CLHG Talk - Stephen Law - The Evil God Challenge

The CLHG are delighted that philosopher Stephen Law has agreed to give a talk to the group. Stephen will be talking about his "Evil God Challange" which he has used in debates with various theists including William Lane Craig, and also about new ideas in the philosophy of religion that he's been working on.

Stephen is the editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy journal Think. He has published several books and is a senior lecturer in philosophy at Heythrop College, University of London.

Door at 6.30 pm for talk at 7.00 p.m.


Please arrive early to have a glass of wine from our CLHG Charity Wine Bar find your seat and chat with other members.

Donations to the wine bar will go to Stephen's chosen charity the BHA.

All our talks are open to the general public and free to attend but we ask those who can to make a donation of what they can afford to cover the costs of room and equipment hire and help keep our talks free to all.


Stephen's book, The War For Children’s Minds was Routledge’s lead title for 2006. It focuses on issues concerning moral and religious education, using philosophical tools to help clarify and assess key arguments. Phillip Pullman said it “should be read by every parent, every teacher and every politician”.

The book was based on a prize-winning essay (joint winner of the £5,000 ESRC-Prospect Millenium essay prize in 2000). The publication had considerable impact and was reviewed by e.g. The Economist and featured on Radio 4 Today programme and Radio 3 Nightwaves (where I was in discussion about the book with Prof. Anthony O’Hear). It was also focus of e.g. a two-page feature in The Guardian.

Other books include:

• Very Short Introduction to Humanism (OUP, 2011) 

• The Great Philosophers (Quercus, 2007) 

• The Philosophy Gym (Headline, 2000) – German version was winner of the E5,000 Mindleheim Philosophy Prize in 2009

You can follow Stephen via his blog Stephen Law

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  • Jeffrey H.

    Unfortunately, I had to miss Stephen's talk last night, but I've heard it before. I agree with Dave's remarks that we might persuade the "waverers" and at the same time enhance our own understanding. (And Dave: admit it. It's sometimes fun to see the pious squirm.)
    I think the core of Stephen's idea is a good one. When believers give the knee-jerk response that it is obviously absurd to believe the world was created by a perfectly evil, unloving god, the rhetorical follow-up -- then why isn't belief in creation by a perfectly good, loving god just as obviously absurd? -- will make some people, the waverers, question the veracity of their belief.
    Questioning is subversive of unfounded beliefs. And that's a good thing.

    November 28, 2013

  • Ian S.

    Nice stuff, but I do sometimes wonder if we over-complicate things by arguing with theists in their own terms. The simple state of non-belief is a powerful refutation of gods etc. I don't need to prove an absence, or worry about the evidence of nothing. That's the theists' problem.

    November 28, 2013

    • David M.

      It would be boring if we just argued for non-belief though. Getting under the skin of others beliefs is quite interesting and probably enhances our understanding of our own. Of course theists won't accept non-belief and its only the waverers who are more open to rational argument.

      1 · November 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds like the Krypton Factor for malevolent deities!

    1 · November 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would have loved to come to this but now have lectures on Wednesday evenings.

    September 20, 2013

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