Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Debating God

In 1948 the BBC broadcast a debate on the existence of God between agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell, one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century, and Christian philosopher Frederick Copleston, author of the massive 9-volume History of Philosophy and other light reading. You can read a transcript of their debate here. Russell is often thought to be an atheist, but he explicitly states at the beginning of the debate that his position is agnostic. However, Russell was also known for completely changing his mind every few years, so take it with a grain of salt.

On the debate's 50th anniversary, a similar one took place between then-atheist philosopher Antony Flew and Christian philosopher William Lane Craig. Their debate is available in book form, and I just discovered you can watch it online here. The latter debate is also noteworthy because Flew has since reluctantly conceded that atheism is untenable in light of contemporary science.

(reposted from and cross-posted on OregonLive)

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