RS Matters in Cardiff!

This intensive one-day event, hosted by Llandaff Cathedral School at the National Museum in Cardiff on 16th March, aims to enthuse and extend all sixth form students of Religious Studies.
Presented by Dr Peter Vardy and Charlotte Vardy, authors of acclaimed textbooks “Ethics Matters” (2012) and “God Matters” (2013), who also present the most popular series of conferences for sixth form students of RS and Philosophy across England and Scotland and overseas in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong, lectures take their cue from the content of the WJEC AS Level specification, but are designed to take students beyond the textbook and get them understanding the depth of the topics and connections between them.  The event will be of real interest to A2 students and those studying for other boards, other qualifications and other papers as well as WJEC AS students.
Sessions will include…
The Design Argument 
This introductory session will explore probably the oldest and most persuasive argument for God’s existence. Beginning with Hume’s statement of and evaluation of the argument in “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion”, the session will move on to consider Paley’s famous “Watchmaker” argument and Dawkins’ critique of it from “The Blind Watchmaker”.
The Cosmological Argument
The next lecture will focus on the Cosmological Argument, exploring the possibility of using observed causation, change and contingency as an inductive proof for God’s existence. The existence of at least three different traditions within this argument will be explained and students will be introduced to criticisms of each and how to develop an evaluative argument in response to a typical examination question.
The Problem of Evil & Suffering
This session will explore one of the biggest challenges to religious belief, considering the adequacy of various possible approaches to the challenge. The multi-layered theodicy of St Augustine and that of St Irenaeus, as presented by John Hick, will be explored and students will be helped to evaluate the Free Will Defense Argument in particular, including its presentation by Alvin Plantinga. The session will conclude with a debate “This house believes that Free Will is no real defence and God must be held responsible for all evil & suffering!” Students will be invited contribute their reasoned opinions and then to vote on the motion. (Students get more out of this session if schools spend some time preparing their understanding of the motion before the event)
Natural Law, Situation Ethics & Sexual Ethics
This major session aims to make comparisons and connections between two different approaches to ethical decision making, using questions arising from sexual ethics to show that neither system gives clear and simple guidance on these issues. Reference will be made to new developments of Natural Law from John Finnis and Germain Grisez, to Proportionalism and to alternative versions of Situation Ethics.
Take another look at Utilitarianism!
This final session will encourage students to go beyond a basic analysis of Utilitarianism, considering the context of Bentham’s argument and the extent to which Mill could be seen as an Act or a Rule Utilitarian, before exploring the philosophy of Peter Singer and modern Transhumanism.
Digital resources will be provided to participating schools.
This event will open for registration from 9.30am for a prompt 10am start. Refreshments will be provided for teachers during break and lunchtimes, but students should bring packed lunches including a suitable drink. A conference bookstall will be available throughout the event, selling discounted RS resources.
All bookings must be made through The Cathedral School, Llandaff, Cardiff Road, Cardiff CF5 2YH
Please e-mail Kevin Scott@cathedral-school.co.uk for further details and to reserve tickets.
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