Randal Rauser on William Lane Craig’s defense of the Canaanite genocide

This is interesting. Looks like Randal Rauser is going to be doing a series on William Lane Craig’s defense of the Canaanite genocide. From the first post:

The fact that Craig has made so many stellar contributions in philosophy and apologetics from the Kalam cosmological argument to the philosophy of time to the concept of truth makes his defense of the Canaanite genocide all the more awful. (Consider it the contrast effect at work.) This issue doesn’t just have a limited interest with the problems and inconsistencies of Craig’s own position. It also reflects a real Achilles heal in contemporary conservative Christian apologetics. We are in many respects in a golden age of apologetics with many arguments attaining new levels of sophistication and novelty. This makes the efforts of apologists like Craig and Paul Copan to defend the biblical genocides look all the worse by comparison. As I observe in The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver, and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails, these apologists often tend to mislead people and misrepresent the arguments ((InterVarsity Press, 2012), 143).

Here’s the problem. When you offer defenses of the indefensible you provide people with a pretense to dismiss your genuinely strong arguments. And the Craig-Dawkins provides a great example of this. Consequently, I will offer a critique of Craig’s podcast as a ground to challenge Craig and other Christian apologists to abandon these insufferably weak arguments in defense of genocide and thereby to remove an unnecessary stumbling block to the consideration of their genuinely strong arguments.

  • Steven Carr

    ‘….these apologists often tend to mislead people and misrepresent the arguments ‘

    No. This can’t be so!

    Craig misleads people and misrepresents the arguments?

    What is this? Next you’ll be telling me water is wet and that bears defecate in woodland areas.

  • Greg G

    Rauser is right about everything but “so many stellar contributions in philosophy and apologetics from the Kalam cosmological argument to the philosophy of time to the concept of truth.”

  • Gordon

    I’m not sure I’ve ever heard WLC make a strong argument.

  • DR

    The Kalam Argument?? That so-easily debunked piece of sophistry? A “philosopher” who doesn’t understand that a syllogism cannot determine truth on its own, but depends on its premisses for its truth value is not a philosopher at all. And that’s what Craig (and his defenders) do with the Cosmological argument: they simply ignore that every one of its premisses are false. Causality is not absolute in this Universe, nor is it logically necessary. And without a logically necessary causality, the cosmological argument falls into dust.

    That Rauser would point to the Cosmological argument as one of Craig’s contribution proves that Rauser is nothing but an armchair philosopher himself.

  • MNb

    Keep us informed. I browsed through part one and two of RR’s series and found them utterly trivial. So many words to describe the Problem of Evil and how to apply it on the OT atrocities.

  • Daniel

    I’m not sure what Rauser’s point is. I heard him (I believe his email was read) on the podcast “Unbelievable” making several excuses for why the Canaanite genocide may not be a moral problem at all. He is thus apparently going to offer excuses why the Canaanite genocide was really good (because god approved?). As bad as the Canaanite genocide was, it seems to me the alleged global flood was an even more immoral act than the one against the Canaanites (how many “men, women, children, and infants” were allegedly murdered in the flood?; how many Egyptian infants were murdered during the Ten Plagues against Egypt?).

  • http://carnedes.blogspot.com Carneades-Skeptic Griggsy

    Daniel, yes to all that! What are the good metaphors that Frs. Leo Booth [ " Breaking the Chains] and john Shelby Spong find there? What are the new interpretations to turn the bad passages into morality fables? What is that hope that haughty Jojn Haught finds from the beginning of the Tanakh to the ending of the Testament, whilst he dismisses the egregious ethics as secondary?
    Chris, please do take on the errantists, who twist matters as much as the inerrantists.
    How can they find any part of their scriptures the voice of God? They assume so much. And inclusivists accept all scriptures of all religions as pointing to ultimate reality. What twaddle!
    WLC is so credulous that he accepts uncorroborated fables from uncorroborated writers!
    He and Copan should scare some into writing about how they so defend the indefensible!

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