Philosophy professor to discuss abortion and the existence of God

A distinguished philosophy professor will share his views and challenge student and community member opinions with discussions about abortion and the existence of God tonight and Friday afternoon.

Michael Tooley, a philosophy professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said he hopes to encourage attendees to examine the arguments made by those on both sides of each argument and encourage debate based on logic. He said he wants to challenge students’ and community members’ views on abortion and what is good and evil.

“I think it speaks very well for Texas Christian University,” Tooley said. “They want to hear people present points of view that they will probably disagree with in some cases quite strongly.”

Blake Hestir, associate professor and chair of the philosophy department at TCU, wrote in an e-mail that all of the philosophy professors made the decision to invite Tooley.

“This is a big deal,” Hestir wrote. “He’s a top-notch intellectual.he plans to look abortion and the existence of God straight in the face.”

Tooley is known for his lectures and travels around the world giving speeches and lectures to universities about different philosophical viewpoints, Hestir wrote. Tooley was recently named College Professor of Distinction at UCB.

John Harris, assistant professor of philosophy and a former student of Tooley’s, said the professors from the philosophy department were excited to invite Tooley to speak at the university because he has written on diverse topics and they wanted to invite someone who had devoted significant time to considering these topics and the arguments that surround them.

“That’s ultimately what’s important,” he said. “Not necessarily whether or not we happen to agree with what’s being said, but whether or not they’ve engaged in the good faith effort of thinking hard and carefully about important and difficult topics.”

Harris said professors in the philosophy department understand the topics are controversial but hope to hear sound arguments from attendees by encouraging conversation rather than breeding controversy. He said the professors expect many students and community members to attend the sessions.

According to the UCB Web site, Tooley graduated from the University of Toronto in 1964 and received his doctorate from Princeton University in 1968.In 1992, he joined the philosophy department staff at UCB, which is one of the largest and most well-known departments in the nation.

Harris said Tooley will make two presentations during which he will present his views for the first 45 minutes and then answer questions and discuss his views with attendees for the second 45 minutes.

Michael Tooley Lectures

When: 7 p.m. tonight on the topic of abortion, 2 p.m. Friday on the existence of God

Where: Palko Hall Room 130