God is not dead IRL – long debate letter part 1

This music video was actually propaganda from the Family International cult based in Huntington Beach which practiced free love and encouraged girls to become subservient slutty bisexuals, while forbidding male homosexuality.   I think their cult mostly died out when end of the world their founder prophesied passed in the mid-nineties, and the hundreds of followers living in a stockpiled bomb shelter lost faith and  left in droves.  Or maybe the bomb shelter belonged to a similar cult.  Who cares, they’re just fun to laugh at.

Anyway, the “Was Jesus resurrected?” debate was alright and I wish it was longer.  The guy from Oxford was half the professor’s age and he wasn’t nearly as well prepared.  He seemed bright, but man he needs to learn better time management skills, and it was obvious the teacher had anticipated his every argument and could run circles around him, while speaking twice as fast and with half the verbosity during his allocated time, and with beautiful power-point slides with graphics.   The Oxford guy often had to fumble for words.

I’m disappointed because I thought the Oxford guy would also be a professor with a doctorate, and not just a religious medical student (?) who happened to post on the professor’s blog a couple years ago.  The professor’s argument focused on probability and covered contradictions, philosophy, and external history, while and the Oxford guy stuck with using the witness accounts in the bible even after they were cast into doubt.  The two of them are going to have a rematch next month at a Christian University (a Catholic  religious institution) and the professor informed me he’s planning a more rigorous presentation there, so I might still go.

The majority of the questions at the JC appeared to be by skeptics, directed at the visitor.  I think that’s because the professor’s students have probably already asked him questions, and Christians are unlikely to go to a debate on such a sensitive issue.   That’s why it might be worth going to the Christian University; it’d probably be amusing to hear a bunch of sheltered minds explode in anger when both debaters again agree the bible is riddle with errors.   There even was one fundamentalist Christian who got really offended and started interrupting during the questions, with lines like, “What about faith?” and “We can’t know the will of God.”

Neither debater took him too seriously…the Oxford guy just said, “Supposing you God’s will is unpredictable is a dangerous argument.”

The Fundamentalist looked like he wanted to say more, but he lacked the education & brains to articulate himself, and finally sulked away, which abated my fears, because it left the floor open to more insightful questions from any creed.

It was also nice the Oxford guy could concede points for debate and not let his emotions control him.  He said he thought it was due to his British background, and if he’d been raised in America he would be less tolerant.   However, I still don’t expect the Oxford guy to be that interesting to listen to at the Christian University though he might lick his wounds and up his game.  However, the professor might be worth listening to again, if you can’t attend his class or be bothered to read his books.

The Oxford guy said he was born in London and was a Unitarian until he converted to “normal” Christianity at 18, (and now he’s 23?)  I think he published some religious articles and is now visiting American universities?

The professor has  BA in Religious Studies, a Masters in Theology (something), and a PHD in Philosophy from UCI.   He clarified he is neither a Theist nor an Atheist despite what Christians say about him, adding they can’t understand how someone could be neither and still be a skeptic.  He claimed to be a probabilistic – one who believes in what is probable.  I like that term.  He drew a formula on the board roughly plotting the probability of a resurrection and expressed disappointment his argument hadn’t taken the time to arrive at an argument with a similar logical formula.

Anyway the professor was pretty chill.  He wanted to go to dinner with the group of us who remained after the debate so we could continue to ask questions, but I got bored of hearing the deep jargon philosopher majors toss around and so I took off.  I also wondered from his voice if he was gay.   He was nowhere near as evil or uniformed as the philosophical teacher is portrayed in “God is not dead,” and I told him that movie must crack you up.

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