Final Argumentative Paper
Three important sub-disciplines of philosophy are addressed in this course: ethics, epistemology, and religion. For this paper, you will develop an argument that includes your own view on one specific topic relating to one of these sub-disciplines. Below is a list of topics from which you must choose. Feel free to combine topics that seem to fit with one another. It is recommended that you choose a topic that interests you or that you have thought about previously.
In philosophical papers, it is always best to present both sides of the issue (remember that there are usually more than two sides to any issue), and then to present the side that you find the most convincing. Remember to back up your position with logical reasoning and factual evidence. In addition, be sure to utilize the philosophical content and ideas that you have encountered in this course.
- Identify the specific issue.
- Make clear one basic dispute over this issue.
- Clarify the arguments on multiple sides of the issue.
- Structure an argument that supports the side of the issue you find to be better defended.
- Explain why you find that side of the debate superior.
- State your own view, and defend it with an argument.
- Provide at least two references for each side of the debate.
- Utilize the philosophical theories and ideas that you have encountered in this course as much as possible.
In order to write a strong paper, you will need to clearly and specifically present both sides of the debate using at least five academic sources in addition to the course text, three of which can be found in the Ashford Online Library.
Select a topic from the following sub-disciplines:
- What is the most convincing ethical system? Why?
- Is it necessary to have universal ethical principles?
- What are the fundamental principles of ethics?
- What is the good life and how does one achieve it?
- Is ethics natural or learned behavior?
- What is an ethically bad life? How do we know?
- How do humans differentiate between good and bad in the realm of ethics?
- Do ethical actions have value apart from the outcomes of those actions?
- Are humans free or determined, and how does this perspective relate to human responsibility?
- What can humans know for certain and how can they justify that they actually know what they think they know?
- What are the limits of human perception and cognition?
- What is the relationship between scientific knowledge and other types of knowledge?
- What are the limits of skepticism?
- What are the differences between the mind and the brain?
- Is radical relativism defensible?
- What is the best epistemological argument and explanation of how humans perceive their worlds?
- How did human consciousness emerge and where is it headed?
- Is proof for the existence of God necessary?
- Which argument for the existence of God is strongest? Why?
- What are the foundations of the universe and from where did the universe emerge?
- Can one be moral and not believe in God?
- Can God and real evil be reconciled?
- Are science and religion in conflict?
- Can God’s omniscience and human free will be reconciled?
- Is there a rational argument for atheism?
The paper must be six to eight pages in length, formatted according to APA style, and include a title and a reference page (which does not count towards the page length). Support your point with examples from the text and at least five sources, three of which can be found in the Ashford Online Library. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.
Writing the Final Argumentative Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be six to eight double-spaced pages in length, and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- Must use at least five scholarly sources, including a minimum of three from the Ashford Online Library.
- Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a separate reference page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.