On-campus formal debate over the problem of evil and suffering
November 10, 2014
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problem of evil and suffering took place Monday in the Don Morris room between Ratio Christi and the Secular Student Alliance.
Jake Shuck, junior criminal justice major, represented Ratio Christi, while Adam Hamby, president of the Secular Student alliance, represented his organization.
The opponents each had 15 minutes to open the debate with his views on the subject of God’s allowance of evil and suffering.
Each opponent then had two minutes to develop a 10 minute rebuttal. At the end of the debate, after the five minute cross examination, the audience was allotted 30 minutes to ask each opponent questions.
John Mays, chapter director of Ratio Christi at Marshall University, helped organize the debate.
“I thought the event was great,” Mays said. “We had a larger turnout than we expected and the debate was very thought provoking. Based on tonight’s turnout, and the interest we were shown, we plan to do it again.”
Mays said the event was a good example of why those professing to be Christians understand why they need to have an answer for the way they believe in today’s society. Ratio Christi is a “global movement that equips university students and faculty to give historical, philosophical and scientific reasons for following Jesus Christ,” according to ratiochristi.org.
“I like the way the debate was set up,” Mays said. “It was between two students, and I thought leaving it in the students hands was very beneficial for both of them.”
Hamby, who debated on behalf of the secular student alliance, said he suggested the debate.
“I loved tonight’s event,” Hamby said. “I love debate. It was a good experience and was recorded on video. I am sure it will be put online, and as I said in the debate, I would encourage people to read the Bible from beginning to end. They need to read it to find out for themselves if they believe what is in there instead of just listening blindly to what they’ve been told.”
Shuck, who debated on behalf of Ratio Christi, said he also thought the debate drew a good crowd.
“I was impressed with how many people showed up,” Shuck said. “I think if I was going to tell people the one thing that I wanted them to take away from tonight, it would be that at the center of Christian theology lies the greatest atrocity that has ever occurred, and will ever occur, and that the greatest good came out of Jesus’ free choice to die for our sins.”
Aundrea Horsley can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.