On behalf of the sponsors, Campus Crusade for Christ, Athletes in Action, and Priority One Associates, welcome to a critical thinking event! A university should be more than simply a place of learning about things, but a place to grapple with issues of truth, who we are, where we come from and where we are going. Tonight we are going to grapple with the issue, "Does God Exist?" Although you may not agree with ideas proposed here this evening, I hope you will be intellectually stimulated and motivated to further study and further thinking about this age-old debate. Out of respect to our two esteemed debaters, I would ask that the audience refrain from any emotional outburst or support or disapproval (usually confined to a building near by!) during the presentation, so as not to interfere with their making their points clear.
I would like to thank our debaters for participating in tonight's event. Taking the "No, God does not exist" position will be Dr. Douglas M. Jesseph, Associate Professor in the North Carolina State University Department of Philosophy and Religion. Dr. Jesseph has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Princeton University and obtained his B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and he has been an Associate Professor here at North Carolina State since 1991.
Taking the "Yes, God does exist" position will be Dr. William Lane Craig, a lecturer/speaker and author residing in Marietta, Georgia. He got a B.A. in Communications from Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham, England, and a Doctorate in Theology at the University of Munich. I thank both of you.
If you will refer to the inside of your program, you will see the format of tonight's debate. Dr. Jesseph won the toss of the coin earlier and will go first for 20 minutes. Dr. Craig will go next for 20 minutes. Then each will speak for 12 minutes, then each for 8 minutes, and finally each will end with 5 minutes. At the conclusion of the formal debate, you will be asked to fill out a comment card. On this card, you will be asked to vote on who made the more convincing argument. We will conclude with a 40-minute question and answer time. Ladies and gentlemen, let us begin. Does God exist? Dr. Jesseph, the floor is yours.