RE Foundations exam papers Questions 2009-2014

Specimen paper June 2009

EITHER

1 (a) (i) What are the main ideas of the design and cosmological arguments for the existence of God? (21)

(ii) Choose one of these arguments and comment on its weaknesses.(9)


OR

(b) (i) Examine the main strengths and weaknesses of the design argument for the existence of God.(21)

(ii) Consider the view that the weaknesses are more convincing than the strengths. (9)


EITHER

2 (a) (i) In what ways may suffering create philosophical problems for religious believers? Outline two solutions to these problems.(21)

(ii) To what extent are these solutions successful?(9)


OR

(b) (i) Examine one philosopher’s understanding of the term ‘miracle’. Examine the arguments used to discredit miracles.(21)

(ii) To what extent are these arguments successful?(9)


Exam paper Foundations June 2009

EITHER

1 (a) (i) Examine the key ideas and strengths of the design argument for the existence of God. (21)

(ii) Comment on the view that the strengths and weaknesses are equally balanced. (9)

(Total for Question 1(a) = 30 marks)


OR

(b) (i) What are the distinctive ideas of the cosmological argument for the existence of God? (21)

(ii) To what extent is this a strong argument for the existence of God? (9)

(Total for Question 1(b) = 30 marks)


EITHER

2 (a) (i) What are the key features of the problem of suffering? Examine the essential ideas of two solutions. (21)

(ii) ‘The problem of suffering is a mystery and cannot be solved.’ Comment on this claim. (9)

(Total for Question 2(a) = 30 marks)


OR

(b) (i) Outline the key concepts of miracles and examine the main reasons to believe in miracles.     (21)

(ii) Comment on the philosophical problems associated with miracles with reference to Hume. (9)


Jan 2010

EITHER

1(a) (i) Examine the strengths and weaknesses of the design argument for the existence of God.     (21)

(ii) Comment on the view that this argument is inconclusive as a proof of the existence of God. (9)


OR

(b) (i) Give an account of the key features of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. (21)

(ii) To what extent is this a weak argument? (9)


EITHER

2(a) (i) What may the problem of suffering signify to a religious believer. Examine one solution to this problem. (21)

(ii) Comment on the view that an alternative a solution to that examined in part (i) offers a better response. (9)


OR

(b) (i) Examine key concepts of miracles and philosophical reasons to believe in them.     (21)

(ii) To what extent do criticisms undermine belief in miracles? (9)


June 2010

EITHER

1(a) (i) Give an account of the fundamental ideas of the design argument for the existence of God. (21)

(ii) Comment on the view that the strengths of these ideas make this a convincing argument.     (9)


OR

(b) (i) What are the significant features of the cosmological argument for the existence of God?     (21)

(ii) How far if at all do the strengths outweigh the weaknesses?    (9)


EITHER

2(a) (i) Identify key ideas associated with the problem of suffering. Examine two solutions to the problem.     (21)

(ii) Comment on the view that these are only partially successful solutions. (9)


OR

(b) (i) Outline two definitions of the term miracle. Examine key reasons for believing in miracles. (21)

(ii) Comment on the view that these reasons for believing are more persuasive than potential criticisms. (9)

 

Jan 2011

EITHER

1(a) (i) Examine the weaknesses of the design argument.    [21]

(ii) Why do some philosophers persist in believing in the strengths of the design argument? [9]


OR

(b) (i) Examine three of the following in relation to the cosmological argument for the existence of God.    [21]

  • Unmoved mover
  • Uncaused cause
  • Necessary being
  • Kalaam argument

     

(ii) Comment on the view that the cosmological argument is open to debate and there are no firm conclusions about its success or failure .[9]


EITHER

2 (a) (i) ‘Either God cannot abolish evil, or he will not; if he cannot then he is not all powerful; if he will not then he is not all good.’

Examine this claim. Give an account of one solution to the problem of evil. [21]

(ii) Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of a different solution to that presented in part (i). [9]


OR

(b) (i) Examine the key concepts of miracles and reasons to believe in miracles. [21]

(ii) Comment on the view that, because of weaknesses associated with miracles, there is no justification for believing in them. [9]

May 2011

EITHER

1(a) (i) Examine the ways in which the design argument provides evidence for the existence of God. [21]

(ii) Comment on the view that the weaknesses of the design argument show that the universe can be explained without reference to God. [9]


OR

(b) (i) Examine the view that the cosmological argument provides an explanation for the world and is a trustworthy basis for the belief in the existence of God. [21]

(ii) Comment on the view that the cosmological argument fails as a proof for the existence of God. [9]


EITHER

2 (a) (i) Examine and show the strengths of two solutions to the problem of suffering. [21]

(ii) Comment on the view that these proposed solutions are failures. [9]


OR

(b) (i) Examine the main features of definitions of miracles and two philosophical reasons for believing in miracles. [21]

(ii) Comment on problems raised by these definitions of miracles that may lead to a rejection of belief in miracles. [9]

 

January 17th 2012

Either

1    a)i)    Examine three of the following in relation to the design argument for the existence of God:

  • Analogy
  • Anthropic principle
  • Design qua purpose
  • Empirical evidence
  • Regularities of succession    [21]

    ii)    Comment on the view that the design argument leads to a valid conclusion. [9]


Or

b)i)    ‘Nothing takes place without sufficient reason.’

    Examine this claim with reference to the cosmological argument. [21]

ii)    Comment on the view that the weaknesses of the cosmological argument imply that it fails as a proof for the existence of God. [9]



Either

2 (a)i)    Examine the view that it is contradictory to claim that there is a God and that there is suffering. What are the strengths of one solution to the problem of suffering? [21]

(ii)    Consider the weaknesses of this solution and comment on the view that there is a better solution. [9]



Or

(b)i)    Examine the strengths and weaknesses of belief in miracles. [21]

ii)    Comment on the view that these strengths and weaknesses depend on which definition of miracles one is using. [9]

May 16th 2012

Either

1 a)i) ‘The design argument explains the purpose found in the natural world.’

Examine this description of the design argument. [21]

ii)    Comment on the view that this argument is successful as a proof of the existence of God. [9]


Or

b)i)    Examine the evidence used to support the cosmological argument.    [21]

ii)    ‘Challenges to this argument show that it is a failure’ Comment on this claim.    [9]


Either

2 (a)i)    In what ways may suffering be seen as a problem for religious believers? Give an account of TWO solutions to this problem. [21]

(ii)    To what extent is one of these solutions more convincing than the others. [9]



b)i)    Examine the key problems of believing in miracles. [21]

ii)    Comment on the claim that it is justifiable to believe in miracles. [9]

May 13th 2013

Either

1a)i)    Examine the key strengths of the design argument for the existence of God. [21]

ii)    Comment on the claim that this argument totally fails to prove the existence of God. [9]



Or

b)i)    Examine the fundamental concepts of the cosmological argument for the existence of God. [21]

ii)    Comment on the view that this is a compelling argument for the existence of God. [9]



Either

2a)i)    Examine the problem of suffering and the key characteristics of one or more solutions.    [21]

ii)    Comment on the claim that there is a successful solution to the problem of suffering. [9]



Or

b)i)    Examine the strengths and weaknesses of belief in miracles. [21]

ii)    Comment on the view that it is probably a mistake to believe in miracles. [9]



May 13th 2014

Either

1a)i)    Examine three key ideas of the design argument for the exis of God. [21]

ii)    Comment on the claim that these three ideas are all equally weak. [9]



Or

b)i)    Examine both views that:

  • The existence of the world needs an explanation and
  • This explanation may be called ‘God’.    [21]

ii)    Comment on the challenges raised by these views. [9]

 

Either

2a)i)    ‘Suffering exists and this counts as evidence against God.’

    Examine this point of view and one solution to the problem of suffering. [21]

ii)    Comment on another solution to the problem of suffering in which suffering may not be seen as evidence against God. [9]


Or

b)i)    Examine the key concepts of miracles.     [21]

ii)    Comment on the view that a miracle does not violate the laws of nature. [9]

 


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