Category Archives: Interclub

Should we believe in the Christian God? A Debate

Thursday 22 August, 5:30pm
Lecture theatre HSB2, the University of Auckland city campus

This event is hosted by the Evangelical Union.


Two of our RSS members, a Rationalist and a Christian, will debate whether we should believe in God.

Peter Harrison is a council member of the NZ Association of Rationalists & Humanists, member of the Reason and Science Society and Coordinator of the Secular Education Network, appearing on Radio Rhema promoting the idea that we should not prescribe religion to children. Peter will argue against the proposition that the Christian God has any more reality than the imaginings of human minds.

Zachary Ardern is a masters student in biology. He has a BA/BSc & PGDipSci, is currently the secretary of the Reason and Science Society, and former president of the Evangelical Union. Zachary will argue that there are good reasons to believe in the Christian God.


Semester Two, 2013

News from the Exec Meeting on Monday:

  • Skepchicks Group: We will be starting a subgroup for women in RSS. There are not many women in RSS and we hope to increase the numbers, we will have women at the sign up stall, start a coffee group, and perhaps start a FB group. Watch this space for details.
  • Some talks in the Pipeline for next semester:
    Open Culture: Why it matters; why you should care.
    From Is to Ought.
    Reductionism in science.
    REAL debate.
    Islam 101: The history and the teachings.
    Feminism: The role of Men in Feminism; Skepchik and Elevatorgate; The ethical terrain of abortion arguments.
  • We will continue to have weekly meetings but also make some of these movie nights and social events rather than always having seminars/lectures.
  • Future dinners will need to cost more (or fundraising?) in order to cover costs of so much pizza!
  • Fundraising was considered but no firm plans have been made.
  • New Exec Positions:
    President: Kieran David Deane-Alder
    Secretary: Zachary Ardern
    Deputy Secretary: Jenny Zhi Cheng
    Treasurer: Simon Wegner
    Media Officer: Joshua Guilbert
    Anti-Harassment Officer: Talia Sellars

(Other bureaucratic things were discussed but they are not really relevant to general members)

Jeff Talon on Science versus Christianity

Sunday 5th May

10:15 am 

Shadows Tavern (on campus)

Hosted by Auckland Evangelical Church 

Doesn’t science disprove Christianity?

Either way, are you sure? Sure enough to bet your life on it?
At least give one of NZ’s top Physicists a chance to explain how he sees the two as inseparable.

Professor Jeff Tallon is one of New Zealand’s most distinguished physicists, internationally known for research which revolutionised the field of high temperature superconductors.
Current research interests extend to nanotechnology, high pressure physics, and materials science.
Jeff has received numerous awards for his work, including the inaugural Prime Minister’s science prize, the Rutherford medal and the Dan Walls medal for physics. He currently a visiting professor at the Cavendish laboratory, Cambridge University.

He has been a prominent advocate of science education and research in New Zealand and for the compatibility of science and Christian faith.

Here’s a video to watch:

Here’s some reading:

Same-sex Marriage Debate – For and Against

We will be holding a group discussion on whether to legalise gay marriage. Speaking against the law change will be Zachary while supporting gay marriage will be Joshua. The discussion will be moderated by Talia.

Each side will give a 10 minute opening statement and 10 minutes of questions for the opposing side. There will then be a general group discussion or question time until 7:00.

This event will take place at 5:00 in room 206-209 of the Arts 1 building on Tuesday 18th September.

All welcome!


UPDATE: You can view the debate here:

Student forum

RSS will be taking part in a student forum with two other University of Auckland clubs – REAL (a Christian club) and the Islamic Society (AUIS). Three members of each club will be participating as speakers, and the forum will address a wide variety of issues. The four questions the groups have been asked to prepare a 10 minute talk on are (1) where did we come from? (the origins of humans, life and everything?) (2) why are we here/what’s the meaning of life? (3) what is the foundation of ethics? (4) what about an afterlife? (The questions tend to bring in a few theistic assumptions, so we might have a word to say about those.)

The format is a 10 minute talk by each of the groups very briefly laying down their views, followed by one to one and a half hours of questions from the audience. RSS will be representing a non-religious or skeptical viewpoint, although the club itself takes no official position on these questions (except that reason and evidence would be important in answering them) – a couple of our members are actually speaking on the Christian team. Since there’s no atheist/skeptics club and the majority of us seem to be non-believers of some sort, we’re happy to represent that range of viewpoints.

At this point there is no date for the forum; perhaps early in the second half of semester but we’re not sure yet. We’ve been preparing for the forum with weekly meetings, and this week we’re planning to pick some speakers, so if you’re keen follow us on Facebook or Google Groups and come to our meeting with a three minute talk on any of these topics, or just come along as an audience member to listen to the speakers and quiz them on their topics.