The Canadian Debate Tour with Randal Rauser Was Very Successful

After having met Randal Rauser and laughed together I now consider him a friend. We've had some harsh words in the past but there is nothing like actually meeting people to realize that they are people. I think this was a good lesson and one I wish others could recognize, whether it's atheists debating other atheists, Christians debating other Christians, atheists and Christians debating each other, or anyone else who debates online. Randal wrote the book, You're Not As Crazy As I Think: Dialogue in a World of Loud Voices and Hardened Opinions, which I positively reviewed on Amazon. His book should serve a reminder that just because we disagree, the other side isn't crazy. Atheists, for instance, need to make a distinction that although faith is irrational, people like Randal are not irrational. It's a tough distinction to make and maintain, but we should try as best as we can, even though it can be very difficult.

This is just one of a few reasons I think the God or Godless debate tour, graciously sponsored by Taylor Seminary in Edmonton, Canada, was very successful. Let me comment then on my trip.

I met a lot of people who had never heard of me before, and that's a good thing. Nathan Phelps invited me to speak to the CFI group in Calgary the day before the debate tour. He had not heard of me prior to us meeting in April at the Reason on the Bayou conference at Louisiana State University. Because I spoke to his group others met me for the first time. Several of them came out to my first debate the next day in Calgary too, who encouraged me with their presence and questions afterward. Then the atheist group in Red Deer, apparently led by Twylla Bugg, heard about it from Nate and came out in force, as did the Society of Edmonton Atheists the last night in Edmonton, led by Vice President Karen Lumley Kerr. My guess is that hardly any of them knew of me beforehand. I would say the same thing about almost all of the Christians who attended these debates.

I noticed that during the tour our co-written book hit the 2,400th mark on (the Canadian version), no doubt spurred on by the news story in The Edmonton Journal. That's a good mark to hit since Amazon must have over 5 million books listed for sale. Whenever a book ranks below 10,000th it's good news. I'm hoping that some people who read the book might get my other books as well. Here is one indicator they will, from a review posted over there:
This is a very good book. John Loftus (a former pastor) uses his time and space to clearly answer (and solve) each question using scientific rationale. Aside from engaging in rambling stories and taking Richard Dawkins out of context for his own nefarious purposes, Rauser accomplished nothing much at all. The book is def worth reading even if Rauser's contributions frustrate the reader (and Loftus, ha). Loftus provides clear and concise scientific evidence (as well as a decent dose of common sense) in favor of a godless universe. I would also recommend The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins if you are interested in this subject and any of his books if you have an interest in science/evolution. After reading this book, I will certainly read everything Loftus has written.

I also think I did well in the debates themselves. The first night there were about, say, on an ex-preacher's count, 100 people, on the following night 60 people, and the last night 300 people in Randal's home church. Yes, there is an audio of the first night and a video of the last night to be released soon enough. You'll have to be the judge whether I did well when they become available.

Here's a pose that the Edmonton Journal chose not to use: