Yet another reason to refuse to debate William Lane Craig


Because, in addition to being an amoral pseudoscientific dumbass, he doesn’t even believe in the validity of debate himself.

Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter. (Reasonable Faith, Third Edition, 48)

There are a whole bunch more quotes there at the link where Craig basically endorses faith as a last-ditch bolthole to dodge any argument based on evidence and reason. So why waste any time on him?

Comments

  1. scott says

    To answer a rhetorical question, because forcing him into using that dodge shows the absurdity of his position to the audience, especially to people who might be on his side but aren’t as deep in the mire as he is.

  2. raven says

    WL Craig claims to not be a Presuppositionalist.

    Then he turns around and claims to be a…Presuppositionalist.

    You could call this an example of fundie xian induced cognitive impairment.

    More likely it’s Weinberg’s Rule.
    Good people will do good.
    Bad people will do bad.
    But it takes religion for good people to do bad

    WL Craig IMO is in category 2. A bad person doing bad and religion has nothing to do with it.

  3. raven says

    WL Craig does serve one useful purpose. As an idiot detector.

    You can be sure anyone who quotes Craig or considers him an authory, is not a coherent or deep thinker.

  4. twas brillig (stevem) says

    But isn’t he just agreeing that polls are pointless?
    Aren’t the winners of debates only decided by audience votes afterwards? Popularity contests cannot decide the Truth!! Debates are just expressions of _opinions_, Facts are not debatable. Isn’t that what we Scientistas are always telling the Politikoes?
    /snark
    But seriously; isn’t it good that WLC will not engage in any more debates, ie displaying his BS for all to see? Isn’t it better that he just hibernate; away from the limelight? Yes, his “reason” for not debating (when facts disagree with belief: belief should win) is ludicrous, but as long as he won’t debate: Let him think what he wants. Just tell him he’s right, just to keep him quiet. (Don’t even have to say “You’re right, WLC”, just tell him, “Okay WLC, we’ll listen.(elsewhere)”)

  5. gussnarp says

    I recall an interview (debate?) between Ray Comfort and Matt Dillahunty in which Ray, after finally being forced to concede that Matt was right about every single point in the argument, simply said: well I have a personal experience of God and that’s the only true Christianity and someone who comes to believe because of argument isn’t a real Christian until they have that anyway, and once you have that nothing else matters.

    Same thing. At heart that’s what most of them actually believe. That’s why they use circular reasoning, because their basis of belief is simply an ecstatic state they had one day when tired and overstimulated.

    The purpose of apologetics then is not to convince anyone else, it’s to provide Christians who’ve had this magical experience with a coping strategy for the cognitive dissonance and doubt they’re bound to feel from time to time as consequence of believe demonstrably false things.

    I think that anyone who gets into a debate or argument of any kind about the existence of god needs to get this out of the way first: Do you accept that evidence, logic, and reason can determine what is true about the world, or does your personal spiritual experience trump all that?

    It’s also why they like to accuse us of solipsism: because they’re fundamentally solipsists. The only thing they believe is their own personal, emotional experience.

  6. Sastra says

    Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter.

    Heh heh, but this is tricky. Technically speaking even atheists can agree with this statement, since it assumes we’re talking about a situation where it’s been established that there IS a Holy Spirit who has granted a genuine, true “witness” to the hypothetical person. A = A. If God really has told you the Truth, has God told you the Truth? Well, yeah. If.

    And there’s the rub — and the opening for debate in spite of this move. If it is granted that someone who strongly believes they have been granted a testimony direct from the Holy Spirit may be mistaken about that – and that the person listening to this point might even be that someone — then we’re all back to argument and evidence.

    That’s the hardest step when dealing with faith I think: getting someone to recognize that a person undergoing an experience may not be the only and/or best person to know what that experience is. Nobody can have direct knowledge of God, regardless of whether God exists and regardless of what method it uses to reveal itself. There is always, always that step of interpretation as soon as someone infers a cause of an internal experience of sensations. You don’t get to write a hypothetical into reality, and no, you don’t get to borrow infallibility from God. WLC can’t either — though he tries to sound all objective.

    Slick Willy strikes again.

  7. Kevin Kehres says

    @8…always use scare quotes when discussing Craig and his “thinking”. Like that. “Thinking”.

    This is a guy who wrote an entire book about how Einstein was wrong about space-time. Never mind all the empirical evidence to the contrary, including the GPS Craig uses to get to his debates on time.

    He is a preening jackanape.

  8. says

    Christians are genuinely deeper, more thoughtful people than unbelievers are because Christians do wrestle with and think about these very profound, ultimate questions. … We do encourage hard thinking and self-reflection.

    I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or bash my head against a brick wall.

  9. erichoug says

    Wait, so if Reality conflicts with your religious beliefs, it’s reality that should change?

    Good luck with that.

  10. says

    I remember this game from when I was 8, and my friends and I would repel each other’s imaginary attacks with imaginary defenses, then retaliate with an even bigger fictional attack. We all came away knowing we’d won.

  11. moarscienceplz says

    ISTM this is the attitude of all creationists. I don’t see how it’s possible to live in a world where even small children know that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago and still cling to the idea that the Earth is mere thousands of years old unless you value your bible stories more than actual facts.

  12. Menyambal says

    Should a conflict arise …

    Does he think it hasn’t happened already?

    … the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith …

    What does that even mean? What is the Holy Spirit, how does it witness, which is the Christian faith, and what is its fundamental truth?

    That seems to add up to him saying that his gut feeling trumps all. But he can blow off any bits of his faith that are shown to be wrong, because they aren’t fundamental.

    … beliefs based on argument and evidence …

    “Beliefs”!?! Nice job of poisoning the well, there.

    Well, he hasn’t really made an argument, so I can’t get him for being hypocritical, there.

    And he hasn’t offered any evidence, either. So no hypo.

    … take precedence …. 

    In what? The parade to show off the emperor’s new clothes?

    There’s a story about theoretical physicist who gets to Heaven, and is asked what he wants to have. He asks for the explanation of the physics problem he has spent his life trying to solve. He is given a scroll, written in the hand of God, that sets it all out. He reads it over, and says, “That’s still wrong.”

  13. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    Speaking as a marketer, I have to begrudgingly give props to the theists who managed to infuse belief in complete bullshit with virtue.

  14. gussnarp says

    @Hairy Chris, blah blah blah etc #8:

    That video really reveals his complete intellectual dishonesty, doesn’t it?

  15. parasiteboy says

    I have watched only a handful of debates with WLC and have noticed he doesn’t answer the criticisms of some of his arguments (like fine tuning) when they are brought up in multiple debates. I thought he was just avoiding them, now I know he’s ignoring them with the power of the holy spirit.

  16. parasiteboy says

    If there was one thing that I learned from the Nye-Ham debate, it was that the question “What would make you change your mind about topic X” should be asked sooner rather than later.

    I think anyone who is going to debate an apologist (or creationist) should insist on that being the first question of the debate.

  17. playonwords says

    @ Hairy Chris #8
    What it comes down to is that WLC when evidence contradicts his witness he sticks his fingers in his ears and goes “la-la-la-la I can only hear the holy spirit,”

  18. zibble says

    Did he seriously write an attack on the very concept of reason in a book about Reasonable Faith?

  19. says

    Also, by “witness of the holy spirit” he doesn’t exactly mean a visible being coming down and telling crowds of people what true model we need to replace the somewhat incorrect standard model of physics.

    I kind of wonder what nebulous nothing he is referring to when he says that…

  20. inquiringlaurence says

    “Christians are genuinely deeper, more thoughtful people than unbelievers are because Christians do wrestle with and think about these very profound, ultimate questions. … We do encourage hard thinking and self-reflection.”

    First off, a bold generalization. Oh yeah, 53 out of 63 studies showed a negative correlation between religiosity and intelligence, with 35 showing significant correlation, so therefore atheists and the irreligious are smarter and overall demonstrate superior intelligence.

    Second, does he realize the blatant and demonstrably false stereotype a supposedly trained professional in civil discourse is using when he implies that atheists don’t “think about these very profound, ultimate questions”? Yeah, we’re morally depraved baby-eating mass murderers. But when you say that “God did it” instead of using the scientific method and pondering them without a particular bias in a worldview that claims to know most if not all of the answers to “these very profound, ultimate questions”, I think you’ve got a better shot.

    And finally, I think the solid majority of Christians today DO NOT encourage much hard thinking and self-reflection given that most were probably indoctrinated at age 4 or younger and a good half adhere to the doctrine of literal creation in six days, four of which passed before the sun existed.

  21. says

    inquiringlaurence:

    First off, a bold generalization. Oh yeah, 53 out of 63 studies showed a negative correlation between religiosity and intelligence, with 35 showing significant correlation, so therefore atheists and the irreligious are smarter and overall demonstrate superior intelligence.

    (bolding mine)
    Requesting a citation for your claim. Because that’s a bold claim on your part and I really don’t believe it. And yeah, I’m an atheist (pretty darned anti-theist really).

  22. Ion John says

    You’v got a reason to refuse a debate?
    I can say the same about you guys…

  23. Ion John says

    I believe in one God…
    Guy, I was a pathetic atheist for a while and I do regret wasting my time with the philosophy of Death.
    What the Evolution says? Death is good…You like it, you’ll have it in eternity.
    Who wants to live forever, come to Jesus!