The HSS at the EISF – report of our event

was standing room only at our event “2038; the end of religion?”
last Saturday night at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

This is their 25th
year and and the organisers had asked us to look forward to the next
25 years in choosing a topic for discussion. Paul Braterman, retired
professor of Chemistry and Keith Gilmour, RMPS teacher in Boclair
Secondary school and member of the Glasgow Brights were proposing
that religion, if it survived, would be in a very different form. The
Rev Andrew Frater of Cairns Church, Milngavie had kindly agreed to
join the discussion in support of religion but he turned out to take
a very liberal view. He surprised us somewhat by singing the praises
of Thomas Aikenhead, the last man to be hanged for blasphemy in
Scotland and suggested that it was high time that the General
Assembly of the Church of Scotland made a public apology to him – a
sentiment with which we heartily concurred.

The presentations were
followed by a very lively Q&A session, very ably chaired by Alex
Wood who managed to include Paul and Keith in answering the questions
most of which were directed to the Rev Frater.

The proceedings were
recorded and we are asking the EISF how to access this. Paul has
submitted a report of the proceedings in an article for Humanitie.





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