Should Everyone Study Philosophy – a guest blog from Birmingham Metropolitan College

We asked recently for guest bloggers: https://rpeglos.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/religionphilosophy-bloggers-needed/

In the first of these posts – Rimmini-Lea B. from Birmingham Metropolitan College wrote about whether Everyone Should Study Philosophy? We enjoyed reading this – and hope you do too:

Should everyone study Philosophy?

When you first hear about philosophy it seems easy and straight forward; just asking why and not accepting statements about the world right away, at least that’s what I thought. But then when you actually do philosophy you realise how that’s just the very surface level of the subject and that there is a much deeper layer and meaning to it. Philosophy is extremely interesting, from the different ideas of perception to the ethics of killing for the greater good, but it’s also challenging as it requires you to back up your opinions, whether they be fact or not. It’s about creating a good convincing argument that can win people over and philosophy-LRGmake them believe your view is the best possible answer and not someone else’s. Therefore this makes philosophy one of the best subjects for people to study if they are inquisitive as there is loads to learn, but also if they’re good at debating or want to improve how they formulate arguments, as philosophy teaches you to argue your point efficiently, precisely and convincingly.

Philosophy can and should spill over into your daily life, the broader way of thinking allows you to gain a better perspective on things and means you can understand it fully, which could then help you resolve an issue, offer advice or know the best thing to do in any given situation. An example of philosophy in daily life is the choice we make when eating, whether to be vegetarian or vegan is more ethical than eating meat and whether or not that then makes you a better person, although philosophy doesn’t give any necessarily correct answer it allows people to examine the arguments with a clear understanding and decide where they stand within the debate. Furthermore, philosophy questions the act of lying and whether or not to lie is necessarily a bad or good act, relating to your daily life as there may be a situation where you could feel the need to lie, but is the lie providing the greatest happiness, or does your lie mean that everyone can lie which could lead to the notion of truth no longer existing.

Moreover, as philosophy allows people to have a better understanding of the world and the issues faced in it, it means you become equipped for ethical, political, medical, and animal rights debates, along with many others such as what it truly means to be a person; philosophical understanding of these areas provides you with the best mind to make a decision, or convince others of your view point. For example, political philosophy would impact you when it comes to voting, you would be able to analyse all campaigns thoroughly and ask questions that require deep meaningful answers, which would then contribute to where you place your vote. Philosophy is a subject that most people should study, and it should eventually become a core subject on education curriculum or at least taught at some point during education to everyone due to the skills and benefits it provides people with; had people studied philosophy before the latest vote in politics (the EU referendum) people would have been able to think much clearer and analyse both options thoroughly, meaning the results may have been significantly different.

 

Free Will debate at RPE Open Days

At the upcoming open days this June, October and November, Dr David Webster and Dr Roy Jackson are going to argue. Nothing new there. But the topic is one that really matters. They are going to argue about Free-Will.

Roy will argue that all our thoughts and actions are determined, and that Freedom of the Will is an illusion.. Dave is not going to agree..

Here’s a video to set the scene, conceptually:

Here is a preview of the two speakers – and the positions that they will take at the Open Day:

 

Visit an Open Day to hear more – and make up your own mind..

Religion/Philosophy bloggers needed.. 

We are having a call for guest posts on the blog – by A-level/GCSE students! 6996e14a28ce54296b356311da8f7906
We would like any students moving from AS to A2 (and keen GCSE students, who are moving to A level study) to write us 600 words (it is touch to be concise) on one of the following topics:

  •  Philosophy wasn’t what I thought – a reflection.
  •  Studying Religions made me think again about…
  •  Should everyone study Philosophy?
  •  My favourite philosopher (and why):___________________
  •  When studying a religion – what I was surprised to learn was:______________________

We will publish the best ones (giving the School name, and then the First name and Surname initial of the pupil, if that suits the pupil/school) – and the very best ones (ones we will call Gold-Rated Guest Bloggers), as judged by the academic team here* will also be sent a £10 Amazon voucher and a certificate.

We will run this up until the school Summer holidays. Send entries to dwebster@glos.ac.uk

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not what we’re looking for..

*Judging panel decisions final. No correspondence will be entered into. Usual disclaimers!

 

What does Religious Studies mean to me? A guest post

This post is from a guest author. Chloe is a Year 10 pupil (that means ages 14-15 in the UK system)  from Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College, in Cheshire.

She has written about the topic: ‘What does Religious Studies mean to me?’

I hope you find it interesting (we certainly did here), and we hope to begin featuring more guest posts in the near future.

 

Of course, answers will always fuel my excitement: The reasoning behind obscure faiths, the origins of sexism and the modern movement of religion. However in reality, it’s the questions that spark my interest. Always the unanswerable ones. Is there really one creator? Can we ever end the war between Israel and Palestine? Which religion is next to develop? With these sparks I can watch the trends of humanity from one single chair, and observe the patterns of our race that have continued for millennia.

Through my lessons I’m discovering the impact of the modern world, and I’m proud to see such diversity coursing through this planet. I believe religion itself to be inevitable- a conscience forever needs somewhere to call home- and I’m fascinated by the truths we can conjure and the rules we can inflict upon ourselves for the good of morality. Religion can never cease to exist, it’s impossible, thus knowledge in this area will never be obsolete. History on a mass scale, in my opinion, is already pre-determined, and from this slant religion prompts me to ask ‘By whom?’ It tells me to examine ideas that could lead me anywhere and feed the love I have for further thinking. Religious education not only teaches me about stories and morals; it allows me to understand and appreciate the concepts that can divide nations and draw together countries.

Currently, there may be a stigma surrounding faith, yet now I am educated and feel qualified to say that religion is open to interpretation, ergo it is the decision of the individual to act a certain way in the belief that they are correct. Everything can be interpreted in some way or another, but with the help of teachers and out of school figures I am learning that there is no black and no white; there is a broad spectrum of communities and allegiances. I am perfectly content to study this spectrum, but through school I’m evaluating and watching it grow with increased trepidation. Personally, I can broaden my understanding of current affairs such as war and terrorism, whilst simultaneously withholding an untainted view of faith due to the books I can study and the figures I can learn about. I’m inspired every lesson to research and explore, and even become swept up in the allure of religion itself. With this passion drawn forth by education, there’s so much to be created. Instead of pushing through assignments like those of other departments, I can linger and indulge my own curiosity, producing work of originality and depth.

Simply, it’s a subject that encourages depth and originality of thought, hence why it gives me a copious amount of happiness merely to be in the research process. I’m pushed to achieve, sometimes further than I think I can, but it only succeeds in bringing me pleasure; challenges are often massively appealing. For me, it’s about being allowed to overthink events and tales, and being asked to analyse and infer. If I’m being honest, there’s something religious education can offer that other subjects cannot. With the likes of mathematics and science there is little left to explore. The experiments have been done, the formulas discovered, and major breakthroughs are rare and difficult to achieve. However, our world and our views will change consistently, and religious education puts me at the forefront of this change. It permits me to explore and even challenge the boundaries of faith and morals, and hopefully witness humanity make strides towards a better future. In short, maths and science help us discover our world; religious education the wonder within it.

Chloe F.

Religion, Philosophy & Ethics Open Days 2016

As people start to think about their University choices – for September 2017 entry – we have a range of Open Day dates for those interested in our Religion, Philosophy & Ethics course.

To book a place, go to http://www.glos.ac.uk/visit/open/Pages/undergraduate-open-days.aspx and reserve your spot!

At the event – staff will be around to chat and explain the course – but also, take a look at our links here  – our Photo Album (on Flickr) should give a sense of some of the things that happen beyond the classroom – but the social media links also mean you can find about us that way – via Twitter or Facebook.

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Oliver Brown’s Diary of HM5050 Trip to Cordoba

This is a write-up from a History student. RPE even lets students from some other courses onto the Spain trip these days!

History at the University of Gloucestershire

Quick History of Al-Andalus
Recently students from all of the Humanities courses went on a trip to Cordoba to learn about the rich heritage of the three main Monotheistic religions in the Iberian peninsula. The trip was mainly focused on the Muslim Umayyad Dynasty that ruled most of the Iberian Peninsula between 756 and 1031. What is so interesting about Al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) is the fact that the Muslim leaders usually allowed both Christians and Jews a degree of tolerance when it came to practicing their religion and actually allowed scholars from both great religions to contribute to their culture. The capital of the Umayyad Dynasty was Cordoba. It became the envy of the world due to its rich culture, its almost unmatched wealth and by the 10th century, it had a population of over half a million inhabitants.

The Trip itself
I was one of the three History students…

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