Sunday, February 22, 2009

DiCarlo vs. Boot in Oshawa, ON

This debate is unique in any number of interesting ways. The skeptical speaker is avowedly agnostic on the question of deism, and he's not "down on religion" but thinks that religious belief does plenty of good. Moreover, the believing speaker is clearly well-versed in post-modern philosophical thought, which is something that I don't usually hear from priests or theologians.

Also, the extent of crowd participation and number of applause lines were exceptionally great in this debate. Lines like "it is impossible for all world religions to be right, but it is possible for all world religions to be wrong" and "I don't need a divine hand patting me on the back to do good" get big applause, and even this guy gets a big shout out from the peanut gallery.

As to the arguments themselves, I think it is accurate to say that each speaker talked past the other to some extent. The skeptic went after Biblical literalists, while the believer went after communists, existentialists, and nilihists. I suppose there are those who might suppose most believers and unbelievers fall easily into such categories, but surely this is not so.

  • Unbeliever rating: 3.5 stars 

  • Believer rating: 2.5 stars

  • Overall rating: 3 stars

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