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← Does God Exist? The Nightline Face-Off

Does God Exist? The Nightline Face-Off - Comments

eggplantbren's Avatar Comment 1 by eggplantbren

>>I want to pull back the curtain and show that the number one reason that people don't believe in God is not a lack in evidence, but because of a theory that many scientists today believe to be a fairytale for grownups.
<<

The irony.

Fri, 11 May 2007 19:57:00 UTC | #37080

ksskidude's Avatar Comment 2 by ksskidude

Having watched the debate posted on myspace already; I have to say that I think Nightline edited the video in favor of the believers.

Anyone else notice this? Or am I being sensitive?

Fri, 11 May 2007 20:17:00 UTC | #37083

GodlessHeathen's Avatar Comment 3 by GodlessHeathen

I want to pull back the curtain and show that the number one reason that people don't believe in God is not a lack in evidence, but because of a theory that many scientists today believe to be a fairytale for grownups.
Where are these "many" scientists? I know of a total of four who say this, not a one of them biologists, zoologists or any other field of study that would put them in direct contact with the theory of evolution. And of the four, only 2 describe evolution in those terms, the other two express doubt only, rather than outright rejection.
Am I just out of touch?

Anyone else notice this? Or am I being sensitive?
I've already seen comments to that effect from other non-theist types who were watching. Having seen both the largely unedited version and the Nightline edit, I say the difference is just striking and sad, very much slanting the Nightline version for the whackos theists.

Fri, 11 May 2007 20:27:00 UTC | #37088

John P's Avatar Comment 4 by John P

Interesting. The vote is running about 27%/73% no god/yes GOD. That's more than I would expect given polling, though the demographics might be skewed in favor of the more affluent and educated with computers and internet access.

Fri, 11 May 2007 20:28:00 UTC | #37089

MIND_REBEL's Avatar Comment 5 by MIND_REBEL

Brian Sapient is just too intelligent for the meme infested theist. Science will always trump religion.

Fri, 11 May 2007 20:36:00 UTC | #37090

Veronique's Avatar Comment 6 by Veronique

Why is it that a number of 'christians' like Kirk Cameron and Alistair McGrath and others just have to say I used to be an atheist...?

Did they have a critical thinking bypass or something?

I saw a foreshortened version of this so-called debate. I was gobsmacked. This guy Comfort (what a name for a religious apologist!) pulls out a poor print of the Mona Lisa to try and use a 'scientific method' argument to prove god exists. Give me a break!!!

Sapient and Kelly were well able and performed beautifully. Even though Sapient sort of made an apology at the end for being hard on Cameron and Comfort, he didn't need to. Cameron and Comfort were absolutely discombobulated and the expression on their faces was a treat. Ultimately they made no sense whatsoever. And why would they. Empty vessels and all that.

Oh Mind Rebel, how I hope you are right. May be a few generations and a lot of angst yet though. Did you read Abid Ullah Jan's article yet about democracy in the middle east? I am pretty sure I sent you the link on another thread. It's so hard to keep track of the threads we all post too. I probably need a hand written list so follow them all!!

Good on RRS
V

Fri, 11 May 2007 20:37:00 UTC | #37091

GodlessHeathen's Avatar Comment 7 by GodlessHeathen

5. Comment #39759 by MIND_REBEL on May 11, 2007 at 9:36 pmBrian Sapient is just too intelligent for the meme infested theist. Science will always trump religion.
I thought Kelly was the one who really blasted the "arguments" of the whackos theists.

Fri, 11 May 2007 20:40:00 UTC | #37092

Robert Maynard's Avatar Comment 8 by Robert Maynard

I saw the bootlegged video of the taping on Pharyngula, and I didn't think Kelly was as level-headed as Brian in the debate, but she was definitely the easiest to look at. (

If the editing thing is true, that just makes the whole debacle a bigger waste of time than it already was. Nobody should be giving Comfort and Cameron a forum, just to let them spew pre-Darwinian design arguments identical to Paley's watchmaker.

Fri, 11 May 2007 20:55:00 UTC | #37094

didhereallysay's Avatar Comment 9 by didhereallysay

Comfort and Cameron definitely got the majority of the face time. The editing was definitely geared toward them as well. I have a feeling Nightline would lose a ton of viewers if they made it more geared towards the atheists. We are, of course, one of the most hated groups in America. It's logical that a major news company would steer away from controversy (God isn't) and towards a larger audience with the least controversy (God is). They need viewers, and obviously the vast majority of the viewing public is not intellectually inclined.

Fri, 11 May 2007 21:02:00 UTC | #37096

chauvinj's Avatar Comment 10 by chauvinj

Those are quite possibly two of the most deluded people I have ever seen. Where exactly did they get their theory of evolution from?

Fri, 11 May 2007 21:11:00 UTC | #37097

justme's Avatar Comment 11 by justme

I think the actual debate was quite fair ... and RRS slammed the competition.

The editing job made the debate seem like a draw when it was not even close.

Anyone disagree?

Fri, 11 May 2007 21:39:00 UTC | #37101

EverLastingGodStopper's Avatar Comment 12 by EverLastingGodStopper

I thought that ABC's editing of the RRS debate was biased toward the Banana Twins. Sapient and Kelly did well, especially considering that this was probably the first time they appeared in public before such a large live audience.

It's interesting that this week is "Atheism Week" on ABC, but I've heard from several people that ABC's viewpoint on the various shows was somewhat biased against atheists. Still, it's good to see the media paying some attention, even if the attention isn't quite favorable. I wonder if the audience can see through the spin.

Fri, 11 May 2007 21:47:00 UTC | #37104

MichaelJSimpson's Avatar Comment 13 by MichaelJSimpson

Perhaps I'm being superficial, but Kelly's voice does not lend itself to debate. That said, I think the OBVIOUS winners were Brian and Kelly. It's not true often, but here it was truly straightforward.

There were many points which completely silenced Ray and Kirk, especially concerning God being the "first cause" and micro/macro evolution. Absolutely terrific. If only Ray were to have summoned the atheist's nightmare, that would have been icing on the cake.

And HOW many times are we to endure the question "If there is no god/higher power, what basis do you have for morality?" It's completely analogous to saying "Christmas just won't be the same if Santa Claus doesn't exist. Therefore, we should believe in Santa Claus." Even if the first premise is true, how does deluding yourself help?

Brilliant debate.

Fri, 11 May 2007 21:49:00 UTC | #37105

sent2null's Avatar Comment 14 by sent2null

The abcnews.com web site wouldn't let me watch the videos uninterrupted for some reason. Also they only had segments from the 90 minute debate instead of the whole thing ...assuming I accessed the same source as all you guys. That aside, the argument made by the rational response squad was not as encompassing as it should have been, at least not convincing enough I think to change the minds or induce doubt in the minds of the hardcore theists that were in the audience and across the stage.

Fri, 11 May 2007 21:59:00 UTC | #37109

Isaiah's Avatar Comment 15 by Isaiah

I've been going through the comments on abc's website. Very depressing, we have a long way to go my friends...

Fri, 11 May 2007 22:09:00 UTC | #37113

sent2null's Avatar Comment 16 by sent2null

wow , I just watched the clips put up on youtube by rational response they did a better job in the segments that were NOT shown on abcnews.com (at least I couldn't access them) very interesting. It does seem abcnews.com presented portions in such a way as to appear "balanced"..I wish journalists would realize that when you are making a choice between facts and fallacy that you should present the facts disproportionately because after all they are the facts!

Fri, 11 May 2007 22:17:00 UTC | #37115

Monkey2's Avatar Comment 17 by Monkey2

In response to chauvinj's question
"where exactly did they get their theory of evolution from?"
I have a copy of 'Did man get here by evolution or creation?' published by the Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society in 1967. Kirk Camerons 'research' into evolution almost certainly consisted of reading this book and possibly only this book. I say possibly because I couldn't find any illustrations of Crockaducks. He may of course have a later edition.

Fri, 11 May 2007 22:24:00 UTC | #37117

MorituriMax's Avatar Comment 18 by MorituriMax

I got as far as the evolution of the coke can before I paged out of it... Holy Moly... how can you fight someone that just blatantly misrepresents the actual science?

The sad thing is, most people buy it because they accept the christians setup of how it works.

Fri, 11 May 2007 22:25:00 UTC | #37118

MrBump's Avatar Comment 19 by MrBump

If I was debating those two I would hold up a banana and say something like:

"This is a modern banana, a product of thousands of years cultivation by man, cultivation which has lead to a seedless, edible fruit. Unfortuanely selective breeding to remove the seeds has lead the modern banana to be sterile. Bananas are grown by vegetative propagation rather than sexual reproduction which has created a lack of genetic diversity needed to combat pests and diseases. A lack which some experts say, may lead to the loss of edible bananas within a decade.

The banana is a staple for much worlds poor and it's loss will cause much suffering. Which begs the question, surely an omniscient god would foresee that this fruit would become a necessary food for much of the world, therefore why didn't he/she/it simply create a banana that was both edible and able to fight off disease and pests.

Many of us see such a lack of forward planning, as the sign of a lack of a forward planner."

Would at least get a laugh from anyone who's seen the Way of the Master clip. :-)

Fri, 11 May 2007 22:39:00 UTC | #37119

Beachbum's Avatar Comment 20 by Beachbum

I have seen the whole argument and it is my opinion that the "banana boys" were ill prepared for the debate, embarrassingly so. Their assertion that they could produce evidence without the "bible" was blown out of the water by themselves, with what sounded like a sermon - from the bible. Brian and Kelly impressed me with their entire rebuttal, and could have made a significant dent in the "creationist crap" if only they had been given something to refute. The "banana boys" made it to easy. I was not impressed with their intellect, preparation, organization or even their understanding of the subject matter, but like most bible-thumpers I know, they talk well. Brian and Kelly mopped the floor with 'em, they just had to use short handles.

Fri, 11 May 2007 22:40:00 UTC | #37120

z8000783's Avatar Comment 21 by z8000783

Does anyone have a link to the unedited video?

Thanks

John

Fri, 11 May 2007 23:52:00 UTC | #37130

Corylus's Avatar Comment 22 by Corylus

Hi, I'm Kirk Cameron and my partner and I Ray Comfort come to you tonight...

I knew it, I knew it! I watched that banana video and that's exactly what I said. Nice to see them admit it: hope you're happy guys :)

Seriously though, re Veronique's point about this 'I used to be an atheist line' I suspect that this is not aimed at convincing atheists instead it is adressed more to the undecided. The 'floating voters' if you will.

Imagine someone who previously hasn't given the issue much thought, who is then presented, with educated people using lots of long words debating God (I am thinking more of McGrath than C&C here!). Arrh... how am I ever to make sense of this they say?

Then through the gloom they hear someone say 'I used to be an atheist, but not any more'. Hurray! Here's a smart person who has considered both sides of the issue and has made up their mind: I'll go with that one.

Unfortunately, this ignores the following possibilities:

a) They were never an atheist and they are lying.
b) They thought they were being atheists when really they just had 'angry with God' phase. Not realising, of course, that one cannot be angry with what does not exist.
c)They took on atheism as part and parcel of another belief system (i.e. Marxism) and when they rejected that they thought, erroneously, that atheism had to go too.

Others can probably come up with other possibilities here.

Overall all, whenever I hear the "I used to be an atheist line" I translate it into "I've done your thinking for you, f*!@wit, so you don't have to bother."

Sat, 12 May 2007 00:01:00 UTC | #37131

ADParker's Avatar Comment 23 by ADParker

To sum up the debate, Pathetic.
The RRS were in no way skilled debaters, or anywhere near as knowledgable in the facts of their case as say R.Dawkins or S.Harris. And yet they still wiped the floor with the God-Boys.
Who offer zero evidence of God. They start out by saying they won't mention faith, and immediately in the first argument from Comfort(Creationism / Paley's Watch)he says uses the word Faith SIX TIMES! and all consequent arguments are based on faith and the biblical texts. Pathetic.
And why was the poll submitted "Do you Believe in God?" Should it not have been (or at least began with "Did Cameron and Comfort PROVE the existence of God", that was what they claimed they would do.

Sat, 12 May 2007 00:22:00 UTC | #37135

Logicel's Avatar Comment 24 by Logicel

good point, ADParker.

It takes about a minute to register at the original website--please double post.

Brian and Kelly did a good job in blowing away the cobwebby nonsense of Kirk and Ray.

Kirk's success as a popular actor--in my book he is a very poor actor--was so wonderful that he decided that he will cling to a make-believe so he can continue to enjoy his intensely successful life for eternity which is the height of arrogance and selfishness. There is no evidence for such eternity, and yet, because of his desperate need to continue to exist ALWAYS he sacrifices his apparent intelligence so he can delude himself. Sin does not exist, but Kirk is committing a grievance against his own humanity by not accepting his mortality. Poor sod.

Kirk is a failed preacher and Ray is a failed--and flailing--actor.

Sat, 12 May 2007 00:41:00 UTC | #37136

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 25 by Steve Zara

I admire their courage for participating, but I don't think Brian and Kelly did that well; they seemed to win by default only because their opponents were so bad. If you are going to appear in public to discuss science, you need to be very sure of the science you are going to discuss. Brian should not have used poor physics arguments to debate the creationists. The problem with doing that is if you make mistakes in your arguments like that it will be picked up eagerly by your opponents. There was also a distraction into discussing the contents of the bible which the RRS should not have been lured into.

I think this strongly supports Dawkins' point of view that debating with creationists is a waste of time.

Sat, 12 May 2007 01:06:00 UTC | #37138

Hellio's Avatar Comment 26 by Hellio

I say that if Kelly is going to hell, I want to go there too.

Cameron and Comfort were trounced. But they were so ignorant that it looked too easy for Brian and Kelly.

Sat, 12 May 2007 01:10:00 UTC | #37139

stuartM02's Avatar Comment 27 by stuartM02

If I have to hear one of Ray Comforts obscene analoges one more time......

I thought Kelly and Brain did well despite having the difficutily of arguing against a non-position. Although I thought they could do better at times; it is never easy to think fast when you have no direct points to respond to that arn't so easy to dismiss its alughable.

If the got the bannana out it would have been more conviencing.

Sat, 12 May 2007 01:14:00 UTC | #37140

Logicel's Avatar Comment 28 by Logicel

Kelly and Brian worked very well as a team; Kirk and Ray did so less--Kirk would have been better all by himself.

Kelly looked directly at the audience when she was speaking which was very effective. I am glad Brian recognized that he needs notes to read from, in this way, he will continue to build a skill base and eventually will be able to do what the professional actor, Kirk, can do so easily--speak without written aid.

However, Kelly and Brian do need to look directly at their opponents also, and Ray called them on it, implying that they were being shifty. It is hard for humans to look at something disgusting which the Chiquita boys with their pathetic grasp of evolution and their abundant intellectual dishonesty represented in spades, but some handle on doing it has to be devised by Kelly and Brian.

As for the inadequacies of Kelly's speaking voice which someone has brought up on another thread, her less than perfect speaking voice is more than made up by the direct and plain speaking style in which she phrases her words and ideas and her very confident and elegant way of holding herself, her physical stature. Her total 'package' packs quite a punch and together with Sapient, I think they will have a rewarding, fulfilling, and effective future as debaters against theism. They also, at their own site, admitted that they made mistakes and are asking for feedback. Please take them up on that suggestion.

Bashir did OK, also.

Sat, 12 May 2007 01:27:00 UTC | #37141

briancoughlanworldcitizen's Avatar Comment 29 by briancoughlanworldcitizen

13. Comment #39774 by MichaelJSimpson on May 11, 2007 at 10:49 pm

Perhaps I'm being superficial, but Kelly's voice does not lend itself to debate.


No you are spot on, it's downright annoying nothwithstanding her magnificently presented breasts.

Still, although they did all right, I was still disappointed at points. At one juncture the interviewer seemed to be begging Brian to expand on the clever line "We are all transitional fossils" by explaining how we all vary genetically from our parents, that if a hundred thousand generations of humans differ by only the tiniest margin from each other, that this adds up overtime.

Yet he never did do that, even though I got the impression the interviewer was squirming to feed him the line.

Ah well. No doubt I'd make a total arse of myself in a similar situation. God knows, I do it often enough here:-)

Sat, 12 May 2007 01:30:00 UTC | #37143

doodinthemood's Avatar Comment 30 by doodinthemood

A reasonable debate, though I feel the RRS could swat up on evolution a bit more. I was looking forward to a dawkins-style hammering when the "crocoduck" was produced, but it unfortunately never came. In all other aspects, I think they presented the case well though, and certainly the most telling moment was, when faced with the question of the creators creator, Kirk and Ray just looked blank and said "I think they can work it out for themselves"
Bottom line:
Would have been a whitewash with more swatting, but they still managed to defeat flimsy theistic arguments.

Sat, 12 May 2007 02:30:00 UTC | #37148