An index of why William Lane Craig is a dishonest genocide-defending creepy homophobe

Many Christians believe that William Lane Craig is the greatest Christian philosopher alive. Certainly, he’s a strong candidate for the greatest living proponent of natural theology (arguments for the existence of God). Richard Swinburne is probably his only competitor for the narrower title, and Swinburne (like most philosophers) doesn’t try very hard to make his arguments appealing to ordinary people.

But that doesn’t mean Craig is a great philosopher. Rather, it’s a sign of the fact serious philosophers have largely stopped trying to defend religion. Most are atheists; even many theists have given up on arguing for God’s existence. While Craig’s Kalam argument is taken semi-seriously in mainstream philosophy, in general his arguments are full of glaring fallacies, dishonest use of mainstream scholarship, and in some cases outright lies about his intellectual opponents.

I’ve written a lot about Craig in the course of my career as an atheist blogger. In fact, there are probably very few atheists who’ve written as much about Craig as I have. Jeffery Jay Lowder and Luke Muehlhauser may have, but in my opinion both are far too kind to Craig. (Richard Carrier’s assessment of Craig is closer to mine, but while he’s written a lot about Craig, I’m not sure he’s written quite as much as I have.)

Lately, though, I’ve gone from having little patience for Craig to zero patience, to the point that it’s been nearly two months since I’ve written anything about him. So I figured it might be nice to put together a little guide to the main things I’ve written on Craig, as a way of capping it all off. (Plus: it lets us have a post-Disqus comment thread about him.)

Here it goes: the oldest significant thing I’ve written about Craig is my lengthy review of his flagship book, Reasonable Faith, for Internet Infidels. He also figures prominently in my first book, which is now available for free download.

He’s also getting a chapter in my current book project. There, I go into detail about Craig’s misrepresentations of both the experts he cites and his opponents. That link is to the current version of the chapter, which focuses on just Kalam, the moral argument, and the resurrection for reasons of space. For earlier versions of the material that went into that chapter, where I try to cover all of Craig’s arguments and have even more examples of his dishonesty, see here, here, and here.

Unfortunately, when I talk about Craig’s dishonesty and the holes in his arguments, Christians often try to change the subject to how Craig supposedly “wins” most of his debates about arguments.

I’ve written a lot about this, but in one of my most widely-read posts on the subject, I’ve pointed out that one of the things Craig does to “win” debates is, if he can get away with it, to give his opponents no say in the format of the debate. That usually includes insisting on speaking first, an advantage Craig often uses to launch into misrepresentations of his opponents views before they’ve even gotten a chance to speak. Because of this, I’ve proposed that from now on atheists who debate Craig should insist on speaking first. (Actually, I think there’s a good case for atheists refusing to debate Craig at all.)

After writing that post, some of Craig’s fans showed up to leave comments suggesting they couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea that “winning” debates might often involve some rather sleazy tactics. In my response, I pointed out that (among other things) their defenses of Craig could also be used to defend notorious young earth creationist Duane Gish. On the debating front, I’ve also written about the hypocrisy of Craig’s refusal to debate Jeffery Jay Lowder.

As bad as all of this is, none of it, as far as I’m concerned, qualifies as “the worst thing about William Lane Craig.” Craig has become notorious as defender of (Biblical) genocide, who disturbingly engages in some rhetorical hair-splitting similar to that of defenders of things like the Armenian Genocide. He insists that no one ever really rejects Christianity for intellectual reasons, a delusion which I find incredibly creepy.

And while he’s best-known for his arguments for the existence of God and the resurrection of Jesus, he’s proven willing to traffic in just about any kind of fundamentalist pseudo-intellectual garbage when it’s convenient for him. That includes anti-evolutionism, just not young-earthism, which he says he’s embarrassed by. It includes using pseudoscience to defend Todd Akin’s infamous comments about “legitimate rape.”

And it includes promoting anti-gay pseudoscience and other lies about gay people. That was the topic of my last post about Craig, and the thing that finally may have exhausted my patience for him. As I say in that post, Craig isn’t just a bigot, “he’s a bigot who, when he’s clearly losing the argument, instead of putting his energy into pretending his position isn’t bigoted, doubles down on spreading lies about a minority that is just now gaining full legal equality.”

  • staircaseghost

    You left off his pseudoscientific defense of animal cruelty, which cynically and opportunistically contradicts his previous positions on the mind-body problem.

    • Mike 666

      I thought he was a POS before. Now animal cruelty? Is there no level too low for this turd to go down to?

  • JohnH2

    I had never actually heard of William Lane Craig until I started reading on Patheos.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

      That is actually good to know. I assume you’re referring to the Patheos atheist portal? Or that plus the progXian portal?

      • JohnH2

        Atheist portal, yes.

    • Little Magpie

      me neither. (Partly because I didn’t start watching videos of Hitchens’ various debates until after I was reading atheist blogs on Patheos – which is just a statement about relative timing, not necessarily causal in any way.)

    • BobaFuct

      Same here…I grew up with Geisler, Kreeft, Strobel, and my mom practically worships John MacArthur, but no WLC. Maybe he’s not fundy enough since he’s not a YEC…

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

        That’s interesting. Geisler and Kreeft have always struck me as rather obviously incompetent, so I mostly ignore them. Strobel, though, has interviewed Craig for all of his 3 main books, did the name just not stick with you?

        • BobaFuct

          I think the name probably just didn’t stick….and looking back at the apologetics books I read, I don’t think I actually read Strobel’s books as a whole…just had them used in bible studies and what not.

          Also, I think I just assumed they were all YECs since I doubt they would’ve been allowed in the house had my mom known otherwise (I pulled mostly from her library). I’ll have to remember to bring that up next time I visit :D

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

            If you want something to cite, IIRC Geisler defends the compatability of an old earth with the Bible somewhere in his Baker Encyclopedia. He does seem to think a literal Adam and Eve are important, though (as does Craig). With Strobel, I’m mainly going on the fact that Strobel interviewed Craig on Kalam at one point, which appeals to the Big Bang. Strobel may mention the issue in his “Case for a Creator” too, though I also wouldn’t be surprised if he avoided the issue to avoid offending YEC fans.

            In general, it seems the higher-caliber evangelical apologists tend to have reconciled themselves to an old earth, though they still have varying degrees of hostility to evolution. And again, they may avoid talking about the issue much.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

        BTW, I’m pretty sure Geisler and Strobel aren’t YECs, my guess is Kreeft isn’t either.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Jeffery Jay Lowder and Luke Muehlhauser may have, but in my opinion both are far too kind to Craig.

    I saw some of Luke’s postings at Common Sense Atheism, and it was a process. At the beginning Luke was impressed by Craig’s debate performance, but did not know enough about the content to be able to discern Craig’s incorrectness and dishonesty.
    .
    James at Resonably Faithless has blogged some about Craig’s mathematical arguments. Jeffrey Shallit has also done so at Recursivity, but not at length. Both are mathematicians.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

      Re: Luke’s progress on Craig: I think I’ve seen him hint exactly once that he finds Craig dishonest. I haven’t heard him say anything about Craig in awhile. For all I know, he’s changed his mind to agreeing with everything I’ve said about Craig but hasn’t said so because he has better things to do.

  • BronzeDog

    On the creepy delusions in a link: The magisterial/ministerial divide in logic he makes. Not only is it special pleading and circular, it’s transparently so.

    …I wonder what would happen if someone from a different religion tried some of that on Craig.

  • jcmmanuel

    I’m not a fan of William Lane Craig, but this article amounts to one more emo-driven conspiratist approach written from a conflict-based mindset. Craig is not the greatest philosopher alive (Alvin Plantinga is much better and stands on the same level as Thomas Nagel I think) – but Craig does not defend genocide, he has a sometimes typically confusing explanation of ancient biblical times, but not to distinguish this from what Craig believes to be the requirements of modern time (e.g. Human Rights as we know it today, since only a couple of decades) is playing tricks in order to ‘win’ a (false) argument against this man. So while Craig is being accused of being dishonest, the article is doing the same.

    I’m not a believer in a Christian god, or in gods, but I find the way atheists tend to piss upon every Christian around far from appropriated and certainly not rational

    • Ophis

      “…but Craig does not defend genocide, he has a sometimes typically
      confusing explanation of ancient biblical times, but not to distinguish
      this from what Craig believes to be the requirements of modern time
      (e.g. Human Rights as we know it today, since only a couple of decades)
      is playing tricks in order to ‘win’ a (false) argument against this man.”

      What is this other than defending genocide:

      http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites

      In short, Craig says that the Israelites were right to completely destroy the Caananites, including the children, because God commanded it. This article by Craig, in defending such acts, defends genocide. Does genocide become acceptable if it occurred in ancient times? It seems to me that Craig is guilty of extreme moral relativism, to such an extent that any claim of his that Christianity provides an objective morality cannot be taken seriously.

      • JohnH2

        So the problem with violent Jihad isn’t that it involves killing people but because WLC thinks that they are serving the wrong God? Way to impale oneself on the horns of the Euthyphro dilemma. So the difference between a suicide bomber and WLC is what exactly?

        • Greg G.

          Yes, according to WLC’s Divine Command Theory, if God tells you to do something, it’s a sin to not do it. If God wants you to claim you are a Muslim before you blow yourself up, then you should do it. It’s in line with his Absolute Morality Theory where morality is not based on its expected results in human terms but on what you imagine God wants.

        • http://profiles.google.com/david.mike.simon David Simon

          Well, the main difference is that WLC doesn’t actually go around blowing people up. I think that’s worth at least some points. But yeah, the ethical systems of both have the same law.

    • eric

      Craig does not defend genocide, he has a sometimes typically confusing explanation of ancient biblical times, but not to distinguish this from what Craig believes to be the requirements of modern time

      Saying genocide was ok for some past event X but not okay now is a defense of genocide. Such a person is saying that some circumstances justify killing innocent kids en masse, we just don’t happen to be in those circumstances right at this moment.

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

      Craig avoids defending genocide in the same way the Turkish government avoids defending genocide: through semantic hair-splitting about the definition of “genocide.”

  • Steven Carr

    Craig does not defend genocide?

    In a recent article, William Lane Craig talks about how people avoided Hell and entered Heaven because they chose to become a Nazi.

    In Craig on Nazis William Lane Craig writes ‘Paradoxically, being a Nazi may have been the best thing that happened to Heinrich, since it led to his salvation.’

    Craig continues ‘Of course, one may wonder about those poor people who suffered in the death camps because of Heinrich.’

    But I’m sure that Heinrich will take heart from Craig’s recommendation that the best thing that could happen to him was to become a Nazi.

  • David Joseph Post

    I find that the only way he “wins” is by completely ignoring what anybody says and crying, nah nah nah nah, you didn’t address the precise interpretation of the question that I happen to hold, nah nah nah nah, I’m the biggest pedantic on this stage.

    One of his tactics is to ramble off so many points that others in the debate have no way to respond to them all and bring up their own points; at which he then shrugs it all off by listing one of his points as having been missed, usually phrased, ” failed to address ” and moves on, thinking that this somehow justifies ignoring their other points when they made a good faith effort to address what he was saying.

    Then he posits things which he believes are facts and refuses to debate them, such as moral objectivity vs moral relativism, all the while completely ignoring the contradiction in arguing that if God commanded it then it must be moral in the situation that God commanded it in.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      He sounds like a high school CX debater. We, too, threw out as many points as we could and hoped the opposing team would ‘drop’ one, which would allow us to claim, if not victory in the debate, at least a partial victory on that one position.

      Of course, we knew this was just part of the rules of a game in which winning and losing were all that mattered. We also didn’t pretend it was intellectually honest debate, nor that we were going to change anyone’s mind through rapid-fire technicalities.

      • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

        Uh huh. Craig has a high school / college debate background. And then you get people like Jeff Lowder saying, “oh, but college debate is just how you do debate!” See my response to that here.

  • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

    Chris

    I have a 20,000 word paper on the Kalam which I will be turning into a book, if you are interested in checking it out for your own project. Let me know. Great post, btw.

    Jonathan MS Pearce
    eg http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2012/09/10/the-kalam-cosmological-argument-and-william-lane-craig-1/

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

      Thanks, but to be honest I’m sick of Craig and have no desire to read another 20,000 words about him.

      • http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/ Jonathan MS Pearce

        Ha! Sure, although it’s more about the KCA than Craig, per se. Though the two are so closely intertwined…

    • Mike De Fleuriot

      Never could understand how these guys managed to get from the Deist Kalam to Jesus or Joe Smith.

      • JohnH2

        You can’t get from Kalam to “Joe Smith” and in fact Kalam contradicts quite a lot that was revealed to “Joe Smith” as beautifully expressed in the hymn “If you could hie to Kolob”:

        If you could hie to Kolob
        In the twinkling of an eye,
        And then continue onward
        With that same speed to fly,
        Do you think that you could ever,
        Through all eternity,
        Find out the generation
        Where Gods began to be?

        Or see the grand beginning,
        Where space did not extend?
        Or view the last creation,
        Where Gods and matter end?
        Methinks the Spirit whispers,
        “No man has found ‘pure space,’
        Nor seen the outside curtains,
        Where nothing has a place.”

        The works of God continue,
        And worlds and lives abound;
        Improvement and progression
        Have one eternal round.
        There is no end to matter;
        There is no end to space;
        There is no end to spirit;
        There is no end to race;

  • David Marshall

    Chris: I’m wondering if you could offer me a gardening tip. I have lots of fruit in my yard: plums, peaches, pears, apples. Eight or so years ago, I planted a Conford grape vine, that yields boxes of delicious fruit when the Northwest summer is warm enough. We often get enough to give some away. I planted a few other sweet grape vines, which have either yet to yield much, or died in gardening accidents.

    I was wondering if you could offer any suggestions about the acquisition, cultivation, and harvesting of sour grapes?

    • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

      Go fuck yourself.

      I say that, because you obviously have no interest in a rational discussion.

      I have documented the fallacies and dishonesty of Craig’s arguments at great length. What would I have sour grapes about? Craig “winning” his debates? But I’ve also explained at great length why using “Craig wins his debates” as a defense of anything he does is a stupid fucking response. In other words, you have no response to my arguments except to repeat points that have already been refuted.

      If I were inclined to treat this as a college debate match-up, this is the point where I’d be flowing the argument to myself, but I’m not so inclined, so instead I’m telling you your inability to engage with the argument is not welcome here.

      (Not that doing what you’re doing would lead me to moderate your comments. You’re welcome to continue to demonstrate you have no response to my points about Craig.)

      • David Marshall

        Chris: Why would I expect “rational discussion” from someone who leads with “William Lane Craig is a dishonest genocide-defending creepy homophobe?” You set up a roadblock, man it with shotguns, and pretend to be encouraging commerce on the highway of rational discourse?

        I have listened to or read quite a few of Craig’s debates, and am quite capable of judging for myself who won, and why. I agree with the consensus.

        I listened to the Rosenberg-Craig debate not long ago. It was a massacre, intellectually. Craig did not resort to underhanded rhetorical techniques, Rosenberg did, and still got crushed, as the voting accurately reflected. Deny that, or pretend that Rosenberg only lost because Craig got to go first, and you’re living on different planet.

        As for your arguments, let me begin by challenging your very first sentence here:

        “Many Christians believe that William Lane Craig is the greatest Christian philosopher alive.”

        There are two kinds of Christians in the world: those who can name five professional Christian philosophers, and those who can name five contestants in American Idol. Who among the first group claims that Craig is the greatest living Christian philosopher? Can you offer any sources or quotes to support that claim?

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

          “You set up a roadblock, man it with shotguns, and pretend to be encouraging commerce on the highway of rational discourse?”

          No, I started off by stating a thesis you don’t like.

          As for the Craig-Rosenberg debate, see my comments on Craig’s opening statement here, but the more important point is that “winning” a debate is irrelevant if you win with crappy arguments, as any honest, informed person is forced to admit by cases like Duane Gish. I have pointed out the flaws in Craig’s arguments at length, while you continue to refuse to address that issue.

          Again, argument flows to me. Or, go fuck yourself.

          • David Marshall

            Honestly, you’re too crude to waste breath on. I never talk to visitors to my blog, or even hostile readers of my books, the way you seem to think is a fitting introduction to someone who is probably a total stranger to you. (In response to a very mild tweaking that was in no way personally defamatory.) No wonder Gnus have earned the reputation of ill-mannered savages.

            I came here because Jonathan Pearce, who has some class, and acts like an adult, mentioned your series of articles. Given that you begin your post with over-the-top character assassination, and then open with a characterization of Christians that is almost certainly untrue (does that matter to you?), and given that you respond to my mildly witty reference to “sour grapes” with two “fuck yous,” you have failed to give me any reason to take you seriously as a human being, still less as a critic. You strike me, frankly, as a typical snotty-nosed on-line brat, who thinks he knows something because a few people read his postings, but has never given any serious person a reason to care what he says.
            I’d read and rebut your book, as I have so many others, but honestly, I doubt it would be worth the bother.

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

            >Honestly, you’re too crude to waste breath on.

            Then why are you still here?

            >I never talk to visitors to my blog, or even hostile readers of my books, the way you seem to think is a fitting introduction to someone who is probably a total stranger to you.

            I think it’s a fitting introduction for someone who defends a fraud by repeating arguments that have already been refuted, without even acknowledging the existence of a counter-argument.

            >Given that you begin your post with over-the-top character assassination

            What does that even mean? Do you deny that there are some real frauds out there, and they need to be exposed? While I’m on the subject, do you deny that Craig has defended genocide? And do you think Craig’s claims about gays and lesbians have any place in responsible discourse?

            >then open with a characterization of Christians that is almost certainly untrue (does that matter to you?)

            It’s absolutely true, though generally not of Christians who are sufficiently aware of Plantinga et al. And Christians who think Craig is Christianity’s greatest living philosopher are probably outnumbered by those who are under the misapprehension that C. S. Lewis was a serious philosopher. Have you never encountered Craig’s internet fanboys? Though I suspect you know what I say about this is true, given that your first reaction was to dismiss them as American Idol fans.

            >who thinks he knows something because a few people read his postings

            Also, because I’ve made a hobby out of doing fact-checking on topics I’m interested in.

            >but has never given any serious person a reason to care what he says.

            Nope, that’s assuming your experience as someone who defends a fraud by repeating arguments that have already been refuted, without even acknowledging the existence of a counter-argument, is representative of all “serious people.”

        • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

          I should add that, being unfamiliar with Rosenberg’s work, I can’t state with great confidence that Craig was guilty of misrepresenting Rosenberg (though Craig’s description of Rosenberg’s views were at odds with both what I had heard second-hand and some of what Rosenberg said about his views in his opening statement). I can, however state with confidence that Craig has outright lied about e.g. Bart Ehrman and Stephen Law.

      • Chase200mph

        Craig’s only appeal is to those without an education. Crag clearly speaks their language as he bastardizes philosophy and open lies about being an atheist because it sells! If Craig believed in anything his troubled and uneducated little mind came up with, he would only be the bigger fool for not becoming a Christian….but even Craig doesn’t buy into his own bullshit. : )

  • Bryan B

    The only thing you left out is Craig’s narcissism. This, I think, is the root of his problem. It really makes it difficult to ever like him, let alone have an honest debate with him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/james.kujawa1 James Kujawa

    WLC is an ass. He will start his sentences with “I think, I feel, I propose, and ends with “We need to look at”. That BS subjective to objective looks like the % of people believe in his BS. He also has a form of speech I would call “Anal Lawyerspeak” Translation: Talking out of your ass. His imaginary suppositions and 25 cent convoluted BS wording makes your average xtian go “Wow; he really knows his shit”. How can a person know that “he knows his Shit”. unless they know more than he does? If you know nothing about cars, how can you say “my mechanic knows his shit”? This is how the boy gets his reputation, by bullshit uplifting of his illiterate followers. He never really answers the question. His followers are all so “impressed” with his wording that they don’t have a clue what he just said. .

    • Dain Q. Gore

      Then the debate commitees should be able to see through that. Rhetoric, or “lawyerspeak” as you put it, is a tried and true classical method of argumentation in debate, and in the debate game largely deals with being able to speak to both sides of an issue with subjective to objective cadence.

      Outside of that world, you can just call it BS and dismiss it, and that’s fine, too, but it ends the conversation.

  • Jeff Arnold

    This entire post amounts to a large ad hominem attack. This is not a valid way to argue. This does nothing to further the debate from a purely logical standpoint. As someone who greatly enjoys argument and debate, I’d love to see less vitriol and personal attacks in play. I can’t speak for others, but I know I personally would take you much more seriously if you left these out of your writing. If your case is strong – and maybe it is – then you need to let the other side, not yourself, be the one to fall prey to this meaningless style of attacking.

    • Dain Q. Gore

      I, too, am disappointed. Having read only the text (and therefore the actual meat) of the actual article itself, I would agree. I may have been able to have my presuppositions challenged after sifting through the plethora of links (however the style and nature by which the claims in the body text are set forth do not compel me as a reader to do so), including the book plugs, but judging solely from the text alone there is no evidence that any of the accusations laid forth are substantiated–there aren’t even any juicy pull quotes–contextual or not–from Craig’s arguments to support the claim. I was expecting a “smoking gun” for such grand claims. I would have expected at least that much after being drawn in by such a shocking headline.

      • Nox

        The relevant quotes are in the links.

        And Craig’s dishonesty and defense of genocide are pretty well known at this point. Are you under the impression that Craig did not defend genocide (or resort to moral relativism in doing so, demonstrating that he doesn’t really believe in the premises of his ‘moral absolutes’ argument)? Do you not think this is the sort of thing which should be called out?

        • Disappointed

          I actually never even heard of him before today! The plaintiff must prove the case not just restate its premise.

          • Daniel

            Follow. The. Links.

            Thank you.

    • Grotoff

      Craig is a disgusting bigot, bent on defending his preposterous deity through genocide and vicious torture. That’s a factual description. What point are you making?

    • Mike 666

      Craig’s absurd positions fall on their own merits. Pointing out Craig’s dishonest character is the point of this post, and so it is not ad hominem. Now if the author had said “everything that guy said is BS because he supports genocide” then it may be an ad hominem. However pointing out someone’s dishonesty and hateful nature in and of itself is not. The fallacy only occurs when one person says that “argument X is wrong because its author is a [insert insult here]” The person who did the post does not have to say “genocide is wrong because Craig is a douche”, because genocide and Craig’s positions/arguments are absurd enough as it is.

  • http://patheos.com/blogs/hallq/ Chris Hallquist

    Thanks!

  • KeithCrosby

    Guys… guys… let’s try and avoid hurling personal insults at Lane or others and go beyond ad hominem attacks and engage in critical dialog and discussion. Some of you almost give the impression that you can’t argue with him and his message so you call him names giving those who differ with Lane zilch credibility.

    I’m no Lane fan. But name calling in debate is like shouting at a deaf person—the volume at which you yell makes you no more understood than the names that you call him…

    Make a statement… then substantiate it. Staircaseghost makes a statement that could be helpful but then never substantiates it. Unless this blog is simply an emotional free for all…

  • KeithCrosby

    Feminerd should go beyond stuff like this:

    “He sounds like a high school CX debater. We, too, threw out as many points as we could and hoped the opposing team would ‘drop’ one, which would allow us to claim, if not victory in the debate, at least a partial victory on that one position.”

    Go for the jugular people… make a statement and substantiate it, cite while you write!

  • Kenny Smith

    Mr Craig will be debating Rabbi Tovia Singer this fall. Mr. Craig is toast!!!!

  • apologian

    Aren’t there atheists who are anti-gay? Well, yes there were – the soviets were anti-gay and atheist. This is not to defend homophobia by Christians but it helps to put it in a proper perspective.

  • Suresh Dogra

    What would one say about the morals of a man who asserts that children brutally cut to pieces in a war, as Canaanite children were, are fortunate because his loving God sends them to heaven to enjoy everlasting bliss there? Brutality is repugnant to a civilised and cultured man. It should be much more so to a merciful, benevolent and loving deity. How does one go about arguing with a man who resorts to categories like heaven, hell, demons, miracles, resurrection of the dead ? These categories are not within the range of human experience and , therefore, any absurd assertion can be made using them. The best way to deal with Craig is to expose the societal and moral consequences of his beliefs as you have done in your books and articles . How is the logic of his literal interpretation of the Bible different from Islamists’ literal interpretation of the Quran?

  • DavidWilmotLow

    here’s various famous atheists talking about how great Craig is. the late Christopher Htichens starts it off.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKCmG0h807U

  • Mr. Lee

    “… it’s a sign of the fact serious philosophers have largely stopped trying to defend religion. Most are atheists; even many theists have given up on arguing for God’s existence.” Do you have ANY proof to back up this claim? Or is it just the typical unfounded rhetoric presented by many Atheists?

    Don’t get me wrong, as a former Atheist I certainly can understand why an individual either doubts the existence of God or outright rejects such a notion. I just grow tired of seeing rhetoric presented as fact, presumption presented as empirical knowledge, and bias presented as rationality. Both sides (theists and atheists) do it. Both sides (theists and atheists) would be well served to realize it and CUT THAT SHIT OUT!

    XD

  • Dale Husar

    Here we go again. Another “High Priest” for the religion of Atheism who, with no intellectual argument left to make, resorts to the politically correct hysterical tirade of shouting “Homophobe!” “Bigot!”. You have learned well from some of Atheisms greatest apostles, Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Like Hitlers exploitation of the Reichstag fire, you are well on your way of implementing your first step of creating hatred of theists. You need only implement the final moralistically neutral (Atheistic) step of killing us all.

    • Grotoff

      People who fight against gays are bigots. That’s an objective description. Craig goes further and actually argues that God can murder whoever he wants, even children. If God commands a genocide, then it’s the right thing to do.

      You know who else hated gays and used Christianity to justify genocide?
      http://www.evilbible.com/hitler_was_christian.htm

    • WAKEVP

      christianity is a lie though

  • Daniel

    Since when is pointing out that your opponent is cheating and lying an ad hominem argument?

  • Daniel

    “He seems to be classy, interacts with most all criticisms, and never partakes in ad hominems or slurs against others.”

    Sounding classy is sort of his game, don’t get taken in by it. He’s a professional used car salesman. His arguments (cosmological or Kalām, teleological, origin of morality etc.) have long been refuted, yet he keeps on using them. Additionally, as a physicist, I find his misrepresentations of our knowledge about the early universe deeply offensive. He does it because he can get away with it. He’s like the snake oil salesman who’ll tell you his potion works “because Quantum Mechanics”.

    He may interact with most criticism, but most often by changing the subject or inventing straw men. He’s good at giving you the feeling he’s answered the challenge, when often he hasn’t. Why that is so, you can find in the posts that Hallq has linked to above. He’s very good at debating, i.e. very good at sounding right. Doesn’t make him right.

    At last, that he never attacks his opponents personally is simply wrong. He’s good at making people look bad, and he does so in an underhanded, sophisticated way, but he’s not too good to kick an opponent in the balls, figuratively speaking: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/William_Lane_Craig#Craig.27s_debating_tactics_and_criticism_of_opponents

  • Daniel

    Rationalwiki has a good summary of Craig’s “arguments”: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/William_Lane_Craig#Apologetics

    Some of it, especially the part about his debate tactics, also references Chris Hallq. :-)

  • Steve R.

    C

  • Paul Handley

    On a personal level I can’t say I’m that well disposed to Lane -Craig, all that be-blazered, quasi Ivy League, square jawed, clean cut stuff, I just find a bit unpleasant. However, I’ve watched quite a few of Lane-Craig’s debates and whatever you may, or may not, think about his arguments – I like them – he does actually win: he makes Sam Harris look like a gauche seminarian, Hitchins like a gin soaked hack and poor old Dawkins just wets himself. Sure, he plays ‘debating’ like a game, and he likes to win, but like any other game ‘rules’ offer a level playing field that means everyone starts on an equal footing: ‘rules’ make it fair. If you lose within the rules – which you agreed to abide by, by taking the podium in the first place, well – you lose: sorry.

    I can’t really understand why someone (i.e. you) would dedicate a significant amount of time and energy to writing about someone that they think is wrong – I mean – why would you unless at some level you actually found his arguments upsettingly convincing? I expect to a man of Craig’s stature a few bloggist ruffled feathers is pretty much grist to the mill, and, as Oscar Wilde rightly pointed out, ‘there’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.’: that much is certainly true.

    • The Thinking Commenter

      why would you unless at some level you actually found his arguments upsettingly convincing?

      Why are you posting this comment unless you think Chris is 100% correct about everything all the time? You wouldn’t be commenting if you didn’t think Chris was a hundred bazillion percent correct about everything ever. That is quite a compliment. He should be thanking you!

      • Paul Handley

        I see what you did there! :)

      • Paul Handley

        I see what you did there! very good. :)

      • Paul Handley

        I’m not sure I can respond to this without getting deleted. Looking around, I seem to have stumbled into one of those single ideology echo-chamber type blogs where dissent will not be tolerated. To be honest, I’ve got no idea whether ‘Chris’ is 100% correct or not; I haven’t got a shred of interest in his arguments and my point didn’t really rest on Chris’s ‘rightness’ or otherwise. It just struck me that a blog career had been built out of attempting to debunk someone who he considered beneath regard. I mean, you’ve got to ask; why? I should also say, that Chris’s epistle detailing his gratitude for my initial post has not yet been received.

  • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

    WLC is at it again. You will see so many of the things that Chris has warned about in the three “discussions” that WLC had with Lawrence Krauss in Australia, last month. I have unpacked those with part 1 starting here.

  • Mike 666

    He is also a fake philosopher. Having a fancy degree is no good if you lack an open mind or intellectual honesty. Seriously, this douchebag is the joke of the academic and philosophical community. Nobody takes this clown seriously.

    P.S. an interesting fact: most philosophers are atheist/agnostic.

  • The Thinking Commenter

    I still think having three names (William Lane Craig) is an unfair debating advantage.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Have you read his summary of how the Craig/Carroll debate went? I noticed that he said nothing about it on his podcast. That’s unusual–usually, he crows about how well he did and shakes his head in dismay at how out-of-his-depth his opponent was.

    I thought Carroll did great and haven’t read Craig’s summary at Reasonable Faith.

  • Guest

    Chris, I see some hatred in this post and your defense of it. That’s too bad. I hope you’re doing okay despite what it appears here. I do not think Craig is knowingly deceptive. You appear to be clueless about the mind of a Christian apologist like Craig, who believes the witness of the spirit is self-authenticating and trumps all other evidence.

    • Dez

      And genocide is A-Okay as long as you’re a christian.

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