Students disagree on God’s existence, asked to look inside themselves

By Megan Neff

Christians, Muslims and atheists debated the existence of God for more than two hours last night in the Student Center, and ultimately reached no conclusive answer.

It is necessary to search for solid rock beneath many layers to build a sturdy foundation for belief, said Ben Hornback, a panelist and Campus Crusade for Christ member who said he built his religious belief upon principles he sees in civil engineering.

But Adam Leedy, one of the panelists who represented an atheist point of view, countered the beliefs of Hornback and others with problems he saw with the existence of God.

“The ideal of God takes away from the glory of the human race,” said Leedy, vice president of UK SHIFT (society for humanistic, intellectual and free thought). “I live every day trying to make it better than the last.”

Many audience members brought up current issues and introduced statistics relating to the modern view of religion and atheism. One person was asked what the panel thought about a nation where moral objectivism is imposed on someone else.

“Such a society is a shame,” said Yahya Ahmed, the Muslim Student Association president, who represented Islam.

Parts of the discussion became heated as the audience of a couple hundred people and panelists disagreed on certain issues. Allegiance to one belief system was shown with clapping, while points of discord were met with murmurs and interjections.

That kind of reaction is inevitable, many of the panelists said. In such a charged topic, it is difficult to ignore personal biases. Despite the charged atmosphere, discussions like this are still important to campus, said psychology sophomore Loren Hill.

“I don’t think it’s easy to hold a discussion about the existence of God,” Hill said. “But for people who want to know more about what they believe, these kinds of discussions are important.”

So the search for the answer remains ongoing. Ahmed suggested that individuals look inside themselves for an answer.

“My advice is to seek the truth,” he said. “The truth that reaches out and speaks to you. That’s the best that I can do.”