March 30th, 2013
The following is a guest blog post by Shaun Smith. Shaun is completing his MA in Philosophy and attended the debate.
Thursday night at Liberty University there was a debate over the existence of God. This debate was meant to liberate all thinkers from every walk of life. Theist, Atheist, and Agnostics alike were going to usher forth the new age, with perfected reasons, a scope towards utopia, and a… said no one ever. Max Andrews of Liberty University brought forth compelling arguments, including the infamous ontological argument. Dan Linford, of Virginia Tech, came with a few scattered thoughts, and a selected amount of tactics to try and move the conversation into, well, nothing really. Though, Linford I think had a few great points that he really could have sponged out for the audience. Listen, it isn’t about a winner or loser, its about reasoning together and furthering the discussion. However, I found that there were a few issues that did not bring out that initial goal.
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March 29th, 2013
I have much to say about last night’s debate I participated in concerning the existence of God but those comments will come later. We asked those in attendance (at least 400) to use the #LUGODdebate hashtag if they decided to live-tweet the debate. I’ve taken screen shots of the hashtag’s feed from the beginning of the debate until now (lunchtime Friday). Most of those tweeting were Liberty students but you’ll be able to gauge the atmosphere of the debate and the performances. My Twitter handle is @maxeoa (just an FYI if you spot it in the feed). The feed is in order from the most recent uses to to the earliest uses.
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February 18th, 2013
I can now announce that on Thursday, March 28 from 7.30-9p I will be engaging in a debate with Dan Linford from Virginia Tech on the debate topic, “Does God Exist?” Dan is in the philosophy PhD program at VT. He and I debated each other last year (in partnership with Josh Nixon and Beau Bradley). Last year we debated at VT and this year we will be debate on the campus of Liberty University.
The precise location has yet to be determined but it’s currently scheduled to be in DeMoss 1113. That room holds about 300 but from initial surveys I suspect we may need to find a larger room. We currently plan on having the debate filmed so we should have it available online sometime afterwards. I’m hoping to find a way to stream the debate online. If anyone knows how we can do that please let me know. I’ll be using #LUGODdebate as the Twitter hashtag (@maxeoa). This will help gather interactive thoughts from attendees after the debate. More information will be shared as time gets closer.
- Moderator Introductions
- 17 minutes opening (Max—affirmative)
- 17 minutes opening (Dan—negative)
- 7 minutes rebuttal (Max)
- 7 minutes rebuttal (Dan)
- 10 minutes cross-examination (Max asks Dan questions)
- 10 minutes cross-examination (Dan asks Max questions)
- 5 minutes closing statement (Max)
- 5 minutes closing statement (Dan)
- 20 minutes of Q&A
- Total of 78 minutes of debate and 20 minutes of Q&A
You can view our debate from last spring here.
November 1st, 2012
There are many problems in philosophy such as the problem of evil, the problem of miracles, the problem of historical knowledge, the problem of what there is (Quine), the Gettier problem, and several others in various fields. However, I’ve noticed a problem with the ‘internet atheist’ community.
Before I continue I want to give a general indication for what I mean by an internet atheist, which can include several agnostics as well. An internet atheist will have certain giveaways such as: trolling, one who cites Richard Dawkins as a philosophical champion, appeals to the tactics of PZ Myers (anyone who reads PZ Myers and is quite aware of logic, fallacies, and social etiquette may suffer from face-palm syndrome–the problem of excessive disappointment resulting in the face resting on one’s palm followed by a deep sigh), being completely oblivious of opposing views, as well as the following properties…
Internet atheists have this habit of coming out of no where. What I mean by that is they have the habit of plowing their way into conversations. For instance, while writing this last sentence I received a tweet from some internet atheist about some tweet I made several days ago in which I said that the OT law didn’t treat women immorally and that the problem was a societal issue. (Edit: 3 Nov. 18.08: Tweet removed. The individual didn’t really fall into the category I’m describing here.) I could provide more tweets but I honestly have no desire to go back and read them.
EDIT: Here’s another great tweet in which I’m told to be a theological equivalent of a Nazi collaborator. I’m serious, I’m not that creative to make this stuff up.
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October 28th, 2012
Recently, Dr. Michael Licona (Houston Baptist University) spent time in Canada debating Yale professor Dr. Dale Martin on questions concerning the resurrection and self-understanding of Jesus. Below are links to the videos.
“Did Jesus Rise Physically From the Dead?”
Dr. Michael Licona and Dr. Dale Martin discuss the question “Did Jesus Physically Rise From the Dead?” The first evening of the 2012 Religion Soup discussion took place Oct 18, 2012 at St. Mary’s University.
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October 25th, 2012
Below is the link for the audio of the VT debate on the existence of God I was a part of earlier this year.
Also, for more information and my take on the debate you can view the video and comments through the link below.
June 6th, 2012
This was a debate on March 21, 2012 at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, VA. It was sponsored by the Freethinkers at Virginia Tech, Leopard Zeus Fan Club, Ask Big Questions at Virginia Tech, and the Department of Philosophy at Liberty University.
- Max Andrews, Department of Philosophy Liberty University
- Josh Nixon, Virginia Tech
- Dan Linford, Virginia Tech
- Beau Bradley, Virginia Tech
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April 26th, 2012
This is an inevitable aspect of life: people will always disagree with you. What’s very important is how we ought to respond to someone when we disagree. Here are few points I’d like to share from experience:
- Don’t get angry. We love to use ad hominem attacks but remember you’re discussing an argument or position, not the person. Getting upset is a natural reaction. When you let your upset disrupt the friendly atmosphere or affect your arguments, STOP.
- Stick to the arguments (following 1). Be reasonable and calm.
- Go to the person with him you disagree with first. This is simply Matthew 18. Don’t write open letters with defamatory comments and unnecessary attacks (a la Norman Geisler).
- Do your best to really have a robust understanding of the other position. You often heard that you should know the other position just as well as you know yours if you want to criticize it. Well, that’s not true and it’s completely infeasible. It surely helps but here why that phrase is a problem. To offer criticisms you just need to contrast it with what you believe to be true. This is simply conversion, contrapositions, obversions, contraries, and contradictions put into play. If you can do that then you don’t need exhaustive knowledge. If that phrase is true then everyone will be shutting their mouths all day long.
- Let the other person speak and don’t interrupt.
- Don’t respond if you’ve been emotionally compromised. Respond when you’re thinking clearly and calm.
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November 10th, 2011
The English poet John Milton did well when he said that “Truth will rise to the top through a free and open exchange in the marketplace of ideas.” I am so encouraged when I have and see a substantive dialogue with someone concerning an issue. This is certainly important in every day discussions, blogs, and teaching. I assist in managing and teaching an Intro. to Philosophy course at university and I always encourage my students to make us work hard to convince them of what we believe to be true. Do not simply sit there and take what I say and teach prima facie–challenge me, challenge the thoughts, challenge your thinking.
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November 8th, 2011
The poet John Milton put it so well when he said that “Truth will rise to the top through a free and open exchange in the marketplace of ideas.” This is true whether this marketplace is in a verbal debate, a written debate, or peer-reviewed literature. What serves as a decline in the value of ideas are when these ideas have no competition and/or no competition is invited or encouraged.
I’ve recently blogged on Richard Dawkins’ and PZ Myers’ excuses to not engage in dialogue with William Lane Craig. Once Myers read my blog post he was quick on his draw and gave colorful responses such as:
You call an exposure of WL Craig’s blatant misrepresentation of science “tomfoolery”? OK, I see where you stand. In ignorance.
And when I said that there should be dialogue he responded with,
It’s what YOU want. Why shd we want a dialog with a fraud & moral monster? RT @maxeoa A dialogue is all we want.
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