Top Christian William Lane Craig is on his UK tour, and recently had a debate with the atheist philosopher Stephen Law. Premier Christian Radio seems to be organising the tour, and they’ve posted the audio of the debate.
I listened to the debate. A short summary is below, with a longer one underneath the cut.
The debate topic was “Does God exist?”. Craig ran some of his standard arguments
- The Kalam Cosmological argument, a First Cause argument which avoids the usual “who made God?” riposte by only claiming that “everything that begins to exist has a cause”.
- The moral argument.
- An argument based on the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus.
Law relied heavily on the evidential argument from evil, and his own variant of that, the one from his paper The Evil God Challenge, which Luke Muehlhauser has previously summarised here. Law has summarised his main argument in the debate on his own blog.
If you want to see my notes on the whole thing, read on, otherwise, skip to the end for my thoughts on how both of them did, and how atheists might do better.
Elsewhere on the web, people are having to suffer my attempts at philosophy:
Belief in electrons
Over at Debunking Christianity, there’s an interesting dialogue about science. John W. Loftus has some guest postings from Kenneth J. Howell, a Catholic who wrote a book about the relationship between religion and early science. Howell’s been asking interesting questions about what atheists think of unobservable things (like electrons) in scientific theories, and later, on different kinds of evidence and whether all fields of inquiry should use the same standards. Armed with the Kasser lectures (you too can become an expert in the philosophy of science in just 21 days!) and some stuff I vaguely remember from my degree, I had a go at some responses: here, on electrons; and here, on standards of evidence, reductionism and all that jazz. There are some good comments there, although there’s also an awful lot off-topic wibbling.
Sleeping through earthquakes
Over on the Premier Radio forums, they’re wondering where God was in Haiti. Somewhat mischievously (but in a fine Biblical tradition), I’ve suggested he was asleep. I also linked to Stephen Law’s God of Eth (soon to be published as The Evil God Challenge) where Law argues that most arguments from Christians defending God’s goodness, despite the fact there’s so much evil in the world, can be turned into defences of an evil god’s evilness, despite the fact that there’s so much good in the world. A chap called Nick disagreed with the God of Eth argument and has been trying to paint me into some sort of corner involving Aquinas and Augustine, but unfortunately he seems to have gone away before getting around to telling me what his argument was. We’d got as far as arguing about whether all pleasures are good. Anyone have any idea where he might have been going with it?