Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Reflections on the debate.

I have mixed feelings as I publish my piece for the first round of my blog debate against theology student and Christian blogger, Cody Cook.  I have formulated a strong, three-point argument that establishes that an atheistic worldview is better suited to answer the question, “Why is there something rather than nothing?” than a theistic worldview.  I am quite pleased with how it turned out, although I wish I was not constrained to the word limit (which I actually proposed myself).  I was unable to go as in-depth into the physics around the early universe as I wanted to, which was very disappointing.

The thing to keep in mind for me is that Cody is very good.  The last time I sat down with him and talked in person was the first time I had ever walked away from a debate with a Christian thinking I had lost.  Of course, this is to be expected, since he is training to be a professional theologian and I am just some guy who has read a handful of popular-level books on religion.  After all, there are no schools for atheology (unless you count physics or biology).  Plus, I think he is more intelligent than I am.   But in the end, he is trying to prove a falsehood, so even if he is more informed and intelligent than me, I have the advantage of being correct, which makes the playing field about even.  This means the debate should be a good one. 

I also found out after posting that I had mistakenly adhered to the word limit for Round 2 instead of Round 1 and exceeded the agreed upon word limit by 400.  Fortunately, one of the contrived virtues of Xianity is forgiveness, so Cody didn’t get mad, but I was still annoyed at myself.

After reading Cody’s opening statement, I was very impressed.  He is a very good writer.  Clear, concise, and to-the-point.  He presents the Cosmological Argument in two different forms, one that supports the other.  I was a little annoyed that he used an intellectually dishonest but typically Christian technique of quote-mining from the books of both Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking, so I will have to call him out on that severely in my response.  I also caught a couple of assertions, one scientific and another philosophical, that are false.  Happily, he did not construct a “God of the Gaps” argument that I was expecting in reference to the beginning of the universe, although he did touch on the Teleological Argument (sunglasses fit the human face perfectly, therefore Sunglass Hut designed the human face) briefly.

All-in-all, I am feeling confident as the debate moves forward into Round 2.  Cody has given me a lot of ammunition to work with and the next round should be even better than the first!