Well not *my* religion because I didn’t have one to lose, certainly not since I refused to be Confirmed at about age 13. Though I do like the churches and the stonework a lot; and the old hymns. No, I went to the Cambridge Union Society to hear that Paul Wright talk to the Aetheist Society, pretty much about his essay of the same name. When I got to the Society buildings I was someone surprised to find a queue; fortunately the hoi-polloi were being filtered off downstairs to listen to a comedian, and we had a spacious room upstairs and some sweeties.
The setting and audience reminded me of the Old Days when I used to give GW talks – the characteristic mixture of old and young folk with their very different responses. Paul speaks better than I do, which helped. I think he upset some of the aetheists, who perhaps looked for a less nuanced assult on the Godly (I’m sure there was some harrumphing “but this is the aetheist society” at one point). Paul’s viewpoint (to attempt to compress something nuanced into a small compass) is that the Evangelical Christians are nice people with some good arguments, the study of which can be intellectually satisfying; but that fundamentally its just not convincing (FWIW my own viewpoint was always “but why should I believe this book”? so while I was happy to play intellectual games (If God is omniscient he can see the future so how can we have Free Will? – discuss, but not here) but I never felt any great involvement with the answers – these are just for fun. Paul is in the interesting position of having once Believed, but not any more, but cannot sufficiently reconstruct his state of mind then to be able to fully explain *why* he believed; and perhaps this would be impossible without Believing again.) Also fun was when he was trying to talk about the quality of argument, and to say that some Christians were good in debate, and beat prominent aetheists in debate. This was close to heresy, and it needed to be heavily emphasised that this meant only that during the heat of debate they got the better of the exchange.
[While I’m here, I’ll add in a link I intended to blog: http://www.operationnoah.org/calendars/campaigncalendar/13-october-hear-dr-rowan-williams-wisdom-noah. But its never going to get to the top of my stack.
Also, Pauls notes are now up -W]