Three important sub-disciplines of philosophy are addressed in this course: ethics, epistemology, and religion. For this paper, you will develop an argument that includes your own view on one specific topic relating to one of these sub-disciplines. Below is a list of topics from which you must choose. Feel free to combine topics that seem to fit with one another. It is recommended that you choose a topic that interests you or that you have thought about previously.
In philosophical papers, it is always best to present both sides of the issue (remember that there are usually more than two sides to any issue), and then to present the side that you find the most convincing. Remember to back up your position with logical reasoning and factual evidence. In addition, be sure to utilize the philosophical content and ideas that you have encountered in this course.
- Identify the specific issue.
- Make clear one basic dispute over this issue.
- Clarify the arguments on multiple sides of the issue.
- Structure an argument that supports the side of the issue you find to be better defended.
- Explain why you find that side of the debate superior.
- State your own view, and defend it with an argument.
- Provide at least two references for each side of the debate.
- Utilize the philosophical theories and ideas that you have encountered in this course as much as possible.
In order to write a strong paper, you will need to clearly and specifically present both sides of the debate using at least five academic sources in addition to the course text, three of which can be found in the Ashford Online Library.
Select a topic from the following sub-disciplines:
- What is the most convincing ethical system? Why?
- Is it necessary to have universal ethical principles?
- What are the fundamental principles of ethics?
- What is the good life and how does one achieve it?
- Is ethics natural or learned behavior?
- What is an ethically bad life? How do we know?
- How do humans differentiate between good and bad in the realm of ethics?
- Do ethical actions have value apart from the outcomes of those actions?
- Are humans free or determined, and how does this perspective relate to human responsibility?
- What can humans know for certain and how can they justify that they actually know what they think they know?
- What are the limits of human perception and cognition?
- What is the relationship between scientific knowledge and other types of knowledge?
- What are the limits of skepticism?
- What are the differences between the mind and the brain?
- Is radical relativism defensible?
- What is the best epistemological argument and explanation of how humans perceive their worlds?
- How did human consciousness emerge and where is it headed?
- Is proof for the existence of God necessary?
- Which argument for the existence of God is strongest? Why?
- What are the foundations of the universe and from where did the universe emerge?
- Can one be moral and not believe in God?
- Can God and real evil be reconciled?
- Are science and religion in conflict?
- Can God’s omniscience and human free will be reconciled?
- Is there a rational argument for atheism?
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