Socratic wisdom and the value of philosophy, the existence of God.


SECTION 1: Socratic Wisdom and the Value of Philosophy 1.”Socrates displayed considerable arrogance at his trial; thus, the Athenian society was clearly justified in sentencing him to death.” From your reading of Plato’s Apology, and paying close attention to the two votes taken at Socrates’ trial, do you think that this comment is justified? Defend your position.

2.Explain the meaning and significance of the following statement by Socrates: “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Drawing upon your answer, what then do you think is (or should be) the role of the philosopher in society?

3.What is Socrates’ response to the specific charges brought against him by Meletus? Do you consider his response adequate? Why or why not?

4.According to Bertrand Russell, philosophy does not bake bread or help you meet your material needs, yet there is value in studying it. What then is the value in studying philosophy?

SECTION 2: The Existence of God 5.Give a detailed exposition of any two of Aquinas’ five arguments for the existence of God in “The Five Ways.” State and discuss at least one objection that has been brought against Aquinas’ position (e.g., by Paul Edwards).

6.Explain the difference between a contingent being and a necessary being. How does Aquinas use this distinction to argue that God is a necessary being? Do you consider his argument satisfactory? Why or why not?

7. Give a detailed exposition of the analogy that William Paley draws between the watch and the universe in his teleological argument for the existence of God. Do you think that by using this analogy Paley succeeds in proving the existence of God? Justify your position. (In your response, be sure to pay attention to some of the objections that Hume (through the character Philo) brings against Paley’s argument.)

8 Could Anselm’s ontological argument be adapted to prove the existence of the Devil? Why or why not? (In your answer, please note Gaunilo’s objection to Anselm’s argument and Anselm’s response.)