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Is God Dead?


Is God Dead?


Prominent and controversial philosophy and public policy commentators will go head to head in a public debate about the existence and value of God and religion.

The debate, open to the public and free of charge, is being organised by the Victoria University Debating Society and is supported by the University.

Kent Stevens, President of the Humanist Society will be joined on the affirmative team by two Victoria student debaters and Philosophy students; Udayan Mukherjee and Tom Matthews.

For the negative, independent MP Gordon Copeland will be joined by Victoria University Anglican Chaplain Dr Tim McKenzie, along with Joe Connell, champion student debater and policy analyst at MED.

The statement "God is Dead" was first said by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in 1882, as a provocative statement on the demise of Christianity and thus the ability for religion to be a source of morality. If we no longer recognise Christian morality, what morality do we have? Are we a nihilistic society?

Other issues covered by this topic include: whether organised religion is a source for good or evil, the importance of spirituality in a modern technological, rational world and questions of the value of evidential proof.

The debate will be chaired by Professor Paul Morris, Programme Director of Religious Studies at Victoria University. Each debater will have around ten minutes to speak, and there will be time for questions and answers at the end.

The debate is the second in a series of public debates on important issues organised by the Victoria Debating Society (after a successful debate on education vouchers in May). Emily Bruce from the Society's executive said that the Society saw it as its role to "provoke debate and discussion about important philosophical issues" in a time where policy takes the forefront and widely held assumptions are often not questioned. "We're looking forward to a spirited debate about this controversial issue" said Ms Bruce.

The Victoria University of Wellington Debating Society, founded in 1899, is the most successful debating society in New Zealand and ranked as the 19th best in the world. It currently holds the NZ Impromptu, Prepared, and British Parliamentary debating titles, and was the runner-up at last years Austral-Asian championships.


Key details:


"That God is Dead".

Date: Monday 4th August                      Time: 6pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre Two, Rutherford House, Pipitea Campus, Victoria University

Gold coin donation. There will be refreshments after the debate.


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