3P04 Reason, Religion and the Meaning of Life

Tutor/Facilitator Douglas Adeney

Date: on/from Wed 27 Apr 2022 to Wed 22 June 2022
Frequency: Weekly until end Term 2
Class time: 10:30-12:00

Delivered F2F

Mary Kehoe Centre, Room 2

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Other information

This course investigates some aspects of these three matters, and their
relationships with one another. Among the questions to be addressed are
the following:

• Does reason support religious belief? How, and how far?
• On the other hand, should religious believers reject reason, as some do, in
favour of ‘faith’?
• Without religion, is life meaningless? How, exactly?
• Is life meaningless or absurd in some other way? Does our rationality
save us here, or is it actually, as some have argued, part of the problem?
• If life is indeed meaningless or absurd, what should we do about it?
• On the other hand, if life is not meaningless, or not necessarily so, what
might its meaning be?

Along the way we shall discuss the views of a number of thinkers including
St Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, David Hume, Leo Tolstoy, Albert Camus,
Bertrand Russell, Thomas Nagel, Susan Wolf, and Monty Python. Notes and
some excerpts will be provided.

TUTOR: : Douglas has philosophy degrees from Monash University (MA) and
the University of St Andrews, Scotland (PhD). He taught philosophy at
Melbourne State College and then for many years at the University of
Melbourne. He has been joyfully involved at U3APP since 2018.

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