Between God and Atheism: a live debate

Philip Goff and Jack Symes

jack symes and philip goff speaking at an event
This is a past event
Date and time
18 October 2022
6.30 pm

Bridge 5 Mill

£10.00 (non-members)


If you don’t believe in the God of the Bible or the Quran, then you must think we live in a meaningless universe, right?

People get stuck in dichotomies of thought. If you don’t like Soviet Communism, then you must be in favour of US-style capitalism. Well, not if there are political opinions other than those two (which of course there are).

Another dichotomy is between traditional religion and atheism. Whose team are you on, Richard Dawkins’ or the Pope’s?

In reality, a significant number of people consider themselves ‘spiritual but not religious’. These people find themselves somewhere between Dawkins and the Pope. Somewhere between God and atheism.

Philosopher Philip Goff is currently working on a book which argues for a surprising combination of views: God does not exist and yet there is a purpose to the universe. In this live discussion, Philip Goff and Jack Symes will debate the credibility and implications of such a view. Is it reasonable to claim that “God does not exist” and can we make use of cosmic purpose in the absence of God?

The event will be in the form of a debate, and contributions from the audience will be encouraged.

professor philip goff

Professor Philip Goff

Philip Goff is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Durham University. His main research focuses on consciousness, but he is interested in many questions about the nature of reality. Goff is most known for defending panpsychism, the view that consciousness is a fundamental and ubiquitous feature of the physical world.

jack symes

Jack Symes

Jack Symes is a public philosopher. He is currently a teacher and researcher at the University of Liverpool.  He is best known as the producer of ‘The Panpsycast Philosophy Podcast’.  The podcast, in which Jack discusses philosophy with the world’s leading thinkers, has over 75,000 regular listeners.

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