Philosophy of Religion (PHIL330)
Tuesdays & Thursdays · 2:00pm–3:15pm · LA5–149
[This course satisfies GE area upper-division C]
This course will begin with an investigation into the very role of reasoning and rationality in religion. Religious belief may seem to be particularly unsuited to ordinary methods of argumentation, verification, and falsification. One might think, for instance, that arguments for or against the existence of a monotheistic God are either practically or in principle irrelevant to the acceptance of theism or atheism. The concept of religious faith, as a kind of obstinacy in belief, or as a type of willing oneself to believe, may seem to be exactly the expression of an exception to ordinary reasoning that is unique to religious belief. This issue seems prior to most others in the philosophy of religion and we will consider it directly while also examining various sorts of arguments for and against the existence of God for their potential relevance. We will further consider the role and value of pragmatic or practical arguments, the possibility of religious belief as a type of non-justified belief (fideism), and the possibility that certain religious beliefs, e.g., that God exists, are among the epistemically basic beliefs that are warranted without evidence or further justification.