UBC Debate: Does God Exist ?

By Kara Hawkes, Youth Co-editor

During the second half of its winter session UBC held a debate on the existence of God, aptly titled "Does God Exist?" Its presence was well known on campus. The event was a huge success with 1,200 in attendance and an estimated 200 turned away after tickets sold out. John R. Shook argued for atheism and William Lane Craig argued the theist side.

Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. Shook is Vice President and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Inquiry Transnational in Amherst, NY.

Shook's arguments were rooted in naturalism. Arguing that the "atheist examines all of the arguments the supernaturalist has given, sees that they all fail to provide minimally interesting, much less reasonable, support, and therefore takes the conservative position, that whereof there's insufficient evidence we must refrain from believing."

Craig naturally felt differently. Stating that he simply wants to weigh the arguments and the evidence, so when he looks at the arguments that Shook gives on his website, for example, he finds them to be "very weak objections to religious beliefs." Craig rooted most of his arguments for the existence of God in Christianity.

However given the diverse nature of students at UBC this did not sit well with some audience members. Many of them probably would have preferred the arguments to be founded in a more ambiguous notion of God so as not to seem to discount their own religions especially since the debate had been promoted more as simply theist against atheist.

During the Q&A period, a few of the attendees made their feelings on this matter known with their questions.

Despite this minor setback, the majority of the audience seemed to find the debate very rewarding and well worth the small fee. Many continued to discuss the event well into the evening. Opinions as to who had the stronger argument were split and seemed to follow the beliefs people had before the debate.

Mark Trendell-Jensen (left) and Torben Trendell-Jensen of St. Catherine's Capilano, tune up for the guitar challenge.

Diocesan Youth Movement at Synod

By Phil Colvin, St. Francis-in-the-Wood

The Diocesan Youth Movement was scheduled to be at Synod this month, and youth organized a host of ways for parish youth delegates, as well as other delegates and visitors 25 and under, to use the opportunity to get to know each other a little better.

During downtimes and breaks on both days of Synod there were chances for youth to come hang out, spend time and network with other youth from around the Diocese.

After the close of Synod business on Friday, there was a chance for young people to get to know other Synod youth, to eat and have some fun together at St. John's Anglican Church in North Vancouver. They also found our more about how things work at Synod, and how youth can be involved with the business of helping run the Anglican Church!

One of the traditions of Diocesan Synod is the chance for youth to spend time in conversation with Bishop Michael over lunch on Saturday. This year that invitation was opened up to all young people at the Synod, whether they are parish youth delegates, or other delegates or visitors aged 25 or under.

A Guitar Challenge to Youth

By Peggy Trendell-Jensen

The youth of St. Catherine's (Capilano) have an invitation and challenge to other teenagers in the North Vancouver deanery. The invitation is to a BBQ at the church on Sunday, June 22 at 5 p.m.

The challenge is to send along your church's most nimble-fingered highschoolers to take part in the First Ever North Van Deanery Guitar Hero Championship. Which parish will prevail?

This event is being held as a warm-up to the September launch of a St. Catherine's-based discussion and social group for Anglican teens in North Vancouver. Plans are under way for gatherings that will include philosophers' café-style discussion, snacks, and periodic community service activities. More details will be available at the June BBQ.

Please RSVP to the BBQ so that food quantities can be planned. Call the St. Catherine's Church office at 604-985-0666. Guitar Hero contestants should register and start tuning their technique now!