Christian-Atheist Debate will air May 9th on ABC News Now & Nightline (NOT May 5th)

May 3, 2007 at 8:54 am 34 comments

RELATED LINKS (updated 11 May 07):

NOTE: If you’re having trouble finding the video on ABC News (not sure why they make it so difficult), go here: BSAlert.com.


May 3/Agnostic Atheism Newswire/ 🙂 – On April 26, Christian Newswire posted the article “Best-selling Author Will ‘Prove’ God’s Existence – ABC to Air LIVE Atheist Debate with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort” by Mark Spence. According to the article:

….best-selling author Ray Comfort contacted the network and offered to prove God’s existence, absolutely, scientifically, without mentioning the Bible or faith. He and Kirk Cameron (co-hosts of an award-winning Christian TV program) challenged the two originators of the “Blasphemy Challenge” to a debate on the existence of God.

….ABC loved the idea, and will host a debate in New York City on May 5, 2007. Moderated by Martin Bashir, the debate will be streamed LIVE on their website and will also be filmed for “Nightline.”

Christian-Atheist Debate on ABC NewsAs May 5 is quickly approaching, I went looking on the ABC Website to validate this article.

Here’s what I found on Is God Real? The Nightline Face Off – Christians and Atheists to Debate the Existence of God:

Watch the Face Off Wednesday May 9 at 2 p.m. on ABC News Now, and on Nightline at 11:35 p.m.

Many Atheist blogs, forums, and groups picked up the Christian News Wire piece and publicized the wrong date for the airing of this event. Please note that the event will be taped on May 5th.

Please update your calendars.

– Agnostic Atheist

p.s. Don’t miss our Blog Party on May 9th (BYOB) during this event

Also, If you’re a Christian, please watch the following video clip prior to getting too excited about this debate:

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Entry filed under: agnostic, agnostic atheism, agnostic atheist, apologetics, atheism, atheist, Bible, Blasphemy Challenge, christian, Christian-Atheist Debate, christianity, creationism, evolution, faith, freethinking, news, Religion.

A Christian’s concern with Atheism Agnostic Atheism Blog Party on May 9th (BYOB)

34 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LaShawn  |  May 3, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Wow! Just wow… I don’t know what else to say to that banana video. You could probably his enthusiasm for it against him, and say it’s proof that humans evolved from apes after all.

    Reply
  • 2. Karen  |  May 3, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    That banana video is absolutely legendary in skeptics’ circles. There are some very funny parodies of it. 🙂

    I am totally aghast that ABC News would put these jokers into a serious debate format – what the heck are they thinking? Have they seen Comfort and Cameron in action, and heard their “scientific proof”?

    The debate could get real ugly, real quick. Which, I guess, is what ABC wants just so they can stir up some controversy and boost the Nightline ratings.

    Reply
  • 3. Justin  |  May 3, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    I wish that they would get real professors in theology and religious studies to debate instead of celebrities like Cameron. haha

    Reply
  • 4. Justin  |  May 3, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    oh, and I suspect that the debate will just be repetition of the same tired arguments by each side….

    Reply
  • 5. Brendan  |  May 3, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    What will be the definition of “God” by which the debate is framed? Without that, such a debate is ridiculous and pointless.

    Reply
  • 6. agnosticatheist  |  May 3, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Justin,

    If only you had your book published…. 🙂 Hopefully, it’s a lot better than the material these guys put out.

    aA

    Reply
  • 7. agnosticatheist  |  May 3, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Brendan,

    I think it’s just “Creator” god.

    aA

    Reply
  • 8. Brendan  |  May 3, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    “I think it’s just ‘Creator’ god.”

    That still doesn’t help, because it doesn’t define what is being looked for in the evidence.

    Let’s take “Nessie” as an example. With a lake monster, “what are we trying to prove” is a relatively simple proposition. We are looking for one of the following: (1) some large animal of a previously uncategorized species in the lake, or (2) we could take a narrow view and look specifically for a large animal that aligns with different peoples’ descriptions of their personal experience of the thing they interpreted as a lake monster, or (3) we could look for something other than a large animal that would also align with different peoples’ descriptions of their personal experience of the thing.

    But then the second problem arises, by what means do we look for Nessie? Lake soundings? Cameras? That wouldn’t solve the problem of finding the Loch Ness Monster. If the “monster” is itself a creation of the human mind based on different individuals mixing actual sensory perceptions with an evolving mytholgical construct, sounding the lake won’t find the “monster” but that also doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    “God” presents a similar problem. It is a combination of subjective perception and inherited myth.

    When you go looking for whether “God” exists, what are you even looking for? And by what means or device will you look for it?

    From the mystic perspective, “God” can’t be thought about as existing or not-existing. “God” is a symbol representing the experience of being and existence itself. It’s reference is internal, not external.

    Reply
  • 9. Karen  |  May 3, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    “God” presents a similar problem. It is a combination of subjective perception and inherited myth.

    When you go looking for whether “God” exists, what are you even looking for? And by what means or device will you look for it?

    Exactly. Various peoples’ definitions of “god” range all over the map – from the deists’ “first cause” to the fundamentalists’ view of an active, omnipresent god who is involved in even the most miniscule aspects of everyone’s lives.

    Serious debates on the existence of god are long, very complex and erudite affairs that involve layers of thinking that are WAY beyond the level of Comfort and Cameron. The problem with them is, they’re hellaciously dull (to me, anyway, I know people who relish them) and they make terrible television.

    Reply
  • 10. arrgjonsmad  |  May 4, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    for shame. there are much better examples then a banana!

    Reply
  • 11. PB and J  |  May 4, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    i would just like to point out (not supporting either side) that there is nothing new under the sun.

    i have seen quite a few debates on this topic and i dont think there is anything anyone can come up with that hasnt been discussed before throughout history multiple times by various people in every culture.

    peter

    Reply
  • 12. Emily  |  May 6, 2007 at 11:58 pm

    I am speechless as to how people can deny God with all the proof; there is proof in the physical and spiritual world. It is getting illogical to the point it makes me believe people resist God for other reasons beyond what they claim; maybe you dont want to believe because you want to do your own thing. Sin is definetly pleasureable for a season, and thus you are making your decision. God bless Comfort and Cameron for at least getting out there and spreading the news and truth.

    Reply
  • 13. agnosticatheist  |  May 7, 2007 at 12:48 am

    Emily,

    Any proof you may believe exist is that there is a God really only points to the belief there is a Creator…. How do you then define this Creator? Do you believe that the Bible accurately describes this creator? Or the Koran? or the Hindu text? or Greek Mythology? What criteria do you use to distinguish between myths?

    BTW, according to Friendly Atheist, here’s what Brian Sapient told him of the debate (which was filmed yesterday):

    On 4 separate occassions the audience erupted in applause upon Kirk and Ray being destroyed.

    It was ugly, we wanted to hug Kirk and Ray after we tore their arguments down so hard.

    aA

    Reply
  • 14. The if guy  |  May 7, 2007 at 1:56 pm

    What if you are wrong? Wouldn’t you rather error on the side that preaches good rather than evil. Everyone knows there is sin in the world, and that sin is what causes all the problems this world has. And the Bible is the only book in all the world that puts sin where it should be. Mankind has always tried to spin it in a light that fits the way they want it to be.

    So my only question is what if you are wrong and creationist and those that believe the Bible are right? Your way just allows you to do what you want so you can get away with sin with no consequences. The Bible says there is punishment for sin, and just because you don’t want to believe it doesn’t make it not true. I would rather error and say there is a God.

    Please consider what the Bible has to say today before it is too late!

    Reply
  • 15. Brendan  |  May 7, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    “Everyone knows there is sin in the world, and that sin is what causes all the problems this world has.”

    What is “sin”?

    Reply
  • 16. Heather  |  May 7, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    ** Your way just allows you to do what you want so you can get away with sin with no consequences. ** No, it doesn’t. Athiests/agnostics are aware that actions have consequences, which is why they follow a moral code.

    Plus, your argument is fear-based. Athiests/agnostics are supposed to believe just to escape hell/punishment? You don’t think God would see right through that? That, and many athiests/agnostics find the Bible immoral given how it presents warfare, genocide, women’s rights, slavery and overall treatment of people.

    Brendon,

    By Hebrew definition, sin was an archery term, which meant ‘to miss the mark.’

    Reply
  • 17. Brendan  |  May 7, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    How does one “miss the mark?” As an archery term, it’s obvious. But as a metaphor for something else, what does “sin” mean?

    Reply
  • 18. Heather  |  May 7, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    Brendon,

    **How does one “miss the mark?” As an archery term, it’s obvious. But as a metaphor for something else, what does “sin” mean?** Well, for that, you’d probably have to ask for a conservative Christian interpretation. 🙂 I find the Bible itself a little vague on the subject, given the behavior in the OT. But the archery term is where the concept originated.

    Reply
  • 19. Heather  |  May 7, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Brendan,

    Sorry about the typo in your name.

    Reply
  • 20. Brendan  |  May 7, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    Heather:”Well, for that, you’d probably have to ask for a conservative Christian interpretation. ”

    I’m trying, but they won’t answer the question.

    Reply
  • 21. Adam  |  May 7, 2007 at 9:42 pm

    I don’t consider myself a “Conservative Christian”. I don’t agree with some things the church has done in the past and I don’t agree with things that some Christians still do today. But I am a Christian.

    “Missing the mark” or “sinning” means falling short of perfection…falling short of how God wants us to live.

    No Christian is sinless, they simply aspire to live that way. Some of you mention terrible things that Christians have done…atheists have done terrible things too. Don’t define a group by one persons action or by one event.

    “…find the Bible immoral given how it presents warfare, genocide, women’s rights, slavery and overall treatment of people.”

    If an intruder enters your home, do you not justify it with your “moral code” to attack them? God’s overall treatment of people in the bible is something I personally aspire to…he protected his people. Also, be careful in your interpretation of the bible and take into account the time period and culture. A lot of things that were acceptable back then wouldn’t fly in today’s world. Us Christians know this and we don’t disagree.

    Reply
  • 22. agnosticatheist  |  May 7, 2007 at 10:19 pm

    The IF Guy,

    What if you are wrong? Wouldn’t you rather error on the side that preaches good rather than evil.

    Actually, atheism DOES NOT preach evil. In fact, many of us are all about making a positive impact on this world.

    Here’s a the origin and source of evil:

    God and evil

    aA

    Reply
  • 23. Agnostic Atheism Blog Party (BYOB) « Agnostic Atheism  |  May 7, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    […] May 9th, at 2:00 p.m. and 11:35 p.m. (ET), we will be having our first blog party to watch the Atheist-Christian Debate (Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort of the Way of the Master will debate the Rational Response Squad) on […]

    Reply
  • 24. Heather  |  May 8, 2007 at 4:20 am

    Adam,

    **Some of you mention terrible things that Christians have done…atheists have done terrible things too. Don’t define a group by one persons action or by one event. ** What this blog is essentially adddressing is fundamentalist Christians. I agree that some people who feel there is no God have done terrible things. The difference is that a Christian claims to follow an absolute moral authority, or a just and loving God. Atheists don’t.

    **God’s overall treatment of people in the bible is something I personally aspire to…he protected his people.** At the expense of the other people. When He finally lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, it was already inhabited. Or killing the firstborn of Egypt. Or Numbers 31, or what Saul did to the the Amelkites on God’s orders, 400 years after the original attack. Those verses do not paint God as moral.

    I agree with you that one must take the time and culture into account. And I do, which is why I think the Israelits believed that’s what God said. But many fundamentalists hold those acts as just or moral, because God orders them, and then turn around and tell atheists/agnostics that they have no morals.

    Reply
  • 25. Ken Baker  |  May 8, 2007 at 5:31 am

    […] 8 05 2007 Christian-Atheist Debate will air May 9th on ABC News Now & Nightline (NOT May 5th) […]

    Reply
  • 26. Brendan  |  May 8, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Adam:”“Missing the mark” or “sinning” means falling short of perfection…falling short of how God wants us to live.”

    How does “God” want us to be? How do we know that information?

    Reply
  • 27. mysteryofiniquity  |  May 8, 2007 at 9:52 am

    Excellent review of this debate at this site:
    http://www.beliefnet.com/blogs/godspolitics/2007/05/becky-garrison-christian-vs-athiest.html

    Reply
  • 28. Jessi  |  May 9, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    For those of you who are wondering what sin is, you are correct about the archery term, but more specifically it is breaking the Law of God (the 10 commandments). Have you ever stolen something that wasn’t yours? Have you ever lied? Jesus said all liars would have their part in the Lake of Fire. Have you ever taken the Lord’s name in vain? That’s called blasphemy, and the Bible says He will not hold him blameless those who blaspheme. Jesus said that if you have hated someone, you are a murderer at heart. Jesus also said that if you look at a woman with lust, you have already committed adultery with her in your heart…so, according to God’s 10 commandments, when someone uses the term ‘sinner’ this more specifically means liar, blasphemer, murderer, adulterer at heart…a lawbreaker. Let’s take it a step further, and say that we only sinned 3 times a day (yeah right!)…that’s roughly 1000 sins a year….I’m 30 years old…and let’s for grins start counting these sins when I was 15 years old….that means I’ve already heaped up for myself 15 thousand violations of God’s law…I dare say this is an understatement…if God were to do what is just, He should send me to Hell…what should he do with you? But he made a way so that I don’t have to take the punishment for all of these laws I have broken…I understand this is an agnostic website, but if you want to know more, go to http://www.needgod.com.

    Reply
  • 29. Gerald  |  May 9, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    it’s not our duty as Christians to prove God’s existence by proving Him as Creator. Kirk and Ray made the claim they could PROVE Creation without using the Bible. What’s he do in the first couple of minutes, he goes into the 10 Commandments, which they pretty much slam him on because the credibility was shot at that moment in most people’s eyes. Now I saw it as him just delivering a witnessing piece using the commandments lol…kinda slippin it in there Tongue

    But really so far, I don’t see them coming off very good for us Christians, and to me, maybe it’s just cuz God’s not going to bless something like this cuz it’s not what He is about…or shall I say, not what He wants us to be about. Really, what’s the better example for God’s existence…proving it with a coke can, or proving it by the way you live your life serving and helping others?

    Think about what Kirk and Ray are really preaching here. It’s where I feel the Message has gotten lost by us Christians. They focus on “believe in Christ so you don’t go to Hell” only. That’s the problem! I don’t think Christ came down here and died for us to show us how to avoid Hell. He came here and died for us to show us how to LIVE! How to LOVE as He loved! Yes He’s the only way out of Hell, but that wasn’t His main message. His main message goes right along with His 2 commandments…Love God, and Love your neighbor. I don’t see “Believe in me so you don’t go to Hell” in His top 2 lol. So imo this is the message we should be telling and most importantly LIVING, not “I can prove God with a Coke can, bannana, or painting”. Prove God by showing people His love burning inside you!

    Reply
  • 30. Jeremy  |  May 10, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Gerald, I love you man!
    : )

    Reply
  • 31. Top Posts « WordPress.com  |  May 10, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    […] Christian-Atheist Debate will air May 9th on ABC News Now & Nightline (NOT May 5th) RELATED LINKS (updated 9 May 07): […]

    Reply
  • […] 15th, 2007 Inspired by Nightline’s recent Christian-Atheist debate, we’ve been discussing the historicity of Jesus, the central figure of Christianity. To […]

    Reply
  • 33. petros  |  December 1, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    Deliver A Messiah, “Mistaken Identity” by Agron Belica brings forth an elaborative examination of who was put on the cross. Many theories suggest that the son of Mary (aka Jesus Christ) was not the person placed on the cross, but someone other than Jesus Christ himself. The author takes you through an examination paving ways of new insight of who might have been put on the cross.

    To contribute to the present work, the author investigated and researched to seek the truth about the assumptive facts leading up to what people of Christendom believe to be the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The Bible and the Koran are the main resources used as references formally presented in use of persuasive arguments and theories of why the author strongly does not believe that the son of Mary was killed nor crucified.

    The author has made every effort to be as unbiased and objective in presenting the facts and interpreting the events in this present work. The author is not trying to stir up controversy, but only wishes to lead people towards what might be considered the truth about the events believed about the crucifixion. The author strongly believes that the prevailing powers during that era have camouflaged the truth. The cover-up of the crucifixion with a false pretext was to lead the masses of people in the past and at present to believe, that the son of Mary was really crucified, by the leading elite that was influenced by the Jewish religious hierarchy at that time.

    This book is in itself a preface to a larger work soon to come—an introduction to the topic. Who was put on the cross at Calvary those many years ago? Join author Agron Belica in his attempt to Deliver a Messiah.

    WHAT THEY DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW. YOU GOTTA CHECK THIS OUT. WOW!

    Reply
  • 34. Devon  |  August 9, 2008 at 4:29 am

    DELIVER A MESSIAH MISTAKEN IDENTITY

    Subtitle: LIBERATION DAY

    By: Author Agron Belica

    As an avid reader of the Holy Bible, how many countless times have you
    drawn your own interpretations, and conclusions? How many versions
    of the Bible have you read, comparing ancient manuscripts to modern
    day Scripture? As an open minded reader in faith, and Christianity, has
    your bias lead you directly to extensive research on the words, and
    works of Christ? Is is possible that Jesus did not die on the cross?
    Is the accepted view of the life of Christ incomplete? Are we thirsty
    for the mysterious, thus craving for more information on what we
    doubt, or believe is missing? Are we comfortable, and completely
    satisfied in what we’ve learned in a lifetime about the son of Mary,
    and the crucifixion? These are only a few questions that the curious
    reader is left to ponder, after reading the cleverly written book,
    “DELIVER A MESSIAH MISTAKEN IDENTITY.” As an educated scholar
    on Christian history, Agron Belica fills the pages with contradictions
    and controversy on the life of Mary,Jesus, and the crucifixion. The
    author presents persuasive arguments on theory which surrounds
    the events, and circumstances which took place during that era,
    obtained from years of elaborate examination. The reader is left with
    yet another crucial question, has prevailing powers camouflaged
    the truth? The author’s comparisons are undeniable plausible, while
    he sites religious documents to support his arguments, leaving the
    reader amazingly surprised. I would recommend this book to all reader’s
    who wish to explore facts, and seek additional knowledge obtained
    through research about faith, and Christianity. In comparison to the
    book “Holy Blood, Holy Grail” Agron Belica enlightens his open minded
    readers to other possibilities as they absorb each bit of information
    with a grain of salt. The author does not shoot the facts into the reader’s
    face. Instead, he gently challenges the senses while using theory as the
    key to open the door to other possibilities as we draw our own opinions,
    and conclusions. “DELIVER A MESSIAH MISTAKEN IDENTITY” is
    precise, and interesting. Regardless of which road the reader takes
    on the teachings of the life of Christ, Agron Belica provides us with the
    ultimate message that remains the same, eternal Blessings in the light
    of Christ. Combined with that message and the author’s presentation
    of research, if just one reader is left with any doubts, then the author’s
    mission has been accomplished. This novel is an impressive, passionate
    read, and is as Powerfully Moving as “THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST”
    with Mel Gibson!

    Geraldine Ahearn, A.I.O.M.
    author of 6 books, CCRN
    Author Geri Ahearn, INC.
    Lifetime Member ABI Women’s Review Board

    Reply

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Agnostic Atheism Wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God, you will be judged on your merits and not just on whether or not you ignored the lack of evidence of his/her existence and blindly believed.

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