Volume 93, Issue 80

Thursday, March 2, 2000


Western researchers get American money

Profs join students in strike

Chancellors praise liberal arts

Greenspan pays visit to campus

God debate finds no answers



God debate finds no answers

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

Two cosmic heavyweights put on their academic gloves yesterday and debated the existence of God.

In front of a near capacity McKeller Room crowd in the University Community Centre, the national director of the New Scholars Association, Kirk Durston, spoke on the side of God's existence, while the head of Western's philosophy department, John Thorp, spoke against a higher being. The event was organized by the Western chapter of the Campus Crusade for Christ.

Durston divided up his main argument into three areas – origin of the universe, historical examples and personal experience. Through the use of historical examples, he said God's existence was evident in the fact that Jesus' actions brought true many of the old testament's prophecies, including, among others, that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem and he would die for the sins of humanity.

During the hour and a half debate, Thorp questioned Durston's definition of the universe and God's place within it. Thorp defined the universe as the totality of all that exists and said if Durston argued God exists, then God must be a part of this universe, thus not deserving of the worship he or she receives. "That God would be a shopkeeper in the shop," he said, adding the effort to differentiate God from the universe was a way to make sure He does not face the questions those in the "universe" are faced with.

Thorp also questioned the notion of God being described as indescribable. Durston responded by telling the group that God was something impossible to completely comprehend, although He could be partially understood.

Pascal Peloquin, a Western graduate, said although he believed in God, the debate did raise some questions. "I've always been a devil's advocate," he said.

However, not all the students in attendance felt the event was a valid debate of the issue. Dan Fox, a second-year geography student, described the event as a sham. "You can't have an equitable debate when the group putting on the debate sides with one of the arguments," he said.

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