Gee, the title of this article just stole my opening line. Oh well, at the risk of redundancy, I did indeed just finish debating Michael Ruse. As I mentioned a couple days ago, this was planned as a sort of “devil’s advocate” debate in which Ruse, a world-famous atheist, would defend theism; meanwhile, I, a relatively obscure Christian theist, would defend atheism.
It was great fun, and as usual Justin Brierley did a bang on job hosting. There were some arguments, candid reflections, and a good deal of laughter. And that’s exactly the kind of thing we need to bridge the deep ideological divides (with associated rancor and suspicion) that tend to separate (Christian) theists from atheists.
As an aside, I was led to reflect further on the need for this kind of event this week after watching Obama’s state of the union address followed a couple days later (i.e. last night) by the latest Republican debate. Over and over again Republican candidates dismissed Obama as living in a “fantasy” world as they hammered home that things are now allegedly worse than ever in America. And I mused, how deep the divide between Democrats and Republicans! How differently they view the world and interpret the very same data! How much mutual suspicion and hostility accompanies these irreconcilable perspectives!
All that is to say, can you imagine if Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders were to debate whilst defending their opponent’s platform? Now that would be interesting. In our day we need many more exchanges like the one we just recorded on “Unbelievable”.
So when can you hear it? Justin told us that this episode of “Unbelievable” will be broadcast on January 23rd. In the meantime, my thanks to Justin for agreeing to host and for Michael Ruse in providing a capable, irenic and committed defense of a religious perspective close to his childhood Quaker upbringing.
As for me, having been an atheist for an hour, I’m more than happy to be back in the familiar confines of Christian theism.