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To Know Them Is To Debate Them

This was the Superbowl of debates a couple of years ago.

Quite frequently I talk about the ‘conversation’, or the ‘terms of the debate.’ During my daily travels when a believer, with frustration in their heart, says “I can’t believe you don’t believe in (my particular) God.” I would say every single time that is the end of that rant. Once in a while there is a bible passage, but I’d say most of the time that is it; nothing more (like something to discuss) and nothing less (and it would be really hard to say less). I believe that it is entirely OK for a learned atheist, someone that has struggled in their journey to become and atheist (that means studying a lot), to…I’ll just say it, look down upon a lay believer with no debate game, with no philosophical reasoning to defend their (often times) childlike faith. Learn the terms of the debate, have something reasonable to say about your faith, or STFU and get out. Well guess what kiddies….atheists need to be learned also. We cannot point the finger at someone (believers), but not point it at ourselves-that would be hypocritical and unfair, that would make us no better than anyone else.

There are some great debates out there to check out and very recently, there are two brand spanking new ones. We live in a fantastic time, ya know, with our crazy Youtubes and podcasts. If you don’t want to check out these vids., then seek some out and find what it is that you would like to learn from. I have my favorites (Hitch) and I really encourage you to find yer own. Check it out, yo….

* This is a totally new one with some old and familiar names. Recently at Notre Dame the atheist slayer, William Lane Craig debated Sam “you have never been my favorite, but I still heart you” Harris. Both have PHD’s, both have a huge following. Harris just came out with The Moral Landscape where he ponders…can science determine morals, values. This is audio only and I’m checking it out right now (and unfortunately, his jokes are not good).

* This is the other new one that is making the rounds. Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss v.guess who, Dr. William “Give him credit, he is a quite accomplished debater” Craig. Team A lost, again. I haven’t checked this one out, yet, but I have read some of the reviews. PZ has some thoughts on it and if you scroll down, Krauss gives us some bullet points on his experience (must read, part of it was quote of the day the other day). This is typical in that the facts and reason lost to superstition and the suspension of all laws of physics. It really shows how much debating is a game. If a speaker is eloquent enuff, that person can confidentially debate the “pants off their opponent.” This is the next one I’m a gonna check out. This one has a good topic. Is there evidence for the existence of God. It’s not is there a God, but is there evidence for the existence of God. Awesomeness.

Just a few years ago it was the Superbowl of theist nontheist debates. Our Champion, soon to be doctor (back then), Richard Carrier v The Atheist Slayer on the historicy of Jesus Christ. In the weeks and days leading up to this one was like waiting for your favorite team to play in the Stupidbowl. The Atheist Blogosphere was alive with the kind of bravado, the straight up sh*t talking, the confidence of our champ going in there and, while being gracious, kicking some arse. He lost.

This is a quick hitter, just, like 7 minutes long. It’s Carrier again with Craig. The moderator, Lee Strobel fancies himself a Christian apologist and like the saying goes, “If you have to say it…(then’s you’z full o’ sh*t).” If you have to ask someone, the police, “Do you know who I’am,” then you are no one. If you have to tell us you are a leading Christian apologist, then guess what….(and your book sucks). The average Christian lay person has a childlike faith that is unexamined and defenseless (some peeps). There are people that can defend their faith with passion and intellect; I just don’t think Lee is one of those peeps.

Oh my gosh, I think I’m bro-blushing right now. It’s so embarrassing. Anyways, it’s OK, I’m alright…Christopher “Our Hero” Hitchens debates the man, W.L.Craig. Honestly, I haven’t seen this one in a while. I’ll dare say Craig won this, but I can’t remember. I’ll have to do a rewind on this one…and this time I’ll watch with my pants on and the sound on.

Hey, here’s an idea. why don’t we go right to Craig’s website and watch all the video’s and read all the articles. Afterall, to know them is to debate them. Look at it like sports…If you can ‘scout’ the teams practice leading up to the match/game, (possibly) you will know what plays they will run. It’s called recon (reconnaissance). Likewise, you also want to go over game tape after a loss. Take notes learn from the mistakes, reinforce what went right and next time, you go out there and get them again.

Even tho debating is a game, I think it’s an important game (right now in the Harris/Craig audio I’m listening to right now, Craig is going off on Harriss’ “drops.” He will propose hella stuff to respond to, then when you don’t respond on all of it-because there is not enuff time and it’s not practical-then he will rub it in your face, making sure the judges/audience know that he made a ‘drop.’ Freekin’ masterful, really.) Anyways…There must be an evolutionary trait or a gene that drives peeps to want We may not use algebra everyday in our lives in a practical fashion, but to be able to have the problem solving skills that it takes-that is priceless. Debating is the same.

I’d really like to see Team A winning more of these debates (and there are many that ‘we’ have won, perhaps next post) and even more people with the drive to seek out this kind of endeavor. And, and…and when we start winning these debates, do what coach said.

“Be gracious when you win, and be gracious when you lose.”


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