Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sean McDowell vs. James Corbett Debate MP3 Audio

Sean McDowell (blog) debates James Corbett (news) on the topic: Is God the Best Explanation of Moral Values? Moderated by Craig Hazen. The flyer for this debate can be found here. Original debate video at ConversantLife.

Full MP3 Audio here. (95min)


Also check out Sean McDowell's ethics book here.

(Please note there are few audio glitches due to feed interruptions during Corbett's opening statement.)


Aaron said...

My you got this up quick. Sean did an excellent job.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much , Brian!!! Great job getting this up so fast!

Brian Colón said...

Just once I want to hear a debate on morality when the Atheist doesn't use straw men and red herrings to try to win the debate.

Narnian said...

I was impressed with Sean. He probably isn't trained in debate but did a great job.

I think Corbett didn't even understand the problem with his own view. There was one point that he seemed to not know what philosophical materialism is. If you have thought about darwinism and naturalism you should know about these views.

What his argument was all about was that we should question authority. No wonder his students think he is a Rock Star.

I guess the question remains that perhaps there are times when whatever authority is in power, could actually be right. How do we determine if something is right? Corbett's global preservation of the species is really a poor moral argument and could result in some really poor systems of belief.

I could argue that killing people with any gene that produces genetic disease should be eliminated to protect the entire species. It is entirely rational and questions the current authority that doesn't believe this is right behavior. If the continuation of the species is one of the main goals we could come up with an entire set of genetic morality.

I really got the feeling that Corbett didn't really know what he believed and hadn't thought through these important issues. He just seems to get a kick out of making people question authority. He had no debating skills whatsoever and was very ill prepared. I suspect he wings it in class like this and thats why he is in trouble. He didn't even have one question for Sean which showed he wasn't prepared. Corbett although older seemed bumbling and incoherent at times.

I think it is time as Corbett would suggest to question his authority. Oh.... he didn't give us any ideas to question I forgot.

Wow... to have this man teaching our students... seems sad to me. The supposed fallacies he accused Sean of weren't even logical fallacies. I was so underwhelmed with Corbett.

Anonymous said...

Sean McDowell did a great job, but he was also lucky in having such a weak opponent. McDowell was thoroughly consistent and, unlike his opponent, kept coming back to his first contentions and the actual topic of the debate.

Corbett seemed to shoot himself in the foot at several points. He seemed to struggle with the fact that McDowell never appealed to Christianity or any specific religion - which was the basic presumption of the kind of rebuttal Corbett had prepared from home ("thou shalt not trust authority"). I think it became most obvious when he started quoting the Bible and even Jesus in an attempt to make his points.

A funny detail: Corbett says Jesus appealed to reason rather than claim authority. It's irrelevant to the whole discussion, and I guess that's why McDowell didn't address this, but it's also factually wrong. Read the Sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7), and you'll see Jesus speaking in this pattern: 'You've heard people say ... but I say unto you!' That is Jesus clearly appealing to authority, his own. And there's nothing wrong obeying an authority in ethical matters, as long as you're obeying the right one. Trusting yourself is usually a poor choice in this matter.

Anonymous said...

Given the impending lawsuit and the controversy surrounding Corbett I do not understand why McDowell would lend this man any creedence by debating him. He would, otherwise, slink on off into obsurity.

Wim Ahlers said...

Not a single human being is killed in the name of atheism. Why does this always come up?

It is claimed "If object morals exists there must be a god". This is so obviously incorrect that it normally does ot need any comment ... except for religious people. It is logic like: "If bob hasm't killed Susan than Greg must have done it". In such case you really must question if you have done an exhaustive research.

Russell said...


Not a single human being is killed in the name of atheism. Why does this always come up?

I would agree with this to a point. However, I think Greg Koukl makes a good point as well. "The greatest evil does not result from people zealous for God. It results when people are convinced there is no God to whom they must answer."

It is claimed "If object morals exists there must be a god". This is so obviously incorrect that it normally does ot need any comment ... except for religious people.

If it's so obviously incorrect, then please explain how you distinguish the moral from the unmoral.

Anonymous said...

James Corbett bit may have won this debate, but I doubt.

James Corbett could have been right about everything he said, but I doubt it.

Moral truth may exist without God, but I doubt it!

Unknown said...

Sounds like Dr. Corbett is absolutely certain of his own doubt. If having certainty is supposed to insulate one from committing moral atrocities how does he escape the logical conclusion of his own diagnosis?

If skepticism became the reigning plausibility structure of society should we toss skepticism to the curb because we are morally obligated to do so?

Joe Sonseed said...

I feel so bad for the Freethinkers club that helped put this event together, Corbett seemed annoyed at being asked to support his claims.

Sean McDowell was absolutely charming, the good Samaritan part was just too adorable. Corbett was the perfect foil for this guy!

I wanna hear more debates featuring McDowell, Luke M at Common Sense Atheism referred to him as the possible next William Lane Craig.

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