God and Truth seminar gives attendees forum for debate

Dr. Michael Valle of SCC founded the event, which took place at Glendale Community College this semester


Christian A. Ramos/Scottsdale Chronicle

From left to right: Peter Lupu, Dr. Michael Valle, Richard Krause and Spencer Hawkins.

Christian A. Ramos, Reporter, Scottsdale Chronicle

There are not many places where people are welcome to discuss and debate differing religious views, but at God and Truth it is encouraged.

The fourth annual God and Truth event was held Oct. 18 at Glendale Community College. The venue switches each semester between Glendale and Scottsdale Community College.

At this special event, four speakers with differing religious backgrounds debate spiritual topics centered on an overall theme: the existence of God and an objective truth.

God and Truth was founded by Dr. Michael Valle, a professor at SCC with a Ph.D. in Philosophy, alongside Peter Lupu, a GCC professor who has an M.A in Philosophy. The event is also partnered with the Philosophy Club at Glendale Community College.

Dr. Valle gave some insight on the idea that started God and Truth.

“In today’s age in Post-Modernism there’s a lot of people going around talking about how there’s no truth, it’s nonsense,” Dr. Valle said. “I wanted to introduce critical thinking and a respect for truth back into the Post-Modern College experience.”

Both “Founding Fathers”  were speakers in the event with Robert Klaus, an Interim Pastor, and Spencer Hawkins, an undergraduate in Philosophy at Arizona State University.

Every year the subject of debate in God and Truth changes. This fall the four hosts presented their views of what they felt was “God and the Meaning of Life.” Each man had a different goal that he was trying to accomplish.

“I wanted people to leave with the firm conviction that there is a meaning to life and a firm conviction that they should improve themselves to achieve it,” Dr. Valle said.

Many audience members were engaged. Some had notepads out jotting down challenging questions that they would later ask the four hosts. Others, like GCC Astronomy major Anjelica Rodriguez, felt differently.

“For me, I think the inability of the group to agree on one certain thing kind of verifies that the meaning of life is still yet to be known,” Rodriguez said.

It may be that the overall goal of the four hosts of God and Truth was not to guide the audience to agree on one concluded belief, but rather the opposite.

“It’s not so much I want anyone to agree with me, I just want people to understand there is such a thing as truth,” said Dr. Valle. “In the Post-Modern higher education, in which we live, the idea is everybody’s view is as good as everybody else’s view, right? But this is just not true, some views are better than other views.”

God and Truth might return to Scottsdale Community College in spring 2017.