Quiz 11 (Angel-format input file)
True or False? 1 point
Q: Kierkegaard claims there is no possible "objective" intellectual justification for belief in God. 
A. True
B. False

Q: Charles Sanders Peirce was the American philosopher and psychologist who wrote "The Will to Believe",
 in which he argued that the choice of  belief vs. unbelief must be decided by "our passional nature". 
A. True
B. False

Fill in blanks. 1 point each
Q: The American philosophical movement represented by Peirce and James, which claims that an idea is 
meaningful to a person only if it makes a practical difference in that person's life, is called ________________________________. 
A. pragmatism
B. pragmaticism
ANSWER: A, pragmatism, B, pragmaticism

Q: The French philosopher and mathematician _________________________ was famous for his "wager", essentially a bet
 on religion. Atheism, he said, isn't worth the risk. Atheists lose big if the believers turn out to be right, 
 so if you care about your eternal destiny, you should make yourself believe.
A. Pascal
B. Blaise Pascal
ANSWER: A, Pascal, B, Blaise Pascal

Q: Kierkegaard's philosophy is considered the forerunner of the 20th-century school of thought known as 
___________________________________, which is represented by figures such as Sartre, Heidegger, Camus, etc., and
 which emphasizes personal experience and individual freedom and responsibility. 
A. existentialism
B. existential philosophy
C. Continental
D. Continental philosophy
ANSWER: A, existentialism, B, existential philosophy, C, Continental, D, Continental philosophy

Q: The Spanish saint __________________________________ said the highest stage of spiritual development (the Prayer
 of Union) is a mystical rapture in which the self seems no longer to exist separately from God.
A. St. Teresa of Avila
B. Teresa of Avila
C. St. Theresa of Avila
D. Theresa of Avila
E. St. Teresa
F. Teresa
G. St. Theresa
H. Theresa
ANSWER: A, St. Teresa of Avila, B, Teresa of Avila, C, St. Theresa of Avila, D, Theresa of Avila, E, St. Teresa, F, Teresa, G, St. Theresa, H, Theresa

Q: In Fear and Trembling, Kierkegaard  contemplates the Biblical story of _______________________________, 
the "father of faith", whose behavior, according to Kierkegaard, is either heinously evil, mad, or incomprehensible to reason. 
A. Abraham
B. Abraham and Isaac
ANSWER: A, Abraham, B, Abraham and Isaac

Q: The Danish philosopher and religious existentialist who wrote Fear and Trembling 
(using the pseudonym "Johannes de Silentio") was ______________________________________.
A. Kierkegaard
B. Soren Kierkegaard
ANSWER: A, Kierkegaard, B, Soren Kierkegaard

Essay. 2 points
Q: Explain (briefly) the Bible story of Abraham.  Why did Kierkegaard find it so striking?
FEEDBACK: Abraham was an Old Testament prophet married to Sarah.  God told Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son and that this son
 would be the leader of a great nation.  Abraham and Sarah were getting really old, though. Finally God allowed Sarah to get pregnant in
 her 90's.  So now Abraham and Sarah had a son Isaac. Years pass.  Then Abraham has a dream in which he is told to take Isaac to a
 mountain top and sacrifice him -- special orders direct from God. Abraham AGREES! He travels across the desert for 3 days, climbs the
 mountain, gathers the wood, and is about to slit Isaac's throat when God tells him "Never mind." Okay, why is this scary?  According to
 Kierkegaard, it's scary because Abraham doesn't THINK — he just obeys.  Is THAT what faith requires, Kierkegaard wonders.  Faith
 without any rational thought? But that's insane! And yet people think Abraham is a big faith role model! Should we really be imitating
 people like that? Kierkegaard says if this is what faith requires, then faith is truly insane.

Q: What is James' argument (premises and conclusion) for religious belief?
FEEDBACK: James argues as follows: (1)The choice of belief vs unbelief cannot be made on the basis of reasoning from any evidence. 
(2)The choice of belief vs unbelief is a living, momentous, and forced choice, at least for some people. To say it's a "living" choice 
means the choice makes a practical different in people's lives.  It's a momentous choice because, for some people at least, it makes a
 HUGE practical difference. And, most importantly, the choice is forced, because if you decide not to choose, the practical effects of 
 deciding not to choose are exactly the same as the practical effects of having chosen unbelief (which, remember, you have no REASON to
 choose either). Conclusion: since you can't decide on the basis of reason, yet the choice is forced (you MUST decide), you must decide
 on some other basis than reason.  James says go with your feelings in cases like this. And not just any feelings: go with the feelings
 that "work" best for you. Belief usually provides optimistic feelings of comfort and hope and joy — and these feelings tend to 
 "work" better than fear and gloom.  So go with your hope and believe. (Note that if belief makes you sad and crazy, then by this
 argument, you should run away from it.)

Q: Does religious experience provide an argument for religious belief? HINT: What's an argument?
FEEDBACK: This is a thought question.  I want to see here how much your answer reflects familiarity with the concepts and terminology of
 previous class modules. Here's one approach to a "NO" answer. An argument is a set of statements. One statement in an argument is the
 conclusion; the other statements are premises, which are supposed to provide support for the conclusion. Religious experience is 
 exactly that: experience. Statements are true or false; experience just is.  So in that sense, religious experience cannot provide an 
 argument for religious belief, since experience is not the sort of thing that can comprise an argument.  Furthermore, people who claim 
 to have had religious experiences always describe those experiences in ways that cannot be verified or falsified. Part of argument 
 evaluation is determining whether the premises of an argument are true. We cannot evaluate an argument if it's not possible to say 
 whether the premises are true. So if you read the question carefully and you know what an argument is, you can't say religious 
 experience provides an ARGUMENT for religious belief. Now here's an approach to a "YES": experience is ultimately the ground of all 
 claims. Think of Hume here.  And if that's right, then I cannot deny that religious experience — at least MY religious 
 experience, if I have it — provides the only possible evidence for religious belief, even if it's not an argument in the strict 
 logical sense of "argument".