On 27th Sept 2017, the the prestigious Literary & Historical Society of UCD Ireland  debate the Motion ‘This House Believes God is Evil’.
The debate feature four Atheists against three Theists and one Agnostic. On the side arguing for the motion, was John Hamil of Atheist Ireland. He brought a camera and uploaded his speech , but also kindly uploaded my speech of the debate with very gracious words about my contribution .
Atheist polemics against (Christian) theism, developed an argument that, because evil exists in the world, it challenges the claim that God is good. However, in recent years, Atheists have developed a further argument: ‘If God exists, how do we know he isn’t as likely to be as much evil as he is good?’
Anyhow, that being said, many Muslims who grew up in Western or Westernised contexts, have experienced difficulties in explaining the existence of evil. This was initially why I took up this debate, and felt it to be important.
The debate was well argued by both sides (overall), and since what seemed like the majority of the audience were irreligious, Secular, or Atheist – the debate was always going to be tough to win when it came time for the house to vote on the motion. Added to this, our opponents, the ‘proposing side’, strongly articulated their case – with the seasoned veteran of Atheist Ireland, John Hamil making particular points of note.
Furthermore, the curse of ‘wing-man failure’ hit me again this debate. One of the speakers (I believe a Liberal Catholic) on our OWN SIDE, gave an emotional speech about his personal thoughts concerning God. That wouldn’t have been too much of a problem, had he not expressed self-doubt in his own position, to the point that he decided to end his speech saying: “I’ll always believe [God] is good, but some days it’s harder to believe he is real” (!?)
However, Alhamdullah, by the combined efforts of the ‘opposition side’ (with Allah’s grace) we had a resounding victory and the motion was soundly defeated by a majority audience vote! [as you can see in the excerpt video].
And of course, Ireland being Ireland, it was a debate with a lot of humour and quips.
We’ve managed to upload my 7min speech and an excerpt of the vote at the end of the debate. However, I’d recommend also watching the full debate which contained the other speeches, the audience Q/A and lively rebuttals and back and forths between the speakers of the two sides (where I of course engaged in heavily).
The full video can be seen here: