The Problem of Evil

Simpson Colloquium SC 101 – The Problem of Evil

What is “evil,” and how can we distinguish it from something that is simply “bad” or “immoral”? Why and how do human beings, including whole cultures and societies, perform evil acts? How do we deal with the human tendency to do evil? Can human beings become better? Have we become better over time? How do people reconcile belief in God with the reality of evil? In this class, we will work together to understand and answer these questions through a variety of perspectives or approaches: philosophy, literature, religion and theology, film, psychology, sociology and evolutionary biology. Our readings and discussions will be based in both classic and contemporary sources.

Meet Your ProfessorJohn-Pauley

John Pauley, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

My main occupation in life is thinking.

I enjoy thinking for the sake of thinking and I also enjoy thinking about very difficult questions and issues across a broad field of disciplines. My outlook has always been interdisciplinary and I have always been attracted to several forms of intellectual endeavor.

Truth be known, I was a rotten high school student, mainly because I detested high school. At University I felt as if I had been set free. As an educator, I try to motivate students toward a similar sense of freedom. We are here at Simpson to think and move as deeply as we can into endlessly important and changing questions about the nature of ourselves and the world.

Critical Thinking is not, however, a course on pure thinking unrelated to real world problems. Students in this class are going to learn some fundamentals of good thinking, both in form and content, and then apply those fundamentals to very basic issues within our society.

Meet Your SC LeaderScreen Shot 2014-03-05 at 10.00.19 AM

Molly Monk

Hey there!
My name is Molly Monk and I’m your SCL for the Problem of Evil! While I was born in Arizona, I’ve spent most of my life in Minnesota, and I can put on a great accent to prove it. At home, I work as a waitress, nanny, and a junior counselor for the American Legion Auxiliary’s Girls State and Girls Nation programs. I also volunteer at a Musical Zombie Carwash in the summer. Being able to perform the Single Ladies Dance while in zombie garb is something that I’m probably too proud of.  At Simpson, I’m a junior majoring in French and International Relations with hopes to work in diplomacy or higher education at some point. I love politics, puns, and coffee far more than is probably recomended. You can generally find me in Dirlam Lounge taking advantage of their 50 cent coffee if I’m not in a meeting for Latinos Unidos, Simpson Democrats, Simpson Votes, Theatre Simpson, or working in the admissions office or at the Culver Center for my Culver Fellowship . In what’s left of my free time, I love seeing live music, cooking, and working out. I’m definitely not opposed to binging on Netflix marathons of Archer, Orange Is the New Black, or Star Trek though. What’s sleep again?
Just a few years ago, I was in Professor Pauley’s SC class. Being encouraged to challenge my thoughts and see all sides – not just both sides – of an issue really helped make my transition to college go smoothly. It was one of the best choices I’ve made. I can’t wait to meet all of you and help you to have an even better experience than I did. PLEASE feel free to contact me via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, (or carrier pidgeon if none of those work out for you). Just a note though – if you contact me before May, it might take me a bit to respond. I’m not ignoring you, I’m just studying abroad in Tahiti!

Meet Your Writing Fellowmorford

Kate Morford

Well hey there incoming first years!

My name is Kate Morford and I will have the great opportunity to be your Writing Fellow for John Pauley’s SC 101 class, “The Problem of Evil”. I will be a junior for the 2014-15 school year already, which is insane because I feel like it was just yesterday when I was moving into my own freshman dorm. I am looking forward to working with you guys and excited to see what this fall will bring us.

A few small talk details about me: I was raised in Omaha and yes, I am a Nebraska Husker football fan (sorry Hawkeyes, but I stay true to my home team). I went to a large high school and am from a big city, but I am in love with Simpson’s small campus town. At Simpson, I am double majoring in English and Applied Philosophy. I am a member of the Women’s soccer team, Campus Activities Board, Alpha Lambda Delta (Honor society), Sequel literary magazine, and Philosophy club. On top of that, I even sometimes try to do my homework as well. I also work in the library and waitress in South Des Moines at Okoboji Grill. In the summer I stay in Iowa and play for the Des Moines Menace women’s semi-pro soccer team, which is very challenging but very fun as well. I am definitely an out-going person, I believe in following your own ambitions, and I wish I could eat spaghetti for every meal.

One reason why I know this class will be an excellent experience for you is because my freshman year I was in Pauley’s SC class, and to this day it has been one of my favorite classes so far. Molly Monk (your SC leader) and I were actually in the class together, so we both have the experience of working together and being in one of Pauley’s SC classes to help you out this fall. If you have any questions at all—whether it is about clubs, sports, Simpson in general, the usual layout of this class, or whether Pauley is an ‘evil’ professor or not… (haha believe me now, he is far from it) do not hesitate to contact me via email or Facebook! Have a great summer!


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