Past paper questions
June 2019 (AS and A level questions)
- Critically discuss the theodicy of Augustine.
- To what extent does Plato successfully explain the relationship between the body and the soul?
- ‘Aquinas’ Fifth Way does not demonstrate the existence of God.’ Discuss.
- How successfully does the language games concept make sense of religious language?
- Critically compare the logical and evidential aspects of the problem of evil as challenges to belief.
- Analyse Aristotle’s four causes.
- ‘The world was created by chance, not by God’s design. Discuss.
June 2018 (AS and A level questions)
- ‘Conversion experiences do not provide a basis for belief in God.’ Discuss.
- Critically discuss Aristotle’s understanding of reality.
- To what extent does Kant successfully criticise the ontological argument?
- ‘The best approach to understanding religious language is through the cataphatic way.’ Discuss.
- To what extent does Hume successfully argue that observation does not prove the existence of God?
- Assess Boethius’s view that divine eternity does not limit human free will.
- ‘Corporate religious experiences are less reliable than individual religious experiences.’ Discuss.
Other possible questions
- Critically compare Plato’s Form of the Good and Aristotle’s Prime Mover 
- To what extent is Aristotle’s use of the senses to make sense of reality more convincing than Plato’s reliance on reason? 
- “There is no evidence for dualism!” Discuss 
- The word ‘soul’ is best understood as a metaphor. Critically evaluate this claim. 
- Talk about a separate soul rests on a category error! Evaluate this statement. 
- To what extent are a posteriori arguments are more persuasive than a priori arguments for God? 
- It is more likely that the universe came about by chance than that God designed it. Discuss this statement. 
- To what extent does Aquinas provide sufficient explanation for his conclusion “and this is what everybody calls God”? Discuss with reference to the Third Way. 
- The Cosmological Argument is defeated by the fallacy of composition. Discuss. 
- Critically assess the view that the Ontological Argument is the most persuasive argument for the existence of God. 
- “Existence is not a predicate.” Discuss 
- To what extent does Anselm’s ontological argument justify people in having Christian faith? 
- The ontological argument fails because it can be reduced to absurdity: it is obvious that perfect islands don’t exist by definition, so God can’t. To what extent is this judgement fair? 
- There is no way to establish the validity of religious experiences, so they are not a reliable basis for faith in God. Discuss. 
- Are corporate religious experiences any more reliable or valid than individual experiences? 
- Religious experience is a good pointer towards the existence of God, but it is not a sufficient basis for belief in God in itself. Discuss this statement. 
- To what extent does Augustine’s theodicy succeed in defending God against the charge of allowing evil and the suffering it causes? 
- Why would a perfect God need to put people through a ‘vale of soul-making’? 
- To what extent is the evidential problem of evil a greater challenge to Classical Theism than the logical problem of evil? 
- Is it possible to successfully defend monotheism in the face of evil? 
- The Christian concept of God is incoherent! Discuss. 
- Critically evaluate the claim that Richard Swinburne provides the most useful understanding of the relationship between divinity and time. 
- To what extent does Boethius succeed in resolving the problems of divine knowledge, benevolence, justice, eternity and human free will? 
- God can only do what is logically possible. Discuss. 
- Critically compare symbol and analogy as approaches to religious language. 
- The Via Negativa is an unhelpful way of approaching religious language. Discuss. 
- Meaningful theological discussion depends on the Cataphatic approach to language; it is impossible through the Apophatic way. Critically assess this claim. 
- Aquinas’ analogical approaches to religious language are too limiting to support religion. Discuss. 
- A symbolic understanding of religious language renders religious discourse incomprehensible. Critically evaluate this claim. 
- Critically assess the claim that Religious Language is necessarily non-cognitive. 
- To what extent can Scripture mean anything if religious language is understood to be non-cognitive? 
- How far is Aquinas’ analogical view of theological language valuable in the philosophy of religion? 
thanks to Charlotte Vardy for many of these example questions