The following free event took place 7pm Tuesday 26 July, 2011 in Room OGGB4/260-073 (Owen Glenn Building, University of Auckland), and was brought to you by the University of Auckland Philosophy Department, Evangelical Union and Thinking Matters.This was a lay-friendly event open to the public - a university degree was not necessary for attendance or understanding.
The question of the relationship between religion and morality has long been the subject of discussion and debate in western culture. Some philosophers and theologians contend the two cannot be separated; theological beliefs about God and the afterlife are needed to explain the existence and nature of moral obligations, and to ground motivation to live a moral life.
Others contend the opposite. They claim that morality is entirely independent of religion and that religion encourages immorality. Questions have also been raised as to whether religion adds anything to morality in terms of its ideas about atonement, forgiveness and moral faith which are lacking in secular views.
This panel brings together several of the worlds leading Christian thinkers on this question to discuss issues such as:
- Why do we have to do what is right? - Can someone be a 'good' person without belief in God? - What role do grace and forgiveness play in morality?
After the presentations was a period of questions and answers from those attending.
A Godless Public Square: Do 'Private' Christian Beliefs Have a Place in Public Life? A conversation held at the University of Auckland between Theology, Philosophy and Law and featured Dr Matthew Flannagan - PhD Theology, Dr Glenn Peoples - PhD Philosophy and Madeleine Flannagan - LLB Law, with Pat Brittenden as moderator.