Faith and Reason
Rhedir gan School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
20 Credyd neu 10 Credyd ECTS
Trefnydd: Dr Toby Betenson
This module aims to investigate the interaction of faith and reason. It has two distinct parts: Firstly, we will investigate the historical origins of our conception of ‘reason’, and how that conception has been used to support religious belief. We will track the development of philosophical views regarding religious belief through modernity, asking whether the prioritisation of enlightenment ‘reason’ would ultimately squeeze God into ever smaller gaps, leaving little or no room for ‘faith’. In the second part of the module, we will investigate the relationship between science and religion, focussing on some specific examples of their interaction. We will look at some examples of science being used to support religious belief, and some of science being used to debunk religious belief. We will ask whether science and religion are in conflict with each other, whether they complement each other, or whether they simply speak to different parts of the human experience.
The module is composed of two parts, each looking at the interaction of ‘faith’ and ‘reason’. In the first part, I construct a narrative regarding the origins of our modern conception of ‘reason’, contrasting this with our conception of what it is to have ‘faith’. This narrative begins with Francis Bacon and (which is the more usual philosophical starting point) Descartes. I develop this through certain key thinkers of the modern period (Spinoza, Locke, Hume), concluding with the 19th century’s conception of ‘natural theology’. I press the case that a certain conception of ‘reason’ squeezed ‘faith’ out of the picture (along with a great deal of other meaningful dimensions of human life), prompting us to ask whether we must hold to the traditional conception of ‘reason’ at any cost. The second part of the module looks at contemporary examples of the interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘faith’, in the form of the interaction of science and religion. We consider examples of science being used to support religion (‘Intelligent Design’, the ‘Fine Tuning’ argument), and to debunk religion (evolution, the cognitive science of religion), and ask whether science and religion must necessarily be in conflict with each other. No prior philosophical or scientific knowledge is presumed. A brief introduction to quantum theory will be included.
Shows some knowledge of key areas of the module with acceptable presentation of arguments.
Shows detailed knowledge of key areas covered in the module with the arguments presented in a logical and coherent way.
Shows comprehensive and very detailed understanding of the material covered in the module, with considerable analytic ability or originality.
To demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate the major themes of the interaction of faith and reason, and science and religion.
To demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate the historical development of the interaction of faith and reason.
To demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate some of the major examples of science being used to defend or debunk religious belief.
To analyse, research, and construct a sustained argument applicable to the content of this course, showing some degree of originality.
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Strategaeth addysgu a dysgu
- Llythrennedd - Medrusrwydd mewn darllen ac ysgrifennu drwy amrywiaeth o gyfryngau
- Defnyddio cyfrifiaduron - Medrusrwydd wrth ddefnyddio ystod o feddalwedd cyfrifiadurol
- Hunanreolaeth - Gallu gweithio mewn ffordd effeithlon, prydlon a threfnus. Gallu edrych ar ganlyniadau tasgau a digwyddiadau, a barnu lefelau o ansawdd a phwysigrwydd
- Archwilio - Gallu ymchwilio ac ystyried dewisiadau eraill
- Adalw gwybodaeth - Gallu mynd at wahanol ac amrywiol ffynonellau gwybodaeth
- Sgiliau Rhyngbersonol - Gallu gofyn cwestiynau, gwrando'n astud ar atebion a'u harchwilio
- Dadansoddi Beirniadol & Datrys Problem - Gallu dadelfennu a dadansoddi problemau neu sefyllfaoedd cymhleth. Gallu canfod atebion i broblemau drwy ddadansoddiadau ac archwilio posibiliadau
- Cyflwyniad - Gallu cyflwyno gwybodaeth ac esboniadau yn glir i gynulleidfa. Trwy gyfryngau ysgrifenedig neu ar lafar yn glir a hyderus.
- Dadl - Gallu cyflwyno, trafod a chyfiawnhau barn neu lwybr gweithredu, naill ai gydag unigolyn neu mewn grwˆp ehangach
- Hunanymwybyddiaeth & Ystyried - Bod yn ymwybodol o'ch cryfderau, gwendidau, nodau ac amcanion eich hun. Gallu adolygu ,cloriannu a myfyrio'n rheolaidd ar eich perfformiad eich hun ac eraill.
Sgiliau pwnc penodol
- Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
- Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
- Sensitivity in interpretation of religious and philosophical texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
- Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
- The ability to use and criticise specialised religious and philosophical terminology.
- The ability to abstract and analyse arguments, and to identify flaws in them, such as false premises and invalid reasoning.
- The ability to construct rationally persuasive arguments for or against specific religious and philosophical claims.
- The ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing relevant and irrelevant considerations.
- The ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically presuppositions and methods within the disciplines of philosophy and religion.
Cyrsiau sy’n cynnwys y modiwl hwn
Opsiynol mewn cyrsiau:
- VV56: BA Philosophy and Religion year 3 (BA/PHRE)
- 3VQV: BA Philosophy and Religion and English Literature year 3 (BA/PREN)
- VVR1: BA Philosophy and Religion and French year 4 (BA/PRF)
- VVR2: BA Philosophy and Religion and German year 4 (BA/PRG)
- VVV1: BA Philosophy and Religion and History year 3 (BA/PRH)
- VVR3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Italian year 4 (BA/PRI)
- VVW3: BA Philosophy and Religion and Music year 3 (BA/PRM)
- VVR4: BA Philosophy and Religion and Spanish year 4 (BA/PRS)
- VVQ5: BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh year 3 (BA/PRW)
- VVV2: BA Philosophy and Religion and Welsh History year 3 (BA/PRWH)
- M1V5: LLB Law with Philosophy and Religion year 3 (LLB/LPR)