(Photo: The Christian Post)
A recent atheist-Christian debate on the existence of God at an Alabama college campus drew nearly 2,000 people.
Blair Scott, communications director for American Atheists, and Kyle Butt, a Christian apologist who works for the Apologetics Press, went head-to-head last week during a debate on the existence of the Judeo-Christian God at the University of North Alabama in Florence.
The debate was sponsored by the school’s Christian Student Center.
Scott sparked immediate controversy when he opened the debate: “I’m here to confuse the hell out of you,” the Times Daily reported.
Butt, on the other hand, started off more conservatively and said, “If atheism is true and there is no God, then there is nothing that can’t be wrong.”
“You and I both know that some things are right and some things are wrong."
The Times Daily reported Butt’s debate outline as: "Firstly, that there is no good evidence for atheism; secondly, that there is adequate evidence to say there is a God, using the cosmological argument that everything that begins to exist must have a cause and the teleological argument that such a complex world must have a supernatural intelligence behind its design; and thirdly, that objective moral values can’t exist without God.”
Butt said his atheist opponent “had essentially conceded the debate from the beginning by giving evidence that God does not exist.”
“Where did he get the idea that there is no God?” Butt asked. “He would have to prove there is not a God who put that into a human mind. You don’t use the law of cause and effect on God because he isn’t natural – he’s supernatural,” the Christian apologist said.
During the debate, Scott went on a detailed rant about the history of faith, from origins of animism and polytheism to the monotheism that is prevalent in Western cultures today. The atheist also said humans are wired to desire answers for that which they don’t understand.
A highlight in the debate was when Butt pointed to numerous writings by Scott on social networking sites, accusing his opponent of encouraging atheists to lie to Christians by advising them to pose as believers.
“Do you still think it’s morally acceptable to lie to advance atheism?” Butt asked Scott directly.
Scott said he advised atheists to use a “doubting Thomas” approach, posing as a believer struggling with the faith before coming “out of the closet” as an atheist. He said lying to prove a point was OK.
“Have you lied to us tonight to prove a point?” Butt asked, to huge applause.
Prominent Christian apologist William Lane Craig, research professor at the Talbot School of Theology, recently commented on Christian-atheist debates on Fox News, "[O]ne of the great things about these debates is that, it allows both sides to be heard on a level playing field.”
"It is for the students in the audience to make up their own minds about where they think the truth lies."
Audience member Justin Weaver, a junior at the University of North Alabama, told The Christian Post that "Butt won this debate for God. Hands down. Scott made a fool out of himself by using shock value."