Debate with Andrew Copson on Premier Christian Radio

Andrew Copson is the Chief Executive of the British Humanist Association. Polly Toynbee is the President and Richard Dawkins is the vice president.

"How should RE be taught in schools?"

The debate went extremely well. Andrew is a very affable and intelligent man. I think I disarmed him by telling some of my stories with voices. I was very encouraged to see him smiling in a very nice way. I argued that we desperately need worldview awareness plus critical thinking skills etc. In a vague way he seemed to agree.

I argued that secular worldviews (rampant consumerism, materialism, emotivism, species egalitarianism etc) are the dominant worldviews among teenagers. I backed up this assertion by referring to the 600 or so conferences that Damaris have done. He didn't really have any evidence for his much more optimistic views.

I challenged him towards the end of the debate with the free will issue and how the philosophical materialism espoused by Dawkins, Blackmore, Minsky etc destroys the very possibility of rational debate. He didn't have much to say. Clearly the question bothered him.

When I left him he said he was seeing Richard Dawkins in the evening and would ask him what he would say to my question! Get in!

I also mentioned Arthur's fantastic paper, "Education, Indoctrination and God" on the programme and Andrew wants to read it.

I must say that I have been hugely helped by discussions with Peter Williams of Damaris, Jenny Baker, the amazing Richard Russell, Bruce Wearne, Jonathan and Adrienne Chaplin, Brian Spurling, Jim Tickner, Arthur Jones, Amy Stock and Chris Curtis of LCET, the gifted RE teacher Jonathan Swales, Richard Gunton and WYSOCS trustee Steve Bishop. The Hansons have also really helped me hugely and my wife Anne has great insights which I lack.

God is faithful to all of His promises. Soli Deo Gloria.

Comments

Glad to hear it went well, Mark!

look forward to hearing that rocky. nice one.

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