1. Alex Besogonov says

    It appears to be incomplete and quality is not very good :(

    Any chance for full talk or transcript?

  2. Tim Tesar says

    Both speakers continue the tradition of the same mistake made so often by both believers and secularists, which is that religion “causes” things such as morality or (as suggested by Rue) art. Religion does not cause morality or art. Humans have both an innate moral sense and an innate esthetic impulse. Both will appear in a culture regardless of the ideological context of the group of people. Morality and art will be expressed in religious terms when they occur in a religious context, but they are not caused by religion. Certainly some religious groups have crude and antiquated moral systems. But that is due to the unsophisticated way the people think, not to their religion. I am very liberal and an atheist, but there are many theistic people who have moral values equivalent to mine.

  3. Becksi says


    I’m sure here are some people who could do it.

    The file that’s now available for download is 8000hz wav file so whoever volunteers would be better off with the original audio file.

  4. Tim Tesar says

    Well, this is what I get for commenting before I finish listening to the discussion. Later on, Rue does mention his interest in the sociobiology of morality. And one of the commenters makes this point also. And I appreciate that PZ acknowledges the tendency of our minds to anthropomorphize.

    I disagree with the strong claim of the anthropologist questioner that morality is a totally social construct. This kind of claim is not unusual in anthropology, but not universally accepted by others, such as some psychologists, particularly evolutionary psychologists.

    On the other hand, I criticize the so-called “new atheists” because they seem to have focused so much on their science education that they overlooked psychology, sociology, history, anthropology. Sure, theistic beliefs are silly from the point of view of modern knowledge, but we should also ask ourselves about and appreciate the processes and history that led to people having the beliefs they have.

  5. Holbach says

    Tim @ #2 You make a realistic point of theistic people
    having moral values equivalent to yours. That is the
    point that I have been deigning to put across for some time. If both people have equivalent moral values, and
    the atheist has no need of religion, then why does the
    religionist feel the need for the unnecessary baggage of
    religion, knowing that your morals are equivalent to his?
    Which in a sense cancels out religion’s constant tenet
    that morals are not inherent in the godless. I have no
    doubt who is the more stable individual, and yet the
    religionists cannot reason otherwise. It is just a matter
    of religion clouding a clear concept and yet feeling
    superior to the atheist who has no need for that totally
    unnecessary and useless crutch.

  6. says

    Ugh, the recording quality and style makes me want to punch infants. I wish i knew where all this was going down so i could get stereo CD quality recordings for archival purposes. Anyone want to pay my airfare? I’m a professional Sound Engineer! :-D

  7. SteadyEddy says

    Yeah, I know it’s not very good quality. I did it on a whim on my Sandisk Sansa m250 mp3 player. This little gadget is a cheap ipod knockoff with AM/FM and a voice recording feature… more for making vocal notes, probably not meant to record dialoge within a big room. I didn’t even think about recording it until a few minutes into the talk. I figured something was better than nothing- so I uploaded it. If you can’t stand a crappy recording, don’t take the time to download it. It’s about 95 minutes long. I uploaded the original on PZ’s link… so that’s as good as mine gets. I think the Campus Atheists and Secular Humanist (CASH) folks (who sponsored the talk) recorded it an will be posting it on their website (maybe, sometime).

  8. Damian says

    For those who are struggling with this I recommend altering the graphic equalizer, as well as using a set of head phones, if possible.

    I always use head phones to watch movies, play video games, and listen to debates on the computer.

    Call of Duty is simply stunning when your ears are focused solely on the bullets flying past your head!