William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

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William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#1  Postby Shrunk » Dec 11, 2011 12:54 pm

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This post is inspired by this thread as well as several other mentions here and in other media accusing Richard Dawkins of cowardice for refusing invitations from Christian aplologist William Lane Craig's invitation to a public debate. While to my knowledge Craig himself has not gone so far as to so accuse Dawkins himself, he has continued to attempt to pressure Dawkins to reverse his decision and implied that Dawkins is somehow obliged to agree to a debate in statements such as the one included in this video. Craig has even taken to putting an empty chair on stage at at least one of his appearances to represent Dawkins' absence.

Well, it should be mentioned that Dawkins is not the only one to refuse a invitation to a debate. When the previous Richard Dawkins Foundation forum was still active, I invited Dr. Craig via email to join the board to respond to the many criticisms of his argument that were made there. I received a prompt and polite reply from a spokesman explaining that Dr. Craig does not debate on internet groups. Which seemed fair enough, and I let the matter drop at that.

However, it seems that by Craig's own example that was not the correct response on my part. Rather, Craig seems to see such a refusal as an act of cowardice, and that anyone who refuses an invitation to a debate should be publicly hounded and shamed, even for years, until they relent and agree to the debate.

So, following Craig's own example, I want this thread to act as an open invitation to William Lane Craig to reverse his previous position and agree to debate the members of this board about his views on God and religion. This thread will remain as a reminder of his refusal to defend his views in an open forum. And the above image will stand as a visual symbol of his refusal.

I will retract this post if Craig either accepts my invitation, or alternatively publicly announces that he accepts Dawkins' declining his invitation to debate and will not pursue the matter any further.
Last edited by Shrunk on Dec 11, 2011 11:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#2  Postby Animavore » Dec 11, 2011 12:58 pm

I'm sure Craig is deeply worried :roll:





:ask:



Oh wait! :tehe:
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#3  Postby Tinker Grey » Dec 11, 2011 4:05 pm

Perhaps, just to eliminate excuses, you should renew the invitation.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#4  Postby Mick » Dec 11, 2011 8:20 pm

Shrunk wrote:However, it seems that by Craig's own example that was not the correct response on my part. Rather, Craig seems to see such a refusal as an act of cowardice, and that[b] anyone [/b]who refuses an invitation to a debate should be publicly hounded and shamed, even for years, until they relent and agree to the debate.



Emp mine. Anyone?

This is a keystone idea in your post, though Craig does not say this at all. Nowhere will you find this, or anything like it, within his writings or statements.

There's a lot of pressure on Dawkins to debate Craig. The motivating sentiment behind this pressure is this: People want to see Dawkins put his money where his mouth is by debating one of Christianity's most skilled debaters, Craig. If Dawkins avoids engagement with Christianity's finest, and instead blithely parades the "delusion" of Christians on an international basis, then I would call that intellectual cowardice. If Christianity is so intellectually bankrupt, then he needs to tackle our best to show it.

Now consider your scenario: You are calling on Craig. Yet, Craig rountinely debates far better atheologicans than any common poster here. Indeed, he publicly debates intellectual atheism on an international basis. He also debates them within the scholarly journals. Understanding this, where's the shame of him not debating the likes of this forum? Where's the cowardice? It's hilarious to think that he's being cowardly despite the fact that he rountinely faces bigger challenges.

Comedy.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#5  Postby mindhack » Dec 11, 2011 8:33 pm

I've seen just a few of his so called "debates", but I think I remember noticing how he always starts a debate - sets up the stage - and then throws in so many vague falsehoods that a decent rebuttal is impossible.

In any case, his debate style had more to do with obfuscation any point, then demonstrating clearly a single point.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#6  Postby GakuseiDon » Dec 11, 2011 9:39 pm

Shrunk wrote:This post is inspired by this thread as well as several other mentions here and in other media regarding Christian apologist William Lane Craig's claim that Richard Dawkins has refused Craig's invitation to a public debate because of cowardice.

Where does William Lane Craig claim that Richard Dawkins refuses to debate Craig because of cowardice?
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#7  Postby Paul G » Dec 11, 2011 9:52 pm

Mick wrote:

Now consider your scenario: You are calling on Craig. Yet, Craig rountinely debates far better atheologicans than any common poster here. Indeed, he publicly debates intellectual atheism on an international basis. He also debates them within the scholarly journals. Understanding this, where's the shame of him not debating the likes of this forum? Where's the cowardice? It's hilarious to think that he's being cowardly despite the fact that he rountinely faces bigger challenges.

Comedy.


Now, turn that around and apply it to Richard Dawkins. Ahhhhhhh there it is! :crazy:

Not sure I've seem someone miss the point by such a wide margin before.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#8  Postby GakuseiDon » Dec 11, 2011 10:43 pm

Here is an atheist calling out Dawkins:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religio ... f-God.html

    Some of Prof Dawkins’s contemporaries are not impressed. Dr Daniel Came, a philosophy lecturer and fellow atheist, from Worcester College, Oxford, wrote to him urging him to reconsider his refusal to debate the existence of God with Prof Craig.

    In a letter to Prof Dawkins, Dr Came said: “The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part.

    “I notice that, by contrast, you are happy to discuss theological matters with television and radio presenters and other intellectual heavyweights like Pastor Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals and Pastor Keenan Roberts of the Colorado Hell House.”
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#9  Postby Paul G » Dec 11, 2011 10:48 pm

Oh no! Someone called him a coward!

Dawkins has debated plenty of Christians in the past, not all kooks, WLC is a kook and a creationist FFS.

I'd say Alistair McGraph is a better match than WLC and even he's shit. Debates. Mean. Nothing.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#10  Postby Nicko » Dec 11, 2011 10:52 pm

Mick wrote: There's a lot of pressure on Dawkins to debate Craig. The motivating sentiment behind this pressure is this: People want to see Dawkins put his money where his mouth is by debating one of Christianity's most skilled debaters, Craig. If Dawkins avoids engagement with Christianity's finest(1), and instead blithely parades the "delusion" of Christians on an international basis, then I would call that intellectual cowardice. If Christianity is so intellectually bankrupt(2), then he needs to tackle our best to show it.


If (1) is the case, then Craig's very existence demonstrates (2). Craig has publicly stated that no evidence or argument could convince him that Christianity is wrong. This makes his position fundamentally non-rational and therefore renders pointless any discussion one might attempt to have with him.

As if this were not bad enough, Craig routinely uses dishonest tactics in his oratory (note that I haven't used the term "debate" to describe what he does). Chief among these is the tactic of making multiple simple assertions that can only be addressed at length. It takes only a second for Craig to assert the existence of Christ's empty tomb. It takes a significant amount of his opponents' time to refute this claim. As the "debate" progresses, Craig's opponent simply runs out of time to address the growing mountain of unproven assertions that Craig glibly throws out as if they were accepted fact. At the end of the appointed time, there are inevitably points raised by Craig that have not been refuted. Craig at this point claims victory.

Now consider your scenario: You are calling on Craig. Yet, Craig rountinely debates far better atheologicans than any common poster here. Indeed, he publicly debates intellectual atheism on an international basis. He also debates them within the scholarly journals. Understanding this, where's the shame of him not debating the likes of this forum? Where's the cowardice? It's hilarious to think that he's being cowardly despite the fact that he rountinely faces bigger challenges.


And Dawkins regularly discusses this topic with people who at least pretend to abide by the rules of honest and rational discussion. If your objection as to why Craig should not discuss things here is valid, then surely Dawkins is allowed to use the same excuse to not debate a complete waste of oxygen like Craig?

Comedy.


Indeed. Just not in the way you think.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#11  Postby GakuseiDon » Dec 11, 2011 10:58 pm

Craig has said he has no problem with evolution as a fact, though he has doubts about "gradualism". He says he is somewhere between "progressive creationism" and theistic evolution.

Dawkins is a scientist and Craig is a philosopher. If the debate was on evolution itself, Dawkins would win. If it was on philosophy (e.g. the existence of God), Craig would win. The issue is that Dawkins has written a book that addresses philosophical concepts. It is a terrible book, shockingly naive. But Dawkins has put the book out there, wanting it to be addressed. He should debate Craig, who is one of theism's foremost proponent of a philosophical Christianity.

Craig is not committed to "theistic evolution". He has stated that it is a metaphysical position rather than a scientific one. He appears to be happy with the notion of evolution. However, he is critical of neo-Darwinism, and has made statements around that.

What would be good is to have two debates between Craig and Dawkins: one on neo-Darwinism (science), and one on the existence of God (philosophy).
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#12  Postby GakuseiDon » Dec 11, 2011 11:02 pm

Paul G wrote:Dawkins has debated plenty of Christians in the past, not all kooks, WLC is a kook and a creationist FFS.

Actually, Craig isn't a Creationist. He accepts the universe is around 14 billion years old. Also, from here:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=6711

    Once you divest yourself of the idea that the account means to narrate six consecutive, 24 hour days—and there are good reasons in the text for thinking that its author did not so intend it—, then it’s striking that the narrative says absolutely nothing about how God made the plants and animals. Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not claiming that Genesis 1 teaches evolution—that would be anachronistic—but merely that there is no inconsistency between Genesis 1 and an evolutionary theory. Augustine understood this point already 1500 years before Darwin.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#13  Postby Paul G » Dec 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Craig has said he has no problem with evolution as a fact, though he has doubts about "gradualism". He says he is somewhere between "progressive creationism" and theistic evolution.


Creationist.

Foremost or not, he is dishonest and doesn't adhere to the rules of rational debate.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#14  Postby Shrunk » Dec 11, 2011 11:40 pm

GakuseiDon wrote:
Shrunk wrote:This post is inspired by this thread as well as several other mentions here and in other media regarding Christian apologist William Lane Craig's claim that Richard Dawkins has refused Craig's invitation to a public debate because of cowardice.

Where does William Lane Craig claim that Richard Dawkins refuses to debate Craig because of cowardice?


Fair enough. That was an error on my part. I had confused him w/ others who have made that accusation. I have now edited the OP. Thanks.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#15  Postby Shrunk » Dec 12, 2011 12:04 am

Tinker Grey wrote:Perhaps, just to eliminate excuses, you should renew the invitation.


Good idea. I have sent the following to his Reasonable Faith website:

Dear Dr. Craig,

I doubt you remember me, but I sent you and email two or three years ago inviting you to join the RichardDawkins.net internet forum and take the opportunity to respond directly to criticisms that were being made there to some of your arguments. At the time, you declined the invitation saying you do not participate in internet forums. At the time, I thought this was a reasonable response and was satisfied.

However, since that time you have refused to accept what, it appears to me, is an equally reasonable refusal from Prof,. Richard Dawkins of your own invitation to debate. Despite Prof. Dawkins' having made it very clear that he is not interested in such a debate, you have continued to publicly pressure him to reverse this position, and have gone so far as to place an empty chair on stage at one of your recent appearances to symbolize his absence.

With this in mind, I want to take the opportunity to remind you of the invitation I had previously extended, and to let you know that it remains open. The Richard Dawkins forum no longer exists (It's a long story), but it has to a large extent been reconstituted at the website http://www.rationalskepticism.org, which shares a very similar format and emphasis and includes many of the same members.

In the spirit of the empty chair you have used to symbolize Richard Dawkins' refusal to debate you, I have set up virtual empty chair on the forum that symbolizes your refusal to debate the members of RationalSkepticism:

http://www.rationalskepticism.org/gener ... 27762.html

This, of course, will be withdrawn should you decide to accept my invitation.

I thank you for taking the time to read this. I ask your permission to post, in full, your reply to this email or, if you prefer, to at least to inform members of the gist of any such reply.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#16  Postby Shrunk » Dec 12, 2011 12:07 am

Mick wrote: If Dawkins avoids engagement with Christianity's finest, and instead blithely parades the "delusion" of Christians on an international basis, then I would call that intellectual cowardice.


I fail to see how Craig could be considered "Christianity's finest", since AFAIK the Biblical inerrantist, Evangelical form of Christianity which he advocates is held in disregard by most respectable Christian intellectuals.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#17  Postby GakuseiDon » Dec 12, 2011 12:10 am

Shrunk wrote:
GakuseiDon wrote:
Shrunk wrote:This post is inspired by this thread as well as several other mentions here and in other media regarding Christian apologist William Lane Craig's claim that Richard Dawkins has refused Craig's invitation to a public debate because of cowardice.

Where does William Lane Craig claim that Richard Dawkins refuses to debate Craig because of cowardice?


Fair enough. That was an error on my part. I had confused him w/ others who have made that accusation. I have now edited the OP. Thanks.

Actually, I wasn't saying that you were wrong, just that I'm unaware that Craig himself had done so. It doesn't sound like something he would say, even if he thought that. But it is probably good to be wary of claiming that Craig accused Dawkins of cowardice until an actual quote can be found.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#18  Postby Bribase » Dec 12, 2011 12:16 am

Mick Wrote:
There's a lot of pressure on Dawkins to debate Craig. The motivating sentiment behind this pressure is this: People want to see Dawkins put his money where his mouth is by debating one of Christianity's most skilled debaters, Craig. If Dawkins avoids engagement with Christianity's finest, and instead blithely parades the "delusion" of Christians on an international basis, then I would call that intellectual cowardice. If Christianity is so intellectually bankrupt, then he needs to tackle our best to show it.


The problem, I think, is that neither Dawkins nor a lot of people consider consider a debate to be "putting your money where your mouth is". His ideas are out there to be countered and have been countered by many people:

ImageImageImageImage
Image

What is so special about having Dawkins in the room when WLC is trying to refute him? Some ideas are better expressed in written form and I would contend that such complex questions as Does a god exist? And Is there design in the universe? are complex ideas that work much better on paper.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#19  Postby Shrunk » Dec 12, 2011 12:16 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Paul G wrote:Dawkins has debated plenty of Christians in the past, not all kooks, WLC is a kook and a creationist FFS.

Actually, Craig isn't a Creationist. He accepts the universe is around 14 billion years old. Also, from here:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=6711

    Once you divest yourself of the idea that the account means to narrate six consecutive, 24 hour days—and there are good reasons in the text for thinking that its author did not so intend it—, then it’s striking that the narrative says absolutely nothing about how God made the plants and animals. Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not claiming that Genesis 1 teaches evolution—that would be anachronistic—but merely that there is no inconsistency between Genesis 1 and an evolutionary theory. Augustine understood this point already 1500 years before Darwin.


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WY8P-V3Iqxk[/youtube]

Creationist.
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Re: William Lane Craig's empty chair thread.

#20  Postby GakuseiDon » Dec 12, 2011 12:21 am

Paul G wrote:
Craig has said he has no problem with evolution as a fact, though he has doubts about "gradualism". He says he is somewhere between "progressive creationism" and theistic evolution.


Creationist.

Only if "Creationist" can be applied to someone who thinks that the universe is about 14 billion years old, that Genesis is not a literal account and has no problem with evolution.
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