Re: [M & B] Re: Blair Scott v. Kyle Butt Debate - Anyone see it last night?
Can't help but think that the AP wing have very weak faith, because they always talk about evidence."Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."Hebrews 11:1. NASBCharles Weston
--- On Sun, 10/2/11, rlbaty50 <rlbaty@...> wrote:
From: rlbaty50 <rlbaty@...>
Subject: [M & B] Re: Blair Scott v. Kyle Butt Debate - Anyone see it last night?
Date: Sunday, October 2, 2011, 1:18 PM
You can find Blair Scott on FaceBook where he has some comments about the debate:
In one comment, he summed up the "debate" with a reference to the following illustration:
--- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com, "rlbaty50" <rlbaty@...> wrote:
Here's one report (Go to link for readers' comments):
Atheist, Christian debate God's existence
By Sarah Carlson
October 1, 2011
A debate on the existence of the Judeo-Christian God drew about 1,700 attendees
from across the Shoals and beyond Thursday night, but whether a representative
on each side of the issue won their argument is equally up for debate.
For Blair Scott, communications director for American Atheists Inc., the goal of
the event, conducted at the University of North Alabama and sponsored by the
school's Christian Student Center,
> was to ignite discussion and critical thought,
> not deliver steadfast answers.
> "I'm here to confuse the hell out of you,"
he said in his opening statement.
His opponent, Kyle Butt, a Christian who works for Apologetics Press, had a more
traditional approach in mind.
He spent his opening statement in the debate outlining his key arguments, which
he said followed the law of rationality:
> Firstly, that there is no good
> evidence for atheism;
> secondly, that there is adequate
> evidence to say there is a God,
> 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
> thirdly, that objective moral
> values can't exist without God.
"If atheism is true and there is no God, then there is nothing that can't be
wrong," Butt said. "You and I both know that ... some things are right and some
things are wrong" — not that believers in God are the only people able to act
morally, he added.
He cited several well-known atheists, such as British evolutionary biologist
Richard Dawkins, who promote the notion of free will. But free will comes from
God, Butt said.
"If you chose to be here this evening," Butt told the audience, "then atheism is
not true. ... The origin of life under atheistic ideas simply cannot be
explained. (You) can't explain how consciousness could arise from unconscious
In his opening remarks, Scott said he wasn't interested in answering Butt point
for point, calling Butt's arguments philosophical ones that have been routinely
disproved since ancient Greece.
Scott encouraged those in attendance to research the issues on their own and not
be swayed by Butt's use of
> "scientific-sounding words to make his
> arguments seem more legitimate."
Besides, he said, Butt is using what he sees as evidence to claim that the
Judeo-Christian God exists, not any other gods.
But how can Butt be so sure?, he asked.
> "The difference between you and me is you
> are atheistic against 4,000 gods,"
> "I am atheistic against 4,001."
With the prompt of "God does not exist," Scott's role in the affirmative
position was to prove a negative.
But "we do not have to prove a negative to arrive at a reasonable conclusion
that God doesn't exist," he said. "... Possible is irrelevant. Is it probable?"
He went on to detail the history of faith, from origins of animism and
polytheism to the monotheism that is prevalent in Western cultures today, citing
biology as the key factor as to why man is religious to begin with. We are wired
to want to find answers for that which we don't understand, he said.
> "Religious people are doing exactly what
> their biology has told them to do,"
Scott said, and critical thinking can override those functions.
Butt began his rebuttal by stating Scott had essentially conceded the debate
from the beginning by not answering Butt's points and giving evidence that God
does not exist.
He poked fun at Scott's discussion of near-death experiences and said Scott did
a "great job" of confusing those present, two of several comments that drew
applause from the majority-Christian audience.
"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."
Scott said he was told he could not concede his rebuttal time to questions from
audience members as he had wished, adding he did not choose the debate's
resolution that God doesn't exist; Apologetics Press did.
He advised the audience to pay attention to Butt's strategy of using
> "shotgun tactics,"
him knowing Scott couldn't address all of the arguments in the allotted time.
> "These are philosophical discussions,"
> "There is no evidence here. (It is) irresponsible
> to assume where knowledge doesn't exist, insert
> God here."
For his cross examination, Scott asked a basic, and what he referred to as a
> "If God created this massive space,
> who created God?"
> "You are right,"
> "I do think it's a kindergarten argument."
Much of the audience laughed and applauded loudly.
"You don't use the law of cause and effect on God because he isn't natural —
he's supernatural," Butt said.
Scott then asked about morality — "Does God set the standard?"
"God's nature dictates the standard," Butt replied.
But man's morals have evolved through time, Scott said, on issues such as
slavery, child labor and women's suffrage.
"How is it objective if our societal morals change over time?," he asked.
"You can change laws," Butt replied, "but the morality behind those laws does
For his cross, Butt cited numerous writings by Scott on social networking sites
and for The Huntsville Times.
Butt said in one exchange, Scott encouraged atheists to lie to Christians,
telling them they also are believers.
> "Do you still think it's morally acceptable
> to lie to advance atheism?,"
Scott said he was advising atheists who were afraid of condemnation to take a
"doubting Thomas" approach in their lives — to claim to be struggling with and
in doubt of Christianity — before coming fully "out of the closet" as
He said lying in this instance to prove a point was OK.
> "Have you lied to us tonight to prove a point?,"
Butt asked, to huge applause.
> "You're having entirely too much fun,"
Scott said with a chuckle.
Before each man took questions from the audience, Scott finished his cross
examination by saying that if the majority of audience members were Christian,
they were so because they happened to be born in the United States, where
Christianity is prevalent.
Had they been born in Tel Aviv, Israel, or Tehran, Iran, they likely would have
If the evening's debate had been held in the Middle East — had its debaters and
attendees been native to the Middle East, he said — it would be probable that
Butt would be making the claim that Allah is the true God.