Philosophy, often regarded as the queen of all sciences, has been a formidable and intriguing optional subject for UPSC Mains aspirants. Within this vast field, one topic that has consistently piqued the curiosity of budding philosophers is the “Notions of God.” As the civil services examination constantly evolves, it’s crucial for candidates to stay updated with the shifting dynamics of the syllabus. To succeed in this demanding examination, the ability to anticipate question patterns and understand the nuances of each topic is indispensable. In this blog series, we embark on a fascinating journey through the UPSC Mains Philosophy Optional papers from 2013 to 2023, focusing specifically on the “Notions of God” theme. We’ll delve deep into the past year’s questions to glean insights into the kind of inquiries that have been posed to candidates, helping them to comprehend and prepare for this profound philosophical concept more effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned aspirant or a fresh entrant into the realm of UPSC preparation, this series promises to be a valuable resource for mastering the complex notions of God and enhancing your chances of success in the examination.
Notions of God Philosophy – Previous Year Questions (UPSC CSE Mains History Optional)
1. Critically discuss the relationship of man with God in the Yoga system of philosophy. (2017/10)
2. What is a non-theological concept of God ? How is it different from theological concept of God ? Discuss with arguments. (2017/15)
3. Write a critical note on the attributes of God.(2015/10)
4. Elucidate the status of man in the realm of between immanence and transcendence. ( 2014/20 )
5. Is god indispensable for religion ?(2013/10)
6. Explain the distinction between deism and theism . (2012/20)
7. Discuss the salient features of traditional orthodox religion. 2011 –15 marks
8. “Religion is not just false, it is harmful.” Discuss. 2011/ 15 marks
9. “To be man is to strive to be God.” Discuss. 09/30
10. Comment on the statement – “Religion only promised, but never fulfilled the promise.” 08/30
11. Can deism be satisfactory theory in the context of God of grace and devotion? Discuss. 08/20
12. God is not the subject to the law of logic. Critical notes. 07/20.
13. Traditionally omnipotence has been seen as one of the attributes of God. But, according to some critic, the notion of omnipotent being is paradoxical. In response some theist has tried to resolve the alleged paradox. Describe the paradox and explain the attempt to resolve it. 07/60.
14. Traditionally omnipotence has been seen as one of the attributes of God. But, according to some critic, the notion of omnipotent being is paradoxical. In response some theist has tried to resolve the alleged paradox. Describe the paradox and explain the attempt to resolve it. 06/60.
15. The difference between impersonalistic and naturalistic conceptionof God. Critical notes. 06/20.
16. “If God is omniscient, then humans are not free.”
17. Is God dead (Nietzsche) or living (faithful people)?
18. What do the immanence and transcendence mean in talking about God? Is God really immanent or transcendent?
19. Impersonalistic conception of God.
Q: What are the various notions of God in philosophy?
Answer: In philosophy, there are several notions of God, including monotheism (belief in one God), polytheism (belief in multiple gods), pantheism (the belief that God is synonymous with the universe), and deism (the idea that God created the universe but does not intervene in it). These notions vary across different philosophical and religious traditions.
Q: How do different religions define their notions of God?
Answer: Different religions provide distinct definitions of God. For example, in Christianity, God is seen as a triune being consisting of the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit. In Hinduism, there are numerous gods and goddesses representing various aspects of divinity. Islam adheres to a strict monotheistic view of God, known as Allah.
Q: What is the problem of evil in the context of notions of God?
Answer: The problem of evil is a philosophical challenge that questions how the existence of evil and suffering can be reconciled with the idea of an all-powerful and benevolent God. Philosophers have debated various solutions, such as theodicies and free will defenses, to address this issue within different notions of God.
Q: How has the notion of God evolved in modern philosophy?
Answer: In modern philosophy, the notion of God has evolved significantly. The Enlightenment period saw the rise of deism, emphasizing reason over revealed religion. Existentialist philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre explored atheistic perspectives, challenging traditional notions of God. This evolution reflects changing cultural and philosophical trends.
Q What is the relevance of studying different notions of God in philosophy?
Answer: Studying different notions of God is relevant because it fosters critical thinking and a deeper understanding of the human condition. It also provides insights into the foundations of various belief systems and their impact on society, ethics, and morality. Examining these notions helps individuals engage in meaningful philosophical and theological discussions.
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