Faith and Reason
Part one: Consider the following statement: ‘I believe that Santa Clause exists’. If you believed in Santa Clause at one time, what were the reasons you had for believing? (If you did not believe, what are some of the reasons a child who does believe might assert for this claim?) Be specific in the reasoning you used or the evidence you had. Provide a narrative to these questions in a one to two paragraphs of approximately 5-7 sentences each.
Part two: After reading The Ethics of Belief, extrapolate on the way you think Clifford might respond to the fact that some children do believe that Santa Clause exists. Consider also how he might respond to your answers above. How would he evaluate the ‘grounds’ for the belief? Use two paragraphs of approximately 5-7 sentences each.
Supplement your answers by using direct quotes from Clifford and expanding on how these support your claims. Find two different quotes from the excerpt of Clifford’s The Ethics of Belief in our text. The procedure would be to state the quote and cite it, explain what you think he means in that quote, and show how it supports your claim. Use MLA in-text citation and provide a Works Cited page.
Part three: React to Clifford’s argument either by: a) addressing an objection or b) defending his claims. Do so in one to two paragraphs of approximately 5-7 sentences each. You may use your own ideas and examples or you may present ideas from James’ The Will to Believe or Pascal’s The Wager. You should be critical, academic, and respectful. Using your own ideas and thoughts is perfectly acceptable for this portion of the paper, but if you do quote or paraphrase others’ ideas, be certain to cite properly.