Philosophy of Religion (Audiobook - TTC)



Philosophy of Religion (Audiobook - TTC)
The central questions of this course are:
  • Can humans know whether the claim 'God exists' is true or not?
  • If so, how?
  • If not, why not?
  • Are these first three questions actually useful?

These questions have perplexed us since the first moment we were capable of asking them. Philosophy of Religion invites you to explore the questions of divine existence with the tools of epistemology, the branch of philosophy that concerns itself with what we can know.
In Professor James Hall, Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Richmond, you have an unusually qualified teacher. The son of a Baptist minister (who himself later became a university professor), Professor Hall first trained at a seminary before taking his doctorate in philosophy and embarking on a teaching career nearly 40 years ago.
He announces early in the series where he stands on these issues; this is not a course with a hidden agenda, or an exercise in polemic. (And, no, we won't let the cat out of the bag here. The story of Professor Hall's own background and philosophical journey, which he shares with you in Lecture 3, is far too interesting for us to divulge.)
AudioFile magazine's review of this course reports that '[Professor Hall] is amiable, humorous, clear, and interesting, and, thankfully, never pedantic.'
Make no mistake about it: This is a rigorous course in the most positive sense of the word. One of the great joys of intellect is using it, and you do so in every lecture.
At the same time, philosophy can sometimes be needlessly abstract, and Professor Hall's ability to avoid this hazard makes this course consistently engaging. For example, he uses a memorable antacid commercial to illustrate the loss of relevance in a non sequitur argument and a classic Garry Trudeau cartoon to illustrate equivocation in language.
Course Lecture Titles
  • 1. What is Philosophy?
  • 2. What is Religion?
  • 3. What is Philosophy of Religion?
  • 4. How is the Word 'God' Generally Used?
  • 5. How Do Various Theists Use the Word 'God'?
  • 6. What is Knowledge?
  • 7. What Kinds of Evidence Count?
  • 8. What Constitutes Good Evidence?
  • 9. Why Argue for the Existence of God?
  • 10. How Ontological Argument Works
  • 11. Why Ontological Argument is Said to Fail
  • 12. How Cosmological Argument Works
  • 13. Why Cosmological Argument is Said to Fail
  • 14. How Teleological Argument Works
  • 15. How Teleological Argument Works (continued)
  • 16. Why Teleological Argument is Said to Fail
  • 17. Divine Encounters Make Argument Unnecessary
  • 18. Divine Encounters Require Interpretation
  • 19. Why is Evil a Problem?
  • 20. Taking Evil Seriously
  • 21. Non-Justificatory Theodicies
  • 22. Justifying Evil
  • 23. Justifying Natural Evil
  • 24. Justifying Human Evil
  • 25. Evidence is Irrelevant to Faith
  • 26. Groundless Faith is Irrelevant to Life
  • 27. God is Beyond Human Grasp, But That's O.K.
  • 28. Transcendental Talk is 'Sound and Fury'
  • 29. Discourse in an Intentionalist Paradigm
  • 30. Evaluating Paradigms
  • 31. Choosing and Changing Paradigms
  • 32. Language Games and Theistic Discourse
  • 33. Fabulation—Theism as Story
  • 34. Theistic Stories, Morality, and Culture
  • 35. Stories, Moral Progress, and Culture Reform
  • 36. Conclusions and Signposts



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