The Road Less Travelled Video – With PZ Myers, Chris Stedman, Leslie Cannold And Meredith Doig


The Road Less Travelled with Meredith Doig, PZ Myers, Chris Stedman, Leslie Cannold. “Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?”

On Monday 16 April 2012, the day after the fabulous Global Atheist Convention, we brought together three fiercely articulate freethinkers to argue the question “Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?” Chris Stedman is the first Interfaith and Community Service Fellow for the Humanist Chapliancy at Harvard University. Chris writes for the Huffingtion Post, and Washington Post and his own blog, NonProphet Status. His book “Faitheist: how an atheist found common ground with the religious” will be published later in 2012. PZ Myers is professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, specialising in evolutionary biology. His blog “Pharyngula” has been listed by the journal Nature as the top-ranked blog written by a scientist. He is often cited as the ‘cranky curmudgeon’ of the freethought community. Leslie Cannold is an award-winning ethicist based at the University of Melbourne and noted as one of Australia’s most influential public intellectuals. A native New Yorker, she has made Australia home for the past 23 years. In addition to her prolific writing on a wide variety of ethical issues, her distinctive voice is heard across public and commercial radio. In 2011 Leslie was named Australian Humanist of the Year.
Moderated by Rationalist Society President Dr Meredith Doig, this spirited discussion will intrigue and entertain.

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  • Aratina Cage

    I just finished watching this and left a comment about it over at Pharyngula. I thought Stedman and PZ did a good job of explaining their positions, but Cannold was rather infuriating, especially at the end when she evaded answering the woman’s question by telling her to shut up about it. I wouldn’t doubt if Cannold also raised the hackles of Australians in the audience by telling them they were riding a wave decades behind the USA politically and heading for a considerable rise in the political power of evangelical Christianity in OZ.

    But about the shutting up, of course one doesn’t have to go as far as PZ did with the cracker, but I think if the religious can tell us about their beliefs in this and that, we should be just as free to tell them we don’t believe in any of it and furthermore don’t ourselves respect it. In fact, I often find that there is a common ground that I can come to with believers in the supernatural if I use my thinking cap to translate their religous-speak into non-religious terms to try and understand where they are coming from.

    So I don’t think we should shut up when told about the sacred mountain ritual. We should say we don’t believe the myths and have good reason not to, but it looks like a fun and challenging activity nonetheless and wouldn’t mind the exercise or company of climbing it with them if they will have us come along. I ask of Cannold, why not that? Why should we atheists be the ones who have to shut up?

  • Amblebury

    I saw Leslie Cannold speak at the GAC.

    I was really affronted by her statement, (and I’m paraphrasing,) that she believed agnostics were real, unlike bisexuals.