Categorized | Philosophy, Religion, Science

Filipino Freethinkers Speak at DLSU

Last Thursday, Garrick and I gave a lecture at DLSU, (one of) the best Catholic universities in the country. The lecture was for students of the Great Works classes, who were reading The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake, No Exit by Jean Paul Sartre, and Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. Although we weren’t experts on any of these books, we were very familiar with their themes: damnation and eternal life; reward and punishment; heaven and hell; good and evil; and the meaning of life.

Natty Manauat, one of the philosophy professors who organized the forum, invited us to give a freethinker’s take on these themes. This is our second time lecturing in DLSU. Last year, Natty invited us to the philosophy department’s Darwin Day celebration. We served as panelists in a discussion of the film, Creation, and I gave a talk titled “Darwin, the Freethinker,” in which I argued that instead of being a dispassionate scientist, Darwin was actually a passionate advocate of reason and human equality. We don’t have a recording of that lecture, but we were prepared for this one.

In my part of the lecture, I showed how Christian morality has progressed from Biblical times to this day, and how history has shown that when it comes to telling good from evil, the Roman Catholic Church is incompetent. After I showed that a better framework for morality is badly needed, Garrick argued for a more scientific understanding of morality, one that’s grounded on human well-being instead of divine dogma, theological tradition, and arbitrary authority.

In spite of the unusually cold air-conditioning, only a few students fell asleep — most of them were engaged throughout the lecture, and some even told us that we gave an awesome lecture. The professors were also happy, and over coffee we were invited to give another lecture in April, this time on the life of Alan Turing. We’re equally excited about that, but for now, we hope you enjoy the videos below.

Ryan Tani on The Problem of Evil

Garrick Bercero on Morality Without God

DISCLAIMER: The opinions in this post do not necessarily represent the position of the Filipino Freethinkers.