Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Clayton Second semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Clayton Summer semester A 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Professor Graham Oppy


Previously coded PHL2020


Is belief in God rationally defensible? We begin by examining some arguments in favour of the existence of God. We then move to consider a difficulty for anyone who believes that God is all-powerful and wholly good: the problem posed by existence of evil. One traditional solution to this problem is to say that God is not responsible for the moral evil in this world. God gave us freedom, the capacity to choose between good and evil; moral evils are due entirely to the bad choices made by human beings. This raises the central questions concerning human freedom: what exactly does free action involve? Are we ever genuinely free, or is our sense of freedom no more than an illusion?


On successfully completing this unit, students will have:

  1. been introduced to philosophical thinking in the Analytical Tradition, particularly as it applies to topics in the Philosophy of Religion;
  2. familiarize students with the key arguments for and against the main positions in the debate about the existence of God;
  3. be able to think clearly about the existence of evil and human freedom in the presence of a wholly good, all powerful and all knowing God.

Students will also obtain familiarity with central ideas in the history of philosophy, and begin to develop an understanding of important philosophical theories.


Written work (2500 words): 60%
Examination (2 hours): 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study