Debate at Fresno Pacific University

Thursday was the debate between me and New Covenant youth pastor Loren Pankratz. It was a very bright and sunny day, so any tan I got was from the sun. Just the sun. Right?

I want to thank all the secular people that showed up for the debate. I was pleasantly surprised at just how many non-believers and skeptics were there.

I do have audio for the debate. I've taken the time to clean it up a bit and add some production value to it. By the time I finished, I involved people from three different states and turned it into a finished podcast! This is our first!

So here's the link to the very first CVAAS podcast, of the FPU debate. This audio is licensed Creative Commons by-nc.

I got to meet a lot of really gracious people, and I also met Loren's very lovely, and very pregnant wife too. (Congrats you two!)

I also met Zack, from Central Valley Skeptics at the debate. After the debate finished, he and I were surrounded by some very sharp people who kept us on our toes with questions and apologetics, but frankly - it was too much from too many all at once. I'm happy to talk with people, but not as a tag-team event.

Zack took the photo. That's me on the left, and Loren on the right.

Afterwards Zack and I made our escape, found a Panda Express, and traded ideas. Thanks for the ideas and encouragement Zack! I'm looking forward to working with you.

So who won? heh. Don't look at me! It's been so long since I spoke publicly, I'm just happy I didn't fall off the stage.

Crossposted to

If the above links don't work, you can also try This Link to the audio. It does require a free registration on the CVAAS website.


Anonymous said...

Calladus, I think the audio is down. And is this a link to the actual debate or is it just a discussion of it? Thanks

Calladus said...

Hi anon - It's the entire debate - no discussion. The debate audio needed some help to remove noise, and I added an intro and outro, and creative commons license. But it is the whole debate.

We've had trouble with our provider - I have conflicting reports on the availability of this podcast, some get it fine, and others don't. Let me know if the new link I added works - okay?

Scott Hatfield . . . . said...

Mark, sorry I missed this in person, glad I've got a chance to hear it on line. Congrats on surviving the gauntlet. If I have time, may join you folk for the Meetup so you can give me some guidance regarding the 18th.

Speaking of which, 'Expelled' is going to open that same evening, and there are showtimes now appearing on Fandango for Edwards 21 Cinema (River Park).

Anonymous said...

Mark, there is a good amount of intuitional appeal to Loren's moral argument to the existence of God because morals (if we are to think of them as J.L. Mackie would) carry "imperatival force" and moral duty. But imperatival force and duty is nonsense in a world of subjective minds and physical objects. It seems that if OMV's indeed do exist then God or something a lot like Him must exist. That's a great theistic argument which is why most atheists reject the objectivity of "rightness and wrongness." Good debate though.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mark,
Thanks for that great exchange last Thursday. I had a great time, and wished we could continue talking, but it became apparent that there were a number of students who wanted to get their two cents in. It was nice to meet Zach as well. he seems like a bright guy. I would love to continue the discussion on morality. I tend to think that in the end, the morality you suggested (based on empathy) will end up on the subjective side, and have no objective grounding. At the end of the day, I dont think you will be able to uphold both that God does not exist, and that objective moral values or duties do exist. Certainly something we should talk about more.

It was a fun event though, and I am glad you were willing to come on a Christian university to engage these issues. Let me know if you would like me to engage issues on "your turf" sometime.

Thanks for posting the audio as well.