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Posts Tagged ‘William Lane Craig’

“You’ve Ruined My Life, Professor Craig!!”

February 9, 2015 1 comment

Dear Professor Craig,

My name is Adam. I am an atheist, and have been one ever since I can remember. I was brought up in the Roman Catholic church, but could never really say that I held any theistic beliefs with any sincerity. For instance, one time, when I was around eight or nine years old, I asked a nun at my church where I “was” before I was born. She responded: “You were with God.” I was still curious, so I asked her how long I was with God, before my being born, and she proclaimed: “For an eternity!” I then asked her why I could not remember “existing with God” for an eternity of time (is an eternity of time even a coherent concept?). She had enough with that question and proceeded to shew me away to play with the other children. Looking back, I am proud of my skeptical disposition.

Let’s skip ahead a little bit. I found philosophy and I fell in love with it. I transferred schools in order to obtain my BA. Almost all of the papers I wrote as an undergrad were about atheism or God. I was on a mission to be as rational as I could with regards to my atheistic beliefs. Moreover, I was practically an “evangelical” atheist, proclaiming the good word of rationality! My beliefs were strident at best, and intolerant at worst. I thought I had the “God question” all figured out. It was a settled issue for me: God did not exist. The philosophy of religion was my initial and main draw to philosophy, but I soon found myself wanting to explore philosophy in all its glory. Philosophy, as a whole, was too interesting to just “stop”, then move on to some “real job”. I decided to apply to an MA program in philosophy at CSULA, and got accepted. Philosophy was something that I took very seriously. So much so, that I drove from NY to CA with no job and no place to live in order to continue my studies. I actually wrote a response to your paper The Absurdity of Life Without God and used it as my writing sample in order to get in to CSULA. I stayed up for months writing and polishing my responses to your claims of the inconsistency of atheism in its response to meaning, value, and purpose in life. I had too. You were telling me my life, as a direct result of my worldview, was worthless in every possible way. Well, as an ambitious philosophy student, I could not simply let you get away this. Your objections to atheism needed answers. And after wrestling with your paper for some time, I actually felt pretty good about the end product and presumed to have “answered” your objections to atheism in a satisfactory way. I could now move on, live my life with the excitement, consistency, and appreciation that I had before reading your essay.

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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Christian Philosophy’s boldest apostle

August 13, 2013 4 comments

CraigWilliam Lane Craig has been proclaimed to be one of the greatest debaters of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Hands down he has debated quite a few individuals on the existence of God. Though I disagree with his molinism, I nevertheless respect his knowledge concerning the Kalam Cosmological argument and how to debate an opponent. This argument and various other knowledge concerning physics and science has allowed him to defeat every opponent he has ever debated. So much so, that atheists fear to debate him.

I ran across this link entitled “The New Theist-How William Lane Craig became Christian philosophy’s boldest apostle”

Here is a quote from the article:

 

“Several months later, in April 2011, Craig debated another New Atheist author, Sam Harris, in a large, sold-out auditorium at the University of Notre Dame. In a sequence of carefully timed speeches and rejoinders, the two men clashed over whether we need God for there to be moral laws. Harris delivered most of the better one-liners that night, while Craig, in suit and tie, fired off his volleys of argumentation with the father-knows-best composure of Mitt Romney, plus a dash of Schwarzenegger. Something Harris said during the debate might help explain how Dawkins reacted: He called Craig “the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists.””

 

Read the entire article here.

New Atheism

Have Atheists disproved the God of the Bible? Do they need to? It seems that every Atheist I interchange dialogue with will tell me that they do not have to give a reasonable explanation of why their views are true. Nevertheless, they keep telling me that my views are not true. If my views are not true, then why would it be unreasonable for me to demand that my Atheistic friends articulate why I am wrong and they are right?

You see from the time Atheist began to make headway in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the most popular Atheist recognized that if they were going to deny God, then it was their burden to explain where morality, God consciousness, and the universe originated. Today’s Atheist are not as intellectually inclined and would just rather argue like children by pointing fingers and stating you are wrong, you are wrong, you are wrong, etc……. Yet to call a position wrong does not make it wrong. One must give valid reasons to show why the opposite position is wrong. No Atheist has ever been able to demonstrate, through valid arguments, why the God of the Bible does not exist.

 

Today I point you to an article by William Lane Craig on “New Atheism and Five arguments for God.”

It’s perhaps something of a surprise that almost none of the so-called New Atheists has anything to say about arguments for God’s existence. Instead, they to tend to focus on the social effects of religion and question whether religious belief is good for society. One might justifiably doubt that the social impact of an idea for good or ill is an adequate measure of its truth, especially when there are reasons being offered to think that the idea in question really is true. Darwinism, for example, has certainly had at least some negative social influences, but that’s hardly grounds for thinking the theory to be false and simply ignoring the biological evidence in its favor.

Read more of this post here.

William Lane Craig vs. Keith Parsons

March 29, 2012 2 comments

Today I listened to a debate between William Lane Craig and Keith Parsons on “Why I am / am not a Christian”.

The debate began well with Craig opening up with arguments for God’s existence while at the same time giving his testimony about how the Lord saved him. Also Craig offered arguments for the resurrection of Christ during the testimonial part of his argument.

I have to hand it to Keith Parsons because compared to all the others that I have listened to the past week, Keith came out of the corner swinging. I mean he was driving home argument after argument of why he wasn’t a Christian and why the resurrection wasn’t true. He used arguments such as mass hallucinations, the wrong tomb, etc…..

The problems with Keith’s arguments were that they were not original, but actually were laid down by skeptics in the nineteenth century. The bad thing about it for Keith was that these same arguments were refuted, not by theist, but by skeptics of the nineteenth century.

So again Craig offered a more plausible defense for the belief of God, the Resurrection, and the Christian Faith.

You can download this debate here.

This debate took place in 1998.

Do Atheist have Common Sense?

March 29, 2012 7 comments

I ran across a blog over the weekend called ‘Common Sense Atheism’ that gives atheist pointers on how to debate William Lane Craig. In this post the writer argues that the reason that William Lane Craig wins his debates, isn’t because his arguments are sound, but because William Lane Craig is a skilled debater. Yet after that statement he goes into listing Craig’s credentials and tells his readers, Oh yea, by the way, Craig is also a “Ph.D. philosopher and encyclopedic historian: an expert on the two subjects he debates, the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus.”

All I really wanted to point out was the inconsistent statement of the one who wrote this post. He first states that Craig’s arguments are not sound and he wins because he is a skilled debater, but then states that Craig is an expert on the two subjects he debates. Well it seems to me if one is an expert on the subject they are speaking on, then certainly their arguments would have to be sound or they wouldn’t be an expert on the subject of which they are debating.

Anyway to the credit of the one who wrote the post, he does go on to state that there is no one in the atheistic world that is able to debate Craig and win. This writer even names, names of those who are not capable.

 

How to Debate William Lane Craig by Luke Muehlhauser

Andrew at Evaluating Christianity has put up some excellent posts of advice on how to debate William Lane Craig (one, two, three, four, five). The reason Craig wins all his debates with atheists is not because his arguments are sound, but because he is a masterful debater. Craig has been honing his debate skills literally since high school. Not only that, but he is a Ph.D. philosopher and encyclopedic historian: an expert on the two subjects he debates, the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus.

Let me repeat. Craig has done 20+ years of Ph.D+ level research in the two fields he debates, has published hundreds of academic books and papers on both subjects, and has been debating since high school.

Read more here.

William Lane Craig vs. Antony Flew

Today I listened to a debate between William Lane Craig and Antony Flew on the existence of God. In this debate Craig opens with 5 arguments for the existence of God. When Flew steps up to present his argument against the theistic arguments, he instead fumbles around and rambles on as if he doesn’t know where to go with his response. He constantly laments that he doesn’t have time to refute those arguments, given by Craig, while at the same time he points his attacks against doctrines of the scriptures which he doesn’t like.

Craig recognized that Flew tried to argue three main points.

The first point Flew argued or tried to bring up against God was that if God was omnipotent, then he would control all things within his universe. In other words, God would be able to create a world in which everyone will do exactly what God wants them to do.

Craig here drops the ball and argues that God created a world that contained creatures that have libertarian freewill (1). Craig told Flew that he was a Molinist or one who believes in Molinism. Molinism was a view developed by Luis Molina over and against the Thomist’s view of grace and compatibilistic freewill (2). In other words Craig believes that man is free to either accept God or not to accept God and that God does not bend the will in order to bring about his desired purposes. Craig even takes 2 Peter 3:9 out of context in order to try and prove his point.

In Flew’s rebuttal against this, Flew quoted from Augustine, Calvin, Martin Luther and the scriptures to prove that the Bible teaches that man does not have freewill. If Craig confesses to be Christian and to follow the God of the Bible, then he must admit that if God exist, then man cannot be free. Of course, Craig drops the ball on this whole point here and maintains his position that man is free and God does not control the actions of freewill creatures. (What is ironic is that the atheist is quoting scripture and interpreting it rightly against the theist).

The second argument of Flew is that the doctrine of God’s love and justice are not compatible with the doctrine of Hell because the punishment is not proportionate to the crime committed.

Craig showed that if Flew’s arguments were true then all he did was disprove the doctrine of Hell, but did not disprove that God exist. Craig also stated that if the punishment of Hell was for finite sins committed in this life, then he would be right, men should not have to suffer eternally. But Craig dismantles this argument by showing that sinful men will infinitely sin  by continuing to reject God while in Hell for eternity and that sinning against and rejecting one’s Creator is a crime that deserves infinite punishment.

Finally in Flew’s third argument he was against bodiless persons. Flew never really developed an argument against bodiless persons, but instead asserted that bodiless persons could not exist. Craig showed that Flew’s argument here was not valid.

In conclusion, Antony Flew basically stuttered and mumbled and didn’t really know which way to go in order to refute Craig’s arguments for God’s existence.

You can listen to the debate here.

This debate took place in 1998.

Antony Flew was a renown atheist most of his life, but in the last years leading up to his death he recanted his atheism. You can find that here.

1. This is called Libertarian free will, that a person is equally able to make choices between options independent of pressures or constraints from external or internal causes. 

2. Compatibilist free will holds that a person can choose only that which is consistent with his nature. Therefore, for example, a person who is a slave to sin (Rom. 6:14-20) and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14) would not be able to choose God of his own free will because his free will doesn’t have the capacity to contradict his nature.

 

William Lane Craig vs. Peter Atkins Round 1

March 27, 2012 8 comments

My second debate I listened to today was between William Lane Craig and Peter Atkins. Atkins was your typical scientist, whom upon denying the existence of God, has nothing left to try and answer the reason for the universe and all that lies therein except for evolution. Atkins argued that the arguments for theism do not work, yet just arguing they don’t work does not make the conclusions invalid to the theist arguments. In order for Atkins to really dismantle the theist arguments he must not only show that they don’t work, but must erect in their place, arguments that will be valid once the premises are reasoned to their logical conclusions.  This he did not do.

Atkins had as much faith in science as a theist has in his belief in God. Atkins argued that science can give an answer for all there is in this closed system or universe. Atkins believed that science can explain all things. Nevertheless Craig took him to task and showed that science cannot prove or explain mathematical equations, science cannot show the foundation for logic and reason, science cannot explain aesthetics, nor can science prove that science is true because the scientific method cannot be done on science itself.

Of course, Atkins used the famous argument against cause and effect that most atheist use. He stated that we know that cause and effect works within this closed system called the universe, but we do not know whether or not cause and effect works on the universe itself to bring it into existence.. Of course, before he was finished he actually admitted that nothing exist, in this universe or outside of it. As Atkins closed he lamented that he had been misrepresented.

Of course Craig took Atkins to task and dismantled his arguments. But Atkins could not receive truth because he trusted in science as if it were a god.

You can listen to this debate here.

This debate took place in 1998. There is a more recent debate between these two.