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Deductive Idiot

Rodin's The Thinker at the Musée Rodin.

Not William Lane Craig

I had one of my commentators mention the debate between William Lane Craig and Victor J. Stenger that took place in the beautiful state of Hawaii. Being a good atheist with nothing to do on Good Friday thanks to almost everything shutting down by me because they commemorate the grisly murder of some Jewish guy, I decided to give a listen to the debate or rather the emotional idiocy of William Lane Craig and the debate of Victor Stenger.

Firstly, the URL of the playlist to the debate can be found here. This way you can all see and judge for yourself.

I figured a debate between a philosopher and theologian [William Lane Craig] and a PhD physicist [Victor J. Stenger] would be interesting especially since I was told Craig destroyed Stenger [which I didn’t believe for an instant]. My initial thought that Craig could not have beat a physicist in a debate wasn’t wrong and to be brutally frank, I now class Craig in the same light as an internet troll who uses circular arguments, faulty premises and can not stay on the topic of the discussion plus attempts to widen the discussion to include his opponents writing that does not concern the topic.

William Lane Craig uses arguments based on deductive logic. That fact alone is one I can’t fault. There are four different types of logic, one is deductive, the second is inductive, the third is propositional and the fourth type is predicate. I will not delve into the differences or merits of each type of logic. In this case I am prepared to say deductive logic is good enough. The topic of the debate was Is There A God and of course Stenger took the negative side while Craig took the positive side.

The debate opened with each side giving a 20 minute statement and Craig was first up. I was kind of happy at that since I have heard Stenger’s arguments many times but aside from Craig’s reliance on the Kalam Cosmological Argument and the Fine Tuning Argument, I really didn’t know what he said. I found out today and I can honestly say I don’t understand how anyone can believe his tripe. Before I go into why I found his arguments lacking a few words about deductive reasoning are necessary. In a deductive argument, the conclusion logically follows if the premises are true. A deductive argument is either valid or invalid it is never true or untrue. If the conclusion of a deductive argument is false, one or more of the premises are false. Conversely, if the conclusion is correct then the premise or premises are necessarily correct. I am not going to address any specific topic that Craig brought up, that was Stenger’s task during his rebuttal and he did it. I will however address that every one of Craig’s six propositions had premises that were neither true nor were they agreed on by anyone except theologians to be true. As already said if a deductive arguments premises are not true, neither is the conclusion. It really was disappointing that he relied on faulty premises to build his six ‘unassailable pillars’ to show there is a god.

I am not going to address any of Stenger’s opening remarks or his 12 minute rebuttal but I will say it was funny how the only time the audio dropped off the video was during Stenger’s remarks. I do however want to address Craig’s 12 minute rebuttal to Stenger’s opening remarks. The opening of Stenger’s statement mentioned the logical inconsistencies of god. I agree that they could have been said much better by Stenger but that isn’t the point. Craig sure enough latched onto Stenger’s four examples of inconsistencies in the definition of god. Within a few short minutes [maybe three] Craig not only addressed them but essentially said they are wrong because he says they are wrong. Then he said they are not contradictory again because he was able to formulate a deductive argument with a faulty premise. Then he made a claim that other theologians do not consider these to be inconsistencies or contradictions. I didn’t understand his last point at all, was he trying to say there really are some theologians that would call those contradictions? Then what Craig did was astounding, for the next 8-9 minutes of his rebuttal of Stenger’s opening remarks, he attacked Stenger’s books. At that point a fair and impartial moderator would have told Craig to get back on topic since in no way are Stenger’s books part of his 20 minute opening statement. Not only that but the debate topic was is there a god not are Stenger’s diagram of time illustrated incorrectly.

Sorry I am not discussing Craig’s arguments in any detail but you can see them posted by internet trolls and even from those claiming to be agnostic on almost any website that promotes Christian, atheistic or agnostic views. Did I feel the debate was worth watching? No, as I went on I found it increasingly difficult to click onto the next video because of Craig’s misuse of logic and his straying from the topic. Would I recommend anyone watch this debate? I would recommend it to theists and some agnostics as an example of what type of arguments to avoid if you wish anyone to take you seriously. For that I guess I should thank Craig for providing a clear example of what not to do. For the more rational readers, no I wouldn’t recommend this since Stenger says nothing new and Craig’s arguments are good only for laughing at.

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5 Responses

  1. I’m a commentator. Nice.

    I didn’t say he destroyed him, I said, ‘a debate I give to WLC, but hey christian bias and all.’ Slightly less concrete.

    I’ll rewatch the debate and try and be as even handed as I can. If you have any other specific objections to WLC’s arguments that you have time to put down, then that may help me think this through.

    Thanks Phil,

    • When you rewatch the debate, focus on Craig’s opening statements and give valid reasons that his premises are true. Valid reasons and not common sense reasons. Also note when Craig rebuts Stenger’s opening statement why does he decide to address something outside of the debate?

  2. Could it be that your premise is wrong?

  3. The conclusion that there is a God follows logically from the premises that William Craig laid out.

    It was unfortunate that Stenger was not able to destroy the premises and present his argument.

    In fact, it was Craig who destroyed Stenger’s “quantum events”

  4. ” I will however address that every one of Craig’s six propositions had premises that were neither true nor were they agreed on by anyone except theologians to be true.”

    I believe this statement reveals a bias that cannot be overcome. We all have biases–i do. I continue to study however and read both sides of arguments. That is why I am here. My view of what Craig is saying is that he is referencing “expert” assessment of historical data. In the body of theologians that you throw away are liberals, conservatives, atheists and agnostics who adhere or agree to some of Craig’s premises. If Craig cannot reference theological expert assessment, what higher human being expert source is there that he should have referenced? So, you throw out all theological endeavor as false or faulty.

    If that is true, then there is no meeting on those premises regarding their merit.

    Who could Craig possibly call as reference?

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