To anyone who was waiting for a recording of the dialogue I had with my friend Neil Shenvi last week, the audio is now online, hosted on Neil’s website.
I listened to it this morning while walking my dog and the audio came out surprisingly well. It’s not without its issues (some clipping here and there, a few moments where it cuts out during transitions, and so on), but definitely listenable.
My opening statement starts at around the 18 minute mark, and our conversation starts after a short bit of silence.
I had a great time at the event, and even met a few readers I had no idea lived in the area. 1 Neil’s a really smart and friendly guy, and we were having a lot of fun up there. If you want to hear me talk really quickly, laugh a little too much, and bash Sam Harris way more than I remembered doing, you can take a listen here! (Warning, the audio starts a little loud).
I’ll be taking some time in the coming weeks writing more about what I covered in my talk, since it involved ideas I’ve been developing for a while, and it was nice to try to articulate them for an audience. If I was ambiguous or unclear at any points, leave a comment and I’ll try my best to address it!
Thanks again to the Duke InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (who hosted the dialogue in place of their normal group meeting), the Duke Secular Alliance, and of course, Neil Shenvi for making the event a lot of fun.
Vlad Chituc is a lab manager and research assistant in a social neuroscience lab at Duke University. As an undergraduate at Yale, he was the president of the campus branch of the Secular Student Alliance, where he tried to be smarter about religion and drink PBR, only occasionally at the same time. He cares about morality and thinks philosophy is important. He is also someone that you can follow on twitter.
- I’m always down to grab coffee and chat with anyone in the area. You can hit me up on Twitter (@vladchituc) or my email address (email@example.com) to schedule something! ↩
March 24th, 2010 | Posted by: Chris Stedman
Last night a group of diverse, young Chicagoans were having the first planning meeting for a Chicago Secular Humanist meet-up. It was so inspiring to hear each individual talk about why they were in the room, and it left me feeling so excited about the possibilities of this group. But I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed that our meeting coincided with a debate on ABC Nightline called “The Future of God.” I was curious to see what new ground might be covered in this well-worn debate.
Then I watched it. I was not impressed; it was just the same argument we always hear between anti-theists and theists about the legitimacy of people’s images of God — an interesting conversation to have if done respectfully with a concern for significance and intention (and I know this is possible: I just spent all morning discussing it with a room full of Christians in my Psychology of Religion class), surely, but one that needs to be transcended in the public forum. As The Atlantic pointed out in their post on the program, the program was “cliché,” introducing nothing new and sticking to “trodden ground.”
It’s time to change the conversation. Whether or not God exists is not the most pressing point for dialogue — instead, we ought to be wrestling with finding ways to do good work in the world with others who disagree with us on this idea. We’ll never come to a public consensus about God, but I believe a shared ethic of responsibility to others, with or without God, is achievable.
If you’re interested, you can read about the program — and watch video clips from it – on ABC’s website.