A.C. Grayling

  • Aired:  04/03/13
  •  | Views: 21,109

The philosopher shares his book, "The God Argument: The Case Against Religion and for Humanism." (5:46)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN AUTHOR WHOSE NEW BOOK PRAISING HUMANISM.

TALK ABOUT PANDERING.

PLEASE WELCOME, A.C. GRAYLING!

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

BOOM!

PROFESSOR GRAYLING GOOD TO SEE YOU AGAIN.

NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK.

>> NICE BE BACK.

>> Stephen: YOU ARE A PROFESSOR OF PHILOSOPHY, MASTER OF NEW COLLEGE OF THE HUMANITIES LONDON.

YOU HAVE WRITTEN SEVERAL BOOKS INCLUDING "THE GOOD BOOK THE HUMANIST BIBLE." YOU WERE HERE FOR THAT LAST TIGHT.

YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK CALLED "THE GOD ARGUMENT THE CASE AGAINST RELIGION AND FOR HUMANISM."

WHAT SP HUMANISM?

IS THAT LIKE VEGANISM?

BECAUSE I DON'T GO DOWN WITH CAN BALLS BECAUSE I AM DELICIOUS.

WHAT IS THAT?

>> IT'S AN ATTITUDE ABOUT HOW WE LIVE A MORAL LIFE.

IT'S ABOUT WHERE YOU START.

>> Stephen: IT'S RELIGION.

>> NO, NO.

>> Stephen: HOW YOU LIVE THE MORAL LIFE.

WE HAVE THE LAWS FROM GOD, OBEY THEM.

END OF STORY.

THERE'S AN OLDER AND RICHER VIEW WHICH STEMS FROM THE GREEK PHILOSOPHERS WHO SAY, WE HUMAN

BEINGS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THINKING ABOUT OUR -- NOT A SET OF LAWS OR A CODE.

WE HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OURSELVES NOT ABOUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO LIVE A GOOD LIFE

BUT HOW TO RELATE WELL TO OTHER PEOPLE.

IT'S REALLY WHAT HUMANISM IS ALL ABOUT.

>> Stephen: BUT HOW CAN YOU LIVE GOOD AND FLOURISHING LIVES IF YOU DID NOT HAVE OBJECTIVE

STANDARDS OF MORALITY.

NOW WITH THE TEN COMMANDMENTS I WOULD BE SACRIFICING YOU RIGHT NOW.

SERIOUSLY TEMPTED.

THAT'S WHERE WE GET THE GOD.

EVEN THE HUMANISM SIN FORMED BY THE EARLIEST LAWS GIVEN TO US BY GOD.

IT'S A LONG STORY.

>> Stephen: I HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD, BUDDY.

[ LAUGHTER ]

>> THE POINT ABOUT THE OBJECTIVITY IT'S AN IMPORTANT POINT THIS ONE.

IT ARISES FROM THE FACT THAT WE'RE SOCIAL CREATURES, HUMAN BEINGS.

WE NEED ONE ANOTHER.

WE NEED RELATIONSHIPS.

WE NEED TO LOVE PEOPLE AND BE LOVED BY THEM IN RETURN.

WE NEED FRIENDSHIPS AND COOPERATE WITH PEOPLE.

THIS IS A CONSTRAINT ON�� JUST WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH OTHER PEOPLE.

>> Stephen: HOW DO WE MAKE OUR MORAL DECISIONS OUR DECISION AS TO WHAT IS BEST FOR US SOCIETY?

IS IT THE GREATEST GOOD FOR EVERYBODY?

THAT'S ONE VIEW, THE IEW TILL TAIRN VIEW.

IT ALL STARTS FROM AN INTERESTING QUESTION THAT SEW CRATES ASKED HIS FELLOW --

>> Stephen: THAT GUY WAS A PERVERT.

HE WAS PUT TO DEATH FOR CORRUPTING YOUTH OF ATHENS.

>> YES.

>> Stephen: IT MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY MESSED UP BECAUSE THE GREEKS ARE DOWN WITH ALL THAT.

THAT'S YOUR HERO GEORGE AAHEAD.

JUST WANT TO KNOW WHAT MORAL GROUND YOU ARE ON.

GO AHEAD.

>> HIS CRIME WAS ASKING PEOPLE TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES NOT TO ACCEPT WISDOM OR HANDED DOWN WISDOM.

HE ASKED PEOPLE WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE SHOULD WE BE?

WHAT KIND OF SOCIETY SHOULD WE CONSTRUCT SO EACH ONE OF US CAN LIVE A LIFE WORTH LIVING.

>> Stephen: BASED ON REASON AND LOGIC.

YOU HAVE GUYS DOING STUFF ON REASON AND LOGIC.

GUYS WHO REJECTED GOD, LENNON, STALIN AND MAO.

THEY RACKED UP BODY COUNTS WAY BIGGER THAN ANY RELIGION IN THE CENTURY.

THAT'S YOUR IDEA OF HOW TO BE GOVERNED?

>> I'M AFRAID NOT.

>> Stephen: THEY REJECTED GOD AND EMBRACES REASON.

>> BUT THEY DIDN'T RUN THEIR COUNTRIES BECAUSE THEY REJECTED�r GOD.

THEY RAN THEIR COUNTRIES BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT AS OTHERS HAVE DONE IN THE PAST THAT THEY HAD THE

ONE GREAT TRUTH, THE ONE RIGHT WAY TO LIVE AND EVERYBODY MUST ACCEPT IT.

>> Stephen: ISN'T THAT YOUR ARGUMENT THAT AC IS RIGHT AND GOD IS WRONG COX GOD BE -- COULD

GOD BE?

IS IT POSSIBLE THERE'S A GOD?

>> I DON'T THINK SO.

>> Stephen: SOUR RIGHT.

>> I'M TRYING TO BE RIGHT.

>> Stephen: YOU COULD BE�i WRONG?

>> I COULD BE WRONG.

>> Stephen: SO THERE COULD BE A GOD?

THERE.

>> COULD BE MANY GODS.

>> Stephen: LET'S TAKE ONE OR NOW.

I DON'T WANT TO BE GREEDY.

YOU ADMIT YOU COULD BE WRONG.

WE'LL TAKE PASCHAL'S ARGUMENT.

IF YOU ARE WRONG YOU GO TO HELL.

IF YOU ARE RIGHT YOU GO NOWHERE WHERE YOU DIE.

>> IF IF THERE'S A HELL IT'S GOING TO BE FULL OF INTERESTING PEOPLE.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: IT'S HARD TO TALK WITH A PITCH FORK IN YOUR MOUTH THOUGH.

[LAUGHTER]

DO YOU THINK RELIG JOHN A NET POSITIVE OR A NEGATIVE?

DO YOU THINK IT DOES MORE HARM OR MORE GOOD?

>> MUCH MORE HARM.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Stephen: SO IF IT DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD, ISN'T IT LOGICAL AS A SOCIETY THAT WE DECIDE TO

OUTLAW RELIGION.

>> I DON'T THINK SO.

>> Stephen: WHY NOT, IT DOES HARM?

>> IT DOES HARM.

>> Stephen: IS IT LOGICAL TO GET RID OF IT?

>> ALCOHOL DOES HARM BUT WE HAD A BAD TIME OUTLAWING THAT.

>> Stephen: DO YOU THINK THERE'S A BOOTLEG GOD OUT THERE?

>> THERE ALWAYS WILL BE.

>> Stephen: IF IT DOES GET�i OUTLAWED PLEASE HIDE ME.

AC GRAYLING, THE GOD ARGUMENT.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERS AND APPLA

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