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Faith-heads thrashed at Oxford Union

The Oxford Union last night (25th November) debated the motion "This House believes that a world without religion is a world without meaning." Follow the link for the BHA account of the evening. The motion was proposed by the Bishop of Leicester, by Britain's leading Hindu, Anil Bhanot, and by Martin Beckford, former religion correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. Our side, represented by Andrew Copson, Sue Blackmore and Julian Baggini, won easily. Only 47 voted in favour of the motion, to 272 against.

A famous victory, congratulations to Andrew, Sue and Julian. This is the sort of result that – one would hope – would be a foregone conclusion at Oxford. It has not been as clear cut as that, and organizations such as the Student Christian Movement and the infamous OICCU have enjoyed some success in their ruthless targeting of lonely freshmen. The Oxford Union, though of historic interest (12 British Prime Ministers and many Commonwealth leaders cut their teeth there) is not entirely typical of Oxford students, but nevertheless last night's overwhelming victory for the side of reason has got to be an encouraging sign.




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