short answers questions—at least 250 words per question

 

 QUESTION 1

1.    

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How free are you to look at the evidence for and against God’s existence?  Many Muslims around the world would be killed if they left Islam and became Christians.  Many Jews would be rejected by their families if they come to believe Jesus rose from the dead.  Tibetans who leave Buddhism are seen as denying that they are Tibetan.  Some people who leave the church they grew up in would be rejected by others.  Some of us come from China and if we reject Buddhism or Maoism, we would be rejected by family and the state and the community.  See what I mean?  All of us have family and friends and even an imagined reputation with people we respect that keep us from being rationally objective about the evidence for/against God’s existence. You might even be a well-respected atheist (like Antony Flew) who is berated for leaving the fold.  

Where are you in this journey to become rationally objective and free to examine the evidence?  

QUESTION 2

1.    

 

Imagine that you   are an atheist and you are at the coffee shop with Antony Flew. 

(1) Flew asks you to explain the fine-tuning argument to him (in your own words) to make sure you understand it.  Do that.   

(2) Now, Flew asks you to persuade him that he is wrong to become a theist.  In your own words, explain the atheistic (naturalistic) response that is most reasonable to you.

(nota   bene :  Make sure you have NO rhetorical questions in your answers.  They are distracting and confusing and rhetorical devices that are not helpful arguing with philosophers. )

 

QUESTION 3

1.     (1) In your own words, explain why atheist philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Friedrich Nietzsche and Christian philosophers like William Lane Craig and Francis Schaeffer think that life is absurd and meaningless if there is no immortality of the soul and no God to give ultimate purposes to human life.  

(2) What do you make of this existential situation of human beings?  Does it inspire you to examine the evidence for God’s existence more, or does it increase your apatheism ?  QUESTION 4

1.    

 

(1) In your own words, quickly   explain one of the two philosophical arguments for the beginning of time and also explain one of the scientific arguments for a beginning of time.

(2) This argument changed your instructor’s life since he was unaware of such sophisticated arguments for God’s existence. The  Kalam   and the Fine-Tuning argument have persuaded many atheist scientists in the last 30 years to believe in God. What did you make of the  Kalam  Cosmological Argument?   How strong is it?  Is it stronger than the fine-tuning argument?   

QUESTION 5

1.    

 

(1) Explain this argument in your own words.  You may explain the overall argument and then zero in on one of the things that is difficult (or impossible) for a Naturalist to explain, yet it is very easy for the theist. 

(2) Evaluate this argument.  Is your instructor insane to give this argument as much rational weight as he does?  Explain your view.