By Murray Murchison
The Lions Club of Cairns hosted a spirited debate yesterday between prominent members of the sceptical and faith communities. A crowd of around sixty-six were at the Tanks Art centre for the event and were treated to an entertaining romp through all things spiritual, hippological, and scatological. The topic of the debate, “That God is Not Dead” was inspired by the popular Kevin Sorbo movie that was recently revived by the Trinity Park Cinephiles group.
Mr Sorbo was invited to attend yesterday’s event, but he is reportedly in a spiritual taper in preparation for filming “God is Truly Really Not Dead 4”, co-starring Sean Hannity.
Leading off in the debate was well-known preacher and bee-keeper William Craig, 72 of Manoora, who argued that that the nature of the origin of nothingness, and the mechanism of the creation of the universe from this nothingness, can be deduced to arise from the agency of, and must logically be presaged by, a transcendental, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and definitely not-dead God, who is completely described, with the full requirements of necessity and sufficiency, in the King James Bible.
Craig drew on elements of the Kalam, as well as excerpts from the Epic of Gilgamesh and Touched By An Angel . It was a bravura performance by a seasoned and unapologetic apologist. A man of faith and bees.
The next speaker, Errol Finch, representing the Smithfield Sceptics and Atheists Alliance (SASA), scoffed at Craig’s arguments, asserting that until nothingness is defined, then it was equally likely that the requirements of necessity and sufficiency for any role in the genesis of the universe were also completely described within the pages of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and that it was in fact equally likely that it is magic magic that is the tri-Omni force behind what we perceive as reality.
Finch patiently led the willing listeners along a well-lit path of logic that concluded with the devastating conclusion that if Dumbledore is dead, then God most certainly is.
Mrs Michelle Mulgrave, representing the Cairns Christian Coalition, beseeched the audience to simply “behold the trees, and the beautiful wombats, and the fruit-bats, and the itty bitty babies” for compelling evidence of the blessed aliveness of God. She then proceeded to peel and consume a large banana.
Finally, President of SASA, Jonas Humberstone, closed the argument for the sceptics. It was his first public appearance since February, when his controversial comments about the non-existence of Basketball caused a hell-fire storm on social media.
As Mr Humberstone mounted the stage, he was almost unrecognisable from his Facebook profile picture. His strikingly bald head, prolate-spheroidal in shape, bobbed and glowed in the gloomy light of Tank Four.
What followed was a most unusual debating strategy, even for a man known to be the most unconventional of rationalists.
Using a crayon on the white backdrop of the stage, Humberstone quickly drew a large picture of a donkey and a banana in suggestive juxtaposition (below), and then signed the impromptu artwork with the word ‘Buridan’, before exiting the building without a single word of argument or rebuttal. He has not been seen since.
The audience initially sat in a stunned silence, before descending into a slanging match between the Christians and the Lions. In the end, calm was restored when local Hard Solipsist, Vern MacFarlane, took the microphone and commanded everyone to calm down.
After the event, all were agreed that it was a most enjoyable afternoon, with so much to ponder, and so much more to pray for.
At the time of writing, Plain Dealer investigators are no closer to determining the source of the phrase ‘Buridan’ and remain torn between the possibilities that it refers to a certain Mr Joseph Buridan, a donkey farmer in Innisfail, or a 14th century French philosopher, and are awaiting direction from the editorial team. Given the conflicting effort required to investigate further, reporting on this story has ground to a halt, and