Tabash-Friel Debate on God's Existence, 3-26-07

The debate bode very well for atheism, and very poorly for any future hope for Friel at a career in philosophy. I think Eddie won handily. Friel basically sermonized and waxed emotive all night. His only arguments were from incredulity and ignorance (something I expected, from personal experience with him and the general creationist style). He honestly sounded more like a guy trying to convert a bunch of teenagers than someone attempting to make a rational case for theism. But...make up your mind for yourself, and leave a comment.

[See the debate videos below].

I really won't go any further than that, because I swear I don't think Friel is worth the analysis. He had nothing new, and what older arguments he did have were mangled versions (e.g., the first cause argument), which Eddie was able to refute, as he was met only with more personal incredulity and appeals to ignorance.

I was unable to tape Eddie's opening because I was limited by lack of equipment, but his arguments for naturalism were almost identical to what he presented (see below) to AAFSA last Sunday, albeit abbreviated, since he had 15 mins instead of 45 -- Eddie opened with arguments against the supernatural along Humean lines: miracles, the argument from physical minds, arguments against an afterlife, the argument from divine hiddenness, and the problem of evil. It was typical Eddie -- cogent, precise and clear.

The Center for Inquiry - Daytona came off looking great, from their representation to the graphics and banners and the ACLU table. Props to them for their hard work -- they were all really nice and appeared to have taken this project quite seriously.

My seat for part 1 gave me a poor angle to begin with, and the issue of quality was compounded because I was only able to post this in low-res as the shitty Google Video Desktop Uploader for large files wasn't working earlier (no matter what I tried) with the hi-quality versions. I have DVDs (hi-res, 3.0Mbps) burned, and if you want a DVD, email me and we'll negotiate the $***. I also have Eddie's talk at UF encoded and burned to DVD, and am uploading it to GV right now.

Here is part 1 of 2, which I recommend watching below as GV stretches it out and makes it look even worse at their site:

Here is part 2 of 2 of the debate:

Here is part 1 of 2 of Eddie's talk at UF on 3-25-07:

And finally, here is part 2 of 2 of Eddie's talk at UF:

Please leave thoughts and comments below.
***To cover my time and media/shipping expenses -- I think $10, including S&H, is fair. You can pay me via mailed check, but I would prefer using the PayPal function on my own webpage, it will expedite the process and make record-keeping easier. Go down to the bottom of the left sidebar, where it says "Austausch", and use it there (I prefer it over Amazon). Again, email me and we'll negotiate.

PS: I'm always amazed by how differently two eyewitnesses can report the facts about an event -- see here for someone who thinks that atheists were "humiliated" by Eddie's performance...

You be the judge.
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John W. Loftus said...

I thought Friel was way too confident, much more so than the arguments he offered would lead him to. As you watch the debate think of him as defending the existence of Zeus, or Allah. That's what he looked like he was doing to me...

The amount of confidence someone has means absolutely nothing when it comes to the reasons for his beliefs. If someone is more confident than the arguments lead him to, we consider that person to be delusional to the same degree, like those who believed in Zeus.

marie said...

WOW. that "close your eyes" thing brought back way too many youth group horrors.

I was hoping for an honest, real debate on both sides, not a one-sided QVC infomercial for christianity

Anonymous said...

There is no way with our knowledge and ignorance that this debate will ever be solved. Christians will never stray from what they have faith in, and Athiests will never beleive what a Christian says, no matter how logical.

HeIsSailing said...

Both Tabash and Friel referred to the virgin birth of Jesus Christ as the Immaculate Conception. I dunno, call me a stickler for details, but this just shows me that both were basically reciting from long rehearsed scripts.

adam s. said...

friel is an imbecile.