Be sure to check out Goodness Over God, the counter-apologetics podcast hosted by myself and philosopher Michael Long!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Debate on the existence of God, Thursday, Aug 19, 8pm CST

EDIT: The debate is now available for download! Get it here. (Thanks to Brian Knapp for generously recording and mastering the event!) A complete transcript is now available here.

EDIT 2: Post-debate discussion is underway! Check out Chris's blog post on self-deception and my general recap.

On Thursday, August 19, at 8:00pm CST (9:00pm EST), I will be streaming a prerecorded audio debate with philosophy graduate Chris Bolt through the internet, while listeners and myself may engage in live text chat. To listen and/or participate, just go to paltalk.com and visit the room called Chris Bolt Ben Wallis debate Does God Exist. The room will open at approximately 7:45pm CST, fifteen minutes before the stream begins.

The debate itself is scheduled to take place at 6:00pm CST. So, the stream you will hear at 8:00pm will be unedited and raw, having just finished recording only a few minutes earlier!

I will also post a download-able mp3 of the debate here, so feel free to check back for an update.

Chris Bolt is a presuppositionalist Calvinist apologist, a fan of Bahnsen and Van Til, whom I expect will use a transcendental argument in our debate. He is a philosophy graduate, theology student, and regular poster on the website choosinghats.com.

I hope to have a lot of fun, and anyone interested is welcome to share in that for the Paltalk stream this coming Thursday!

Enjoy!
--Ben Wallis

4 comments:

Agreus said...

I think you were the clear victor in the debate Ben. However, my only criticism is that you offered Mr. Bolt a solution to the problem of induction, while at the same time saying it was irrelevant to God's existence. If it is irrelevant, then why engage him on this point? You do not have the burden of solving the problem of induction.

Jack Schmitt said...

Excellent debate, the cross-examining really highlighted the weaknesses in Bolt's argument.

Truthseeker said...

Hello Ben,

It was an interesting debate. As you said some won't find you justification for induction satisfying. The real problem is for induction to work the uniformity of nature is necessary.

I would ask the question how do you account for the uniformity of nature?

I have never heard a satisfactory answer to this question that is consistent with itself from a non-Christian worldview.

hatsoff said...

Truthseeker,

I hope you enjoyed the debate! In response to your question, the answer is that we must assume the uniformity of nature/experience because otherwise we can't make plans or develop strategies for living our lives. As I mentioned in the debate, even something as simple as stretching out one's hand to capture a morsel of food requires that we have uniformity for some short duration of time in our immediate environment. The same goes for practically everything else we do. So I just don't see any way out of making this assumption if we want to be actors in the world. Otherwise we can't make plans to achieve any of our goals, because the only reason we can expect a plan to work is because we can recognize how it fits into the regularities of our experiences.

I should add that the Christian is in the same boat. He can claim that his assumption of the uniformity of nature/experience is part of a larger body of religious doctrine, but that doesn't give him any epistemic justification for it! He just has a bigger bag of unjustified assumptions.

So, once we see the unusual position we are in, it seems to me that the only thing we can do is humbly accept our predicament. We can never know that the uniformity of experience will hold, but we make that assumption, anyway, because we like to make plans and act on them---i.e. that's the kind of people we are.

I hope that helps!

--Ben