3P10 Reason, Religion, and the Meaning of Life

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Tutor/Facilitator Douglas Adeney

When
Date: on/from Wed 6 May 2020 to end year
Frequency: weekly
Class time: 11:45-1:15

Where
Mary Kehoe Centre, Room 3

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. More recently he has taught numerous courses at the Centre for Adult Education (CAE), and now he is also greatly enjoying his involvement at U3APP.