Debates-Does God Exist?

This is a reminder about upcoming debates and related events.

The CFI Saskatoon Advocacy Officer, George Williamson, will be in 2 debates this week on the topic “Does God Exist?” They are organized by Campus (Crusade) for Christ with employees/affiliates brought in for the debates.

In REGINA with Micheal Horner
Time: Mon, Jan 24 at 2:30 – 5:00 pm
Location: Univerisity of Regina, Room CL 112
Find the “Classroom Building” on the campus map.

The CFI Regina group will meet in the pub on the evening of the debate with Michael Horner
Time: Mon, Jan 24 at 7:00pm
Location: Brewsters Landmark, 4180 Albert Street

In SASKATOON with William Lane Craig
Time: Wed, Jan 26 at 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: University of Saskatchewan, Room Arts 143 (Arts 146 for overflow)
Find the Arts building on the campus map
Cost: Admission is $10 or free with a valid student card

There is a U of S Campus for Christ website and facebook group.

George and WLC will be on the Gormley show (NewsTalk 650) between 8:00 – 10:00 am Jan 26 (not sure the exact time).

You may wish to download the “Skeptic’s Bingo” ipod app (touch, phone, ipad) to make the debate more entertaining, but I think this app is more directed to creationist speakers, which is not expected at these debates.

William Lane Craig also wants to meet with freethinkers on campus on Fri, Jan 28 at 10 am. Let me know if you’re interested in more information about this.

We plan to head over to the Hose & Hydrant (#612 11th Street E., Saskatoon) after the Saskatoon debate for anyone who wishes to join us.

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7 Responses to “Debates-Does God Exist?”

  1. Hi,

    If it’s not too much to ask, can you let me know the exact time (if and when you find out) Craig and Williamson will be appearing on the John Gormley Show Wednesday? I live in Ontario, but wouldn’t mind catching the show live. Also, do you know if they are planning on recording the debate they’re going to have later that day on campus? Thanks in advance

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ferhat Saglam, Sask Skeptic. Sask Skeptic said: Debates-Does God Exist?: #YXE #YQR http://wp.me/ppHIN-kE […]

  3. saskskeptic Says:

    If I find out when they will be on Gormley I will let you know.

    I heard a rumor that the debate will be recorded. I don’t have any details beyond that.

  4. David Jackson Says:

    George, you did a terrific job in the debate last night against the bible-believer. I loved the reference to the Epic of Gilgamesh (one of my favourites!). I loved your point — and I hope I am not distorting it — that human life evolving WAS an improbable event, but given the vastness of the universe, we just might expect the improbable to occur now and then (which is what we seem to have — at least in one location). Further, you did not fall for him trying to set your agenda in your opening comments. He wanted you to respond to his 6 points, and you rightfully declined to step into his devious trap. 🙂 Fantastic job! You represented us atheists marvelously well. And the pub night afterward was the most energized I have attended.

  5. I went to the very cramped debate on Wednesday and had a decent enough time. Thank you, campus for Christ, for putting on the event. More often than not, a debate is one of the best outlets for keeping open dialogue. I do, though, have to comment on a few things.

    First, I know a debate is to change nobody’s mind on usual circumstances, but both of those involved should come prepared. Sorry to say, I did not see this. From the side of the atheist, all that were given were attempted humorous, short, and moderately delivered rebuttals, if any at all. Most of the comments not only didn’t answer, or even attempt to answer any of the real questions, they were avoided altogether. Now, I’m not sure if this is purposeful or out of arrogance for the position but it came across terrible. The only possible way a person could assume he did any decent job of debating the theologian is if they have no real background in theology, history, archaeology or astrology altogether. It is not okay to be so unprepared for a public debate that you have no idea what the other side believes. For example, if a person wanted to debate evolution in a public forum, they better know mass amounts on the subject, not what the bible says. When this happens a person ends up using arguments which are way out of date, in some cases by over 700 years in theological and historical circles, to attempt to punch holes in the other side. Even a short 1 hour search can better prepare a person for some of the topics that may come up.

    But, to be fair, I’ve seen many debates over the years, and this was no different. It always ends up the same way; with Atheists who are completely unaware of the evidence to the other side therefore thinking these little humorous and short rebuttals are of substance when, in actuality, they are completely wrong and easily rebuked. To debate against God means you better understand you have to know a little about everything from Astronomy to History to Theology. At least have knowledge on a basic level. To assume you can argue with a seasoned veteran to theology on the existence of God using just a few arguments from a philosophical background alone is like a person arguing against evolution with a grade 2 science background. It’s not going to work.

    Just a few last last notes and then my rambling will end, happily enough for many of you…:)….. If you show up at a debate called “Does God Exist?”, you shouldn’t open your side of the debate with “I’m not here to prove or disprove the existence of God”. The name of the debate is just that so you’re in the wrong place then. Also, it is very easy to think you have a good stance when you do not leave yourself open to actually take any questions and choose not to answer even when asked. For example, to have no stance on a subject is flimsy and makes any debate on it impossible. If you say you have no real opinion or pick no actual side in a discussion then it makes it pretty easy to defend the difficult things because you simply won’t have to.

    • saskskeptic Says:

      Hi Paul,

      Thanks for the comment. I will forward it to George.

      It is going to be hard to be as polished as Dr. Craig. He does the same debate almost every week and has been doing so for years. He and George debated two years ago. I think he has heard almost every possible attack on his position. It is going to be very hard for anyone to make a good showing against him.

      That said, he uses the same arguments every time so it seems possible to be better prepared. However if you simply address his points. it is going to be well known territory for him and he will have standard defenses in his notes. I think George was trying not to let him set the agenda for the debate.

  6. David Jackson Says:

    Paul,
    I’m glad that you acknowledged that your comments were rambling. But more to the point, most of your comments were vague or were generalizations lacking in specifics. But I do agree with one point you made — debates don’t change people’s minds. What George accomplished was a presentation of various points that show atheism to be the most rational belief.

    I doubt George changed the minds of any of the Christians. If they choose to believe that the historicity of the resurrection is adequate, nothing will change their view. Craig believes that god communicates with him. George, nor anyone else, will alter Craig’s delusion.

    Craig is a polished, smarmy speaker, and this will obscure for many people the inadequacy of his arguments. But I think the more intelligent, well-read listeners can see through his self-assured assertions and realize that he would come across in the same manner even if he was arguing for the existence of Big Foot or Ogopogo.

    Paul, if you have some specific comments, I would be interested in reading them.

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