On the left is Ed Buckner (president, American Atheists); on the right is Peter Bocchino (president, Legacy of Truth Ministries) in debate at Georgia Tech on Tuesday, March 3rd.Â (Sorry, I didn’t catch the name of the moderator sitting in the middle.)Â The program, sponsored by the Campus Freethinkers, was titled “Reality–Discussions between Atheism and Christianity.”
Among the questions posed:
- How do we know anything exists at all?
- Is there objective truth?
- Does our reality need to be scientifically verifiable or falsifiable?
- How does belief or lack thereof alter one’s perception of reality?
- Does free will exist?
- What gives human life value?
- Is there an ultimate meaning to life?
Frankly, I’ve seen better debates, although Ed did well enough under the circumstances.Â This one was hobbled, partly, by the over-broad scope of the main questions.Â Really, only one hour to cover the nature of reality, free will and the meaning of life???Â (Although, if you have some time to kill, crafting your own essay responses to these can be an interesting exercise.)Â Neither debater dealt the other a gladiatorial deathblow, and nobody said anything particularly surprising, although Bocchino (an engineer with no formal theological education) laid claim to the thoroughly debunked notion that Einstein was some kind of deist, which Ed quickly dispelled.
A vigorous Q&A followed.Â Kudos to the Campus Freethinkers for organizing this one.Â I hope they do more in the upcoming year.