Friday, 21 March 2014

A Debate...


This is part of the famous debate on BBC radio between Dr Copleston and Lord Russell. It was 1948. I first listened to this debate when I was a student at Heythrop and my professors spoke unanimously of their admiration for Dr Copleston, most of whom knew him personally (one of my Church history tutors wrote his obituary). The concepts of contingency and necessity, knowledge or experience gained in a priori or a posteriori ways etc were still fresh in my mind then but I expect you can all keep up with it. I certainly couldn't understand Lord Russell's conclusion that the questions were ultimately meaningless. It reminds me of what Mr Williams said about the taxi driver who put the question of our existence to Lord Russell. "Do you know he couldn't give me a straight answer," said he. Nevertheless, the standard of this debate is colossally high. Both men were of a noble kind seldom seen nowadays, intellectual and courteous. I am unworthy to untie the shoe laces of either of them.

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