CPTR 571 Issues in Computer Science and Religion

Course Description

Examines scientific method, truth, reality, logic and computability, authority/inspiration, faith and reason as they interact with computational sciences. Including non-logical factors in acceptance of scientific statements as authoritative arguments for the existence of God, causality, determinism and miracles, and scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts with relation to trends in religion and philosophy.

Purpose, Goals & Objectives

This course explores some of the deepest philosophical questions and some answers given by Seventh-day Adventist Theologians. Many of these questions relate uniquely to philosophies taught in computer science. As we ponder and discuss these questions, we will consider the following questions.

Goals include:

  1. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience (1 Peter 3:15-16). As your professor, I’m not interested in transferring knowledge from my notes to your notes. I want you to own the reason for the hope; it must be yours, not mine, your parents or anyone else’s.
  2. In an increasingly secular and atheistic workplace, learn to be a beacon of light to those around you while at the same time, you must be grounded in your beliefs well enough to withstand the attacks against Christ in your life.
  3. Be equipped to meet the challenges and assumptions frequently made by those in the computer science workplace.
  4. To avoid arguments and to engage in true discussions with atheist and agnostic coworkers.
  5. To think critically when evaluating assumptions and definitions.

Course Methodologies

This course is primarily a reading, reflection-writing and discussion course. Students will be expected to write cogent responses to the questions and answers from each reading assignment. A final paper enumerating and supporting beliefs will be required.

Response papers will be due each class period for the reading assigned and due that day. Papers need to describe the question being posed, an evaluation of the answers being given and a statement of your own beliefs based on what you read. These should be rational and cogent statements with logical and Biblical support where needed. Papers should be typed and contain from 300-500 words. A supplementary grading rubric will be available for your review online.

Discussion will occur based on the reading each class period. Participation contributes to your grade.

A final paper giving a clear statement of your beliefs will be due two weeks before finals. One week before finals you will hand in a critical review of each your fellow student’s final papers. Your final exam will be an oral defense of those beliefs before your fellow students and interested faculty.



Response Papers

110 pts. (10 pts. each)


75 pts. (5 pts/class)

Final Paper

100 pts.

Critical Review

100 pts.

Oral Defense

100 pts.


Work is to be turned in online at eclass.e.southern.edu. Feedback will be given on eclass. Late work may not receive credit. Attendance is necessary for group discussions, and is incorporated as part of the grade. HOWEVER, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES IS A STUDENT TO ATTEND CLASS WHILE SICK. Students will be allowed to make up work up until they have attended as many class periods as they missed due to the illness or University excused absence. Only illness or university excused absences will be allowed to make up work.


Look at /SageIdeas before each semester.

IssuesInComputerScienceAndReligion (last edited 2020-01-08 19:39:48 by scot)