Course Number: PHS 415

Course Title: The Philosophy of God

Instructor: Christopher Apodaca, MA

Contact: capodaca@holyapostles.edu, (505) 948-1071

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

Natural Theology, the highest of the sciences, is the reasoned, philosophical study of the existence of God and His attributes. In this course, we will begin by exploring various types of atheism and then move on to the study of St. Thomas’ famous Five Ways for proving God’s existence. Next we will learn about the various Divine Attributes which one can discover by reason alone, and finally, students will demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered in this course by developing a presentation on a book relating to theism and the challenges of atheism.  

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

.  

3. COURSE SCHEDULE Week 1: Natural Theology and Man’s Knowledge of God  Listen to the lecture.  McInerny, pp. 1-27  

Intelligently respond to the professor’s questions regarding your post. Week 3: Proofs for the Existence of God before St. Thomas  Listen to the lecture.

Week 4: The Metaphysical Foundations of the Proofs   Listen to the lecture.  McInerny, pp. 67-83

Intelligently respond to the professor’s questions regarding your post. Week 5: Arguments from Motion, Efficient Causality, and Contingent Being  Listen to the Lecture.  

Week 8: Proofs for the Existence of God after St. Thomas  Listen to the Lecture.  

Week 10: Man’s Knowledge of God  Listen to the Lecture.  

Week 15: The Providence of God  Listen to the Lecture.  

4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

Weekly Discussion Posts: 40%

Research Paper: 20%

Mid-Term Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 20%

 

Late Work: Late work is will only be accepted for serious reasons. Please discuss any late assignments with professor Apodaca prior to submission.  

Composition: Your written assignments must demonstrate a command of standard English conventions, be organized and clear, and be constructed in an formal, academic fashion.  

5. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES:

McInerny, D.Q : Natural Theology, 9780976037040, $24.95 at

http://www.fraternitypublications.com/natural-theology---dq-mcinerny-phd.html  

NOTE: With the permission of the author, a free electronic copy of the text has been provided under the “info” tab in Populi.  

6. EVALUATION

 

 

 

o This is a 3-5 page formal essay.  o You may choose any topic that relates to the material that is covered in this course.  o The paper should be philosophical in nature – either defending or criticizing a philosopher’s position, contrasting the views of two philosophers, or applying a philosopher’s theory to some contemporary issue.  

GRADING SCALE:

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 D 60-69; F 59 and below

Grading Rubric for the Blog Entries (BE) and Discussion Board (DB) Postings 

1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

CONTENT

Absence of

Understanding

Posting shows no awareness of the concepts addressed in the topic by shifting offtopic  

Misunderstanding

Posting demonstrates a misunderstanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic through an inability to reexplain them 

Adequate

Understanding

Posting demonstrates an adequate understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic by a re-explanation of them

Solid understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic and uses that understanding effectively in the examples it provides

Insightful understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts of the topic through the use of examples and by making connections to other concepts

WRITING & EXPRESSION

Incomplete writing

 

Posting is only partially written or fails to address the topic

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed  

Posting touches only on the surface of the topic and proceeds to talk about something else; confusing organization or development; little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable number of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage 

Acceptable writing, but could use some sharpening of skill

Posting is an uneven response to parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment;  satisfactory organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors

Solid writing with something interesting to say

Posting is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples;  levelappropriate syntax and diction;  mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error

command-level writing, making a clear impression

Posting is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of issues; compelling organization and development ; superior syntax and diction; error-free grammar, mechanics, and usage  

RESEARCH 

Missing Research

Paper shows no evidence of research:

citation of sources missing. 

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources; spotty documentation of facts in text; pattern of citation errors. 

Weak research and/or documentation

Inadequate number or quality of sources; many facts not referenced; several errors in citation format. 

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources. 

Solid research and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors.

 

 

 

COMMUNITY INTERACTION (50-word response) 

Inadequate response

Response merely provides laudatory encouragement for original post, e.g., “Excellent post! You really have thought of something there.” 

Poor response

Response misses the point of the original posting or merely summarizes original posting to which it responds. 

Acceptable response

Response makes a

contribution to the posting to which it responds. 

Individually-conscious contributory response

Response makes a

contribution to the posting to which it responds and fosters its development. 

Community-conscious contributory response

Response makes a

contribution to the learning community and fosters its development. 

Graduate Rubric

Grading Rubric for the Major Papers  

0 pts. – Paper

Posting;

3 pts. – Paper

Posting;

6 pts. – Paper

Posting;

9 pts. – Paper

Posting;

12 pts. – Paper

Posting;

15 pts. – Paper

Posting;

CONTENT

Absence of

Understanding

Analysis shows no awareness of the discipline or its

Lack of

Understanding

Analysis seems

to

misunderstand

Inadequate understanding

Analysis is sometimes unclear in

Adequate understanding

Analysis demonstrates an understanding of

Solid

Understanding

Analysis demonstrates a clear

Insightful understanding

Analysis clearly demonstrates an understanding and

methodologies as they relate to the topic.

some basic concepts of the discipline or lacks ability to articulate them.

understanding or articulating concepts of the discipline.

basic concepts of the discipline but could express them with greater clarity.

understanding and articulation of concepts with some sense of their wider implications.

articulation of concepts of the discipline as they relate to the topic; highlights connections to other concepts; integrates concepts into wider contexts.

RESEARCH

Missing

Research

Paper shows no evidence of research: citation of sources missing. 

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources;

spotty documentation

of facts in text; pattern of citation errors. 

Weak research

and/or documentation

Inadequate number or quality of sources; many

facts not referenced; several errors in citation format. 

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources; too many citation errors. 

Solid research

and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors. 

Excellent critical research and documentation

Critically selected and relevant scholarly sources demonstrating extensive, in-depth

research; sources

skillfully

incorporated into paper at all necessary points;

all citations follow

standard bibliographic format. 

WRITING & EXPRESSION

Incomplete writing

Analysis is only

partially written or completely misses the topic.

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed  

Analysis fails to address the topic; confusing organization or development;

little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable

number of errors in

grammar, mechanics, and usage.

Episodic writing, a mix of strengths and weaknesses.

Analysis noticeably neglects or misinterprets the topic; simplistic or repetitive treatment, only

partiallyinternalized; weak

organization and development, some meandering; simple sentences, below-level diction; distracting errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.

Acceptable writing, but could use

some sharpening

of skill

Analysis is an uneven response to

parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment; satisfactory

organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more

vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors.

Solid writing, with something interesting to say.

Analysis is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples; level-appropriate syntax and diction; mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error.

Command-level writing, making

a clear impression

Analysis is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of

issues; compelling organization and development; superior syntax and diction; errorfree grammar, mechanics, and usage.

7. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Robert Mish, the Disability Resource Center ADA Coordinator, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

8. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends. Plagiarism includes: 1. Directly quoting without acknowledging the source. 2. Changing a few words of a text without indicating this was done and/or not acknowledging the source. 3. Not acknowledging that the structure of ideas or logic is from another author. 4. Not acknowledging a unique image (including analogies, similes, metaphors etc.) is from a particular document or author.

Students, where applicable:

·     Should identify the title, author, page number/webpage address, and publication date of works when directly quoting small portions of texts, articles, interviews, or websites.

·     Students should not copy more than two paragraphs from any source as a major component of papers or projects.

·     Should appropriately identify the source of information when paraphrasing (restating) ideas from texts, interviews, articles, or websites.

·     Should follow the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Stylesheet (available on the Online Writing Lab’s website at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl/resources).

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students caught plagiarizing will receive a zero for the assignment, and may be withdrawn from the class and/or expelled from Holy Apostles.

9. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade. 

10. INCOMPLETE POLICY

An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student. Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course. A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester. 

12. ABOUT YOUR PROFESSOR

Christopher Apodaca graduated from Holy Apostles College and seminary

in January 2014, having earned an MA in Philosophy. Since then, he has continued to take graduate course and teach undergraduate course in philosophy online. He is a fulltime professor at the Holy Apostles Campus in Cromwell, CT.  

Additionally, Christopher has worked in secondary education for the past thirteen years as a mathematics teacher, counselor, and school administrator.  

Christopher looks forward to discussing the science of Philosophical Ethics with you and encourages you contact him to discuss you progress in class throughout the semester. He can be reached at capodaca@holyapostles.edu, or in the evening and on weekends at (505) 948-1071. When calling, keep in mind that he is located in the Eastern Time Zone.