Environmental Studies/Religion/Physics 228

Study Questions for Final Exam

1."It seems to me," says Paul Davies, "that if one perseveres with the principle of sufficient reason and demands a rational explanation for nature, then we have no choice but to seek that explanation in something beyond or outside the physical world" (p. 171). Explain some of the considerations that lead Davies to this conclusion. Does this generate a persuasive argument for the existence of God? Explain why or why not.

2. What does Davies mean by "a unique theory of everything," and how is such a theory relevant to the question of whether we need God in order to explain the universe?

3.Describe five scientific observations that might be taken as evidence of "fine-tuning."

4. Explain the design argument as William Paley presents it. How does Paul Davies update this argument in light of contemporary scientific evidence of "fine-tuning" in the universe? How good is the resulting case for the existence of God?

5. What does McFague mean by the "common creation story" and how does she make use of this story in her theology? How does the common creation story contribute to her interpretation of the concept of sin?

6. Explain the five "models of God" that McFague considers. Which ones does she give a central place in her theology, and why?

7. What does McFague mean by the "Christic paradigm"? What does the Christic paradigm add to the model of the world as God's body?

8. If Lynn White and Sallie McFague were to sit down for a conversation, how might McFague reply to Lynn White's criticisms about the role of Christianity in contributing to environmental crisis? Is her response adequate? Explain.

9. What is meant by "natural theology?" What is meant by "theology of nature?" How are they different?

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