Last week I twice debated atheist author John Loftus. The first debate was hosted by Brookville Road Community Church in Indianapolis. Approximately 600 people attended the event, and you can view it here. The second debate, which was held the very next night, was hosted by the Free Thought Fort Wayne group at the Allen County Public Library auditorium. The audience at this event was smaller—about 150—and consisted of a higher concentration of religious skeptics.
At both events Loftus and I debated the question “Is Religious Faith Rational?” I took the affirmative position while Loftus defended the negative thesis. John is a veteran debater, having gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Dinesh D’Souza, Randal Rauser, David Wood, and others. This was my first experience at formal debate, so I was curious to see how it would go. I certainly enjoyed it, and I found the time constraints to be the most challenging aspect of the experience.
There was an interesting wrinkle regarding the first event. John’s van broke down in Muncie on his way to the Indy debate. So the organizers contacted me to ask if I would pick him up on the way to the church, which I was happy to do. Consequently, John and I were able to spend about an hour together getting to know one another before the first event. We actually hit it off, and I think that helped set the tone for a cordial debate both nights.
Here is a piece about the Indy debate that appeared in the Daily Reporter.
I am interested in doing more debates with other atheists and religious skeptics. In addition to the topic of the reasonableness of religious faith, I am happy to debate such issues as the problem of evil, the existence of God, the prospects of ethics without God, and other issues related to philosophy of religion. So if you or someone you know would like to partner with me to do that, let me know!