The following is a journal entry a student submitted in a past semester. Note what makes this a good entry:
- It is at least 150 words in length
- It is written clearly and understandably
- It shows evidence of thoughtfulness
“The design argument for God’s existence is interesting to me but I’m not sure I can fully endorse it. It argues that because there is design throughout the universe, there must be a universal designer, i.e., a god, in turn. However, when considering the endless probabilities and eons that our world has gone through, this argument is somewhat disproved. We know many different “designs” are merely adaptations, and often times we, as humans, tend to “see” a design when there is, in fact, none there (like seeing faces in electrical sockets). The design argument also does not account for entropy found in nature, and the general decline into disorder that can be found in many systems – surely a designer wouldn’t design that? Also, there are the many examples of natural disasters and tragedies that mar our world, and which place the idea of a designer in doubt. I like to relate this problem to what we read in the introduction to Philosophy Made Simple, about the Book of Job in the Bible. Even a believer in God such as Job had trouble understanding how a good and almighty God could be responsible for all the disorder happening in his own life. So again, while the design argument is interesting, I do see some problems with it, and how it could be challenged by a skeptic.”
Select any one of the following topics/questions to write about.
1. Who do you think is more nearly correct about human nature, Hobbes or Locke? Why do you think this?
2. Do you see any merit at all in an authoritarian form of government, such as Plato and Hobbes outline? What advantages might such a system have over a more open, liberal type of government?
3. Do you agree with Mill’s “harm principle”? Why or why not? Would you want to modify it in any way?
4. What examples can you think of that support Mill’s claim that in a democratic society, the “tyranny of the majority” can be a threat to the rights of individuals?
5. Do you agree with Locke that there are “natural” rights, or do you think rights are established and given by government? What natural rights would you claim to have?
6.Write about any topic related to philosophy, inspired by your readings and the classes so far, or by your own experiences, thoughts, current events, etc.