PHIL/RELI 134/126.001 – Philosophy of Western Religion

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Instructor: Eric Sampson. This course meets MTWRF 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in CW 213.

In this course, we’ll consider a range of philosophical questions about western religion and religious belief. Here’s a sampling of the issues we’ll consider. What are the best arguments that God exists? What are the best arguments that he doesn’t? Lots of religions claim to be authenticated by miracles. Can we rationally believe that any of them really happened? Lots of people claim to have had religious experiences. Can we rationally believe that any of these people really did? If there is a God, why does he allow so much suffering? And why doesn’t he reveal himself to people who sincerely want to know him? If, however, there is no God, where did the universe come from? And why does the universe seem fine-tuned to support intelligent life like us? What role (if any) would God play in making our lives meaningful? And given all the disagreement about religion among very smart, well-informed, sincere people, are we really entitled to be confident that our own view about religious matters is correct?