Debate with Christian apologists last night

Here's a discussion I had last night with some US Christian Apologists, if you're interested. It was quite knock about. They really pushed the C.S. Lewis style moral argument.


Daver said…
Good post and good debate. Thanks for doing this Stephen.
Anonymous said…
Stephen, I think you did really well despite feeling tired. They seem to be using the same points over and over again. It was if they were more interested in scoring points rather than open-mindedly seeking out truth. Not once do I think they actually stopped and thought about what you were saying other than to fire back a preconceived response. I don’t think they were remotely open-minded or ever considered the possibility that they might be wrong.

These conversations will never change the mind of these apologists because the narrative is their to defend the belief. How they came to their belief if usually quite subjective. I would have like to know more about Cliffe’s personal testimony. They asked you for your background and you were open and honest. I think you had a right to ask them about their testimony at the start.

It is a particular problem of the human mind that it constantly tries to make sense of the world. It does this by adopting narratives of belief that are internally consistent but not necessarily true. Conspiracy theorists, flat earthers , theists all do this. We do it to but we guard against holding false beliefs by using skepticism , critical thinking and science where possible.

As Richard Feynman once said “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong”.


ukhuman1st said…
An interesting debate - well done!

One issue on which you seem to have come under particular attack was the question of where our moral sense comes from if not from God. You said you had no definitive view on that, and why should you? You rightly pointed out that just because we cannot answer questions about the world does not justify conjuring up a deity to 'explain' them. However, although I've never formally studied philosophy, I have for many years been formulating a theory of morality which explains what is right or wrong, good or bad, and why we should do good, in a way which I believe reconciles all the various approaches taken by other moral philosophers without invoking God. If you are interested, I am currently looking for someone to read and possibly appraise my draft book on the subject prior to seeking publication. I would be pleased to send you an electronic copy of you would be happy to do this. I have chosen for follow-up comments to be e-mailed to me so hopefully this would enable you to make contact if you wish. (You may recall that I left you a very favourable view of your book The Philosophy Gym' on Amazon many years ago!).
IMR said…
Wow. Debate??
Well done Stephen. You showed supreme patience and, dare I say, grace in the face of that onslaught. A lot of heat, but some genuine light for those willing to look for it.