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← AC Grayling and Russell Blackford discuss Atheism

AC Grayling and Russell Blackford discuss Atheism - Comments

AnArab's Avatar Comment 1 by AnArab

I am yet to find a coherent moral code based on any religion. Morality can only be based on rationality.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 14:57:00 UTC | #450796

LeeLeeOne's Avatar Comment 2 by LeeLeeOne

what is rationality? ok, ok.... ok.... I am listening to the US version of entertainment.

Jon Stewart....

and I am mixing it with Monty Python... you know those guys who mixed it up...

long before Jon Stewart mixed it up.

We can learn from history, right?

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 15:31:00 UTC | #450805

LeeLeeOne's Avatar Comment 3 by LeeLeeOne

See my picture... my icon... A cucumber grew out of the same fence that a grapevine grew out of, which can mean that either I am a totally bad gardener, or that I simply let things go.

I want to see Mr. Grayling's message and education to grow as well as Mr. Blackford's message and education.

Because they are right.

And I totally need to learn gardening.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 15:45:00 UTC | #450807

ravish's Avatar Comment 4 by ravish

Not good audio. Bad work, I hope quality of videos on web improve already, its been around for two decades :(

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 16:20:00 UTC | #450822

bertie wooster's Avatar Comment 5 by bertie wooster

QT version anyone?

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 16:32:00 UTC | #450827

Friend Giskard's Avatar Comment 6 by Friend Giskard

I could hear it better when I set my computer's audio manager to 'Rock'.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 17:29:00 UTC | #450851

Forcethinker's Avatar Comment 7 by Forcethinker

Jon Stewart has a much different form of comedy that relates to real world news. Monty python is great but that is hardy a fair comparison.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 17:31:00 UTC | #450853

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 8 by the great teapot

Reminds me of 2 years ago.
As soon as something slightly sub standard cropped up on this website someone had to comment on it. Thankfully MOST of those types have buggered off and have left only human beings here.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 19:54:00 UTC | #450900

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 9 by the great teapot

Got in with a bad crowd of christians

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 20:03:00 UTC | #450908

the great teapot's Avatar Comment 10 by the great teapot

My hair dresser asked me, without a hint of irony, why if Chinese is the most spoken language in the world has she never met anyone who speaks Chinese. I love her to bits.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 20:17:00 UTC | #450914

Ramases's Avatar Comment 11 by Ramases

Some interesting stuff here.

One thing I disagree with though - both speakers talk about being "radicalised" by becoming atheists. A bit too much back patting here I think!

There is nothing in becoming and atheist in itself that is radicalising. It is quite possible to hold backward political views, to be conservative and even racist, to work to hold society back, while being an atheist. Conversly, it is possible to be socially progressive and work for a better world and be religious in your personal life - I have worked with progressive Muslims and Chiristians.

And one need go no further than some of the opinions expressed on this site to see reactionary atheists, even some who support the agenda of the anti-immigrant right.

That does not mean that discarding superstition is a bad thing - I think it is great, and that overall non-believers are more rational and more likely to be politically and socially progressive.

But it is not a 100% correlation by any means, and being an atheist in itself does NOT make one a radical.

Sun, 21 Mar 2010 21:18:00 UTC | #450934

knightcap's Avatar Comment 12 by knightcap

I think it is interesting what they say about the difference between agnosticism and atheism. I keep hearing that question coming up everywhere. Almost every talk related to atheism I go to someone asks that very question which gets annoying, but the speakers handled it well.

Also interesting is the idea of god coming from an animistic idea of intentionality in nature, but in time was gradually pushed out further away, on top of mountains, sky gods etc, ultimately turning into something 'outside space and time' or supernatural which is the way a lot of theologians describe god today (a metaphysical god).
Why is god (now days at least) described as something that exists 'outside the realm of science' or in a place that science can or will not ever be able to reach? Is it that there is evidence to support this? or lack of evidence for god existing within the realm of science? Anyone know what is the basis for this presumption?
Gaps in science have been used to argue for god's existence. What is often classified as proof of gods existence is just a pointer to mystery, not anything measurable or specific. Metaphysics [in use as : A priori speculation upon questions that are unanswerable to scientific observation, analysis, or experiment] cannot be described, and the assumption that metaphysical 'realms' exist (and also assuming a certain nature of metaphysics that allows a god) is just based on re-bottled and re-labeled faith.
If god existed or did exist within 'the realm of science', one would think that there would be forms of measurable evidence to suggest this - we have not found any yet. If god is a personal christian god who intervened in the dealings of men here on earth in recent history, it is hard to justify why there is no measurable evidence discovered at all (which has stood up to honest scientific analysis). Until has been, one cannot assume with good reason that there is a personal god.

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 00:24:00 UTC | #450975

Russell Blackford's Avatar Comment 13 by Russell Blackford

Ramases, the word "radicalised" as Anthony and I were using it does not mean anything like that. It has nothing to do with being a communist or some other kind of left-wing "radical" in the sense that you seem to have in mind.

Maybe it's not a familiar usage in your country or social milieux, but to be radicalised is just to undergo a fundamental change in your thinking in the direction of being outspoken, publicly active, committed to a cause, etc. I.e., you can be an atheist (say) and shut up about it, maybe think it's not important, etc. Or something can jolt you into thinking it's important, that you need to speak up, write books, etc. That's all we were talking about. What was the jolt to your thinking?

On the sound quality thing, Adam (singularitysoup) does warn about this: "The event was sponsored by Readings bookstore. It was recorded with my dodgy hand held camera with no mic-out. :) Anyway I hope you enjoy."

I have no trouble at all hearing it clearly through my headphones, so I'm a bit puzzled that others have difficulty. But please note that this event was not officially recorded. A lot of people who couldn't be there expressed interest as the event was approaching, and Adam took the liberty of unofficially recording it, using amateur equipment, from his seat in the audience (I doubt that Readings would mind this).

I'll add to Adam's warning - okay? If you're put off by a recording that doesn't have professional production values, then this will put you off. If you're interested in what I - and particularly Anthony Grayling - had to say at the event, you might, alas, have to put up with the amateur production values to find out.

(Edited for typos and clarity.)

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 00:44:00 UTC | #450980

George Lennan's Avatar Comment 14 by George Lennan

Yup thanks Russell - i could have put up with a whole lot worse audio to get the chance to hear you both speak. The cup is half full ravish & others!

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 13:22:00 UTC | #451095

BigJohn's Avatar Comment 15 by BigJohn

I am not 'put off' by poor quality audio. I simply cannot understand it. I suffer from hearing deficiencies, and, so, I require clearer(to me) audio than many do. Unfortunately, most computers in this day and age do not offer custom equalization. Often, I cannot find a suitable predefined equalized setting to suit my tortured ears.

Sun, 04 Apr 2010 20:41:00 UTC | #455891