16-17 May 2013, Christ Church, Oxford
For centuries, atheism was suppressed because of its supposed amorality. Now, New Atheists such as A.C. Grayling and Sam Harris argue that decent, liberal morality is perfectly possible without religious belief--indeed, that it is only possible without it. Others, such as Jürgen Habermas, acknowledge that Christianity has had a peculiar capacity to articulate humanist values and norms, but that these can be extracted without loss from their theological roots. This May, the McDonald Centre, together with the Department of Sociology, Philosophy and Anthropology at the University of Exeter, gather ten philosophers and theologians--both believers and unbelievers--from the UK, the USA, and New Zealand to address questions such as these:
- Even if morality in general does not need religion, might specific moralities nonetheless need it?
- Might morality be better off without religion? Is it better off without any religion or only certain kinds?
- When notions of human dignity or rights are extracted from theological language, is anything important lost in translation? Are such notions really sustainable apart from a theological worldview?
- Are religious believers more, or less, moral than others? Or are such questions philosophically irrelevant?
Speakers include: David Baggett (Liberty), Julian Baggini (The Philosophers' Magazine), Nigel Biggar (Oxford), John Cottingham (Reading), John Hare (Yale),Terrence Irwin (Oxford), Michael Hauskeller (Exeter), Tim Mulgan (Auckland), Keith Ward (Oxford), Mark Wynn (Leeds).
Register online now as space is limited: http://groupspaces.com/mcdonaldcentre/item/414088
When: 16-17 May 2013
Where: University of Oxford
Cost: £50 (students £30), including lunch