God Questions - a dialogue

God Questions is a record of debate arising out of a correspondence between American Atheist Professor Carl Stecher and English Philosopher Peter S. Williams in 2001-2002. It is reproduced here, as edited by the authors, for the first time.


Opening statements from the two participants, giving their own backgrounds, along with an explanation of how the debate came about.

1. Morality & the Biblical God

A discussion of the moral argument for the existence of God, along with moral issues related to the Bible (especially the Old Testament).

2. The Problem of Evil

A wide-ranging discussion of the Problem of Evil, mainly from a philosophical perspective.

3. Cosmological and Design Arguments

A discussion of the Cosmological and Analogical Design arguments, followed by the Intuitive Design argument, Specified Complexity and Intelligent Design.

4. Some Questions about Jesus

Assuming the historicity of the New Testament documents, the morality and accuracy of some of Jesus' teachings are discussed. 

5. The Arguments from Desire & Religious Experience

The argument from desire points to the so-called 'God-shaped hole' that exists, it is claimed, in everyone. This need is likened to that for food or love. But is it a good argument for the exstence of God? Religious experience, it is claimed, gives positive evidence for the existence of God. This leads on to consideration of Alvin Plantinga's contention that belief in God may be called a "properly basic belief".

6. Heaven & Hell

What happens after death? Is there a 'soul'? Does Heaven make sense of evil and suffering? Won't Heaven get boring? What about hell?

Closing Reflections on the Meaning of it All

Carl and Peter each reflect on what they believe they have achieved in their dialogue.

© 2010 Carl Stecher & Peter S. Williams
This dialogue, edited by the authors in 2002, is now being published for the first time on bethinking.org, by the kind permission of both authors.