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NonStampCollector - Christianity Debate

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Christianity Debate by NonStampCollector Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for joining us, and welcome to tonight's debate, on the proposition "Christian theology is true". I'm Dr. Stamp, and I'm honored to have been asked to be the moderator tonight. With the lineup of speakers that we've got before us it's sure to be a lively and enlightening evening, and I'd first of all like to thank both the Students' Theistic Alliance, and the Center for Secular Inquiry for their assistance in bringing tonight's debate together, it's been a great joint effort and we appreciate the amount of work that's gone in to organize everything. Thank you. Now before I introduce our distinguished speakers, I'd just like to lay out a few ground rules for everybody to make sure the debate runs smoothly and fairly. Firstly I'd just ask everyone to please turn off your telephones and pagers, for the benefit of those around you. I'll ask all our speakers to please stay within their allotted time, as we've got a lot to get through. Also, let's not have any impoliteness or name calling, we'd like to keep the debate civil and polite, and let's not say anything gratuitously offensive to the beliefs or world view of the other side. I'd also like to ask the audience to be polite and to please not show any disrespect to any of our speakers, no matter how strongly you may happen to disagree with them. We'd like to say to our speakers tonight on both sides, that we'd like you to not misrepresent the other side and assert things about their world view that are simply not true. For example, atheists, we'd prefer if you didn't criticize the Christian side by claiming something like, say, that they have a vendetta against the jews, or something like that, and the Christians aren't allowed to assert, say, the old line that people who don't believe in a single personal deity automatically believe that everything came from nothing, or one of those old lines that used to get thrown around. I think we can agree that it's time to get past blatant misrepresentations of the other side's viewpoint. Right? We'd appreciate it neither side played the victim card and claimed to be being persecuted in modern society, especially if the side making that complaint is the recipient of massive taxation concessions, has astonishing access to high level politicians, and is usually honored by being amongst the first to be consulted by government or media on any issue that has some kind of an ethical aspect to it. Until your side loses that kind of privilege and status, and the playing field becomes a little more level, let's not have any claims of persecution, shall we? Now, just before we hand over to our speakers, science is bound to come up tonight, so again, let's not waste time going over the same old tired claims that have all been debunked, especially let's agree from the outset that if scientists don't know the answer to something it doesn't automatically mean that the answer is therefore that a magical god being is responsible for it, that's just a false dichotomy and we're all adults here, let's not be asked to fall for something like that, shall we? Oh yeah, and before we start, we all know what the word "theory" means in science, don't we? Yes? Yeah, OK. Everyone graduated from high school, did we? And speaking of the theory of evolution, which I obviously am, when discussing the strengths and weaknesses of evolution, let's agree that you're not allowed to discuss cosmology. Because.... ummm,... how can I say this? evolution and cosmology... aren't really the same thing, in case you didn't know that. Hmmm, OK. Also, you're not allowed to assert that human morality cannot be explained by evolution, because ... well, it is. That argument has been answered, with reference to the fact of genes surviving within species rather than individuals, and the obvious survival value of mutually cooperative groups, I don't need to explain it all here just go and look it up in a book if you're tempted to run that old line, OK? Also, you can't argue for irreducible complexity being proof of creationism. Again, just in the interest of saving time tonight, just go look it up for yourself if you're not quite sure why we'd want to skip past this tired old long-ago-debunked argument. Oh, yeah, and the claim that information cannot be added to a genome. Yeah, let's not hear that one tonight, because... I mean, that's understood. If you would just read up on frameshift mutations within examples of gene duplication you'd understand how new information can be added to a genome, with a whole new and additional stretch of DNA with a brand new protein-coding function suddenly being introduced. I mean, how else do you think the enzyme nylonaze came about? Ha, ha, haaeeh! Anyway, check it up for yourself. Please don't claim that the universe is less than 10,000 years old, because... You know, we've figured out that that's not true. Yeah. Another shocking waste of time tonight would be to use the bible as a source for arguing that the biblical god is true. It's a shame that I'd have to say this explicitly, but that's a circular argument and we're not here to waste each other's precious time, are we? I mean in a nutshell, even if there IS a god, the bible proves its existence just as much as the Star Wars series proves the existence of Darth Vader. We'd also appreciate if neither side accused the other of having a culture of closed-mindedness, especially if the side you're leveling that criticism at is in fact the very embodiment of humanity's endeavor to establish truth, to question everything, and to contribute to mankind an explanation and understanding of reality arrived at through constant unbiased, open and transparent experimentation and discovery, in which falsifiability and replicability are highly valued and indeed relied upon, which,... now, when you think about it, is kind of ... Well, the opposite of being closed minded, isn't it? so let's not hear that one tonight, eh? Uh and look while we're on that, can we agree to say that an unbiased approach to truth that is constantly pushing the boundaries of human knowledge is not "changing its mind" when it discovers or proclaims new information? That's called progress, you know? it's a good thing. Unless your side would prefer to live in a pre-scientific age in which superstition ruled then perhaps you might refrain from denigrating the progress of which you are the beneficiary. Please remember that next time you go to the doctor for the latest vaccination or remedy, and please remember it tonight also. OK, now in the interest of not having to cover the same ground as has been covered over the past several decades, I'd just ask the speakers to please not attack their opponents with the claim that they are part of a religion, if what they are actually part of is a rejection of religion. You know, if rejection of religion is a religion, then not playing football is a sport, or not collecting stamps is a hobby. An absence of belief, such as, ... I don't know, ...atheism, is exactly the same absence of belief one could have in an infinite number of things, it needs no justification, it has no creeds, no corollary obligations, no dependence upon unproven propositions, no faith, no organization, no rules or rituals, affirmations. You know, it's just silly to say that atheism is a religion because that wouldn't be true, would it?, and it just kind of takes up time if we're always going over things that just aren't true. OK? Another rule along the same lines, can we please not have anybody claim that the mass murderers of the 20th century, Hitler, Mao, Stalin, that their actions prove anything about a disbelief in god, because that's been dealt with adequately before, you know, it's been answered and put down every other time it's been brought up, hasn't it? There's not really a logical link between atheism and genocidal atrocities any more than there's a link between not accepting the claims of astrologers and genocide, or even a link between those who don't accept the claims of biologists and genocide. To assert that there is such a link, whilst ignoring the mass murderers' dogmatic adherence to communism, or fascism, or agricultural collectivism, or nationalism, or militarism, is obviously to take a very incomprehensive view of history and like I said it's all been answered quite adequately by many proponents of secularism and atheism on more than enough occasions, hasn't it? Oh, just one more thing, Please don't claim at any time tonight that the founding fathers of the United States were overtly Christian or that the United States was founded upon Christian values when in fact the truth is quite the opposite as one can easily see if one actually reads the words that are written in the founding documents themselves. I mean, I don't really need to explain that any more, do I? We've all read the treaty with Tripoli from 1796, haven't we? Yeah. OK then, let's get into it. Now we'd like to see a good debate with no sophistic insinuations along the lines that without religion we would have no moral compass, because... it's not true, is it? or that western civilization draws the fundamentals of its morality from the bible or Christianity, because... Err hmmm... we don't. Let's please not have it said tonight that the legal system of any civilized country is based upon the biblical ten commandments. That's simply not true, I mean... we all know, the first four commandments are out of place in the legal system of any society other than a theocratic dictatorship, we all either work on the Sabbath or know someone who does without killing them or condemning them in any way in fact we often pay them extra for doing so, don't we? The fifth commandment rather depends upon how honorably ones parents have behaved themselves, the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth are all good laws, even thought the punishments prescribed in the bible for the crimes they prohibit are simply barbaric and no civilized society would stand for their being carried out, and the tenth commandment prohibits the very central mechanism and driving force of our capitalistic economic systems and would leave us all socialist or something! Let's not have any condescending aspersions cast that place the moral standard of a book that condones slavery, burning people alive, and stoning them to death above what we as a society have risen to through centuries of reasoned debate, discussion, practice and reflection. And I would also ask those on my right to please, if you're going to claim that the inspiration for good actions came from the religion, then it's only fair that you acknowledge that the inspiration for heinous acts of hideous cruelty such as slavery and the subjugation and murder of women and members of other faith traditions have also been inspired directly by your faith, and that license to carry out hideous actions has been drawn directly from your scriptures, giving a direct inspiration that a secular ideology or a non-believing person could simply never ever justify. Also, just one more thing, please don't assert that any criticisms of Christianity that refer to the old testament are invalid, because that would rather be having it both ways, wouldn't it? especially if you're inclined to go back later and claim that the benevolent being who sent his precious son as a sacrifice for our benefit is in fact the murderous sadistic character of whom we read in the old testament. So, look, if he was so generous, merciful and graceful, then to be fair you also need to acknowledge that your opponents' observations of his violent, cruel, heartless and obnoxious actions are based in the same scriptural source as yours. OK, so either accept the old testament as a representation of the character of the never-changing God the Father, or don't, just choose one, OK? let's not try to have it both ways tonight? Thanks. OK, and with the ground rules established, so as to have a debate full of fresh arguments and ideas rather than the stale old fallacies debunked years ago, I think we can begin. But given that those on my right don't have any arguments that are in any way satisfying to anyone who is not blind to empty rhetoric, circular arguments, ignorance, and outright lies and misrepresentations, I declare the debate over before it begins. At least until the theistic side can come up with something that hasn't already been thoroughly debunked at least a hundred times in arguments so strong and watertight that no theist wants to even try to address them directly and would rather change the subject instead. So, congratulations to our winners, thanks for coming everybody, and goodnight. Video made by NonStampCollector and subtitled by HuanManwe

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 58 seconds
Country: Australia
Language: English
Genre: Animated
Producer: NonStampCollector
Director: NonStampCollector
Views: 182
Posted by: huanmanwe on Aug 7, 2010

Video created by NonStampCollector and shared in YouTube.
With the flourish, in recent years, of popular and widely accessible debates on this subject, the arguments coming from the theistic side have very quickly become predictable, stale, old, and even less convincing than they may have been the first time they were used.

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