I’m almost done putting together my chapter for The Book on William Lane Craig, but as I was writing it, something occurred to me: have any of Craig’s Christian fans ever admitted that yes, Craig has made some godawful arguments? Something like, “Craig is a good philosopher, and his Kalam cosmological argument is an important contribution to philosophy, so I have a hard time understanding why he would commit the obvious fallacies he does in his moral argument.“
I guess something like that attitude is common among atheists with some respect for Craig. They think Kalam is interesting and worthy of respect (though not actually right), even though his other arguments suck. But I’m wondering about believers, especially the the ones who’ve done things like accuse Dawkins of being cowardly and dishonest for refusing to debate Craig like Ed Feser and Randal Rauser.
One line I’ve seen used to defend Craig here is, “oh, you can’t judge Craig’s work based on his popular writings.” This strikes me as a terrible defense for several reasons. Do the people who make it really see nothing wrong with Craig trying to sell naive audiences on arguments he has no hope of defending in an academic setting? And besides, Craig routinely makes the same arguments–verbatim or near-verbatim–in his “popular” and “academic” works. Here for example is a paper on morality listed on Craig’s website as a “scholarly article,” which makes many of the same bad arguments Craig makes in his “popular” works.
But I’m sure I’ve ever seen people like Rauser or Feser go that far. I think says a lot about how far they are into apologetic lala land.