Speakers to debate basis for morality at Nov. 14 event


CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Socratic Club will sponsor a debate on the topic, "Is There is an Absolute Basis for Morality?" on Monday, Nov. 14, on the OSU campus.

The free, public event will start at 7 p.m. in Milam Auditorium Room 26.

The speakers are Lucas Laborde, a Catholic priest, and Daniel Barker, an outspoken atheist. They will debate whether there is any basis for determining what is right and what is wrong. Looking at how morals and ethical values change over time, the two speakers will debate whether there can be an objective standard for morality.

Laborde studied theology at San Carolos Borromeo Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 2005. For five years he was campus minister at the OSU Newman Center; he now is director of the Portland State University Newman Center and pastor of St. Patrick Church in Portland.

Barker is co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a national organization of atheists and agnostics working to keep state and church separate. He is author of “Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists” (2008) and “The Good Atheist: Living A Purpose-Filled Life Without God” (2011).

The Socratic Club is beginning its 10th year as a student organization at OSU. It offers a forum for a variety of points of view on subjects at the intersection of Christian belief and contemporary culture. For more information visit http://oregonstate.edu/groups/socratic

Many of the debates are available on YouTube.