The Book “Philosophy: the Power of Ideas”

Explain and critically evaluate the notions of Karma, samsara, and Nirvana

Karma refers mainly to the concept of deeds and intentions that an individual or a group does while being alive in the world. It also captures the effects of those actions on other people and the rest of the world. In this regard, it also features other people’s actions and the world’s actions on a person. On the other hand, Samsara captures the immediate surrounding and definition of real life, which includes the sky, land, a person’s family, friends, and immediate surroundings. Samsara affects a person’s view of Karma and Nirvana. Nirvana is an outcome of a life that has been spent doing good and seeking meaning and therefore acts as a form of enlightenment (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

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Explain and critically evaluate the Hindu ideas of Brahman, atman, and reality

Brahman is an idea of there being a universal reality that shapes the life of all living things. It exists without creation or beginning, yet it is the one responsible for the development of all other life. Individuals have Atman, which is a conceptualization of themselves in a true sense, thus when considered in the purest form, an individual is Atman. On the other hand, in all life, Brahman and Atman are one, in that Atman belongs to Brahman and should act according to Brahman, which is the true reality (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Explain the Buddha’s four noble truths. Is he correct in his view?

Buddha’s four noble truths are correct because they present reality and provide a means, using that reality of removing suffering. If one believes in the first truth, it is difficult to discredit the other noble truths. The truths are only a logical way to deal with suffering or diseases in the same way that modern-day life does. There is suffering, then the diagnosis of the suffering, then an end of the suffering emerges and then people follow the path described to end the suffering. This makes sense when looking at it from both a real-life view and a philosophical view (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Explain and critically evaluate the “Eight Fold Path”. Is this a reasonable philosophy for life?

The eightfold path offers a practical way to live and eliminate suffering; therefore, it is a reasonable philosophy for life. However, for it to work, it requires that a person accepts the teachings are true. At the same time, it works, as an instruction for morality, which when observed should bring order, therefore the eightfold path is a good philosophy for life. The eight suggestions are right view, aim, speech, action, living, effort, mindfulness, and contemplation. These instructions are easy to follow, can be applied independently and collectively, which makes them useful for everyday intentions (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Explain and critically evaluate Lao Tzu’s notion of effortless non-striving

Lau Tzu concentrated on teaching tranquility and balance, which meant that there is no much exertion of effort, yet is a conscious attempt exists to harness the energy, opportunities, and everything else that helps a person grow in a given surrounding. With effortlessness, people can achieve more, because they are open to possibilities and in a way, change happens through the weakness of being effortless. Non-striving is a superior way of living where people preserve their effort and therefore remain strong to tackle any challenges. At the same time, it is a way that ensures there is peace and harmony as it negates the need for force and strife (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Explain and critically evaluate Confucius’s principle of Mean

For Confucius, the overall principles of the teachings were that everything works in the reflection of its nature. With the principle of the mean, the philosopher was arguing that balance is the main idea that can ensure the survival and thrive of humanity. Rather than having extremes caused by too little or too much engagement, people can pursue a balance. People should look for the mean in everything, and they will be able to ensure there every person receives adequate nourishment. The principles govern personal life and society’s life. It considers individual effort or intentions and provides a way for the rest of society to treat the powerful and the weak (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Explain and critically evaluate Confucius’s principle of Mean

The views of Murasaki Shikibu bring out the attempt by women to change their worth under Buddhism, such that they do not have to be reincarnated as male for them to enter into enlightenment. Her views threaten the dominant view of women as natural objects who have and can only attain a lower spiritual value. Instead, Shikibu brings out the power of women as being more virtuous than men are. In this regard, her views reverse the reincarnation arrangement such that males reincarnate to become female and correct their lives as virtuous begin to become enlightened (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

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Explain and critically evaluate the argument of St. Anselm for God’s existence, and Guanilo’s objection to this argument

St. Anselm started by believing that God exists and then went on to work on the belief. The belief was that it was logical to think of God, and illogical to think otherwise. The definition of God in the argument was that God represented the greatest being conceivable, and this would open the argument to include God in different ways as viewed by various people. According to Gaunilo, such a testament of God opens up opportunities for people to make ridiculous claims because the definition of God is not certain. However, Gaunilo was objecting in principle that the manner of proving the existence of God was philosophically wrong (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Summarize and critically evaluate St. Thomas Aquinas’s Five Ways

The five ways offer proof of God’s existence, and one is the motion of natural beings. Another is the need for a cause to create an effect. Thirdly, some things need not exist, and the fourth one is that there is goodness in every natural thing. The fifth one is that natural things act with a purpose. According to Aquinas, there five ways that lead one to think about the presence of a designer. They also highlight the proof of God and can therefore survive a logical argument besides meeting other argument criteria. Therefore, the five ways are valid (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Leibniz claims that this is the “best of all possible worlds”. Why does he say this? Do you agree with his assertion?

God’s creation will have to have limits and imperfections hence the existence of evil, but at the same time, there is sufficient capacity for the created things to become pure, perfect, and attain a Godly nature. In this regard, God’s creation is evil, even as it is good. A problem with this argument is that it justifies evil rather than just explain why evil exists (Moore & Bruder, 2008).

Explain and evaluate the views of William James regarding religious belief

William James focuses on the existence of God, and through his argument, he called for religious belief to concentrate on truth and consider error avoidance as a secondary aim. Besides, he brought the belief of God as something that exists in the momentous and living issues that remain unexplained by the intellect. That should be informing religious beliefs. Otherwise, for things that have an intellectual explanation, there is no need for believing what is unknown. In a way, the argument raised questions about its claim that God’s existence is unexplainable (Moore & Bruder, 2008).


Moore, B. N., & Bruder, K. (2008). Philosophy: The power of ideas (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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"The Book "Philosophy: the Power of Ideas"." StudyCorgi, 5 Mar. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "The Book "Philosophy: the Power of Ideas"." March 5, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "The Book "Philosophy: the Power of Ideas"." March 5, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Book "Philosophy: the Power of Ideas"." March 5, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Book "Philosophy: the Power of Ideas"'. 5 March.

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