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Columbia Atheists Message Board › Going after William Lane Craig

Going after William Lane Craig

G. T. B.
user 11204297
Columbia, MO
Post #: 3
Just put up the first in a series of pieces on Radical Rationalist providing a running commentary as I read Craig's newest, On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision.

The intro to the series is here. The first full post, covering the second chapter of the book, What Difference Does it Make if God Exists?, is here. Be prepared. Especially you, Annie. It's another long one. Way longer than last time. I skipped the first chapter because it's basically telling Christians why they should be apologists which is really boring to refute. Sorry. Deal with it.

Let me know in the comments what you guys think. Who knows? Maybe I'll buy drinks for anyone leaving a really good comment. (Oh, hell yes I'm shameless! Especially where feedback is concerned. :-D )
G. T. B.
user 11204297
Columbia, MO
Post #: 4
Just added the second entry. This chapter was, mercifully, only ten pages long. It says something about how bad his arguments are, though, that my refutation is still pretty long. The topic? "Why does anything at all exist?"

Check it out here.
G. T. B.
user 11204297
Columbia, MO
Post #: 5
And yes, if you're wondering, my drink offer still stands.
Greg D.
Branson, MO
Post #: 27
I just finished reading the first (long) entry, and posted this to your blog, but thought I'd cross-post it here to engender further discussion on the message board as well...

First of all, I'd like to say that I really have a serious time believing Craig's conversion story. It is so simplistic and, really, just stupid in the way he relates it. In fact, the simplicity of the whole thing in addition to the actual wording (both phrasing and word choice) of the dialogue he presents in his little story really make me think that he just copied and pasted the whole thing from a Chick tract. Seriously...

All in all, Geoff, I think your analysis of the stupid you have been presented with is sound and well expressed. There are only a couple of things that bugged me a little bit. Most of that is encapsulated in your one-liner responses to "The Human Predicament" section of the chapter. Granted the fact of your responses are self evident to you and others of us who are atheists, and granted they should just be self-evident in general anyway.

Unfortunately, for people who have been so indoctrinated with their beliefs as to be taken in by Craig's argument, the self-evident truths that you point to in your one line responses are really NOT self-evident. So if you intend to make any effort at showing believers the errors in their thinking (if that is, in fact, your intent), it might be better to provide more than simple contrarian one-liners.

I also realize that this analysis took you all day to write, so by the end you were likely feeling tired and frustrated with Craig's shoddy reasoning, but the last third of the analysis had a bit of a tonal change, where you went from providing mostly emotionally neutral rational refutation to injecting snarky comments and sarcastic rebuttals. It made me, as a nonbeliever and one who can see the absurdities Craig presents, chuckle. However, it does detract a bit from the effectiveness of the argument from a rational point of view (as satisfying as it can be from the perspective of vicarious catharsis) to insert those bits of sarcastic ad hominem. So, again, if you intend to use this piece (and further analysis) as anything other than "preaching to the choir," it might be a good idea to rewrite it a little bit. (You could also maintain the snarky tone for your analysis that is meant to be read by fellow non-believers while writing a more emotionally stark version to present to current believers...)

In any event, I look forward to reading the next chapter.
G. T. B.
user 11204297
Columbia, MO
Post #: 6
Thanks. I owe you a drink, though it turns out it will have to be next week, as my cousins have come into town and I won't be at the meeting tomorrow. :-/ And yes, I was getting a bit tired. I think even though I can accomplish a chapter a day, I may need to pace myself, if only for my own sanity. And also to maintain my calm. Though, since his conversion story doesn’t demand logical rebuke, I feel comfortable just pointing and laughing.

No, I wouldn’t, in having a conversation with a believer face-to-face, call them, for instance, an “arrogant ass of a man-child.” Though if I were face-to-face with William Lane Craig and he tossed Pascal’s wager in my face I would be sorely tempted.

Perhaps I’ll post an addendum explicating the various atheist views on the human condition portion of the chapter. We’ll see.
G. T. B.
user 11204297
Columbia, MO
Post #: 9
I've posted the long-awaited third installment of the On Guard critique, in which William Lane Craig tries to demonstrate the logic of the first premise of the kalam cosmological argument: Whatever begins to exist has a cause. Here's the link:­
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