I attended my second class in my current (and probably last) philosophy course the other night. It was good, better than the first class, where the prof talked too much. There was more interaction this time, and some work we did broken up into small groups. In this class we spoke about the bases on which science and religion each claim to provide knowledge, and how each have developed over the years.
I like the readings he gives us between classes, too. The first week, it was some text from Tolstoy, who maintained that the fundamentals of all religions (a creator, the subservience of personal passions to love, etc.) are what’s important, but that the trappings and teachings of modern religion instead drive us away from true religion. This week, it was the famous philosopher Bertrand Russell, and his description of how science has constantly pushed back the boundaries of religion throughout history (e.g., in the 17th century, anaesthetics were denied to women during childbirth because the pain was Biblically indicated to be a just punishment for Eve’s original sin).