(Varsity) Dawkins v Williams: the Union debate

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As [Arif] Ahmed recited figures on Anglicanism’s decline Rowan Williams grew restless, causing Ahmed to ask the master of Magdalene pointedly: “Do you want a point of information?” The room broke out in laughter as Williams responded by motioning for Ahmed to ‘bring it on’.

The Spectator columnist Douglas Murray, arguing for the relevance of religion in the 21st century despite the “awkward position” of being an atheist, finished the debate by declaring that “no rational person could agree with this motion". Religion, alongside humanism and secularism, has “a contribution to make”, Murray argued, telling students that without religion you may end up “with something like a perpetual version of The Only Way is Essex”.

Priyanka Kulkarni, Pembroke first year, said: “Tonight's debate was highly anticipated, the queue spanning for what seemed to be miles was an indicator that this was going to be a highlight of the union this term.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams* Culture-WatchEducationReligion & CultureYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther FaithsAtheism* TheologyApologetics

Posted February 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. Sarah1 wrote:

Sounds like a nice little coffee-hour with exchanges of various assertions of theory, supposition, and feeling—plus another attempt to burnish the rusted flaking tin of Rowan Williams’ reputation.

I wonder if anyone at all bothered with one of the first rules of debates which is to actually define the terms—like the word “religion.”

February 3, 10:56 pm | [comment link]
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