Belief and the Gods: Meet the Panelists (01:37)
"Prospect Magazine" editor Jonathan Derbyshire introduces theologian and Radical Orthodox Movement founder John Milbank, University of London philosopher Stephen Law, and "Contesting the Saudi State" author Madawi al-Rasheed.
John Milbank: the Pitch (06:30)
Milbank distinguishes divine beings from God. Since the Enlightenment, people have tried to claim irrefutable evidence of God; scientific discourse cannot be absolutely proven either. Without religion, human culture would collapse.
Stephen Law: the Pitch (04:46)
An atheist, Law argues that God hypothesis can be refuted using empirical observable evidence. He believes there exists neither an all-powerful malevolent nor benevolent being. He encourages questioning the existence of the universe.
Madawi Al-Rasheed: the Pitch (05:21)
Al-Rasheed takes an anthropological approach and frames the debate along a continuum between fantasy and reality. She advocates distancing oneself from personal beliefs and those of other religions and studying the divine role in society.
Theme One: Can We Only Grasp Parts of Reality Through Faith? (08:47)
Milbank argues that rational systems cannot be self-completed; religious belief cannot be subjected to observable hypotheses. Law raises the question of how to explain evil in the world. Al-Rasheed says religion has always been with humanity, and cannot be proven or disproven.
Theme Two: Have We Evolved to Believe in the Divine? (13:41)
Milbank refutes the idea that God is a human projection. Law argues that no one can believe in an evil or benevolent God; Milbank asserts that Law cannot be atheist. Al-Rasheed says religion's claim to truth is divisive; interpretation is individual.
Theme Three: Will There Always be Religion? (08:01)
Al-Rasheed points out that secularization predictions have been unfounded. Law discusses the hyperactive agency detecting device as explaining belief in the paranormal. Milbank discusses religion's concern with agency; he believes evil is a distortion of a good reality.
Credits: Belief and the Gods (00:20)
Credits: Belief and the Gods
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