Today's BBC 1 Big Questions

From about 43 minutes on "Do we need religion to create a moral society?" I start it off and finish it up too. It will be up for a week.


Currently BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only

That sucks. Can't find this on iTunes - if anyone is aware of how it can be accessed ex juris, please let me know.
Anonymous said…
The Atheist Missionary said...To be certain that god does not exist I’d have to be all knowing. However, the only entity possessing that power is a god. Therefore, I would have to be the god that I claim does not exist. Hmmm… Better convert myself to the agnostic persuasion instead.

Appreciated your comment on philosophy embracing all religions Steve. (The Big Questions) As I see it religions and science are merely flawed tools. Devised to assist survival of us, in compliance with the meaning of life. The meaning of life is life itself, ensuring the continuity of the species. Since nothing entirely dependant or wholly reliant on human existence, can occur in our absence. While we have existed without them. They cannot exist without us. If we did indeed teach our youngsters how to question, they would soon expose all the paradoxes (incomplete understandings of reality) currently holding us back. Regards, al.
Psiomniac said…
You dealt well with one pernicious aspect of this debate that seems to crop up often: the false dichotomy between morality based on religion and naive moral relativism.
Jack Sowter said…
Here it is on youtube I believe
Jack, thanks for posting the youtube link. I enjoyed watching the discussion.

Stephen, I'm interested to know whether you have read Chris Hedges' I Don't Believe in Atheists (Free Press, 2008). If you have, I would be interested in your take on Hedges' attack on (what he suggests is) the myth that modern societies are progressing morally. If you haven't read it, I think you would enjoy it - the title is deceptive. Although Hedges has a Masters in Divinity, he excoriates religious fundamentalists. Here's a snippet:

"We live in a universe indifferent to our fate. We are seduced by myths that assure us that the world revolves around us, that fate or the gods or destiny have given us a unique and singular role in the cosmos. It is hard to reject these myths and face the bleakness of human existence. It is more comforting and reassuring to have faith in our collective moral advancement as a species, to believe that we are heading toward something great and wondrous. The bitter reality of existence and the bondage of human nature, however, are real. These myths are not. All those who tempt us to play God turn us away from the real world to flirt with our own annihilation". (pp. 89-90).