Skip to main content

THE GOD VIRUS? - PROF. KEITH WARD


Centre for Inquiry UK and South Place Ethical Society present

THE GOD VIRUS?

Prof. KEITH WARD


Keith Ward is a philosopher and theologian, Regius Professor of Divinity (Emeritus), Oxford, and the author of The God Conclusion.

Following up Darrell Ray’s talk The God Virus (Oct. 23) Ward’s talk addresses Richard Dawkins’s suggestion, developed by Ray, that religion functions in a similar way to a virus.

This is a free-standing talk. No familiarity with Ray’s book or talk will be assumed. Ward is a great guy, as well as one of the world's leading religious thinkers. There will be plenty of time for discussion. Please come!

Tues. November 30th, 2010, 7.30-9.00 pm

Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, London WC1R 4RL – Main Hall.

Just £4 on the door. Students £3.

Tickets on the door. To book in advance go to www.cfiuk.org, hit button “support cfiuk” and follow instructions. Credit and debit cards welcome. Include names of those coming, phone number, return address, etc.

Comments

Martin said…
I've read and enjoyed quite a few of Dawkins' popular science books, but I cannot read Viruses of the Mind for cringing. It's just wrong to compare a physical entity such a viral infection to a non-physical thing which is a state of mind. By this I mean you can inspect the tissue of a living being and definitively say you have this or that virus, but you will never be able to say the same of a "virus of the mind".

I wonder if after 19 years Dawkins still promotes his parable, or whether it has rightly been demoted to the seemed like a good idea at the time pile.
Anonymous said…
I disagree with your statement that it's wrong to compare physical with non-physical, you CAN compare them. However I think it's not necessarily the God concept which is the virus but the religion.

Besides, the term "God" is so nebulous, to someone "God" is a being, to you it's a state of mind. So which is it?

Just a general question, is Keith Ward a Christian/religious person or is he a deist?

Popular posts from this blog

EVIDENCE, MIRACLES AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS

(Published in Faith and Philosophy 2011. Volume 28, Issue 2, April 2011. Stephen Law. Pages 129-151) EVIDENCE, MIRACLES AND THE EXISTENCE OF JESUS Stephen Law Abstract The vast majority of Biblical historians believe there is evidence sufficient to place Jesus’ existence beyond reasonable doubt. Many believe the New Testament documents alone suffice firmly to establish Jesus as an actual, historical figure. I question these views. In particular, I argue (i) that the three most popular criteria by which various non-miraculous New Testament claims made about Jesus are supposedly corroborated are not sufficient, either singly or jointly, to place his existence beyond reasonable doubt, and (ii) that a prima facie plausible principle concerning how evidence should be assessed – a principle I call the contamination principle – entails that, given the large proportion of uncorroborated miracle claims made about Jesus in the New Testament documents, we should, in the absence of indepen

What is Humanism?

What is Humanism? “Humanism” is a word that has had and continues to have a number of meanings. The focus here is on kind of atheistic world-view espoused by those who organize and campaign under that banner in the UK and abroad. We should acknowledge that there remain other uses of term. In one of the loosest senses of the expression, a “Humanist” is someone whose world-view gives special importance to human concerns, values and dignity. If that is what a Humanist is, then of course most of us qualify as Humanists, including many religious theists. But the fact remains that, around the world, those who organize under the label “Humanism” tend to sign up to a narrower, atheistic view. What does Humanism, understood in this narrower way, involve? The boundaries of the concept remain somewhat vague and ambiguous. However, most of those who organize under the banner of Humanism would accept the following minimal seven-point characterization of their world-view.

Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism refuted

Here's my central criticism of Plantinga's Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism (EAAN). It's novel and was published in Analysis last year. Here's the gist. Plantinga argues that if naturalism and evolution are true, then semantic epiphenomenalism is very probably true - that's to say, the content of our beliefs does not causally impinge on our behaviour. And if semantic properties such as having such-and-such content or being true cannot causally impinge on behaviour, then they cannot be selected for by unguided evolution. Plantinga's argument requires, crucially, that there be no conceptual links between belief content and behaviour of a sort that it's actually very plausible to suppose exist (note that to suppose there are such conceptual links is not necessarily to suppose that content can be exhaustively captured in terms of behaviour or functional role, etc. in the way logical behaviourists or functionalists suppose). It turns o