Asbury Theological Seminary Professor of Philosophy and Religion Dr. Michael Peterson will hold a debate on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 with Dr. Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. This 90 minute Christian Theism verses Atheist Naturalism debate begins at 11:00 AM in McKenna Chapel on the Asbury Seminary campus and covers questions such as: Does science disprove faith? Is it more rational to be an atheist than to believe in God? Does science contradict the Bible?
Battles between “Science and Religion” and “Atheism and Faith” continue in American society. In this debate, Dr. Michael Ruse and Dr. Michael Peterson deliberate the issues at the level of worldview explanation, covering topics such as: Science; Origins; Mind and Rationality; Morality; and Pain, Suffering, and Evil.
Peterson contends, “The high profile ‘science-religion’ and ‘atheism-faith’ controversies in culture and academia reflect deeper philosophical commitments about science and other areas of knowledge. A classically orthodox understanding of Christianity has rich intellectual content that can engage other positions which take empirical science as the basis for a total worldview that rejects any higher meaning.” Ruse supports atheistic naturalism and states, “Christianity has had its day – a very long day – but it just doesn’t work. It is internally incoherent, socially regressive, and out of step with science. Retreat after retreat – a young earth, Adam and Eve, Noah’s Flood, women inferior, gays immoral – false, false, false. The time has come for America to move forward from the past at least to the twentieth century if not later.” Each argues that his perspective makes better sense of science, evolution, rationality, morality, and other important phenomena than his opponent’s perspective.
Ruse and Peterson just received a book contract from Oxford University Press to write a book together philosophically debating these issues and several other issues related to the science-religion controversies in our culture.
Asbury Theological Seminary is committed to excellence in theological education. This commitment includes engagement with important intellectual and cultural issues on behalf of Christian faith. This debate will consist of reasonable argumentation in the search for truth, which is a welcome alternative to heated rhetoric, false stereotypes, and parochial agendas.