May 16, 2012

AWRF 2012: The God Matter

This was a Tri-Professor event, with Tom Bishop, Professor of English at the University of Auckland (where one of his regular courses is "Stages of Religion"), chairing a discussion between visiting US Prof. Lawrence Krauss, author of A Universe from Nothing, and Lloyd Geering, Emeritus Professor at Victoria University and author of Wrestling with God, on the need for God in the 21st century and beyond. Jonny from Central City Library reports:
 
During this session Krauss and Geering debated the role that religion has played in the development of science. Krauss, a theoretical physicist, currently a Professor of Physics at Arizona State University, argued that religion had only ever been an impediment to science, and that it was immaterial that many great scientists had held Christian beliefs.
Geering argued that the Christian concept of ‘unity’ of the universe was essential to the development of scientific thought. Geering also believes that Christian tradition plays in an important role in providing a foundation for modern society’s moral structures.

Although Geering in his writings has departed from a concept of a Christian god, he still believes that Christian values and a ‘modern’ concept of god are essential to Society’s existence, and that the meaning and morals of life can be found in the teachings of the Bible. He drew attention to the ‘wisdom’ of the Book of Ecclesiastes. His idea of God seems to consist of the idea of unity in nature and the universe.

Krauss dismissed any idea of the value of the Bible outright. Through science, rational thought will lead us to meaning in life and provide us with the tools we need to survive as a species. Science, Krauss believes, can lead civilisation into a ‘post-religious’ world. It is in this world that rationalism and empiricism will provide humanity with structure and meaning.

Although the two speakers fundamentally agreed that Christian concepts of God and spirituality are out of date, there was no agreement between them on the ongoing value of Christian or any type of religious belief systems.

Ditulis Oleh : tosca // 03:00
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