Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Professor Graham Oppy



  • First semester 2016 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2016 (Day)
  • Second semester 2016 (Flexible)
  • Summer semester A 2016 (Flexible)



Are there successful arguments for or against the existence of God? We start by examining what it takes for an argument to be successful. We then examine some of the best known arguments for the existence of God--Anselm's ontological argument, Aquinas' second way, Paley's argument for design, Pascal's wager--and some of the best known arguments against the existence of God--Mackie's and Rowe's arguments from evil--and try to determine whether or not they succeed.


On successfully completing the unit, students will have:

  1. been introduced to an analytic philosophical approach to philosophy of religion;
  2. become familiar with key arguments for and against existence of God;
  3. thought about how to assess arguments in a context in which there are competing theistic and naturalistic worldviews.

Students will also have been exposed to some central philosophical texts, and to arguments that have been influential for many hundreds of years.


Within semester assessment: 60%
Exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

Off-campus: no timetabled contact hours

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