A Debate on Atheism vs. Theism, Featuring Dave Silverman and Frank Turek

On Thursday night, American Atheists’ Dave Silverman debated Christian apologist Dr. Frank Turek at the Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. The topic: “What Better Explains Reality? Theism or Atheism?”

The debate begins at the 10:48 mark below:

I haven’t had a chance to watch the entire debate yet, only the opening statements, but both presenters are incredibly good speakers so the debate is very watchable, which is more than I can say about a lot of debates I’ve seen.

If you hear any interesting moments, please leave the timestamp and summary in the comments!

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.

  • Compuholic

    I am not even inclined to watch this. This is ridiculous and a waste of time. Coming up next: “Does fariyism explain reality better than non-fariyism?”. What century are we living in again?

    • http://www.facebook.com/matt.potter.73 Matt Potter

      Although I understand your sentiment I don’t agree that this is ‘ridiculous and a waste of time’. Stereotypes of atheists and non-believers are rampant in Louisiana and the south in general. This is a great opportunity to show we are people that desire truth and even without god we are good. I do wish it was more of a roundtable discussion though.

      • Compuholic

        Ok, “waste of time” might have been a little too general. For religious people it might not be a waste of time. For me, it is. I’ve watched enough of these debates to know what to expect. It always puts me in a depressive mood when I see grown human beings argue for their invisible friend.

        It makes me realize how truly fucked we are. How on earth are we going to find solutions to the really pressing problems in this world when we cannot even settle (or even ask coherent) questions where the answers should be obvious to everyone.

        • cipher

          No, I’ve become convinced it is a waste of time. You will not convince them. Debate is performance art; it has absolutely nothing to do with any sort of attempt to apprehend objective reality. Nothing is accomplished by these performances. The sycophants invariably walk away convinced their guy won. Go to a comment thread on William Lane Craig’s site after one of his debates; you’ll see his bootlickers crowing about how he just “mopped the floor” with the other party.

          All that is really accomplished is that the fundie or creationist is able to lay claim to some sort of credibility, because he was able to get the other fellow to debate him. It becomes a matter of credibility by association.

          • The Janitor

            Interesting that you don’t apply any self-criticism here. Isn’t it equally obvious that if you go to any atheist website, like, um, this one, and look at the comments you’ll see the atheist bootlickers corwing about how the atheist mopped the floor with the other party?

            So we could just as easily say all that is really accomplished is that the fundie atheist is able to lay claim to some sort of credibility, because he was able to get the other fellow to debate him (cough, John Loftus, cough). It becomes a matter of credibility by association.

            • cipher

              You really are the most monumental fool. You’d be embarrassing yourself, if you had the brains to realize it.

              • The Janitor

                Mere insults are the paradigm display of rationality for new atheists. .. And I’m the fool?

                • cipher

                  Yes, you’ve told us, haven’t you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bart-Mitchell/100000228630859 Bart Mitchell

    Is anyone else having sound issues? I refresh the page and the audio is fine, but then drops off after a couple of minutes

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Working fine and dandy for me and I’m almost an hour into it.

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

      I saw a note on the Reality Debate website: “Note: Audio will cut out for about a minute due to a technical problem with the recording.” I don’t know if the note applies to this debate video because nothing loaded on their website. All I got was the note and a sidebar menu.

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    These formal debates are so pointless and played out. A more discussion-style format, where speakers can’t just ramble on for 10 or 20 minutes without interruption, would be far more stimulating and productive.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      If you give it time, it does get there. Yes, they both are given time to state their points but then they go at each other.

  • http://twitter.com/uzh77 Steve Barry

    I dislike the topic/thesis ““What Better Explains Reality? Theism or Atheism?”

    Theism is an explanation of reality, but an unfounded and irrational one. Conversely, atheism itself has no explanation of reality. It simply rejects the theistic one for myriad reasons, but it doesn’t provide anything.

    • Emmet

      Could you expand on that? I’m not sure what you mean – wouldn’t the vast majority of atheists put forward a materialist or moral Darwinist (to give a couple of labels) theory of reality?

      I disliked the topic too – seems like you’d spend more time than usual simply defining your terms before getting into the debate.

      • baal

        Emmet, you do know that the only folks who cite Darwin are religionists? He’s an early modern scientist who talked about speciation. No one is a ‘moral Darwinist’. Your question is non-cognizable.

        Reading charitably, I’d caution against blurring meanings on words. Atheism is lack of god belief. Materialism is the belief (well founded!) that the objective universe exists. That both beliefs tend to be in the same people at the same time doesn’t mean arguing for one is also arguing for the other. Steve is right, the title / question is poorly formed for lack of parallelism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matt.potter.73 Matt Potter

    Turek has a slide at the 25:30 mark that summarizes just how
    horrible a human being he truly is. I would think some of the religious people
    in that crowd saw that slide and right away had an inkling just how
    intellectually dishonest it was.

    “If God does not exist…
    1. The Nazis were not wrong
    2. Love is no better than rape
    3. Blowing up innocent people watching a marathon is morally
    no different than feeding the poor
    4. Religious crusades are not wrong
    5. Tolerance is no different than intolerance”

    • SeekerLancer

      I’m so tired of the morality thing in these debates because it’s so stupid.

      There are plenty of reasons for morality to exist without it coming from a divine being, chief among them the development and existence of a functioning society.

      Every theist that argues otherwise is being intellectually dishonest unless they truly would devolve into a psychopath without their belief. I’m willing to go out on a limb and trust that most would not.

      • Emmet

        It’s not that a person would devolve into a psychopath if they put aside their Christian religion – it’s that if the answer to the question, “What is good?” is simply “What I prefer” (which is what, istm, is the answer that the materialist worldview boils down to) then there is no moral difference, objectively, between psychopathic behaviour and “moral” behaviour.

        Most people aren’t psychopaths because of the vestigial Christianity clinging to their materialism – and because they realise that the sociopath’s lifestyle is ultimately an unpleasant way to live; they have experienced that doing good feels good.

        Intellectual dishonesty would be not following the “Where does good come from?” question all the way to its conclusion.

        • http://twitter.com/TheTrueScotsman Sean Slater

          Emmet: “What I prefer” is no more the answer to “what is good?” any more than it is the answer “to what is healthy?” or “what is joyful” or “blue” or “quaint” or “painful” or any number of other human concepts.

          The standard of objectivity demanded by proponents of your argument only seems to apply to moral standards; yet the same standard not applying to other things in no way negates our ability to recognise and improve our understanding of those things.

          For example, most people would say wine tasting is not an “objective” standard – certainly by the standards being set out here for morals – but there is little doubt that we would nearly all prefer (and could differentiate between) a decent claret and the bitterest vinegar. Vintners would soon go out of business if they passed off “bad” wine for “good” wine. Does this mean there is an “objective” standard set by Bacchus the wine god? Does it now prove his existence?

          The “good” you refer to arises from OUR (not yours or mine alone) personal preferences but tightly constrained by the situation, the society, our upbringing, our knowledge and the physical necessity of any action we take. We determine what is “good” and what is “bad” based on those facts just as good wine and bad wine is determined by these same constraints or (to use Sam Harris’s example) what is healthy and what is unhealthy.

          To posit a supernatural entity as the standard for morals requires you to say why only morals uniquely require a supernatural entity and how you know moral preferences alone meet those specifications when wine or health preferences do not; and why YOUR understanding of a undemonstrated supernatural entity meets and defines those moral standards, standards that are rarely universal.

    • Don Welty

      On the contrary, there is an evil god who caused these things, not a god who exemplifies goodness. The arguments are the same for the existence of both.

  • decathelite

    Turek’s opening argument: fine tuning of the Cosmos. The
    universe is so improbable, it must have had a designer. I’m not going to say
    where this designer came from, but that’s irrelevant, since I’m going to
    declare that this being must be spaceless, timeless, and immaterial. So it’s
    always existed.

    Where does reason come from? If we’re just molecules in
    motion, or machines, how can we reason?

    Intelligent design: where does DNA come from? DNA is a
    message from God. Information requires an intelligent cause.

    Morality: How can we know we’re better than Hitler unless some
    being tells us what to do? Without God the Nazis were right. Love is not better
    than rape. If there’s no God, religious crusades are not wrong. [WTF? The
    crusades were ordered by the people who said, yes there is a God and He wants you
    to murder other people, and that’s ok because whatever God says is right, so it’s
    right to murder people. Here’s the thing you smarmy douchebag – God does not
    exist and it’s people claiming to have this Objective Moral Standard, but when
    two believers compare what they think is The Standard they’re rarely talking
    about the same thing. Whose version of the Objective Moral Standard do we go
    with?].

    Evil: It’s necessary to give contrast to Good [So why is
    there so much evil, and why does so much of it seem to be directed at believers?].

    Science: It can’t be done if Atheism is true. We can’t trust
    scientists to tell the truth about their experiments. Theism isn’t at war with
    science, Atheism is at war with science [tell that to creationists, who don’t
    believe in the big bang that you said you believed in at the start of your
    presentation].

    Here’s the thing: to have a theistic model you need to have
    a mechanism as to how God actually helps explain these things. How does God
    make a big bang? How does God hold and sustain the universe together? How does
    an immaterial being interact with the material universe? Why is God a He? Does
    He have an invisible penis? How does this being alter and adjust parameters
    that are fine tuned? Because they obviously need to be altered periodically
    when miracles are performed. How does a God create something out of nothing?
    Because unless you are able to explain those things the debate becomes, “I
    think Atheism is false, so my version of Christianity must be true.” Which is a
    false dichotomy.

    David’s opening argument: God of the gaps. All theists arguments:
    I don’t know, so Goddidit. Bill O’Reilly’s “you can’t explain that”. Saying
    Goddidit only dodges the question. The argument for design sucks, because the
    universe was designed poorly, especially for humans.

    Morality: Hitler thought he was doing God’s work.

    There’s no reason to believe in the supernatural.

    Ok, I need to go run some errands now. This covers the first
    ~35 minutes of actual debate

    • indorri

      Oh thank Uwf for that summary, I honestly would not have had the patience to sit through such unmitigated tripe.

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Frank Turek (with Norman Geisler) wrote “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist” — a book that proved to be an early step on my path to atheism. After reading it, I had such immense curiosity about those crazy atheists and atheism that I wanted to read something by one of them. I found George H. Smith’s “Why Atheism?” at the local library, which read like it was written for specifically for me. That’s when I realized it was okay to doubt and question, and that I was not alone. Thanks, apologists!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    sounds like another xtian who conflates “theism” with his particular brand of xtianity, in complete disregard and/or ignorance of the 0000s of other brands of theism (and their answers to all his questions) out there. sigh. boring.

    • Drew2u

      Time to play that Phillip Phillips clip again, or Wilson Phillips, or whoever he was; the bit about talking a man down from jumping off a bridge.
      My dad loves pulling that on coworkers who think religion needs to be taught/placed/recognized [somewhere]. He says, “Yeah, Lutheranism, only!” to a befuddled, “Well, no….”

    • Psychotic Atheist

      Having watched most of it, he took pains to avoid Christianity as anything but side comments, but was dragged into the discussion when David brought up the problem of evil which he pre-warned us all required Christian theology to answer, but David wanted to hear it.

      He focussed on some key points, none of which directly referenced Christianity. He used the first cause, which applies to most creator gods. He referred to the old moral argument, he tried to appropriate the argument from evil for himself as an addendum to the moral argument, he claimed science (by way of the ‘how can molecules reliably reason’ argument) and other things as pointing to some ‘timeless immaterial intelligent being’ which is the rough definition of god he was talking about.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

    This face he makes at 1hr 33mins is freaking priceless.

  • RTH

    I attended this debate and really enjoyed it. The Broadmoor Baptist Church people were very gracious hosts. That, I think, relates to the most valuable thing about these events: It allows the religious to realize that they are sitting right next to atheists. It’s more difficult to demonize a group of people when you know they’re your neighbors.

    • dorcheat

      Well darn, I live in Shreveport, and I did not even hear about this. Indeed, I only live a few miles from the church (southern baptist) where the event was held. I looked around the Shreveport internet news sites for coverage on this event, but I could not find a peep. One could presume that the church heavily advertised the event through their Sunday bulletins and also passed notice along to the several other southern baptist churches in town.

      I am sure that David did a great job representing atheists.. Hopefully the atheist community was fairly well represented, although we are underrepresented in the ArkLaTex area of the country.

      So many questions. I presume that the church paid David’s expenses and per diem. A baptist church paying for an atheist to speak strikes me as quite surprising, if not downright shocking in this area of the country. Perhaps the church is trying to shore up stagnant membership numbers as even the southern baptists admit to little or no growth.

      • Capphd

        Yes, David was paid. I am the pastor of this church and the guy in the blue shirt speaking at the beginning of the debate. We felt like the payment to David was a good investment. It was an opportunity to draw in atheists, skeptics, and others who would never darken the door of our church. We wanted them to know our goal is to find and embrace the truth. If we believe God to be the author of creation, we cannot fear the observable facts of that creation. So the purpose was not to convert them. It was to tell them that we are open to dialoguing with them about these questions. And, yes, some of these questions are tough ones, but if God exists, he can answer them. Like atheists, we are in a constant search for truth. Therefore, it would be foolish to exclude them from the conversation. We plan to do this every April. Check us out next year.

        • dorcheat

          Thank you for the invitation for April of 2014. With that said, if you desire atheists, skeptics, and others to “darken the doors” at your church, you may want to publicize these events a bit more. On the other hand and to be fair, I could not even find mention of the event on the American Atheists website.

          Using the 2014 calendar, I presume that the event will be held during the third Thursday of April, like this year’s event. I will note April 17, 2014 as the most possible date. Since I drive Youree Drive at least once or twice a week and also bring my daughter to play at the purple park at A.C. Steere from time to time, perhaps a strategic sign in front of the church would advertise effectively.

          As to your quote, “And, yes, some of these questions are tough ones, but if God exists, he can answer them.” It is obvious to me that if your particular deity does exist, then why would you need to hire Frank Turek to travel to Shreveport to answer questions and/or provide explanations for this aforementioned deity on said deity’s behalf.

          • Capphd

            I am not sure I understand your question, so please correct me if my answer goes in the wrong direction. If you are asking why I didn’t debate Silverman myself, that’s a valid question. Do I think I possess the knowledge to debate these questions effectively, I think I do. But would I have been as effective as a Turek or Craig? At this stage in my life, probably not. We wanted to have representatives who were both experts in their fields and experienced debaters in the formal setting. Also, by bringing in recognized figures in the fields of atheism and apologetics, the interest in the debate was increased. I wanted people from outside our church (both theist and atheist) to be intrigued enough to attend the debate. Therefore, we chose to bring in these two men.

            Next year’s debate with be a different topic and have different representatives of the atheist and theist views. The date will depend in large part on the schedule of the participants. As soon as it’s nailed down, I will let you know.

            Feel free to email me directly with any questions. My email address is chuck(at)broadmoor(dot)tv. If you want to discuss any of these questions in person, I would be delighted to buy your lunch or a cup of coffee.

            • dorcheat

              I have no questions at this time. To be brief, I will monitor the church website indirectly via seach engine cache during March and April of 2014 for the next event.
              Thanks for the kind offering for coffee or lunch. In return, I would be pleased to buy breakfast or tea for you.

              • Capphd

                I can do tea. Email me when you are over this way.

        • Sonia Lowe

          You may be suprised at how many atheists actually do darken your door. I’m an atheist and attend church weekly with my husband. Not your church, but one in a small town north of Shreveport. I’m currently keeping my atheism to myself for personal and professional reasons.

          • Capphd

            Funny you should say that. As I was visiting people before the event, one lady told me she had to come because she couldn’t believe the Baptist church would allow an atheist to be a part of an event. I told her I was pretty sure atheists were here every Sunday. They just aren’t as open as Silverman. I hope your experience is a positive one where you attend.

            • slowe

              Yes Edmond, I think you are correct. After becoming an atheist I often wondered who it was that Christians thought they were suppossed to be witnessing to if not atheists. The people at our church are wonderful and I’ve known them for years. I’d just prefer to be elsewhere.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh-Kramer/1217598709 Hugh Kramer

    One of the things about Dr. Turek that bothered me (out of many) was that, rather than answer Silverman’s questions, he would throw back an “ah, but since you believe morality is relative, it doesn’t really matter, does it?” That Turek thought that this, rather than an answer, was a debate-stopper shows the poverty of his position.

    • viaten

      That annoyed me too coming from someone whose was otherwise engaging Silverman quite well. It’s like saying one who takes a relative morality can just as easily throw it out as part of their relative morality; as if to say what good is morality or what does it even mean if it’s not externally obligatory and unchanging. He said other dumb Christian things in the later part of the debate that I would expect more from the likes of Hovind or Craig but it was a bit more jarring hearing it from someone more well spoken. I can see believers being more pleased with him in debates rather than many other apologists.

  • The Janitor

    If you look at my argument maps of the debate its pretty clear the atheist lost.

    • http://www.facebook.com/eukota Darrell Ross

      Trollolol.

      • The Janitor

        And they call themselves “Brights”….

        • baal

          You seem to think your argument map is compelling….

          The problem for Turek is that he needs to prove the impossible – that supernatural forces are real and have (had?) a big part in setting up and running the real world. None of his arguments succeed irrespective how Silverman did. Also, christian apologetics have been refuted many times (google!) for pretty much every argument. And yet, the apologists keep bringing up the same stuff over and over with minor tweaks and holding them out like they won the Superbowl. Only they haven’t and the apologists never both to fold in the rebuttals and address the concerns that kill the apologetic arguments.

          OTOH, props for transcribing parts of the discussion.

    • Emmet

      Where are they?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bart-Mitchell/100000228630859 Bart Mitchell

    After my audio issues, I enjoyed the rest of the debate. I was most disappointed with Tureks closing statements. In a real debate, the closing statements should be made by concluding all of the points your opponent made with your views. The premade powerpoint made it clear that Tureks ‘closing statements’ were written well before the debate began. This defeats the entire purpose of debate, and was dishonest on his part. Its fine if you engage in an argument doubting that your mind might change, but to prewrite your rebuttal before you even hear your opponents arguments is pathetic.

  • tsiehta

    I only watched the first 20 minutes of Davids talk, because I’ve never heard him debate before so I was curious. Think he is way to unclear and once he started comparing God to unicorns and a waterbottle I’m guessing 98% of all theists in the crowd turned off their brains for the rest of the words coming out of his mouth. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s any wrong with that argument, I just don’t think it does any good in trying to convince your opponents by comparing what they probably think is the most important thing in their lives with a water bottle.

    • OverlappingMagisteria

      I was getting the same impression, so far. David wins on the facts and reason. Frank wins on the rhetorical style.

      • The Janitor

        Again, it’s pretty obvious David Silverman did not win this debate. If you build an argument map that should be obvious even to atheists. Go ahead and build an argument map and see for yourself. You may ultimately disagree with Turek’s arguments and you may have your own reasons for rejecting his arguments, but you can’t deny that in the context of the debate Turek did a much better job and Silverman was a mess. Silverman didn’t present good arguments for his own position or against Turek’s.

        I think usually people just listen to a debate passively and think their guy one because they agree with his conclusions. They read into the debater their own line of reasoning. They don’t take time to look at how or whether he actually structured his arguments or how he dealt with his opponents arguments. Instead it’s just “Derrr, I agree God doesn’t exist so the atheist must have the better argument.” Don’t get me wrong, I know theists who do the same when listening to a debate. But if you can actually judge the debate by looking at the debate and not just the fact that you already agree with the conclusion and have you own reasons for doing so you can get a more objective idea of who won this debate (and clearly it wasn’t the atheist in this case).

    • mike

      Keep watching. Half way through there is a switch. At first David’s mild condescension loses mildly to Frank’s kindly insistence. Then Frank becomes blatantly dismissive and disingenuous and David becomes very empathetic. Frankly, Dr Turek became belligerent and rude toward a rather neutral and empathetic opponent, and it looked really bad. The audience doesn’t necessarily have to agree that David is correct, only that he has a valid morality. Frank went beyond disagreement and advocated ignoring issues, and that won’t play out well in the long run.

      • The Janitor

        The audience has to agree that David has a valid morality? Did you really watch the debate? Because if you did you should have noticed that David Silverman undercut any notion of their being such a thing as a “valid morality,” thereby guaranteeing that the audience would never come to the conclusion that he had a valid morality.

        I didn’t notice any of the rudeness or belligerence you refer to though. It was clear that Turek was frustrated during his first cross-exam. But he wasn’t rude. Could you be more specific?

  • Edmond

    Oh, that was painful, but it killed a few hours at work. I was caught by the analogy toward the end, about a man pursuing a woman who was not interested in him, and that this was like God, where a respectful man would not force the woman to love him, and God does the same. He leaves disbelievers be.

    Two things on this:

    First, the analogy would be more correct if the woman had a FRIEND who was telling her about a man who was pursuing him, and she had never seen, spoken to, or met the man, nor could even be sure there really WAS a man pursuing her, beyond taking her friend’s word for it. People don’t fall in love by just THROWING love at someone pursuing them. They must meet, get to know each other, spend time together. This cannot happen between a woman and a man that she heard about from a friend. It shouldn’t be expected to happen between a person and a god that other people are telling them about but which has never been perceived nor interacted with.

    Second, this hypothetical man pursing this woman might take a different approach, if he knew that by rejecting his advances she would be doomed to burn and burn and burn forever and ever. In such a scenario, she is in need of more than just his rumored love, and it’s drastically unfair (possibly immoral) for him to “allow” her to continue to reject him, with eternally pain and torture at stake.

    • The Janitor

      Edmond,

      You said: “First, the analogy would be more correct if the woman had a FRIEND who was telling her about a man who was pursuing him, and she had never seen, spoken to, or met the man, nor could even be sure there really WAS a man pursuing her, beyond taking her friend’s word for it.”

      Except virtually no theist would grant this. Most theists, especially apologists like W. L. Craig or Frank Turek are going to say this is a false analogy precisely because in theism we *are not* left simply taking a friend’s word for it.

      You said: “People don’t fall in love by just THROWING love at someone pursuing them. They must meet, get to know each other, spend time together.”

      Right… because that’s how it works with babies and their mothers. Mothers schedule meetings with babies and over time the mother learns to love the child and getting to know more about this child that she gave birth to will eventually love it.

      Oh wait, that’s not how it works at all. Look, I don’t agree with Turek’s analogy either. I think he commits a basic error in his narrow framing of what must be the case for a relationship to be loving or, rather, for love to occur between two or more people. But you just end up committing the same error as Turek.

      You said: “Second, this hypothetical man pursing this woman might take a different approach, if he knew that by rejecting his advances she would be doomed to burn and burn and burn forever and ever. In such a scenario, she is in need of more than just his rumored love, and it’s drastically unfair (possibly immoral) for him to “allow” her to continue to reject him, with eternally pain and torture at stake.”

      I think the basic point, that it’s odd to think God loves a person so much and yet he’s going to let them burn in hell forever, is a good one and points to a weakness in Turek’s appeal and in others who take the same approach, like William Lane Craig. However, you do add something that, again, William Lane Craig and Frank Turek and other apologists like them wouldn’t grant: they would say you do have more, a lot more, than just rumored love. They would say you have sufficient evidence of love.

      So ultimately we are pushed back into a debate about the evidence or lack-thereof for God.

      • Edmond

        I’d still like to know what this “sufficient evidence” IS. The Bible wasn’t written by God, it was written by humans (men). The Bible isn’t taken door-to-door by God, it’s taken by humans. God doesn’t stand on street corners and college campuses or even church pulpits announcing his message, this is done by humans, who claim to speak FOR God. Anytime anyone listens to “God’s word”, they’re listening to a HUMAN’S words, making claims about God’s word. At no point does God do any delivering his message himself, every promotion of this message is always done by humans, to other humans. I don’t see how this is any different from listening to a rumor. God needs to make more (than zero) personal appearances, so that he can actually take direct credit for delivering his OWN message.
        And even a mother has direct physical evidence for her own baby. The bond of love may occur without getting to know the child’s personality (what’s to know yet?), but it isn’t as if she’s being TOLD there’s a baby by someone else. A mother doesn’t dole out motherly love for a baby that she read about in an ancient tome.
        EVERY case of God “pursuing” someone for love, or of sending his message to humanity, is a case of someone ELSE telling us that this is true, if only we take THEIR word for it. If this is going to be about evidence for God’s existence, then it would be nice if that evidence would come FROM God, rather than from other humans who insist they’re speaking on God’s behalf.
        It sounds as if you generally agree, so I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir, but I certainly think it’s silly to consider the Bible, a book written by men, compiled by men, translated by men, edited by men, and distributed by men, to be anything other than the PRODUCT of men.

  • Andrew

    Turek is the poor man’s William Lane Craig, both in terms of substance and style. It’s absolutely pointless to debate him, because all he has are canned (nonsense) answers that he’s been practicing for a decade.

    • The Janitor

      And since Turek schooled Silverman in this debate, I guess that doesn’t speak very highly of the atheist!

  • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

    Why in the world do people still use Vimeo?

  • http://profiles.google.com/korinthian Sutra Stevens

    Why in the world do people still use Vimeo?

  • Drew

    Wow. Frank Turek came off as really really rude. I interpret it as the last throws of a failing argument, but I’ve watched lots of debates with Christians where they conducted themselves in a more cordial manner.


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