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Philosophy of Religion. Welcome and Orientation Dr. Elizabeth Shadish. Orientation Session. Roster and Adds If space permits, I will add at the end of class today Review of Handout: accessing and using ETUDES-NG My comments and your questions about the content of this course

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philosophy of religion

Philosophy of Religion

Welcome and Orientation

Dr. Elizabeth Shadish

orientation session
Orientation Session
  • Roster and Adds
    • If space permits, I will add at the end of class today
  • Review of Handout: accessing and using ETUDES-NG
  • My comments and your questions about the content of this course
  • A brief look at our class website
while the roster is called
While the Roster is Called…
  • Read through in particular the “Navigating the Course” section of your handout. It gives you a good sense of how the course works.
  • For a good semester - be prepared to talk openly, rationally and respectfully with each other.
navigating our course website
Navigating our Course Website
  • The Syllabus Link
    • Contains our definitive source of course information
    • Scroll down for course objectives, policies, grade scale, and other such important course information
  • The Modules Link
    • Coordinated with our Syllabus Topics
    • Contains resources to help you approach and understand your readings and assignments
online learning personal readiness
Online Learning – Personal Readiness
  • Technical requirements for success
    • Reliable computer access
    • Firefox and a few other software needs
    • Comfortable with email, attachments and navigating the Internet
  • Personal Requirements for success
    • Independence and initiative
    • A willingness to ask questions
    • Self-directed and responsible
online learning course content
Online Learning – Course Content
  • Our two required textbooks
    • Kessler – Philosophy of Religion: Toward and Global Perspective
    • Judd – Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Religion
  • Instructor-generated and Internet-accessible support materials
  • Research access to materials beyond encyclopedias (either paper or online)
assignments and grading
Assignments and Grading
  • Discussions – conducted in small groups, in a Discussion Board Forum. You will be assigned to your small group shortly after the add period is over.
  • Quizzes and Exams (non-cumulative) - taken in the “Test Center.” These are timed, but may be “entered” twice.
  • Individual papers - submitted through the “Digital Dropbox.”
thinking philosophically about religion
Thinking Philosophically about Religion
  • We are not:
    • Systematically covering world religions
    • Promoting or debunking religious beliefs and practices
  • We are:
    • Questioning and analyzing religious beliefs and practices
      • For their reasonableness
      • For their truth
philosophy and theology
Deals with fundamental issues

Is concerned with the meaning of life__________________

Questions all assumptions

Seeks wisdom in the context of rational inquiry

Deals with fundamental issues

Is concerned with the meaning of life__________________

Accepts fundamental assumptions

Seeks wisdom in the context of spiritual growth

Philosophy and Theology
philosophy and meaning
Philosophy and Meaning
  • If you don’t understand a concept or belief, you can’t begin to question it fairly.
  • Determining meaning = providing a workable and reasonable definition
  • Example:
    • “What is the nature of religion?”
consider religious diversity
Consider: Religious Diversity
  • Taoism
  • Buddhism
  • Judaism, Christianity and Islam
  • Ba’hai
  • Unitarianism
  • Wicca
  • Atheism or Science?
philosophy and truth
Philosophy and Truth
  • Aquinas: faith is superior to reason and argument (with regard to religious doctrines)
  • Three reasons to seek evidence that religious doctrines are in fact true:
  • We are rational beings who naturally seek to exercise our minds
  • Many argue that at least some aspects of religious doctrine can be supported by reason
  • The contemporary appeal of evidentialism
your resources
Your Resources
  • You will have plenty of help
    • Class Modules
    • Professor accessibility
      • SOCS 213B – MW, 12 – 1 pmOnline (instant email) – Th, 4 – 5 pm
  • Website sign-up:
your login information
Your Login Information
  • User ID: first_last. Password: birthday month and year in numeric format
  • Go to ECC’s website to review login information for ETUDES-NG:
    • Under “academics,” click on the Distance Education link
    • Scroll down to “Etudes Login Directions”
troubleshooting your login
Troubleshooting your Login
  • If you can’t login using the procedures described on the Distance Ed page, go back to the ETUDES-NG portal.
    • Click “reset password”
    • Provide your email address (probably your ECC email address)
    • NG will tell you your attempt was successful; check your email for your new password.
after logging in
After Logging In…
  • Stay in “My Workspace” if you want to:
    • Change your password
    • Change the email address NG will use.
  • Click on your class tab at the top of the page to enter our class homepage.
so let s get started
So – Let’s Get Started!
  • Be sure that you ask about anything that confuses you early in the class.
  • Use the Student Lounge in the Discussion area to raise interesting issues or challenges related to thinking about religious beliefs and practices. Who knows – maybe we can work them into our class discussions!