Being Good: A Public Dialogue on Morality

Sunday, April 17th 2011 at 3:00 pm
Sunday, April 17th 2011 at 5:00 pm
Tishman Auditorium at NYU (in Vanderbilt Hall)

What makes a person moral? Which principles determine whether an action is right or wrong? Which virtues are worth striving for? The Catholic and secular worldviews have long been in conflict over these questions. Yet where exactly do they diverge? And do they have anything in common?

To address these questions, the Center for Inquiry in New York City presents a forum featuring its executive director, Michael De Dora, and Father Jonathan Morris, an author and Fox News contributor. The event will be hosted and moderated by journalist Chris Jansing of "Jansing and Company" on MSNBC. The two speakers will make opening statements, then sit down with Jansing for a conversation about the disagreements and potential overlap between their religious and nonreligious moral outlooks. An audience question-and-answer session will follow.

General public admission is $5 at the door. Students (with a college ID) and paid CFI members get in free. Photo ID is required for everyone to enter the building. Tishman Auditorium is located on the first floor of NYU Law's Vanderbilt Hall, located at 40 Washington Square South, between MacDougal and Sullivan Streets. It is one block east of the West 4th Street subway station (A/CE/B/D/F lines).

This event is part of our Voices of Reason lecture and panel discussion series that features leading thinkers on philosophy, science, and religion.  

More about the speakers:

Father Jonathan Morris is a Roman Catholic priest for the Archdiocese of New York, and serves as parochial vicar of the historic Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in the SoHo district of New York City. He is also a news contributor and analyst for the Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, and the Wall Street Journal. In 2008, he published his first book, The Promise: God's Purpose and Plan for When Life Hurts , in which he addresses one of the most common and profound questions people ask: "How can a loving and merciful God allow pain and suffering?" His second book, God Wants You Happy , is due to be released by HarperCollins in spring 2011. Morris graduated with high honors with a licentiate degree in moral theology from Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, Italy.

Michael De Dora is executive director at the New York City branch of the Center for Inquiry. He received a master’s degree in political theory from Brooklyn College, and a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication from the University at Albany. At the Center for Inquiry, De Dora works to engage and educate the public about science, reason, and secular values. He also regularly speaks on the intersection of politics, morality, and religion, and contributes essays on the same subjects to the blogs Rationally Speaking and Free Thinking. Before joining CFI, he was a news writer and editor at both FOX News and the City University of New York.

Chris Jansing is a veteran journalist who hosts "Jansing and Co". on MSNBC. Jansing joined NBC News in June 1998 as a news correspondent and anchor for MSNBC. Since then, Jansing has traveled everywhere from Iceland to Afghanistan to cover major news stories, including the Torino and Vancouver Olympics; the deaths of Michael Jackson and John F. Kennedy, Jr.; the Columbine shootings; the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict; and the 2000 and 2004 Presidential campaign trails. She also anchored coverage from both the national conventions as well as the Presidential Inaugurations. Throughout her extensive career, Jansing has received numerous awards for excellence in journalism, including an Emmy for her coverage of the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta, and a “Best Documentary” award from the New York State Broadcasters Association for “In The Land of Plenty,” a report on hunger in New York state.