20 September, 2006

Fernandes-Lowder debate

Earlier this week, during my daily perusal of blogs, I saw that someone (I can't remember who at the moment) had noted that the Fernandes-Lowder debate video was now available online at the Institute of Biblical Defense website. Today, via Chris Hallquist's excellent blog I see that it's now on Google video. I was at that debate in 1999 at the Friday Center on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and remember it pretty well. It was the only "live" debate I've attended and I found it both interesting and educational. Although I was still nominally a Christian, I had been seriously questioning my faith for a couple of years at that time and attended with the intention of truly listening to both sides. I remember being literally amazed at the rather poor arguments and rebuttal offered by Dr. Fernandes. Now that the video is freely available, I've had a chance to review it and I can see that my original assessment was really rather accurate.

It should be said that the audience was most likely not the "norm" for these types of events, which are usually hosted by Campus Crusade or some similar student ministry. This debate was the finale of a meeting of the Society of Humanist Philosophers and was co-sponsored by the Campus Freethought Association. All told, probably a little more sympathetic to Jeff Lowder's position. Still, both debaters were treated courteously and aside from a couple of obvious audience reactions during the Q&A, all arguments were given serious attention. Fernandes remarked on this himself during the Q&A. It should also be said that the video does not include all of the Q&A, although if memory serves, there's not that much lost.

At any rate, you can watch the video from the link at Jeff Lowder's website and see for yourself (oh, and if you look very hard during the first few moments of intro and later during the Q&A, you can see me on the far left hand side of the auditorium, about halfway down).

HT: The Uncredible Hallq via The Lippard Blog

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