Up@dawn 2.0

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Study Guide

Our last exam on Tuesday, again in glossary format, will be drawn from the March and April quizzes (would anyone care to earn three runs by copying and pasting them all into a convenient study guide?) plus these questions from Russell's concluding essays.

  • Russell rejects _____’s view that the U.S. is the least philosophical nation in the world.
  • Russell feels “profound moral reprobation” for those who say religion ought to be believed because it is ____.
Before the exam I'll invite you all to offer a brief commercial for your final report. I urge everyone to read and comment on others' report posts, especially the first installments. After the exam, stick around so we can grade them together and you can see your pre-report runs total. I'll also collect all your personal logs.
And, to follow up on The Faith of Christopher Hitchens which I mentioned in class last week: I've finished it. It's well worth reading, giving us the startling picture of an improbable friendship between the firebrand atheist and Larry Taunton, a thoughtful and committed Christian from Alabama. They actually did a cross-country roadtrip together late in Hitch's life, studying and discussing the Bible (specifically the Book of John). But the author's speculation that Hitch may have been on the verge of a possible conversion, mirroring his earlier 9/11-inspired political conversion, is to me unpersuasive and ungenerous.

If you really want to understand Hitch's "faith" read Mortality, his moving memoir of illness and dying. He pretty clearly emerges from that account, and his widow's afterword, as an atheist who was at home in his terminal foxhole.

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