Centre for Continuing Education

Philosophical Investigations Course: Religion Vs Science: 'The God Spot'?

Philosophy. Study the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence.

Learn about philosophy the smart way with Philosophy courses at the University of Sydney.

Recent studies show that not only do most people in the world practise some form of religious belief, but also that many of these people seem to be happier! Are we “hardwired” for religious belief, as some scientists are claiming now? Is there a “God Spot” in our brains? Join us and find out in this fully illustrated philosophy course.

In this philosophy course we will ask and answer these questions, among others:

  1. What is the nature of religious belief (and indeed religious practise)?
  2. What is the relation, if any, between religious belief, religious practise and happiness?
  3. Is it justifiable to say that we are “hard-wired” for this kind of belief?
  4. Is there such a thing as a “God Spot”, and if so, what might it look like?

Aims

This philosophy course aims to provide participants:

  1. a critical examination of religious belief and practise.
  2. a critical examination of recent scientific research on religious belief, practise and happiness.
  3. a critical examination of the relation between religious belief, our brains and consciousness.

Outcomes

Upon completion of this philosophy course participants should have:

  1. an understanding of religious belief and practise.
  2. an understanding of recent scientific research on religious belief, practise and happiness.
  3. an understanding of the relation between religious belief, our brains and consciousness.

Content

This philosophy course will cover the following content:

  • Introduction: On Religion, Belief and Practise .
  • The “God Spot”?
  • Religion, Ethics and Happiness.
  • Religion, Science and Happiness.

Intended Audience

This philosophy course has no prerequisites, participants who have not studied philosophy will find this a useful introduction; those who have studied some philosophy should find that it complements their studies. The philosophy course is intended as a general introduction.

Delivery Style

This philosophy course will be question and discussion based, and interactive, wherever possible.

Recommended Reading

Churchland, P, Neurophilosophy
Dawkins, The God Delusion
Grayling, The God Argument
Hanfling, The Search for Meaning
Heisenberg, Physics and Reality
Magee, B., Story of Philosophy
McMahon, DM, The pursuit of Happiness: a history from the Greeks to the present
Nozick, Robert, The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations
Nussbaum, Martha, Cultivating Humanity

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion