Instructions:  Write a short essay on one topic from each of the three sections below. Each answer should be between 400 and 600 words long, though you have some latitude to write more or less than that amount as you see fit. Your answers will be graded according to how well they demonstrate your understanding of the issue. A good understanding of an issue is demonstrated not by quoting texts – which shows that you have read, not that you have understood what you have read. Rather, it is done firstly by explaining the issue in a clear and careful manner, and secondly by taking a position on the issue that you defend against at least one plausible contrary position or objection. In other words, we expect to see in your answers your thoughtful utilization of the skills that we have been practicing throughout the semester – nothing more, but also nothing less. Your exam should be uploaded to Quercus by 11:59 pm on December 20, 2020.   Section I: Justification (out of 8 1/3) Some claim that anti-rational fideism is nothing more than an extreme version of pragmatic fideism. Explain and evaluate this claim. One way that religious believers might try to retain their faith despite anti-religious criticisms is by shifting a heavy burden of proof onto these critics. Should religious believers want to utilize this strategy? (The issue, in other words, isn’t whether they can successfully shift the burden of proof off of themselves, but rather, if we assume that they can, the result is a good one for religious belief.)   Section II: Belief (out of 8 1/3) According to atheistic falsificationism, religious language is cognitively meaningless. Explain and evaluate how negative theology responds to this critical view of religious language. Some theists assert the sincerity of their belief in God and regard this quality of their belief sufficient for true belief. Explain why other theists might consider this version of faith insufficient and evaluate this criticism of their fellow believers.   Section III: Disagreement (out of 8 1/3) Some contend that the very fact of religious diversity undermines the possibility of a sufficient justification of any particular religious outlook. Explain and evaluate this contention. Some claim that pluralism is the appropriate response to religious diversity because people have a natural preference for the outlook into which they are born. Evaluate this claim.

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