At 8-30pm on 1st March in the Coffee Shop, 6.2 Yannis
Gidopoulos introduced the hugely talented Chief Executive of the British
Humanist Association, Andrew Copson. Although Mr Copson is a secularist, he
wanted to pose the contested ideas of secularism to the Philosophy Society. He
made it clear that these were not his opinions, but spoke of the importance of
considering both sides of the argument. To begin with he presented the four
cases in favour of secularism; which he was clearly very passionate about. He
talked about autonomy, fairness, modernity and the pragmatic argument for secularism.
He explained each point well, making it comprehensive to everyone, even the
amateur philosophers in the audience.
However, he was not here to tell us one side of the
argument: he allowed us to form our own opinions as he informed us of both
sides to the argument, acquainting us with the Marxist and Theocratic
approaches to secularism. Other arguments against secularism consisted of the
“moral vacuum” argument, the communitarian and the libertarian arguments.
Towards the end of the evening, Mr Copson encouraged the audience
to engage in a thought-provoking discussion. This rounded off a very intellectually
challenging talk which re-assessed some of the most deeply-rooted aspects of
Report by Tom
Whitbread and Alexander Dernie, A Social 6.1s