College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

6. Does belief matter? Belief, hope, and responsibility

Sixth lecture of Professor Dr Agustin Fuentes' Gifford Lecture series

Event Details

Date: Thursday 8 March 2018, 5.30-6.30pm

The lecture may be followed by questions.  Latest finishing time is 7pm.

Venue: Playfair Library, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH8 9YL

Lecture abstract

Meaning, imagination, and hope are as central to the human story as are bones, genes, and ecologies. Why, and what, we believe matters. We are a species distinguished by our extraordinary capacity for creative cooperation, our ability to imagine possibilities and to make them material, and our powerful aptitudes for belief, hope, and for cruelty. Across our history the pace, impact and outcomes of the human niche (our way of being) has affected the planet and ourselves. But today we may be on the brink of changes and processes that are distinctive, even novel, with potentially catastrophic repercussions for humanity, other species, and the globe. Humans have become a (possibly, the) dominant force in global ecosystems and with such a role comes ethical and practical responsibilities. This final lecture connects the key data, themes and conclusions of the previous five to offer a suite of insights, possibilities, problems, and options for the future.

Lecture video

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