can). 1992). associated with Merrimack College (North Andover. Bioethics. I’ve been married 23 years (to the same woman). building things from time to time (and even house remodeling). We have eight kids. I taught at Notre Dame as a graduate student. hiking.A. Liberal Arts) and then the University of Notre Dame (Ph. MA). ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR Currently. CA) for my undergraduate degree (B. then taught for a year at Allentown College (Center Valley. Page | 7 . tennis and basketball (when I am healthy enough).D. especially the philosophy of St.. and applied ethics. Philosophy of Human Nature. Andrew. and a fine meal with an excellent wine or microbrew. I have given papers/presentations on: Catholic Identity.Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010 CONCLUDING DISCLAIMER The above schedule. End of Life Decision-Making. and the oldest graduated from Carroll this year. Environmental Ethics. and assignments in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances or by mutual agreement between the instructor and the students. visiting historical sites. attending activities my children are involved in (most of them!). photography. PA). I I attended Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula. 1983. Thomas on God’s Omnipotence. 2008. I am involved in various community organizations in Helena.

Philosophy of God and Religion Syllabus 2010 Appendix I: Graphic Syllabus A visual of basic course organization and sequencing WEEK 1 MAIN COURSE DIVISIONS COURSE INTRODUCTION/MECHANICS PHILOSOPHY AS THE SEARCH FOR WISDOM COURSE TOPICS Page | 8 2 3-5 Faith and Reason 6-8 GOD (Traditional Metaphysics) God’s Nature 8 MIDTERM EXAM 9 .10 God’s Existence 11-12 Problem of Evil 13 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION Religious Experience 14 Religion and Science 15 PROJECT PRESENTATIONS 16 FINAL EXAM .