Philosophy Talk returns to the Stanford campus on Friday February 6 for a pair of live recordings at Annenberg Auditorium -- and they're FREE:
• 4:30 pm - Democracy in Crisis with Francis Fukuyama
Democratic systems of government are supposed to reflect the interests of ordinary citizens, and not some shadowy political elite. But more and more, we see the influence of big money and special interest groups in so-called democratic politics, while income inequality and voter suppression grow. With millions convinced that politicians don’t speak for them, is there a "crisis of representation" in the US? Are these problems a result of political decay in our institutions, or is democracy in trouble everywhere? How can we achieve an efficient and prosperous democracy in which the average citizen is truly represented? Should we consider a radically different system of government? John and Ken keep calm with renowned political scientist Francis Fukuyama, author of Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy.
• 7:30 pm - Morality in a Godless World with John Figdor
Belief in God is thought by many to be the only possible source of morality, such that without a God, “everything is permitted.” Yet godlessness is on the rise in the West, with figures like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Lawrence Krauss leading the “New Atheism” movement. But if atheism is defined by its lack of belief, where do these non-believers find guiding principles? Are there any positive beliefs or values that atheists have in common? If so, are they based on a rational, scientific framework, or must non-believers, like believers, ultimately rely on faith? John and Ken welcome John Figdor, Humanist Chaplain at Stanford University and co-author of Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-first Century.