Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Why Most Atheist Debaters Suck Compared To William Lane Craig

It is true that William Lane Craig is a very good debater, perhaps the best theist debater alive. His arguments are very organized and he hardly ever skips a beat when delivering them. Many atheists who have debated him have done quite poorly and I have complained about atheist debaters before. Many of them cannot speak clearly, they fumble, they're not organized, and most importantly, when they debate Craig, they don't do their homework. When debating Craig, you cannot rely on weak arguments which he already has refuted or given sufficient counterarguments for or else he will tear them up in the rebuttals. Many atheists, I think, underestimate Craig perhaps as another unreasonable theist who relies on simple easily refutable arguments. But when Craig debates, he does it in such a way where he kind of forces you to disprove his arguments. In other words, he tries to put the burden of proof on the atheist instead of the other way around. That's why he's such a good debater. When debating Craig you do have to refute his arguments, or better put, the arguments he presents, especially the cosmological argument.

That being said, there is no atheist WLC. There is no atheist debater who has dedicated his life and career to defending atheism. When Craig debates he does his homework. He reads material his opponent has published, he is well read and knowledgeable of most of the arguments that atheists typically use and he therefore comes to the debate prepared with counterarguments for them. Atheist debaters on the other hand who've debated Craig have almost always underestimated Craig's debating skills and arguments, despite there being a tremendous amount of knowledge freely available of Craig's arguments and opinions on the internet. 

Therefore, in the future, in order for atheism to maintain the intellectual upper hand over the absurdities of religious belief and faith, we desperately need good atheist debaters on our side who are informed, articulate, charismatic, and as determined as those who argue for god. All an atheist really needs to do is study the best arguments made by theists, and find sufficient counterarguments for them. But this doesn't come easy: in order to refute the cosmological argument, one has to posses a substantial amount of scientific knowledge that often takes years to accumulate. Craig has been studying cosmology for decades and so most philosopher atheists fail to be able to articulate cosmology as good as he can. Most atheist cosmologists also fail to debate the philosophical aspects well because science and cosmology operate very differently than philosophy does. Craig has cornered both markets pretty well even though I think his moral argument fails miserably (see posts here and here). So unless we get a person who has all those attributes I mentioned above in addition to dedicating their life for defending atheism, we will not get an atheist debater as good as WLC.

Case in point: The recent Rosenberg v. Craig debate Is Faith in God Reasonable?


  1. Craig might also have the more defensible position!

  2. If that's true you'd have to embrace evolution, since Craig accepts it!

  3. I am not disagreeing with you that WLC is a good debater but I watched him debate Christopher Hitchens on youtube (while I was still a believer) and that debate was
    a strong factor concerning my de-conversion to atheism.

    WLC got Hitch-slapped (as they say) IMO
    It could be said that WLC is a better debater by
    "doing his homework" but Hitchens was more believable
    and his appeal to reason was just...well..more appealing.

    1. Awesome. I got to meet Hitch shortly before he died after one of his debates. He's awesome in person.



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