A serious question about the blasphemy challenge
Ever since a friend linked me to some of the blasphemy challenges on youtube this time last year, I thought the whole idea was kind of funny, albeit in a sophomoric sort of way. I mean, I suppose it served its purpose in the long run - exposure, including an unprecedented nationally televised debate - but this isn't what concerns me most about the challenge.
The blasphemychallenge.com website states that "You may damn yourself to Hell however you would like, but somewhere in your video you must say this phrase: 'I deny the Holy Spirit'."
It's the word "deny" that keeps nagging me. A denial is a declaration of untruth, correct? I wouldn't have a problem if you required potential blasphemers to say something like "I don't believe in the Holy Spirit" - then it would be different. As it stands, the "I deny the Holy Spirit" portion of the Blasphemy Challenge seems to be as intellectually dishonest as when the theist says "I affirm the existence of the Holy Spirit."
The "Great Debate" thread sort of inspired this thread. The atheist debater stated that atheists don't hold to the non-existence of God, but rather they hold to the fact that God has not yet proven himself to exist in a way that is satisfactory to them. I respect this kind of intellectual honesty and innocent inquisitiveness. The entire basis of this ministry seems to run counter to these principles.