Debate: Does God Exist?


As part of the Houston Debate Coalition's series of high-quality debates that will focus on the most important issues of our day, or indeed, any other, Provost of Houston Baptist University, John Mark Reynolds, and Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation will spar over a question asked by man for centuries: Does God Exist?

The presentation is free and open to the public, but you will need to register.

Saturday, November 9, 7:30 pm
Houston Baptist University
7502 Fondren Road Houston, TX 77074
The Linda & Archie Dunham Theater

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  • Penny l.

    The only thing John Mark Reynolds did was make assertions with no evidence to back up his claims.

    1 · November 10, 2013

    • Ariel

      "You cannot explain this, therefore God" brings out my proposed revision of the name of our species. "Homo sapiens" is presumptuous: we really have no Wisdom. I propose we be re-designated as "Homo interrogans": humans who ask questions. With two sub-species: (a) "Homo interrogans scientificus" for those of us who seek answers to questions via observations, facts, hypotheses, experimentation, testing null hypotheses, challenging, etc. until an answer is found or until we say "we don't have a valid scientific answer YET" -- and (b) "Homo interrogans religiosus" for the sad, hapless people who don't have the mental fortitude to live with unanswered questions, so they buy expensive invented answers from illusion peddlers (there's always a "special" every Sunday").

      1 · November 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      The best part is that the tell themselves it is the simplest answer. Dan addressed that when he said that anything designed of complexity X must have a designer of complexity at least X+1. Their answer poses more questions than it answers. If the human eye is of such complexity that it is almost impossible, a designer of said eye is even more so.

      November 10, 2013

  • Steve

    Reynolds was the better debater, but was intellectually dishonest. Barker couldn't think on his feet, so when Reynolds threw him a curve ball, he would swing and miss. Reynolds best move, of course, was not defining "God". Well, actually, he defined the word three different ways. He first said he was taking about the "philosophers' God", a term which appears to have no clear meaning, later he switched to talking about "Jefferson's God", finally, at the end of the debate he defined "God" to be the creator and the source of morality.

    The one good thing that may come out of the debate is a source of logical fallicies. My favorite one occurred when Reynolds tried to use an appeal to authority (or at least an appeal to tradition) to label Barker's objection that, without a definition of God, they weren't really talking about anything, a logical fallicy.

    2 · November 10, 2013

    • Ariel

      Towards the end, when Reynolds finally acknowledged that he needed a definition of doG but didn't have one, he said something about "philosophers of religion are now working on a definition" (I think that's what he said). So, the philosopher-theologians are still working to complete the knowledge of their field? Why then is he unable to accept that science is up-front about just that -- still works-in-progress?

      November 10, 2013

    • Jewell D.

      I thought Reynolds ' best move was to take any particular God off the table thereby making Biblical inconsistencies ànd illogical parables a nonissue.but in doing this he setup Barker for his best point of the evening where he quipped on about the reason for the debate.

      November 10, 2013

  • Ariel

    Reynolds stated repeatedly that when Atheists reach numbers large enough to run a country, it's bad, bad, bad. Two comments: (a) what about Czchekoslovakia (sp?) between the World Wars? (the country was officially Atheist), and (b) if an "A-theo-cracy" is inevitably bad, are we to conclude that a Theo-cracy inevitably must be good? If so, who should be in charge of an American Theocracy - an Iranian Ayatollah? the Pope? John Calvin? England's "Bloody Mary"? Pat Robertson? Who decides?

    November 10, 2013

  • Abraham M

    Did did not see anyone from meetup. The debate was interesting

    November 10, 2013

  • Jim M.

    Athiest was a fine debater and made valid and thoughtful points but Christian was pompous and poor debater and broke many rules of debating including personal attacks, ignoring time restrictions, and failing to address questions. I felt that event would have been much better if Christian was aware of debating rules. Hard to debate when your partner is lecturing and citing philosophy as proof of God's existence which is like saying truth is what I say it is. Period. As someone who feels both positions have validity I was sad to see the Christian be the pompous ass the liberal media says we are :(

    November 10, 2013

    • David F.

      John Mark Reynolds didn't really give a debate, he gave a sermon. His opening statements was a laundry list of prejudicial and false statements. He never gave any real reason for the existence for god other than "It's just common sense." I don't know why he was so enamored by the Deist concept of god, they predated Darwin. Once it was demonstrated how life could evolve without a deity, most Deists became Atheists.

      1 · November 10, 2013

    • Brenda L.

      Reynolds was not reasonable. He refused to take any defensible position, negating any chance a reasoned debate. His defense of god as a concept was so vaporous that it was useless.

      November 10, 2013

  • Amber

    Once at the university, are there signs directing exactly where to go ?

    November 9, 2013

    • Brenda L.

      Not at all. Go in, go left.

      November 9, 2013

  • David F.

    I wonder how reasonable they really are.

    November 8, 2013

  • Jewell D.

    This will be my first meet with this group. Please understand if I don't recognize anyone.

    November 8, 2013

  • Jim M.

    my girlfriend would rather hear them debate why women were written out of the bible except as whores. She's about as close to God as anyone and she is a girl.....

    November 7, 2013

  • Travis S.

    I don't see this being very constructive, lol. The immovable object vs irrestible force is right!

    November 4, 2013

  • David Ray S.

    This should be an interesting debate.

    November 3, 2013

  • Ariel

    Does my having RSVP'd affirmatively to this count as "registered"?

    October 15, 2013

    • Sam O.

      No. They ask that you register at the link provided. That will be your RSVP.

      October 15, 2013

  • Ariel

    I don't know what (if anything) is accomplished by these debates between Immovable Objects and Irresistible Forces.
    The first one I attended was actually a series, in Austin, in 1957 or 58, between philosophy prof John Silber (who went on to presidency at Boston U), and Rev Joe Mathews. I don't think it was recorded -- even reel-to-reel tape was a rarity.
    But I'll go anyway, I guess. Maybe there will be something new...

    1 · October 15, 2013

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