Thursday, February 12, 2009

Barker vs. Butt in Columbia, SC

In this debate Dan Barker comes on strong with an ark-load of Biblical contradictions, and not a few snappy rhetorical jabs to boot. He really lays the boots into the God of the Bible, in much the same fashion as that used by DiCarlo only a few days later.  I find myself wondering whether these two guys exchanged notes.

Kyle Butt comes back with a teleological argument and a moral argument.  The former of these is not given in a particularly strong form, it is basically an update on Paley’s original argument but with a bit higher technology.  The latter argument was framed in precisely the same terms as the moral argument repeated time and again by Thomas Warren during his 8-hours marathon debate with Anthony Flew back in 1976, that is, the reiteration that the Nazis acted justly in their own moral and cultural context.  Both of these arguments are downright silly, though common enough in these sorts of events.

Butt’s rebutting is a bit better, but this debate doesn’t really get interesting until the cross-ex.  If not for an outstanding lack of restraint on the part of the audience, this bit would have been fairly fun.  I especially enjoyed the part where the alien invaders forced Dan to commit unspeakable crimes upon thousands of innocents.  Also, the blatant plug for was a nice touch.

  • Unbeliever rating: 3.5 stars

  • Believer rating: 2.5 stars

  • Overall rating: 3.0 stars


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