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Reason Vs. Faith

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BurgessLau
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PROPOSED TOPIC

I am proposing a debate. The general subject is epistemology. The particular topic is this: Reason vs. Faith -- Which is Better?

The issue is not theism vs. atheism, which is a debate between the arbitrary and the merely negative.

DEBATERS

I propose to take the fideist side of the debate. I will speak as Devil's Advocate. I want to take this position as a test and exercise of what I have learned about fideism in a project I have been working on for several years. My purpose therefore is not to "win" -- God, I hope not! -- but to uncover areas of the fideist position I need to look at more carefully.

Perhaps my opponent will gain from the exercise by testing his own knowledge, not only of reason but of the fideist position.

I nominate Gazz. He has said (in the "Atheists on the Offensive" thread in the "Activism for Reason, Rights, Reality" forum) that he wants to debate theists. I know from experience that debates with theists usually result in debates over reason vs. faith.

Ordinarily the only people who should debate a subject are those who have mastered their subject. I have not mastered either Ayn Rand's epistemology or any particular fideist position, much less all of them. Nevertheless I believe I can put up as sharp a case for fideism as most fideists can, for what that is worth.

CONDITIONS

1. This topic fits in very nicely with a long-term project I am doing, but I am very busy with other aspects of that project. So, I must insist on having a lot of time to respond -- up to a week. I think that is appropriate because this debate will require a kind of double-think from me and precision and care from my opponent.

2. We will limit the discussion to reason vs. faith plus any more fundamental principles that condition those positions. Since reason vs. faith is an epistemological issue, metaphysical issues may properly be brought in.

3. Each debater can reply to the other debater's post with up to three posts of his own. (I think we should encourage more, but shorter, posts rather than single, all-inclusive responses -- for easier reading.)

4. At the end, when we are both exhausted or agree we are going in circles, each debater will very briefly summarize his position.

5. At the beginning of the debate, each participant will very briefly state his degree of agreement with Ayn Rand's philosophy overall, and her epistemology in particular.

Questions? Comments?

As Devil's Advocate, I am prepared to be pummeled and bruised -- but all within this forum's rules of etiquette.

God bless us all!

(Mod's note: Title changed, as requested. -softwareNerd)

Edited by softwareNerd
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Thanks for the nomination! Although I dont really have the time for a *formal* debate at this time, later I would be up to it. Additionally I am not extremely eductaed in the philosophy of Objectivism yet, I would be pulling my arguements from B. Russell, Smiths book, and whatever misc. Knowledge I have on the issue myself.

Anyone else up for it? If not, I may break down and go for it....seems sort of futile though as the devils advocate im sure is already on the side of reason! :)

G

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5. At the beginning of the debate, each participant will very briefly state his degree of agreement with Ayn Rand's philosophy overall, and her epistemology in particular.

I am amazed that you think you have a chance! If you can hold your own at all I will be stunned. Regarding point 5, as quoted above, why don’t you go first. Let the games begin!

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I am amazed that you think you have a chance! If you can hold your own at all I will be stunned. [...] Let the games begin!

To all the children of God, greetings!

Thank you for this opportunity. I know that ordinarily I would not be welcome in your forum, at least as far as the privilege of humbly presenting the side of our Savior. This special debate format gives me that opportunity -- and under the right conditions, that is, under conditions of mutual respect because we all carry within us the divine spark of reason that may, in its limited way, help us peer a little distance into the darkness of this life and -- with the help of God's illumination -- what is to come.

Brother RSalar,

I am willing to debate any advocate of pure reason, even atheists, egotists, and hedonists. In your case in particular, however, I have two reservations that I hope -- and pray -- you will answer so that I can proceed.

1. I know that you have been banned in another Objectivist forum, one that has even tighter standards of etiquette than ObjectivismOnline.net. I hope that you -- and I, brother! -- will conduct yourself suitably.

2. Despite your words, quoted above, I hope that you do not consider this enterprise -- which may hold your soul at stake -- to be a mere game. The issue of reason and faith is an issue of life and death, not only in our short and often vexed time here on Earth, but also Forever in the world to come. And Forever is a very long time for one's soul to either suffer torment or bask in the great light as we see God face to face.

Before I can proceed as you requested (by describing my position on your philosophy, Randism), I must ask that you address my two reservations above.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. He -- unfortunately -- does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As Sister Mary told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

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1. I know that you have been banned in another Objectivist forum, one that has even tighter standards of etiquette than ObjectivismOnline.net. I hope that you -- and I, brother! -- will conduct yourself suitably.

2. Despite your words, quoted above, I hope that you do not consider this enterprise -- which may hold your soul at stake -- to be a mere game. The issue of reason and faith is an issue of life and death, not only in our short and often vexed time here on Earth, but also Forever in the world to come. And Forever is a very long time for one's soul to either suffer torment or bask in the great light as we see God face to face.

Regarding point #1: It is true; I have been banned! But as a brother Objectivist I am sure you know that there are two sides to these things. The mighty King rules with a very big sword and I am but a peasant. That aside—I assure you that you will be most surely respected in every way. I sense a worthy opponent and I yearn to debate thee.

Point #2. I fully understand the stakes involved and although life itself is that which I love the most I will of course do my best to honor my worthy opponent with my best logic.

You have thrown down the gauntlet and I have accepted your challenge—let’s linger on this preliminary jabbing no longer and let the battle begin. State you case or quite the cause!

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THE DEBATE BEGINS

The Reason vs. Faith Debate now officially begins. This thread is now closed to all but the two debaters. A moderator should change the subtitle to Current Debate or whatever wording is appropriate.

State you case [...]

AGREEMENT WITH RAND'S PHILOSOPHY

I will go first, as you requested. The initial step, as noted in an earlier post, is for each debater to state his level of agreement with Ayn Rand's philosophy, overall. For me, Brother Brian O'Loughlin, that task is easy: I know nothing, at this moment, about Randism overall or its purported epistemology, if it really has one. I cannot, therefore, say, at this moment, whether I agree with any of it or not.

I will rely on the description of it that you, RSalar, present here in this thread. Within this context you are a spokesman for Randism, particularly its metaphysics and epistemology.

Regarding point #1: It is true; I have been banned! But as a brother Objectivist I am sure you know that there are two sides to these things. The mighty King rules with a very big sword and I am but a peasant. That aside—I assure you that you will be most surely respected in every way. I sense a worthy opponent and I yearn to debate thee.

Just for the record, I am not your brother in "Objectivism," because I know nothing about it now, but perhaps we will end up reconciling our two positions, as the Church has done in some instances with earlier philosophers.

When you speak of the "mighty King," I wonder if you are speaking of Christ the King. And when you say you are "but a peasant," I see hope of the virtue of humility. If so, we certainly do have grounds for reconciliation of our positions.

In my understanding, it is now your turn -- to state your level of agreement with Ayn Rand's philosophy. I will also ask that, perhaps in a succeeding post, you begin the debate by stating the Randian case for rationalism.

As I stated earlier, I will do my best to respond within a week.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. He -- unfortunately -- does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

Edited by BurgessLau
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In my understanding, it is now your turn -- to state your level of agreement with Ayn Rand's philosophy. I will also ask that, perhaps in a succeeding post, you begin the debate by stating the Randian case for rationalism.

Let me begin by acknowledging my flawed assumption regarding our brotherhood. Before I state my level of agreement with Ayn Rand’s philosophy. I would like us to agree on the assumptions that will govern this debate. I do not refer to the rules of etiquette because that issue has been addressed and agreed upon. What I mean is that we need a “common ground” on which to do battle. That common ground must have certain attributes, which allow us to spar in such a way that it is our reasoning alone that will tip the scales. I propose the following:

By entering this debate we agree that there is but one reality and that reality is what it is regardless of our opinions of it. We also agree to provide verifiable evidence to back up our assertions and when there is none to be found we will admit this fact and quite asserting the truth of our unsupported claim. We further agree that our task during this debate is to determine what that reality is through the application of our senses and our rational thinking. We accept the fact that there are certain laws of nature and certain laws governing logical reasoning and we will indicate which of these laws we are applying when asked to do so. And finally we both agree that logical reasoning is the only method of obtaining the truth.

By making the following statement I hereby agree to the terms and conditions spelled out above:

I agree with all of Ayn Rand’s basic philosophical principles as spelled out by her in her own words (those works of fiction and non-fiction which were published prior to her death). Note: I specifically used the term “basic” to avoid getting side tracked by minutia.

I swear that once you have agreed to these terms I will step upon this level battlefield and engage you with all the vigor I can muster!

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REJECTING RSALAR'S PROPOSAL

[...] I would like us to agree on the assumptions that will govern this debate. I do not refer to the rules of etiquette because that issue has been addressed and agreed upon. What I mean is that we need a “common ground” on which to do battle. That common ground must have certain attributes, which allow us to spar in such a way that it is our reasoning alone that will tip the scales. I propose the following:

By entering this debate [...] We further agree that our task during this debate is to determine what that reality is through the application of our senses and our rational thinking. We accept [...] logical reasoning [...] And finally we both agree that logical reasoning is the only method of obtaining the truth.

[bold and underlining added for emphasis.]

RSalar, I reject your proposal overall. Here are two reasons:

(1) In Post 5, you had already accepted the debate, and therefore its conditions:

[...] You have thrown down the gauntlet and I have accepted your challenge—let’s linger on this preliminary jabbing no longer and let the battle begin. State you case or quite the cause!

[My bold for emphasis.]

The debate then officially was joined in post 6 with my reply. At that point, as confirmation that the debate had begun, the moderator changed the subtitle of this topic to "Current Debate." To now propose additional conditions of debate is improper procedure.

(2) In reference to the top quotation, do you not understand that, by proposing that I agree to the items shown in bold, you are asking that I agree with your side of the debate -- right at the beginning of the debate and as a condition of debate?!

You might want to read about the fallacy of petitio principii. See H. W. B. Joseph, An Introduction to Logic, second edition revised, 1916, p. 591. He notes that the English title for this fallacy is "begging the question," but perhaps the Greek description explains it best: to en archE lambanein, to ex archEs aiteisthai, which, in Joseph's loose translation means "to assume or claim the admission of the very thing propounded for debate at the outset."

I have given my reasons, above, why I reject your proposal. Now the burden is on you. I still await your case for reason, as I requested before. It's only fair that you go first now, as I went first in stating my position on Ayn Rand's philosophy.

NO TAG-TEAM DEBATE?

By the way, RSalar, I have been assuming that each of us will stand alone in this debate, that is, this debate is not a tag-team match with one or the other of us receiving advice from other members of the forum. Is that your assumption as well? (I am not precluding either of us accessing books from which we have learned in the past and might draw on now.)

I am not proposing that you must comply with this assumption -- It is too late for me to propose that -- but I would like to know whether you agree. If you don't, fine, but at least I will know what I am dealing with.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Standard Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. Unfortunately, he does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

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ACCEPTING COMMON GROUND

[...] I would like us to agree on the assumptions that will govern this debate. [...] That common ground must have certain attributes [...] in such a way that it is our reasoning alone that will tip the scales. [...]

By entering this debate we agree that there is but one reality and that reality is what it is regardless of our opinions of it. We also agree to provide verifiable evidence to back up our assertions [...] We further agree that our task during this debate is to determine what that reality is through the application of our senses and our rational thinking. We accept the fact that there are certain laws of nature and certain laws governing logical reasoning and we will indicate which of these laws we are applying when asked to do so. And finally we both agree that logical reasoning is the only method of obtaining the truth. [...]

[boldface and underlining added for emphasis.]

As I explained before, I reject your fallacious proposal -- underlined, above -- that I acquiesce to your side of the debate, even though the debate has barely started.

I also reject your assertion that "our task during this debate is to determine what that reality is." Instead, as stated in the title of this thread and in the initial post of this thread, our task is to debate the issue of reason vs. faith.

However, I will agree to the other "common ground" assumptions you have stipulated. I have marked those in bold: there is one reality that is what it is, regardless of our opinions of it; any argument requires verifiable evidence to back it up; nature operates by laws; and there are laws of logic that all men should follow in discourse. God accounts for all of these, so it would be presumptious of me to not accept them.

It is still your turn: Please state your case for reason.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Standard Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. Unfortunately, he does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

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NEW INVITATION TO DEBATE

Now that my (former) debating opponent is no longer in OO.net, I would like to extend an invitation to anyone else who would like to practice debating this fundamental issue. I know there are individuals in OO.net who are well qualified to represent the reason side.

Anyone interested?

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Standard Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. Unfortunately, he does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

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Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

I'm puzzled. Is this reason vs. faith, or atheism vs. theism? Perhaps some divine guidance from Sister Mary, Father O'flatterighan, Mother Teresa, Cousin Willie or Uncle Ernie could clarify this issue. Is the debate atheistic reason vs. theistic faith?
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Bless you for asking. As stated in Post 1, this debate is reason vs. faith. That, of course, is an epistemological debate. What the metaphysical foundation of each side is depends on who steps up to debate. I have assumed, in this den of atheists, that any advocate of reason here would be an atheist, but that isn't a requirement. If you want to defend reason based on a foundation of theism, please step forward.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Standard Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. Unfortunately, he does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

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As stated in Post 1, this debate is reason vs. faith.
I've read the conditions and given your last response, I conclude that while the existence of god is not the focus of this thing (deliberately vague noun) and one may not be entitled to make any particular assumptions about the relationship between a deity and faith, it is still in-bounds with respect to the proposed thing (there's that word again).

Are making a proposal that we (meaning, someone and you) discuss reason and faith, or are you proposing that we debate something specific. Or would would it be premature to ask for a peek at the pig in that poke?

As I understand it, this is a battle to the death, with no possible winner. Do you agree that this is so?

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I've read the conditions and given your last response, I conclude that while the existence of god is not the focus of this thing (deliberately vague noun) and one may not be entitled to make any particular assumptions about the relationship between a deity and faith, it is still in-bounds with respect to the proposed thing (there's that word again).

Are making a proposal that we (meaning, someone and you) discuss reason and faith, or are you proposing that we debate something specific. Or would would it be premature to ask for a peek at the pig in that poke?

As I understand it, this is a battle to the death, with no possible winner. Do you agree that this is so?

[bold added.]

1. I am not sure what you mean by your first paragraph. Its style reminds me of the writings of that Prussian church-avoider, Immanuel Kant.

As I have said twice, the issue is epistemological. No rules preclude either debater from drawing on the metaphysical foundations of his epistemological stance if that is part of his argument. The point, of course, is to avoid debates over ethics, politics, or esthetics -- that is, those areas that are consequences not causes of faith or reason -- as a way of narrowing the debate without cutting off its roots (ontology).

As Burgess Laughlin stated in Post 1, "The particular topic is this: Reason vs. Faith -- Which is Better?" So, David, which do you think is better? If you think reason is better, then speak for that side. I, Brother O'Loughlin, think faith is better. In what way? Well, you will have to pay the price of admission to see what's inside the circus tent. In my experience, debaters agree on an issue and take a side. They don't reveal their side beforehand.

I am taking the faith side. So far, no one (who hasn't been banned) will speak for reason. I don't know why. Is reason indefensible? Dare I say, is adherence to reason based on faith?

As for discussion versus debate, the original intention was to debate not to discuss. Do you prefer to discuss rather than debate? Perhaps it would be more Christ-like to discuss rather than debate. If no one wants to -- or is able to -- debate, then I will gladly discuss.

As far as this debate being a battle to the death, well, David, as I said before, this issue is a matter of life and death. Can there be a winner? That depends on what you consider the prize to be. I expect to win no matter what happens. At the very least, a well-prepared debater will find out if he is indeed well-prepared. If it turns out that he isn't well-prepared, then he has won insights into weaknesses he needs to correct.

P. S. -- I, Brother O'Loughlin, will be out of town for a few days. By coincidence, so will the initiator of this thread, Burgess Laughlin.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Standard Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. Unfortunately, he does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

Edited by BurgessLau
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Yes, well, it would appear that you just reaffirmed your commitment to a debate, which means the orderly presentation of reasons to suppose that one answer to a question is "better" -- that it conforms more closely to reality -- than the opposing answer. As for the matter of capitulation, your capitulation on the matter is already evident, in that you have virtually admitted that reason is superior to faith as man's tool for grasping the nature of reality. Otherwise, you would simply exhort me to believe, and dispense with this debate silliness. As a volitional being, you do, of course have the option of continued evasion, of the species "concept stealing".

It is not even a matter of simple superiority: faith is not at all a means of gaining knowledge. The question posed is itself invalid, since "better" presupposes that there might be two methods, both with some efficacity but one with greater efficacity. In the question of reason vs. faith, faith simply has zero value for that purpose that is central to epistemology, namely knowledge of existence.

Because of this fact, I assumed that you wished to discuss rather than debate (since debate implicitly gives the last word to and thus grants the superiority of reason). But my assumption was wrong: you've conceded the point from the start, and you are dying if not all the way to dead. Now what remains is for you to grasp the fact that you are dead; in all honesty, I cannot predict or promise that I can persist for very long in trying to use reason to elicit responses by a being who has rejected man's nature.

To the best of my knowledge, I agree without reservation with the philosophy of Ayn Rand, known as Objectivism. I stipulate that there are specific questions in Objectivist epistemology which were not explicitly and directly addressed by Rand, as well as numerous relevant aspects of reality which were not spelled out in her works, but that all arguments which I give will be philosophically founded on that basis. I also stipulate that you have no idea about Objectivism (since you said so).

The problem is, I don't know how we can get past this initial silliness, unless you are willing to make a specific claim about, say, the nature of knowledge or reality or whatever you think reason / faith is about.

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NEW INVITATION TO DEBATE

Anyone interested?

Brian O'Loughlin:

If I were to become your opponent, I would agree to the conditions you set forth in Post #1 provided that I can get clarification and agreement on some points of my own.

Do you prefer to discuss rather than debate? ... If no one wants to -- or is able to -- debate, then I will gladly discuss.

Personally, I would prefer to discuss rather than debate.

The general subject is epistemology. The particular topic is this: Reason vs. Faith -- Which is Better?

Do you intend this to be a debate between:

1. Reason only versus Faith only; or

2. Reason only versus Reason plus Faith?

If you accept Faith only, then I think that we would have no basis upon which to discuss things. But since you mentioned petitio principii in your Post #8, I hope this means that you accept reason as well as faith.

Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man's senses.

"Faith" designates blind acceptance of a certain ideational content, acceptance induced by feeling in the absence of evidence or proof.

Do you accept these Objectivist definitions? If not, then how would you define Reason and Faith?

Within this context you are a spokesman for Randism, particularly its metaphysics and epistemology.

Notice that we use the word "Objectivism" rather than "Randism".

Do you accept the following Metaphysical facts?:

1. Some things exist, including the things which I perceive.

2. Every thing is something specific; and it acts according to its nature.

3. I am conscious of the things which I perceive; and my perceptions reflect reality.

For clarity, let me state that these are true for each person.

... there is one reality that is what it is, regardless of our opinions of it; any argument requires verifiable evidence to back it up; nature operates by laws; and there are laws of logic that all men should follow in discourse.

I am glad that you agree to this.

By the way, RSalar, I have been assuming that each of us will stand alone in this debate, that is, this debate is not a tag-team match with one or the other of us receiving advice from other members of the forum. Is that your assumption as well?

Yes.

Edited by Groovenstein
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By debate I mean a certain kind of socio-intellectual event. A debate is social in that individuals meet and interact (even if only online). A debate is intellectual in that its purpose, in part, is to present ideas with the hope of winning the support of the members of the audience who have the power to put those ideas, if accepted, into practice. Debaters may have other (perhaps personal and private) purposes, but winning support is their common "public" purpose. The usual method of debate is to state a topic -- such as, Socialism vs Capitalism: Which is the moral system? -- have debaters choose one side or another, and then proceed by having one side state his case, followed by the other side stating his case, and then they continue by challenging the legitimacy of the other's initial position or by buttressing their own.

An example of a debate is, I have heard, the videotaped socialism vs. capitalism debate between Leonard Peikoff and John Ridpath, on the capitalist side, versus two Canadian intellectuals on the socialist side. Each side knew its position and boldly stepped up to the topic -- without, I might add, wanting to know ahead of time what the others' particular approach was.

By discussion I mean a certain kind of socio-intellectual event. A discussion is social in that two or more individuals meet and interact. A discussion is intellectual in that it proceeds by exchanging ideas. Two factors distinguish a discussion from other socio-intellectual events (such as a debate). First is its purpose: to solve a problem that the various parties have not yet all individually solved with certainty. Second is its methods: the use of various techniques -- such as clarification questions and the use of supportive responses to encourage further, productive participation -- all leading to a resolution of the common problem.

An example of a discussion would be a meeting held by homeowners in an area suffering from increased crime; they try to answer the question, "How best can we combat this crime wave?"

Now, given those definitions, is there anyone who will step up and debate the proposed topic -- Reason vs Faith: Which is Better? -- without any further attempts to find out my position before the debate even begins?

Please answer yes or no. I have already agreed to various stipulations. That is enough. Now, let's either debate or not.

If no one is willing to debate, and let the chips fall where they may (given the assumptions already stipulated earlier in this lengthening thread), then, yes, I would be willing to discuss the issue with anyone who is uncertain about his side -- the reason side -- of the debate topic.

Any takers -- David Odden, jrs, or anyone else? If more than one person says yes, then I propose that the two or three of you decide among yourselves -- privately or in another thread, please! -- and then come back.

Meanwhile, I will be away for several days.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Standard Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. Unfortunately, he does not share my views. He is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

Edited by BurgessLau
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Now, given those definitions, is there anyone who will step up and debate the proposed topic -- Reason vs Faith: Which is Better? -- without any further attempts to find out my position before the debate even begins?

Please answer yes or no. I have already agreed to various stipulations. That is enough. Now, let's either debate or not.

Yes. I accept the challenge. For practical purposes I suggest that a new thread be initiated, or split off later, but that is minor matter.

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Yes. I accept the challenge. For practical purposes I suggest that a new thread be initiated, or split off later, but that is minor matter.

TO THE MODERATOR:

1. Please change the subtitle, the second line of the whole title, to: Negotiating ground rules.

(Or other appropriate subtitle)

2. Please close the topic. (After the new topic -- the debate itself -- is complete, it will be open to comments from everyone.)

Tomorrow, I will start a new topic:

Reason vs. Faith

Current Debate

TO PHIL (Unconquered): Thank you for stepping up to the debater's podium. I hope this will be educational for all.

Would you prefer to go first, or shall I? I prefer that you do so, as I believe that I have the more difficult job, as may become evident later. However, if you prefer, I will go first, but please allow me the full week to assemble my position. I see these first posts from each of us as position papers, so to speak. They need not be long, but they will represent one of two complete statements. The other complete statement, perhaps, will be our summaries.

Yours in God,

Brother Brian O'Loughlin

P. S. -- Standard Disclaimer: I want to thank Burgess Laughlin for allowing me to use his email address and password to gain entry into this forum. Unfortunately, he does not share my views and is therefore not responsible for anything I say. As our mutual acquaintance, Sister Mary, told him -- after she read his book, The Aristotle Adventure -- "You need to read a Good Book about God!"

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