Students Debate Speaker on the Existence of God
Once again, students, staff and other residents of the Irvine community gathered in front of the Irvine Barclay Theatre on March 4 in avid anticipation for returning debate speaker, Tom Frost, and his continuing attempt to answer the question, ‘Does God Exist?’
The debate, entitled ‘Does God Exist? Round 2,’ was a follow-up of a previous debate held last November between Frost, a theistic philosopher, and Eddie Tabash, an atheist lawyer.
‘Does God Exist? Round 2,’ put forth by Frost, was an attempt to respond to the unanswered questions left at the conclusion of the November debate.
‘After the last debate in November, I felt very bad that scores of audience members were lined up to ask questions or share their criticisms of my arguments but were not afforded that opportunity due to the time constraints,’ Frost said.
In hopes of persuading non-theists that God exists, Frost decided to debate any individual in the audience who felt compelled to question Frost on his arguments.
The challengers were given an opportunity to respond to each of Frost’s arguments. Frost’s four main arguments were determined prior to the debate.
‘The first set of arguments will build a case for the existence of an inexplicable entity that is the source of the explanation of the universe’s existence,’ Frost explained. ‘The second set will attempt to show that that inexplicable entity is a person. The third set will lead to the conclusion that the inexplicable person is omnipotent. And the final set of arguments will attempt to show that the inexplicable person is not only omnipotent but also morally perfect.’
The audience was eager to participate and rushed to the stage when given the opportunity to counter-argue Frost.Many of these debaters focused primarily on the first argument.
They had a difficult time comprehending Frost’s assertion that God has always existed. Many audience members felt that if everything has an explanation for their existence, God should too. Audience members wanted a greater explanation on Frost’s claims that God is not just an omnipotent force, but and omnipotent person.
One audience member focused on Frost’s first main argument.
‘You said that there is an explanation of why there are elements in the set of things that can be explained is unexplainable, but because there is an explanation of why there is elements inside the set of things that can be explained, that automatically places the elements inside that set so that if there is an explanation that can explain why there is elements inside the set of things that can be explained, there should always be an element inside the set,’ the student said to Frost.
Frost responded by saying, ‘Consider the set of human beings. We agree that there is an explanation of why human beings exist … Let’s suppose that Martians are the cause of the explanation of human beings. Martians are not a member of the set of human beings, neither is evolution, or any process or force, a member of the set of human beings. If a member of the set of existence were a reality, they are not a member of the set of human beings per say.’
Indeed, the arguments exchanged were complicated.
Most of the students who attended the even held similar views with Frost and agreed with his arguments.
‘I liked how he approached the existence of God by arguing from a logical standpoint. He turned the debate on whether God exists into an issue of an explanation of the universe. He had many good points,’ said Chris Turner, a first-year undeclared major.
Nathan Lewis, a first-year humanities undeclared major, agrees.
‘There was a lot to comprehend, but I think Frost had very strong arguments and was well prepared,’ Lewis said.