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Life and Death: Mysteries and Meanings

Hong Kong Polytechnic University via edX

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Have you ever encountered any matters of life and death? Do they have any meanings to you? Are they mysteries that you could never understand? Or are there any facts about them yet to be uncovered? Are you prepared if they happen unexpectedly in your life? How would you understand them?

If you have ever thought about these questions, this course is for you.

This course begins with a micro-movie presenting a case of fatal traffic accident with a family. You will start reflecting matters of life and death from the perspectives of different family roles. You will then expand your understanding through the journey from birth through ageing and illnesses to death, which forms the core components of this course. An immersive card game and polling questions are designed to articulate and share your own viewpoints. This course will amaze you with diverse interpretations and answers to these perennial questions. This introductory course also prepares you for another advanced course in applied ethics.


Module 1

  • Case scenario
  • Micro-movie
  • E-book
  • Polling questions

Module 2 * (To be released in week 2)
Meanings & mysteries

  • Expected journey from “Life to Death”
    • Life decided “in the womb”
    • Who am I?
    • Building partnerships
    • Getting old and sick
    • Knowing the dying process
  • Unexpected Journey – Deaths in life
    • Critical pre-birth decisions
    • Identity problems & facts about suicide
    • Sudden death of partners
    • Dying with dignity
    • Near-death experience & belief in the afterlife

Module 3 (To be released in week 4)
Round-up session 

  • Different perspectives: scientific, religious & philosophical *Module 2 carries 90% of the assessment.

Taught by

Dr. Jack Chun, Dr. John Yuen, Dr. Kam-por Yu, Dr. David Wan, Prof. Adrian Bejan, Prof. Ole Döring , Rev. Thomas Kwan, Ven. Dr. Sik Fa Ren and Mr. Kasim Ma


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5.0 a year ago
Anonymous completed this course.
A fascinating course presenting a variety of viewpoints on the timing of the beginning and end of life, and life's meanings. The discussion forums provided an opportunity to examine your own beliefs, and to understand the beliefs of others.
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