Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Aftermath of Craig Destroys Harris

Wow. I want to preface this post by saying how glad I am to be within the tradition of Christian philosophy and apologetics.

Out of curiosity, I meandered on over to a few atheist blogs to see what they were saying about the debate. Several of the big ones are, for lack of a better way to put it, in simple denial. 

Take this post at a blog called The Uncredible Hallq. This individual says he is a philosophy graduate, which means he ought to know better. Yet he spends almost 2,000 words praising Harris and denigrating Dr. Craig's honesty and ability as a philosopher. I see a lot of bluster, a lot of personal jabs at Dr. Craig, but no substance. No reason why Craig's arguments were bad, or how Harris had refuted any of them. Do none of the Harris fans have the ability to see that his rebuttal was one long red herring? If this is the state of atheism now, I'm glad to not be a part of it. Furthermore, he says Craig relies on rhetoric to win his debates. And this Hallq guy is supposed to be a philosophy graduate? Does he not realize when someone has left the issue up for debate? Has he not heard of a red herring?

Regarding Craig's rhetoric, Steve Hays at Triablogue had something to say about that:

[W]hile Craig is a fine debater, he also lacks some of the virtues of a great public speaker. He doesn’t have a great speaking voice. He’s not an eloquent wordsmith. He’s not a spellbinding storyteller. He can’t manipulate the emotions of the audience the way a great preacher or actor can.

So, in some fundamental respects, he’s overrated as a debater. You can’t chalk up his winning streak to oratory alone.

Philosophy is really, at base, becoming good at thinking about and making good sound arguments. A debate showcases in a spoken format two people giving arguments for a specific position. Craig not only gave a positive case for his position, but refuted Harris' case. Harris spent his rebuttal period insulting Christianity and religious people and saying religion leads to evil. But he never defended his case after Craig had refuted it.

This philosophy major doesn't make his alma matter's philosophy department look very appealing if this is the quality of thinker they are producing.

As I said at the beginning, I am so glad to be square in the middle of a renaissance in Christian philosophy and apologetics. I am so glad that I don't have to shirk reason to hold the views that I do. I'm so glad I'm not reduced to defending an indefensible position, and cheer-leading for someone who was utterly unable to defend his view that he spend so long putting into book form. If this is what it takes to be an atheist, thank God I'm not one.

BTW, I made the hasty decision to post a part of this on John Loftus' blog, which may have been a mistake, haha. I will enable moderation for a while.

1 comment:

CincyPharmer said...

You are blind,. I've watched the debate three times.. Craig simply asks questions several times that are unanswerable, or for lack of a better word, childish. What's the proof of the existence of god? The bible. What's the evidence, the bible. How would we have morals without it? We wouldn't. The guy is a professional debater who uses linguistic circles or traps to win arguments, if he does win... Masterdebaters... You just can't trust them..