Debate: Does Religion Make People Better?
On Wednesday, April 1, at 8 p.m., Rabbi Simcha Weinstein and philosopher Austin Dacey will debate whether religion makes people better. The two will argue the topic at hand, then, at the end of the debate, the question will be put to the audience for a vote.
Lolita Bar, located in Manhattan's Lower East side, will host the debate in its basement level. Admission is free, and the bar takes cash only.
Austin Dacey is a philosopher who writes on the intersection of science, religion, and ethics. He is the author of the highly acclaimed 2008 book The Secular Conscience: Why Belief Belongs in Public Life. Dacey serves as a representative to the United Nations for the Center for Inquiry. He is also on the editorial staff of Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry magazines. His writings have appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, USA Today, and Science. He earned a doctorate in philosophy in 2002.
Rabbi Simcha Weinstein is an internationally known, best-selling author. His first book Up, Up and Oy Vey! How Jewish History, Culture and Values Shaped the Comic Book Superhero , received the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award for the best religion book of 2007. His second book, Shtick Shift: Jewish Humor in the 21st Century , was published in fall 2008. Weinstein chairs the Religious Affairs Committee at the renowned New York art school, Pratt Institute, serves as rabbi to Long Island College Hospital, and is the founder of the downtown Brooklyn Jewish Student Foundation, an educational and cultural center that strives to ignite Jewish pride and values through innovative educational and social experiences in an open environment. Simcha has appeared on CNN Showbiz Tonight and NPR, and has been profiled in publications including The New York Times, The Miami Herald, The Seattle Times and The London Guardian.