The devote and the without debate the existence of an afterlife Thursday on campus
ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR
What happens after you die? Is there a heaven, a hell or just nothingness?
These issues will be discussed on campus the evening of March 7 in a debate co-hosted by Windsor’s Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship and the Windsor/Essex County Atheist Society.
The debate features Dan Barker, a Christian preacher turned co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and Rev. Joe Boot, a senior pastor of Westminster Chapel in Toronto and founder of the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity.
“This is an interesting topic [and] we wanted people to come and see for themselves if they really believe in that concept and have a good conversation with Christians,” commented Hamid Afra, a member of the Atheist Society who helped organize the event.
Afra expects roughly 350 attendees and explained that in addition to students, atheists, Christians and the broader community, student activists in Michigan would be attending as well.
“I don’t want to turn down an invitation to debate these issues in a world that I think needs more reason and less dogma,” explained Barker. “The only way to know if something is true is using the tools of reason. If you’re asking if something is true or false, the most important question that should be asked of any religionist is ‘is it true.’”
Barker believes that religion compromises moral judgment and “separates morality from the real world and turns it into something spooky and supernatural … following orders of a divine dictator, [and] that’s dangerous.”
“I am very ready to get involved in these discussions when students are considering these ultimate questions,” explained Boot. “The question of life after death is dependant or contingent on a couple of more basic questions. It is theists who believe in life after death and generally atheists do not.”
Boot is convinced that there is life after death for many reasons, including that God exists and human beings are more than just physical matter but are spiritual beings. His belief in life after death also comes from the reason that Jesus was raised from the dead and is “the first of many demonstrating that there will be and is life after death” and accountability before God.
Boot is of the view that human existence occupies a moral universe and it’s “abhorrent to us intuitively that injustice and evil will ultimately prevail.”
The free debate starts at 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted.