debate watched by 26000+ : is faith in God reasonable? – 17min

Posted: February 15, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

debateAround 15,000 people watched the live debate between William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg on “Is Faith in God Reasonable?”. View number, as of this writing, sits around 26000. The debate, hosted at Purdue University, was watched online live around the world with all 50 states represented and over 60 countries and the conversation trended (top spot for a few hours) on Twitter (#GODdebate).

A potential spoiler, or something to attract your attention more… post debate voting about the best argument was 4-2 by the formal panel, 1390-303 by the audience, 734-59 online. You can watch & guess which side got the mentioned votes. Also note the bottom of this post after you watched.

For some interesting post-debate observations (e.g. why the coaching Rosenberg had didn’t quite work), listen to this audio. Listen to full audio here. You can watch the debate at open.biola.edu, or below.


 
Further debate background:

What hath Jerusalem to do with Athens? Or what hath faith to do with reason? Drs. William Lane Craig and Alex Rosenberg debated this all important and pervasive question concerning the reasonableness of faith in God. The nature of the question in this debate is no mere academic matter. The question of God is the most important question. One’s answer to it will impact nearly all other beliefs one holds from common notions of morality to politics and from our interest and investigation of our world to what we take to be our purpose(s) in life. Is “faith” foolish? By this, should it be understood to be blind? Or is it reasonable and, if so, by what measure and to whom is it foolishness?

For many, Mark Twain is right on the mark when he said that “Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.” Yet the great thinkers of Judaism and Christianity like Philo, Moses Maimonides, Thomas Aquinas, and John Calvin considered faith to be an extraordinarily important virtue (moral and/or intellectual)! Indeed, it is not only the condition by which salvation is appropriated in these Abrahamic faith traditions (which are taken by insiders to actually be knowledge traditions), but it is the basis for movements from Mother Teresa’s compassion and our concern for the poor to Isaac Newton’s inspiration in science in light of God’s creation of the world and man being made in God’s image. Is faith in God reasonable? Ought we to have faith in God?

For an interesting experiment, Google the following: “refuses to debate william craig”. When I did it it, it revealed a conspicuously missing debate opponent among the “new athiests”. With voting numbers like what happened at this event, is it any surpize that “Mr God Delusion” doesn’t want to participate?

In the interest of integrity of this post (in case the web link disappears for some reason), here is an extract out of that article:

Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig

This Christian ‘philosopher’ is an apologist for genocide. I would rather leave an empty chair than share a platform with him.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you’ve never heard of William Lane Craig. He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either. Perhaps he is a “theologian”. For some years now, Craig has been increasingly importunate in his efforts to cajole, harass or defame me into a debate with him. I have consistently refused, in the spirit, if not the letter, of a famous retort by the then president of the Royal Society: “That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine”.

Craig’s latest stalking foray has taken the form of a string of increasingly hectoring challenges to confront him in Oxford this October. I took pleasure in refusing again, which threw him and his followers into a frenzy of blogging, tweeting and YouTubed accusations of cowardice. To this I would only say I that I turn down hundreds of more worthy invitations every year, I have publicly engaged an archbishop of York, two archbishops of Canterbury, many bishops and the chief rabbi, and I’m looking forward to my imminent, doubtless civilised encounter with the present archbishop of Canterbury.

In an epitome of bullying presumption, Craig now proposes to place an empty chair on a stage in Oxford next week to symbolise my absence. The idea of cashing in on another’s name by conniving to share a stage with him is hardly new. But what are we to make of this attempt to turn my non-appearance into a self-promotion stunt? In the interests of transparency, I should point out that it isn’t only Oxford that won’t see me on the night Craig proposes to debate me in absentia: you can also see me not appear in Cambridge, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow and, if time allows, Bristol.

[Long-winded genocide-based non sequitur argument removed. See the video below for the Dawkins premise & the Criag response, or see the original article here. Note the picture below the video, on the surprising Criag vs Dawkins view on infanticide.]

Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn’t, and I won’t. Even if I were not engaged to be in London on the day in question, I would be proud to leave that chair in Oxford eloquently empty.

And if any of my colleagues find themselves browbeaten or inveigled into a debate with this deplorable apologist for genocide, my advice to them would be to stand up, read aloud Craig’s words as quoted above, then walk out and leave him talking not just to an empty chair but, one would hope, to a rapidly emptying hall as well.


 

craig-dawkins-on-human-life

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