What's your opinion on William Lane Craig?

rogersherrer
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What's your opinion on William Lane Craig?

 After watching him debate live, is it safe to say that he's the theist's best choice for apologetics? My biased views aside, I think he defeated both Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

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I'm wary that my assessment

I'm wary that my assessment may be biased, but having heard him in several debates, I think Craig offers nothing but snake oil.

  • He repeatedly hides behind semantics to shirk his burden of proof.  He insists on defining atheism as the claim that god does not exist (rather than the default position of lack of belief), then challenges his opponent to prove his "claim".  
  • One of his pet "proofs" is the kalam argument.  In the past, he has quote-mined scientists like Hawking and Guth in support of the 2nd premise, "The universe began to exist".  He's never bothered to justify how he derives a different conclusion about the existence of god than his sources -- particularly Hawking, who with his recent statement that god was not necessary for the universe to come into being.
  • Another of his "proofs" is the empty tomb and resurrection story.  Again, he drops scholarly names in support of the "historical fact" of the empty tomb, and again neglects to account for why some of those scholars (such as Gerd Lüdemann) don't share his conclusion regarding the resurrection.  He insists that a supernatural explanation trumps any natural explanation for the empty tomb.  In his debate with Richard Carrier, he unabashedly presupposed the existence of god to prove that the resurrection occurred.
  • His objective morals argument runs afoul of the Euthyphro Dilemma, although I'm not sure any of his opponents have directly taken him to task on this.   

All in all, I think Craig missed out on a promising career in the used car industry.  What exactly in the Harris & Hitchens debates did you observe that gave Craig the edge?

 

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rogersherrer wrote:...he defeated both Sam Harris and Christoph-

 Are you F<>King kiddin me, that clown couldn't argue himself out of any logical debate,and I'll bet you Chritopher Hitchens not only handed him his his ass, but he also 'Hitch Slap' him on the way down, both of these guys know what the F<>K they're talking about, also Sam Harris has a huge edge, because of his education (brain science) he has a deeper understanding, of the REASON why we see faith (no evidence) as something to be admired, and his statement about how one can not have a honest conversation with a religious person proves to me at least, that no religious person can be truthful.

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rogersherrer wrote: After

rogersherrer wrote:

 After watching him debate live, is it safe to say that he's the theist's best choice for apologetics? My biased views aside, I think he defeated both Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

He probably is the 'best' guy. But he's all style and little substance. He's very good at 'projecting', and he's a 'rapid fire' verbal gymnast. In a live debate setting of 'In one ear, and out the other' he appears to string together a flurry of 'knock down' blows, with his endless smirking and mocking tone, but when you break down the arguments, they're mostly circular reasoning, equivocations, strawmen, arguments from authority, incredulity, verbosity, etc, etc...

If you're not sharp, or do not have a recording of the debate, he might seem like he packs a wallop, but no, he's nothing but a tacky used car salesman that grandstands.

I've watched dozens of his debates, which is a pity, because he rehashes the exact same script, on a number of different topics. He cannot think on the fly. Watch his debate with Bart Erhman. Towards the end, Craig practically breaks into song, with preaching, when he doesn't have anything to counter Erhman with. It's actually embarrassing to watch...

You'll notice that every time he starts off the debate, he does his 20 minutes, going through his prepared intro on the topic of the debate, and levels a number of challenges at his opponent. Then after his opponent reads their prepared 20 minute script, he'll come back for his 15 minute rebuttal, and start off with "You'll notice my opponent didn't answer any of my challenges..."

Well fuckin' duhhhh.... of course not, you fucking tool, he's doing his 'prepared' intro on the 'topic' of the debate. The 20 minute intros are monologues, not dialogues.

He tries to get his opponent to fall into this rabbit hole. Harris is too clever, and just moves right past the trap.

Under no circumstances does he beat Sam Harris in their debate earlier this year. All Craig can do is offer a special pleading fallacy for the 'objective' bad (the worse possible suffering, for as long as possible) and the objective 'good' (which is avoiding the 'worse possible suffering, for as long as possible), that Sam Harris outlines.

Craig is arguing (his worn out routine/agenda/ad hominem) that 'atheism' (= naturalist/nihilist) 'worldview' cannot possibly arrive at an 'objective' way to determine 'right/wrong'.

Sam Harris demonstrates that what Craig alleges is a complete fallacy. Period. And he does it in the first few minutes. He wins.

The rest of the debate is merely filler, and posturing for Craig.

He's a clown.

He always starts off with "We must use logic", but his 5th 'argument' for the existence of God, is always a 'personal' experience of Jesus.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Just about every other

Just about every other statement he makes contains, or is, a logical fallacy...

He represents a good example of the triumph of eloquence over logical content.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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The whole apologetics thing

The whole apologetics thing would be so much easier for them if any of it were actually true. They use conjecture and try to play on sympathy and "personal experience". I haven't seena debate where I thought Hitchens or Harris were even close to losing. When these apologetics can come up with more facts my opinion might change. 

 

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These and all the others are

BobSpence1 wrote:

Just about every other statement he makes contains, or is, a logical fallacy...

He represents a good example of the triumph of eloquence over logical content.

 

Excellent points when it comes to WLC. He's a classic preacher and fills the air with so much assertion, so much presumption, that a sensible person collecting their thoughts against his drivel looks clumsy. I haven't heard an argument from Craig that was even faintly convincing. He specialises in fallacies of incredulity - finding himself profoundly amazed any opponent would not accept the power of his 'logic'. Surely, says he, it's the fault of our education system. Everyone's turned stupid.

His Kalam argument on another thread was an endless repetition of all the things in this universe that need a cause to have an effect, including and with unecessary detail, the ghastly moment of Craig's own conception replete with faux respect for empiricist observation of how that seedy event took place. Craig always fails to address the fact that positing laws that apply in this universe to its exo-universal cause is an assertion unsupported by any provable explanation.

The fact Craig resorts to insulting atheists as stupid for rejecting the 'philosophically sophisticated' first cause argument underscores the measure of the man. I expected more of him but after listening to half a dozen of his debates earlier I can safely say he brings nothing new to the table. Personally, I'd rather debate Paisley.

 

 

 

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To make that kind of claim

To make that kind of claim over the Kalam argument is a classic case of his total lack of any logical understanding.

Kalam, at best, 'proves' that 'something' must have started things. It says absolutely nothing about what that 'something' must necessarily be, it just ends with the naked assertion/assumption that it can only be 'God'. It is NOT logically an argument for God, just a first cause.

The very example of conception shows that whatever 'causes' something may be far smaller and less complex that what it causes, which means that the posited 'first cause' need be logically no greater than the smallest possible quantum 'twitch'. For him to fail to see how his own example actually refutes his argument is typical.

In a strict logical and mathematical sense, even an infinite sequence of 'causes' that are proportionally smaller in time and energy than their effect uses a finite amount of energy and takes a finite time, so Kalam is totally dependent on the fallacious assumption that a cause must be greater than its effect.

The fact that WLC embraces Kalam proves he has no understanding of his subject.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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AE,I very much agree with

AE,

I very much agree with your observation than he frequently resorts to an 'argument from incredulity' - I had noticed that too.

He 'cannot imagine' X. "How could there not be an absolute morality" is one that stuck in my head from an earlier YouTube debate.

I now personally am slightly amazed that anyone could take him seriously. Only slightly, mind you.

EDIT: Since his style is based almost purely on such emotional appeals, which is about all most Theists base their faith on, of course they will perceive him as 'winning' his debates.

Just another reason why such debates are ultimately worse than a waste of time in getting at the truth, which is why Dawkins refuses to engage in them.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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To answer the OP, if all

To answer the OP, if all they want is personal reassurance that they are 'right', then he is a good choice for anyone who is a believer.

If they would like their position actually honestly tested against the 'other side', then no.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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It's still not on par with

It's still not on par with the absolute stupidity of the Matt Slick TAG argument, where he cannot even comprehend the fallacy, and absolute absurdity of his proposition that "logic" is "conceptual" by it's "nature". He first anthropomorphizes 'logic', then commits the double fallacy of then proposing that it is the 'product' of an 'absolute mind' (kinda like a fart, I guess...).

Which he later will use to conclude that logic must have an 'author', and that the 'logic' is not the product of human minds (because human minds differ...lol), so it must be the product of an 'absolute' mind that is transcendent...blah, blah, blah...lol

Then, the complete non sequitur that 'we' use this logic (which has it's own nature...) to 'conceive' of 'identities' or 'reality'...

It is completely out to lunch...

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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I think of TAG as confusing

I think of TAG as confusing the 'map' with the 'territory'.

Logic is how we formally describe what appears to be the minimum requirement for coherent discussion - the Law of Identity and the Law of Non-Contradiction.

TAG asserts that since 'reality' fits our conscious description of it, ie "logic", that proves that a consciousness must exist to define it...  Huh!?

IOW, maps are the products of conscious minds to describe our environment, so since reality conforms with our maps, that means that reality must be the product of a cosmic consciousness.... D'oh.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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BobSpence1 wrote: so since

BobSpence1 wrote:

... that means that reality must be the product of a cosmic consciousness.... D'oh.

Great analogy!

Actually, I think Matt Slick argues that the 'map' is the product of the cosmic consciousness. Which means that when we 'conceptualize', we are 'conceptualizing'  the 'conceptualization' that was originally first 'conceptualized' by this transcendent brain...lol

 

I guess that means that we don't actually form our own thoughts, but are instead 'channeling' this 'conceptualization', kinda like a Vulcan Mind Meld or something...

 

That's some batshit crazy talk, right there...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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I think in dealing with all

I think in dealing with all of these folks after a recent bout with mr. metaPhysics again is that they believe that the structure and meaning of existence is derived from logic whereas we believe that we derive logic from the structure and meaning of the world. I have been crossing swords with Victor Reppert who firmed up the Argument from Reason that was espoused by C. S. Lewis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_reason

 

Again to defend theism he must state that a physically derived thought can have no reason about it and defends  reason as transcendent to existence.  These issues are only gonna be resolved in the study of consciousness, externalism vs internalism and newer theories like David Chalmers which allow for both wide and narrow rationalities as two dimensional structures of the internalist and extermist problems.

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So it seems to me the divide

So it seems to me the divide is based on whether one sees 'mentality' as primary to existence, or materiality.

I guess with a long time background in understanding complex 'physical' systems, reinforced by much experience in computer programming, I see that an exquisite mix of order and randomness/chaos as the fundamental necessary 'ground of existence'. This is manifested by the observation that the underpinnings of existence seem to be a vast number of particles of a very limited number of kinds. 'Order' seems to me to follow from there being only a very small number of categories of particle which within each category are all absolutely identical and essentially simple. 'Randomness' follows from Quantum Theory ideas, magnified by, or perhaps even originating from, the effect of a vast number of interacting identical particles.

Along with what to me is the blindingly obvious phenomenon of 'emergence', that complex structures and processes can form from simpler elements, which themselves do NOT possess the emergent attributes in some more elemental form, based on a generalization of the Darwinian algorithm. That was massively reinforced in my mind from reading Dennett's "Darwin's Dangerous Idea".

So as you may have gathered from our continuing conversations, I see no point or particular merit in discussions trying to see some more 'transcendent' or fundamental role for mentality in any form, although there could be an overlap between 'pattern'/'structure' and 'thought' as facets of some common 'quality' of reality.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology


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 Well, I like the map

 Well, I like the map analogy Bob. Except that I think it could go a bit farther.

 

Nobody seriously expects that maps are capable of describing an area to the extent that a map user might actually want or need. For example, I live in the most heavy traffic part of the country. Now there are probably five ways to get into Manhattan and a visitor to the area could be forgiven for not knowing that the apparently shortest way there is locally joked about as the longest and narrowest parking lot in America. Unless you have a pocket homunculus of the entire planet, you will take an hour longer getting there than if you picked a route that is twice as long.

 

However, with the so called logical proofs of god, one must start with the assumption that logic is itself good enough as to be all that is needed. Basically, those types of argument require the usually unspoken assumption of “Hear my words, they are automatically so good that they are all that is needed”. How about no, not really?

 

Personally, I have watched a few of those debates on youtube and they always seem to carry that implication. If memory serves, I think it was a debate with WLCraig where he opened with the assertion that the gospels are actual eyewitness accounts.

 

Well, if the logic is all that sufficient, then why go down that other road? It does not make the logical case any stronger. Well except that the logical case will also automatically have the Pascal's wager failure in that it does not inform us as to which flavor of god one is on about. You need to make a separate pleading for that. Um if that gospel based pleading is sufficient then the TAG or OA pleading would not be needed.

 

Pretty much in order to accept the whole package, you have to accept the parts of the package but the parts are never sufficient as individual entities so the whole package can never be sufficient.

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     (I hope the video

 (I hope the video will display correctly, old or new code. What I see is the youtube video in writing box but no video at all in the preview above.)

Since the video doesn't show, I have  a question. What is the most important when debating a Christian apologist? Is it Bible knowledge, historical evidence for Jesus, knowledge of logical fallacies, or something else? Usually I can spot when something doesn't feel right about an argument. Usually I can put it into words. (which is IMO the most fun and challenging part of a debate) But it's diffcult to do on the fly and I often find out perfect replies and arguments when it's too late. 
The problem also is, I think, that average Christians are not apologetics, they never thought of their faith or alternatives to it. They (young ones, mainly) sometimes do not have firmly defined articles of faith, so they don't make any claims that could be debated, they just sing along with the crowd.

Is debating an apologist different? I don't mean a professional TV-grade apologetics, but apologetics nonetheless. Need to be  prepared.

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BobSpence1 wrote:To make

BobSpence1 wrote:

To make that kind of claim over the Kalam argument is a classic case of his total lack of any logical understanding.

Kalam, at best, 'proves' that 'something' must have started things. It says absolutely nothing about what that 'something' must necessarily be, it just ends with the naked assertion/assumption that it can only be 'God'. It is NOT logically an argument for God, just a first cause.

The very example of conception shows that whatever 'causes' something may be far smaller and less complex that what it causes, which means that the posited 'first cause' need be logically no greater than the smallest possible quantum 'twitch'. For him to fail to see how his own example actually refutes his argument is typical.

In a strict logical and mathematical sense, even an infinite sequence of 'causes' that are proportionally smaller in time and energy than their effect uses a finite amount of energy and takes a finite time, so Kalam is totally dependent on the fallacious assumption that a cause must be greater than its effect.

The fact that WLC embraces Kalam proves he has no understanding of his subject.

Hey Bob,

I need a couple of real world examples of smaller simplier things causing larger more complex things that every reasonable person, religious or not, could agree to.  As Curly of the three stooges said "I am trying to think but nothing is happening".

The only thing that has come to mind is an atomic bomb, but I don't think it is a good example.

 EDIT: thought of another perhaps better example after reading some of other posts. Computers are binary 1 or 0 and yet something so simple has produced some amazing stuff.

A biological example might be better still.

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Yep

 

TGBaker wrote:

Again to defend theism he must state that a physically derived thought can have no reason about it and defends  reason as transcendent to existence.  These issues are only gonna be resolved in the study of consciousness, externalism vs internalism and newer theories like David Chalmers which allow for both wide and narrow rationalities as two dimensional structures of the internalist and extermist problems.

 

Neurology is the future of this part of the debate. Of course, I can't believe the imaginary won't still appeal to the children of god once they find their brains made them do it. 

To my mind, arguments like Kalam, ontology, epistemology, are all fundamentally appeals to complexity. I especially dislike this: "If knowledge, then god".  

And this. How much does the number 7 weigh? Because we all know that human mental concepts are divine, don't we...

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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 Well, the video is showing

 Well, the video is showing fine for me.

 

To answer your question, I think that being prepared in general and being able to size up the competition is rather important. And no, I will not bother with the professional debaters because they just move the goal posts around and then claim a technical win anyway.

 

For example, I find that young men who are obviously not fully educated tend to be easy pickings. Older more educated men less so.

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ex-minister wrote:   Hey

ex-minister wrote:

 

Hey Bob,

 

I need a couple of real world examples of smaller simplier things causing larger more complex things that every reasonable person, religious or not, could agree to. As Curly of the three stooges said "I am trying to think but nothing is happening".

 

The only thing that has come to mind is an atomic bomb, but I don't think it is a good example.

 

EDIT: thought of another perhaps better example after reading some of other posts. Computers are binary 1 or 0 and yet something so simple has produced some amazing stuff.

 

A biological example might be better still.

 

Well, a few things come to mind. But remember that when dealing with nutters, all manner of objections can potentially come up.

 

First would be an avalanche. It could be either snow or rock but one fairly small yet well placed disturbance can bring down an entire mountain side. Since people make them on purpose, it should not be too hard to find clips on youtube.

 

There is a uranium mine in western Africa which produces spent nuclear fuel (such things are very carefully checked against possible diversion of nuclear materials). The rocks are also clearly earthquake fractured so the consensus is that a couple billion years ago (back when there was enough U235 in the rocks) an earthquake hit the area and enough ground water seeped in for it to form a naturally occurring reactor. Although the YEC people don't much care for that one.

 

The digestive system of the Italian wall lizard. Apparently about 40ish years ago, a few dozen of them somehow made it to an island where they had not previously existed and they could out compete the local lizards. In that relatively short space of time, they have evolved features not found in other lizard species. The microevolution crowd will try to take credit for that one though on the grounds that they have been saying that all along.

 

For something which is less obvious but still biological, what about the simple cabbage? The ancestral form from a few thousand years ago looks quite like the standard Irish cabbage. However, because they have been carried from one place to another and isolated populations have formed, in only that much time, we now have broccoli, bok choy and brussel sprouts.

 

You mentioned computers but what about the switch that turns on the lights when you come home? There really is no fundamental difference between a wall switch and a modern processor. 0 means the voltage is below a specific threshold and 1 means the voltage is above.

 

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How about just dropping the

How about just dropping the temperature of a saturated solution of something that forms pretty crystals, like copper sulphate?

The starting solution is a disordered collection of molecules jostling around bumping into each other.

From that you can get, without any intervention, a set of perfectly ordered precisely geometric shapes of solid crystals.

It is amusing that one of the best of examples of simpler structures giving rise to a MUCH more complex being, which even has powers of conscious thought, is our own conception. The sperm and ova are single cells, and they can ultimately form us. That is a massive increase in complexity, and it happens all the time.

The standard abstract example is the Mandelbrot Set, where repeated application of very simple mathematical expressions can define a literally infinitely complex structured pattern.

How about a warm ocean below a humid atmosphere, which with a minor provocation will generate a hurricane?

Damn you AiG, I was going to mention avalanches...

 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

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Snowflakes.The permutations

Snowflakes.

The permutations and combinations of geometry are astounding.

Theists, especially average theists (IME) are very, very ignorant about science and technology. There are all kinds of areas in physics that show incredible complexity and modulation from simple physics, and demonstrate how things form 'naturally'.

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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 Thanks Bob & AIG. Some of

 Thanks Bob & AIG. Some of those I need to investigate.

 

I have been mulling over some thoughts about grand scale evolution. I can comprehend so called micro-evolution. I can see small steps from one characteristic to the other like I can envision a trip to the grocery store. I can see myself getting in the car and can track the things I would see before I get there (change over time ).  I can see myself in the store and my return. I have done it enough times and it doesn't require much memory.

However, to track a long distance trip even after I have gone to the destination is difficult  using my imagination and seeing all the points of my trip. I can only see bits and pieces. This happens when I try to imagine all the necessary steps from say Pakicetus to the modern whale, even using youtube videos. So much of the trip just has to drop away. I think even if it would be possible to have every fossil in line I would just weary of the trip. Part of me because of the length of the trip says it is impossible and how could they know. How can they say this is truly the ancestor? (any help there would be appreciated). But when I go back to my trip example, I see that my human imagination is simply limited and that alone is not reason to say it did not happen. I see why the argument from incredulity is so tempting. 

I have been using my imagination lately for this. Even when I look at human I just imagine their primate qualities. 

 

EDIT: After reading your examples I think the explosion of an atomic bomb is legit now.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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ex-minister wrote: Thanks

ex-minister wrote:

 Thanks Bob & AIG. Some of those I need to investigate.

 

I have been mulling over some thoughts about grand scale evolution. I can comprehend so called micro-evolution. I can see small steps from one characteristic to the other like I can envision a trip to the grocery store. I can see myself getting in the car and can track the things I would see before I get there (change over time ).  I can see myself in the store and my return. I have done it enough times and it doesn't require much memory.

However, to track a long distance trip even after I have gone to the destination is difficult  using my imagination and seeing all the points of my trip. I can only see bits and pieces. This happens when I try to imagine all the necessary steps from say Pakicetus to the modern whale, even using youtube videos. So much of the trip just has to drop away. I think even if it would be possible to have every fossil in line I would just weary of the trip. Part of me because of the length of the trip says it is impossible and how could they know. How can they say this is truly the ancestor? (any help there would be appreciated). But when I go back to my trip example, I see that my human imagination is simply limited and that alone is not reason to say it did not happen. I see why the argument from incredulity is so tempting. 

I have been using my imagination lately for this. Even when I look at human I just imagine their primate qualities. 

 

EDIT: After reading your examples I think the explosion of an atomic bomb is legit now.

 

It is true that humans' ability to imagine very large concepts is limited.  It is impossible to imagine infinity, or geological - let alone cosmological - timescales.  The scientists who work in those fields probably don't see every step along the way either.  Most likely, like you, they envision the parts they are focusing on for their research at the moment.  Sort of like remembering the rest stops and points of interest on your trip.

We once lived in Ritzville, WA and drove to Spokane at least once a month for the 3 years we lived there.  It is only 60 miles so we made the trip to visit relatives and go shopping.  I can not remember the road in one continuous sequence.  Like you said, I remember a bit here, and another there.  The places that stood out as land marks.  And I don't remember those landmarks in the order I would see them if one were driving along that road. 

So of course, you have problems envisioning the much longer journey of life's evolution.  Have you read Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Donald R. Prothero?  He is a working paleontologist whose specialty is ruminants in North America.  But his book is an overview of evolution as demonstrated by the fossil record - including humans.  Many of the fossils studied by scientists are not easily viewed by the public.  And his book is no where near large enough to show all the fossils in laboratories or in storage in some museum basement.  He shows enough sequential fossils to demonstrate speciation for an number of species, including humans.  Check it out, it might help to conceptualize how evolution works.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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 I did buy the

 I did buy the book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Donald R. Prothero and probably from a reference by you along the way. Will put it on top of my stack of books. So much to learn so little time.

Thanks

 

 

 

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Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

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ex-minister wrote: I did

ex-minister wrote:

 I did buy the book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Donald R. Prothero and probably from a reference by you along the way. Will put it on top of my stack of books. So much to learn so little time.

Thanks

 

I know, I recommend it a lot.  It is fairly recent, easy to read and written by someone who is a real expert.  And I know all about getting something done "in your spare time" as a boss of mine used to say. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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 First let me say that I

 First let me say that I debated in the state championship my senior year in high school for Lincoln-Douglas Debate and went on to debate at Missouri Southern for 4 more years. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn or brag, so please do not take it that way. The reason I say this is because I live and breathe debate, it is my passion. With that said, having studied Craig's debates multiple times, I can say with ease that he is one of the better debaters I've ever seen on the topic of religion. While I have realized that his opening arguments have become pretty redundant in terms of "is there a God?", I do not blame him at all. During some months of debating in high school and college, we were encouraged to use the same recycled material because in the end it answered the same question as it did the previous tournament. From a pure forensics standpoint, Craig defeated both Hitchens and Harris. His contentions are always perfectly stated, and his style of debating is very hard to counter. I'm not saying he's right, that doesn't necessarily mean he didn't win in the eyes of those watching. There were times where I had to debate that slavery was completely moral, and even though I was dead wrong, I still won the debate. 

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rogersherrer wrote: First

rogersherrer wrote:

 First let me say that I debated in the state championship my senior year in high school for Lincoln-Douglas Debate and went on to debate at Missouri Southern for 4 more years. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn or brag, so please do not take it that way. The reason I say this is because I live and breathe debate, it is my passion. With that said, having studied Craig's debates multiple times, I can say with ease that he is one of the better debaters I've ever seen on the topic of religion. While I have realized that his opening arguments have become pretty redundant in terms of "is there a God?", I do not blame him at all. During some months of debating in high school and college, we were encouraged to use the same recycled material because in the end it answered the same question as it did the previous tournament. From a pure forensics standpoint, Craig defeated both Hitchens and Harris. His contentions are always perfectly stated, and his style of debating is very hard to counter. I'm not saying he's right, that doesn't necessarily mean he didn't win in the eyes of those watching. There were times where I had to debate that slavery was completely moral, and even though I was dead wrong, I still won the debate. 

And that is the problem with debate. It is based upon methodology rather than the discussion and weighing of facts.  It is simple trial by combat but in a verbal arena.


 

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I guess it depends

 

 

on what winning means in this context. If you just blab away without any basis for your arguments then perhaps Craig looks better or more confident in terms of his position but obviously belief does not make for certainty in terms of truth and most of WLC's points are either banal, from complexity or unprovable. It would be very difficult to debate some one on say, the truth of evolution, given the complexity of the subject matter.

Christianity definitely lends itself to the debate format, given it asserts that all we cannot know somehow forms positive proof for the existence of a being the nature and mechanism of which we can never know. I find this diverting given the theist insistence on viable empirical proofs in this universe for things like evolution and the ignition of life.

The alternative viewpoint relying on testable explanation is complex and always remains unfinished. When your opponent simply asserts an incomplete scientific proof is a fail and claims creation or first cause happened by magic, then your struggles to express the biochemical fundamentals of the first RNA threads which may have led to abiogenesis within a few-minute debate time frame are going to come off looking very poor indeed. 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


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Atheistextremist wrote: on

Atheistextremist wrote:

on what winning means in this context. If you just blab away without any basis for your arguments then perhaps Craig looks better or more confident in terms of his position but obviously belief does not make for certainty in terms of truth and most of WLC's points are either banal, from complexity or unprovable. It would be very difficult to debate some one on say, the truth of evolution, given the complexity of the subject matter.

Christianity definitely lends itself to the debate format, given it asserts that all we cannot know somehow forms positive proof for the existence of a being the nature and mechanism of which we can never know. I find this diverting given the theist insistence on viable empirical proofs in this universe for things like evolution and the ignition of life.

The alternative viewpoint relying on testable explanation is complex and always remains unfinished. When your opponent simply asserts an incomplete scientific proof is a fail and claims creation or first cause happened by magic, then your struggles to express the biochemical fundamentals of the first RNA threads which may have led to abiogenesis within a few-minute debate time frame are going to come off looking very poor indeed. 

 

Ah, I believe you have hit on it.

I am reading The invisible gorilla and other ways our intuitions deceive us  by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons.  The authors discuss the illusion of confidence.  The person who is perceived as being the most confident is usually seen as the person with the right answers.  The experiment was to give people a short quiz.  They were then asked to rate their confidence in their answers.  They were then split up into groups with people of similar confidence levels.  So the most confident were put together and the least confident were put together.  And again, given a quiz and then asked about their confidence in their answers.

1. Those who were most confident in their answers were able to persuade the rest of the group that their answer was the correct one.  Even if they were wrong and someone else in the group - who was less confident - was correct.

2. Those who were most confident in their answers were most likely to be incorrect.  That's right, the more confident you were, the more wrong you were.  The theory is that the people with more knowledge were more aware of all they didn't know and so were less confident.

3. As people gained in ability - they did some training - they became correct more often, but less confident.  In other words, as you become better trained/educated, you become better able to answer the questions or perform the task.  And so your level of confidence approaches your actual level of competence. (Not sure this paragraph makes sense.  It is the really counter intuitive part of the experiment.)

All of which leads us into problems in groups.  People - seemingly hard wired - are more likely to follow a confident leader.  Who often is less competent than someone who really knows what they are doing.  So your average preacher - especially the fundamentalist types - is very confident in what they are saying is true and right.  And even if they are not confident in actuality, they are very good at projecting a confidence that can sway their congregation - otherwise, no rustle of folding money in the collection plates.

And that is what we are arguing with here.  People who follow the confident preacher - regardless of the confident person's competence - and are literally unable to see that the preacher is full of it.

I am in the middle of the book - I have to hurry up and get it back to the library - so I don't know if there is a discussion of those who don't and won't follow the leader.  I suck at that particular skill.  Most of us here at RRS seem to be very strong in holding our own ideas and beliefs in spite of societal/familial pressure.  How confident are we?  I know I am usually so not confident about my thoughts that I often look up information many times while composing a post.  What else is different about us?

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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rogersherrer wrote: First

rogersherrer wrote:
First let me say that I debated in the state championship my senior year in high school for Lincoln-Douglas Debate and went on to debate at Missouri Southern for 4 more years. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn or brag, so please do not take it that way.

Actually, you are saying it to brag.

Unfortunately, none of that will make you the Mike Tyson of debate. Not on this forum, at least.

I debated in high school and college as well, albeit with some differences in that elementary school and high school I took in were in my second language, and simply as a challenge I made a point to take college in a third language.

I could bore you with more personal details, but I'll stop there just to make the point that I'm just 1 of many people on this forum who are not impressed in the slightest with your background...

rogersherrer wrote:
The reason I say this is because I live and breathe debate, it is my passion.

Any time you want to test your mettle, let me be the first to know.

rogersherrer wrote:
With that said, having studied Craig's debates multiple times, I can say with ease that he is one of the better debaters I've ever seen on the topic of religion.

That's like saying McDonald's is one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world...

rogersherrer wrote:
From a pure forensics standpoint, Craig defeated both Hitchens and Harris.

I already stated that Harris succeeded in proving Craig wrong, in the first few minutes.

rogersherrer wrote:
His contentions are always perfectly stated, and his style of debating is very hard to counter.

lol...no.

Afraid not.

You're welcome to try and be William Lane Craig for a day, here, and defend his positions.

rogersherrer wrote:
There were times where I had to debate that slavery was completely moral, and even though I was dead wrong, I still won the debate. 

The you concede that debates are often a lot like wine tasting competitions to the general public...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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You entirely back up our

You entirely back up our position that such debates have nothing to do with the 'truth' of either side, in your claim that

"There were times where I had to debate that slavery was completely moral, and even though I was dead wrong, I still won the debate. ".

Thank you very much.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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What cj has written shows

What cj has written shows the sad state of affairs in politics and why we can feel so slimmed post-election.

I feel I am different than those who go with the most confident. I do doubt and check what I say and write. That is why I had to leave the ministry and church. I am not good at keeping up a facade. I did feel there was something very wrong with me. Now I am happy because I realize the game I played is done by fundies. I see their cracks and know that they have no more knowledge than I do.

I don't mind being wrong anymore. I like to see new ways of looking at life. When you are like that eventually you have to leave religion.

"I am not closed-minded. I am a christian" lol

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Basically people like

Basically people like William Lane Craig believe that mental things like logic , consciousness and mathematics are primary and cause the physical world. They must do so to believe in a transcendent being.  While many of us who are atheists believe that mental things like  consciousness, logic, reason and mathematics are abstracted from the physical world as a brain process and stored as a mapping or metaphor of experience.   Craig ultimately will admit the best evidence is of the "heart".  It is the conviction of the spirit and not evidence which is the final proof. Since these are really two separate languages discussion is pointless apart from trying to deconstruct his presuppositions prior to any argument about a topic in which this belief is an underpinning.

 

Secondly debate only has a purpose to me when I have certainty of the facts and they conflict with those like Craig. Then it is an intentional attack upon the other's presentation since it is certainly WRONG.

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redneF wrote:rogersherrer

redneF wrote:

rogersherrer wrote:

 After watching him debate live, is it safe to say that he's the theist's best choice for apologetics? My biased views aside, I think he defeated both Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens.

He probably is the 'best' guy. But he's all style and little substance. He's very good at 'projecting', and he's a 'rapid fire' verbal gymnast. In a live debate setting of 'In one ear, and out the other' he appears to string together a flurry of 'knock down' blows, with his endless smirking and mocking tone, but when you break down the arguments, they're mostly circular reasoning, equivocations, strawmen, arguments from authority, incredulity, verbosity, etc, etc...

If you're not sharp, or do not have a recording of the debate, he might seem like he packs a wallop, but no, he's nothing but a tacky used car salesman that grandstands.

I've watched dozens of his debates, which is a pity, because he rehashes the exact same script, on a number of different topics. He cannot think on the fly. Watch his debate with Bart Erhman. Towards the end, Craig practically breaks into song, with preaching, when he doesn't have anything to counter Erhman with. It's actually embarrassing to watch...

You'll notice that every time he starts off the debate, he does his 20 minutes, going through his prepared intro on the topic of the debate, and levels a number of challenges at his opponent. Then after his opponent reads their prepared 20 minute script, he'll come back for his 15 minute rebuttal, and start off with "You'll notice my opponent didn't answer any of my challenges..."

Well fuckin' duhhhh.... of course not, you fucking tool, he's doing his 'prepared' intro on the 'topic' of the debate. The 20 minute intros are monologues, not dialogues.

He tries to get his opponent to fall into this rabbit hole. Harris is too clever, and just moves right past the trap.

Under no circumstances does he beat Sam Harris in their debate earlier this year. All Craig can do is offer a special pleading fallacy for the 'objective' bad (the worse possible suffering, for as long as possible) and the objective 'good' (which is avoiding the 'worse possible suffering, for as long as possible), that Sam Harris outlines.

Craig is arguing (his worn out routine/agenda/ad hominem) that 'atheism' (= naturalist/nihilist) 'worldview' cannot possibly arrive at an 'objective' way to determine 'right/wrong'.

Sam Harris demonstrates that what Craig alleges is a complete fallacy. Period. And he does it in the first few minutes. He wins.

The rest of the debate is merely filler, and posturing for Craig.

He's a clown.

He always starts off with "We must use logic", but his 5th 'argument' for the existence of God, is always a 'personal' experience of Jesus.

Good assessment rednef, I agree 100% thought I haven't watched as many debates, the few I had make me feel like I'm overpaying for a lemon.  He is a good public speaker, and don't forget, this is his job to refute atheism, he lives, breathes and shits this day in day out.  The guys he debates are rationalists, with dayjobs.  If they had the time to break down his arguments the fallacies are obvious, but in a live debate it is difficult to cut through the BS that Lain Craig and others like him spin out. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Ktulu wrote:Good assessment

Ktulu wrote:

Good assessment rednef, I agree 100% thought I haven't watched as many debates, the few I had make me feel like I'm overpaying for a lemon.  He is a good public speaker, and don't forget, this is his job to refute atheism, he lives, breathes and shits this day in day out.  The guys he debates are rationalists, with dayjobs.  If they had the time to break down his arguments the fallacies are obvious, but in a live debate it is difficult to cut through the BS that Lain Craig and others like him spin out. 

Thanks, KT.

The problem with any attempt at a proof for a deity, is that you've already put the cart before the horse.

You'd have to prove there is an afterlife and/or a 'soul' or 'spirit'. Attempting to assert an afterlife and a soul because there is a deity, is circular reasoning, and is patently stupid.

Ipso facto, William Lane Craig (and any other apologists) are patently stupid, in the same way that Deepak Chopra is. They just don't know WTF they're talking about.

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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 redneF

 

redneF wrote:

Snowflakes.

The permutations and combinations of geometry are astounding.

Theists, especially average theists (IME) are very, very ignorant about science and technology. There are all kinds of areas in physics that show incredible complexity and modulation from simple physics, and demonstrate how things form 'naturally'.

It's amazing. 

I wonder though, this reminds me of the Implicate order theory formulated by David Bohm. Both are very similar to what esotericists call the Seventh ray. 

This got me thinking, is it possible to suggest a single natural force or aspect of a force, that can produce this order out of chaos, on all levels regardless of size? I don't mean a god, but something like electro-magnetism, etc. Or is the fractal structure of everything in the universe just a coincidence, created by interplay of various unrelated factors? That would be a big coincidence. Is there an unified cause of why organized structure of matter and galactic clusters is so similar?

Perhaps the simpliest (but my least favorite) guess is, that all the basic forces are attractive and that any reasonable combination of attraction and repulsion will somehow organize the matter.

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Luminon wrote: redneF

Luminon wrote:

 

redneF wrote:

Snowflakes.

The permutations and combinations of geometry are astounding.

Theists, especially average theists (IME) are very, very ignorant about science and technology. There are all kinds of areas in physics that show incredible complexity and modulation from simple physics, and demonstrate how things form 'naturally'.

It's amazing. 

I wonder though, this reminds me of the Implicate order theory formulated by David Bohm. Both are very similar to what esotericists call the Seventh ray. 

This got me thinking, is it possible to suggest a single natural force or aspect of a force, that can produce this order out of chaos, on all levels regardless of size? I don't mean a god, but something like electro-magnetism, etc. Or is the fractal structure of everything in the universe just a coincidence, created by interplay of various unrelated factors? That would be a big coincidence. Is there an unified cause of why organized structure of matter and galactic clusters is so similar?

Perhaps the simpliest (but my least favorite) guess is, that all the basic forces are attractive and that any reasonable combination of attraction and repulsion will somehow organize the matter.

Well Bohm's physics would make for a panentheism. He hung with Krishnamirti for while. I have a video interview of them togehter. Of course the implications is a panpsychism as to why observation actualizes a potentiality field or collapses a wave function.


 

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 I'm sorry you see it that

 I'm sorry you see it that way good sir, and I hope to prove otherwise. As for "testing my mettle", bring it on my friend. I always love a good debate! I'm studying for my teaching degree at the moment to hopefully teach it at a high school level, I never turn down a good discussion. 

 

-RS

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rogersherrer wrote: I'm

rogersherrer wrote:
I'm sorry you see it that way good sir, and I hope to prove otherwise. As for "testing my mettle", bring it on my friend. I always love a good debate! 

Ok.

I'd like to point out the non sequitur of your claim:

rogersherrer wrote:
His contentions are always perfectly stated, and his style of debating is very hard to counter.

Would you like to play WLC for a day? Or attempt to prop the soundness and invincibility of his arguments?

I don't think you can make even a weak case, let alone a strong one.

 

rogersherrer wrote:
I'm studying for my teaching degree at the moment to hopefully teach it at a high school level... 

Is that the most you can accomplish with your intellect? Maybe you've never heard the axiom that "Those who can, do....and those who can't, teach"

 

If you're going to study philosophy, I'll just give you a heads up that along with your degree they also give you a T shirt that says "Would you like fries with that?" to aid in your search for employment...

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

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well I'm glad you have such

well I'm glad you have such strong hope in today's teaching and education! I'm not doing it because I can't, but because it's what I want to do. If you would like a debate, as I said before, I will be more than happy to do so. I'm not sure why you are being so sinister to me, disagreeing doesn't always have to come off as snarky and rude. I very much admire William Lane Craig, and if you would like me to play the role as him for a day as you say, then I would be honored.

 

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rogersherrer wrote:well I'm

rogersherrer wrote:

well I'm glad you have such strong hope in today's teaching and education! I'm not doing it because I can't, but because it's what I want to do. If you would like a debate, as I said before, I will be more than happy to do so. I'm not sure why you are being so sinister to me, disagreeing doesn't always have to come off as snarky and rude. I very much admire William Lane Craig, and if you would like me to play the role as him for a day as you say, then I would be honored.

Perfect.

 I'll start a thread titled 'redneF vs rogersherrer 1 on 1' in this same forum.

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


Ktulu
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rogersherrer wrote: I'm

rogersherrer wrote:

 I'm sorry you see it that way good sir, and I hope to prove otherwise. As for "testing my mettle", bring it on my friend. I always love a good debate! I'm studying for my teaching degree at the moment to hopefully teach it at a high school level, I never turn down a good discussion. 

 

-RS

Good luck with your degree.  We've had a recent encounter with a certain Mr. Metaphysical what kept taunting us to call Matt Slick and debate him live.  Supposedly this individual eats atheist for lunch in a live debate, which aside from it being not true, it doesn't have any relevance.  When pondering deep philosophical questions a simple shoot from the hip debate can only confuse the matter further.  Winning or losing depends on how informed the audience is, and how many logical fallacies you can get away with.  The problem with arguments such as TAG and to some extent certain versions of OA, is that they are designed to be confusing and the logical fallacies are difficult to spot.  If one were to encounter TAG for the first time during a live debate, it would be extremely difficult to counter.  

The point is, it is completely intellectually dishonest.  The fact that you win the debate is completely irrelevant.  An audience with knowledge of the argument may admire your style of sophistry, but really, if that's all you care to accomplish during a debate, convince someone that you're correct, even when you are not, you should be a defense lawyer or a preacher instead.  If you care about the truth and facts, you should have the ability to admit that you are wrong, rather then polish a turd and try and pass it off as fact.  Playing devil's advocate is a good exercise for honing your skills, so that when it really matters you may have the ability to spot the BS.  It is not an exercise so that you have the ability to sell BS.  I'm surprised you see nothing wrong with that.

Debating is not my strong suit, but if you care to give it a roll, I will do a 1 on 1 with you, if anything perhaps I can learn a thing or two.

Name your topic and position, we should also genuinely disagree, I have no desire for trivial exercises. 

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Offer still stands for a

Offer still stands for a debate, you pick the topic.


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Ktulu wrote:Offer still

Ktulu wrote:

Offer still stands for a debate, you pick the topic.

absolutely, is it alright with you if we give it a few days? I've got a lot on my plate this week but would be honored to get the ball rolling before the week is over. Let me know!

 

-RS

"Part of the broader task of Christian scholarship is to help create and sustain a cultural milieu in which the gospel can be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women."
-~William Lane Craig~-


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rogersherrer wrote:Ktulu

rogersherrer wrote:

Ktulu wrote:

Offer still stands for a debate, you pick the topic.

absolutely, is it alright with you if we give it a few days? I've got a lot on my plate this week but would be honored to get the ball rolling before the week is over. Let me know!

 

-RS

No rush at all Smiling , I prefer a relaxed environment and I also have quite a bit on my plate this week.  Whenever you are ready.

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


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Here's a pro religion

Here's a pro religion article that gives an overview of some of the tactics by WLC to 'set the stage'...lol

They understand the game he's playing.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/4486/debating_god:_atheist_and_evangelical_face_off_at_notre_dame

 

 

 

 

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


rogersherrer
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redneF wrote:Here's a pro

redneF wrote:

Here's a pro religion article that gives an overview of some of the tactics by WLC to 'set the stage'...lol

They understand the game he's playing.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/4486/debating_god:_atheist_and_evangelical_face_off_at_notre_dame

 

 

 

 

 

I read this awhile back on Sam Harris's "response" to the Notre Dame debate. Being that Craig is usually arguing FOR the existence of God or something similar ( "Is God good?" ), it only makes sense that he gets the ball rolling. This also gives the skeptic the final word which makes it pretty fair in my opinion. While I have seen religious debates where the skeptic goes first (Hitchens vs. McGrath for example), I don't think Craig's request is too outrageous or unfair. His suggestion of the topic seemed more of an advantage to Harris, since his latest book "The Moral Landscape" seemed to be a big part in it. All in all it was a terrific debate that exceeded any of Craig's previous debates in my personal opinion. Now if only Dawkins will put on his big boy pants and accept a debate...

"Part of the broader task of Christian scholarship is to help create and sustain a cultural milieu in which the gospel can be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women."
-~William Lane Craig~-


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 So when you say that WLC

 So when you say that WLC going first meant something was fair, were you thinking that theists should always be in a position to set the tone and direction to a debate? How about a coin flip for that? That seems fair too. Both people can take whatever they need to prepare for the debate but they have to wait for the actual moment when the moderator flips the coin to see who goes first. Hey! That works for the NFL.

 

Also, you get a theist tag. I don't much care that you are a huge Buckethead fan. I wish that I could play like him.

NoMoreCrazyPeople wrote:
Never ever did I say enything about free, I said "free."

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rogersherrer wrote:redneF

rogersherrer wrote:

redneF wrote:

Here's a pro religion article that gives an overview of some of the tactics by WLC to 'set the stage'...lol

They understand the game he's playing.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/4486/debating_god:_atheist_and_evangelical_face_off_at_notre_dame

 

 

 

 

 

I read this awhile back on Sam Harris's "response" to the Notre Dame debate. Being that Craig is usually arguing FOR the existence of God or something similar ( "Is God good?" ), it only makes sense that he gets the ball rolling. This also gives the skeptic the final word which makes it pretty fair in my opinion. While I have seen religious debates where the skeptic goes first (Hitchens vs. McGrath for example), I don't think Craig's request is too outrageous or unfair. His suggestion of the topic seemed more of an advantage to Harris, since his latest book "The Moral Landscape" seemed to be a big part in it. All in all it was a terrific debate that exceeded any of Craig's previous debates in my personal opinion. Now if only Dawkins will put on his big boy pants and accept a debate...

I can give you two reason why this won't happen.

1. Nothing in it for Dawkins.

2. Craig has already admitted that no evidence can trump his "personal testimony of the holy spirit".

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin