God the Concept
Presented by Bo Bennett, PhD
Maybe you were born to Christian parents and raised as a Christian. Or maybe you are just a part of a Christian nation. You might have attended church regularly, or maybe just on special occasions. If asked, you say that you believe in God, but you really never thought about what that means exactly. You are a well-educated person who accepts the idea of Biblical miracles, but only the more "reasonable" ones. You have read some of the Bible, mostly just parts of the New Testament, but never committed to reading the Bible cover to cover. You are a good person who admires the many "Christian values" as demonstrated by Jesus Christ. But something does not feel right.
A Critical and Honest Examination of God and Religion
Science tells us that the universe is 13.7 billion years old, but the Bible tells us it's 6,000 years old.
Science tells us life is the result of emergent properties in combined molecules, and we have evolved from a very primitive life form, but the Bible says that God made us, as is, from dust, and blew life in our noses.
You see a world where little bunnies burn to death in forest fires, and wonder why an all-good and loving God would allow such a thing to happen.
You pray to God and you realize that sometimes your prayers are answered, and sometimes they aren't — just as if you didn't pray at all.
You hear about other religions and wonder why your religion is right and every other religion on the planet is wrong.
You have a real problem with the idea of all your non-Jesus-believing friends and family spending eternity in Hell.
In fact, the more you look around, the more you see a world absent of this perfect image of a perfect God. As much as you want to avoid critical thinking and "just let go and have faith", you find that you cannot believe in something contrary to your logic and reason — no matter how much you want to. This might lead to feelings of guilt, insincerity, and/or hypocrisy. Yet you just can't imagine living life without God, and you don't have to.
When you start asking serious questions about God and religion, you begin to see through the stories of people living inside the stomachs of big fish, 900-year-old men, and bodies coming back to life after three days, and understand how man created God, and not the other way around. By daring to question "sacred" religion, challenging your childhood beliefs, and risking eternal damnation (okay, so there might be a minor side effect to reading this book), you will discover an appreciation for religion on a new level, as well as a renewed appreciation for the human race.
Through a unique blend of science, philosophy, theology, and a touch of humor, you will see how you can trust your logic and reason, be true to yourself, and embrace God -- not as a being, but as a concept -- The Concept.
AudienceThis course was designed for students 13 and up.
Learning ResourcesFor this course, text, audio, and video resources are used. All of the resources are compatible with virtually all modern web-browsers and mobile devices.
PrerequisitesThere are no prerequisites for this course.
Required ResourcesThere are no required resources for this course.
Optional ResourcesThere are no optional resources for this course.
Student ExpectationsAs a self-paced course, there are no time expectations. Students are expected to communicate with instructors and other students in a professional and respectful manner.
This Syllabus May Be UpdatedThe contents of this syllabus may change from time to time. All students will be notified by e-mail of any significant changes.
Lessons in this Course
Click on any lesson below to see the lesson details. If you are a student and logged in, or if the lesson is a sample lesson, you will be able to go to the lesson.
About Your Instructor
Bo Bennett, PhD. Bo Bennett's personal motto is "Expose an irrational belief, keep a person rational for a day. Expose irrational thinking, keep a person rational for a lifetime." Much of his work is in the area of education—not teaching people what to think, but how to think. His projects include his books, The Concept: A Critical and Honest Look at God and Religion, Logically Fallacious, the most comprehensive collection of logical fallacies, and Year To Success, a full year course in success. Bo has a podcast/blog called "The Dr. Bo Show" at http://www.TheDrBoShow.com where he takes a critical thinking-, reason-, and science-based approach to issues that matter with the goal of educating and entertaining.
Bo holds a PhD in social psychology, with a master's degree in general psychology and bachelor's degree in marketing. His complete bio along with current projects can be found at BoBennett.com.