Wednesday, October 31, 2007

RPE208 wiki

Please visit to see (and register to edit) the Indian Religions module wiki for what will be a student-written glossary of terms for that module (mainly Hindu and Buddhist terms).


Battleground God game

Hi. I just completed the game at which assesses how coherent your beliefs are about God / what we can know about God. You may enjoy it...

I note that at the end - the Philosopher's Magazine trys to sell you a book, by one..... Roy Jackson... Try the game - and if you don't do too well - you know who to ask for help...

Cheers, Dave

Friday, October 26, 2007

Greetings from Beijing


Apologies for the lack of updates, but I have discovered that addresses seem to be unavailable in China (but I am able to post to it). Having talked about the RPE blog this morning, I am looking forward to getting back to the University and to teaching.

I think the thing about the RPE blog that has interested people here is the manner in which Humanities students (thought of as bookish and un-technical) have grasped the opportunity to use a discursive on-line forum. I explained that RPE students never turn down a chance to argue: be it with each other, the staff - or anyone else for that matter...

Well - see you all back in the UK - RPE301, Love Sex and Death on monday!


Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Year in the Blogosphere...

Hi - this is a quick post to say: how has this year been for students and other readers of this blog: In what ways has it been of useful / interesting / annoying - -etc...

I am also posting this to invite comments from those attending my E-Learn paper (in case you're too shy to speak in the session).

I am about to go and do my presentation - so hope this post will gather some comments over the next few days...


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

E-Learn 07 part2, Quebec City

Ok – as the days pass here in Quebec City, I get nearer to my paper (Thursday) on a year of the RPE course blog, I have been astounded by the work being done in many institutions.

Once back, I hope we can use a wiki-based e-glossary for the RPE208 Indian Religions module – and in ethics, well: we think about examples a lot. We ask you think of scenarios. It was that I mind that I listened intently to a paper by Jennifer Jenson from York University, Canada on, of all things, Lego.

Now, some readers will be aware of the craze for on-line Lego based animation (or maybe the Lego Star Wars video games) – and you may have come across the Biblical re-enactments created using the little Danish blocks of plastic (and their virtual form). The package we were shown yesterday allowed users to drop in a backdrop, create unique Lego figures and speech-bubbles – and animate them using the virtual equivalent of stop animation. This may not sound immediately applicable to RPE – but think of spending an hour making a short Lego-animation that demonstrates an example of an ethical dilemma (with no actors, or awkward ethical restraints). Maybe I’ll have to do one to demonstrate that it really does work: I’ll link to some examples when I get the address…

Beyond that, there is a lot of good practice here in relation to all kinds of e-learning – including blogs: I’ll let you know what people think of this one…

Some pictures here too, to give a flavour of the event – and to show that I did find the local Buddhist Meditation centre (but it was closed)…


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

E-Learn 2007

Well, greetings from far away. I write from E-Learn 2007, in Quebec Canada: where I am talking about this blog. As some if you will recall it began following my visit to E-Learn 2006 (see and scroll to the bottom!)

It seems good to be back here to report on a year of using this blog – and using podcasts and the like. I hope we shall find ways on encouraging more of our students to be involved over the next year (so far, we have a group of very keen students who argue [about anything] , a large number of ‘lurkers’ (students who read the blog but do not join in) – and a few who do not read it all…

Anyway – as I find more technology and ideas here at the conference, I will post on the blog….

[BTW: it is freezing here!]

Philosophy Reading Group Blog

Just to remind those of you who are part of the Philosophy & Ethics reading group (and those who aren't) and who are currently reading Sartre's Nausea; we have our own blog open for comments on

Please do post your thoughts / ideas as any discussion will be helpful for when we next meet.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hey - Meat-Head!

I was reading a blog at today and came across this claim:
Eating meat is totally inefficient, and in a world of desperate starvation and malnutrition, it is also criminal and immoral.
Do you agree (the article above may help)? You might take the view that vegetarianism is 'supra-moral' - good if you DO do it, but not bad if you don't - or you may feel it is morally fine to eat meat - and somehow wrong not to? Or you may agree with quote above...
Of course the implication above is that eating meat is wrong due to the consequences for humans... It seems to ignore the moral status of animals, if they have any..
Comments welcome

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Nagel's Bat

Those First-year (or Level 1) students struggling through Nagel's What is it like to be a bat? may find the powerpoint at helpful - it explains the ideas (but does not do the work for the 160 course for you!)... Dave

Monday, October 01, 2007

The march of the militant atheists!

Are atheists the unsung heroes of the modern age? You may have read in the papers that 'Darwin's rottweiler' Richard Dawkins is spearheading a campaign in America to trumpet the voice of the nation's atheists who are seemingly downtrodden by the religious majority. Check out what John Brooke has to say about Dawkins in his podcast. What contribution would an 'atheist bloc' make to society anyway? Does religion still have an important public role bearing in mind the Buddhist protests in Burma as an example?