remrod
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Hi guys!

I couldn't see a thread about this already, so here goes...

Who else is taking this exam? Anyone have any idea about which philosopher might come up? I'm hoping its not Westphal, but my teacher thinks it might be...

Also, how do you guys revise for this exam? Covering all three philosophers as well as learning everything for Developments is almost too much
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Jordan*P
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Ah I got excited thinking there was finally a thread! But it appears you're doing another option to me as I'm studying Jamieson, LaFollette and Schneewind.
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remrod
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We've been "studying" Westphal, Donovan and someone else...

You can tell I'm really prepared
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Jordan*P
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Haha. Well we only started looking at them this week so I'd venture a guess that you're more prepared than I!

Ah well, it's all in good fun :')
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remrod
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Until you fail...

[Edit] Until I fail
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Jordan*P
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I never fail exams :P I'm immensely lucky with them!
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MelissaRosee
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I reallllly hope it isn't Wepshall! - Apparently he's come up 3 times in a row before, and in 2011... Donovon was last year. So it might be Ayer? (I HOPE SO!)

The way I'm revising isn't great but it works for me (crossed fingers)... I've memorised an introduction for all essays, and then for Ayer because there's only 8 paragraphs I've memorised each gist of one; but for Donovon and Wesphall I've memorised the gist of there beginnings, middle and end... and then for part B i've memorised a list of points I can bring in.. (e.g Flew, Psychology, etc)

It's getting to close now though and if Ayer isn't the one to come up I'm pretty much screwed

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vickynut95
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I want Ayer.
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iKnowAll
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Ayer is coming up he hasn't shown up for a good few years and has all but been publically confirmed..Donovan came up for the past two years and then Westphal three years ago..so don't bother with Donovan at all for obvious reasons it lightens the load seeing as his, in my opinion is the most difficult to learn and he doesn't give a clear opinion just sits on the fence..revise Ayer a ****load and Westphal as a backup but concentrate the majority of your time on Ayer as he is the easiest and is coming up..

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Gee:)
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is anyone taking the risk of not doing Donovan?
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Redmayne
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Does anyone do the Buddhism section of the edexcel anthology with Smart, De Silva and Griffiths?
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gumtrees
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My teacher said Ayer is about 70% likely to come up. Hope he does too, it's the one that's probably easiest, can just link it to logical positivism and the verification principle.
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iBlueBox
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Is anyone finding it difficult to revise for this exam?
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AbundanceOfKathryn
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(Original post by iBlueBox)
Is anyone finding it difficult to revise for this exam?
I'm really struggling to revise! Don't know whether what I'm doing is right or if I'm barking up completely the wrong tree.
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Redmayne
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(Original post by AbundanceOfKathryn)
I'm really struggling to revise! Don't know whether what I'm doing is right or if I'm barking up completely the wrong tree.
Same! I'm finding it impossible because it just all depends so entirely on the extractt :/ Keep telling myself that it's one of those exams that you're not actually supposed to revise for at all, it's not really helping though :P
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iKnowAll
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Let's all face it, if Ayer doesn't come up this year for once, we're all screwed.

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Kamran A
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I am doing this I think is vryy efffective way if ur revising one day before ur exam

1. take all ur distractions away
2. learn all intro of Aye, Donovan,Westphal

Ayer Plan - Intro
In his essay ‘God-Talk is Evidently Nonsense’ A.J. Ayer argues that all talk of God is meaningless because it cannot be verified. Any talk of God, even from an atheistic or agnostic perspective, must be meaningless because it deals with the non-empirical. Ayer takes the view that this debate about God should not even be entered into. God’s existence is, he claims, “not even probable”. The ultimate basis for this is Ayer’s Verification Principle and his agreement with Logical Positivism: metaphysical and unscientific ideas must be rejected.

Donovan plan - Intro
In his essay ‘Can we know God by experience?’ Peter Donovan questions whether it is possible to have direct, intuitive knowledge of God. After setting out this question, he considers the views of 20th century theologians and philosophers (like H.P. Owen) who have argued that religious experiences may provide knowledge of God, through intuition. Donovan points out how this idea of intuitive knowledge of God fits with established Christian ways of thinking: God is a personal being who acts in history. He then distinguishes psychological feelings of certainty from actually being right on logical grounds, and associates intuitive awareness of God with the former. Donovan points out that our sense of certainty is often mistaken, an observation he takes from Bertrand Russell. Although he considers the possibility that experience of God might be a type of personal encounter (I-You), Donovan rejects the idea that this is itself a form of knowledge. He does not accept that intuition can provide knowledge of God, but claims that this point does not undermine the value of religious experiences altogether.


Intro Wesphal

In his essay on the history of the philosophy of religion, Westphal traces the move away from philosophical theology towards philosophy that is focused on the human practice and experience of religion. The criticisms of theistic arguments identified by Kant and Hume undermined the ‘Deist Project’ of finding rational belief in God, which led some scholars to look for a new role for religion. Westphal examines Kant’s focus upon ethical religion, Schleiermacher’s claim that religion is the ‘feeling of the infinite’ and Hegel’s philosophical reinterpretation of belief in terms of ‘absolute spirit’. Ultimately, the question facing the philosophers of this era seems to have been whether a kernel of true religion could be salvaged from the husk of irrational beliefs. While some (such as Hume) were suspicious of religion and its motives, Westphal explores different attempts to establish valid grounds for new and modern forms of religion. The debate over whether religion can respond to its critics remains with us to this present day.

LEARN THESE FOR PART A after u applied these in exam doesnt matter wat paragraph comes in yet then highlight upto 6 things in the paragraph, elaborate on them.

then put connection e.g reliigous language etc... for each text

Then for part B dont worry easiest part:
Learn the implications i will do this 4 u

AYER (put this into religious or human experience) Dont forget put a conclusion)
· Much of religious belief and practice is meaningless. Worship ceremonies, scriptures, stories of religious experience; all are unverifiable and therefore meaningless. Does this mean that religion should be abolished, ridiculed, reduced to the bits that work (e.g. helping others) or just left to whither and die?
· Religious experiences are all in the mind: people claiming to have mystical experiences should probably be treated as psychiatric patients.
· Perhaps religious belief should be treated as an illness or as a psychological problem?
· Subjective perceptions of other people (love, trust) would also become meaningless; they cannot be verified. We all assume intuitive knowledge of others ('I know he loves me', 'deep down she's a caring person') but for Ayer this would all be nonsense. The consequences of verification go far beyond religion, because it is a comprehensive theory of language. (I wonder how he got out of bed in the morning!?) This of course contradicts people like Owen mentioned in Donovan, who believed that this type of intuitive belief could be taken pretty much as fact.
· So too subjective values judgements (beauty), which can never be verified
· Beliefs about life after death are meaningless, so there is no hope of post-mortem existence.
· The idea of design and purpose in the world is meaningless as it cannot be verified.
· There are no ultimate moral values, only opinions. This would make it impossible to condemn the actions of another, because that implies that there are moral facts that we can measure each other by. Theories such as Natural Law and Utilitarianism are wrong because they confuse opinions (e.g. preserving life is good) with facts such as natural law and pleasure. Life has no meaning or ultimate purpose. Might this cause a collapse in society: do we need to believe that there is a higher power or purpose to make us want to strive to be better?
· All arguments from atheism (e.g. Marx, Freud etc) or from agnosticism are meaningless, because they discuss the existence of God. Might we have to get rid of the word ‘God’ from the language altogether?

Donovan(put this into religious or human experience) Dont forget put a conclusion)

· Religious experiences can be meaningful and we should resist the temptation to argue that they are illusions. This is an anti-realist approach: religious experiences are meaningful for those who have them, even if they cannot be verified as fact.
· Donovan rejects the realist view that statements are only true if they correspond to states of affairs: he allows for religious statements to have subjective meaning. This is important in religious language and means that Donovan would allow theories such as Wittgenstein’s language games or Thomas Aquinas’ analogy.
· Religious statements should be open to being verified: they are not self-evidently true. Donovan would refuse to accept that the Bible ‘is just true’ because ‘it’s the word of God.’ It would have to be tested against other things we know to be true e.g. evidence from science for big bang and evolution vs. the creation story.
· Religious experiences should not be used as a basis for other claims to truth. For example, believing that God told you to murder prostitutes does not make it acceptable to murder prostitutes. This is especially important where people abuse religion to do harm to others e.g. the Westboro Baptist Church.
· One implication for religion would be that religious believers might have to become much more self-conscious and reflectively critical of their beliefs. The view that God can be known directly and intuitively seems to encounter difficulties, or at least is weak as a means of persuading other people. The attempt to argue from personal conviction (a common factor in preaching) would be much less convincing. Individualistic and charismatic approaches to religion are weakened by what Donovan is claiming.

· There is also an implication for morality here: Donovan’s argument suggests that we may ‘feel certain’ that a certain action is right or wrong, but this does not mean that we can claim to ‘be right’ about it just because of intuition or emotion. Donovan would support the is-ought gap or fact-value distinction.
· There is a difference between ‘feeling certain’ and ‘being right.’ Setting up these two categories means that we can talk about intuitive knowledge meaningfully, but we are also required to check those intuitions against other things we know. This is different to Ayer who refused to accept that any intuitive knowledge was meaningful.
· Agnosticism might be the only acceptable position based on Donovan’s argument. It may be impossible to ‘be right’ about the existence of God, or to have an ‘I-It’ relationship with God where we can make definite claims about God. This contradicts Ayer.
· Donovan would argue against atheism, because he is of the opinion that religious experiences are meaningful and there is an element of a relationship with God that is simply beyond proof.

Westphal(put this into religious or human experience) Dont forget put a conclusion)


· Deism (separating faith and reason, with God as a creator who does not intervene) somewhat leaves us on our own. What is the point of living a good life if God is no longer involved and is not immanent? What is the point of religious practice other than for thanking a creator?
· The Enlightenment (promoting reason while tradition/authority questioned) could be considered limiting for those who do not have the capacity to understand reason or who argue from a posteriori positions.
· Hume and Kant’s critiques of the classic arguments for God’s existence had great implications for understanding philosophy and theology. This opening of this can of worms left many people’s personal beliefs and arguments in tatters and a new way to understand and reason for God needed to be found.
· Where Kant claims that ‘there is no knowledge of God by means of pure (a priori) theoretical reason, we can have such knowledge by means of pure practical reason’ we need to question whether practical reasons will suffice. What are the Implications of not relying on logical reason but arguing from a moral basis?

1. If we become more preoccupied with investigating the ‘philosophy of religion’ rather that ‘philosophical theology’, what are we leaving behind? What are the real implications for forgetting the ‘God-bit’?
2. Kant’s two claims that ‘morality does not need religion at all’ and ; ‘morality leads inevitably to religion,’ make us question the relationship between religion and morality. Would religion have any function if it did not inspire morality and how ought it to effect how we live our lives.
3. While some say that we should rely on reason, Schleiermacher suggests that ‘feeling’ is the key to understanding religion and faith. What are the Implications for trusting our feelings?
4. Hegel on the other hand, suggests that ‘the content of religion and philosophy are the same but the differ in form….only a thoroughgoing reinterpretation of philosophical concepts of idea and Spirit can…provide us with concepts suitable for doing philosophical theology’. But what are the implications for taking a philosophical and logical approach to faith rather than one based on feeling and experience?
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dezzygc
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(Original post by Gee:))
is anyone taking the risk of not doing Donovan?
Me

Hope God's on our side
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remrod
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(Original post by dezzygc)
Me

Hope God's on our side
Over the past 3 years, Donovans come up twice. If he came up this year, I would publically denounce Edexcel as a satanic regime comprised of the basest of sadists, and then go and cry a lot.
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freaakk
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Is anyone doing Jamieson, Lafollette and Schneewind?
If so who do you think is most likely to come up?
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