3P07 Reason, Religion, and the Meaning of Life

Tutor/Facilitator Douglas Adeney

Date: on/from Wed 26 May 2021 to Wed 23 June 2021
Frequency: Weekly Term 2
Class time: 11:45-1:15

Delivered ZOOM

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 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.