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The World Would Be Better Off Without Religion

From the Panel

  • FOR: A.C. Grayling

  • An Interview With A.C. Grayling
    Tyler Krupp and Rachel Stuart, The Stone, New York Times, October 31, 2011
    An interview with Grayling, philosopher and public intellectual.
  • A.C. Grayling: “How can you be a militant atheist? It's like sleeping furiously”
    Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian, April 3, 2011
    In his new book, The Good Book: A Secular Bible, the philosopher sets out his manifesto for rational thought. He talks about why religion angers him, the power of philosophy – and his mane of hair.
  • God and Disaster
    A.C. Grayling, Richard Dawkins Foundation March 13, 2011
    In the wake of the natural disaster in New Zealand and Japan, Grayling questions those that spend time praying to a god.
  • The Meaning of Life: An Interview with Professor A.C. Grayling Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart Four
    Peter Brietbart, Freethinker, February 22, 2010
    A 4-part interview with A.C. Grayling, discussing the meaning of life and the burqa in part 1, combating extremism and circumcision in part 2, why religion has stuck around so long in part 3, and what lies in store for humanity in part 4.
  • Is Religion a Force for Good... or Would We Be Happier Without God?
    Anushka Asthana, Guardian, November 21, 2010
    A panel discussion on the role religion plays in society featuring A.C. Grayling, Evan Harris, Samia Rahman, Jon Cruddas, and Cristina Odone.
  • A.C. Grayling: Religion is Selfish, Blinkered and Immoral
    A.C. Grayling, Independent, July 1, 2000
    Dispassionately considered, no system of religious ethics adds up to much. Concern for the welfare and rights of people, animals and the environment motivated by a sense of the intrinsic worth of these things, and not by divine threats and promises, is the only true source of morality.
  • Believers Are Away With the Fairies
    A.C. Grayling, Telegraph March 26, 2007
    Religion has lost respectability as a result of the atrocities committed in its name, because of its clamoring for an undue slice of the pie, and for its efforts to impose its views on others.

  • For: Matthew Chapman

  • An Atheist’s Evolution
    Matthew Chapman, Slate, November 9, 2011
    Matthew Chapman will argue for the motion “the world would be better off without religion” at the Nov. 15 Slate/Intelligence Squared U.S. debate in New York.
  • At Last a Comic Book Hero Atheist
    Matthew Chapman, Huffington Post, August 8, 2007
    A real hero with real courage, Pat Tillman not only refutes forever the lie that there are no atheists in foxholes, but more than that provides an opening for a far more radical thought: atheism, in and of itself, is courageous, and faith, in and of itself, is cowardly.
  • The Atheist in the Closet
    Matthew Chapman, Huffington Post, June 16, 2011
    If you've spent time meeting religious people in small-town America, it's easy to imagine what "outing" yourself as an atheist could mean in such a place. Atheists should learn from the gay rights movement that the first step toward acceptance is the one that takes you out of the closet.
  • God or Gorilla
    Matthew Chapman, Harper’s Magazine February 1, 2006
    Chapman, a descendent of Charles Darwin, covers the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, where eleven parents sued to remove intelligent design from the curriculum.
  • Against: Dinesh D’Souza

  • Why We’d Be Miserable in a World Without Religion
    Elizabeth Weingarten, Slate, November 8, 2011
    An interview with King’s College President Dinesh D’Souza: why he’ll argue against the motion, “The World Would Be Better Off Without Religion,” at the Nov. 15 Slate/Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
  • What’s So Great About Christianity
    Dinesh D’Souza, Huffington Post, October 23, 2007
    The undecided person is right to wonder how Christianity will make his life better. After all, he is considering not only whether to believe something but whether to base his life on it. D’Souza enumerates some concrete ways in which Christianity can improve our lives.
  • God Knows Why Faith Is Thriving
    Dinesh D’Souza, San Francisco Chronicle, October 22, 2006
    Across the globe, religious faith is thriving and religious people are having more children. By contrast, atheist conventions only draw a handful of embittered souls, and the atheist lifestyle seems to produce listless tribes that cannot even reproduce themselves.
  • Q&A with Dinesh D’Souza
    Stan Guthrie, Breakpoint, November 12 & 19, 2009
    An interview with D’Souza about his life as a Christian apologist.
  • The Surprising Fact of Morality
    Dinesh D’Souza, National Review November 4, 2009
    Evolutionists have some ingenious explanations for morality. But do they work?
  • Cosmic Justice
    Dinesh D’Souza, National Review, November 5, 2009
    If evolution cannot explain how humans became moral primates, what can?
  • God Is in the Basement of the Empire State Building
    Andrew Marantz, New York Magazine, July 24, 2011
    Dinesh D’Souza, the new president of New York City’s only Evangelical college, wants to build a “Christain A-team.”

  • Against: David Wolpe

  • Religion Doesn’t Make People Immoral, Being Human Does
    Elizabeth Weingarten, Slate, November 10, 2011
    An interview with Rabbi David Wolpe: Why he’ll argue against the motion,” The World Would Be Better Off Without Religion,” at the Nov. 15 Slate/Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
  • Does Faith Matter?
    David Wolpe, Huffington Post, September 28, 2008
    Yet there is a reason why people who are part of religious communities give more to charity, are healthier and happier - as demonstrated in study after study. Faith is not the child of hope but its parent. Faith gives one the courage to find purpose even in dark times.
  • King Using Blunt Instrument But Nuance Needed
    David Wolpe, Washington Post, March 11, 2011
    Without eliding or eluding the fact that Islam is a particularly troubling case in the modern world, the question remains: does conducting hearings into Islam specifically aid or impede our pursuit of terrorism?
  • Stephen Hawking Can Imagine There’s No Heaven
    David Wolpe, Washington Post, May 16, 2011
    Can science and religion coexist? Of course they can if each side is willing to practice a little epistemological humility.
  • Why Are Atheists So Angry?
    David Wolpe, Huffington Post, March 11, 2011
    Wolpe gives four reasons why he thinks atheists are so angry.
  • Defender of Faith: Rabbi David Wolpe Explains Why Faith Matters
    Tom Teicholz, Jewish Journal, September 17, 2008
    A profile of David Wolpe on the publication of his book, Why Faith Matters.

Articles For & Against

  • For The Motion

  • God Is Not Great: Entry I, Entry II, and Entry III Christopher Hitchens, Slate, April 25, 2007
    Excerpts from Hitchens’ book, God Is Not Great. Religion Poisons Everything, entry 1. Was Muhammed Epileptic?, entry 2. Mormonism: A Racket Becomes a Religion, entry 3.
  • Imagine No Religion
    Richard Dawkins, April 10, 2006
    Imagine, sang John Lennon, a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bombers, no 9/11, no 7/7, no Crusades, no witch-hunts, no Gunpowder Plot, no Kashmir dispute, no Indo/Pakistan partition, no Israel/Palestine wars, no Serb/Croat/Muslim massacres, no Northern Ireland “troubles.”
  • Letter to a Christian Nation: Afterword
    Sam Harris September 2007
    The fundamental problem with religion is that it is built, to a remarkable degree, upon lies.
  • Atheism, Secularity, and Well-Being: How the Findings of Social Science Counter Negative Stereotypes and Assumptions
    Phil Zuckerman, Sociology Compass, 2009
    Social scientific research concerning the identities, values, and behaviors of people who don’t believe in God or are non-religious, and addresses the ways in which atheism and secularity are positively correlated with societal well-being.
  • Faith No More
    Andrew Zak Williams, New Statesman, July 25, 2011
    Earlier this year, Andrew Zak Williams asked public figures why they believe in God. Now it’s the turn of the atheists – from A C Grayling to P Z Myers – to explain why they don’t.
  • Against The Motion

  • What the New Atheists Don’t See
    Theodore Dalrymple, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, October 29, 2007
    To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.
  • Why Religion is Good for Us
    Theodore Dalrymple, New Statesman, April 21, 2003
    Theodore Dalrymple, an atheist, argues belief in God makes you a better person, both morally and practically.
  • Myth 2: Religion Does More Harm Than Good
    Father Thomas Williams, National Catholic Register, April 1, 2008
    An impartial examination of the facts will lead any objective observer to the conclusion that religion, and Christianity in particular, has been and continues to be an overwhelming force for personal and social good.
  • Man vs. God
    Karen Armstrong & Richard Dawkins, Wall Street Journal, September 12, 2009
    Karen Armstrong and Richard Dawkins to respond independently to the question "Where does evolution leave God?"
  • Why This Scientist Believes in God
    Francis Collins, CNN, July 20, 2011
    As a believer, Collins sees DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.
  • Why Do We Need Religion?
    Oliver Thomas, USA Today, August 8, 2010
    It's not so much about this doctrine or that, Mass or the Lord's Supper or even Ramadan or Yom Kippur. It's about purpose, meaning and whether I ought to get out of bed in the morning.
  • I’m a Believer
    Andrew Zak Williams, New Statesman April 20, 2011
    In our increasingly secular society, many religious people feel their voices are not heard. So here, leading public figures and scientists explain their faith to Andrew Zak Williams.

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