Monthly Archives: December 2014

[UNCUT] Debate on Existence of God: Professor vs Student named ‘Einstein’

Stories about atheist professors being bested by true believers who did have answers at the ready are both ventings of this frustration and expressions of delight in finally seeming to have been armed with deft responses to fling back. Now, let’s revisualize the above dialogue rationally. Where major editing is done, the justification is given in (parentheses).

Dialogue with a young theist (longer version)

A philosophy professor challenged his students with a form of the Euthyphro dilema: Did ‘God’ create everything that exists?”

A student replied, “Yes, he did!” (The ‘bravely’ part is removed: civil disagreement is the very point of philosophy courses, no bravery is required for dissent! Civil dissent is rewarded! Agreement is the death of philosophy, disagreement is its life’s blood.)

“God created everything?” the professor asked.

“Yes,” the student replied. (The ‘sir’ part is removed: no college student in the 21st century addresses a college professor as ‘sir’ – which demonstrates that whoever it was that made up the original story never went to college. In addition, the use of ‘sir’ is just a pretense of ‘respect’ – it comes off as passive aggressive anger more than anything else.)

The professor answered, “Well then, here’s a logical puzzle for you: If God created everything, then God created evil; Therefore, according to the principal that ‘our works define who we are’, ‘God’ is evil.”

The student became silently enraged over his worldview being ‘attacked’. He began to project out his feelings of inadequecy as smugness coming from the professor.

The student then said: “Can I ask you a question professor?”

“Of course,” replied the professor. That’s the point of philosophical discourse. (The writer of the original story clearly has little experience with a real college classroom. The whole point of a philosophy or theology course is to foster discussion.)

Student: “Is there such thing as heat?”

Professor: “Yes,” the professor replies.

Student: “Is there such a thing as cold?”

Professor: “Yes, there’s cold too.”

Student: “No, there isn’t”

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