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 Post subject: Kirk Cameron vs. The Atheists
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 4:52 am 
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Did anybody catch the story about the Christian/Atheist debate on Nightline on ABC? Neither did I, but you can watch the unedited debate at http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/story?id=3148940&page=1 and its in the list of videos on the right. (It may also be on youtube, but I don't have access to youtube on this computer)

The background: Nightline did a story about a group called The Rational Response Squad, which was encouranging people to post videos of themselves proclaiming their atheism and denying the holy spirit and other such things. So Kirk Cameron (TV's Mike Seaver) and Ray Comfort, who produce The Way of the Master http://wayofthemaster.com, decided to challenge the Rational Response folks to a debate. The hook: Ray Comfort proclaimed that he would prove, scientifically, without the use of the Bible, that God exists.

So the debate began. Within his opening statement, Mr Comfort gave some arguement involving a building, a soda can, and a painting. Since all those things have creators, it is obvious that the universe must also have a creator. I didn't follow his logic, but maybe somebody else could explain it to me. Next, he cited The Ten Commandments, and thus already broken his own rules that he would not use The Bible. The debate should have been over right there. And there was the problem with his plan: He was going to prove scientifically something that by its very nature cannot be proven scientifically. He was destined to lose on that point.

While I am in general agreement with the atheist side of the debate, the two people on stage representing it were absolutely terrible. First, they seemed like arrogant jerks. Second, they were not nearly as articulate as Mr Comfort and Mr Cameron. Yes, one of those men is a preacher and the other a professional actor, but the atheist side of the table was definately not occupied by people with any real experience at public speaking. (Neither do I have any experience, therefore I don't participate in such oral debates. I'd get my butt kicked.) It made them look unprofessional. Towards the end the moderator, Martin Bashir, was lobbing the atheists really easy softball questions that they should have hit out of the park, but they completely fumbled them with their inability to express their thoughts clearly.

In conclusion, I came away from watching this debate being very disappointed. Neither side was well represented. An articulate, well read, well spoken atheist would have completely mopped the floor with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort. And do the Christians really want to be represented by a man who said that a banana was the ultimate proof that God exists? (that video is on youtube and had me in stitches) The two bumbling idiot atheists could have easily been defeated in the debate if Mr. Comfort's plan was not to prove God scientifically.

I like the fact that this debate was on national television, but it was severely lacking. There should have been real scholars on that stage, both theist and atheist. But instead, both sides were made to look rather silly.

So if you saw the debate, what did you think? I mean "tell what u think." Is that how it goes?

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 5:12 am 
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I think Mr. Cameron and Mr. Comfort chose those people because of their personalities and poor speaking skills. Cameron and Comfort could lose, but if their opponents are total jerks the audience will sympathize with the Christians. (I'm watching the atheists now and the girl is a real dick. The guy was okay, but he seemed really nervous and under dressed.)

Debates like these are lame. Anyone of any belief shouldn't force their beliefs on others. No one cares that your God is enraged that you don't believe him him/her, they have their beliefs and that's that. If you're walking down the street, keep it in your pants. Pastafarians have it right with the first I Really Rather You Didn't. I'd really rather you didn't act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou butt when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don't believe in me, that's okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn't about them so don't change the subject.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 6:24 am 
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For a mere $99.95 you can order Kirk Cameron's "Way of the Master" ministry basic training course. You'll also need to order enough Way of the Master study guides ($5.99 each) for everyone who takes the course (and one church in Atlanta got over 130 respondents...just thought we'd mention that). The course will teach you "the forgotten biblical principle of bypassing the intellect (the place of argument) and speaking directly to the conscience (the place of the knowledge of right and wrong) — the way Jesus did."* Don't forget the refresher course CD kit ($24.99) and the quick reference cards ($10 for a ten pack) to supplement the training.

Once you've got that out of the way you can move on to the intermediate training course...$99.95 for the course materials, $5.99 for each additional study guide, and $24.99 for the CD kit. I think we can assume the advanced training course is on the way.

You can also enroll in Kirk's online School of Biblical Evangelism ($150). Textbook ($25) not included. Don't stop there, though...there are plenty of other books, CD's, DVD's, tracts, shirts, etc. to order. It's all about saving the lost, so don't be stingy! And don't miss the Evidence Bible ($49.99), a simplified KJV which includes extra features such as these:

-- See how the Bible is full of eye-opening scientific and medical facts.*
-- Read the fearful last words of famous people who died without the Savior.*
-- Study how to speak with a Mormon, a Jehovah's Witness, a Buddhist, a Hindu and a Moslem*.

Just visit Kirk's website, which, as it happens, he managed to plug on Nightline. Far be it for me to suggest, however, that Kirk and Ray are in this mostly to make a few bucks. I am certain that they have the best interests of the faithful at heart, just like Robert Tilton, Benny Hinn, Peter Popoff, etc. etc.

Mike

* These are all direct quotes from Kirk's website.

P.S. Read the testimonials for the training course. They're outstanding. All that's missing is an "as seen on TV" graphic.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:00 am 
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Oh dear. Shame on me for taking the Kirk's words at face value. I really should have looked more into their website. When your goal is making money, sound arguements and an intelligent "debate" are unecessary. Just throw out stupid crap about half-alligator-half-birds and soda cans on national television and people will beg you to take their money.

Still doesn't excuse the atheists in the debate for doing such a terrible job. I really want to see this debate involving real scholars and scientists on a major television network. Doubt that will happen though.

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 7:14 am 
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A real Christian scholar or scientist will be smart enough to realize you can't prove God's existence scientifically. Christianity is all faith, if there was hardcore proof then it wouldn't be Christianity as we know it.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 8:39 am 
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I agree. And that particular Christian wouldn't start out the debate saying that he can prove the existence of God scientificially. The Cameron/Comfort side defeated themselves by making such a claim.

But there is still plenty to debate about. The merits of Christianity vs atheism, the fossil record (regarding evolution & natural selection), suffering (human-caused & "natural"), creation, faith, cultures, The Bible, Jesus, The Ten Commandments, the origin of law, morality, and much more. The debate on Nightline touched on all those things, but neither side really presented anything intelligent.

Intelligent debate on such things is possible. I think it's sad that I see more intelligent debate on these things on a Homestar Runner wiki's Forum than I do on national television. These types of debates should be right out front in the nation's dialogue. Atheists and Christians and others should allow for their perceptions to be challenged, have ideas proposed and possibly refuted for everybody to see. All we see are soundbites on TV of people proclaiming their side, but never the type of back and forth dialogue that is really needed to understand why other people might think the way they do. I understand that intelligent debate on these things is out there for people who seek it out, but it really should be right at the forefront when these particular disagreements arise.

Maybe I should just blame the media and be done with it. Although, the media is just a reflection of us. . .

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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 1:19 pm 
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My response to hearing about this on the radio: *Headslap* "Kirk, if you could prove the existence of God scientifically, there'd be no use for faith."

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