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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.
Short Answer Questions
1. What does Lewis believe that the world must place first in order to best understand itself?
2. What philosopher does Lewis quote in Part IV, Letter 12, "Capital Punishment and Death Penalty"?
3. The philosopher J.J.C. Smart distinguishes between whether an institution of moral rules is a good and idea and what?
4. What does Lewis see as being wrong about the arguments of those who wish to abolish the death penalty?
5. Lewis attributes most of the reduction in church attendance in England to what?
Essay Topic 1
Dogma is the more or less unchanging set of beliefs and rules that establish and maintain a religion's identity. Although often vehemently despised by materialist thinkers and liberal churches, Lewis contends that dogma is an important component of faith and essential for a mature religion.
1) Explain what dogma is, especially in the Christian church, and how and why is remains unchanging. Explain one element of Christian dogma that has not changed significantly in a very long time.
2) Discuss the problems that outsiders, liberal thinkers, and materials have with dogma.
3) Explain how dogma aids a religion in maintaining its cohesion, and explain Lewis' suggestion that dogma's unchanging nature is a strength, and not a weakness.
Essay Topic 2
Miracles are events that seemingly violate the laws of nature, attributed to divine forces, and in Christianity, to the power of the Holy Spirit. Many contend that these events do not occur, and moreover, are impossible. Lewis suggests that the laws of nature are more flexible that they are often represented as being, and that miracles do occur from time to time.
1) Explain the philosophical arguments surrounding the occurrence of miracles. What groups of thinkers have particular interest in them, and what are their stances?
2) Explain Lewis' explanation about experience, observation, and prior commitments regarding miracles.
2) Discuss Lewis' opinion towards miracles and the explanation he gives for contending that they occur with some regularity without necessarily violating the laws of nature.
Essay Topic 3
According to Lewis and the scholars he shares correspondence with, suffering appears to be nearly universal in the world. It is not difficult to find human suffering, even in wealthy first-world nations, and animals suffer both in the wild and in human captivity. These scholars agree that the problem of suffering is a significant and important one for Christians, who believe that God is loving and moreover, pure good.
1) Explain the argument that some use to explain how suffering shows that the Christian God does not exist.
2) Describe the counter-arguments made by Lewis and others on this subject, to show that suffering may be an important and necessary component of the world.
3) Assess whether or not suffering is inherently evil, and which position this quality of suffering supports.
This section contains 529 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)