Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beginning the Origins Unit

1/2 Class:
discussion of (3) overarching questions:
Where Am I?
What Am I?
What Am I For?

Try to fit others' worldviews to see how they fit with your own ideas.
Examine St. Thomas Aquinas 5 rational proofs of the existence of God. (reading linked on Blackboard).
According to Aquinas, where am I? -- I am in God's creation.
Cause & effect idea starts with God; it can't go back to infinity.
God created something out of nothing. Natural laws have been defined by God.
All things act at God's request. Nothing created God; God is eternal.
God is omnipotent so that good will always prevail over evil.

What Am I? according to Aquinas:
We are animals which can communicate; made in the image of God.
We are God's creation. I am somebody who can become wise, or potentially evil.

What Am I For? according to Aquinas:
My purpose is to contemplate God/truth. We should use our God-like traits; we should overcome evil. Our happiness consists of contemplating truth.

What does Kurt Vonnegut think about these questions? Complete chapter 5 by Thursday in Sirens of Titan.

1/2 Class:
How have other cultures answered these questions? Readings/discussion in small groups of Indian, Chinese, and Mayan Creation Myths. Dramatic re-tellings presented to the rest of the class tomorrow. Creation Myths are linked on BlackBoard.

Academic Integrity document: discussed/signed acknowledgment forms.

Origin Unit readings: found on BlackBoard. Big Bang Theory, Sagan chapter, Hawking chapter.

NOVA Film. Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution

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