Test Questions for Phil 251: Intro. to Philosophy
Philosophy of Religion

Answers at end.

True/False (A=True; B=False)

1. Philosophy contributes to the aim of "faith seeking understanding" by criticizing rationalizations of religious beliefs that appeal to biases or opinions for which there are no good arguments.

2. For theists, ways of reasoning such as the ontological and cosmological arguments are examples of "faith seeking understanding."

3. Since the ontological argument for the existence of God relies on experiencing the reality of God in one's life, it is an a posteriori argument.

  4. The ontological argument gets its name from its attempt to prove the existence of God simply by showing how  being or existence is implicit in the meaning of the term "God."

  5.  To say that the ontological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument means that it relies on sensible experience for its justification.

 6. Anselm's ontological argument is an a priori argument because it relies only on reason, not experience, to show how belief in God's existence makes sense.

  7. Insofar as Anselm's ontological argument is guided by his aim of "faith seeking understanding," it is intended to persuade even the atheist to believe in God.

  8. By noting how existence is not a predicate, Kant wants to show how the proposition "God exists" is an analytic statement.

  9. A posteriori propositions are known as true or false only if the predicate of the proposition is contained necessarily and universally in the subject.

  10. To say that a being exists contingently means that its existence depends on something else and that it is possible to conceive of the nonexistence of the being.

11. To say that God's existence is  necessary  (rather than contingent ) means that God does not rely or depend on anything else for his existence.

 12. The cosmological argument for the existence of God is an a priori argument because it is based on premises that can be known only by means of experience of the world.

 13. According to Aquinas' cosmological argument, if there is no God, then the existence of the universe would be absurd because there would be no cause or reason for it.

 14.  For Thomas Aquinas, the first cause of the universe (God) has to have existed at the beginning of time but does not now have to exist in order for the universe to exist now.

 15. According to Aquinas' cosmological argument for the existence of God, if there is a cosmos, there must be a cause adequate to account for its existence, and that cause is God.

 16. According to Thomas Aquinas, the existence of contingent beings require the existence of a necessary being without which their existence would be unintelligible.

 17. In Aquinas' version of the cosmological argument, the cause or ultimate justification for the universe cannot really be known because God is outside of relations of causality.

 18. According to Aquinas' argument from  contingency, a potential being cannot become an actual being except through the act or agency of another potential being.

 19. According to Kant, the cosmological argument fails because it assumes that existence is a predicate that adds something to our understanding of the concept of "God."

 20.  The teleological argument gets its name from the fact that it begins with an analysis of the nature of the concept "God."

 21. Because the teleological argument for the existence of God begins with the assumption that God is (by definition) a designing creator, it is an  a priori  argument.

22. The teleological argument (or argument from design) for God's existence is an  a posteriori  argument because it is based on our  experience  of order or purpose in the universe.

 23. Supporters of the teleological argument claim that, even if we do not understand the function or purpose of all of the parts of the universe, that is no reason to doubt that the universe has some design.

 24. The design argument for the existence of God shows how science explains the order and design of the universe without having to introduce an external mind to direct its development.

 25.  Darwin's criticism of the teleological argument claims that  order  in the universe does not prove that there is any design  or purpose in the universe.

 26. In criticizing the teleological argument, Darwin claims that the perceived order in the universe can be explained simply as the result of natural causes, not supernatural purposes or designs.

 27. As part of his critique of the design argument, Hume claims that even if there is order in the universe, that does not prove that there is any design or purpose in the universe.

 28. In criticizing the teleological argument, Hume notes that there is no convincing evidence for believing that the world has either a purpose or an order (other than one we read into it).

 29. Hume rejects the design argument by noting that to argue analogously we must understand the analogously related things independently of one another in order to draw the analogy.

 30. Hume rejects the teleological argument based on analogy by noting that knowing that the whole universe is good does not necessarily imply that each of its parts is good.

 31. According to Hume, the mixture of order and disorder in the world provides no rational support for belief in an infinitely good and powerful God.

 32. For Hume, religious skepticism is the only appropriate rational attitude to adopt in the face of the fact that an infinitely good and powerful God's existence is incompatible with real evil.

33. Kant's moral argument proves that God exists by identifying God as the  summum bonum , the greatest good.

 34.  To say that Pascal's "wager" is a philosophic argument means that it appeals not to faith or personal beliefs but to what is supported by rational argumentation.

 35. Though Pascal's "wager" shows that it is reasonable to believe in God, it does not prove that God exists.

36. Pascal's  wager  attempts to prove that God exists by showing how arguments in favor of God's existence are more reasonable than arguments against his existence.

37. Pascal's "wager" proves that God exists.

 38. Whereas the agnostic does not claim to believe either that there is or is not a God, the atheist believes firmly that there is no God.

 39. Though all atheists are agnostics, not all agnostics are atheists.

40. Atheism is an extreme form of agnosticism.

41. Though pantheists  claim they are not atheists, they really are because they deny that God exists.

42. In contrast to traditional theism, pantheism is more concerned with the  epistemology  of religious belief than with metaphysical issues in the philosophy of religion because, according to pantheism, God is everything.

43. The agnostic's explanation of evil acknowledges that, if God had not chosen to create human beings with free will, the abuse of free will would not have resulted in sin.

 44. A theist is someone who believes that there is a God (even though he or she might not claim to know that God exists).

  45. A theodicy is an attempt to explain how an omniscient, omnipotent, all-good God can exist simultaneously with evil in the world.

46. A theodicy is a proof of God's existence based on the belief that both good and evil are matters of perspective.

 47. According to Dostoevski, the existence of God and the reality of evil can be intelligibly reconciled only if there is some afterlife that erases or makes up for the suffering we experience in this life.

 48. According to Feuerbach, religion keeps us from affirming our own characteristics and abilities, thus alienating what is essential to us by locating those traits in God.

 49. Feuerbach argues that hopes and aspirations for human development are frustrated by believing in God, inasmuch as belief in God means alienating what is essentially human from ourselves.

 50.  In contrast to Feuerbach, Marx claims that religious belief does not  cause  human alienation as much as it is a symptomatic response to social exploitation.

 51. Marx's criticism of religion as "the opium of the masses" is intended more to challenge religious believers to work for social change in God's name rather than to raise doubts about God's existence.

 52. Freud argues that religion is based on an infantile, often unconscious longing for a father figure who will protect us from the anxieties of life.

 53. According to Freud, the unresolved infantile fears and resentments that account for religious beliefs can be overcome only through a faith in God as our redeemer from such delusions.

 54. According to Freud, religion avoids dealing with the harsh reality of life by promoting a self-deluding and infantile belief in a father figure who will save us from feelings of helplessness and fear.

 55. Freud's intent in describing religious belief as a function of wish-fulfillment is to show that the proposition "God exists" is false.

 56. Because believers in mystical experiences cannot "prove" the existence of God, they agree with Freud that religious belief is based on delusions.

 57. Volitional arguments supporting religious belief are more concerned with the question of whether God exists than with rational justifications for believing in God.

 58. According to Hume, because it is irrational to believe in something for which there are no good reasons, it is irrational to believe in God.

 59. By asking "what causes God?" Hume wants to show how God exists necessarily because God depends upon nothing else for His existence.

 60. William James argues that we should always limit our belief to that for which we have evidence and should never commit ourselves to beliefs on insufficient evidence.

61. According to William James, if we have no intellectual basis on which to decide God's existence, our choice to believe must based on whether such a belief satisfies our expectations and gives our lives meaning.

 62. William James suggests that, unless we have sufficient evidence to support our belief in the existence of God, we should withhold that belief and adopt agnosticism.

 63. For Kierkegaard, because the moral life is based on objective, rational, and universalizable principles, it is much more "authentic" than one based on the subjective truth of religion.

 64. Kierkegaard claims that unconditioned faith replaces the anguish and ambiguity of human existence with a calming confidence of having been saved by God.

65. When an  authentic  individual engages in what Kierkegaard calls a "leap of faith," he or she finds peace and tranquillity in the knowledge that God exists.

66. Kierkegaard claims that by making a "leap of faith" a person can prove that God actually exists.

 67. According to Kierkegaard angst is the anguish or anxiety implicit in the authentic experience of the ambiguity of human existence.

 68. For Kierkegaard, since no convincing arguments can be given to justify existence itself, the only proper (i.e., authentic) response is unconditioned faith in God's promise of salvation.

 69. The  aesthetic  life style (for Kierkegaard) provides no guide for making decisions because those who pursue the aesthetic life acknowledge that human existence is ambiguous.

 70. Abraham's "leap of faith" was, for Kierkegaard, an ethical  but not a  religious  decision because it was based on Abraham's knowledge of what was morally right.

 71. In defining truth in terms of subjectivity, Kierkegaard claims that the truth of statements (even about things about which we are only mildly curious) is based on how we feel about them.

 72. According to Kierkegaard, our existence is meaningful only to the extent that we can give an objective, rational justification for believing in God's promise of salvation.

73. According to Schopenhauer, our lives will never have meaning unless we reach the goals we set for ourselves.

74. In Buddhism, one ends suffering in this life through scientific knowledge and the pursuit of sensual pleasures.

75. Stoicism and Buddhism are alike insofar as they endorse Tolstoy's claim that life is ultimately meaningless.

Multiple Choice

76. Some philosophers (e.g., Pascal, William James, Kierkegaard) claim that since religious faith is a personal commitment which rational arguments cannot comprehend, faith cannot be rationally justified.  Against this view that faith and reason are incompatible, critics object that this would make religious faith:
    (a) depend solely on one's culture or how one was raised.
    (b) simply another ordinary way to reason about God as an object of intellectual study.
    (c) the only way to explain how life is meaningful.
    (d) unintelligible to anyone other than believers.

77. According to Anselm's version of the ontological argument, God must exist both as an object of belief in people's minds and as a reality outside of their minds, because:
    (a) without being able to believe in a God who exists apart from their minds, some people would not be able to make sense of what is in their minds.
    (b) a being who exists only in the mind is not as great as one who exists both in minds and outside of minds.
    (c) if God existed only in people's minds, then those who do not fully understand what or who God is would not be able to believe in him.
    (d) according to the definition of "God" accepted by believer and atheist alike, God is beyond all understanding (and thus must be outside of people's minds).

78. According to Anselm's ontological argument, if God is the greatest conceivable being, then a God who exists only in people's minds and not in reality (outside of their minds) would not truly be God, because:
  (a) a being who exists only mentally would not be as great as one who exists mentally and in reality.
  (b) only God could know the greatest conceivable being, and thus only he knows whether he truly exists.
  (c) the real existence of God outside of minds depends on his being thought about by human minds.
  (d) for a thing to be God, it has to be conceivable; and if anything is conceivable, it must exist.

79. Which of the following IS NOT an assumption in Anselm's ontological argument?
  (a) That being than which nothing greater can be conceived exists at least (but not necessarily at most) in the mind.
  (b) A being that exists in reality and in the mind is more perfect than one that exists in the mind alone.
  (c) It is greater for something to exist necessarily only in the mind than contingently in reality.
  (d) By "God" we understand that being than which nothing greater can be conceived.

80. According to Descartes' version of the ontological argument, if God is defined as an absolutely perfect being, then he must exist because:
  (a) if God does not exist, then there would be no object outside of people's minds to which they could refer when they say that they believe.
  (b) if the definition of God as absolutely perfect is accepted only by believers, then anyone who doubts the definition would also have to doubt whether God exists.
  (c) without an  argument  for the existence of God, religious believers would not be able to defend their definition of God as absolutely perfect.
  (d) since it is better for a thing to exist than for it not to exist, any God that did not exist would not, by definition, be absolutely perfect.

81. One objection to the ontological argument is that the argument assumes the false premise that real existence adds something to the concept of God.  The premise, it is argued, is false because:
  (a) to say that something exists does not in any way change or enhance what it is.
  (b) the concept of a thing, along with the actual existence of the thing, is greater than the thought of the thing alone.
  (c) something that exists necessarily is greater than that which exists contingently.
  (d) even if the world is imperfect, that does not necessarily mean that its creator (God) is imperfect.

82. Critics of Anselm's ontological argument (e.g., Hume, Kant) claim that merely having an idea of something (e.g., God) cannot be the basis for claiming that the thing exists.  However, defenders of the argument reply that:
  (a) by saying that God exists, they do not aim to prove that God exists but only aim to show how no  a priori  or a posteriori  proofs can make sense of belief in God.
  (b) saying that God exists does not add anything to what God is, since God's existence (the fact  that  he exists) is different from his essence ( what  he is).
  (c) God is unlike anything else about which we can have ideas, since God (by definition) cannot be thought without also thinking his existence.
  (d) a perfect thing (e.g., God)  might  not exist, but that is no good reason to believe that he  does  not exist.

83. In Anselm's version of the ontological argument, a non-existing God would lack a characteristic or predicate that an existing God would have, and therefore a non-existing God would be inferior to an existing one.  But in his refutation of the argument, Kant notes that because existence is not a predicate, knowing or not knowing about the existence or non-existence of something does not affect our being able to know the thing.  In other words, the point Kant makes is this:
 (a) Thinking of God and thinking of God's existing in no way adds anything to the concept.
 (b) To think of God as not existing is impossible, since by our thinking of him he must exist.
 (c) God certainly does not need us to think of him in order to exist; but unless we think of him, we cannot know that he exists.
 (d) Adding existence to the concept of God does not change God, but it does change our understanding or idea of God.

84. According to Descartes' version of the ontological argument, a being who lacks existence would not be as great a being as one who exists; and since God is perfect, he must necessarily exist.  Against this reasoning Hume replies:
  (a) We can know nothing about God because our finite minds are incapable of knowing anything with certainty about an infinitely existing God.
  (b) Even though even an atheist would agree with the definition of God as an absolutely perfect being, not everyone would equate that with the greatest conceivable being.
  (c) If we can conceive of God's existence, we can likewise conceive of his non-existence; and that is all that is needed to show that the idea of God alone cannot prove he exists.
  (d) An a priori argument for the existence of God can prove that he actually exists but not that it is possible for him to exist (which would have to be proven a posteriori).

85. Hume rejects the ontological argument for God's existence by pointing out that it is wrong to think that, based merely on a definition, idea, or meaning one can make claims about reality.  He supports this by saying:
  (a) as long as someone believes in God, that is all he or she needs to prove that God exists.
  (b) without first believing that something (e.g., God) exists, one cannot have a definition or idea of it.
  (c) if something (e.g., God) is conceivable as existing, it can likewise be conceived of as not existing.
  (d) if the definition or idea of something (e.g., God) is not only possible but logically necessary, then the existence of that thing is not only possible but logically necessary as well.

86. "If everything that exists in the world (including the world itself) is not the cause of its own existence, then there must be a cause of the world's existence which itself does not need to be caused by anything else: that uncaused cause is God."  This line of argument is called:
 (a) the existential argument.
 (b) the cosmological argument.
 (c) the ontological argument.
 (d) the teleological argument.

87. Thomas Aquinas points out that the cosmological argument does not assume that there was some original creation that long ago began the causal sequence of events in history, for reason alone cannot rule out the possibility that the universe has existed for an infinite time.  Besides, if one assumed that God originally created the world long ago, that could not be used as an argument for the existence of God, because that would prove only that:
 (a) what we think of as God must be the same as the universe.
 (b) God would have had to have a cause (which would have been the universe itself).
 (c) God may have existed at the moment of creation, but not necessarily now.
 (d) there is no rational justification for thinking that the universe has any cause at all.

88. According to Thomas Aquinas' discussion of the cosmological argument for God's existence, there must be an ultimate cause or reason for the existence of the world (namely, God).  If there were no such cause, then there would be no way to explain why:
 (a) anything (including the world) exists at all.
 (b) God exists.
 (c) everything always has to be explained.
 (d) God would choose to create a world at all.

89. According to Aquinas, the universe must have a cause which itself has no cause and therefore has existed for all eternity.  Hume rejects this argument by pointing out that there would be no need to postulate the existence of a cause independent of the universe if we were simply to acknowledge the possibility that:
  (a) the universe itself might have existed for all eternity and thus is its own cause.
  (b) the universe itself causes God, who then re-creates the universe (e.g., in the Big Bang).
  (c) because every thing in the universe is its own cause, every thing has always existed.
  (d) nothing other than God could be its own cause.

90. Thomas Aquinas' account of the cosmological argument assumes that there is a rationale or explanation for the existence of the things we experience in the world.  He concludes that the ultimate cause of that existence is itself not created by anything else, because:
 (a) without that ultimate cause there would be no way to explain why anything happens at all.
 (b) the ultimate cause cannot be known as the cause of itself since it would be known only by God.
 (c) if there is an ultimate cause (God), then there would be no reason for the world to exist.
 (d) God's infinity consists not in being the ultimate cause but in the infinite regress associated with there not being an ultimate cause.

91. According to supporters of the cosmological argument, there is an explanation for the existence of the things we experience in the world.  Thomas Aquinas, for example, concludes that the ultimate cause of existence is itself not created by anything else, because:
 (a) without that ultimate cause there would be no way to explain why anything happens at all.
 (b) the ultimate cause cannot be known as the cause of itself since it would be known only by God.
 (c) if there is an ultimate cause (God), then there would be no reason for the world to exist.
 (d) God's infinity consists not in being the ultimate cause but in the infinite regress associated with there not being an ultimate cause.

92. According to Aquinas, an infinite causal regress (saying A is caused by B, which itself is caused by C, and so on infinitely) fails to account rationally for the existence of things  in the world because:
 (a) that would mean that the world has existed for all eternity.
 (b) every thing in the world would be existing for all eternity.
 (c) such a regress itself would never change.
 (d) it, in effect, denies that existence ultimately can be explained.

[The following quote summarizing Thomas Aquinas' cosmological argument applies to Questions 93 & 94]:
"(1) Since objects or events exist, and since no object of experience contains within itself the reason of its existence, the  totality of objects must have a reason external to itself.  That reason must be an existent being.  This being is either itself the reason for its own existence, or it is not.  If it is, well and good.  (2) If it is not, then we must proceed farther.  But if we proceed to infinity in that sense, then there's no explanation of existence at all."

93. To the first part of this argument Hume would reply:
  (a) only things that exist necessarily could be the reason for the existence of contingent beings; such necessary beings are infinite.
  (b) what we know about objects of experience is that they are caused; therefore we can conclude that objects beyond our experience are uncaused.
  (c) just as scientists cannot predict subatomic causal interactions, so the philosopher cannot predict what causal interactions God has with the world.
  (d) because the concept of cause is limited to our observations of particular things, we cannot conclude anything about whether the totality of things has any cause.

94. A second problem Hume would have with this argument by has to do with Aquinas' implicit assumption that everything has a reason or cause for its existence which can also be said of  the totality of the universe.  Hume would respond to this by:
 (a) denying that, for God, everything has to have a reason or cause for its existence.
 (b) claiming that existence cannot justifiably be predicated of a subject as part of its definition.
 (c) challenging the assumption that the existence of the universe can be explained.
  (d) arguing that the principle that everything has a reason or cause applies only to the universe taken as a totality and not as an infinite series of particular events or objects.

95. Hume rejects the cosmological argument for God's existence because it ignores the possibility that the causal sequence of events in the universe might stretch back infinitely.  If the universe has always existed, he argues, it would not need a divine origin.  In reply, defenders of the cosmological argument claim that:
  (a) the universe cannot have existed infinitely (eternally) because nothing can exist eternally.
  (b) though things in the universe have existed eternally, the universe as a totality has not always existed.
  (c) though the universe as a totality has always existed, individual things in it have not always existed.
  (d) regardless of whether the universe had an origin, something (God) must be causing it to exist now.

96. To the argument that things in the universe could not simply have happened by chance but rather happened according to laws of nature formulated by God, Hume replies that:
 (a) the laws of nature could have been designed by some mind other than God.
  (b) without the laws of nature, there would be nothing that proves or disproves God's existence.
  (c) because the laws of nature order our experiences in determinate sequences, that proves that something must cause those laws (namely, God).
 (d) laws of nature are statistical averages of possibilities of chance events.

97. To the argument that the intricacy and order of things in the universe could not simply have resulted from chance but rather must have been caused by God, Hume (among others) replies that:
  (a) the order of things in the world follows laws of nature that could not have been designed by any mind other than an infinite mind, God.
  (b) though the laws of nature are based on generalizations of experience, the divine cause of those laws is knowable without having to rely on experience.
  (c) laws of nature simply summarize our experiences and do not imply that there are, in the world itself, orderly sequences or that something must cause those sequences.
  (d) since laws of nature are statistical averages of possibilities of chance events, they are in no way based on actual experiences and cannot provide knowledge of the world or its cause.

98. According to one classic statement employing the teleological argument, "It is not necessary that a machine be perfect, in order to show with what design it was made; still less necessary, where the only question is, whether it were made with any design at all."  The problem with applying this view to the question of God's design in creating the universe, from Hume's standpoint, is that:
 (a) it presumes what needs to be proven, namely, that the universe is like a machine.
  (b) because no machine is perfect, no universe could be designed so as to exhibit the characteristics of a perfect machine.
  (c) some machines do not have any design at all.
  (d) as long as people are inclined to see design or purpose in the universe, there is no argument that will persuade them otherwise.

99. Hume raises a number of objections against using the teleological argument as a basis for believing in the existence of God.  Which of the following IS NOT one of these objections?
  (a) The argument assumes that the universe is like other things we have experienced; but since we did not experience the creation of the universe, we cannot be sure that universes have causes.
  (b) The argument assumes that the world's existence can be explained rationally by appeal to God as its cause; but why not think that the world is a result of pure chance and has no reason for being?
  (c) The argument shows at best that a very powerful and very wise source could be the cause of the (finite) world, but not an all-powerful, wise, and good one.
  (d) The argument assumes that, since God has existed for all eternity, so the world also must have existed for all eternity.

100. Which of the following IS NOT one of Hume's objections to the theological argument from design?
  (a) Since we have no experience of universes being created, we cannot say whether even an orderly one has to have a creator.
  (b) Since order in the universe is due to natural processes, God is only indirectly responsible for it.
  (c) There is no order in the universe other than what we imagine.
  (d) Even if some God creates the universe, that does not prove that he is infinitely wise, good, or powerful.

101. Hume raises a number of objections against using the teleological argument as a basis for believing in the existence of God.  Which of the following IS NOT one of these objections?
  (a) The argument assumes that the universe is like other things we have experienced; but since we did not experience the creation of the universe, we cannot be sure that universes have causes.
  (b) The argument assumes that the world's existence can be explained rationally by appeal to God as its cause; but why should we think that the world's existence is rationally explainable?
  (c) The argument shows at best that a very powerful and very wise source could be the cause of the (finite) world, but not an all-powerful, wise, and good one.
  (d) The argument assumes that, since God has existed for all eternity, so the world also must have existed for all eternity.

102. Hume claims that the teleological (or design) argument fails to prove that God exists because it assumes that, just as there is a connection between objects (e.g., watches) and their makers, so also there is a connection between the universe and its maker (God).   To assume such an analogy, Hume argues, is unjustified because:
  (a) as panentheists point out, God is the creative harmony of the universe, not some external cause.
  (b) it would require that we know from experience that universes always have creators.
  (c) if God is "beyond" our experience, then he also cannot be a personal being who cares about us.
  (d) no argument from analogy can be based on experience.

103. "Could a peasant, if the  Aeneid  were read to him, pronounce that poem to be absolutely faultless, or even assign to it its proper rank among the productions of human wit, he who had never seen any other production?"  In this comment Hume is pointing out how:
 (a) comparing the world to a poem is like comparing the work of God to the work of peasants.
  (b) even if God is perfect, he has nonetheless created all orders of beings, including imperfect thinkers (like ourselves) who are poorly qualified to judge His work.
  (c) assigning the universe to "its proper rank" means comparing it to other things in our experience; insofar as it is better than anything else, it is the comparative best.
  (d) it is impossible for us to tell, based on our limited experience, whether the system of the world contains any great flaws or deserves any considerable praise.

104. "When two species of objects have always been observed to be conjoined together, I can infer, by custom, the existence of one wherever I see the existence of the other; and this I call an argument from experience.  But how this argument can have place where the objects, as in the present case, are single, individual, without parallel or specific resemblance, may be difficult to explain. . . . To ascertain this reasoning it were requisite that we had experience of the origin of worlds; and it is not sufficient, surely, that we have seen ships and cities arise from human art and contrivance."  In this passage Hume:
  (a) raises questions about the argument from analogy in proving God's existence.
  (b) says that we can prove the existence of God based on experience.
  (c) shows how the use of the argument from analogy proves that God does not exist.
  (d) denies that the existence of an infinite God follows from the existence of a finite world.

105. One of the classic arguments against the existence of God is the problem of evil.  Which of the following IS NOT a typical response religious believers give to this argument?
 (a) Evil is not real; it only seems real from our limited perspective.
 (b) Evil is not due to God but to the abuse of freedom by human beings.
 (c) Evil is necessary so that we can identify good and be motivated to achieve the good.
 (d) Evil is an incoherent, impossible concept, and so not even God could know what evil is.

106. Religious believers sometimes claim that the existence of evil in the world is not due to God but rather to human failings (sin).  Therefore, they point out, the existence of evil cannot be used as an argument against the belief in God.  To such a strategy, skeptics about the existence of God reply:
  (a) this way of reasoning assumes that there is a God and then tries to place the blame for evil on human beings; but the point of the criticism is to challenge the original assumption itself.
  (b) since no one really believes in the reality of evil, no one can use the existence of evil as the basis for not believing in the reality of God.
  (c) sin is a misuse of human freedom; though God is responsible for having created human beings as free, he is not responsible for how they use that freedom.
  (d) evil is due neither to God nor human beings; it is the activity of the devil.

107. Religious believers sometimes argue that evil does not necessarily prove there is no God; rather, evil exists so that we can appreciate goodness and improve ourselves in response to it.  Critics respond to this by noting that:
  (a) God could have made us more sensitive to good without our having to endure so much suffering.
  (b) evil is not real; it only seems real from our perspective.
  (c) any suffering we experience in this life will be more than compensated in an afterlife.
  (d) no one really believes that people become better through responding to challenges.

108. Religious believers sometimes claim that God is not responsible for evil in the world; it is due to the misuse by human beings of their free will.  Which of the following  IS NOT a typical objection to this argument?
  (a) God could have created us with more intelligence (hightening our sensitivity to immorality) without affecting our freedom, but he chose not to; why?
  (b) Why doesn't God (who presumably is an all-loving father) intervene in the world when we sin in order to prevent suffering that often outweighs our errors.
  (c) If God had created us like himself, then we would not have been truly human; we are as good as human beings can be.
  (d) Even if moral evil is due to our sins, how can the non-moral evil (e.g., disease, natural disasters) experienced by innocent children be caused by their abuse of free will?

109. The "aesthetic totality" solution to the problem of evil argues that, without evil in the world, we would not be able to identify the good nor would we appreciate the good as much as we do.  If everything were good (the argument goes), then life would not be interesting.  To this, critics reply:
  (a) since each person has his/her own meaning for good and evil, God could not have given us all the same appreciation of the distinction without making us all the same.
  (b) God could have created in us appreciation of the good without our suffering to learn it.
  (c) since there is no suffering in heaven (or happiness in hell), there is no knowledge of good or evil there; so we must be in heaven, since we now experience the good.
  (d) shadows and tragedies are necessary components of the total beauty of the universe.

110. Some people claim that the apparently needless suffering and deaths of small children do have a purpose in God's grand scheme: it inspires others to do the good.  Furthermore, the argument goes, innocent children will be rewarded in an afterlife.  To this, critics reply:
  (a) it is unjust to punish an innocent to make a point to others, and no amount of reward will erase that unjust suffering.
  (b) guilty people suffer just as much as innocent people; why should the innocents be given special consideration?
  (c) unless we have some guidance about what is good, we will suffer and die just like the small children; would that be fair to the rest of us?
  (d) since all human beings (as descendents of Adam) are tainted with original sin, they are all guilty, even so-called innocent children.

111. Some religious believers have suggested that the presence of evil in the world actually makes us better people, because our struggles against evil builds character.  If that is the case, then there is a reason for the presence of evil--a reason which makes evil actually desireable: in short, it's good that there is evil in the world.  Against this way of thinking, critics raise the objection:
  (a) this does not explain why we are fascinated with the "beauty" of pure evil.
  (b) no amount of effort or struggle builds character; you're born with a good character.
  (c) there is no real evil in the world, only what appears from our perspective as evil.
  (d) much less evil is needed to challenge us to make great efforts, so why is there so much?

112. Religious believers deny that the so-called problem of evil is an argument against the existence of an all-good, all-powerful God.  They note (1) that things or events are evil only from  our  perspective and (2) that evil is necessary to highlight the good and to make us appreciate the good.  Against these attempts to defend God, though, critics reply:
  (a) God does not have to be defended nor do his ways need to be justified; we should simply accept the fact that God is the source of all that is good and leave it at that.
  (b) if evil is not real but only a matter of perspective, then so is good; if there is no reason to blame God for bad things that happen to us, there is no reason to credit him for good things either.
  (c) the presence of evil in our lives challenges us to work harder and to improve ourselves; thus evil is really something beneficial, another gift from God, and thus not really evil.
  (d) though the concept of an all-good, all-powerful God seems impossible or incoherent, it is not: it is a problem only for us because we have limited intellects.

113. Which of the following strategies acknowledges that there is a problem regarding the existence of God and evil in the world but then simply avoids providing an answer to the problem?
  (a) Arguing that God exists, but he is not all-powerful, all-knowing, and/or all-good.
  (b) Claiming that God acts in ways too mysterious for our understanding.
  (c) Denying that there is any real evil in the world.
  (d) Arguing that no God exists, and that evil is simply natural.

114. In response to those who argue that, without God, there is no difference between natural and unnatural, moral and immoral behavior, Russell (following Hume's example) provides the following argument.  If the natural or moral order of things is due to God, then there is a reason why God chose this or that order.  But that sets up another problem, namely:
  (a) if God creates a world in which there is no order, then what's the point?  The only conclusion one could draw would be to say that life is fundamentally absurd.
  (b) when God chooses an order to use as a guide for things in the world, it does not mean that all things have to adopt that order; the order serves only as a guide.
  (c) if God chooses the order for a reason, there is a standard independent of God's decision; if there is no reason for his choice, there is no ultimate reason for the order (and God is not needed).
  (d) if God has created the world with a certain order, then evil (which is normally considered disorder) is part of that order, and thus evil is really caused by God.

115. Dostoevski argues that we should choose not to relinquish our belief in the reality of evil because to do so would be to trivialize it.  As long as we believe in the reality of evil, we must continue to question why God permits it.  To such questioning, God remains silent because:
  (a) we do not want Him to explain why there is evil in the world, because if we understood it we would no longer experience reasons for despair.
  (b) any attempted explanation would "make sense" of evil, which is precisely what cannot be done.
  (c) there is really not a distinction in the world itself between good and evil; it is only a human construct.
  (d) God has provided explanations through the Scriptures about why there is evil in the world (it is due to human sin and weakness); it's just that we are not listening.

116. One of Dostoevski's characters claims, "It's not that I don't accept God, it's the world created by him I don't and cannot accept."  In terms of attempted theodicies, this means that:
  (a) the existence of evil proves that God does not exist.
  (b) the fact that God is perfect indicates how evil is simply in our perception of things.
  (c) the world cannot be perfect (like God is) and thus needs to be rejected.
  (d) acknowledging God's existence does not deny or ignore evil in the world.

117. Dostoevski also comments: "If all must suffer to pay for the eternal harmony, what have children to do with it?  It's beyond all comprehension why they should suffer, why they should pay for the harmony."  The harmony he refers to is the harmony:
  (a) that balances the evil in the world with the happiness of an afterlife.
  (b) between crime or sin (human failure) and the punishment that such failure requires.
  (c) that balances suffering with forgiveness, injustice with mercy.
  (d) between human lack of understanding of God's ways and theodicies showing that God's existence is compatible with the existence of evil.

118. According to Feuerbach, religion has played a significant role in human history by pointing out how human existence aspires to what it has not yet achieved.  Belief in God (he says) now stands in the way of human fulfillment, however, because it prevents us from seeing how God is simply:
 (a) the infinite, positive counterpart to Satan and the forces of evil.
 (b) the source of human existence and the inspiration to human endeavors.
 (c) the cause of human suffering and thus the reason why we must rely only on ourselves.
 (d) the infinite extension of humanity, idealized and alienated from our essence.

119. Marx criticizes Feuerbach for not explaining why human beings are so alienated from themselves that they are willing to escape from reality through the "opium" of religion.  The real source for why people turn to the illusions of religion, Marx claims, is:
 (a) a tendency to idealize familial and social relations in order to protect religious beliefs.
 (b) a willingness to avoid the misery caused by social inequities, structures, and relations.
 (c) the inability to reconcile an all-knowing God with human freedom.
 (d) the fact that people are unwilling to implement religious teachings into their lives.

120. According to Marx, religion is "the opium of the masses" insofar as religious beliefs:
  (a) make us dissatisfied with social inequalities and prompt us to call for social change.
  (b) alienate us from one another by emphasizing just how transcendent God really is.
  (c) create in us a mentality that we are not individuals in God's eyes, only human masses.
  (d) desensitize us to the human misery caused by social structures we should change.

121. Freud argues that religious beliefs are born out of infantile fears of helplessness and a longing for a father figure to protect us from the anxieties of life.  But (a critic might say) what is wrong with someone's having such a delusion?  As long as it makes people feel better, what's the harm?  To this, Freud answers:
  (a) As long as religion provides people with the means for redirecting their lives to productive ends, it is a viable way of dealing with frustration and anxiety.
  (b) Because religion suggests that people are ultimately powerless to change things in their lives, it prevents them from developing the maturity to cope with reality.
  (c) The problem is not with religion as such, but only with those forms of religion that make people feel better; fatalistic or depressing religions are realistic and OK.
  (d) To say that religion is a delusion does not mean that it is not true; it is only to say that, for some immature people, religion can become a way of avoiding reality.

122. By referring to religious belief as a illusion, Freud tries to show how our wanting something to be true often has the effect of making us believe that it is true.  In the case of religion, what we want to believe is that:
  (a) our faith in God and an afterlife is enough to overcome our illusion that there is no God.
  (b) there is some God, heaven, or reward that compensates for earthly frustrations and death.
  (c) all of the wishes and hopes that we have can be fulfilled by God in this life.
  (d) our fear of death and abandonment in a godless world can be overcome through psychoanalytic enlightenment.

123. According to Freud, "What is characteristic of illusions is that they are derived from human wishes.  In this respect they come near to psychiatric delusions.  But they differ from them too. . . . In the case of delusions, we emphasize as essential their contradiction with reality.  Illusions need not necessarily be false."  By applying this distinction to religious beliefs, Freud concludes:
 (a) all religious doctrines are illusions, and some are so improbable that they are delusions.
 (b) all religious doctrines are delusions because there is no way they could be true.
 (c) some religious doctrines are known to be true; false ones are illusions, not delusions.
 (d) religious doctrines can be neither illusions nor delusions since they are only beliefs.

124. Pascal's wager assumes that the probability of God's existence is 50-50; either God exists or he doesn't.  Some critics counter by saying that the probability of the kind of Christian (infinite) God Pascal claims we should believe in is much less than 50%, and so we have more reason not to believe in such a being.  Pascal's answer to this is:
 (a) even if the probability is very small, the payoff is worth believing in such a God.
 (b) the probability of there being such a God is even greater than 50-50.
 (c) since the probability of someone's believing in God is 50-50, so is God's existence.
  (d) because the probability of  our being sure  that God exists is zero, the probability that he exists is 50-50.

125. At issue in the discussion of Pascal's wager is whether it is  reasonable  to believe in the existence of God without convincing evidence.  Since the religious believer could be wrong, isn't it philosophically irresponsible to believe without that evidence?  To this Pascal says:
  (a) in the absence of a proof one way or the other, we in fact choose to live our lives based on something: why not use the anticipated rewards of religious belief as that basis?
  (b) it would be contrary to human nature to believe in the existence of a God for whom we have no evidence.
  (c) God would not reward a believer with eternal happiness if the person adopts the belief as a result of considering the possible rewards of such a belief.
  (d) the Christian life is fulfilling enough that, even if there is no God or afterlife, people should adopt Christianity for its own sake.

126. Critics of Pascal's wager argue that it reduces religious belief simply to going with the odds, and it overlooks strong evidence against God's existence (such as the fact of evil in the world).  To such points, Pascal replies that:
  (a) belief in God (even if there is only a small chance of his existence) is prudent and rationally justified--and thus presumably respected by God--because of its potential rewards.
  (b) even though there are convincing, rational arguments proving that God does not exist, we simply wish that God would exist as a protective father figure, and that is good enough as a basis for belief.
  (c) there is no real question about whether belief is justified: the probability of God's existence is much greater than 50-50, because evil is simply a matter of human perspective.
  (d) belief in God's existence is rationally justified only if God, in fact, exists; so if God, in fact, does not really exist, then it would make no sense to believe that he does exist.

127. By saying that causality is a function of how our minds structure experience, Kant denies the possibility of saying that there could be a cause for the world that we experience, because:
  (a) the cause of our experience of the world cannot be explained in any way other than by postulating the existence of God.
  (b) without supposing that there is some cause for why we experience the world as we do, we cannot explain how things are experienced in causal relations.
  (c) there would be no sense in talking about a cause of experience if causality is a relation limited to or contained within experience.
  (d) none of the things that we experience in the world really has a cause; "cause" applies only to things beyond our experience.

128. Kant's moral argument  for the existence of God is based on the practical assumption that most people believe that there is a real difference between moral right and wrong.  Kant uses this belief as the basis for his argument for God's existence by claiming that:
  (a) any belief in God that is based on an assumption--even the assumption that there is a difference between moral right and wrong--is a hypothetical, not a categorical, imperative.
  (b) a God who is less than all good might not be concerned with morality; therefore, if there is morality at all, God must be perfectly good.
  (c) there must be a being who reconciles virtuous efforts with appropriate rewards; otherwise, there is no greatest good as a standard for morality.
  (d) God is the cause for the development of moral distinctions in human history.

129. Kant's moral argument for God's existence assumes that no a posteriori  or  a priori  proof succeeds and that only a practical argument can justify belief in God.  That is why Kant says that his argument ultimately depends not on some theoretical proof but on an assumption, namely, that:
  (a) moral distinctions are based on God's laws.
  (b) no one can be happy without being virtuous.
  (c) morality (distinguishing right/wrong) makes sense.
  (d) the  summum bonum  is good only in God's eyes.

130. Which of the following remarks best describes Nietzsche's position on believing in God?
  (a) "Religious ideas are fulfillments of the oldest and most urgent wishes of mankind.  The benevolent rule of a divine Providence allays our fear of the dangers of life."
  (b) "Religious knowledge represents the function of that aristocratic agent of the soul, which ranks so high that it communes with God, face to face, as he is."
  (c) "The Christian conception of God is one of the most corrupt conceptions of the divine ever attained on earth.  God is the declaration of war against life."
  (d) "Religion is the fantastic realization of the human being inasmuch as the human being possesses no true reality.  It is the sigh of the oppressed creature."

131. Nietzsche's attack on religious (specifically Judeo-Christian) belief is based on his claim that religion stands in the way of true human development to the extent that religious beliefs:
  (a) prize values (such as humility and meekness) that do not encourage human advances.
  (b) encourage people to turn to one another for assistance when turning to God fails.
  (c) allows for the possibility that even if God is dead, we can still think he lives.
  (d) prevent us from making the authentic commitment to God necesssary for true salvation.

132. In answering the question of whether people are justified in religious beliefs, William James points out that there is a difference between beliefs that are meaningful and those that are true.  For if a belief is not meaningful in the first place, then it makes no sense to ask whether it is true.  The difference, he says, can be summarized this way:
  (a) though meaningful beliefs can make a practical difference in one's life, they do not necessarily do so; but true beliefs always make a practical difference in one's life.
  (b) meaningful beliefs are consistent with, and satisfy expectations regarding, other parts of our experience; true beliefs make a practical difference in one's life.
  (c) a belief can be true without being meaningful, insofar as truth is something independent of people's beliefs, whereas meaningfulness is not.
  (d) meaningful beliefs make a practical difference in one's life; true beliefs are consistent with, and satisfy expectations regarding, other parts of our experience.

133. According to William James, actions based on beliefs for which there are no conclusive answers (e.g., the belief in God) might be considered rational actions when and only when such a choice of action:
  (a) makes a practical, real difference in how we live or what meaning we attach to our lives.
  (b) produces the greatest amount of happiness for the greatest number of people.
  (c) is based on a theoretical explanation of why people act the way they do.
  (d) would be what most people in the world agree on, regardless of culture or background.

134. James says that our passional engagement or involvement in living commits us to making choices in situations where no intellectual or rational grounds are sufficient to indicate what ought to be done.  These situations, however, are limited only to those in which we are faced with what he calls a "genuine option"--that is, an option in which:
  (a) we have a choice between, on the one hand, something that is meaningful and, on the other hand, something that is true.
  (b) belief in God is something for which we do not have convincing evidence but which "works" for us by being consistent with social teachings and practices.
  (c) we are forced to make some decision; making the decision has a significant impact on our lives; and both alternatives are equally appealing.
  (d) doing what works has the "cash value" of being something that someone can justify with rational arguments.

135. Both Blaise Pascal and William James say that it is  reasonable  to believe in the existence of God even when empirical evidence or demonstrated proof is lacking.  They differ, however, in the following way:
  (a) for Pascal, not believing in God ignores all of the convincing evidence for his existence; for James, believing in God ignores all of the convincing evidence against God's existence.
  (b) for Pascal, belief in God is justified in terms of possible afterlife rewards; for James, belief is justified in terms of how well it satisfies expectations or is consistent with our other beliefs.
  (c) for Pascal, belief is a bet, a wager for which one cannot give any justification one way or the other; for James, religious belief is justified by the fact that most people believe in God.
  (d) for Pascal, the religious life is so fulfilling that, even if there is no afterlife, people should believe for its own sake; for James, that is not enough: there must be an afterlife.

136. For Kierkegaard, the truth about the possibility that there is a God who makes our existence meaningful must be subjective rather than objective.  In other words, the  questioning of whether there is a God is itself meaningful only in terms of the answer one discovers.  That fact recognizes:
  (a) how our interest in believing in the existence of God is much more than intellectual curiosity about some fact that is independent of our search for an answer.
  (b) how the distinction between subjective and objective truth is a function of whether one believes in the existence of God or not.
  (c) how belief in the existence of God is something purely personal and private, regardless of whether there is any justification at all in believing that there is a God.
  (d) how the questioning of whether there is a God can come to an end once someone acknowledges that there is no true answer to the question.

137. According to Kierkegaard, religious belief entails a leap of faith (like that of Abraham) which cannot be rationally justified or known--even in hindsight--to be correct.  For if we could know  that our belief could be understood rationally, justified morally, or accepted socially, then:
 (a) we could understand why no leap of faith can ever merit salvation.
 (b) we would know that religious belief is always forced, momentous, and live.
 (c) we could see why the religious life is to be preferred over the aesthetic and moral life.
 (d) we would not have to rely on faith at all but could instead believe based on reasons.

138. According to Kierkegaard, the attempt to understand God rationally is contrary to the "leap of faith" required in a religious commitment, because:
  (a) if knowledge of God could be reasoned to, there would be no need for passionate faith.
  (b) no other argument for God's existence is as rational as the leap of faith argument.
  (c) a religious commitment has to be based on a belief that is rationally intelligible; otherwise, no one would understand what it means to believe.
  (d) after all, most of us believe because our parents or society tell us what to believe.

139. Though they differ about how important religious belief should be in the lives of human beings, Kierkegaard and Hume agree on one fundamental point, namely:
  (a) people are rationally justified in believing in God if that is what they choose to do.
  (b) belief in the existence of God is rational only if it is socially recognized as appropriate.
  (c) religious beliefs are justifiable based not on social practices but on rational argument.
  (d) there is no rational justification for belief in the existence of God.

140. According to Kierkegaard, the "ethical" person is someone who acts based on morally defensible principles.  The life of such a person, he maintains, is inauthentic because:
  (a) one is ethical not by acting on objective universal principles but by doing what society says.
  (b) ethical principles are objective and universal, not crucial in the individual's decisions.
  (c) moral principles summarize Christian (i.e., middle class, bourgeois) values.
  (d) moral principles are true precisely because they are objective and rational.

141. According to Kierkegaard, religious faith requires a leap beyond what is socially acceptable and rationally justifiable because:
  (a) most religious practices are simply excuses for socializing with people who could care less about giving a rational justification for their actions.
  (b) unless a person believes in what his or her society and religious upbringing says is right, he or she is unable to understand how life can be meaningful.
  (c) even if someone makes a leap of faith and believes that God will save him or her, that in no way diminishes the meaninglessness of human existence.
  (d) socially acceptable action requires no faith at all, and rationally justifiable action applies only to the universal (whereas faith in salvation is particular).

142. An objection typically raised against Kierkegaard's treatment of religious belief is that it fails to distinguish between someone who has a justified belief and someone who is insane.  To this objection, Kierkegaard replies:
  (a) unlike insanity, justified religious belief can be defended by appealing to universal, moral principles.
  (b) insane people do not believe anything, but religious individuals have beliefs that others can adopt too.
  (c) an insane person's acts are intelligible only to himself; the true believer's acts make sense to others.
  (d) like existence itself, religious belief has no ultimate rational justification; so there is really no way to distinguish it from insanity.

143. For Kierkegaard the anxiety associated with the ambiguity of human existence undermines our belief that life is meaningful in virtue of scientific, rational, and ethical truths.  Which of the following beliefs WOULD NOT be characteristic of authentic human existence?
  (a) What we believe to be true has significance for us only to the extent that it is true for us as existing individuals.
  (b) Human significance is not defined in terms of fulfilling a universal essence or nature.
  (c) The gulf between the finite and the infinite can be bridged only by a leap of faith.
  (d) Religious commitment provides a person with the calming confidence of a felt salvation.

144. Kierkegaard notes that the truth about human existence is not knowable as are other facts about the world, because those other things are facts concerning which we do not really care.  What makes our beliefs true, though, is not only that we care about them but also that:
  (a) they are based on an objective, impersonal relation between the belief and the world.
  (b) even after adopting those beliefs we continue to experience anxiety and doubt about them.
  (c) after adopting the belief we are comforted in the knowledge that God's grace has saved us.
  (d) faith in God allows us to believe anything we want and that will make it true.

145. According to the Buddhist way of life, enlightenment and peace are possible only by replacing the desire for pleasures with a concern for others and meditation on things that allow us to control our need for material goods.  The Buddhist critique of modern Western life is thus like Marx's critique of the capitalist life, in that both:
  (a) describe ways to change economic relations in society in order to promote better social relations.
  (b) recommend turning away from material concerns and toward seeing all things in terms of  karma.
  (c) insist that selfish individualism is tied to our attitudes toward, and relations with material possessions.
  (d) define the meaning of life as harmony between this-worldly self-interest and other-worldly meditation.

Short Essay:  Why do the cosmological and teleological arguments for the existence of God ultimately have to rely on the ontological argument?

  1. A
  2. A
  3. B
  4. A
  5. B
6. A
 7. B
 8. B
 9. B
 10. A
11. A
12. B
13. A
14. B
15. A
16. A
17. B
18. B
19. A
20. B
21. B
22. A
23. A
24. B
25. A
26. A
27. A
28. A
29. A
30. B
31. A
32. A
33. B
34. A
35. A
36. B
37. B
38. A
39. B
40. B
41. B
42. B
43. B
44. A
45. A
 46. B
47. B
48. A
49. B
50. A
51. B
52. A
53. B
54. A
55. A
56. B
57. B
58. A
59. B
60. B
61. A
62. B
63. B
64. B
65. B
66. B
67. A
68. A
69. B
70. B
71. B
72. B
73. B
74. B
75. B
76. D
77. B
78. A
79. C
80. D
81. A
82. C
83. A
84. C
85. C
86. B
87. C
88. A
89. A
90. A
91. A
92. D
93. D
94. B
95. D
96. D
97. C
98. A
99. D
100. B
101. D
102. B
103. D
104. A
105. D
106. A
107. A
108. C
109. B
110. A
111. D
112. B
113. B
114. C
115. B
116. D
117. A
118. D
119. B
120. D
121. B
122. B
123. A
124. A
125. A
126. A
127. C
128. C
129. C
130. C
131. A
132. D
133. A
134. C
135. B
136. A
137. D
138. A
139. D
140. B
141. D
142. D
143. D
144. B
145. C

 Essay : Because the cosmological and teleological arguments ultimately point to an uncaused, contingent cause (which does not depend on anything else for its existence), some account must be given for how such a cause would exist necessarily.  That is what the ontological argument does.