Gordon Stein

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Gordon Stein (April 30, 1941 – August 27, 1996) was an American author, physiologist, atheist activists. According the British newspaper The Independent Stein's main activity was the "acquisition and production of books on free-thought and the paranormal."[1]

Stein served as presidents of the American Rationalists Federation and the Freethought Association.[2] He also served as Vice-President of Atheists United and Vice-President Pacific of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.[3]

Stein was also a member of the board of directors of the North American Committee For Humanism.[4]

He was an editor of the American Rationalist and was the librarian of the Center for Inquiry, which contains both the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and the Council for Secular Humanism (CSH).[5] Stein also served as an editor of the Encyclopedia of the Paranormal (1996).[6] In addition, he was an associate editor of Free Inquiry Magazine.[7] He wrote hundreds of articles and reviews for Free Inquiry Magazine and for other magazines.[8]

In his 1985 debate with the Christian apologist Greg Bahnsen, he was introduced as "one of America's foremost scholars of atheism."[9]

Gordon Stein vs. Greg Bahnsen debate

See also: Greg Bahnsen and debate and Atheism vs. Christianity debates

In 1985, Greg Bahnsen and Gordon Stein had a debate at the University of California, Irvine regarding the positions of atheism and theism. Bahnsen was particularly known for his Christian presuppositional apologetics.

In debates with atheists, presuppositional apologists will frequently ask their debate opponents the foundations/rationale of their various assumptions, beliefs and assertions and show logical inconsistencies in the opponents worldview. In the Bahnsen-Stein debate, one of the key moments of the debate was when Stein was asked to account for the existence of the laws of logic in an atheist worldview (see: Atheism and logic),[10]

John Frame wrote regarding the debate in which Dr. Bahnsen used the transcendental argument for the existence of God that "In the end, Stein walked and talked like a broken man."[11]

The Greg Bahnsen-Gordon Stein debate was recorded and transcribed and was dubbed "The Great Debate".[12][13] See also: Greg Bahnsen and debate

Critique of Stein by the newspaper The Independent

The British newspaper The Independent offered both praise and criticism of Stein and wrote:

Gordon Stein was a leading activist in the English-speaking free- thought movement...

He later helped to found the best paper in the American free-thought movement, Free Inquiry, and was a senior editor for 15 years. He contributed hundreds of articles and reviews to it and other magazines. He also lectured and debated widely, especially to student audiences. He was a consultant to the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, and also a member of several humanist organisations in Britain.

His main activity, however, was the acquisition and production of books on free-thought and the paranormal. He built up an expert knowledge about and an extensive collection of publications in both areas, and became a considerable scholar in a movement which contains many considerable scholars...

This impressive programme was marked by formidable ambition, but it was marred by a frequent lack of attention which led to an unfortunate number of errors and omissions as well as other eccentricities and made these remarkable books less valuable than they should have been. In 1993 he became the founding Director of two libraries at the new Center for Inquiry associated with the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism at Amherst, New York, ending his career by laying the foundation of what is planned to be the largest collection of free-thought and sceptical literature in the world.

Stein was an unusual personality among Americans and humanists, being rather introverted and taciturn, but he was a loyal colleague and a stimulating if abrasive conversationalist.[14]

Education

Stein received a doctorate in physiology from Ohio State University and master's degrees in Management and Library Science from University of Rochester, Adelphi College, and the University of California at Los Angeles.[15]

Death

Stein died of cancer after having it for an extended time.[16]

One of the health risk of obesity is a risk of cancer. Despite having a doctorate in physiology, Stein had significant problems with excess weight (see: Gordon Stein and excess weight issues). See also: Atheism and health

Publications

  • Freethought in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth: A Descriptive Bibliography (1981)
  • The Sorcerer of Kings: The Case of Daniel Dunglas Home and William Crookes (1993)
  • Free thought in the United States: A Descriptive Bibliography (1978)
  • Robert Ingersoll: A Checklist (1969)

Stein served as an editor for:

  • Encyclopedia of the Paranormal (Editor, 1996)
  • Encyclopedia of Hoaxes (Editor, 1993)
  • God Pro and Con: A Bibliography of Atheism (Editor, 1990)
  • A Second Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism (Editor, 1987)
  • Encyclopedia of Unbelief (Editor, 1985)
  • Anthology of Atheism and Rationalism (Editor, with Marshall Brown) (1980)

Pamphlet:

How to argue with a theist and win[17]

Notes

  1. Walter, Nicolas (6 September 1996). "Obituary : Gordon Stein". The Independent. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  2. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein
  3. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein
  4. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein
  5. Thomas, Jr., Robert McG. (September 8, 1996). "Gordon Stein, 55, Who Exposed Hoaxes, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  6. Nickell, Joe. (2005). Camera Clues: A Handbook for Photographic Investigation. University Press of Kentucky. p. 178.
  7. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein
  8. Walter, Nicolas (6 September 1996). "Obituary : Gordon Stein". The Independent. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  9. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein
  10. "The Great Debate: Does God Exist?" or The Great Debate: Does God Exist? (YouTube video) - Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein - Audio of a formal debate between Christian Greg Bahnsen and skeptic Gordon Stein at the University of California, Irvine.
  11. Bahsen at the Stein debate by John Frame
  12. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein
  13. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein
  14. Walter, Nicolas (6 September 1996). "Obituary : Gordon Stein". The Independent. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  15. Walter, Nicolas (6 September 1996). "Obituary : Gordon Stein". The Independent. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  16. Walter, Nicolas (6 September 1996). "Obituary : Gordon Stein". The Independent. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  17. The Great Debate: Does God Exist? Dr. Greg Bahnsen versus Dr. Gordon Stein