Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back! Does the Evil God Hypothesis Pose a Problem for Theists?

Hi all. Life has slowed down a little bit so I thought I'd try to dip my toes back into the apologetics blogosphere.

Dr. William Lane Craig, as all of my readers will know, has been touring Great Britain on his Reasonable Faith tour, debating some of the foremost atheist philosophers in British academia (thank goodness Dick Dawk made himself look so silly, because he'd have been such a poor opponent one wonders if it would have tarnished the whole tour). I've listened to two of the debates, the one against Stephen Law and the one against Peter Millican. In both debates the issue of the Evil or Anti-god came up. I actually went to Dr. Law's blog to comment on how silly I find that proposed analogy to be. Here is what I said regarding that and his overall performance in the debate:

If you were just arguing against Dr. Craig's God, Dr. Law, then why would you bring up the evil god hypothesis? This is one of the worst attempts at sophism that is out there in religious philosophy. How can you consider said evil god to be analogous at all to the Christian God at all, who is the greatest conceivable being? I can conceive of a being greater than the evil one, namely a good one. Further, since most theists posit God's nature as the basis of morality, such that acting against His nature would be to act in an evil way, then you're just relabeling what would then properly be called "good" as "evil." It does nothing to defeat the God hypothesis.

If you can handle some criticism, then to sum up my thoughts on your arguments: they were spectacularly bad. The evil god hypothesis doesn't prove anything, and is a practice in incoherence. You call some of the most scrutinized and well thought out arguments for God "weak," which is silly since if they were so weak you should have been able to argue against them pretty easily. Yet you don't really argue against any of them, Dr. Law. However, you did do much better at preparing for the debate than most atheists. You still stank up the joint.

FYI, if it's not clear it's part of the definition of God to be perfectly good, so arguing against an evil very powerful being is arguing something, but not against God.