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Thu Jan 31, 2013, 12:11 PM

Regis College, Catholic Institution, Offers Course On Atheism

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/25/regis-college-catholic-atheism-course_n_2554116.html

Religion News Service | By Ron Csillag
Posted: 01/27/2013 10:18 am EST | Updated: 01/27/2013 10:18 am EST



TORONTO (RNS) Talk about an unlikely course in an unlikely place.

The main chapel at Jesuit-run Regis College at the University of Toronto is adorned with stained glass windows, icons of Mary and Joseph, and the Stations of the Cross.

The eight-week course, which meets every Wednesday afternoon, is on atheism. Or more precisely, "Responding to 21st-Century Atheism."

It's an attempt, says the Rev. Scott Lewis, for people of faith to understand and come to terms with the increasingly muscular secularism and atheism that has arisen in Western societies over the past generation.

more at link

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:15 PM

1. THIS IS GREAT!!!

 

I attend the University of San Francisco which is another Jesuit college. I was given 3 units credit after submitting a paper concern three written by Carlos Castaneda. These books deal with non Christan beliefs or separate realities. The first book THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN was great.

The reviewer was very familiar with the books I reviewed and giving me 3 units saved me time and money.

All during my education the main theme was to HELP and provide social assistance to others. I like what I learned and I do help others.

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Response to ROBROX (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 03:20 PM

2. In my experience, the Jesuits have been the most open minded of the orders.

They also seem to be the most compassionate and most active in social justice and civil rights.

I loved Castaneda at one point in my life. He (and whatever I was smoking) gave me new insights and new ways of looking at the world.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:20 AM

16. They're also the most intellectually rigorous,

followed closely by the Marists.

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Response to rug (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 05:50 PM

4. Sounds like it is going very well. The survey results are really encouraging.

"We took surveys at the beginning, middle and end of the class to track what the students personally believed," said Brown. "What we discovered was that it was uncommon for people to change their views. Students who were unsure about their faith decided one way or another at the end of the course. However, nearly all of the students had an increase in respect for people who believed something different than them. That was the goal."

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Response to cbayer (Original post)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:43 PM

5. From what I gather, a better preposition would be "A course against atheism."

As evidence I propose that none of the reading material is written by atheists, which is telling.

*I'm taking a chance here, believing a blogger, but as Einstein told us what we read on the internet is likely true.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:49 PM

6. Do you have some information on what the syllabus is and what books they are using,

or are you just assuming that.

The surveys taken after the course are very positive.

I think your assumptions and conclusions come from your own biases, dimbear.

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Response to cbayer (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 07:58 PM

7. As I say, I am just repeating what a blogger said. Obviously better info can come forward.

My cards are on the table.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:01 PM

8. Do you have a link?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:23 PM

9. No. I'm satisfied to wait a bit and see what settles out.

Their curriculum is bound to come out eventually.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 08:46 PM

10. I just want to make sure I understand.

You read on a blog that this course was more of an anti-atheist course and did not include any writings by atheists, but you don't want to link to that blog.

Do I have that right?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:00 PM

11. I actually can't remember where I saw it.

What I read was that the curriculum contained no atheist authors. If I'm shown wrong, of course a retraction would be forthcoming. I have no hard and fast rule against being wrong occasionally.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:11 PM

12. Sorry if I am being a bit hard on you here, dimbear, but I think this is

a really positive thing. And the survey results are showing increased understanding and positive feelings about atheism and atheists. There is a great deal of student interest in this group and it is being reported as a very positive class.

So what looks like like a knee jerk reaction to criticize it and even call it the opposite of what it strives to be disturbs me.

What would be the point of that, when this may in fact be a very positive thing?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 31, 2013, 09:19 PM

13. What say we follow this with interest, and see whether the optimist or the pessimist is

validated.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:57 AM

14. The info was on the WhyEvolutionIsTrue blog.

http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/jesuit-college-teaches-atheism/

He quotes a Washington Post article that lays out the syllabus:

The course comprises two lectures from Lewis; a look at psychology and atheism from Jesuit psychologist Rev. Joe Schner, who will examine whether the human brain is hard-wired for religion; an examination of suffering by Michael Stoeber, who told the introductory class that the “New Atheists” tend to overemphasize “the underbelly of the Catholic Church”; and a theological and philosophical perspective from Jesuit Gordon Rixon.


Also telling is this quote:

However one parses the numbers, nonbelievers are undoubtedly getting bolder and even celebrated, as evidenced by best-seller lists in recent years. Lewis and other instructors conceded they will find it hard to avoid mentioning “New Atheist” authors Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, but said they would not dwell on the trio.


From that I can only assume they'd PREFER to simply ignore some of the most famous and vocal atheists (and their arguments against religion) but being unable to do that, they'll just try not to talk too much about them. In a course about modern atheism.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:04 AM

15. I guess, but until someone provides some evidence to the contrary, it looks good.

We are rational people who base our conclusions on evidence, right?

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Response to cbayer (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 11:30 AM

17. That seems to be an unnecessary dig at someone else.

You should be above that, cbayer. Especially if you are going to position yourself as someone who can lecture others on behavior.

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