Discussion question: It is Rational to Believe in God?

In answering this question, you must discuss the arguments of at least 2 philosophers, with at least 1 of those philosophers among those we read for class (Anselm, Aquinas Paley, Mackie, Pascal, Clifford, Kelleman, Dennett). In your paper, you must give a thesis (for example: yes it’s rational, no it’s not rational, yes it’s rational under certain conditions…), argue for your thesis, consider an objection to your view, and then respond to that objection in a way that is consistent with and make sense given your original argument. It is acceptable for your argument to simply be a clear explanation of a philosopher’s argument—you do not need to (and actually should not) come up with your own unique argument (your thesis, for example, could be, “Following Mackie, I will argue that the problem of evil shows that the traditional monotheistic God does not exist”).

If you use a philosopher we did not discuss in class, you must cite from an original philosophical source (rather than a summary article, for example). It’s also your responsibility to make sure the author is a credible academic and the article is published (so joe_the_philosopher420’s blog post would not work here). A good place to look for alternative sources is The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. If you search the entries on philosophy of religion, belief in God, etc. you can use the articles cited in entry to find sources.