‘Religion has no place in the 21st Century’

Do Cambridge students really believe that religion has a place in the 21st century? Or they liked what Rowan Williams said because he said nicely and softly? Cambridge students voted 324 versus 138 against the idea of having no place for religion in the 21st Century. Richard Dawkins may have been defeated in the debate, but it’s true what he said that ‘as the century goes by, religion has less and less place to exist. It’s high time to send it packing.”
Your victory has no value if you win a debate by denying the truth.


  1. charleschambers says

    I am afraid that it will take more than the few small voices in the 21st century to eliminate religion, and if it ever does happen, it will sadly be in a century far, far ahead of this one.

  2. says

    Like with so many debates of this kind, it has a very broad and far reaching motion that is almost set up so as to convince anyone to vote against it. Possibly a little like reasonable doubt in convicting a criminal, whilst many don’t believe he is innocent, they also cannot be absolutely sure that he is guilty. This debate was much the same and I for one can empathise with the student comment, liking religion to football, ‘you may not agree with it but it is something people enjoy and need on so many levels’ . It is difficult to argue that definition of religion has no place in the 21st century!

  3. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    It shows the effect of choosing the question: obviously, religion does have a place in the 21st century. Whether it should have a place is another question and might well have received a very different answer if it had been asked.

    • says

      Religion should not have a place. I meant that. I think Dawkins believes that religion will not disappear in this century. Why did he debate for it? Did he also think that it was about religion should have no place instead of religion does have a place?

  4. says

    Yes, it is frustrating when you tune in to watch a potentially decent debate but the motion is either unreasonable or/and the defendants do not argue for the motion, only on the topic in general. Oh well it makes little difference in reality but would be more pleasing if reason would prevail!

  5. kreativekaos says

    Very interesting debate (thank you for posting it Taslima).

    With the exception of the seeming rambling, nebulous and mildly angry sounding talk given by the Islamic professor, and perhaps a few students, the presentations and student questions were engaging and articulate (although I am tending to find Richard Dawkins talks and debates sounding very much repetitious.)

    Although Andrew Murray’s presentation defending of the necessity of religion was stilled flawed at certain points ( they can never seem to eliminate even the most repetitious argumentative speedbumps in their support of even the most insignificant role religion may play), he certainly makes no bones about his atheism (as did a number of students who spoke in tepid defense of religion.)

    But his presentation at the end does at least give one pause to….if nothing else…reflect on a deep critical echo in atheism: that being the seeming cool detachment of connection and community almost inherent in it. As much as it pains me to admit it, until atheism as a larger human realization can be promulgated throughout at least a substantial portion of modern, first-world societies, those deeper needs of social connectedness, belonging and support will be filled, some how, in some way, by religion. Atheism proper, has a long way to go in evolving structures, practices and understandings that can supplant many of those nebulous and deeply emotional/psychological qualities that many of us humans find necessary for a balanced, emotionally secure mental state–things that religion has, to various degrees, historically provided and still does for so many.

    As Murray mentioned,.. both sides are missing things, albeit religion much more so; to be very sure, religion and its history owes much more of an open ear and closed mouth to the methodologies and declarations of science and reason. But, unfortunately, the lack of civil debate via the language and modes of expression from certain high profile atheists certainly does little harm to religion’s cause. Without a doubt, there are many that disagree with this atheist, and that position–certainly a point of contention among atheists.

  6. নীলাকাশ says

    আমি সম্পূর্ন রূপে তসলিমা নাসরিনের বক্তব্য সমর্থন করি।


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