Foundations for success

Smoking Gun:

Evaluating the Arguments for God’s Existence.

For Years 9–12

Big ideas for curious minds



Unveiling the “Smoking Gun” Event: Exploring Arguments for the Existence of God

Step into the world of intrigue and deduction, where philosophical inquiries meet the timeless quest for understanding. Inspired by the iconic Sherlock Holmes, we invite you to “Smoking Gun,” an event dedicated to unravelling the classical arguments for the existence of God.

In the words of Sherlock Holmes himself, “Elementary, dear Watson,” as we embark on a journey akin to solving the most profound mysteries of existence


  • Engage with some of the mostcompelling philosophical arguments for the existence of God.
  • Explore questions that resonate across time and culture, shedding light on humanity’s quest for meaning and purpose.
  • Connect with fellow seekers and
    expand your understanding through meaningful dialogue and discourse.
  • Discover new perspectives and insights that challenge  assumptions and inspire deeper exploration.

Don’t miss your chance to be part of this illuminating experience. Join us at “Smoking Gun” as we embark on a journey of discovery, enlightenment, and intellectual exploration

Join us on Snapchat – aconferences – for your daily philosophical thought of the day, plus access to free resources.

Study Day Content

Unveiling the Cosmic Mysteries: Cosmological Arguments

9:30 – 10:45

Journey through the vast expanse of the cosmos as we delve into the cosmological arguments for the existence of God. Explore the observations that demand explanation and dissect the structure of these compelling arguments. Engage in critical analysis and emerge with a deeper understanding of the cosmic forces at play.

Q&A Session

10:45 – 11:00


11:00 – 11:20

The Essence of Existence: Ontological Arguments

11:20 – 12:05

Enter the realm of reason and logic as we explore the enigmatic ontological arguments for God’s existence. Unravel the mysteries of a priori logic and contemplate the very essence of existence itself. Dive deep into philosophical inquiry and challenge your perceptions of reality.

Q&A Session

12:05 – 12:20

Lunch Break

12:20 – 13:00

Journey of the Soul: Religious Experience Arguments

13:00 – 13:45

Embark on a soul-stirring exploration of religious experiences and their profound impact on human consciousness. Hear first-hand accounts of encounters with the divine and examine their transformative power. Decide for yourself how far these claims provide an argument for the existence of God.

Q&A Session

13:45 – 14:00

A Clash of Ideas: Debate on the Existence of God

14:00 – 14:45

Witness the clash of ideas as we bring together diverse perspectives to debate the
existence of God. Engage in lively discourse with atheists, theists, sceptics, and
believers alike. Explore the complexities of faith, reason, and the nature of ultimate
reality in a spirited exchange of intellect and insight


Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss is an outstanding Gifted Educator, nurturing brilliance through a holistic approach. At the heart of Julie Arliss’ philosophy lies a deep commitment to unlocking the unique potential within every gifted student. She believes that gifted education is not just about cultivating academic excellence but also fostering holistic development, instilling a love for lifelong learning, and nurturing the well-being of each student. Thriving Minds provides talented students with the tools necessary to cultivate critical thinking, analyse complex problems, and innovate. This philosophy encourages students to question the status quo, explore new ideas, and develop solutions to real world challenges. In placing great value on mentorship and guidance students benefit from the wisdom and expertise of educators who not only teach but also inspire and support them on their educational journey. Through steadfast commitment to this philosophy, numerous more able and ambitious students have not only achieved academic excellence but have also grown into compassionate, innovative and socially conscious individuals. Julie Arliss’ legacy extends far beyond the conference platform, influencing the lives of students who carry these values with them throughout their lives. For almost three decades Julie has collaborated with some of the greatest living thinkers delivering outstanding programmes for more able students across the UK and Australasia.

Conference Dates


Location TBC

Wednesday 6 March 2024


Location TBC

Thursday 7 March 2024


Abbey Gate College

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Additional dates are available on request.



Timings may vary slightly. All bookings are made by the school and not by individual participants.

Bookings are taken online at Select the tab for conferences. Fill in the booking form and select the venue of your
choice. Please take care to select the Smoking Gun programme. You will be given the choice to pay online (recommended) or to be invoiced. Tickets are not issued.

Students need to bring refreshments and drinks for the day. Staff will be provided with morning tea and lunch. The events cost £37.50
per student and there is a free staff place for each group of 12 students. All bookings will attract this fixed fee

School Bookings

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For bookings for smaller numbers please address requests to [email protected]

CPD Bookings

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