3P08 Reason Religion and the Meaning of Life

Tutor/Facilitator Douglas Adeney

Date: on/from Wed 14 Feb 2024 to Wed 27 Mar 2024
Frequency: Weekly
Class time: 10:00-11:30

Delivered F2F

Betty Day Community Centre multi-purpose room

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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.



How to Enrol

On-line: after bookings have opened

On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.

  • Login to the U3APP.org.au website.
  • Go to the Courses & Enrolling page.
  • Scroll down to find the course that you are interested in.
  • Does the course have spaces available?
    • Click on the course name to go to the booking page.
    • Click on “Book for this course or event”.
    • You will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.
  • OR is the course shown as FULL?
    • Click on WAITLIST.

Paper Enrolment Form: before bookings open for First Semester

  • Obtain a paper Enrolment Form either from the Office or by printing an online copy available here.
  • Complete the paper Enrolment Form and submit it to the Office.

The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt.  Paper Enrolment forms are processed by U3APP volunteers on the same day as on-line bookings.

If your enrolment is successful, you will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.

If your enrolment is unsuccessful,  you will receive an email telling you that you have been waitlisted.

Via the Office: after bookings have opened

  • Contact the office in person, or by email or phone.