DBT02 Update: JT Eberhard Withdraws His Challenge

What would JT do? Well, suppress intelligent dissent just like the others who couldn’t hang. I don’t get it. Here we have a self-touted “freethinker” who feels the need to resort to censoring rational inquiry. I tried to leave a comment on JT’s blog, to no avail. So, I guess I’m banned.

“Free speech,” they cry at the top of their lungs any other day.

“Unless of course it comes from an intelligent dissenter,” reads the subtext.

Eh, oh well. I’m going to follow through on my end of the engagement anyways. Meaning, I’m going to publish a systematic dismantling of JT’s arguments just as I would have had he not scurried off with his tail between his legs. I guess in their world it’s only acceptable to be “confrontational” or “annoying” if you’re an atheist, eh?

DBT02: Call For Judges, Topic Suggestions

So JT Eberhard has agreed to an exchange. We are still working out the details of the exchange, but I’d like to go ahead and post everything we’ve exchanged in our emails so far, creating an absolutely transparent public record of all dialog (because it’s a good practice in general, but also to give a certain hater even less to hate on). It began with this post on JT’s blog, where he said he was looking for “someone to exchange emails with on the existence of God.” I shot him an email, and here was his first response:

Accepted (was hoping for you or Jayman). If we’re doing the existence of God, you wanna go first?

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DBT02: Call For Topics, Judges

Out with the old, in with the new, right? We have Daniel as one confirmed (Christian) judge, and I’ve sent out a few calls to others (though I fully understand if nobody wants to touch DBT02 with a ten-foot-pole). What, dear audience, are you interested in seeing us debate (and by “us” I mean either Peter Hurford and I, or any other willing party)?

DBT01: The Official Verdict

I can’t stomach the thought of waking up to this mess another day, so I’m making an executive decision: DBT01 is officially over. I’m no longer interested in continuing. Call it a forfeit, call it a loss, call it whatever you want. The judges awarded Round 1 to Peter (they gave him 3 perfect scores). Neither Matt nor Daniel awarded me a full score, so we don’t need to wait for Andrés to post his score. I lose. DBT01 is in the history books.

DBT01, Round One: cl

I’ve concluded that needless suffering exists. On my view, sin caused death, suffering and so-called “natural evil.” According to Genesis, God made the world good and humans had eternal life. Sin entailed a fall from the highest possible good. It was not necessary, God did not desire it. The suffering sin produced cannot possibly be logically required for the higher good to obtain because the highest possible good had already obtained. Criticisms that God “could have made a world without suffering” are nullified.

Even though suffering is needless, eliminating suffering doesn’t eliminate any higher good. Suffering isn’t necessary to produce goods. Obviously, Jesus didn’t believe that removing suffering eliminated higher good, else no sick would have been healed, nor would commands to heal be issued. In fact, we would have been commanded to ignore suffering. This defangs Peter’s “obstruction of divine justice” argument on the spot.

This might complicate judging, but that’s where the logic lead. I’ll counter as many of Peter’s arguments as I can, and see where the second round takes us.

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DBT01, Round One: Peter Hurford

Hello. I am Peter Hurford, I am the author of Greatplay.net and I am an atheist. I am here because I am involved in a debate with Cl, the author of The Warfare is Mental and somewhat of a Christian theist. While I think there are many reasons to not believe in various gods and many additional reasons to not believe in specifically benevolent gods, we are here to talk about only one part of one issue: the existence of needless suffering.

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