I was far from an impartial listener but I felt Law stole the show from both Alexander and the equally biased Christian moderator Justin Brierley. In fact, I didn't hear Alexander raise a single point that would support belief in his chosen deity. He agreed with Law on several points and, on the few points where he departed from Law, he was the victim of an intellectual reaming. Law raised several stumbling blocks which stand in the way of the traditional conception of the Judeo-Christian god, including the following:
1. The conception of an active agent standing outside our space and time makes no more sense than a mountain existing without space and time;
2. If once conceives of an intelligent designer, why is the Judeo-Christian god any more likely than the inhabitants of another universe using "super-duper alien technology"?
3. Hundreds of millions of years of seemingly pointless suffering of sentient animals provides excellent evidence there is no all-powerful, all-good God. In the same way, immense amounts of seemingly pointless good is excellent evidence there's no evil God either. Law concludes that it is perfectly obvious to all of us that there is no all-evil God and asked Alexander why it wasn't equally obvious that there was no all-good God. This is a verbatim transcript of Alexander's incomprehensible response:
We're in a pretty poor position, uh really ... not being God, to weigh up .. you know ... the pros and cons of, let's say the level of suffering or pain and so forth and, I mean there is, there are of course various, as I'm sure Stephen well knows, there are very standard responses to this, I mean one is we, we simply are not in a position to measure those kind of things, we can measure certain things in science and so forth but we all know also of examples where you know suffering actually can be good for people or can be there for a particular purpose that we, the person, the individual doesn't know about but which they find out later on or they don't find out later on so I think the Christian argument can take several approaches here but I think one is, of course, that it may be that the only way in which thinking freely, choosing beings, intelligent beings, can come into being is through carbon based life and certainly the evolutionary account would suggest that, you know, people playing with silicone based life and so forth, but in terms of the sort of life that we know about, that can be intelligent life, that can appreciate the universe, that can have consciousness, that can choose between good and evil and so forth, that seems to be carbon based life, and there are good biochemical reasons actually for thinking that's probably the only kind of life we're going to find anywhere in the universe, I mean the universe is uniformly the same from the point of view of its chemistry and biochemistry and we can see a very long way into the universe so biochemically it's looking pretty uniform so it seems quite likely that carbon based life is the only kind of life that is possible. Now if that is the case, it might turn out to be the case and this is what we don't know, that really if you want beings who can freely respond to god's love or not who have free choice then this is the kind of universe that you're going to have to have and, also, it's a universe with costs, it's a universe with particular costs, and of course if it's the only universe, then it will be very hard to mount any kind of defence against Stephen's critique but, you know, the Christian will obviously want to say that we're looking forward to new heavens and a new earth where things won't be the case so there are certain goods that will be achieved and a certain price in achieving those goods.
You can listen to the entire program described above at Premier Christian Radio's website at this link: http://www.premierradio.org.uk/shows/saturday/unbelievable.aspx but I recommend that you subscribe to Unbelievable? on iTunes. If you enjoy the show as much as I did, please email the show at email@example.com and request a return engagement for Professor Law.