College of Massachusetts, Boston
First Paper Matters for That means of Life Seminar Spring 2022
PHIL 207G-01C CRN 9530
It’s essential to write a 5 web page (1500 phrase), double spaced and typed paper on one of many
following subjects from Part A or from Part B. There are two completely different codecs of
paper doable. The primary set of choices are extra conventional papers. The second set of
choices embody dialogues that it’s best to create. Ensure that to have a 5-page size paper
(one line on the prime of the fifth web page doesn’t rely, nor does enlarging the font!)
Ensure that to ship solely MS Phrase paperwork. Microsoft Workplace is on the market free from UMB.
Don’t ship pdf, Apple pages, Google docs or different codecs please.
Draft due date: Friday, March four, (by 6 pm, or earlier. No drafts accepted after this time)
Paper due date: Tuesday, March eight, by 6 pm
In these questions you might be requested to state and clarify the writer’s views on the topic.
You might be additionally requested to spend a minimum of one of many pages explaining and defending your individual
view of the matter. Accuracy, readability, and proof of cautious considering, in addition to the
cogency of your place are the essential options in these essays. Should you intend to submit
this paper for WPE consideration, be certain that you spend sufficient house displaying your
understanding of the central ideas with out resorting to mere paraphrase or abstract.
One draft should be submitted a minimum of 4 days earlier than submission.
Make sure to use direct quotes to strengthen your interpretations.
In “My Confession”, Leo Tolstoy admits going by means of a mid-life disaster at age 50.
Clarify the background and supply of this disaster, displaying how he makes use of a narrative to
spotlight his sense of loss, and the vacancy of conventional options. How does
Tolstoy resolve his existential disaster of lack of that means and overcome his earlier
issues? What kind of questions would possibly an atheist elevate to problem Tolstoy’s declare
that “with out religion, one can not reside.” (p14, “The That means of Life: A Reader, ed.
Klemke and Cahn). Do you agree with Tolstoy’s theistic declare that solely religion in God
can allow people to flee from the specter of meaninglessness? Why or why not?
In keeping with Louis P. Pojman, theism (if true), supplies eight theses that are
advantageous to people. Within the case of 4 of the theses, unpack what these claims
contain and why they’ll provide a way of that means to people. Can a few of these
theses be attained by means of secular worldviews? In that case, which of them and why? Why
does Pojman assume theism is a greater possibility than secular approaches when it comes
to that means of life points? What issue does Pojman anticipate; how does he deal
with it; and do you assume Pojman’s stance is convincing? Why or why not?
Delving into Christopher Gowans’ “The Buddha’s Message”, describe how Buddhism
(and its central teachings) can provide a pathway out of struggling. Is working towards
nibbana (Nirvana) the true gateway for dwelling a significant life? Is such a common
method doable throughout completely different cultures? What tensions, if any, do you discern
between a Buddhist view and a Western perspective on life? What do you see because the
strengths and weaknesses of Buddhism’s stance?
Exploring Henry Rosemont’s “The Confucian Manner”, clarify how the self as a
“relational being” positive aspects that means by means of his/her virtuous relationships with others.
In what means is Western individualism inferior to the idea of Li or virtues like Ren in
supplying the self with a deep cosmic goal? Resides virtuously in response to
societal guidelines a very good route for dwelling a significant life? What are the advantages and
downsides to such a Confucian method in an individualistic society such because the US?
In these questions you might be to think about the dialogue depicted. It’s best to assemble the
dialog that will happen between the interlocutors, often utilizing particular
quotations the place applicable. This method calls for that you just anticipate criticisms of the
respective positions and produce them to the fore within the dialogue.
Think about Tolstoy assembly in a café with an in depth atheistic pal. He’s attempting to clarify
to his companion why he has misplaced hope in all worldly meanings and his existential
disaster which flows out of his sense of confusion. And he divulges how his flip to God
led to a robust sense of that means. Write a dialogue of how the dialog goes and
how the atheistic pal raises some objections (together with the way you assume Tolstoy
would possibly attempt to defend his theism in response to his pal’s challenges). Place your self
there as a 3rd individual, a bystander to their dialog, and clarify which individual
you are likely to facet with and why. (Make sure to weave in some direct quotes from
Tolstoy’s “My Confession” but in addition clarify a few of Tolstoy’s views in your individual
Think about Pojman (a.ok.a Lois Hope Walker) chatting with an atheist who sees God as an
outdated, demeaning notion which should be eradicated. Assemble a dialog
between Pojman and the atheist by delving into Pojman’s protection of theism as a
extra significant method to reside life in distinction to secularism. (Don’t attempt to cowl each
considered one of his eight theses. Slightly discover about three or 4 and attempt to give some depth to
them through the use of Pojman as a mouthpiece for supporting them). Additionally embody how the
atheist would possibly attempt to problem Pojman’s defenses of theism as extra significant than
atheism. (Tie in some direct quotes from Pojman’s essay “How Faith…). Final however
not least, think about you’re a bystander listening to them debate this subject. The place would
you stand and why? Make sure to defend your individual place.
Assemble a dialogue between a pal who simply transformed to Buddhism and one other
who’s skeptical of such an method. Use Gowans’ “The Buddha’s Message” as a
principal launching pad for some depictions of Buddhism as a worldview and ensure
to cowl some key beliefs and practices of Buddhism together with what it appears to be
suggesting about dwelling a extra significant life. How would possibly the Buddhist’s pal
reply if she is skeptical? Should you had been to leap into the dialog, what would possibly you
add and who would you are likely to facet with and why?
Think about you run right into a pal they usually ask you concerning the That means of Life course you
are taking. They ask you why Confucianism is included and the way it can provide
that means. Assemble the dialog which follows by wielding Rosemont’s “The
Confucian Manner” as a centerpiece for the place you garner your factors about
Confucianism. Additionally embody within the dialogue challenges your pal would possibly elevate about
the Confucian perspective, particularly coming from a recent Western stance.
How would possibly you attempt to defend Confucianism within the wake of such raised points? Within the
finish, do you assume Confucianism can provide invaluable meanings in 2020? Why or why