Dan Barker to Debate Whether There’s Life After Death

Damn, this looks like fun. Wish I could be there!

On March 7th, Dan Barker will be debating Reverend Joe Boot on the topic: Is There Life After Death?

It’s free. It’s at the University of Windsor (Canada). And it’s bound to be short… I can see it now:

Dan Barker: No. *drops mic*

All the information you need is right here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • DougI

    The answer is no. Debate over.

  • Kirby_G

    Seriously. What is there to debate? We have no proof. We have no evidence. We have nothing but “this person says”.

    How can this possibly be a long-form debate???

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Long answer: wanting something to be true doesn’t make it true.

  • Dorothy

    Windsor is a border city, right across from Detroit, there are lots of people on both sides of the border within driving distance. So get out there and support Dan. Should be a riot!

  • JD929

    Lets see… wishing (or believing) it were so vs. needing proof of it being so. Also: anecdotes aren’t data or proof. Stories can be concocted by a small group of people in order to sell books or tickets to people that don’t know any better.

    • Helanna

      Like other people have said, there’s not one iota of proof either way. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole ‘debate’ consisted of the one guy talking about those “I almost died, and I went to Heaven” books and stories, and Barker just refuting them on the obvious grounds.

      • mk

        There’s plenty of proof one way. The notion of life after death is incoherent.

  • roberthughmclean

    It’s the entertainment value that’ll count here. Dan Barker is a fantastic speaker that manages to put the knife in and twist it without the opponent realising it and the bloke he’ll be up against has to sell an absurd notion that is nonsense and nothing more. Game over.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I found a tattered old copy of the Standard Afterlife Debate Script:

    Believer: Yes, there is life after death.
    Skeptic: Evidence, please.
    Believer: The Bible says so!
    Skeptic: That’s an old book of stories. So is The Wizard of Oz. Evidence, please.
    Believer: Jesus rose from the dead!
    Skeptic: One of the stories. They stuffed the hay back into the Scarecrow. Evidence, please.
    Believer: What about people’s experiences when they die on the operating table?
    Skeptic: They weren’t dead. But wait ’till they see their medical bill. Evid., Ples.
    Believer: Their hearts stopped beating!
    Skeptic: Your heart stops beating 72 times every minute. By the way, how are you feeling since your last several deaths? Ev., Pls.
    Believer: Many people have visions of their dead relatives!
    Skeptic: I have visions of the 22-year-old woman I saw at the beach. I’m old, but I’m not dead. E., P.
    Believer: Life has no meaning without hope of an afterlife.
    Skeptic: What, are you an ancient Egyptian? Finished your tomb yet? E., P.
    Believer: You’ll realize the truth after you have died.
    Skeptic: I’ve already realized the truth that you have no evidence, so before I die of boredom, I’ll be on my way. Have a nice life. This one.
    Believer: I’ll pray for you.
    Skeptic: Evidence, please.

  • http://twitter.com/silo_mowbray Silo Mowbray

    I think that while “no” suffices as a short-form answer, a longer, more considered one might be: “There is no evidence that supports the contention that there is life after death, therefore we should make our choices based on there being no afterlife.”

  • mk

    Is there life after the permanent cessation of life? Well, no.

  • Oak Park Dave

    You can’t PROVE to someone else that there is an afterlife. You can’t PROVE to someone else that there isn’t an afterlife. Heck, it takes an act of faith to get past the “brain in a vat” chapter in the philosophy 100 book and move on to other stuff. :) It’s cool to get people thinking, though.

    • Octoberfurst

      Very true! Frankly I have no idea if there is an afterlife. (Although I think it would be cool if there was.) But since there is no evidence for it I will go about my life doing the best I can before my inevitable nonexistence takes place. Enjoy life! Do good and hope for the best!

  • http://twitter.com/alcorfr alcorfr

    The debate already took place :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SIzmWolaFw

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Love the end credit :-)

  • cipher

    I love that they call themselves, “Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity”. They define themselves as evangelical, and of course, they have a “Statement of Faith” so everyone will know they’re the right kind of Christians:

    All who are unrepentant and unbelieving will be lost in a Christless eternity of conscious torment; for those who believe, eternity will be spent in God’s presence, in His distinct joy and bliss.

    They should be required to call themselves, “Ezra Institute for the Same Old Shit”.

  • advancedatheist

    Atheists can set through their own example how to put a stop to these afterlife fantasies buy supporting the efforts of the Brain Preservation Foundation and pushing HARD

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Or we can shuffle off when our times comes and make room for someone else. You go ahead and preserve your brain. I’ll feel a twinge at the party going on without me, but once I’m gone, I won’t care.

  • eric

    We each have have eleventy billion, five hundred and twelve souls. Each of of which gets not one afterlife, but seven that they can bounce between using their interdimensional spirit boots.

    What, you don’t think the wide variety of after-life stories could come from one soul, do you? That would be incredibly stupid given the inconsistencies in these first hand accounts. Besides which, you need extras in case you twin in the womb. No, eleventy billion, five hundred and twelve souls per person makes a lot more sense.

  • Blacksheep

    I cannot recall any scripture in which Jesus debated his positions. he essentially made statements, and some people were moved to believe and follow, other’s weren’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001736525906 Hamid Afra

    Thank you for sharing this . We are right across the border from Michigan, and we encourage people from Detroit, Ann Arbor , Flint , and other cities around to come and join us for this great event. I am the events coordinator for Windsor/Essex County Atheist Society ( we are a SSA affiliate) and you can contact me at uwindsoratheists@gmail.com if you need more information about how to get to our campus , free parking spots around campus, or anything else.

  • LutherW

    You could ask for proof and then take the Jack Benny route: I’m waiting…I’m waiting…


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