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Debate: Flogging a Dead Horse: Can We Make a Positive Case for Atheism Today?

The last of a series of three debates that will interrogate the state of secularism today.

The Institute of Ideas and Bishopsgate Institute present a series of three panel debates (7 February, 6 March, 3 April 2008) that will interrogate the state of secularism today. Taking inspiration from Bishopsgate Institute’s renowned collection on free-thought and secularism, the debates aim to continue in the long tradition of critical inquiry of religion and of its opponents.

From the Renaissance through to the twentieth century, intellectuals have challenged religion and religious privilege. The past few years have seen the ‘New Atheists’, as they have been dubbed, take up the mantle. But why has religion persisted for so long? Are religious believers just wrong, or does religion answer questions that secular society can’t? What do today’s atheists propose, beyond mere unbelief? Can one make a positive case for atheism?

Speakers will be Dr Michael Fitzpatrick (GP and author), Mark Vernon (journalist and author, Science, Religion and the Meaning of Life) and Martin Summers (corporate affairs advisor). Robin Walsh (science conference producer) will chair the debate.

For further information on the Institute of Ideas please visit www.instituteofideas.com.


Dr Michael Fitzpatrick | talks
Dr Mark Vernon | talks | www
Martin Summers | talks | www
Robin Walsh | talks


Date and Time:

3 April 2008 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Bishopsgate Institute
230 Bishopsgate
020 7392 9200

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£7, concessions £5; advance booking required

Available from:

Call 020 7392 9220 between 9.30am and 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Additional Information:

Bishopsgate Institute is two minutes walk from Liverpool Street station.

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