philosophy journal 13

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. Based on their introductory remarks in Chapter 6, do you agree with what the textbook authors say about the importance of logic? Do you see any examples of illogic in contemporary life? Do you see any areas of your own life where you value logical thinking?

[The following are questions borrowed from The Book of Questions, by Gregory Stock]

2. Would you want to choose the sex of your child? What if you could safely pick other qualities, such as IQ, height, personality, or looks? Explain your reasoning.

3. If a close friend asked, and genuinely wanted your opinion, but you knew he’d find it painful–for example, he’s an artist, and wants your appraisal of his artistic talent, but you think he’s lousy–would you tell him the truth?

4. Do you believe in ghosts or evil spirits? Would you agree to spend the night alone in a remote, supposedly haunted house?

5.Which would you rather have: one intimate soul-mate but no other close friends, or no intimate soul-mate, but lots of good friends?

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.