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APSU Philosophy Club presents debate on the existence of God

The Austin Peay State University Philosophy Club, in partnership with Students for Secular Humanist, will present a debate on the presence of a higher power in society titled, “Does God Exist: A Debate Between Dr. John Ferrer and Mr. Matt Dillahunty.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Clement Auditorium on the University campus.

The Austin Peay State University Philosophy Club, in partnership with Students for Secular Humanist, will present a debate on the presence of a higher power in society titled, “Does God Exist: A Debate Between Dr. John Ferrer and Mr. Matt Dillahunty.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Clement Auditorium on the University campus.

Dr. Ferrer and Dillahunty approach the discussion of religion from opposite sides of the aisle, but each scholar brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the debate. Dillahunty is regularly engaged in formal debates and travels the country speaking to local secular organizations and university groups as part of the Secular Student Alliance's Speakers Bureau. Raised Southern Baptist, Dillahunty sought to become a minister. In the course of his studies, however, he came to no longer believe in Christianity, and eventually, all religions.

Now a public speaker and internet personality, Dillahunty was the president of the Atheist Community of Austin (Texas) from 2006-2013. He has hosted the Austin-based webcast and cable access television show, “The Atheist Experience” since 2005, and formerly hosted the live internet radio show, “Non-Prophets Radio.” He is also the founder and contributor of the counter-apologetics encyclopedia, “Iron Chariots,” as well as its subsidiary sites. In 2014, Dillahunty was featured as one of the subjects of the documentary film, “My Week in Atheism” by director John Christy.

Ferrer is an educator and former associate pastor from South Carolina. He has earned a number of degrees, including religion, communication and Christian apologetics, as well as a PhD in Philosophy of Religion. His work has been published in apologetics journals and magazines.

Ferrer has taught at the high school and undergraduate level, as well as in

churches, conferences and various special events, addressing audiences both domestically and internationally. He was recently employed at Pantego Christian Academy in Arlington, Texas, teaching upper level Bible courses in ethics, world religions, and apologetics. Ferrer has also taught at Tarrant County College in both logic and philosophy. Currently, he and his wife live in Pella, Iowa and write for an education-based website.

Ferrer continues to travel the country to teach and debate, having sparred with the likes of Dr. Zach Moore of the Fellowship of Freethought and David Smalley of Dogma Debate, and he has had two exchanges with Dillahunty, one live and one by streaming radio. Besides Christian apologetics and critical thinking, Ferrer is passionately pro-life and encourages everyone in the audience to seriously consider the case against abortion.

Funding for the debate is the result of a $2,000 Student Academic Success Initiative (SASI) grant, written by APSU philosophy professor Jordy Rocheleau, with the assistance of Phillip Christie, philosophy major and president of the APSU Philosophy Club.

For more information on the event, contact APSU philosophy professor Mark Michael at michaelm@apsu.edu, or 931-221-1003.