Press release on my upcoming debate on whether god exists


Mark Tiborsky, an indefatigable member of the Northeast Ohio secular community who is actively involved in the Freethinkers, Center of Inquiry, and Coalition of Reason has issued a press release about my upcoming debate with Rev, Joe Puckett, where I will be affirming the proposition that god does not exist.

Area Minister, Theoretical Physicist to Debate Existence of God

The Northwest Church of Christ in Canton will be hosting a debate on the existence of God on Saturday, June 21 at 6pm. Squaring off in the debate, titled “God Does Not Exist”, will be Case Western Reserve University theoretical physicist Mano Singham and Christian philosopher and Minister for the Hartville Church of Christ, Joe Puckett, Jr. The debate will be free and open to the public.

It was Puckett who approached the local non-theist community with an invitation to debate. Singham readily accepted the offer a day later. Both Puckett and Singham are published authors with considerable academic credentials.

“I am excited about the debate. More than anything, I think we need to show that we can have open and yet civil conversations about issues important to us in which we disagree,” says Puckett. “Without minimizing the differences, believers and unbelievers can get together as human beings to engage in open-minded debate.”

Recent surveys have shown that while the U.S. is still predominantly Christian at 77% of the adult population, the number of religious “nones” is growing. Those who claim “no religion” now make up about 18% of the population, while 6% count themselves as atheists or agnostics.

Singham places himself among the 6%. “While the ancient holy books of religions describe gods involving themselves unambiguously and visibly in the lives of people, we now live in an age where people have to struggle to discern even the faintest sign that gods are doing anything at all,” says Singham. “This naturally raises the question as to whether gods exist or whether they are purely the creations of people’s imaginations. The upcoming debate, which I am honored to participate in, seeks to examine this question seriously and in depth.”

“I hope we both can show what a frank and civil conversation can look like,” adds Puckett. “The way I see it, this is not a debate involving two people against each other. It is about presenting two ways of looking at the world and letting the listeners decide for themselves.”

When: Saturday, June 21 at 6pm
Where: Northwest Church of Christ, 3904 38th Street NW, Canton, OH

The debate may be livestreamed (I am not quite sure yet) and will be put on YouTube later. I’ll give more details later as I get them.

Comments

  1. Brucc says

    I think with this specific phrasing of the question under debate, it will be vital to start off by admitting that, in a “mathematical” sense of proof, it is impossible to prove that god does not exist. But I would then immediately follow up by pointing out that the meaning of words comes from how the population uses them, and normal people, including physical scientists, generally use the word proof in a non-math sense. And in that sense, it is taken as proved when we imagine the most likely forms of evidence to expect if an idea were true, and to look and see. And if, as with the god idea, when the expected confirming evidence is positively seen not to be there, then almost all non-mathematicians would take this as disproven.
    Just because you are able to DO math, that does not mean you have to meet a standard of proof that nobody else uses in the world of actual real life. Good luck.

  2. says

    After thousands of years of failure, it’s impossible for religion to be honest about this issue. No matter how politely you’re going to smile and pretend false courtesy, it’s integral to the discussion that your opponent is a liar, and virtually certain that they know they are lying. In that sense, yeah, wow, sounds fun.

  3. Ed says

    I doubt most religionists are lying about what they believe, but their concept of what constitutes proof or evidence is flawed on many levels.

  4. Mano Singham says

    @Brucc,

    Your points are well taken and ones that I have taken into consideration.

  5. dogfightwithdogma says

    Marcus, if it is as you say “virtually certain” that religious believers are lying, then please explain how you know this. I know it is something of a common tactic for some nonbelievers to accuse believers of lying about what they believe. I am an atheist. I find the arguments offered by religious believers to be incredibly unpersuasive. But I have yet to encounter a single example of a believer who lies about his religious beliefs. Frankly, I think atheists should be ashamed to use this old tiresome criticism of believers. Certainly there are much better and far more accurate criticisms you can offer.

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