My Philosophy of Religion class addresses the philosophical issues that religions raise. This course is designed to give both believers and non-believers a detailed and nuanced understanding of the best and most current arguments for and against the existence of God. This involves exploring a range of traditional and cutting edge cosmological, teleological, ontological, epistemological, and moral arguments for and against the existence of God. We also explicate and assess a wide range of competing conceptualizations of what God is or would be. We examine the relationship between faith and reason and the relative epistemic warrant of believing things by faith. We analyze various strategies for reconciling faith and science, and for modernizing religions generally. We investigate the ideal relationship between church and state. We apply philosophical tools to religious claims to see how they might be most coherently and plausibly conceived, and how they might be judged to be true or false. We weigh skeptical arguments from the Problem of Evil, look into what alternative approaches to metaphysics and ethics that non-theists give, and consider whether it is possible to have non-theistic religions.
And we delve into the nature of religion itself–what it is, what values it serves or might come to serve, how it relates to other spheres of human endeavor, and what religions might have to learn from philosophy. Along the way, we will discuss numerous historical philosophers’ arguments and their influences on the development of religious concepts as we know them. And at one point or another we will inevitably address intersecting topics in ethics, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, biblical studies, psychology, history, anthropology, and political philosophy, all as they have bearing on specific issues in philosophy of religion.
Each week I rotate to another self-contained topic so students can join in at any time without worrying about having missed anything. While students can keep attending as long as they want and there will always be fresh lectures, most students take about 16 weeks of a given class before moving on to another. So over the course of any given 16 week run of sessions, as students rotate into the class and out at their own pace, I cover all the major topics of the course.
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You can cancel your subscription at any time. There are no refunds except for weeks when I cancel class. Whenever you are absent from class you can attend another class instead that week or you will be entitled to make up sessions in the future, even after you have canceled your subscription (if need be).
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