Why do the big names in atheism freeze up when debating William Lane Craig?

I recently watched William Lane Craig's debates with Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris and in both debates, it was easy to walk away with the feeling that Craig won. Hitchens just kept saying "I haven't heard any convincing evidence..." Without refuting Craig's arguments. Sam Harris did something similar - instead of addressing Craig's arguments, he ignored them for the entire debate. Also, Lawrence Krauss, when debating Craig about A Universe from Nothing, missed an opportunity to counter Craig's (correct) assertion that the primordial soup of the universe is not nothing.

Now, I've heard refutations for Craig's arguments but neither Hitchens, Harris, nor Krauss used them and so it could seem as though they lost their debates with him. Craig even invited Hitchens to become a Christian while onstage, and was justified in asking - given their performances in the debate. Any ideas why they froze up in their debates against him?

I also noticed that Craig got first word in those debates, in which he was able to define the terms used in the debate, giving him an edge.

Finally, why doesn't Dawkins debate Craig?

Views: 2479

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

why isn't this enough? I don't think that we arose by random chance alone - this, as I stated before, is an oversimplification of evolution.

Sorry, but the evolution theory is not applied to abiogenesis......

Well we certainly didn't arise in our current complex form - yet you mentioned thinking and self-awareness. The only logical conclusion was that you were referring to evolution.

No, if god doesn't exist, and our life ends when we die physically (is there another way to die?), then our life has purpose in the physical universe in which we live. Everything will end in the grave. What you do good or bad today, will matter to those who still live. Eventually, it might not matter but so what? It matters now.

If my parents exist (which they actually do), and created me, then they had a reason to create me. Why is that reason not acceptable to you? If god exists and created the universe (excluding earth here since it's special because it was created for us to live on), then what exactly was his reason to create it all?

The evidence of god's existence is obscure, lacking in evidence, and against real evidence. See around you. All of it was caused by the big bang - I don't see any evidence for god in it. The big bang is the cause of the universe. It's not important at that point if it's irrational thinking to say that it all arose by chance from inanimate matter - it's what we observe.

RE: "if God does not exist...then our life has no purpose" - absolutely it does! First, there is Nature's purpose, the built-in Prime Directive with which eons of evolution have imbued us - the drive to continue the species.

Then there are all of the myriad purposes that we, as individuals, bring to it. You, for example, have clearly  decided that your purpose is to be a pain in the ass, and may I say, that you are performing it VERY successfully! (=; talk to the handNo need to thank me --)

RE: "Do you really think all there is, has no cause ?" - Good grief no, Charlie Brown, where would you ever get an idea like that? Everything has a cause, but we see no evidence that a supernatural spirit had any part in it.

What is clear to me, is that we possess an ability that you do not - we can, without the slightest modicum of guilt, say, "I don't know --"

As much as I like archaeopteryx's reply to you, let's waste a little time! I'm ok with it...

So you die and go to heaven...you don't have a body right? so you're just an immaterial soul. I can't make sense of how that could possibly be a good thing. The only thing I can imagine we would be - well not us, we're atheists, we're going to hell, but what you would be - is some kind of floating gaseous blob of a soul with what, a mind? So we're trapped for eternity with our thoughts, can't identify friends and family because they have no bodies, can't speak or hear because we have no bodies, and all we can do is worship some THING that we can't see, hear, feel, smell, or taste because all of those attributes, those senses are things of the body? That sounds a lot more like a hell than paradise. What if at that point you're actually worship the devil? He's supposed to be tricky like that and the only way we can know to avoid the devil is if we have our senses. And no, you can't "read the bible" in heaven to follow god's word either. Why, you ask? because you need your senses to read. And the bible is a material thing, like your body, so it's not going to heaven either. Sounds like god really screwed up this whole heaven thing. And if god can talk, you certainly can't understand him because language is a human invention and guess what, there's no human body in heaven to speak or invent language. Last thing, who wants changelessness? That's got to be the absolute worst part of the whole heaven thing... waking up every morning, seeing and experiencing the same things every single day for all of eternity - it's gotta suck.

So yes, I absolutely do not want that to be real. If heaven is perfect, "GOD" really screwed up. And all in all, the concept of heaven makes no sense not because I do not want it to make sense but because it's stupid.

Here we have a serious problem Kris K - Angie  tells us his god is a spirit and doesn't need a place to live, which would imply your description were true, spirits have none of our five senses, yet when the fictional Noah sacrificed an animal as thanks, Big Guy, the Bible tells,"God smelled the sweet savor."

Regarding eternal boredom, Woody Allen once said, "Eternity starts feeling like a really long time, especially near the end --"

Hey I said I'd only waste a little time! Lol

And I didn't say it made any sense... but I don't think god or heaven needs to make sense for Angelo to believe.

Maybe like we wouldn't be able to do those things but God is able to smell and taste things without having a body and he's able to think without a brain cuz he is like beyond our understanding so even if what we think god is like makes no sense, that's ok because god is like too amazing to conceive of...

Oh yah? yuk!

That is because WLC is a better debater than most of the people you mentioned... Winning the debate does not equate to being correct. People get the feeling that someone wins the debate  if they are more aggressive and are quick on their feet with rebuttals (even if those rebuttals are straw-man arguments). Debating is a different skill and the four horseman do not necessarily match up to him.

Don't get me wrong WLC is very dishonest, but I don't think he does it on purpose. I think it is his zealotry that does not allow him to consider that his "truth" may be wrong. WLC says in one of his books that if he failed to convince you with his arguments. It is not that god is not real. It is that he was a poor apologetic, or you have hardened your heart to god.

WLC prepares very well for the debates, in fact most of his debates are EXACTLY the same. The words, the tone of voice, the facial and hand expressions, and the emotional undertones. The only person who can beat WLC in a debate is someone that prepares as well as he does (has a routine), or someone that is so well informed on the arguments and counter arguments that coherent rebuttals are second nature. Like Kagan.

Just as football teams watch videos of their opponents, I would imagine it would benefit anyone going up against him, to thoroughly study videos of him and look for flaws.

You heard refutations of Craigs arguments. So what ? Just because you heard them, they convinced you as being compelling ? why are they compelling to you ? And why do you think Craig got it wrong in his views ?

No, the counters to Craig's arguments convinced me because they are right. Their truth was compelling to me. I also heard Craig's arguments and they did not convince me - why? Because they are not good arguments, they only sound good on the surface. And Craig got it wrong because these arguments are out there, he's been confronted with them before (in the case of the Kagan debate arguing secular morality), was unable to refute them, and doesn't change his argument at all (he used the same arguments in his debate with Harris). That, as others in this discussion have pointed out, is intellectually dishonest. Also, in debates, Craig goes and rambles off a dozen untrue statements that his opponent could refute but doesn't have the time to do that and make their own statement (as has already been said here); so Craig claims victory for himself because of a time restraint - not because he is right.

I'm actually done with this post. I thought it went on the wayside a couple weeks ago, so I don't think I'll follow the discussion any more. I really do appreciate all the positive feedback that I received here. And with this being my first post and it going smoothly, I will be sure to post again. Thanks everybody!

RSS

Services we love!

Advertise with ThinkAtheist.com

© 2015   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service