Feb 28 2014

Does God Exist? Schieber vs. Horner debate

Does God Exist? – Horner vs. Schieber at University of Alberta in Edmonton.



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  1. 1

    I’ve been waiting to hear someone defend the reality of the Greek pantheon but never dreamed Homer himslf would do it!

  2. 2

    I’d prefer Ned vs. Homer!

  3. 3

    Just once I’d love for the believer to allow the non believer to examine the believer about the characteristics of the god in question. Then have the debate from there. E.g. Does the deity have gender, physical existence, breathe, smile, like, hate, control every action of non humans directly, sense of humor, jealousy, jealousy of what, sorrow, regrets, is this the best it could do, what does it favor that you don’t & visa versa, etc… I think the descriptions would be wonderful and the audience of believers ticking off agreement or disagreement would likewise be entertaining.

  4. 4
    Danny W

    Hi guys,

    This episode is not appearing in my feed. I’ve been subscribed for a couple of years and not had a problem before.

  5. 5

    I’m almost through the intro and I have yet to hear anything that sounds like an original thought, hell an original word, out of Homer. Is this guy just reading WLC’s power point slides?

  6. 6

    The next time someone uses Kalam and fine tuning together, I really hope to hear the rebuttal that either the inconceivable odds of chance are insufficient for describing how we ended up here and fine tuning fails, or a universe that is finely tuned for life and would kill all known forms of life in 99.9999999999999999999% of it is acceptable and Kalam fails. Not that they don’t fail spectacularly on their own in a hundred different ways, but to use them together in a cumulative argument destroys the cumulative argument.

    I did like the full house analogy, though.

  7. 7

    I keep hearing it repeated that “almost all of the biblical scholars agree that the resurrection and the empty tomb are historical facts”. It leaves me wondering what the source of this assertion is. Has there been a survey of modern biblical scholars and their stance on these claims? Have they been asked what they think about them and why they think they are/aren’t historical facts? If this hasn’t been done, how would one go about doing that, because I’d love to see what the biblical scholars actually do think on these issues since the assertion keeps being hammered as a valid argument.

  8. 8

    Also, you don’t need an uncaused cause at all (which we already knew), because the universe’s net energy is 0. The universe in total is nothing, and it started from nothing. Quantum mechanics we already understand describe how the universe started. In order to have truly empty space, you have to put energy into a vacuum to clear it of all fluctuations. It takes a lot on very small scales. So either the universe had a whole bunch of energy to start that god created so he could then remove it and get spotty, dubious credit or, there was literally nothing, and nothing being the nothing it is, made something through completely natural process we already understand.

    (I like this 2009 talk from Lawrence Krauss on the subject http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo )

  9. 9
    Kurt Lewis Helf

    I can’t access the ep. on my iTunes feed, either.

  10. 10

    Re: comment 8:
    Tentatively withdrawn.

  11. 11
    Justin Schieber

    This is not an episode to expect in your feed, it is simply a post with a video from a recent debate.

  12. 12

    I heard Mr. Horner say his arguments are based on a “balance of probabilities”. Although it wouldn’t work in a formal debate setting, but if a theist pretexts their argument with this (or rhetorically asks ‘which is the more reasonable position?’ which implies that the atheist position is indeed reasonable, but just not as much) in an informal setting, is there any advantage to calling them on this? This is a weak standard of evidence compared to “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Generally, by using the balance of probabilities you’re saying you’re willing to use the minimum of 51% certainty in order to be convinced. But by using beyond a reasonable doubt it’s like saying your minimum is more like 90%. But I haven’t heard a theist say they’re convinced beyond a reasonable doubt. They usually seem to hedge. With the eternal damnation of your soul on the line, wouldn’t the theist want to be more sure than just on a balance of probabilities? After writing the above I realize it’s just a rhetorical point and won’t make any concrete headway but I think it’s still something to watch for.

  13. 13
    Jonathan MS Pearce

    Ack, the KCA. The bain of my life. Justin, you started to give it a little nudge in the right direction vis-a-vis ontology and transformative creation. I am trying to turn my 20,000 word paper on it into a book, but am snowed under with projects.Perhaps this year…

    A few points on why the KCA doesn’t do what theists hope it does:



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