CT-2 When Professors Ask: Critical Thinking in Higher Education

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Teacher: Peter Bocchino
Date/Time: Monday - 12:45 PM to 2:15 PM
Recommended Grades: 11th, 12th
Department: Apologetics / Speech & Debate
Grade Level: High School (9th-12th)

Course Overview: This course is designed to help students evaluate the ideas and philosophies that confront them each day and how to respectfully challenge the assumptions of the culture and especially of higher education. Students will learn how to “think for themselves” with respect to evaluating controversial issues in such a way that is consistent with their Christian Faith and academically sound.

Meet Your Professors: Richard Dawkins—author of The God Delusion. “Faith is one of the world’s great evils . . . Religion is capable of driving people to such dangerous folly that faith seems to me to qualify as a kind of mental illness.” Sam Harris—author of The End of Faith. “Atheism is not a philosophy. It is not even a view of the world….Atheism is nothing more than the noises reasonable people make in the presence of unjustified religious beliefs.” Christopher Hitchens—author of God Is Not Great. “How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?” Michael Shermer—author of Why Darwin Matters: The Case against Intelligent Design. Shermer delineates his “six principles of skepticism” that supposedly refute the ten best arguments for Intelligent Design.

Interactive Role-Play: Students will learn how to “think on their feet” during interactive role-play settings engaging me as their atheist professor. They will also learn how to analyze and write critiques of articles written by atheists, skeptics, and other opposing viewpoints to the Christian worldview. I will also challenge their critiques until the principles they have learned and their critical thinking skills have been internalized. When that happens they will no longer have to think about these principles and skills as they will become part of their thinking process.

Course Content and Assignments: This course emphasizes first principles (self-evident truths) as the foundation for all academic studies and shows how first principles are anchored in the nature and attributes of the God of the Bible. The course will cover six major topics: Truth (Philosophy), Science (Cosmology), Legal Theory (Law), Morality (Personal and Jurisprudential), The Problem of Evil (Personal and Universal), the Antidote for Evil (The Gospel). Finally, and most importantly, students will learn how to develop a framework for Discovering Purpose and Meaning in this fallen-world as they head off to college.

Course Text Book: UNSHAKABLE FOUNDATIONS: Contemporary Answers to Crucial Questions about the Christian Faith by Norman Geisler and Peter Bocchino. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 2001, 413 pages. Paperback; ISBN: 0764224085.

Cost: Living in faith, Mr. Bocchino only accepts donations to Legacy of Truth Ministries.