Saturday, December 28, 2013

William Lane Craig's Christmas "Gift" To Atheists

What can I say, the man never tires in his quest to evangelize the world into the Christian faith.

In William Lane Craig's recent op-ed on, he rolls out the same 5 tired old arguments for god's existence that he's been using for decades as a "gift" to atheists. It's not like as if many atheists will be on anyway. Most of us non-believers regard Fox News and everything that it does to be a charade, exemplified by their phony annual "War on Christmas," their bending over backwards for the religious right, and their outright lies and manipulations - to name a few. I can't see how any intelligent person, atheist or not, would take Fox News as a serious news organization.

But perhaps that makes it perfect for a person like William Lane Craig. I mean after all, he's first and foremost an apologist, and an apologist is a propagandist, who must lie and distort the facts in order to make their case convincing - in a way just like Fox News! So in Craig's piece, he challenges atheists who he claims "have no good reasons for their disbelief." Um, excuse me? We have plenty of good reasons for our disbelief, and I've recently outlined some of them in my post Why I'm An Atheist. But hey, Craig was only offering us his "experience." I will at least give him some credit that there has been a failure of many public atheists in communicating arguments for atheism properly. This is something atheists need to improve on. But for a person obsessed with atheism, William Lane Craig should have undoubtedly heard all the arguments by now and he's been called out several times on abysmal failures to refute arguments for atheism (like his failed attempt to claim animals do not consciously suffer). I suspect he really just wants to reassure his readers (who haven't researched into the arguments for atheism) that atheists don't have any good arguments in the hope they'll just take his word for it.

Craig goes on to trot out his common 5 arguments for the Christian god - the cosmological, fine-tuning, moral, resurrection of Jesus, and witness to the holy spirit arguments. He summarizes them briefly into paragraphs but anyone familiar with his previous writings and debates will see that he uses the same language he always does. Craig is so repetitive it's nauseating. It's obvious from what he does and his influence what atheists must do in response. And that is we must continue to critique these 5 arguments for god relentlessly so that their efficacy is diluted and they cease to be taken seriously in the public eye. We must be diligent but also intelligent. If there's one thing I like more than anything else about my atheism, it's the pleasure I get from debating god and religion. That said, I don't think I need to critique Craig's summary of this arguments here because I've already addressed them elsewhere, but I will say that the witness to the holy spirit charade isn't even an argument, and should properly be called the "argument from personal credulity." That is to say, "my religion feels true to me, therefore it's true." This perhaps typifies religious belief in a nutshell: fundamentally it is all personal, emotional and subjective.

Craig ends with a whopper:

The good thing is that atheists tend to be very passionate people and want to believe in something. If they would only put aside the slogans for a moment and reexamine their worldview in light of the best philosophical, scientific, and historical evidence we have today, then they, too, would find Christmas worth celebrating!

What atheists want to know is the truth, and truth requires logical and evidential support. And no, atheism is not a slogan. We use slogans to make our points easier to understand and to make fun of your religion and god. In light of the best philosophical, scientific and historical evidence, the case doesn't look good for Christianity. It's a fallacy to think that if only atheists were better educated in these fields, they'd all somehow realize the truth of Christianity. Far from it. Given an in-depth education in philosophy, science and history, one is far less likely to believe in god and accept traditional monotheisms like Christianity. So I say yes, examine all the "evidence." Learn philosophy, science and history. It's more likely to make one an atheist, and a better atheist at that. And given the new poll about the continued decline of belief in god, that's a Christmas worth celebrating!


  1. "I suspect he really just wants to reassure his readers (who haven't researched into the arguments for atheism) that atheists don't have any good arguments in the hope they'll just take his word for it."

    Bingo. This is honestly the only way I can make sense of WLC. He seems to be a smart guy,and has had these same arguments challenged over and over. He must know the flaws in them, and yet never works to address those flaws. I think he believes his religion is true, and thinks putting on a strong front is the best way to go. Claim something is true with confidence and people will just believe it. Hell, when I was a believer this is exactly how I thought, I knew these arguments were out there, and that was good enough for me. (in my defense, I was young and lazy and there was no internet)

    1. I can't wait to see his debate with Sean Carroll. I wish I could get a hold of Carroll and sit down with him and go over Craig's arguments to make sure he doesn't let Craig squeeze his bullshit in.



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