For the last 150 years or so European philosophers and sociologists have tended to regard religion as just one more pre-scientific myth and superstition that has had its day, and likely to wither on the vine of History. This view, the secularization thesis, seems today to be in poor shape. Not only does there appear to be no sign of withering, still less a clear path of scientific and rational progress, but religion seems to be reviving. Classic atheist criticisms of religion tend today to sound increasingly strident and dogmatic. In this dialogue two of Britain’s leading philosophers who are also convinced atheists will explore the continued attractions of religious belief and its place in a European world whose secular character is itself today in question.
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‘The Non-Existence of God’ is an excellent introducctory text on philosophy of religion. Richard Spencer has a very good interview with the book’s author, discussing both refutations of arguments for theism and proposing some arguments for atheism. A very good antidote to the bullshit being peddled by the ignorant army of newspaper columnists who think every issue is 50/50.
A.C. Grayling outlines Bertrand Russell’s proudest achievement, his theory of descriptions in this episode of the philosophy podcast Philosophy Bites.
Speaker(s): Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Professor John Gray
Chair: Dr Matthew Engelke
Recorded on 6 June 2012 in Old Theatre, Old Building.
In the first event of the Programme for the Study of Religion and Non-Religion, Giles Fraser examines the links between Enlightenment thought and theology, reflecting on how theology frames the very ways in which we can understand the denial of God.
Giles Fraser is the former canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral.
John Gray is emeritus professor of European Thought at LSE.