Monday, August 31, 2009

The Atheist & The Bishop, part 2

source: via,4237,n,n

iPlayer audio available to 6 September.

2/3. Professor AC Grayling and Lord Harries of Pentregarth explore where we get our values from

Series in which an atheist and a bishop come together to apply their own philosophies to the experiences of people they meet, with Jane Little chairing the discussion highlights comments: visit Bacons College, London & Camp Quest, Somerset. At the faith school, AC Grayling wonders if having a faith orientation adds anything and whether it effects intellectual enquiry.

AC Grayling: (5'40" to 6' 4") Faith comes down in the end to saying 'blessed are the those who believe but havn't seen, that is to say, don't have evidence or who havn't got a reason for believing; how is this consistent with one of the great aims of education which is to equip students with an ability to evaluate information, to think critically, to assess evidence and to think for themselves.

Parental Indoctrination
AC Grayling (16'20' -16'28") to a muslim student "would you be a muslim if you had been born to two very devout Roman Catholic parents?" Muslim Student: "I doubt it, I'd probably be Roman Catholic".

Logical Fallacies
Samantha Stein (24'30') talks about introducing children to logical fallacies (informal fallacy) and Straw Man arguements.

Extraordinary Claims require Extraordinary Evidence (Carl Sagan)
AC Grayling (25' 26") to Samantha Stein: " how will you encourage children to have a clear idea of what they think and a clear idea of what viewpoints don't deserve respect if they don't?"
SS: she will ask children to invoke Carl Sagan phrase 'extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence'. Anything they are faced with, be it scientology, religion, homeopathy - anything that requires that if someone is making claims for which you need to believe in something, you cannot see or cannot be empircally tested, then, they need to consider Carl Sagans' phrase.

AC Grayling (28') asks 'Suppose a martian came down to earth, was presented with two docuements, the New Testament and The Koran, how would the martian choose between those two documents to find which was true and which was not true?" A Muslim Physics teacher responds.

AC Grayling: (36' 40") is asked 'where do humanistic values come from? we are social animals capable of empathy... basis of our thinking about morality and organisation of society... he talks about Aristotle & happiness and evolutionary psychology... many talents for being good.

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