Debate: "Does the Christian God Exist?" Moreland vs. Martin

Video: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 1936909797

[b:l3p0o8a7]Metadata:[/b:l3p0o8a7]

Topic: "Does the Christian God Exist?"
Affirmative: Dr. J. P. Moreland
Negative: Dr. Clancy Martin
Date: December 1, 2005
Location: St. Joseph, Missouri
Video length: 2 hours

[b:l3p0o8a7]Video table of contents:[/b:l3p0o8a7]

Moreland opening statement (20 minutes) [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3780702651936909797#5m25s:l3p0o8a7]0:05:25[/url:l3p0o8a7] to 0:25:30
Martin opening statement (20 minutes) [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3780702651936909797#25m35s:l3p0o8a7]0:25:35[/url:l3p0o8a7] to 0:45:25
Moreland response (10 minutes) [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3780702651936909797#45m30s:l3p0o8a7]0:45:30[/url:l3p0o8a7] to 0:55:53
Martin response (10 minutes) [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3780702651936909797#56m:l3p0o8a7]0:56:00[/url:l3p0o8a7] to 1:06:15
Question & Answer session (30 minutes) [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3780702651936909797#1h6m20s:l3p0o8a7]1:06:20[/url:l3p0o8a7] to 1:37:25
Moreland closing statement (5 minutes) [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3780702651936909797#1h37m30s:l3p0o8a7]1:37:30[/url:l3p0o8a7] to 1:43:10
Martin closing statement (5 minutes) [url=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3780702651936909797#1h43m15s:l3p0o8a7]1:43:15[/url:l3p0o8a7] to 1:48:35

[b:l3p0o8a7]My thoughts:[/b:l3p0o8a7]

I've run across several debates online. Most have been fantastic. Dr. Martin and Dr. Moreland here have excellent responses to each other. In the future, I may post other debates. Watch. Take notes (the arguments and responses are presented rapid-fire). Everybody can find something to learn here, no matter where you stand. Leave your comments below. If you find a good (formal) debate online, make a new post and share!

EDIT: A fourth-listen of the debate I noticed Martin mentioned the location of the debate, so I added that above, which was previously unknown. Aided by this new info, I found the date of the debate, and added that above.
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Comments

  • The first six minutes are death, but it gets better after.
  • A very good debate - even though Martin seemed overwhelmed at times and a little too apologetic. I am swayed a bit more by Moreland's logic in this case. Thanks for the link!
  • Having fast forwarded to the first guys point of view, and seen a few minutes of it, Ive come to the conclusion that hes just an idiot who cant figure out that

    1. The fact that the universe came about with necessary universal laws existing doesnt take away from them being natural and necessary, and that infinite sets are possible (if not the actuality)

    and 2. the stuff about evil and morality existing objectively and people not being relativistic proving that objective moral code is just downright idiotic. Hell, its not surprising that people arent objective and that pure relativists dont exist. It doesnt make it less true that things like love wouldnt exist if humans didnt exist.
  • SW, if the first guy (Moreland) is clearly an idiot, did you stay and watch to see if the second guy (Martin) shreds the first guy to bits?

    I like your style: critique each person yourself, and then see how the pros do it. I do this a lot. Usually the results are one of three: (1) the pro found the same flaw I did, (2) the pro used an alternative tactic that was probably just as good, (3) I was wrong (deferring, of course, to the pro's expertise and follow-up research). I learn more doing this.
  • I only watched a little bit of the second guys opening statement, but he seemed weak and lacking in substance. Then again, both of them were lacking in real substance.
  • said:

    I only watched a little bit of the second guys opening statement, but he seemed weak and lacking in substance. Then again, both of them were lacking in real substance.[/quote:2ndyvpnq]

    Compared to whom or what? Just curious.

  • Obviously a rigged "debate", it's brought to you by a [url=http://www.wolc.com/sites/v2/:319g7ct7]church.[/url:319g7ct7] No vested interest there, nuh-uh.
  • GLF: I only saw the opening statements, but they were extremely weak scientifically and analytically. Compared to Leibniz, for example. Or a contemporary, Robert Sleigh.
  • said:

    GLF: I only saw the opening statements, but they were extremely weak scientifically and analytically. Compared to Leibniz, for example. Or a contemporary, Robert Sleigh.[/quote:1raofvvu]

    Ok, you suggest that the arguments are "weak" and that other's arguments are more substantive. Based on what? Do they actually "know" something or is their argument emotional?

  • said:

    Obviously a rigged "debate", it's brought to you by a [url=http://www.wolc.com/sites/v2/:1hzk9ld6]church.[/url:1hzk9ld6] No vested interest there, nuh-uh.[/quote:1hzk9ld6]
    [i:1hzk9ld6]Genetic fallacy,[/i:1hzk9ld6] Axe. Look it up. The venue -- and media hosting website -- should have absolutely no effect on the contents, particularly when the audience is asked to refrain from speaking out during the event. The question and answer session directs equal number of questions to each participant. As far as I know, Martin has the right to host this debate on [i:1hzk9ld6]his[/i:1hzk9ld6] website. I've listened to several debates in secular college lecture halls. Besides, how is a church able to "rig" a real, live atheist? Your claim is preposterous! This is the atheists' chance to shine their reason to the deluded. If you think I picked a debate where the theist "wins," I've already preempted this in my opening post: I invited you to post [i:1hzk9ld6]your[/i:1hzk9ld6] favorite debate!

    Listen, I'm being fair here: I thought Martin's answers were good.

    said:

    GLF: I only saw the opening statements, but they were extremely weak scientifically and analytically. Compared to Leibniz, for example. Or a contemporary, Robert Sleigh.[/quote:1hzk9ld6]
    Now we're getting somewhere :) Did you find Moreland's treatment of the origin of the universe as somehow...sub-standard, scientifically? Granted, he did not mention multi-universe theories, but it seems to me that invoking them would actually make him [i:1hzk9ld6]less[/i:1hzk9ld6] scientific. He also mentioned the 2LOT and infinity. Any problems with that? He also affirmed the principle of cause and effect, which seems to be rooted in science. His fine-tuning argument used solid scientific fact, but the conclusion (rigged dice needs a rigger) is philosophical. His SETI argument isn't really scientific as it is pointing out non-theists affirm information comes from a mind, and that biology is packed with information. Was something in his moral law argument or problem of evil analytically weak?

    What of Martin did you find scientifically and analytically weak? He didn't really use science at all, so I'm not sure what you meant. His argument about self-deception? (I thought his question [i:1hzk9ld6]very[/i:1hzk9ld6] good: [i:1hzk9ld6]why[/i:1hzk9ld6] do I want to believe in God in the moment of danger? Is it a false belief?) How about the observation that God's activity looks local? How about the Christian God setting the bar extremely high? I thought his observation here [i:1hzk9ld6]extremely[/i:1hzk9ld6] astute!! He is [i:1hzk9ld6]right on![/i:1hzk9ld6] Christianity is [i:1hzk9ld6]"radical,"[/i:1hzk9ld6] to use his word. To use another, lives need to be radically "transformed." Put him in a pulpit; more Christians need to hear this! Was something in his argument from evil and disasters lacking? I agree with his thoughts on God using evil to "teach" us (Zuki used this argument a few weeks ago in another thread). Unfortunately, like most atheists, Martin never seems to grasp that the world we live in now is not as it was originally designed. Any thoughts on his definition of faith or Kierkegaard's argument?

    I dunno, SW. You say things but leave us guessing what you meant.

    It's odd that so far in this thread people are debating [i:1hzk9ld6]me[/i:1hzk9ld6], whether the debaters are good or bad. :?

  • said:

    infinite sets are possible (if not the actuality)[/quote:3uokf784]
    Missed this bit. Moreland on infinity is drawing from William Lane Craig who has advanced original thinking on this topic in the last couple decades, and I've read Craig on this topic. Craig would agree with you that infinite sets are possible. But how does this relate to the origin of the universe? We are talking about an [i:3uokf784]actual universe.[/i:3uokf784] Infinites in this domain must be [i:3uokf784]actual,[/i:3uokf784] which you concede cannot exist. How then do you escape your own [i:3uokf784]ad hominem[/i:3uokf784] when you agree with the "idiot"?

  • Not to hijack - simply to add to the thread's contents. The following is a debate between Dawkins and Lennox on virtually the same topic. They are in Birmingham, AL speaking at UAB. I actually prefer this one to the M v. M because it provides [i:th4gb7by]the[/i:th4gb7by] preeminent atheist being challenged by an incredibly capable and convincing Christian peer.

    If you've yet to see it, enjoy.

    http://fr.truveo.com/The-God-Delusion-D ... 1004507547
  • said:

    Not to hijack - simply to add to the thread's contents. The following is a debate between Dawkins and Lennox on virtually the same topic. They are in Birmingham, AL speaking at UAB. I actually prefer this one to the M v. M because it provides [i:2z3s85dy]the[/i:2z3s85dy] preeminent atheist being challenged by an incredibly capable and convincing Christian peer.

    If you've yet to see it, enjoy.

    http://fr.truveo.com/The-God-Delusion-D ... 1004507547[/quote:2z3s85dy]
    Thanks for the link, I may have to suffer through Dawkins' angry rambling and listen through it...

  • said:

    Not to hijack - simply to add to the thread's contents. The following is a debate between Dawkins and Lennox on virtually the same topic. They are in Birmingham, AL speaking at UAB. I actually prefer this one to the M v. M because it provides [i:32bu88qx]the[/i:32bu88qx] preeminent atheist being challenged by an incredibly capable and convincing Christian peer.

    If you've yet to see it, enjoy.

    http://fr.truveo.com/The-God-Delusion-D ... 1004507547[/quote:32bu88qx]
    There are literally [b:32bu88qx]hundreds[/b:32bu88qx] of debates on "virtually the same topic." The differences are what arguments and strategies are used. I've listened to this one, and there's a hilarious exchange around the 29 minute mark about Dawkins' wife. Overall, it's not the best debate I've heard: the format is incredibly unfair to Dawkins, and though he is a popular evangelist, Dawkins is not the best atheist philosopher out there. This deserves its own thread.

  • said:

    said:

    Not to hijack - simply to add to the thread's contents. The following is a debate between Dawkins and Lennox on virtually the same topic. They are in Birmingham, AL speaking at UAB. I actually prefer this one to the M v. M because it provides [i:3eej2uo8]the[/i:3eej2uo8] preeminent atheist being challenged by an incredibly capable and convincing Christian peer.

    If you've yet to see it, enjoy.

    http://fr.truveo.com/The-God-Delusion-D ... 1004507547[/quote:3eej2uo8]
    There are literally [b:3eej2uo8]hundreds[/b:3eej2uo8] of debates on "virtually the same topic." The differences are what arguments and strategies are used. I've listened to this one, and there's a hilarious exchange around the 29 minute mark about Dawkins' wife. Overall, it's not the best debate I've heard: the format is incredibly unfair to Dawkins, and though he is a popular evangelist, Dawkins is not the best atheist philosopher out there. This deserves its own thread.[/quote:3eej2uo8]

    Noted. Sorry about that. I misunderstood this thread's intentions. Perhaps as I watch more and more debates, I'll start a thread where we can post links, etc. (similar to the 'Singularity' thread). Thanks though for piquing my interest in these types of structured intellectual exercises (this thread got me "Googling" for more). Though I'm not yet adept at the various debate platforms and philosophical methods, I'm doing my best to catch up.

    (Also, if you have any recommendations, please PM me as this is something I'm beginning to enjoy.)

  • I was planning on posting a series of threads on different debates. If this debate has run its course, I'll post the next one I am excited to share.

    Lennox [i:fztlibwd]is[/i:fztlibwd] very good, and he gives some excellent responses in the Dawkins debate, but gosh, the format just makes me [i:fztlibwd]cringe.[/i:fztlibwd] Dawkins never gets the last word!
  • How about something with Bart D. Ehrman?

    His critiques of Christianity serve as a sound model for my own agnostic philosophies.

    FWIW, he did not inspire my personal opinions; I discovered several of his writings during my own research, and found them to be logically consistent with what I already been formulating, but couldn't adequately communicate.

    Yes, I still lurk......
  • said:

    How about something with Bart D. Ehrman?

    His critiques of Christianity serve as a sound model for my own agnostic philosophies. [/quote:qrwl0v3e]

    I quick google leads me to believe this fellow is a bible critic and scholar. I assume that he resonates with you because you find traction in his biblical critic and that this informed your theology.

    Does that mean your background was fundie?

  • Well, is a Catholic upbringing considered fundamentalist?

    I won't get into it here because it is a different discussion, although the thread title remains appropriate.

    Here are some snippets from Prof. Ehrman's bio. His intellectual and spiritual journey (if I may use the term) mirrors my own, but taken to much higher levels of study and introspection.

    [quote:37ytd4ky]....Bart D. Ehrman is an American New Testament scholar and textual critic of early Christianity. He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has written about how the original New Testament texts were frequently altered by scribes for a variety of reasons, and argues that these alterations affect the interpretation of the texts.....

    .....Ehrman became an Evangelical Christian as a teen. His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and to textual criticism, to which he attributes the inspiration for an ongoing critical exploration of the basis of his own religious beliefs, which in turn gradually led to the [b:37ytd4ky]questioning of his faith in the Bible as the inerrant, unchanging word of God[/b:37ytd4ky]. He now considers himself an agnostic......[/quote:37ytd4ky]

    Just food for thought to be shared another day.
  • said:

    Well, is a Catholic upbringing considered fundamentalist?[/quote:2jj49m41]

    Not usually.

    said:

    He has written about how the original New Testament texts ...[/quote:2jj49m41]

    I think the bible guys here might be interested in how he determines what was original.

    said:

    ... which in turn gradually led to the [b:2jj49m41]questioning of his faith in the Bible as the inerrant, unchanging word of God[/b:2jj49m41]. He now considers himself an agnostic......[/quote:2jj49m41]

    I asked about your background because as this passage suggests, you would first have to see your belief in the Bible as God's own inerrant word for questions about it to affect your religious faith.

  • In that case, I blame my father, and Father Thomas, my Sunday School teacher.

    I was brought up believing that 1. the Bible was to be interpreted (for all intents and purposes) literally; 2. that it WAS the word of god; & 3. that Christianity is essentially based on the New Testament.

    All of my questions on interpretation and meaning (starting at age 10) were met with anger and ultimatums of acceptance. This pretty much ended my relationship with God through the church, and led me to question the validity of Christianity as a whole.
  • Buho, you ever read anything by Dalrymple?




    What the New Atheists Don’t See
    Theodore Dalrymple

    To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_4_oh_to_be.html
  • said:

    Buho, you ever read anything by Dalrymple?

    What the New Atheists Don’t See
    Theodore Dalrymple

    To regret religion is to regret Western civilization.

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_4_oh_to_be.html[/quote:hxqu90hg]
    That has to be the [b:hxqu90hg]best[/b:hxqu90hg] essay I've read by an atheist. Evar. Wow!

    I wish every atheist I've met would read that because theists have been saying the same (valid) criticisms for years now but they don't listen to us (for reasons I think they don't wish to reveal). The New Atheists are philosophically [b:hxqu90hg]sub-par[/b:hxqu90hg] to the atheists of old, to put it gently. Listen to what the Christians are saying! Baring that, at least ratchet up your game, starting with dethroning jokers Dawkins [i:hxqu90hg]et al.[/i:hxqu90hg]

    EV, when was that written? I hate it when web articles don't post a date.

    said:

    In such illogical leaps do our beliefs often originate, to be disciplined later in life (if we receive enough education) by elaborate rationalization.[/quote:hxqu90hg]
    I've never heard it put this way so lucidly. (Yes, I'm aware this can be applied to theists.) Christians say it often: it's not ultimately a matter of science, it's not ultimately a matter of philosophy; though Christianity can run with the best in science and philosophy, ultimately it all boils down to a matter of the heart.

  • lol wut?

    Did you read Wiki? Did you read the essay? Wiki isn't clear but essay is. He's an atheist. Or...hmm. What was the point of you posting the link?
  • The publish date was the Autumn 2007 issue of City Journal.
  • said:

    Touching on that, are good and evil logically necessary counterparts? I mean I do agree that evil exists, but is it true to say that evil MUST exist as long as good does? For us to make a distinction between the two perhaps, but not out of logical necessity. A wholly "good" universe may be unrecognizable to us as "good" (due to the absence of a contrast), but that does not preclude its possible existence, surely?
    [/quote:3tvsg5lr]
    You can't make a choice if there's only one possible option. By extension, I'd say that yes, there has to be "evil" for there to be "good", otherwise there's only "the one course of action".

  • From a Christian perspective, eventually evil will be destroyed. I don't think that evil need exist, but it must have to had existed at some time.
  • said:

    From a Christian perspective, eventually evil will be destroyed. I don't think that evil need exist, but it must have to had existed at some time.[/quote:3fgc8q0s]

    Evil, if defined as the absence of good (or God for that matter), is likely necessary right now or it would not exist. We are told that evil will not exist at some point in the future of God's kingdom, for the task now is to sort out the people who ascribe to evil (the absence of good or God), a worthy purpose in God's grand plan. Ironically, at stake in even asking the question "is evil necessary," is doubt in God's overall goodness and best intentions -- itself an evil thought.

  • Right; which is what I meant by "need exist". The bible indicates that at some point evil will be destroyed.
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