Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rumble in Sydney

Last week, our good friend Alan Conradi, hailing from the Sydney Atheists group (in Australia), performed a live stage debate discussing the topic "Which makes more sense: Atheism or Christianity?" Here's the video.


  1. I think Alan did a very good job of handling this guy...not perfect, but in a situation like this with limited responses, it's hard to address every tired debunked argument that theist guy put out there. I'm surprised he even continued the debate after realizing that the other guy had NO understanding of what atheism actually was...and stubbornly refused to address it on top of that. Good job, Alan.

  2. Yeh totally. Not perfect, but Alan's done a thoroughly impressive job!
    Also it's obvious that Mike speaks to groups more regularly than Alan and his body-language suggests he's had some formal training too.

    Alan could have probably put some of the humor earlier on as it's significantly easier to speak to a group once you've made everyone laugh at least once.
    Once I realised how much more comfortable a laugh made oral presentations in high school my grades on them completely inverted in English. Even if it wasn't always strictly the truth, I said something funny (or disgusting works just as well) before I began like "Sorry I'm late back from lunch, I was distracted at McDonalds by an old man whose colostomy bag burst when he walked out of the loo... pretty revolting!"

    I'm not sure if comfort was why, but there wasn't really much eye contact in the beginning and that tends to help the speaker engage an audience and gauge people's reactions (ie: for instance he might decide to pause to allow them all to laugh without making them feel they'll interrupt him if they do).

    Alan's made some excellent points for my repertoire though.

    "It's a bit like using batman comics to prove the existence of batman." - HAHAHA I've heard some fine analogies this (circular) argument, but that one's new!

  3. Mike's God Hypothesis is ever common these days. Intellectual proponents are keen to decouple their hypothesis at the outset, from any given theistic religion, instead propose a metaphysical existance of an eternal, awe-inspiring, transcendent, omni-everything, somehow simple celestial conciousness without mind. Creator of the known universe, trillions of galaxies, nebulas, stars and planets stretching back at least 15 billion years. An entity or near-indescribable characteristics.(This is near-Deism surely??).

    Anyway just two reasons why I do not accept this hypothesis.

    1. If we just consider our little planet earth, think of it as a single grain of sand in the Sahara desert. There are millions of species within the animal & plant kingdoms. How can anyone truly believe that an entity of this near indescribable nature is actually going to notice let alone single out mankind specifically for unique and special treatment in its insignificant little life and even provide it an afterlife? How can anyone possibly justify that such actions can ever be attributed to such an entity? Can you even think of a less deserving species than man? What are the redeeming qualities we think mankind has over millions if not billions of other more deserving species that would draw-in and engross such an entity?

    Furthermore, given Mike's theology, we are not only expected to accept that such an entity has indeed singled out mankind for special attention, we are expected to believe that 2000 years or so ago the entity created a human manifestation of itself and had itself tortured then blood sacrificed to itself because it let one of it’s billion trillion quadrillion creations break one of it’s own rules. We are to wait gleefully to round two of the entities earthly manifestations where it will annihilate all known matter, except of course a minority of men.
    How do we know this, because the odd one or two man-made ancient multiple-choice answer books says so.
    Ask yourself did god make man in his image or was it the other way around?
    The subconscious audacity, contemptuousness and arrogance that mankind exhibits when rationalising and concluding that it is perfectly acceptable to expect such behaviour from such an entity is mind-blowing for me grasp. How intelligent people can get trapped in such incredible belief systems is simply mystifying.

    2. It's easy to propose a god hypothesis with the sublime characteritics that Mike does. However where it consistently gets debunked is when proponents attempt to correlate their god hypothesis with their given religion. Take Chritianity, with it's basic tenets of immoral and unethical rewarding of the credulous, it's suggestion that such an entity is capable of sending itself to earth down the birth canal of a primitive woman. The list is endless, but essentially totally undermines their own argument as their god is no longer omni-everything.
    What is obvious to me is if we ignore religion for a moment, no scientific method would ever conclude that a supernatural entity is the answer to anything, secondly what Mike is doing is presupposing his god exists, gives it some charateristics that are difficult to falsify, then looks for evidence to justify his answer. The only reason Mike is proposing the god hypothesis is because he has been absorbed by Chritianity first, not the other way round.


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