Friday, April 13, 2012

The Second Global Atheist Convention

Relgious belief and atheism are two ways of responding to our life experiences. Each can be intuitive and emotional. Each can also be highly reasoned. Religious people and atheists alike construct detailed arguments for their respective world views on the basis of assumptions that strictly speaking cannot be absolutely "proven", but arise from what is sometimes called a perceived "accumulation of probabilities." Agnostisism is, of course, a completely different phenomenon. 

Today in Melbourne, Australia, the Second Global Atheist Convention began. The stellar cast of keynote speakers includes former Christian clergy who have become atheists, and, of course, Richard Dawkins.

On Easter Monday, Dawkins engaged in a mediated television debate with Cardinal George Pell. You can view it HERE

In my opinion, a far better engagement of Dawkins with the assumptions underlying religious belief is his recent conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, which is HERE

From a slightly different angle, Simon Smart and Justine Toh of the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney discuss the relationship between reason and faith. Go HERE for the audio. 

Also visiting Australia is well-known former atheist and now Christian theologian, Alister McGrath. Here he comments on the Global Atheist Convention: 

McGrath is, in fact, visiting for the REASON FOR FAITH FESTIVAL, whose organisers - an ecumenical group of thinking believers - challenge those attending the Global Atheist Convention to change their tickets, stay on for the event that follows, and join in the public conversation on the questions raised by the Global Atheist Convention. Go HERE for details.


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