This is a rant - and I apologise in advance.
I enrolled in a new course provided at my university called "philosophy of religion". This course was essentially designed as a study of the history and etiology of religion and philosophy. It was to cover issues of god - arguments dating back through the ages up to the enlightenment and today. This sounded so interesting to me, I couldn't resist signing up despite the fact it was not in my area of study.
So today I just got back from the first two hour lecture and I UNDERSTOOD NOTHING! I am familiar with the English language but what came out of that lecturer's mouth was absolute babble!! He was referencing arguments I had never heard before by people I was unfamiliar with.. and pointing out flaws in books we were then told to read. I was also shocked by his inability to proceed in an organised and meaningful manner.. Not once did he define a word or pause to say "in other words".. He was reading this lecture out from his own notes (no notes handed out or a projector used). Someone interrupted at one point and asked what he defined 'religion' as and he said 'good question' and then continued to babble about the various philosophical arguments surrounding that 'controversial' concept. At one point he did say religion was not to be confused with theism, but then moved on without defining either.
We are there to learn - can a discipline really be such that there is nothing that can be defined? And the archaic vocabulary of law (or 'legalese') has been making its way into plain English for some time.. why not philosophy?
I will most likely be transferring out of that course. Two other students I spoke to afterwards were also surprised by the lack of understandable content. I don't want to risk my current healthy GPA on a subject run by a freak.
I am just so shattered because I was really looking forward to this course.
Is this the typical way philosophy is taught? Is it an area so rife with 'legalese' that it is nonsensical to anyone but 'the chosen few'? No wonder Socrates taught Plato who taught Aristotle.. only one person in a class 'gets it'. (i know, dont say it)
I am tempted to think that I just lucked out with a 'dud' lecturer but that isn't making me feel any better right now. The one subject I was really looking forward to has a lecturer unable to make sense.
I'm going to drown my sorrows in a cup of warm tea