Star-Bulletin Features

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Debate on God’s
existence set for Friday

Star-Bulletin staff

An academic debate on the question "Does God Exist?" will be staged at 7 p.m. Friday at the University of Hawaii Art Auditorium.

UH professors Charles Hayes, interim dean of the College of Natural Science, and Ramdas Lamb, of the Religion Department graduate studies program, are sponsoring the debate, which is free and open to the public.

"I believe this is the type of interaction we should be having at a university," said Hayes.

"At a university, we put all kinds of ideas out and look at them from all kinds of angles. It gives students the opportunity to grapple with ideas that are extremely important."

Hayes, who is active in a Baptist church, said believers also can gain in hearing "each side evaluate the question from an intellectual, academic vantage point. People should be asking fundamental questions."

Joli Quentin Kansil will present the view that God does not exist. He is president of Xanadu Leisure Ltd., and has taught at the Hanoi University of Technology in Vietnam and Lanna International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

He is a game inventor and editor of "Official Rules of Card Games."

Keli'i Akina will present arguments for the existence of God. He is executive director of Hawaii Youth for Christ. Akina holds a master's degree in philosophy from the university where he is completing his doctorate in debate. He has taught Christianity and philosophy courses.

The debate will be followed by an open-microphone question-and-answer period.

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