Overflow crowd watches Catholic Answers debate on God’s existence

Horm and Baker

Horn and Barker

The following comes from an email sent by Kerry Beck of Catholic Answers.

Wednesday, February 12 is remembered by academics and atheists as Darwin Day, a day to recognize Charles Darwin’s contributions to science and to promote science in general.

Whether or not the organizers knew that going in, it seemed an appropriate choice for a debate between a Catholic apologist and an atheist on the topic God: Supreme Being or Imaginary Friend? presented on the campus of the University of San Diego by the San Diego-based international Catholic apologetics organization, Catholic Answers.

The debate matched Catholic Answers apologist and author Trent Horn against Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation.

The debate was attended by a crowd of about 300, divided evenly between Christians and atheists. The evening included argument, rebuttal, and cross-examination, and the highlight was the audience-participation question-and-answer session with lines of attendees stretching from the microphones by the stage all the way to the back of the room.

Trent Horn, author of the best-selling book Answering Atheism, gave some background. “Since Dan Barker has engaged in over a hundred public debates and has been an activist for atheism since before I was born, you can understand that I was a little nervous before this debate,” he said.”

Catholic Answers director of development Christopher Check moderated the debate. “Debate is an essential element of the apologetics tradition,” he noted. “While I watched Trent field and respond to questions, and so much of it off the cuff, I felt this is what it must have been like to see Frank Sheed in action at Speakers’ Corner.

Catholic Answers is located in El Cajon is now known from its radio show Catholic Answers Live (broadcast locally 3 to 5 p.m. on KCEO AM 1000), Catholic Answers magazine, its website, Catholic.com, its speakers bureau.

The debate is available now in MP3 Format and will be available soon in DVD format.

Catholic Answers forthcoming national conference right here in San Diego this September 4-6.

 

 

 

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  1. Fr. Richard Perozich says:

    Trent Horn spoke at St. Mary in Escondido. He is most articulate, most Catholic, and most convincing in his presentations.

  2. Prof.Helen McCaffrey says:

    Nice to have such a smart guy on the side of logic – yes I mean Trent Horn

  3. Trent did a great job with the atheist. While Mr. Barker went off script and inserted one liners that Trent had no time to defend-about the Bible and about sex abuse in the church . Trent was a gentleman and handled him very well. I brought along 4 young adults and they really enjoyed this debate. It will help them as they engage in the culture that has become negative towards Christianity.

  4. Sawyer Cotherman says:

    I am truly excited to listen to this debate. Keep doing what you do!

  5. @Diane

    Well I would expect nothing less from the co-founder of the ‘freedom from religion foundation’: they have been acting as a bunch of bullies since the beginning of their existence, and very rarely I have seen something smart coming from them (usually they have just their run-of-the-mill new atheist arguments we all have heard before).

    I am glad Trent had the chance to debate Barker. What I also like Trent is that he’s usually also very polite, not resorting to cheap tricks to ‘win’ a debate.

    PS: I am glad you enjoyed the debate.

  6. I attended and Trent Horn was excellent! The hardest part was listening to Dan Barker. I was between trying to pray for him and wanting to throw something at him.

  7. I have recently, that is two weeks ago, begun listening to Trent Horn and other Catholic apologists on the Catholic Channel radio station. I am 50 years old and I feel almost giddy when I hear so many intelligent and kind people defending our great faith. It is quite frustrating to love the Lord and the Church and to not be able to articulate a position when in a situation to speak up to non-believers. I am trying to learn by listening to Trent Horn and others like him. Praise God. He is using these men and women to bring His children home.

  8. I’m so embarrassed. When I first heard that there was going to be a debate on the existence of God at the University of San Diego, I somehow got the idea that Catholics were assuming the burden of trying to prove that God was still a presence at the campus, as against Him having forsaken the place. Boy, was I way off.

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