Phil Clayton and Dan Dennett Will Debate Today

A couple of weeks ago, philosopher and theologian Philip Clayton publicly challenged “new atheist” and fellow philosopher Dan Dennett to a debate. Well, Dennett has accepted the invitation, and the two will debate today in Albrecht Auditorium at Claremont Graduate University in California from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST. As Clayton sets it up:

This will be an open-ended conversation. The flyer says simply “Science, Philosophy, Theism.” Here’s a face-to-face meeting of a Christian philosopher and theologian, one who endorses evolution and works extensively on science-religion issues, with the leading philosopher among the New Atheists—one who proudly describes himself as “one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.” We’ll take on the question: Is there any real (argumentative) common ground between our two positions?
What do you think will happen? Will we really connect as philosophers? Will we even be able to formulate arguments that the other can respond to? Or will it just be two ships passing in the night, shooting rhetorical salvos in each other’s direction as they steam in their different directions? In his post on Richard Dawkins’ Web site, Dan responded to my talk on theology and evolution at the Cambridge Darwin Festival by simply concluding, “in short Clayton is an atheist who won’t admit it.” [Clayton responded here.] When we meet this week in Claremont, will we get any further in exploring forms of theism that are not anti-philosophical and anti-scientific?

We look forward to hearing how it goes.

Category: Debates

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  1. […] and theologian Philip Clayton shares his thoughts on the debate he had with fellow philosopher and “new atheist” Dan Dennett a couple of days ago: What […]

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