Hundreds of students, faculty and other members of the UCI community crowded outside the Irvine Barclay Theatre Nov. 20 in eager anticipation of the debate between Tom Frost, a theist philosopher, and Eddie Tabash, an atheist lawyer. The topic of the debate was ‘Does God Exist?’
Frost, who converted from agnosticism to Christianity while completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin, is the founder and president of the Foundation for Reasonable Christianity. The program, considered a ‘Philosophy Think Tank,’ is dedicated to defending the foundational doctrines of the Christian faith.
Tabash, a civil rights and constitutional lawyer from Beverly Hills, is a member of the board of directors for the Council for Secular Humanism and the First Amendment Committee of the ACLU of Southern California. He also works for the Los Angeles County Superior Court system as a part-time judge.
The debate began at 7:30 p.m. with Frost’s opening statement. His argument focused on proving the existence of God.
‘I believe that reason and logic should be integrated to matters of faith just like they should to any topic whatsoever, and I believe if there is no compelling, reasonable, logical argument that provides sufficient evidence that God exists, indeed we should not believe,’ Frost said.
Frost continued with his argument by stressing the idea that every fact has an explanation. Therefore, if humans, nations and the world are facts, there must be an explanation for their creation.
Tabash followed Frost’s argument with a different approach. Rather than focusing and fully explaining a single issue, he argued a number of reasons to prove that God does not exist. According to Tabash, the supernatural, or God, cannot exist because there is no evidence.
‘The supernatural does not exist, and the best way of ascertaining that is because there is no evidence of it, and it is the same thing as if I say there is a leprechaun in the attic making noise, but you have to demonstrate to me that the leprechaun does not exist,’ Tabash said.
Following the opening statements were the two sets of rebuttals and the cross-examinations. During this time Tabash continued to focus on numerous explanations that attempted to persuade the audience that there was no God.
‘What you see before you are two different styles,’ Frost said. ‘[Tabash] is trying to set forth many, many arguments, most of which are frankly missing the target altogether and are irrelevant to anything I have said. This debate is not about whether or not Christianity is true, it is not about whether or not the Bible is the generic word of God
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