Author Topic: A good response to William Lane Craig  (Read 569 times)

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Offline GetMeThere

A good response to William Lane Craig
« on: March 20, 2012, 03:11:42 PM »
WLC's "work" has often been under discussion here--somewhat to my frustration, since I think his offerings are substandard and not worth much effort. I have a feeling that most atheists who meet him in debate feel as I do, because they never bother to tackle his arguments directly. But I've come across a WLC debate video where his opponent does bother to meet his arguments head on--and he does a very competent job of it, as well. He's Peter Millican, from Oxford. Here's the video: 


Offline Lorax

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Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2012, 05:33:19 AM »
You're right to say that Millican does a better job of facing Craig head on. So well in fact that on several points It was actually Craig who was failing to address Milican's points.

Still I think Craig won this one

Here's what my flow said:

On Case:

I: There is no contradictory evidence  The Problem Of Evil Ran out of time

II:Here are some positive evidences

1: Cosmological argument Infinity is possible in actuality just like zero Zero doesn't exist
2: Teleological argument Teleological weirdness (quote source as admitting no cause is proven) Out of context
3: Moral argument Most atheist philosophers are moral realists Yes but they have no backing for it
4: Historical Argument Bart Ehrman Says No Bart Ehrman disagrees on philosophical, not historical grounds
5: Personal Religious Experience This leads to all sorts of contradictory conclusions

Millican put some ink on the problem of evil and such in his closing speech, but in the debate tradition in which I was raised It was dirty pool to introduce new arguments in a speech to which there was no rebuttal. Not counting those arguments Craig is winning 2 out of teo arguments with 3 out of 5 supports for his second argument still standing. one properly demolished and one too close to call in my opinion (Craig got the last word onthe moral argument but Millican could have easily pointed out that "goddidit" does not count as justification either, so I'll call it a tie"

I don't agree with Craig. But it does seem to me that he won rather handily. Although less handily than the other two debates I've seen from him against Chris Hitchens and Greg Cavin

Offline GetMeThere

Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2012, 07:29:15 AM »
LOL. Is anyone interested in who "wins" debates? I'm certainly not (not even if I knew what it actually means to "win" a debate).

In this case I'm interested in hearing direct refutations from a philosopher, in philosophical terms, of some of Craig's standard positions.

In substance, Craig's position reduces to a god of the gaps position: Origins can't be explained by what we know now, therefore there must be a supernatural process involved. Millican (in a less direct way) succeeds in pointing out the pitfalls of that approach. I've really never seen anyone else bother to do that with Craig.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2012, 08:43:44 AM »


Any person who has made the decision to use common sense and reason on a daily basis, has also quickly realised that WLC is nothing but a professional debater, and of course, in it for the notoriety.

WLC loves to hear himself. His baseless opinions are strategically geared for the credulous individuals who happen to hear him and his interest is not in winning debates, but in winning the fearful minds of those who would waste their valuable time in listening to him.

WLC is a parrot and has presented nothing new for his listeners to contemplate. All of his points have been made before by others more impressive, but more importantly, have been refuted before--most of them centuries ago.

His attempts to bring meaning and logic to a meaningless and illogical concept is done by using a ruse of semantics and sophistry, which of course fails to convince the mind of a rational naturalist, but will always impress the mind that is fearful and wishful.

Such individuals are like modern day slave traders for an ancient and spurious idea of the imagination, and for which they receives no payment except their own self-aggrandisement.

All of them are to be pitied. And of course, ridiculed. Their philosophical ramblings are inconsequential, of no benefit, and of course, an insult to the faculty of reasoning.

It's a shame that here in the 21st. century so many of our species would still put stock in such nonsense and primitive reasoning.
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline GetMeThere

Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2012, 11:08:41 AM »
His attempts to bring meaning and logic to a meaningless and illogical concept is done by using a ruse of semantics and sophistry
I agree with you there. The impression he has always made on me is of someone who BEGAN by choosing what to believe and FOLLOWED by trying to come up with sophistry to support his choice.

To anyone really interested in "truth" that makes for a frustrating person to argue or debate with--and so his goal seems to be to win debates rather than to discern what is really true.

Offline Lorax

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Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2012, 01:18:54 AM »
His attempts to bring meaning and logic to a meaningless and illogical concept is done by using a ruse of semantics and sophistry
I agree with you there. The impression he has always made on me is of someone who BEGAN by choosing what to believe and FOLLOWED by trying to come up with sophistry to support his choice.

To anyone really interested in "truth" that makes for a frustrating person to argue or debate with--and so his goal seems to be to win debates rather than to discern what is really true.

But that is how debating works. it is a deductive medium.

I prefer induction as a means of determining truth as well, but that's not how debates work. In many competitive debate circles you are even assigned a position against your will and charged with defending it. Faulting a debater for defending a pre-decided viewpoint is like faulting a NBA player for playing ball indoors.

Offline gonegolfing

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Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2012, 07:28:45 AM »
His attempts to bring meaning and logic to a meaningless and illogical concept is done by using a ruse of semantics and sophistry
I agree with you there. The impression he has always made on me is of someone who BEGAN by choosing what to believe and FOLLOWED by trying to come up with sophistry to support his choice.

To anyone really interested in "truth" that makes for a frustrating person to argue or debate with--and so his goal seems to be to win debates rather than to discern what is really true.

But that is how debating works. it is a deductive medium.

I prefer induction as a means of determining truth as well, but that's not how debates work. In many competitive debate circles you are even assigned a position against your will and charged with defending it. Faulting a debater for defending a pre-decided viewpoint is like faulting a NBA player for playing ball indoors.

Yes, but only until that viewpoint is determined as wrong.

The god viewpoint is wrong out of the gate, and so those who get all horny trying to use a priori reasoning to defend an idea that's clearly wrong, will always have to resort to obfuscation and sophistry to try and convince of their viewpoint.

Induction ? Hmmm.....Where are the facts about the truth of the god idea ?

No matter how you reason with it, there are no facts about the god hypothesis...only thoughts and opinions.

Finding out the truth of the existence of a all powerful  god/supernatural/invisible/spirit entity is unachievable considering those terms. The only way for such a being to prove its existence to us, is not through our own faulty reasoning, but for that being to use its all powerfulness and "show up"--allowing us observation and experience of it.

Then and only then can we assign essence and attributes to it. And not to mention, grill it on its bizarre and suspect behaviour and its apparent selfish motives.
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Lorax

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Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2012, 02:48:40 AM »
Induction ? Hmmm.....Where are the facts about the truth of the god idea ?

No matter how you reason with it, there are no facts about the god hypothesis...only thoughts and opinions.
I think you may be confused. Induction starts with clues and works to facts. Deduction starts with facts (or guesses at facts) and looks for clues to support them.

Being inductive about gods wouldn't be me giving you facts. It would be me giving you clues and you drawing your own conclusions.

Offline Lorax

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Re: A good response to William Lane Craig
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2012, 02:52:36 AM »
LOL. Is anyone interested in who "wins" debates? I'm certainly not (not even if I knew what it actually means to "win" a debate).

I rather think Milican had been interested in "winning" (hence why he said it was "quite a challenge" at the start of the 3rd round) If the fact that he was not actually able to doesn't give you pause after you cited this video as an example of what a sub-standard loser Craig is I'm not sure what would.