*Updated* – Responding to the call for debate opponents (Ben Wallis)
* For some reason Ben has taken down his debate challenge and it is now cached here. I am not sure what this means. It read as follows:
Sunday, July 10, 2011
A call for debate opponents
I’m currently seeking opponents to defend the position that God exists in a formal Skype debate (or, if you live in far west Chicagoland, a live debate). For my own part, I am prepared to defend the alternative position that we do not know whether God exists.
I require that any opponent be at least 21 years old, and satisfy one—preferably two—of the following criteria:
(i) has successful formal debate experience on similar topics;
(ii) has an undergraduate degree from an accredited university;
(iii) has graduated from or is currently a student at the seminary of a major Christian denomination;
(iv) has some other suitable qualification for debating the existence of God.
I prefer that an opponent belong to a mainstream Christian denomination, but this is not a requirement. Formal debates will be recorded and made available online, with the only significant restriction being that recordings must always be freely distributed, and never sold for money.
If you would like to participate in a debate on this topic, feel free to drop me a line at benwallis [at] live (dot) com. Be sure to indicate your name, age, and which of (i)-(iv) you satisfy.
If you do not satisfy (i)-(iv), you are still welcome to challenge me to an informal debate or discussion. In that case, there is no need to email me. Instead, simply contact me on the voice-chatting service Paltalk (my username there is “hatsoff”). Time permitting, we can set up a relatively quiet but still public chat room, and have our informal debate there.
I hope to hear from you!
Ben Wallis has issued a debate challenge claiming that he is now, “prepared to defend the alternative position that we do not know whether God exists.” If true, this is fine news, as the last time he was engaged on his agnosticism he was not, in my opinion, at all prepared to defend the position that we do not know whether God exists. In fact I wrote a post addressing Ben’s failure to defend agnosticism.
The last exchange Ben and I had was concerning his dodging a very simple question about gravity to which he responded that I was misrepresenting him even though I quoted the relevant portion of text from him in its entirety.
At the same time, I probably owe Ben a response to his lengthy New-Atheist-rhetoric-flavored post concerning induction. I plan to get to it eventually.
In the meantime, I satisfy all of the criteria that Ben lists for a debate opponent. (By the way, I don’t plan on ever having such criteria, despite their odd popularity amongst Christian and non-Christian debaters.) Additionally, the way that Ben and I like for a debate to be conducted (over Skype, recordings made available, etc.) is the same.
Ben is “seeking opponents to defend the position that God exists.” I will gladly do so. Or, if Ben feels up to it, he can take the affirmative position and defend his claim that, “we do not know whether God exists.”
My preference would be for Ben to choose the latter of the two options above. In that case, discussion of induction similar to such discussion in our previous debate and post-debate exchanges would be “banned.” The alternative debate resolution and the ban would make for an interesting and fresh debate.
So then, I accept Ben’s debate challenge, and offer my own to him in return.
[…] Readers will remember that I accepted a call for debate opponents from agnostic Ben Wallis here. He has since taken down the post that included the challenge and let me know that some things came […]
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