The latest instalment in the ‘does God exist’ debate will pit new Aish chief Rabbi Rowe against renowned pontificator Professor AC Grayling, described as the ‘Fifth Horseman of New Atheism.’
Their philosophical sparring is to be broadcast on the evening of Wednesday 25 May at J-TV’s London studios. The YouTube channel launched three months ago and founder Oliver Anisfeld reports it has had some 183,000 views in recent weeks.
Media darling Grayling, a former philosophy don at Birkbeck, said he was “looking forward to converting everybody to atheism”. Former Birkbeck student Rowe is new in post this year after taking over from long-time director Rabbi Naftali Schiff.
Grayling, a prolific author who has penned what critics describe as a “secular bible,” will debate Rowe just days after a new study showed that the proportion of the population identifying as having no religion rose from 25 percent in 2011 to 48.5 percent in 2014, significantly outweighing the UK’s Christian population.
“The striking thing is the clear sense of the growth of ‘no religion’ as a proportion,” said ethicist Stephen Bullivant of St Mary’s Catholic University in Twickenham, who analysed 30 years’ data British Social Attitudes surveys.