Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Exam #3 Study Guide

For the non-exempt (almost said non-elect)...

20 of the following will appear in altered form on Tuesday's exam (3:30 pm), and without alternative 'OR's.

The extra credit DQ (you may select your own):
Summarize your take-away from the course regarding the question of meaning: do you side more with Flanagan, Rosenberg, Sagan, Hitchens, or none of the above, when considering the meaning of (godless) life? How so? Why?

1. What else was Darwin's insight besides good science, to Carl Sagan?

2. What was CS's view of scientism and Russell's response to the "will to believe"? What did he admire about Wm James?

3. How did CS define superstition, & religion?

4. What sort of implications are entailed by our sun's finitude?

5. What's cruel about an immortal Creator?

6. What "dangerous fatalism" lurks in the anthropic principle of life?

7. What's the point of Rupert Brooke's "Heaven"?

8. [Proverbs]

1. (x) 2. (xi; xv) 3. (1) 4. (20, 28) 5. (29) 6. (55, 59) 7. (60-1) 8. (64.4, 69.5, 74.4, 81.1, 84.7, 99.11, 99.18, 117.8, 136.4, 140.6

1. What was the prominent pre-Copernican speculation as to how the planets move?

2. As science advances, what kind of God is evolving?

3. What's CS's point about the Parade of Ancestors?

4. How much do we differ from chimps, blood-wise?

5. Is it likely that life elsewhere will closely resemble life on earth?

6. Why is it useful to study the organic chemistry of other worlds?

7. Why did Halley's comet frighten people in 1910?

1.63.  2.64.   3.65.  4.66.   5.67.  6.69.  7.75-6

1. Who said facts are stubborn things? Does CS think our wishes can alter facts? (What would a pragmatist say?)

2. Were Percival Lowell's canali a sign of intelligent life? If so, where?

3. What's the "one respect in which our civilization is probably unique in the Galaxy?"

4. How would the reception of extraterrestrial radio signals show us "the universe as it really is?"

5. What was the hopeful emotional appeal of Erik van Daniken's "ancient astronauts" idea? Did CS consider it benign?

6. Who wrote the definitive work on miracles? What did he say we should reject?

7. What's natural theology (what does it reject)? OR, What did Leonardo figure out about Noah's flood? OR, When (according to Ussher) did God create the world?

8. Why do religions make such an effort to attract the very young? [DQ: Is this also why CS & NdT did Cosmos?]

9. What routine galactic events suggest the likelihood of an "apprentice god," if any? (This, btw, might be a relevant point in my debate with Rami. Is this any way to run a universe, let alone a planet?!) OR, Does the fact that some of us are motivated to care for "the young of everybody on the planet" support Kant's moral argument for God? OR, What's the "perfect" Buddhist counterpoint to the Ontological Argument?

10. What suggests a molecular basis for religious experience? OR, Which argument implies a "gratuitous insult" to humanity? OR, Why (if God exists) must He be very busy, and incompetent?

11. What are the key distinguishing marks of happy cultures everywhere? OR, What's theophorin?

1.104   2.107   3.118   4.123   5.129   6.136, 144   7.147-8, 151   8.152   9.159-60   10. 162-5   11.173, 184

1. Where do traditions come from, and to what end? OR, Does CS think we should reflexively defer to received generational wisdom? OR, What unprecedented condition challenges the present generation?

2. What did the WHO say would be the prompt effect of a nasty nuclear war? OR, Is the extinction of all life on earth at stake? OR, Does CS consider religion in general fatalistic?

3. What pictures are we lucky to have? OR, What is humanity's defining dual enterprise?

4. What "conflict within the human heart" must we negotiate, to survive? OR, What atrophying skills must we rededicate ourselves to developing (especially we in education)? OR, What "commandments" would CS add?

5. What vision of our future does CS find strikingly absent from contemporary culture? OR, Why should we experiment, explore, and search for life in the universe?

6. What kinds of alternative God concepts does CS find irrelevant to the creation of the world or events in history? OR, What's the "zoo hypothesis"?

7. Why should there be a "test of faith" before the issuance of driving & flying licenses? [He's joking of course.] OR, What kind of "kit" should we equip ourselves with?

1.191-4   2.204,208,207   3.210, 214   4.216-18   5.219, 221   6.236, 238   7.250, 257

1. What's the story behind this photo?

2. What's Hitch say about "burning the candle at both ends" OR about "Why me?" OR about Thanatos/Eros?

3.What's ironic or telling about the lives and deaths of the devout and the pious? OR, Did those who said they'd pray for him say his health was their primary consideration?

4.What correlation did the 2006 prayer study find? OR, Did Francis Collins pray for him?

5. Why is Pascal's gambler "abjectly opportunist"? OR, How does the Devil's Dictionary define prayer?

6. Aside from his obvious desire to continue living, why else did Hitch feel "cheated and disappointed" when he found his cancer too advanced to yield to genomic "tissue engineering"?

7. Good Book? Maybe one of the Cicero passages, in honor of "the greatest orator of our time"? (Arguably, anyway.)

1.xi   2.5-6, 8   3.13,16   4.18-19   5.21   6.33   7. Acts 67.31: "After he finished, all his other hearers were astonished..."

1. What materialist proposition does Hitch confirm "it's no fun to appreciate" the full truth of?

2. Whose Last Lecture does Hitch say is an example of how not to be an "envoy from Tumortown"?

3. What functional physical loss does he compare to impotence or "amputation of part of the personality"? OR What is his advice to the aspiring writer, "above all"?

4. What cliched Nietzschean slogan did his illness cure him of?

5. Whose illness with "not the wish to die with dignity but the desire to have died"? OR What "realm" does he say "must be escaped before anything else"?

6. Good Book?

1.41   2.43   3.48,50   4.59   5.64-6

1. What two personal "assets" made Hitch's particular illness especially ironic (though he insists that there's "no real irony here")?

2. What "narrative expectation" did Hitch not take away from the example of British journalist John Diamond?

3. What view of "old religion's" attitude to life did Hitch share with Montaigne?

4. What "cost of immortality" does Hitch renounce, in a passage cited from Einstein's Dreams?

5. According to Carol Blue, what was Hitch's mood in his final days?

1.85   2.89   3.90   4.93   5.103 

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