Can We Be Good Without God?

Some useful resources connected to my recent dialogue at the University of Alberta

On Tuesday 23 January 2018, I had a dialogue with Dr. Howard Nye at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. We had a wide ranging conversation covering atheism, Christianity, goodness, justice and a wide range of other topics.

Here are a few resources for folks who want to follow up on some of what we talked about:


The Measure of Mankind

One bright spring morning in the early 1630s, a wealthy Dutch merchant was delighted to receive a visit from a sailor bringing a tip-off that a very valuable cargo had just arrived at the docks. As a reward for the information, the merchant presented the sailor with a fine red herring. Whilst the merchant was distracted for a moment, the sailor saw, lying among the debris on the shop counter, what he thought was an onion. Thinking it would go nicely with his fish breakfast, the sailor surreptitiously slipped it into his pocket. That, however, was no onion — it was a Semper Augustus tulip bulb and this was the height of the “Dutch Tulip Craze”, which saw bulbs valued higher than gold and sold for extraordinary sums of money. That one bulb alone was worth three thousand florins (over $1,000)! As soon as he spotted it missing, the furious merchant launched a search of the docks. Finally the sailor was found, sitting happily on a coil of ropes, chewing the last mouthful of his herring and “onion”.[1]