Friday, 25 February 2011

Oxford Think Week's disappointment now celebrated!

This evening's event in Oxford Think Week was somewhat challenging to my own inadequate consciousness.  As someone said, I wished we had had Prof. Peter Atkins there tonight!  More on that tomorrow.

But the good news!  Tuesday evening's disappointment has been largely mitigated by the team from "The Pod Delusion".  Thanks guys!  The discussion between Richard Dawkins and A C Grayling is now available at the web site for The Pod Delusion - one of my favorite podcasts.  It was fascinating to listen to it and decide for myself how successful this 'experiment' might be. 

Several people had told me that it was a 'bit of a love-in', with RD and ACG agreeing with each other on everything, and with the audience there just to 'worship' them.  They told me that they would have liked to hear some other points of view.  They told me that it was a bit like a religious experience except that the two preachers were atheists.  (Yes honestly someone said that!)  They were preaching to the choir.

My take on that is substantially and radically different.  I thought it was a really good way to hear the considered, consistent and complementary views of two great thinkers without the clamour of non-existent controversy.  As non-religious people, surely we have a right to a discussion that is not contaminated by supernatural mumbo-jumbo.  Christians go to church and agree with each other every Sunday.  We should have a chance to do it too, and religious apologists have no right to be offended about that even if it is a public event (like most church services).

I'm not saying that we should start to take offence at the insistence of religious people to interrupt our serious contemplation.  I'm just claiming that we have a right to enjoy  rational thought together sometimes, free of the rantings of religious apologists.

Let's have more like this - please??

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