My “Does God Exist?” debate with Dr. Ronda Chervin – now available on Youtube!

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My recent recorded “Does God Exist?” debate (held on August 19, 2012 vs. Dr. Ronda Chervin) which was recorded for a special episode of the NEPA Freethought Society Podcast is now available on Youtube. A remastered high-quality downloadable and streamable audio-only file is scheduled to be released as a podcast on the first Wednesday of September. This was my second recorded debate of this kind.

Dr. Chervin presented variations of Aquinas’ third and fifth ways in her opening statement.
I presented the evidential problem of natural evil, Stephen Law‘s ‘Evil God Challenge,’ and the problem of theological fatalism.

Thanks to all who supported, promoted, and watched the debate. Jason Gogola (behind the camera) and Karla Porter (the debate’s moderator) helped with the organization and worked hard to make this happen. An extra special thanks goes out to my opponent, Dr. Chervin, for providing a good debate.

Comments, questions, and feedback — always encouraged — can be posted here. I will be participating in events like this in the future, so constructive criticism will help improve the quality of debates like this. Consider also sending e-mail and thanks to Dr. Chervin at ChervinRonda (at) gmail (dot) com. Feel free, also, to sound off on the event’s Facebook page which still has ongoing discussion!

I will be dedicating some upcoming blog posts concerning this debate in which I will further develop the arguments I presented, restate and expand my objections to my opponent, and comment on some issues which were raised in the question and answer session. Stay tuned by following the blog label ‘NEPAGodDebate’ and keeping watch on my blog.

An interesting note which should be known…
At a point in the question and answer session, moderator Karla Porter was asking questions which were not delivered by persons in the live chat. For whatever reason, the chatroom crashed and — while it was still open — questions were not easy to read considering the blinding speed of the chat. In the future, we will ask that questions be sent via another medium instead. I appreciate, though, that so many people viewed! Crashing the chatroom is a good sign of interest :)

Information on participants:

Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. She is a widow, mother, and grandmother. Ronda converted to the Catholic Faith from a Jewish, though atheistic, background and has been a Professor of Philosophy and Theology at Loyola Marymount University, the Seminary of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is an international speaker and author of some fifty books about Catholic thought, practice and spirituality. Ronda is currently a Dedicated Widow of the Holy Eucharist forming a small community of dedicated widows. Dr. Ronda is currently teaching philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Her website can be found at

Justin Vacula received bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King’s College. Justin Vacula is an outspoken atheist, activist for the separation of church and state, a speaker, writer/reporter, blogger, and host of the NEPA Freethought Society Podcast. He is currently enrolled in Marywood University’s graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program. Vacula holds leadership roles as the co-organizer, spokesperson, and a board member of the NEPA Freethought Society. Justin has appeared on various radio shows, television networks, and podcasts. Vacula will be speaking at the upcoming September 28-30 Atheist/Humanist conference in Harrisburg. His website can be found at

Karla Porter works with organizations that want to achieve employer of choice status, are interested in attracting candidates who will develop into employee brand advocates that drive growth and continued success, embrace diversity, desire a culture of innovation and excellence, want to enrich the community, and reward superior performance with celebrity. Porter is one of four organizers behind the upcoming NEPA BlogCon 2012 conference at Luzerne County Community College taking place on September 29. Her website can be found at

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