William Lane Craig vs Peter Atkins Debate the Exidence of God (1998)



The other parts can be found here. If you've already heard Dr. Craig's opening statement in other debates, like I have, Dr. Atkins begins here.

19 comments:

dvd said...

Not a very good showing from Atkins, the closest debate Craig has had in my view was the Craig-Jesseph debate
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/doug_jesseph/jesseph-craig/

Although I still think Craig won that debate, but Jesseph was a very strong opponent.

Se7 said...

This guy's arguments haven't changed since 1977.

Much like his mind.

Charlie said...

Atkins lost.

SirMoogie said...

There needs to be a new name for hidden premises exclusive to the debate against Christianity called "Jesus Smuggling". Whenever asked for evidence of their God, they mostly use arguments from causation, and while I realize these have other flaws, they have nothing that separates them from other God/magic hypotheses. For example, that Dingo the great fairy who played the song of existence on her Ivory harp in the realm of Zoot, or that the universe always existed.

Charlie said...

Sir moogie,

The debate was whether a God exists, not the particular god of some religion or other. Nonetheless Craig does argue for an historical resurrection of Jesus, which would be a particularly Christian expansion on theism. Whatever your views on that argument, you can't rightly say that the Jesus is "smuggled".

John W. Loftus said...

Charlie said...Atkins lost.

Who cares? What would you think if all I ever posted were debates in which atheists won?

I like learning from all debates regardless of who won. I like debates, that's all. They are interesting and educational.

SirMoogie said...

Then we can still charge the arguer with God smuggling, as the Taoist religion doesn't presuppose a sentient creationary force, just a magic-like force called Tao. What about multiple gods, why is polytheism automatically eliminated from the discussion? There are several scenarios one can imagine for the creation of the universe that don't have to rely on one sentient being. Once we embrace supernaturalism, the door is wide open.

Charlie said...

John, calm down.

Yes, the debate was interesting and educational. As well, most most of us -- but apparently not you -- do care who wins and loses each debate. That's part of our 'interest' in them, whether we admit it or not. That's also why there are typically "judges" of debates. Atkins lost the interesting and educational debate.

Charlie said...

SirMoogie,

You are correct that some of the general arguments theists use are consistent with one or many different types of gods.

But that doesn't matter, since as long as the statement 'there is at least one god' is true, then atheism is falsified.

It is incorrect to assert that supernaturalism leaves the door wide open, as considerations of theory adjudication, ontological economy, and explanatory simplicity would appropriately narrow down the entity in question.

Toby said...

Here is MY opinion on Craig. It's just an opinion, I may be wrong. I've watched a lot Craig's debates, and he is just one hell of a debater. I don't think it matters what point-of-view he takes, he is so articulate that he makes flawed logic sound reasonable.

He is so careful about the topic being debated as well. He'll say he believes in inerrancy of scripture, but he believes in theistic evolution ruling out a literal view of Genesis. How does he claim inerrancy then, "God never intended Genesis to be taken literally or as science. It has to be interpreted with the correct understanding of the genre it is written and the intent of that genre or God's purpose for the given text." So, he believes in an old earth, old universe, that much of scripture is metaphorical and not literal, that apocalyptic and poetic genres do not have to be taken literally, that Revelation falls into the non-literal category, and on it goes. However, he is incredibly careful about how he words these views because he realizes that the average Evangelical Christian believes quite differently from him. If Evangelicals understood his interpretation of scripture, they would say "Craig does not hold to the inerrancy of scripture." Truth be told, I prefer Craig's views on scripture to the uneducated Evangelicals' views on scripture. I still think he is delusional and a master at ignoring anything that contradicts his beliefs.

Michael Kandefer said...

Charlie says,

"SirMoogie,

You are correct that some of the general arguments theists use are consistent with one or many different types of gods.

But that doesn't matter, since as long as the statement 'there is at least one god' is true, then atheism is falsified."

That's not true, as Taoism asserts a magic-like force exists and caused the universe. You seem to agreed this was consistent with creation. You also seemed to agree this is not a god, and thus, is an atheistic religion. Now, if you'd like to claim the naturalistic position is still defeated, that's fine, but there are naturalistic positions that are consistent with the Big Bang, such as eternal recurrence. A theist is still eliminating consistent, non-theistic choices when they argue from the Big Bang.

"It is incorrect to assert that supernaturalism leaves the door wide open, as considerations of theory adjudication, ontological economy, and explanatory simplicity would appropriately narrow down the entity in question."

I understand there are limits, but there are still numerous possibilities. However, I'm not sure how the principles of parsimony can help us choose between eternal recurrence, a sentient supernatural creator, or the Tao. Can you explain how you'd it?

Darrin said...

Craig wins in a rout, but not as bad as the Zindler debate.

Charlie said...

as Taoism asserts a magic-like force exists and caused the universe

Right; that's not a God. Taoism is mostly an atheistic religion.

So my point stands: if it's shown that at least one God exists, atheism is falsified, and that would include Taoism to the extent that Taoism implies the denial of theism. Note that it would not necessarily include Buddhism as many Buddhists are theists.

. However, I'm not sure how the principles of parsimony can help us choose between eternal recurrence, a sentient supernatural creator, or the Tao. Can you explain how you'd it?

Sure, give me a more precise idea of what you have in mind by "eternal recurrence" and "the Tao".

Darrin said...

>>dvd

Craig lost to Ehrman (despite Bart not being able to answer the Bayes gaffe) and to Shabir Ally, who took him to task on God's love in the Bible (even though the Koran isn't at all better).

I need to look at Craig/Avalos again, thinking of it.

Michael Kandefer said...

"So my point stands: if it's shown that at least one God exists, atheism is falsified, and that would include Taoism to the extent that Taoism implies the denial of theism. Note that it would not necessarily include Buddhism as many Buddhists are theists."

Right, I'd agree too, if the position used for arguing for said God wasn't consistent with several other hypotheses, like Taoism, and that there didn't appear to be any other reason for choosing between them. Once again, I think there are other reasons for eliminating alternatives, even the God hypothesis, I'm just curious why a theist chooses theism, over other supernatural positions, like Taoism.

"Sure, give me a more precise idea of what you have in mind by "eternal recurrence" and "the Tao"."


Eternal recurrence, the universe is circular, it continues going through expansion and collapse resulting in numerous events that could be called "big bangs".

God a sentient, supernatural being the created the universe.

Tao a supernatural force that created the universe.

Michael Kandefer said...

That's odd. It switched to my name. Not that I much mind. I suspect the switch in name didn't confuse you.

dvd said...

Darrin

There were a ton of debates with Shabir, there was not just one, and Shabir lost many of those debates, I can only think of perhaps one or more where he made some valid points.

As for Bart Ehrman, the way he just brushed aside the Probability calculus, was enough to loose the debate, on the other hand it was a bit of a *trick* on Craig's part to pull that one on Bart. I didn't like that very much.

I did not like either in the Ehrman debate, so to me it was a wash.

dvd said...

Darrin

One more thing I forgot to add, Shabir is an excellent debater, I'm from Toronto so I have seen him debate numerous times and I know how good he is, but I do think he made some major blunders in some of those debates with Craig.

I would love to see some atheists debate Shabir.

openlyatheist said...

The fact of the matter is: presentation counts in a debate. It matters in the classroom and it matters in the court of public opinion.

Craig's arguments make me laugh out loud. But some of the debates I've seen posted feature Craig against allegedly intelligent men who look like their about to pee their pants as though they've never been in a debate.

I see Michael Shermer every so often at the Skeptics Society presentations, nevertheless his public speaking skills are sub-par. On the back of "God?," co-written by Criag and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, WLC has a professional headshot, while WSA looks like the stoner shop teacher I had in jr. high.