"Better Off WIthout Religion?" mp3

Here's a link to 2 mp3s of a recent debate. (I think Ridgeback might like this one).

Info on the debate:

"In London's Westminster Central Hall on March 27, some 2,000 people turned out to hear Hitchens, Dawkins and philosopher A.C. Grayling debate a trio of religious authorities on the question "We'd be better off without Religion." (The motion carried, 1,205 to 778.)"

I listened to the debate (which was more a series of lectures from each party) and was impressed with some of the stuff from the theistic side. I thought they handled themselves quite well, spoke eloquently, and made some good points. Despite that I may ultimately agree with the atheist side of the issue (still unsure, though) I'm not sure the atheist side actually won in my view. Although most in the audience voted to carry the resolution ("We'd be better off without religion").

I was particularly impressed by the final speaker on the theistic side, Philosopher Roger Scruton.

You can get the audio links from Richard Dawkins' web page:


Thanks Prof.  I will have to wait until I am finished with this semester sometime next week to have a chance to listen to these, but I will bookmark them.


I think all Religions have their place in the world. It doesn't matter if I believe any of them or not, as long as it benefits the lives of some WITHOUT detriment to others then it's all cool.


I finally got a chance to listen to these.  I agree that the last speaker did the best job.  In a sense it was kind of a silly thing to debate for a number of reasons.  First of all, humanity will probably always have religion for as long as it exists.  Secondly, the question is too broad.  Would we be better off without certain religions?  You bet.  We would also be better off without militant atheism.  But from a Christian standpoint, the question is flawed in the sense that of course we would be better off without religion.  Religion really isn't the purpose that man was made for and most Christian thinkers agree that in the world to come there will be no religion.  Religion is like chemotherapy.  The debate about whether or not we would be better off without chemotherapy hinges on whether or not we have cancer. 

Also I would note the the first atheist speaker who tried to say that religion has directly caused more havoc in history is not being very honest.  The communist atheists of the last century were really quite remarkable and from a perspective of percentages, the relatively small number of atheists did a tremendous amount of damage to humanity.   I think we all know that the heart of man is the real problem.  Those who hate will use any construct to express their hatred through, and those who love will do the opposite.  I have more in common with all humans who practice agape love than people who claim a particular belief but don't practice love.

Yeah, I agree. Debates like these over ridiculously generalized propositions don't really go anywhere.


Plus I suspect that every person who voted that night had already made up his or her mind before the debate even began.