Patheos has a new feature called Versus, which is a place set aside specifically for debate about issues. Take a look, see what’s there to start with, and provide input on what sorts of topics it would be interesting to see debated there in the future – including any that you’d like to see me get involved in!

"John - I didn’t mean to argue that there is or isn’t a God/God’s. Or ..."

Not Loving the Bible
"The Gethsemane Pericope shows Jesus in a terrible panic, begging God to change His plan ..."

Not Loving the Bible
"Jesus is not just a 'prophet'. As for 'We also see the impotence of Jesus' ..."

Not Loving the Bible
"I don't bother with Facebook anymore. I really couldn't care less that someone just finished ..."

Blogs as Havens for those Fleeing ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • newenglandsun

    Why the Western Canon of Philosophy is Deficient

    Are Liberal Christians a Type of Biblicist

    Is Liberal Christianity Bankrupt

    Is There a Hell

    Universalism vs. Anti-Universalism

    Political Anarchy


  • Ian

    I like the idea of a reverse debate. That would be fun. Each side debating for the other.

    • newenglandsun

      That’s a good idea. James McGrath could debate the side that homosexuality is immoral and maybe some random Catholic blogger can argue that it is moral just so they can at least see where the other side comes from.

      • Ian

        Depends, you have to be able to swap intellectually. It doesn’t work swapping morally, I don’t think. I would not be able to argue for something as obviously immoral as anti-homosexuality, any more than I could function arguing for slavery or against the vote for women.

        I could, though, argue for the inspiration of scripture, for example, because I could construct a case for that without fundamentally compromising my integrity.

        Maybe some people are different. Maybe some people hold their moral convictions loosely enough to argue in favour of anything. But that would quickly stop being fun, I think.

        • newenglandsun

          That is true. There was one time though when I was in favor of the morality of homosexuality but now no longer can argue for it.

          • Ian

            Then you should debate yourself, since you have occupied both sides. Cut out the middle-man. 🙂

          • newenglandsun

            That would be fun! 🙂
            I’ll have to do so on my own blog though.

    • arcseconds

      I’ve often tried to get YECists to describe the mainstream scientific view on evolution and the age of the cosmos. You’ve tried to do the same.

      I’ve had no success. Have you?

      • Ian

        No. But I’ve often thought I could make a pretty good case for creationism, at least one that sounds impressive. And I wonder if having the swapping be part of the formal terms of the discussion would help break down some of those barriers.

        • arcseconds

          It doesn’t worry you, given your earlier statements, that you might be providing converts and ammunition to the other side?

          • Ian

            Yes, it probably would in practice. I’m not sure how serious I am, the idea just sounded good at first look.

            Part of it is that I’m frustrated that creationist arguments, particularly those from my area of research, are so terrible. Space’d bizarre massacring of basic biochemistry, for example. I kind of feel like I want to give them a hand!

          • arcseconds

            Well, I’m not expecting them to get specialist subjects remotely right when they can’t even give an account of natural selection that’s actually recognisable!

            But then, I think the whole view kind of relies on missing the point, doesn’t it? If you could give a recognisable account of natural selection, you would realise that the lego bricks in storms argument bears no resemblance to anything evolutionary biologists actually say, and the whole evolutionary paradigm looks a lot more plausible.

            Similar points would hold for biochemistry, thermodynamics, or virtually anything else they’re inclined to say.

          • Ian

            Agreed, I wasn’t thinking anywhere near ‘specialist’ stuff, just basic bioinformatics would be nice!

            I agree, the basic arguments are predicated on not understanding. And the talking points that these folks absorb only work if they accept the misrepresentations and don’t try to figure out whether that corresponds to what is actually understood in science. The really good creationists are those that can give just the right interpretations and misinformation so these folks can look at an actual science presentation and get completely the wrong idea. We’ve had someone on this blog who apparently read a paper on mineral deposition rates and thought it said exactly the opposite of what it actually said. Then there’s Spaced, who seems convinced Ventner’s research demonstrates ID, somehow. Or Lenski’s experiments disprove the evolution of genes. I admire the skills of the conman who can do that.

            So, probably unreasonable an expectation, you’re right.

    • guest

      Have you ever read the blog Unequally Yoked, on the Catholic channel? Leah was hosting some debates on there where people had to argue from each other’s positions.

      • Ian

        No, thanks for the tip, I’ll take a look.