Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Healthy Debate

In this politicized world, one can actually begin to wonder if a good healthy debate is possible...about anything. Well, from the unlikeliest of sources, the answer is yes. Northwestern College in Roseville, MN, a school founded to train fundamenalist leaders since the turn of the last century, has invited controversy into the classroom, so to speak.
For the last five years Prof. Ronn Johnson has invited an atheist-friend into the classroom to debate God in front of his students. August Berkshire, who considers himself a "positive" atheist, isn't interested in destroying the faith of the students, only in telling them just how ineffectual their arguments for God really are. Both sides seem to enjoy the debate and nobody goes home without having been prodded. Why the invite? "Because atheists like Berkshire," says Johnson, "often define us better than ourselves." These two men define a good, honest debate better than most politicians at present. Good for them. And good for the students.


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