Rutgers University

The University of Edinburgh

Yale

Deep Teaching Solutions

Soul of Life and Life of Soul

"The soul takes nothing with her to the next world but her education and her culture. At the beginning of the journey to the next world, one's education and culture can either provide the greatest assistance, or else act as the greatest burden, to the person who has just died."

- Plato, The Republic

The Details

The age-old question of “where do we go when we die?” We’ve all wondered it and we know there are many theories. The first is that we are made only of material stuff and when we die, there is nothing left of us that survives our death. The other view is that we have a soul that survives our time on earth. What is a soul? How would we know that it has survived? Where does it survive? There are a range of different religious, historical, economic and social factors that lead us to create the idea of a soul. What is the hidden history of soul making and believing? In this ExploreMYX, you will take a deep dive into this question so that you can form your own answer.

Leading Explorers

The Pope, Richard Swinburne, Peter Singer, Jennifer Hecht

How Long It’ll Take

1 semester

Cost

$225

PLEASE NOTE: The MacMaster, UC San Diego: Learning How to Learn and Yale University: The Science of Wellbeing are optional.

exploremyx: Soul of Life and Life of Soul

1. Rutgers University

Soul Beliefs Causes and Consequences Unit 1

Throughout history, the vast majority of people around the globe have believed they have, however defined, a “soul.” While the question of whether the soul exists cannot be answered by science, what we can study are the causes and consequences of various beliefs about the soul and its prospects of surviving the death of the body. Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history? Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist? Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions? How do these beliefs shape the worldviews of different cultures and our collective lives? What is the role of competing afterlife beliefs in religion, science, politics, and war? This course explores several facets of this relatively unexplored but profoundly important aspect of human thought and behavior.

The course consists mainly of 70- to- 80 minute lectures, typically broken up into 3 segments, recorded from a course offered by Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences. These videos include slides and some embedded video clips. Most lectures are accompanied by slides used during the lecture, also including recommended reading assignments which may provide additional opportunities to reflect on your studies.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history?

  • Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist?

  • Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions?

2. Rutgers University

Soul Beliefs Causes and Consequences Unit 2

Throughout history, the vast majority of people around the globe have believed they have, however defined, a “soul.” While the question of whether the soul exists cannot be answered by science, what we can study are the causes and consequences of various beliefs about the soul and its prospects of surviving the death of the body. Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history? Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist? Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions? How do these beliefs shape the worldviews of different cultures and our collective lives? What is the role of competing afterlife beliefs in religion, science, politics, and war? This course explores several facets of this relatively unexplored but profoundly important aspect of human thought and behavior.

The course consists mainly of 70- to 80- minute lectures, typically broken up into 3 segments, recorded from a course offered by Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences. These videos include slides and some embedded video clips. Most lectures are accompanied by slides used during the lecture, also including recommended reading assignments which may provide additional opportunities to reflect on your studies.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history?

  • Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist?

  • Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions?

3. Rutgers University

Soul Beliefs Causes and Consequences Unit 3

Throughout history, the vast majority of people around the globe have believed they have, however defined, a “soul.” While the question of whether the soul exists cannot be answered by science, what we can study are the causes and consequences of various beliefs about the soul and its prospects of surviving the death of the body. Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history? Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist? Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions? How do these beliefs shape the worldviews of different cultures and our collective lives? What is the role of competing afterlife beliefs in religion, science, politics, and war? This course explores several facets of this relatively unexplored but profoundly important aspect of human thought and behavior.

What You’ll Learn

  • Why are soul and afterlife beliefs so common in human history?

  • Are there adaptive advantages to assuming souls exist?

  • Are there brain structures that have been shaped by environmental pressures that provide the foundation of body/mind dualism that is such a prominent feature of many religions?

4. The University of Edinburgh

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Philosophy and Science

Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing.

What You’ll Learn

  • Are Science and Religion in conflict?

  • Neuroscience and Free Will

  • Creationism and Evolutionary Biology–Science or Pseudo-science?

  • Do Scientific claims constitute absolute truths?

5. The University of Edinburgh

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing.

What You’ll Learn

  • What kind of conflicts are there between religion and science?

  • Does current cognitive science of religion effectively explain away God?

  • If there is a God who has made us so that we can know him, why do some people not believe?

  • What makes us good at getting, giving, or sharing, knowledge? Is this different when it is religious knowledge?

6. The University of Edinburgh

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Religion and Science

Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing.

What You’ll Learn

  • Science, Religion, and the Origin of the Universe

  • Buddhism and Science

  • Evolution and Design

  • Sin Suffering and Salvation: Evolution's Thorny Issues

  • Human Uniqueness in Science, Theology, and Ethics

7. Yale

The Science of Wellbeing

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

What You'll Learn

  • Gratitude
  • Happiness
  • Meditation
  • Savoring

8. Deep Teaching Solutions

Learning How To Learn

This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. We’ll learn about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information. We’ll also cover illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects.

Using these approaches, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life. If you’re already an expert, this peep under the mental hood will give you ideas for: turbocharging successful learning, including counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights that will help you make the best use of your time on homework and problem sets. If you’re struggling, you’ll see a structured treasure trove of practical techniques that walk you through what you need to do to get on track. If you’ve ever wanted to become better at anything, this course will help serve as your guide.

What You'll Learn

  • Illusions of learning, memory techniques and how to master tough subjects
  • Proven techniques to help you deal with procrastination
  • How to turbocharge successful learning including practical techniques

This work totals 192 hours over the course of 15 weeks

Enroll me in this exploremyx

Please note that MYX will enroll you in these courses before the start of term.

Rutgers University

The University of Edinburgh

Yale

Deep Teaching Solutions