Thursday, April 14, 2011

Debunking Christianity: Goodness Without God is Good Enough: William Lane Craig vs Paul Kurtz

A couple of atheist have been through dredging up old debates Dr. William Lane Craig has done in the past on Morality. I think it's to make up for the Sam Harris.  For example, John Loftus posted the following:

This debate took place in 2001. Bill Craig has been debating this topic for a long time. Link. A book came out in 2009 with a transcript of this debate along with other essays: Is Goodness without God Good Enough?: A Debate on Faith, Secularism, and Ethics.Check it out. I am.

I realize that the truth is that all of the debates and comments that I have heard from Dr. Craig are the same regarding Morality. Anyone who debates him should know what his arguments are going to be and if they have had any decent rebuttal and alternatives they should have brought them. I appreciate Loftus posting links to the following debate. I don't agree with Dr. Craig on every single point of his theology but we do agree that God is the basis for morality. Without God objective morality is not possible. I'll update this post when I decide if I think Paul Kurtz did better than Sam Harris.





Debunking Christianity: Goodness Without God is Good Enough: William Lane Craig vs Paul Kurtz
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29 comments:

  1. Too funny, you did it again. You realize all three men you mention have PhDs, yet you only ever refer to William Craig as "Dr. Craig". It's definitely worth looking into your own biases.

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  2. Who said there was a bias? You mean like when you dismiss scholars like Habermas, Licona, Paul Maier and others that disagree with you? Craig, Harris, and Kurtz have Ph.D.'s. So? So do Habermas, Licona, and Paul Maier. You're nitpicking and don't seem to have anything meaningful to say. What are your biases? "Inconsistency is the first sign of a failed argument."

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  3. Just curious what your conscious or unconscious motives are for consistently using "Dr." in reference to Craig and not with the others.

    You mean like when you dismiss scholars like Habermas, Licona, Paul Maier and others that disagree with you?

    I don't recall "dismissing" them (in fact, I have no idea who Maier is), but I certainly wouldn't deny they have PhDs (assuming Maier has one).

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  4. I never denied that Harris or Kurtz have Ph.D.'s either. You did dismiss them when they have come up and DR. David Heddle also. It was your attitude. As if being "Associate" Professor has less weight than being a full Professor. I don't expect you to remember everything you write, especially the really ignorant remarks, but you looked up the school Paul Maier worked at and pretend it wasn't prestigious enough for his work to matter when I've brought him up in the past. I know you have bring up a contention about something. It is what you do, but can't you use something that has weight and matters? Like how Harris or Kurtz really managed to prove you don't need God to validate morality? Oh yeah, they didn't.

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  5. I never denied that Harris or Kurtz have Ph.D.'s either.

    Never said you did, but I’m curious why you don’t include “Dr.” in front of their names when you consistently do it with Craig.

    Like how Harris or Kurtz really managed to prove you don't need God to validate morality? Oh yeah, they didn't.

    “Prove”, no, but neither did Craig “prove” anything. Now if you meant they didn’t present good arguments that you don’t need god to validate morality, then sure they did, they just didn’t win a debate based on rhetorical skill (although I would argue the Kurtz/Craig debate was a draw).

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  6. Oops, and by Kurtz/Craig I meant Kagan/Craig...

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  7. I still need to watch Kurtz/Craig. I'll report back.

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  8. Seriously, the whole "Dr. Craig" thing is very weird and borderline sycophantish.

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  9. Bringing this comment forward.

    [not referring to Academics as “Dr.”] has not been my experience in American culture and academia.

    At first glance, this made sense, but then when I thought about it for a second, it doesn’t explain your lack of use of the salutation for the atheists.

    In short, I’m not buying it.

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  10. You don't need to buy it and no i haven't always put "Dr" in front of Craig's name. You're just hyper-sensitive about it so you think I did. Nice Red Herring, however. Dr. Samuel Harris would would be proud. True just because you lost a debate doesn't make you wrong, but I don't see how Dr. Kagan or Dr. Harris managed to show anything they said they were going to show. Find someone who did.

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  11. Now if you meant they didn’t present good arguments that you don’t need god to validate morality, then sure they did, they just didn’t win a debate based on rhetorical skill (although I would argue the Kurtz/Craig debate was a draw).

    define "good" arguments. Neither man validated morality any better than Hitler validated his actions in hist autobiography.

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  12. You don't need to buy it and no i haven't always put "Dr" in front of Craig's name. You're just hyper-sensitive about it so you think I did.

    No, I just think it's funny and telling.

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  13. Nice Red Herring

    Now, I know you've probably been pretty desperate to use this term because Craig used it in the debate, but a red herring is a distraction from the main issue. The fact that you consistently use "Dr." with Craig and not with atheists (go back and look at old posts, it's actually pretty funny) is my main issue. So I'm not sure what you think the distraction is.

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  14. The point of the post and the argument that I am making is that Dr Samuel Harris failed to make a persuasive argument that objective moral values makes any sense without God. Your attempt to attribute a bias to me against atheists like Samuel Harris doesn't help his failure. "Distraction" describes your comments at best.

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  15. Your attempt to attribute a bias to me against atheists like Samuel Harris doesn't help his failure.

    I'm torn on if it's bias against atheists, a man-crush on Craig or a combination of the two. It definitely appeared to be one or the other though. Did you do some self examination of yourself and try to figure it out?

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  16. I'm torn on if it's bias against atheists, a man-crush on Craig or a combination of the two. It definitely appeared to be one or the other though. Did you do some self examination of yourself and try to figure it out?

    False Dilemma. Let's get back to the point of the post. Did you examine yourself to see why

    a. You think Sam Harris' arguments are valid?
    b. You think William Lane Craig's arguments are not valid?
    c. You claimed several times in the past that there is no objective morality but Sam Harris said there is. Did he change your mind?
    d. Have you read every single post I've written on William Lane Craig to see if I think more of him than I ought and don't see any imperfections in his arguments?

    Just because I think he skunked Sam Harris doesn't mean William Lane Craig is perfect.

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  17. Seriously, if someone pointed out to me that I was doing something as odd as your only using the Dr. salutation for the guy you support thing, I'd say, "Whoa, really? Hmmmm, I wonder why I'm doing that. Thanks!". But you are one of the most prideful people I’ve ever encountered, so I guess it makes sense that you wouldn’t.

    a. See C
    b. See C
    c. No he did not change my mind, but I believe Harris uses a wider (and more correct) definition of "objective" and his "objective" morality is closer to what I believe morality to be. Craig’s arguments are not convincing to me because he, in my opinion, misuses the term “objective” when he really means “Platonic Ideal”, but by using the more general term, he’s trying to smuggle a whole lot more into the concept than is warranted. It’s similar to the apologist trick of arguing for deism and then jumping straight to Jesus.
    d. I scanned everyone for the past month or two and noticed the whole "Dr. Craig" thing. I think it's cute you have a man-crush.

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  18. ...by using the more general term, he’s trying to smuggle a whole lot more into the concept than is warranted. It’s similar to the apologist trick of arguing for deism and then jumping straight to Jesus.

    I disagree that Craig misused "objective" and your own presuppositions blind you to Harris' inability to make his points. I do happen to agree that many times Craig does jump to Christ from Deism, but the existence of God was not the point of the debate.

    And I think that you didn't really look and understand anything I've written or linked to Dr. Craig. Nice try with the red herring. Cute, but not bolstering your position. We've discussed this before and you straight argued that morality is not objective. You obviously changed your mind.

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  19. So you are not going to acknowledge the whole “Dr. Craig Man Crush” thing? Suit yourself. But you’ve got some major pride issues, fanboy.

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  20. but the existence of God was not the point of the debate.

    Of course it was, or a very large part of the point of the debate. If god doesn’t exist, then that answers the question of the debate, doesn’t it?

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  21. We've discussed this before and you straight argued that morality is not objective. You obviously changed your mind.

    Nope. I’ve never once said that morality does not possibly have some (important word here, some) biological component, be it at the class, order, species or whatever level. i.e. “morality” exists “objectively” as a component of mammalian/primate/hominid biology*. From this perspective, it’s “objective” to the individual. However, that “objective” “morality” would cease to exist if all mammals/primates/hominids/whatever were wiped out, making it “subjective”. It all depends on which perspective you look at it from or how you define “objective”/”subjective”. I don’t agree with Harris that morality is universal to all things with consciousness, but he makes some good argument that it is. I think Kagan however is right on the money as his view of morality most closely matches what we actually observe in reality.

    *“morality” probably doesn’t have one source, insert society, family, etc....

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  22. So you are not going to acknowledge the whole “Dr. Craig Man Crush” thing? Suit yourself. But you’ve got some major pride issues, fanboy.

    I've said all I am going to say about that distraction. I think you are projecting your own feelings. However, God loves you.

    Nope. I’ve never once said that morality does not possibly have some (important word here, some) biological component, be it at the class, order, species or whatever level. i.e. “morality” exists “objectively” as a component of mammalian/primate/hominid biology*.

    Dodge!

    From this perspective, it’s “objective” to the individual. However, that “objective” “morality” would cease to exist if all mammals/primates/hominids/whatever were wiped out, making it “subjective”. It all depends on which perspective you look at it from or how you define “objective”/”subjective”.

    That isn't what we discussed. And you didn't define the source of morality that way. But I'll humor you and let us assume that it's true. How do you explain why Hitler was wrong? He and the Nazis had a social contract. Why were we right to break it? Weren't they trapped by their biology? If we are all human then why do we know it's wrong to put people into crematoriums? Would you try to argue that some people are more moral than others due to biology? Sounds like if you really think that song and dance works you have to.

    I don’t agree with Harris that morality is universal to all things with consciousness, but he makes some good argument that it is. I think Kagan however is right on the money as his view of morality most closely matches what we actually observe in reality.

    So you disagree, but you think Harris made good arguments that you are wrong. Sounds like Pride. Kagan argued morality based on a social contract and Harris argued that biology was the source. Neither closely resembles reality.

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  23. I've said all I am going to say about that distraction.

    So prideful.

    Dodge!

    Nope, just your inability to distinguish nuance. But I do understand that you must, as a wannabe apologist, use the loosest possible definitions of certain words.

    How do you explain why Hitler was wrong?

    How do you explain that Hitler (and a lot of other people, even today) thought he was right? You happen to be arguing with someone who shares, for the most part, your particular version of the contract.

    If we are all human then why do we know it's wrong to put people into crematoriums?

    Remember where I stressed the importance of the word "some"?

    Harris argued that biology was the source.

    No, Harris argued that consciousness was the source. What else did you misunderstand?

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  24. How do you explain that Hitler (and a lot of other people, even today) thought he was right? You happen to be arguing with someone who shares, for the most part, your particular version of the contract.


    You didn't answer the question. You cannot. I can. Everyone is evil and deserving of hell. We all fall short of the objective moral standards of our creator. No one measures up completely.


    Remember where I stressed the importance of the word "some"?


    Exactly my point. Your answer does not fit all of reality.

    No, Harris argued that consciousness was the source. What else did you misunderstand?

    You're right, I shouldn't have written that. I made a mistake. I find it amazing that you claim that I'm not using rigorous definitions for "object" and yet you use semantics to bolster your points. I'm defining "objective" the way I have always defined it on this blog: True no matter what anyone of us thinks or feels. Now are you also willing to honestly admit that you don't have answer to the following question (asked again):

    How do you explain why Hitler was wrong?

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  25. That isn't what we discussed.

    I think where you are getting confused is that anything I would define as "objective" morality is only objective from the point of view of the individual. Ultimately though, moral truths or whatever you want to call them do only exist in our mind (or possibly a little bit in our DNA).

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  26. You still didn't answer the question.

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  27. You didn't answer the question. You cannot.

    Sure I can. He was wrong from the point of view of the social contract we (but not Hitler and a TON of other people) were imprinted with.

    I like how you have to appeal to myth to answer the question though.

    Exactly my point.

    I find you say "Exactly my point" when you clearly don't understand the point.

    I'm defining "objective" the way I have always defined it on this blog: True no matter what anyone of us thinks or feels.

    Yeah, but that the only definition.

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  28. Sure I can. He was wrong from the point of view of the social contract we (but not Hitler and a TON of other people) were imprinted with.

    I like how you have to appeal to myth to answer the question though.


    So basically he wasn't wrong and we had no right to stop him. Cute. And prove that the Bible is a myth.

    Yeah, but that the only definition.

    Huh?

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