God and the Good
LIVE Event for students of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics for AS/A Level Religious Studies
With Dr Peter Vardy
Dates for 2023-24
● London, Friday 1st December & Friday 1st March
● Worcester, Monday 20th November
● Coventry, Monday 26th February
● Manchester, Monday 11th March
Building on the success of “The Religious Experience” in 2022-23, Candle Conferences presents an all-new LIVE event for students of the Philosophy of Religion and Ethics for AS / A Level Religious Studies.
“God and the Good” will explore content specified by ALL ENGLISH EXAMINATION BOARDS, focusing on the compulsory Philosophy of Religion and Religious Ethics papers. The event aims to get students really excited about the subject, enriching and extending their knowledge and understanding as well as supporting them in analysing, evaluating and making informed, well-reasoned academic judgements.
● Tickets to the live event come with FREE access to our A Level Masterclass for the academic year 2022-23 (worth £5 per student) and providing 4 hours of expert online tuition designed to improve writing skills and improve grades.
- Can God be good?
The first session of the day will explore the concept of God, considering if and how God can be both omnipotent and omnibenevolent in the light of evil and suffering in the world God created. The logical problem of evil will be explained with reference to David Hume and JL Mackie and Dr Vardy will then evaluate theodicies proposed by St Augustine and John Hick. The extent to which horrendous suffering constitutes evidence that God cannot exist and whether the defence proposed by Alvin Plantinga is successful will then be considered. The session will conclude with a discussion.
- Does saying “God is good” mean anything?
The second session will dig deeper into the concept of God and ask what a claim such as “God is good” could even mean. Assuming no prior knowledge, Dr Vardy will outline and explain different approaches to understanding meaning in religious language and how these relate to two different models of God, that of the Classical Theists and that of Theistic Personalism. The implications of these insights for how we read the Bible will be explored and the session will conclude with a Q&A.
- A Natural Law?
The third session will turn to Ethics. Beginning by considering Plato’s Euthyphro Dilemma and asking whether it disproves the existence of an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God, Dr Vardy will then consider whether the Natural Law tradition offers a way around. St Thomas Aquinas’ ethic will then be explained and modern developments of it from Germain Grisez, John Finnis and Bernard Hoose outlined, before this approach to making ethical decisions is evaluated. The session will conclude with an activity.
- Conscience & debate “this house believes that conscience is a poor moral guide.”
After lunch we will explore the concept of conscience, considering and evaluating the views of scholars including Aquinas, Kant, Kierkegaard, Bonhoeffer, Fletcher and Freud and asking if conscience should override other sources of moral guidance when it comes to making practical ethical decisions. Dr Vardy will then introduce the motion and students will be invited to contribute their arguments before a final vote is taken.