Apr 3, 2012

DEBATE ON FRIDAY: Does Evil Nullify God's Existence?

Jason Short (Tempe, AZ)
(pic above)

Randy Chesley (Portland, OR)
(pic below)
A Christian & Atheist Discussion: "Does Evil Nullify God's Existence?"
April 06, 2012 at 9-10:45pm

@RCC  on the FRONT PORCH STEPS - First Fridays Downtown - 924 N. 1st St. - Phx, AZ 85004 

Pastor Vocab (Christian. Phoenix, AZ)

Jason Short (atheist. Tempe, AZ) 
Randy Chesley (atheist. Portland, OR)

MODERATORS: Professor Sanjay Merchant (Grand Canyon University) and Ryan Smeets

*Moderator welcomes, explains format, and reads bios
*4 minute opener for each side

*The moderator then asks a question directed towards one side.
This questions have been crafted by the other side and are below.

*After the one side answers (3 minutes), the side who wrote the question has a chance to review the person's answer (2 minutes). Then the side that originally asked the question has one last chance to respond (1 minute).
*Then, the moderator will ask a question towards the other side, and the same format will follow. This means we will do a total of 10 questions - 5 for each side. This will allow us to have about an hour for this section of the discussion. 
*Each side has 1 minute for a closer 
*Then we will take a brief 5 minute break and allow the audience to ask all of questions for about 30 minutes.

 (NOTE: these are still being worked on)
1. If God exists, would he know something we don't about the reasons for the suffering of sentient creatures? What do you think the reasons for suffering are? 
2. If God is wrong for allowing evil and suffering, then by what standard is He wrong? What is this standard by which He can be judged? Do you believe there is such a thing as objective good and objective evil?
 3. Are we always correct about what evil is? What exactly makes something evil – what are the ingredients? Is there a transcendent and objective standard that determines whether a thing is really evil? How do you know and are you certain your answer is correct? 
4. Is it possible for there to be a world with absolutely no evil? If not, then why not? If so, then how would this be? 
5. Why do you think suffering is bad? If you believe there is evil in this world, then what do you do about it? How do you alleviate or fix it? What is your advice about what others should do about it?

(NOTE: these are still being worked on) 

  1. Consider examples of suffering built into the natural world; how is this consistent with a supremely powerful and benevolent God? How could an agnostic survey the world with this in mind and come to the conclusion that such a God exists?
  2. What evidence suggests a benevolent and supremely powerful god exists, as opposed to multiple imperfect gods or a malicious, uncaring or incapable god, or no god at all? Taking the suffering in life into account, what evidence is decisive on behalf of the God you are defending?
  3. Why didn’t God simply create heaven and everything that is good, instead of creating this world with all of its troubles? For example, why couldn’t God have just given us perfect characters or why didn’t God create something like a holodeck (as in Star Trek) whereby nobody else, including ourselves, is hurt in the process of building character? Or at least intervene when someone decides to torture or kill somebody else, for example? 
  4. Is a greater good achieved in a world where animals eat other animals, as opposed to a world where they do not? Is a greater good achieved in a world where people are forced to endure terrible experiences that they do not recover from, as opposed to a world where this does not happen? Doesn’t it seem there is unnecessary suffering in the world and so count against belief in God for one surveying the evidence?
  5. Can you think of any good ways to die? Why do you think God created creatures such as us and all animals in a manner to suffer such inevitable, horrible outcomes? 

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To find out more about the ministry of BACKPACK APOLOGETICS or to schedule a speaking event at your church or school, contact Vocab:

E-mail: vocab@vocabmalone.com