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Debate- Dawkins Vs Craig


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#1 gilbo12345

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:14 PM

Here is the debate between Richard Dawkins and Willaim Lane Craig and their teams. It has a weird set-up for the debate, but it has a boxing ring in the centre so that was pretty cool :D The topic was about the purpose of life.




Please note the emotion based tactics of Dawkins, and his appeal to the future for evidence, as well as the obligatory (for Dawkins), ad hominem as describing Religious people as lazy. Honestly I don't see how he gets away with that stuff, I was hoping for people to pick up on his logical fallacies and point them out.... (It would be funny to see if he'd conduct himself as a great thinker after that)

Also note the host of evolutionary speakers.... Stacking the deck. I did like the guy in the wheel chair as he pointed out that despite "science is working on it" the atheistic side seem to presuppose that their claims are automatically right. How does anyone know that a mountain has no purpose? Where is their evidence of this? We are not the be-all-end-all of knowledge and truth.

Furthermore it is hypocritical for the atheist side to claim that a purpose is to not intrude on others purpose when that is Dawkin's main goal in life, as he has claimed to want to bring about the end of Religion, for whom is their central purpose in life.



My position is this.

For an atheistic worldview there is no purpose in life. Yes we can make up superficial purposes but when it is all said and done there is no actual purpose. Since, for them, when we die that is the end of it. If that is it, what is the point? All things fade with time, so really an atheistic purpose in life is to be forgotten.

You may as well, kill me now and give $40 to my Dad for the amount of fertilizer I will rot into. As my achievements or anything I do will not be eternal and therefore will be forgotten.

The same logic can be used in terms of the universe. Pretty much all scientists admit that there is an end to the universe, wether that is heat death, or the sun frying us or whatever, the cause doesn't matter, all that we need to know is that physical existance will end one day. Hence in view of this what is the point of life? Even if I were to be the richest man in the world and made monuments of myself at every street corner all these things will fade away with the passing of the universe.

Hence in light of the bigger picture, atheism has no purpose.

#2 jason

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:18 PM

dont tell them that. they hate that reality.

#3 gilbo12345

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

dont tell them that. they hate that reality.


I would too, if I didn't believe in the supernatural or things that can transcend the laws of nature.

#4 JayShel

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 07:53 PM

I find team debates weird, because although Craig is a strong debater, the other two had questionable arguments, and I believe that Craig would have done much better with the time given to these two less experienced debaters. He could have at the very least exposed some of Dawkins fallacious arguments for what they were. I also found it weird to have a whole bunch of agnostics jump in in the middle of the debate to say "we can't know if the universe has purpose". God allows us enough intellectual "wiggle room" to have free will to choose to believe or not believe based on evidence, but enough certainty through the same evidence that we have no excuse on judgement day. It seemed to be quite stacked against the theists.

#5 gilbo12345

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 08:26 PM

I find team debates weird, because although Craig is a strong debater, the other two had questionable arguments, and I believe that Craig would have done much better with the time given to these two less experienced debaters. He could have at the very least exposed some of Dawkins fallacious arguments for what they were. I also found it weird to have a whole bunch of agnostics jump in in the middle of the debate to say "we can't know if the universe has purpose". God allows us enough intellectual "wiggle room" to have free will to choose to believe or not believe based on evidence, but enough certainty through the same evidence that we have no excuse on judgement day. It seemed to be quite stacked against the theists.


Yeah I agree, plus it seems the time allowed didn't give Craig enough time to go into his arguements, (which is unfortunate since I feel they are logically sound). I believe that is also, another thing to the atheist side (though unknowingly) as it means that they do not need to give examples or evidence for their claims since there is not enough time to do so.

It would have been interesting since most of their "arguements" were arguements from ignorance in that they do not comprehend how it can be so.... Obviously this bears the mark of the "critical thinker"....

#6 Quaker Reason

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 09:11 PM

I hope Dawkin's isn't debating about Christian Theology. I remember he's the one who said "There's no evidence for faith.", guess he doesn't believe in his wife too much.

#7 Stripe

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:10 PM

I find it interesting that both Dawkins and Craig will not engage YECs.

#8 Portillo

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 10:45 PM

Dawkins and Craig have never debated each other. Dawkins claims that he doesnt debate Christians and creationists because it gives them too much credit. Yet he dedicates his books to talking about God and Christianty.

#9 Stripe

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:29 PM

QUESTION OF THE WEEK GUIDELINES

1. Questions which are of interest to a wide range of readers are given preference. Esoteric questions may be of great interest to the submitter but are unlikely to be chosen as the Question of the Week.

2. Questions which show some knowledge of and which interact with my own work are preferred. Questions which I have already addressed in my published work or in the articles posted on this site are of little interest. So check these resources first, particularly the Question of the Week Archive, before submitting your question.

3. Questions should be self-contained. Do not send a link to some youtube video or published article and ask, “What is your reaction to this?”

4. Questions should focus on a single issue. Do not ask multiple, unrelated questions.

5. Questions should be genuine questions. Please do not submit your views on some issue, e.g., the problem of evil, and ask, “What do you think of this?”

6. Questions from overseas, especially from readers in predominantly non-Christian countries, are especially welcome.

7. Questions about Young vs. Old Earth Creationism will not be addressed.

8. Questions must be in English.

9. Run spell-check before submitting your question!

#10 gilbo12345

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 11:59 PM

QUESTION OF THE WEEK GUIDELINES

1. Questions which are of interest to a wide range of readers are given preference. Esoteric questions may be of great interest to the submitter but are unlikely to be chosen as the Question of the Week.

2. Questions which show some knowledge of and which interact with my own work are preferred. Questions which I have already addressed in my published work or in the articles posted on this site are of little interest. So check these resources first, particularly the Question of the Week Archive, before submitting your question.

3. Questions should be self-contained. Do not send a link to some youtube video or published article and ask, “What is your reaction to this?”

4. Questions should focus on a single issue. Do not ask multiple, unrelated questions.

5. Questions should be genuine questions. Please do not submit your views on some issue, e.g., the problem of evil, and ask, “What do you think of this?”

6. Questions from overseas, especially from readers in predominantly non-Christian countries, are especially welcome.

7. Questions about Young vs. Old Earth Creationism will not be addressed.

8. Questions must be in English.

9. Run spell-check before submitting your question!


I'm not sure what this is for, please explain (Never seen it before sorry)



Actually I do have a question one that I have asked people and I haven't received an actual answer to... It is a 3 tiered question so please bear with me.


What was the empirical evidence that Darwin gave when he first introduced the theory of evolution? By empirical, I use the dictionary definition- guided by experiment, (thus implying direct observation, repeatability, falsification as conditional characters to the definition of empirical). Furthermore, how was the hypothesis of the evidence tested in a laboratory?

If the answer is none, I will allow an extension to evidence from after Darwin. Please note that this must also be empirical, (directly observable, repeatable and falsifiable), with no presumption or inference or assumption of evolution to being true, (since as we know assumptions are not scientific since science deals with the facts, not guesses).

As a follow up question, if there is no empirical evidence of Darwinian evolution in its first inception, or after Darwin. How can evolutionists claim that evolution is scientific, when the tenets of the scientific method requires empirical viability and verification?

#11 Stripe

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:29 AM

I'm not sure what this is for, please explain (Never seen it before sorry)

Just an interesting observation. Well, it's interesting to me. :D

#12 Portillo

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 12:52 AM

Craig believes in millions of years. Simple. ;)

#13 gilbo12345

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:06 AM

Craig believes in millions of years. Simple. ;)


Yeah I noticed that, I guess he is an Old Earth Theistic Evolutionist, (since I heard him say in another debate that God could have caused evolution).

#14 gilbo12345

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 01:07 AM

Just an interesting observation. Well, it's interesting to me. :D



Sorry I didn't get it lol, where can I submit my question?

#15 jason

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 04:46 AM

ah, that weakens his position on god allowing evil since well morality according the the supporters of the toe comes from the idea of evolutionary psychology.

thus evil and misery were planned by god, and called good

#16 Stripe

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 08:50 AM

ah, that weakens his position on god allowing evil since well morality according the the supporters of the toe comes from the idea of evolutionary psychology.

thus evil and misery were planned by god, and called good

His analysis of the YEC position is intriguing (audio link - relevant parts start at 7m). He gives some good reasons in favour of YEC, but dismisses them with fairly shaky arguments.

#17 oilyorpiv

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:39 AM

For an atheistic worldview there is no purpose in life. Yes we can make up superficial purposes but when it is all said and done there is no actual purpose. Since, for them, when we die that is the end of it. If that is it, what is the point? All things fade with time, so really an atheistic purpose in life is to be forgotten.

You may as well, kill me now and give $40 to my Dad for the amount of fertilizer I will rot into. As my achievements or anything I do will not be eternal and therefore will be forgotten.

The same logic can be used in terms of the universe. Pretty much all scientists admit that there is an end to the universe, whether that is heat death, or the sun frying us or whatever, the cause doesn't matter, all that we need to know is that physical existence will end one day. Hence in view of this what is the point of life? Even if I were to be the richest man in the world and made monuments of myself at every street corner all these things will fade away with the passing of the universe.

You might want to watch Shelly Kagan teaching Dr. Craig why this line of thought doesn't work in this video. It looks to me you can't shake off the notion that you are the center of the universe, or the universe is meaningless if you are forgotten. I can easily imagine it would be consoling if you make up afterlife and call it a real purpose, but as you experience in real life reality doesn't change depending on whether we like or not.

Hence in light of the bigger picture, atheism has no purpose.

By purpose, do you mean you have some cosmic, eternal significance? If so, then it's not atheism that is a problem, but theism that says you have such overrated significance in the first place; atheism doesn't give what you want, and that (i.e. restoring human in a more humbling position) is the point of atheism.

#18 gilbo12345

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:59 AM

You might want to watch Shelly Kagan teaching Dr. Craig why this line of thought doesn't work in this video. It looks to me you can't shake off the notion that you are the center of the universe, or the universe is meaningless if you are forgotten. I can easily imagine it would be consoling if you make up afterlife and call it a real purpose, but as you experience in real life reality doesn't change depending on whether we like or not.


By purpose, do you mean you have some cosmic, eternal significance? If so, then it's not atheism that is a problem, but theism that says you have such overrated significance in the first place; atheism doesn't give what you want, and that (i.e. restoring human in a more humbling position) is the point of atheism.


Obviously you don't understand what the end of the universe actually means.... Its the end of everything, hence since the atheist only believes in the natural / material. It is the end of everything to the atheist. Hence anything we do in the long run has no meaning it is useless. As I said if I made statues of myself on every street corner, what is the point- there will be no-one alive to see it at the end. The same as being a good person, yes it has purpose so others like you, however in the long run there is no purpose since all that will be forgotten. You see people can manufacture purpose for their lives, (I can find purpose in debating on this forum), however such a "purpose" is illusory since it doesn't account for anything in the long run.

Hence you need to make the distinction between illusory "purpose" and actual lasting purpose.


Thus as I said, if everything I do doesn't account for anything, "you may as well kill me now", everything I would achieve would be forgotten and fade, my parents, friends and family will die too so their grief over my death will die with them, and this isn't even talking about when the entire world ends and there is NOTHING, (well nothing since to a naturalist there is nothing outside of material things)




I watched the video you posted, (thanks for that)

Kagan takes Craig out of context, where Craig was talking about accountability. If you just die and that is it, there is no moral accountability. A murderer dies the same as a "normal" man, yes we have laws and punishment etc. However with no moral accountability a person who could do wrong and be sure not to get caught, in the atheist's world, would every time.

#19 jason

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

also with the athiest, this comes to play. as a soldier i have had ptsd. with that...

the naturalistic shrink in short tells me. go delude yourself with some idea of meaning so that your life wont seem meaningless to you. but if naturalism is true then its wise to delude ourselves?




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