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OSU debates God with two philosophers

February 22, 2010

Two Philosophers Debate the Existence of God A Socratic Club debate
By OSU Socratic Club

The OSU Socratic Club will sponsor a public dialogue entitled, “Two Philosophers Debate the Existence of God,” on Monday, March 1, at 7 p.m. in the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus.  William Lane Craig will argue for the Christian view that a personal God exists and Victor J. Stenger the atheist position that there is no God.

Is God the greatest fact or the greatest illusion?  Of all the questions posed by philosophy this is surely the most important.  Has scientific knowledge made belief in God unnecessary and outdated?  Is the universe all there is and God merely a human invention and a fantasy?  Or is there an uncreated being, who is absolute, perfect, eternal, and personal that we call God?  These issues will be addressed by two distinguished philosophers who will offer widely differing points of view.

William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Biola University in La Mirada, California.  He is known for his contributions to the philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, and historical Jesus studies.  He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Birmingham in the UK, where he studied under the British philosopher John Hick; and a doctorate in theology from the University of Munich, where he studied under the German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg.  He has authored or edited more than 30 books and has engaged many prominent academic atheists in public dialogue and debate.  For more information see his web site

Victor J. Stenger is Emeritus Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Hawaii and currently Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado.  He was a pioneer in the emerging research focused on neutrino astronomy and very high-energy gamma rays.  Stenger is an advocate of philosophical naturalism, scepticism, and atheism.  He has published nine books on cosmology, skepticism, and atheism, most recently The New Atheism:  Taking a Stand for Science and Reason (2009).  For more information see his home page at

The Socratic Club is in its eighth year as a student organization at OSU. The Club is modeled on the original Socratic Club, which was founded at Oxford University in 1941, with C. S. Lewis serving as President.  At OSU it offers a forum for opposing points of view on subjects of contemporary debate at the intersection of Christian belief and contemporary culture.  Each speaker is given 25 minutes to present one side of an issue, after which the two query each other regarding their differences before the floor is opened to questions from members of the audience.  Two events are planned for each quarter.  For more information visit the OSU Socratic Club online at

The debate is free and open to the public.=

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Discuss this article

Ally February 22, 2010

Oh the things colleges do in the name of education.

Chris February 22, 2010

Another reason to pray for our college students. They get bombarded by so many things while attending college.

Anders Branderud February 22, 2010

Quote: “historical Jesus studies. ”
“Historical Jesus”?!?
Using that contra-historical oxymoron (demonstrated by the eminent late Oxford historian, James Parkes, The Conflict of the Church and the Synagogue) exposes dependancy upon 4th-century, gentile, Hellenist sources.

While scholars debate the provenance of the original accounts upon which the earliest extant (4th century, even fragments are post-135 C.E.), Roman gentile, Hellenist-redacted versions were based, there is not one fragment, not even one letter of the NT that derives DIRECTLY from the 1st-century Pharisee Jews who followed the Pharisee Ribi Yehoshua.
Historians like Parkes, et al., have demonstrated incontestably that 4th-century Roman Christianity was the 180° polar antithesis of 1st-century Judaism of ALL Pharisee Ribis. The earliest (post-135 C.E.) true Christians were viciously antinomian (ANTI-Torah), claiming to supersede and displace Torah, Judaism and (“spiritual) Israel and Jews. In soberest terms, ORIGINAL Christianity was anti-Torah from the start while DSS (viz., 4Q MMT) and ALL other Judaic documentation PROVE that ALL 1st-century Pharisees were PRO-Torah.

There is a mountain of historical Judaic information Christians have refused to deal with, at: (see, especially, their History Museum pages beginning with “30-99 C.E.”).
Original Christianity = ANTI-Torah. Ribi Yehoshua and his Netzarim, like all other Pharisees, were PRO-Torah. Intractable contradiction.

Building a Roman image from Hellenist hearsay accounts, decades after the death of the 1st-century Pharisee Ribi, and after a forcible ouster, by Hellenist Roman gentiles, of his original Jewish followers (135 C.E., documented by Eusebius), based on writings of a Hellenist Jew excised as an apostate by the original Jewish followers (documented by Eusebius) is circular reasoning through gentile-Roman Hellenist lenses.

What the historical Pharisee Ribi taught is found not in the hearsay accounts of post-135 C.E. Hellenist Romans but, rather, in the Judaic descriptions of Pharisees and Pharisee Ribis of the period… in Dead Sea Scroll 4Q MMT (see Prof. Elisha Qimron), inter alia.

To all Christians: The question is, now that you’ve been informed, will you follow the authentic historical Pharisee Ribi? Or continue following the post-135 C.E. Roman-redacted antithesis—an idol?

March 1 Debate Between W. L. Craig and Victor Stenger « Cloud of Witnesses February 23, 2010

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