PHIL 3037OL - God, Faith and Infinity

Online - Semester 1 - 2019

Most people, historically and today, have religious beliefs of one kind or another. Those beliefs are often deeply important to their holders, providing the framework for their entire worldview. In this course, we will investigate a number of issues about religious worldviews: about their content (Is religious language to be taken literally or metaphorically? What is the nature of God and its attributes?), as well as about their reasonableness (Are there good arguments for or against the existence of God? Do we have good evidence for belief in God - and what is good evidence anyway?). The focus of the course will be on the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), which share similar conceptions of the role of God and its nature. The course welcomes students both with and without religious commitments, and is run in a spirit of respectful yet rigorous inquiry. This course is offered externally in parallel with the internal mode offering PHIL 3032 God, Faith and Infinity: Philosophy of Religion. Students will access recorded lectures at a time of their choosing. An asynchronous discussion forum and online quizzes constitute the remaining structured learning activities associated with this course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHIL 3037OL
    Course God, Faith and Infinity
    Coordinating Unit Philosophy
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Online
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week online
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Incompatible PHIL 2044
    Assumed Knowledge PHIL 1103
    Course Description Most people, historically and today, have religious beliefs of one kind or another. Those beliefs are often deeply important to their holders, providing the framework for their entire worldview. In this course, we will investigate a number of issues about religious worldviews: about their content (Is religious language to be taken literally or metaphorically? What is the nature of God and its attributes?), as well as about their reasonableness (Are there good arguments for or against the existence of God? Do we have good evidence for belief in God - and what is good evidence anyway?). The focus of the course will be on the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), which share similar conceptions of the role of God and its nature. The course welcomes students both with and without religious commitments, and is run in a spirit of respectful yet rigorous inquiry.

    This course is offered externally in parallel with the internal mode offering PHIL 3032 God, Faith and Infinity: Philosophy of Religion. Students will access recorded lectures at a time of their choosing. An asynchronous discussion forum and online quizzes constitute the remaining structured learning activities associated with this course.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Antony Eagle

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate understanding of some central philosophical debates in contemporary philosophy of religion.
    2. Analyse contemporary and historical argumentative texts and extract the relevant views and arguments from them.
    3. Accurately present philosophical arguments in written form and oral contexts (individual and/or group).
    4. Evaluate philosophical arguments about religion, providing appropriate grounds.
    5. Identify and use relevant evidence to support hypotheses in philosophy of religion.
    6. Present a sustained argumentative case in written form, addressing potential counterarguments and objections.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1,2
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2,3,4,5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    3,6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2,3,4,5,6
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1,2,3
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1,2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Set readings are provided online through an electronic reading list distributed through MyUni.

    There is also a textbook which contains almost all of the online material, plus useful supplementary material:

    Graham Oppy and Michael Scott (eds.), Reading Philosophy of Religion, Wiley-Blackwell 2010, 978-1-4051-7081-9.

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    Online Learning
    This course is offered online only. Students will access course materials through MyUni, including lecture recordings. Students are expected to participate in online asynchronous discussion forums each week with the lecturer and other students, pertaining to a set topic prompt for each week.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is taught by a mixture of lecture and whole-class asynchronous discussion forums, linked to a weekly set topic prompt.  
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    WorkloadTotal Hours per semester
    Structured Learning
    1 x 2 hour lecture per week 24
    1 x 1 hour of participation in discussion forums (cumulative over the week) 12
    Self-directed Learning
    Required reading (6 hours per week) 72
    Discussion forum preparation, 1 hour per week 12
    Assignment preparation (3 hours per week) 36
    TOTAL 156
    ​
    Learning Activities Summary
    WEEKLECTURE TOPIC
    1 Introduction; the concept of God
    Part I: Does God Exist?
    2 Ontological arguments
    3 Cosmological arguments
    4 Argument(s) from Evil
    5 God and morality
    Part II: The Divine Attributes
    6 Omnipotence
    7 Omniscience
    Part III: Belief in God
    8 Pascal’s wager
    9 The Ethics of Belief
    10 The rationality of faith
    11 The significance of religious disagreement
    Conclusion
    12 The interpretation of religious language
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    ASSESSMENT TASKTASK TYPEWEIGHTINGCOURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S)
    Short Essay Summative/Formative 35% 1,2,3,4
    Research Essay Summative/Formative 50% 1,2,3,4,5,6
    Weekly discussion forum Formative/Summative 15% 1,2,3,4,5
    ​
    Assessment Detail

    Short Essay

    Essay of ~1500 words covering a topic from the first part of the course. Essays will be expected to focus on prescribed course material. 35% weighting.

    Research Essay

    Essay of ~2500 words covering a topic from the course, or by negotiation. Essays will be expected to go beyond prescribed course material and will require further research. 50% weighting.

    Weekly discussion forum

    Students participate in weekly graded online discussion forum, providing short answers to prior set questions and interacting with peer responses. Evaluation focussed primarily on participation and development of ideas and skills, rather than summative achievement. 15% weighting, equal contribution from each discussion.

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    Submission

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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