Religion is being described these days as not just an opiate for the masses, but a poison for society. Atheist writers such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens urge us to grow up and leave religion behind. But what would be lost if Australia abandoned the Christian ideas that have shaped many of its institutions and some of its values?
Alister McGrath is Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford and an internationally renowned speaker and author.
His book, The Twilight of Atheism explores the history of belief in the modern world and whether the belief that there is no God is in decline.
In this age of science and technology, of great human progress and incredible human suffering, is it becoming harder to be an unbeliever?
“Living alone is a poor option for people younger than 66 years. It is likely that people with low well-being live alone either because they have recently broken from a relationship or because they cannot find a partner to live with them. The former reason could account for the very low levels of well-being in people aged 36-65 who live alone.”
Australian Centre on Quality of Life
School of Psychology
Deakin University in Melbourne
The lecture, in the Australian Stock Exchange auditorium, was attended by 160 people who heard Dr Best outline the opportunities and challenges that bio-technological advances present to our understanding of what it means to be human. She suggested that the Bible's teaching that we are created by God and find our purpose in him offers a framework for handling future ethical issues.
Over 200 people assembled at Dockside, Cockle Bay Wharf in Sydney to hear this Sydney historian and pastor claim that Christianity is unique among world religions in that history could prove it false. For this reason, it is a good starting point for considering religions.
220 people heard Justice Handley at the Le Meridien Hotel in Sydney enquire as to where our almost universal urge for justice comes from and whether God is the best explanation of our sense of justice.
The inaugural Smith Lecture was delivered by the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen in the Stranger’s Dining Room, Parliament House, Sydney.
Dr Jensen explored how it is that human beings have access to the divine. His conclusion, that God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ, holds implications for all religions and societies.