William Lane Craig weighs in on the Newtown shootings

You’d expect something stupid from this repulsive man, but this is even worse than you could imagine. In the video below, Craig argues that the Newtown shootings actually remind us of the Miracle of Christmas (e.g., the “Massacre of the Innocents“: Herod’s murder of Bethlehem’s male children when he  discovered he was tricked by the Wise Men—a prophecy of Jeremiah). Apparently the recent slaughter is God’s way of reminding us of “what Christmas is for, what it’s all about.” And it’s almost as if Craig thinks that God engineered the murders to that end.

For Craig, the shootings reassure us that God takes the world’s sufferings on himself, entering into the world to do so. If asked why God didn’t enter into the world to prevent the killings in the first place, Craig would almost certainly reply that this were God’s will—an argument he made to justify the Biblical slaughter of the Canaanites. Remember that Craig is one of the few theologians who accept the “divine command” theory of morality, whereby whatever God dictates is good by virtue of his dictation, no matter how odious it seems to us.

In the end, it all convinces Craig that “there is hope, and that God has provided it for us.”

How. . . theological of him to glean such a message from this tragedy! Does the Holocaust also bring him such reassurance?

Craig should rot in hell.

via: A Tippling Philosopher

293 Comments

  1. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Typical WLC. Sad, disgusting man deluded into believing he’s wise and just.

  2. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “Craig is one of the few theologians who accept the “divine command” theory of morality”

    Dear William Lane Craig

    Remember, the “divine command” theory is ONLY a theory.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Remember, the “divine command” theory is ONLY a theory.

      It’s not even that, it’s an excuse.

    • Sorcha
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Remember, GOD is only a theory.

      • Diane G.
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Hypothesis…

        • Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

          …faery tale….

          b&

          • Samuel
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:27 am | Permalink

            In the spirit of Xmas, per Scrooge: ” ‘…You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!’

          • Posted December 20, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

            BS, actually.

            TH
            Pretoria

        • BillyJoe
          Posted December 20, 2012 at 4:07 am | Permalink

          Failed hypothesis

  3. Kevin
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    If only there were a hell. Special extra-hot places for assholes like him.

    Why in the world does anyone associate with him?

    I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it.

    This is a person whose views are so abhorrent and so amoral that we should not be a party to giving him a platform to espousing them.

    His main trick is the faux “debate” with nonbelievers. Fuck that noise. Every single rational person should refuse to have anything to do with him or his kind forever and good and all.

    • Kevin
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      And the coward that posted the video disabled ratings and comments.

      Fuck him, too.

    • Rich
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been listening to all these religious nuts saying how this tragedy is judgement from god. When their god has a hissy fit he kills children? What a coward their god is. This is all part of their god’s plan? How inept.

      • suwise3
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        Yup, god is one sick fuck. Surprised he has any friends, really.

  4. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Not surprised they disabled the ratings on it…

    • Mike de Fleuriot
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Of course they disable comments, they are theists.

      This is one thing, we as atheists should be constantly pointing out. How religion refuses to accept any criticism of itself, and not only to adults, but to those who count, namely the youth.

      Ask the kids, why they think these video close comments, get to them to frame the questions in their minds.

  5. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Well, there is no hell for him to rot in no matter how deserving, but it would do no harm to the world if he were to go looking for hell for himself.

    How does this sound? WLC? Who?

    • Mike de Fleuriot
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      WLC aka Wanklingly Large Bunt (spelt with a C)

  6. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    A common error among theists, one that Jerry has pointed out before, is not fully taking omnipotence seriously. For any evil E that causes some benefit B (that anyone has ever thought of), an omnipotent God can simply bring about B without using E.

    More precisely, for any states of the universe U1 and a later U2, if U1 contains some evil and U2 contains some benefit caused by the evil in U1, then since it’s logically possible that U2 obtain, God can simply bring about U2. In this case, an omnipotent God could easily remind us of the “massacre of the innocents” without allowing children to be murdered.

    One more problem: If Craig’s hypothesis is correct, then God uses the murdered children as mere means to ends. This entails that God is violating one of the central precepts of a very prominent moral theory. For example, suppose I frame an innocent man and get him thrown in jail. But I explain that the benefit outweighs the harm: Now people will see that “criminals” get justice, so they won’t commit crimes. Many will say I’ve still done something wrong. At the very least, this implies that God is a consequentialist, which raises other problems for theism.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      “A common error among theists, one that Jerry has pointed out before, is not fully taking omnipotence seriously.”

      Indeed. They often try to paper over the problem with “free will”, but free will still wouldn’t get an omnipotent and omniscient deity off the hook. Surely an omniscient deity would see what Lanza planned to do before he did it, and an omnipotent deity could arrange for the massacre not to happen.

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Some other problems:

        (1) Libertarian free will probably doesn’t exist.

        (2) One human’s “free” decision to murder many people is not as valuable as many innocent humans’ “free” decision not to be murdered, and presumably millions of humans’ “free” preference that those children not be murdered. (Plus, if Lanza was insane, as seems likely, then his decision was even less free in the first place.)

        (3) God already limits our freedom of action with natural laws. He could have set up natural laws to make killing children more difficult. (Plus, if the will is more important than the action, then as you point out, God could allow the will but prevent the action, e.g. by giving Lanza a stroke at the last minute.)

        (4) There is a possible world in which Lanza freely chooses not to kill children. Since God can bring about any logically possible world, God could have brought about that one.

        (5) And, of course, even if free will were to explain moral evil, it doesn’t explain “natural” evil, such as animals suffering as the result of natural disasters.

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Yes. If you make something, knowing exactly what it’s going to do, then it’s hard to see how you are not responsible.

        I have no idea how apologists get over this difficulty – presumably some incoherent theory of free will to put a smoke screen over the issue.

      • Tulse
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        And even discounting the usual arguments, our will most definitely isn’t free. I can’t fly, or shoot lasers out of my eyes, or get a date with Natalie Portman, despite my will wanting all these things. One can only have truly free will if one is omnipotent, and can realize whatever one’s will wants. Otherwise, we’re just arguing about the kinds and degrees of constraints, and not whether there are limits at all.

        And these kind of natural constraints on will are even more relevant in cases of possible mental illness, as in the case of Lanza. His “will” was likely to have been heavily determined by aberrant neurobiology. How can anyone possibly say that his actions were the result of “free” will, if he indeed had a mental illness?

        So if Lanza’s will was determined by mental illness, why couldn’t the Christian god also intervened with, say, a brain aneurysm, or have him hit by a car, or perhaps have him born with a non-pathological neurobiology?

        • aljones909
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          If ‘free will’ allows us to choose good or evil it seems to be heavily biased by gender. A murderer is 10 times more likely to be male than female. A similar bias is present for most criminal behaviour. Does this seem fair? Your chance of redemption seems to depend a lot on testosterone levels.

          • freegrazer
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

            Only ten times more likely?

    • Gary W
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      If Craig’s hypothesis is correct, then God uses the murdered children as mere means to ends. This entails that God is violating one of the central precepts of a very prominent moral theory.

      I don’t think this argument works. All deterrence involves imposing suffering as a means to an end. But deterrence isn’t very controversial.

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        Hi Gary W.,

        It’s not controversial when people don’t think about the implications enough. When you do think about the implications, as philosophers such as Randy Barnett and David Boonin have pointed out, it’s hard to see why we shouldn’t “punish” innocent people to achieve that end.

        I’d say people agree with punishing guilty people as a deterrent. But then one can make the case that they deserve it, whereas one certainly can’t when it comes to innocents who die for others’ benefit. In the story we’re considering, God harms innocent person X in order to benefit Y, such that X is not equal to Y. That seems precisely analogous to “punishing” innocent X in order to benefit Y by making Y’s world less crime-ridden.

        • Gary W
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          I think the reason deterrence is not controversial is because people in general do not accept the “prominent moral theory” that you allude to. They don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with imposing suffering as a means to an end. If locking up murderers deters murder, then locking up murderers may be justified for that reason. That’s why I think this argument against Craig doesn’t work.

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

            Hi Gary W.,

            I’m not sure I’m adequately communicating my point to you.

            Throughout this discussion, I’ve been talking about “punishing” innocent people in order to create deterrence.

            To my knowledge, I’ve never met anyone who sincerely intuits that that would be morally permissible. The challenge for the person who thinks punishment is fully justified simply because of its deterrent effect is to explain why that justification doesn’t extend to “punishing” innocent people. Surely there must be more to the story than merely that we create deterrence; it has to be that only some kinds of people are appropriate means to that end, namely, guilty people.

            My worry about some proposed explanations for evil is that God is harming innocents–or allowing them to be harmed–in order to benefit other people.

          • Gary W
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

            The challenge for the person who thinks punishment is fully justified simply because of its deterrent effect is to explain why that justification doesn’t extend to “punishing” innocent people.

            That’s a different question from whether imposing suffering as a means to an end is justified at all. But I think there are rather obvious reasons why punishing innocent people is unlikely to be an effective deterrent. If there is no apparent cause-and-effect relationship between wrongdoing and punishment (because the innocent are punished along with the guilty), there is no incentive to avoid wrongdoing in order to avoid punishment. If the innocents are framed to create the false appearance of a cause-and-effect relationship, then respect for the criminal justice system, and hence for the law, is likely to collapse as the false convictions are exposed. You’d need a very powerful police state to maintain the illusion of justice.

            I don’t think there’s an absolute moral rule against imposing suffering on innocents as a means to a good end, either. In war, innocent civilians may be killed or injured to demoralize the enemy or deprive the enemy of workers, for example.

            • Tulse
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

              I don’t think there’s an absolute moral rule against imposing suffering on innocents as a means to a good end, either. In war, innocent civilians may be killed or injured to demoralize the enemy

              Most civilizations call killing civilians to demoralize the enemy a “war crime”, or “terrorism” when performed by a non-state actor.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

                Most civilizations call killing civilians to demoralize the enemy a “war crime”,

                I don’t think that’s true. Do you have any evidence to support this claim? And regardless of what it’s “called,” I think it’s widely practised and accepted. I think much of the aerial bombing of Germany and Japan in WWII, for example — especially the firebombings and atomic bombings — were almost certainly intended in part to demoralize those countries through mass slaughter and destruction.

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

                There have been some changes to attitudes about war, and developments in international law, since then.

                Certainly when al Qaeda kills civilians, we call it a war crime.

                And when the US targets funerals with drones, we call it a war crime.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

                And when the US targets funerals with drones, we call it a war crime.

                Some people may call it that. Their view does not seem to be widely shared. Let us know when President Obama and military leaders have been prosecuted as war criminals for the drone program.

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

                The US never joined the International Criminal Court for precisely that reason.

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

                And yes, outside of the Pentagon, White House, and Congress, the view that the US is committing war crimes in Pakistan is widely shared.

              • Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

                So, what, Gary? Everything is hunky-dory if you don’t get caught, or if the prosecution is too lazy to press charges, or if the police are themselves too corrupt to make an arrest?

                Fuck that shit sideways with a saguaro.

                b&

              • Gary W
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

                The US never joined the International Criminal Court for precisely that reason.

                No, the US decision not to join the ICC long predates the drone program.

                And yes, outside of the Pentagon, White House, and Congress, the view that the US is committing war crimes in Pakistan is widely shared.

                Yes, that must be why President Obama, Secretary Clinton and other U.S. officials are so scared to travel to Europe, for fear of being arrested and tried as war criminals. Funny how President “war criminal” Obama is so popular over there.

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

                I meant the US elected not to join the ICC so American personnel could commit war crimes without being prosecuted for them. Nixon had his carpet-bombing, Bush had his torture, Obama has his drone program. There are officials from the Bush administration who will not travel to Europe for fear of being arrested. There are arrest warrants in Germany for an extraordinary rendition carried out on a German citizen, and in Italy for a rendition that took place there. Amnesty International has called drone strikes on civilians war crimes and is lobbying Washington to stop.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

                The US elected not to join the ICC because it considers the ICC to be deeply flawed. Notwithstanding the revenge fantasies of the far left, no current or former US government official is at serious risk of being arrested in Europe for war crimes. And Amnesty International says lots of things that are generally ignored.

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

                That’s their excuse, yes. We all know the real reason.

                Amnesty International gets ignored sometimes, but not because they’re wrong.

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

                A wish for the law to be enforced is not a “revenge fantasy”.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

                That’s your excuse. We all know the real reason.

            • truthspeaker
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

              “I don’t think there’s an absolute moral rule against imposing suffering on innocents as a means to a good end, either. In war, innocent civilians may be killed or injured to demoralize the enemy or deprive the enemy of workers, for example.”

              That’s considered evil by a considerable number of people.

          • Gary W
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            Throughout this discussion, I’ve been talking about “punishing” innocent people in order to create deterrence. To my knowledge, I’ve never met anyone who sincerely intuits that that would be morally permissible.

            But if the moral principle is “Harming innocents as a means to an end is always wrong,” it’s broader than just deterrence. And I think lots of people reject that principle. Why is it morally significant whether harming the innocent is the means to the end, or just an unavoidable effect of the means to the end? In the trolley scenarios where one innocent person is sacrificed to save the lives of five, why does it matter whether this is accomplished by means of a collision that kills the victim, or by means of a diversion that causes a collision that kills the victim?

            • Posted December 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

              Oh, damn. Not the trolley bullshit again.

              Look. If you go fucking around with critical safety equipment in the middle of a crisis because an armchair philosopher who’s a Stanley Milgram wannabe told you to do so, you’re going to get people killed and it will be your fault.

              If, instead, you do whatever you can to get a qualified professional and / or emergency responder to the scene, people may still die, but maybe not, and you’ll be doing the right thing.

              If you are one of those qualified professionals, either you’re criminally negligent for failing to prevent the hazardous situation in the first place, or you’re a first responder and one of your responsibilities in addition to helping in the rescue operation is to secure the crime scene.

              Fantasizing about how many fat men you’ll squish like a bug in order to save some underage tail is so totally irrelevant to the real world in these types of situations it’s revolting.

              The only thing the trolley car bullshit teaches us is that philosophers don’t know jack about either philosophy or ethics — and neither do those who think the trolly car bullshit has any other significance.

              b&

        • Tim Harris
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Any tyrant knows that the killing of innocents has a deterrent effect – as did the American armed forces when they assaulted Fallujah. Killing innocenta for this end is older than history, and right up to date as well.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Deterrence that involves killing children is pretty controversial.

    • Jim Bradley
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      “For any evil E that causes some benefit B (that anyone has ever thought of), an omnipotent God can simply bring about B without using E.”

      How can that possibly be supported? We have no way of ascertaining whether there is a morally legitimate purpose to the universe as-it-is, or whether the application of power can even do what you say it can. For example, what if we later discover that “B without E” is like “round triangles” which are logically impossible … in other words, it may be that there is no amount of power that can bring about a logical contradiction – our common experience of reality.

      • Tulse
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        So did the rules of logic exist prior to your god?

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Again, you’re not thinking in truly omnipotent terms. If god is omnipotent, god can bring round triangles into existence.

        • Gary W
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

          A round triangle is a contradiction in terms. If “omnipotence” is not constrained by logic, it’s meaningless.

          • Tulse
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

            So the rules of logic existed prior to god?

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

            “Round triangle” is a contradiction because we have defined “round” and “triangular” to describe geometries that are mutually exclusive.

            An omnipotent god could alter our conceptions of those terms so that they are no longer exclusive of each other.

            The whole point of omnipotence is that it is the power to do ANYTHING. When we run into logical contradictions like “round triangle”, or even better, the classic “can god create a rock so heavy that god can’t lift it” the proper thing to conclude is that omnipotence is incoherent and can’t possibly be a characteristic of any alleged entity. The improper thing to do is to continue to insist that there’s an omnipotent deity out there, it’s just that there are all these constraints on its omnipotence. But it’s still totes omnipotence.

            • Gary W
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

              An omnipotent god could alter our conceptions of those terms so that they are no longer exclusive of each other.

              But changing our conceptions of what words mean is not the same thing as doing something that involves a logical contradiction, such as creating a “round triangle” as we currently understand the meaning of those words.

              The whole point of omnipotence is that it is the power to do ANYTHING.

              What would it MEAN to do something that involves a logical contradiction? If you think “X is true and X is false” is a meaningful proposition, explain the meaning.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

                So your god didn’t create the laws of logic?

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

                I don’t believe in God. I don’t know what “create the laws of logic” is supposed to mean. It is meaningless to speak of creating something without logic.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

                It is meaningless to speak of creating something without logic.

                How so? If one believes that the Christian god precedes everything, then surely the Christian god must have also created logic. If not, where did the laws of logic come from? Did they exist prior to the existence of the universe itself, even prior to god?

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

                How so?

                Because “creating” means bringing something into existence. If there’s no logic, what does that mean? Why don’t the laws exist and not exist at the same time?

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

                If there’s no logic, what does that mean? Why don’t the laws exist and not exist at the same time?

                But that argument applies to causality as well — how could some entity be uncaused? But of course Christians claim that about their god all the time.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

                But that argument applies to causality as well — how could some entity be uncaused? But of course Christians claim that about their god all the time.

                I’m not defending Christianity. I’m rebutting your claim that “creating the laws of logic” is a meaningful statement.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

                “What would it MEAN to do something that involves a logical contradiction? If you think “X is true and X is false” is a meaningful proposition, explain the meaning.”

                This is precisely the point. You and I can see that these contradictions make omnipotence incoherent. But the theist wants to hang onto the notion. So they have to come up with silly workarounds like the “round triangle” one I suggested, or they have to claim their god is omnipotent while also admitting there are all sorts of constraints on that omnipotence. They don’t put their omnipotent money where their omnipotent mouths are. If god is omnipotent, god could accomplish whatever it is that allowing the massacre accomplished without allowing the massacre.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

                You and I can see that these contradictions make omnipotence incoherent.

                No, I can see that logical contradictions are incoherent. That’s why it doesn’t make sense to define omnipotence to require a logical contradiction. Jim Bradley clearly isn’t defining it in that way.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

                I’m rebutting your claim that “creating the laws of logic” is a meaningful statement.

                So the Christian god could not have created the laws of logic — they are a necessary feature of any possible world, and constrain omnipotent entities completely. OK, but of course logic is just a formal system, like math, and indeed math and logic are intimately entwined. Does that mean that all of math also could not have been created by an omnipotent being, that the Christian god was stuck with calculus and geometry and set theory before it even said “Let their be light”? Computer science is also effectively math, so I suppose that the Creator of the Universe was stuck with Turing machines. And there are many who argue that physics is just math, so was this omnipotent being also limited by the laws of nature?

                Honestly, being stuck with logic comes with a lot of baggage, so much that it’s hard to call such a limited entity “omnipotent”.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

                As I said to you in the other thread, logic does not seem to preclude universes with different physical properties, and in a universe with different physical properties, at least some math would be different. So in that sense, yes, God could “create math.” The physics would also be different, so in that sense God could “create physics” too.

            • Posted February 9, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

              Funny how round triangle make sense and triangle round does not. Individually they are two dimensional shapes but for the first you can take a triangle and bend any point to touch another. This creates a 3D round triangle of some fashion. But can you do this to the latter? How common is common sense is this argument?

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

            But “omnipotence” is an incoherent, meaningless term.

            Can your omnipotent gods commit suicide? Resign? Share power?

            No?

            Then why care whether or not they live north of the North Pole, as well?

            b&

            • Gary W
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

              But “omnipotence” is an incoherent, meaningless term. Can your omnipotent gods commit suicide? Resign? Share power?

              It’s only meaningless if it’s defined in such a way as to be meaningless. If omnipotence is defined as a characteristic of a being that exists, then yes, it may be possible for an omnipotent god to commit suicide.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

                ORLY?

                Then how, pray tell, is a dead god supposed to tie his shoes — let alone walk on water?

                Or can you be omnipotent and unable to tie your shoes, too?

                b&

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

                how, pray tell, is a dead god supposed to tie his shoes

                As I said, “omnipotence” is only meaningless if it’s defined in such a way as to be meaningless. If a god cannot be omnipotent unless it exists (or is “alive”) then the inability of dead gods to tie their shoes is irrelevant.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

                Gary, you’re simply incoherent.

                How you can expect anybody to take you seriously when you’re blathering about how dead gods can still meaningfully be omnipotent if only you define the term just right is utterly beyond me.

                Either offer up a coherent definition of “omnipotent” already or quit wasting our time.

                b&

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

                How you can expect anybody to take you seriously when you’re blathering about how dead gods can still meaningfully be omnipotent

                I didn’t claim that dead gods can be meaningfully omnipotent.

                I long ago gave up taking you seriously. One reason is your persistent habit of attributing to your opponents statements they did not make, and then arguing against those strawmen.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

                I didn’t claim that dead gods can be meaningfully omnipotent.

                Sorry, but you clearly did:

                If a god cannot be omnipotent unless it exists (or is “alive”) then the inability of dead gods to tie their shoes is irrelevant.

                If being alive is irrelevant to determining whether or not one is omnipotent, then you can be both dead and omnipotent.

                And you’re still not giving us a coherent definition of, “omnipotence,” all the while stomping your feet that you can.

                b&

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

                If being alive is irrelevant to determining whether or not one is omnipotent, then you can be both dead and omnipotent.

                I didn’t say that “being alive is irrelevant to determining whether or not one is omnipotent.” I explicitly stated the premise that the god must be “alive” to be omnipotent.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

                So, what? Now you’re trying to suggest that mortals can be omnipotent?

                First rule of holes, Gary. First rule of holes.

                b&

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Hi Jim Bradley;

        You’re right; it’s possible to be more precise. (One might say that my claim depends on a kind of Humean assumption about natural laws, but of course an omnipotent God can make Humeanism true.)

        For any benefit B such that no part of B is an evil, God can bring about B without having to use E. As some philosophers have shown, this isn’t 100% deductively provable; it’s merely completely obvious. To see this, try to think of some benefit B such that no part of B is an evil, and try to figure out how B could logically entail some prior evil E.

        In contrast, for some benefit B such that a part of B is some evil E, God should have brought about B*, which is like B except that E is subtracted.

        One last worry, of course, is that if we humans are unable to make educated guesses about whether various “evils” are actually overall to the benefit of the world, we have no reason to attempt to intervene to prevent evils.

        • Jim Bradley
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Tom,

          I was talking about omnipotence and whether B is *logically* possible. If one holds to a view of omnipotence as being capable of doing anything that power can accomplish (but not logical impossibilities), it might be that some alternate states of the universe are not possible for reasons that we cannot see, or that more important outcomes are at stake. In other words, what if we can’t have our cake and eat it, too? Is that a reason to criticize?

          I think it is just assumed that “God could just push buttons and rearrange things” without considering that doing so may, if such a being like God existed, change the nature of mankind and God. In essentials, this is an argument from ignorance, which seems to me to be pretty weak.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      If Craig’s hypothesis is correct, then God uses the murdered children as mere means to ends.

      Or, as the OP put it:

      “Apparently the recent slaughter is God’s way of reminding us of ‘what Christmas is for, what it’s all about[,]‘ … as if Craig thinks that God engineered the murders to that end.

      If God engineered the Newtown massacre as a means of reminding the survivors of “what [Christmas] is all about” — if, that is, God sacrificed a group of children to teach other people a lesson –then God hasn’t an egalitarian non-bone in his whole incorporeal non-body. How can such an entity possibly be deemed worthy of veneration?

  7. gbjames
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Talk about unspeakable.

  8. E.A. Blair
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I have long felt that if there were to be an afterlife according to the popular notion, that instead of people getting what they hoped they’d earned in life, they’d get what they fear they actually deserve.

    Funny thing is that when I say this to goddies they accuse me of being cruel. My response to that is that it’s no worse than anything in the bible and probably more just.

    • lamacher
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      As Twain said:”If there’s any justice, your dog will go to heaven and you won’t.”

  9. NewEnglandBob
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I already showered this morning and now need to do it again to remove Craig’s filth.

    Unfortunately, my mind is forever dirtied by his spewings.

  10. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Gladly, he will just rot in his grave like the rest of us. No spooning with Jebus for ever and ever. Sadly, there will always be a**holes like this who find comfort in believing that their Heavenly Father has it all under control, and grateful for what ever sociopathic cruelty He passes out.

  11. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    To understand that there are millions of people who buy his claptrap is the saddest thought of all.

  12. ladyatheist
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    He linked Newtown to HEROD????? What a jerk!

  13. Tulse
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    So William Lane Craig says that his god murdered a bunch of children to remind him of the meaning of Christmas, and Francis Collins says that his daughter’s rape was his god’s way of teaching him forgiveness.

    The profound self-centeredness of Christians is staggering.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      You’ve hit it on the head. IT takes a profound ignorance and arrogance to decide that a god is at your beck and call and kills people just for you!

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Craig’s and Collins’ god should harrow hell again: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrowing_of_Hell and this time he should stay there.

      • John Scanlon, FCD
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:29 am | Permalink

        It could just be Berkeleyan solipsism, where no reality is attributed to any individuals other than the experiencing subject and its private deity. In that view, the kids are just hollow projections, so WLC can imagine they’re dancing for his private pleasure and nobody’s actually hurting.

        It’s the most immoral world-view imaginable, in other words.

        • Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          True. It has been my observation on many forums where Christians and atheists interact, that Christians will ultimately use solipsism as their last gasp defense. They simply have no where else to go.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I get the impression that Collins (unlike Craig) is a compassionate man though and Hitchens makes a case for that in his debate against Dembski. I think you can forgive a person a lot if they behave generously and compassionately towards others.

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        I wonder what is compassionate about deciding that one’s daughter is worth having raped just as long as Collins learned something.

        • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

          I doubt that’s the way he was thinking. Probably he was just trying to find some consolation for a horrible event, so that he could come to terms with it. Surely we can understand and sympathize with that.

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            Must be nice to be psychic, yes? And no, I can and could never understand what it takes to say “golly, my god lets bad things happen and that’s okay as long as I get my attention and learn something magical.”

            that’s a sick selfish rationalization. A decent person would say “There is no “meaning” in my daughter’s violation. I will not claim that it is so I feel better about my belief in some god.”

            • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

              I think that categorising religious people as sick and selfish is unhelpful. And TBH I consider your lack of compassion and understanding of people’s suffering, just because they are religious, to be reprehensible. There are worse things than a mild religiosity and I think the attitude expressed in your post falls into that category.

              • gbjames
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

                I don’t think clubschadenfreude was “categorizing”. I’d call it “describing things clearly”. There was no denial of anybody’s suffering, just a denial of the fiction that this suffering was for a “higher good” or something.

                It is possible that such notions make people feel better. I’m skeptical about that. I doubt that an atheist father would feel any less (or more) anger and grief than a believer. But he wouldn’t be making believe in an attempt to cover the pain.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

                I think consolation in the face of suffering is one of the functions of religion. Well, of course it is! One can argue that people should be able to do without that, but different people are fragile and strong in different ways.

                There can be some unpleasant side effects to religion, but I don’t see that it’s necessary to erect some kind of wall between religious and non religious people *who share liberal values*. Then we are just creating the same kind of divisiveness that we accuse religions of…

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

                Collins’s statement is sick and selfish. Maybe he doesn’t act that way very often, but he at least speaks that way sometimes.

              • gbjames
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

                Roq Marish: You are mixing up two very different things. Honest statements are not “erecting some kind of wall”. They are just honest statements. And dishonest pretending of respect for bad ideas is not respectful of anyone. I am unwilling, and you should be too, to lie in the name of “shared values”.

                As far as I am concerned, the consolation provide by religion is entirely false. There can be no real consolation if it requires make-believe. That is not consoling, it is lying.

              • Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

                I’m sure you do. However, what you find “unhelpful” is simply reality and to deny that people can indeed be sick and selfish is a lovely bit of delusion on your part, in your attempt to excuse the actions of supposed “Good Christians”. If we realize that people are sick and selfish, then we can work to change them not do our best to ignore the problem since we don’t want to be bothered. It’s also cute to watch you accuse me of being uncompassionate, when it was not I that decided that I could excuse my daughter’s misery by claiming that it was okay since God taught a lesson.

          • truthspeaker
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

            I can understand and sympathize with wishful thinking, but I can’t approve of it. I certainly don’t approve of it in myself.

            • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

              I don’t approve of it either. But, I stop short of condemning people for it, because I know I have fallen short myself in many other ways in my life and don’t consider that I have the right to judge just on that basis.

              • gbjames
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

                Please learn to differentiate between condemning people and condemning ideas. These are not the same thing.

              • JohnC
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

                Seems to me there was a bit of both going on.

  14. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    alas, all too believable. It’s always nice to see christians admit that their god is a bloodthirsty bastard. That nonsense about the “massacre of the innocents” does a lovely job of demosntrating that this god is incompent or simply evil, as are its followers.

  15. Maleekwa
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    What. The. Fuck.

    So.. If I understand this correctly, God allowed this to happen in order to remind us of what Christmas is all about?! I’ve heard some outrageously stupid things come from WLC, but this tops it.
    I can only hope that this might drive some of his admirers to a more reasonable worldview.

  16. Woof
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    I CAN HAZ BRAINBLEACH?

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Me, too — and with a side of mouthwash, if you please.

      Thanks!

      b&

  17. Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Well, THAT was one hell of an Advent meditation…..

  18. Barbara
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    My Christian brother and I had a long (and fun) argument yesterday about morality, God or the lack thereof, and ancillary issues. His position is that God doesn’t cause but does allow terrible things in a process that produces a greater good, a good that makes the suffering worthwhile even for those who suffer apparently needlessly.

    My argument was that this was piling a hypothetical future good on the hypothetical intentions of a hypothetical God, an awfully fragile house of cards.

    We had a great time. No minds were changed.

  19. raven
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    How. . . theological of him to glean such a message from this tragedy!

    Does the Holocaust also bring him such reassurance?

    According to fundie theology, the Holocaust was all part of god’s plan.

    God is in charge and everything happens for a reason.

    This isn’t sarcasm or humor. They really believe this and will say so themselves.

    I don’t know what WLC says specifically about the Holocaust but some fundie leaders, Hagee or Jeffries said recently that the Holocaust was caused by god. He needed to move the Jews from Europe to Israel so they could rebuild the Temple and start the real end times holocaust when jesus kills 7 billion people and destroys the earth.

    One wonders why he couldn’t have just given them all train tickets or something.

    • raven
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      McCain Cuts Ties to Pastors Whose Talks Drew Fire – NYTimes.com
      www. nytimes. com /2008/05/23/us/politics/23hagee.html

      23 May 2008 – John C. Hagee, a televangelist, after a watchdog group released a recording of …

      in which Mr. Hagee said Hitler and the Holocaust had been part of God’s plan to …. Get 50% Off The New York Times & Free All Digital Access.

      Says it all.

      • Newish Gnu
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        God’s plan includes me getting 50% off the NYTimes?!?!!?

        God finally does something for me. Took him long enough. I’ve been paying full price for too goddamn long.

      • Curt Cameron
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        God planned the Holocaust just to get 50% off the New York Times? He should have just subscribed to the online version and avoided all that suffering.

  20. brotheryam
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    So the mass murderer is actually doing God’s will? Shouldn’t he then be celebrated as a hero?

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Exactly. And his actions of “sparing” those children any more ability to sin should be seen as a #(@&! sacramenet.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        It was also God’s will that those particular children be saved.

  21. Griff
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I’m glad I’m not the only person who finds this man repulsive. His ” it’s ok to kill kids ‘cos they go to heaven” argument for god-ordered genocide is mind-bogglingly retarded.

    • Tulse
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Well, at least he’s consistent about dead kids going to heaven, and supports abortion.

      He does, right?

      • Griff
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        He should do – I’m sure he’d love someone to kill his own children, (if he has any)

        • Mike de Fleuriot
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          I always thought he was slightly bent, but then I found out the gays got luck and he was married to a woman. (At least by the sounds of things in the kitchen, it’s a woman)

  22. dev41
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    It is people like me that wish there was a hell in which they could rot for eternity.

  23. dev41
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    It is people like him that wish there was a hell in which they could rot for eternity.

  24. raven
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    WLC is a pathetic parody of a normal human.

    He can always be counted on to lie, say something stupid, or say something horrible.

    He is also one of the few and best thinkers the fundies ever produced.

    The fundie xians have never produced much, if any, in the way of scholars, theologians, or other thinkers.

    The most famous one is probably the Xian Dominionist Ruchdooney. His plan for a theocracy is estimated to result in the death of around 297 million Americans.

    Despite shattering all records for auto-genocide, Rushdooney was and is a tremendously influential thought leader. Much of fundie-ism and their political party, the GOP/Tea Party are xian Dominionists.

    • raven
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Fundie xianity has never produced an impressive thinker.

      They have nowever, produced huge numbers of monsters.

      Plantinga, considered one the best, is an idiot.

      Rushdooney is noted for coming up with a simple but creative plan to kill almost all Americans.

      WLC, considered another towering fundie intellect, is a monster and incoherent idiot.

      The creationists are all liars.

      This is all another data point for the theory that; fundie xianity causes profound cognitive impairment.

  25. Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    If I remember rightly, one of the (fully justified IMOP!) reasons that Richard Dawkins gave for refusing to debate Craig was that Craig had justified the murder of children in the bible by Israeli soldiers, by saying that it was no problem for the children since they were going straight to heaven, but he (Craig) found it more difficult to account for the brutalisation of the Israeli soldiers who did the killing. Presumably, he didn’t feel that justification would go down so well here.

    • lamacher
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      The Israelis have enough to contend with without being blamed for what Hebrews did some 2500 years ago.

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        And yet they point to their supposed history and insist that they “own” a tatty little piece of land because of those actions of those Israelites.

  26. Dermot C
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    WLC’s not too far from saying that whatever is, is good; or he could even be affirming it. Rather like Leibniz’s “Die beste aller möglichen Welten”.

    Voltaire nailed this, as I’m sure most of you know. ‘If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others like?’

    I always liked Trotsky’s sneer on this – ‘the slavish worship of the established fact’. He forgot to add that facts are susceptible to the most warped interpretations.

  27. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Let’s keep our hope rooted in how the human heart here on earth responds to this sadness with practical steps that reflect care.

    If this works for you, Bill, remember that actions speak louder than words and the folks in Newton aren’t very interested in what to most of us are shallow rationalizations that are agenda-driven and indicate a deep disconnect from real pain on your part.

    You owe an apology for your apologetics and should leave well enough alone.

  28. JohnC
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Probably not as bad as Huckabee and others saying “what do you expect if you exclude God from schools”, seeking turn this tragedy into not just theological nonsense but political advantage as well. Still hard to listen.

    • JohnC
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Sorry, “theological nonsense” is obviously a tautology. Whole thing just upsets me.

  29. Jim Bradley
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    While I don’t subscribe to religion, there’s plenty against Christianity without being inaccurate – I didn’t hear anything in the video that noted that this event is “God’s way of reminding us” of anything, but rather similar events occurred at Christmas time (if the Biblical events are to be believed).

    The Christian religious theory is that man is fallen, having made a choice to “become as Gods, knowing good and evil” contrary to the command of God to remain uncorrupted. The presence of sin and suffering in the world is because of man’s choice which has affected mankind and nature itself. Certainly this terrible event is traceable to the choices of a specific person and perhaps several other persons which bear the most responsibility for the crime.

    In Christianity, God has allowed mankind to choose, which has consequences, one of the consequences being the destruction of innocent people (hence, the destruction of Jesus Christ – man killed God’s human son). Ultimately, (goes the theory), God has yielded power to mankind which has created this state of the earth – how exactly, is not specified. The idea that “God can do anything” such as preventing the results of choices, is not theologically sound, as power has limits. There are many things that violence cannot achieve (such as suspension of natural law), which is also our common understanding. There is no cogent explanation why natural law was able to be suspended in Biblical times but not now or why “faith as much as a grain of a mustard seed can move mountains” yet mountains are not moved by faith – at least not in our understanding of what “faith” means.

    The slaughter of the Canaanites occurred in the Old Testament, which was (presumably) the inaccurate view of God (i.e. exercise of power) contrasted with the New Testament, which is the accurate view of God (redemption, turning evil to good, love of one’s fellow man). Ultimately God triumphs by the sacrifices of people that are willing to deflect evil by not engaging in the methods of evil (namely, violence, threat, etc).

    • Tulse
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      The idea that “God can do anything” such as preventing the results of choices, is not theologically sound, as power has limits.

      “Omnipotence — I don’t think that word means what you think it means…”

      The slaughter of the Canaanites occurred in the Old Testament, which was (presumably) the inaccurate view of God

      I doubt very much that Craig, or most fundamentalists, would agree with that assessment.

      • blitz442
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

        “The slaughter of the Canaanites occurred in the Old Testament, which was (presumably) the inaccurate view of God”

        Inaccurate view of God? Not to Craig and his ilk.

        And if you think about it, they sort of forced into that position. If most of a “divinely inspired” book is admitted to be incorrect by the faithful, then what, if anything, is correct in that book?

        • Dermot C
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          This thought occurs to me re: the ‘divinely inspired’ Book.

          Had you lived before the canon, including the books of the OT, was agreed in the fourth century, your interpretation of ‘divinely inspired’ would proceed from your understanding of the nature of Christ and God; from the battles about dogma which littered the fields of the early Christian era.

          For example, the second century Marcionites, widespread, numerous, influential, even as far as the Papacy, did view the OT and the NT God as different. That they lost the debate seems more to do with the vagaries of history than with the soundness of their doctrinal logic – in parentheses, I see no reason why any Christological or theological argument should win out, except for reasons of power, influence and access to the state machinery.

          After the ossification of the canon, however, divinely-inspired is defined as that which is in the canon, not as that with which I, Christian, agree; all outlying interpretations of Christianity henceforth are closed down from modern Christians, they virtually can not conceive of Christ, as, say, completely and only human; or as solely divine. Or as escaping the body of Jesus, just before his death on the cross; or as a demiurge who temporarily vacated his place in the heavenly Pleroma to appear on earth – all early Christian interpretations of Jesus. And none inherently less credible than the orthodox interpretation that WLC and his ilk advertise; all of which construals, I am sure, WLC is aware of.

          WLC chooses this idea of Christ and God and to stamp himself with the enormous cultural and religious cachet of the Bible. And to pretend that it wasn’t written by humans; and to ignore the very human and venal struggle which preceded its imposition.

      • raven
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        The idea that “God can do anything” such as preventing the results of choices, is not theologically sound, as power has limits.

        This is wrong. God all powerful according to the xians. Which letter of all powerful don’t you understand?

        The slaughter of the Canaanites occurred in the Old Testament, which was (presumably) the inaccurate view of God.

        There is no agreed upon “accurate view of god” among xians. They vary all over the place.

        Biblical inerrantists like WLC flat out state that the OT monster god is completely accurate. That is his main point as a biblical inerrantist.

        • Jim Bradley
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

          “All powerful” meaning having the ability to do things that power can accomplish. Power cannot make round circles, and it cannot make “communism work” (read Ludwig von Mises or Hayek). The extent of the limits of power in the natural world are not known and it is an unwarranted assumption that with sufficient power, all things would be changeable.

          In my view, power (violence) has profound limits. You cannot “bomb a building into existence”, it has to be built – and that has to occur by application of knowledge and appreciation of natural law.

          I think what bothers me most about the anti-religious views here, is that they seem not to have much depth and to be composed of the most easily knocked-down views by the least coherent “fundamentalists” … a near-continuous straw man argument.

          As far as religious views, I don’t defend them, because they make little sense to me. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t significant usefulness in reading and thinking about what has been written by thinkers that are (or have been) religious. I think those that are are on fence (i.e. aware of human limits and open to deeper understanding) are a great deal more interesting, as there is more territory to explore.

          It is well accepted within Christianity, fundamentalists included, that the problems of the world derive from the presence of sinful mankind. I rarely see this mentioned – as if God is always to blame. But the former was the theme of the video, not the latter.

          • gbjames
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

            You seem confused to me. I don’t understand how you resolve not defending religious views “because they make no sense” with finding “significant usefulness” from reading religious stuff.

            Being on the fence between a modern understanding of the universe and the idea that the sun rotates around the earth does not mean that there is more “territory to explore”. It just means that you are very confused, half way to Crazy-Town.

            The doctrine of original sin is not a novelty. Nor does it provide any help in understanding our problems or figuring out solutions. It is just a bad idea that needs to be abandoned.

            • Jim Bradley
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

              gbjames,

              Take the good from it and throw away the bad. The doctrine of original sin has useful implications for what authority is trustworthy. Which authority is trustworthy is decided partly by an inherent moral code, not only by “objective” (if there is such a thing) evidence. For example, Hitler might have had great scientists, but their science cannot be trusted because they are subservient to an evil ideology. The truth simply cannot “get out” if it were to conflict with the violently enforced political agenda. Ironically, what a lot of anti-theists on this blog are doing, is applying those anti-human-authority theological principles without realizing it.

              The application of the principles of anti-authority is based not only on the concept of the fall of man, but also of the concept that man was created in the image of God and has that he has a moral judgement capability as a part of his natural character and that man has the ability to form an individual relationship with God which is held to be superior to that of trusting in human authority. I don’t subscribe to this view, because it is anti-evidence.

              I note that science has a practical problem. Science, the ideological ideal (independent verification by experiment), is not the same as the necessary practice. In practical terms, you and I have to put a large amount of trust in authorities about what is true (example: “dark matter”) and what is false in fields where we are not experts or well educated. Far from being unaffected by bias and corruption, the practice of science, being a social institution made of men, is profoundly affected by them. It is also profoundly affected by funding. So on any given issue, it is useful to explore all the influences – moral, social, ethical on the outcomes, especially when it comes to deciding governmental policy based on science.

              • gbjames
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

                You are wasting an awful lot of perfectly good consonants and vowels.

                There is no “good” to be taken from doctrinal fictions. Your comments are based entirely on unsubstantiated wishful thinking and stories told by your grandma.

                Scientific authority is earned. It is subject to verification by others, even by me if I take the time to do it. Religious “authority” is nothing but assertions based on fictions.

                Isn’t there an open street corner where you should be preaching right now? There are few of us here who are interested in your wares.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

                In practical terms, you and I have to put a large amount of trust in authorities about what is true (example: “dark matter”) and what is false in fields where we are not experts or well educated.

                In practical terms, we can examine the publications for ourselves. We can then go on to independently validate the claims made in them should we so choose. We can also be confident that others will do likewise, as much credit is given to those who prove others worng.

                The web of science is, for all insensitive porpoises, unbreakably strong, even though there is no doubt but that many strands are weak and frayed.

                Ultimately, one should apportion one’s belief in accordance with a rational analysis of the available evidence. Therefore, you should have less belief in dark matter than an astrophysicist (though it would still be reasonable to have a very high degree of confidence in it). And a random astrophysicist should have more belief in dark matter than you but less than one who specializes in the subject. (And, again, in all cases, the belief may deservedly be close enough to absolute that these fine distinctions are irrelevant.)

                Cheers,

                b&

              • Jim Bradley
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

                bgjames,

                I don’t defend Christian thinking, but I do understand it. The main claim is that the video is reprehensible because Mr. Craig drew parallels to an associated tragedy in the Christmas story. That does not seem supported by the evidence in this case, whatever Mr. Craig’s other infractions. It is also an observation of mine, based on several months of reading, that the weakest and most indefensible thinking in religion are frequently attacked. That seems more like an outlet for hostility than useful dialogue. For me, I am interested in sharing viewpoints and hopefully learning something.

                Ben Goren,

                I think you are making the claim that most of accepted science can be trusted (i.e. is non-fraudulent) to a high degree of probability. I would agree, but reserve caution because the ability to independently verify results rests on having the requisite knowledge and skills. As fields specialize to a greater and greater degree, what is the factor that enforces rationality? In the market, it is profits and losses, but I do not see the same constraint in science. Perhaps you can enlighten me further with something I have not thought of.

              • gbjames
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

                Assuming I’m the bgjames which you address:

                How exactly does honestly and directly commenting violate your desired “sharing viewpoints” principle? What are you suggesting as an alternate? Because I can see none that don’t involve either lying or being quiet. Neither of which qualify, to me, as ways of “sharing viewpoints”.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

                Jim, there is much profit and loss, but of reputation and respect and only incidentally of money.

                The scientist who successfully knocks down another’s theory is accorded much respect — and the bigger the theory that gets knocked down, the more the respect. See Einstein who toppled Newton, for example.

                The scientist who is discovered to have acted in bad faith instantly loses all respect, forever. See Pons & Fleischmann.

                The more significant the theory, the harder people try to topple it. See every physicist today working on some variation of String Theory — or, for that matter, the LHC.

                b&

              • Jim Bradley
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

                Ben Goren,

                I don’t think science was self-correcting in Germany in the 40s (crazy racial ideology), or that science was (or is) self correcting in communist countries (Marxism, etc). I suspect (and it’s at least demonstrated historically), that science can only thrive (i.e. become more widespread in application and research) in an environment of rationality which is provided by a legal and ethical structure of private property, individual freedom, and relatively free markets – as those which enforce rationality by profits and losses.

                There’s also the issue of funding … I really wonder about the veracity of “climate change” especially since it is driving new revenue tax policy. In the 70s it was the upcoming global cooling. In the 90s it was global warming. Now it’s just “climate change”. After getting it wrong and wrong, the term is now ambiguous. Whether it’s predominantly man-made or not, is an area that is almost impossible to decipher for the non-professional.

                There’s a huge amount of money at stake “proving” man-made climate change: getting the tax funding and doing more research on it. (.. Assuming that man-made climate change is going to happen — who gets to decide the relative value of modern life-enhancing or essential goods vs. changing the climate? Government – with few bounds on rationality as losses are passed to the citizenry? It’s also assumed that it’s bad if man happens to change the climate but okay if it happens “naturally”. Many questions …) It may be true or not, and it may be worthwhile to act or not, and if worthwhile, it may be a taxable item or not, but when the money aligns with an outcome, I think there’s reason for serious criticism because of the bias. For example, did you know that Franklin Raines (head of FNMA – the GSE that went down because of government sponsored bad loans at the cost of the taxpayer) was working on *patenting* the trading of carbon tax credits? Think about that … Should such a thing ever be patentable?

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:38 am | Permalink

                You really think free markets enforce rationality?!?1

              • Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

                I’m sorry, Jim. I must have misread you, because you seem to be questioning the reality of global warming.

                But that would be just plain silly of you.

                Cheers,

                b&

          • Tulse
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            “All powerful” meaning having the ability to do things that power can accomplish.

            You believe your god created the universe, yet you think it doesn’t have the “power” to stop a mass murderer, perhaps with a well-timed car wreck or brain aneurysm?

            Your god seems awfully small and inconsistent.

            • Jim Bradley
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

              Tulse,

              I don’t subscribe to Christian beliefs, but I am well familiar with them. Take care.

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            How did sinful mankind get here, given the presence of an all powerful & benevolent creator? There has never been an answer to this question that is remotely coherent; just smoke and mirrors.

          • raven
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            In my view, power (violence) has profound limits. You cannot “bomb a building into existence”, it has to be built – and that has to occur by application of knowledge and appreciation of natural law.

            God isn’t bound by natural law. He created natural law.

            I think what bothers me most about the anti-religious views here, is that they seem not to have much depth and to be composed of the most easily knocked-down views by the least coherent “fundamentalists” … a near-continuous straw man argument.

            That would be correct if you had the slightest idea of what xians believe. You don’t and have been wrong about everything..

            Down to insults now. “Shallow” “Strawpersoning”

            Xianity doesn’t have any depth. It’s all magical thinking supported by lies and delusions.

            But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t significant usefulness in reading and thinking about what has been written by thinkers that are (or have been) religious.

            The fallacy that “sophisticated theology” exists and makes any sense. Why don’t you list some of those insights explained by Aquinas, WLC, Plantinga, Collins and all the rest. We can use a laugh.

            It is well accepted within Christianity, fundamentalists included, that the problems of the world derive from the presence of sinful mankind. I rarely see this mentioned – as if God is always to blame.

            Wrong again. You are at least consistent.

            Standard fundie theology. God is in charge and everything happens for a reason. WLC and the others say it often.

          • Gary W
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

            “All powerful” meaning having the ability to do things that power can accomplish. Power cannot make round circles

            So God’s power is bound by logic. But why is evil necessary as a matter of logic? Why didn’t God create the world such that there is no evil?

            • Jim Bradley
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

              Gary,

              No amount of power can accomplish an illogical state of affairs.

              In answer to the 2nd part, it sounds like you are asking (theologically) why it is that God created a world in which evil is possible. The theological answer is that with the ability to choose comes the ability to engage in rebellion against God, hence to commit evil.

              • Dermot C
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

                Jim,

                I agree with all of your last sentence, except with regard to the opening word; I would substitute the indefinite for your definite article.

                Really, Jim, to pretend that there is the theological answer to any question is just wrong. Theological justifications, rather than answers, differ within the same religion over time and space. You are basing your comments on your understanding of western mainstream Christianity.

                That this is the current dominant thread in Christianity makes it no more true or even definitve of theology than Patripassianism, Catharism, Brownism, Arianism, all buried, but no more inherently untrue than the modern velleity which passes, via interpetation, to dogma and psephology.

                We are talking about a very human debate, as you know, but your use of ‘the’ does you no favours.

                Cheers.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

                No amount of power can accomplish an illogical state of affairs.

                Yes, I stipulated that premise: God’s power is bound by logic.

                In answer to the 2nd part, it sounds like you are asking (theologically) why it is that God created a world in which evil is possible. The theological answer is that with the ability to choose comes the ability to engage in rebellion against God, hence to commit evil.

                Actually, I asked why God created a world in which there is actual evil, not merely the possibility of it. But the question applies to the mere possibility of evil too.

                I don’t think your “theological answer” makes sense. If God seeks to maximize good, why didn’t he create us such that we have the ability to choose, but always choose good? And why did he create us with the ability to choose, anyway? What’s the benefit of that?

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

                God’s power is bound by logic

                And presumably geometry, as per your point about circles. And if geometry, the presumably also calculus, and set theory, and algebra, and statistics. And with all that, of course, comes all the computational sciences, and physics.

                So an “omnipotent” god is pretty darned limited, when you get down to it. I wonder if he ever ponders where all these formal systems that restrict his power came from…

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

                presumably geometry, as per your point about circles. And if geometry, the presumably also calculus, and set theory, and algebra, and statistics. And with all that, of course, comes all the computational sciences, and physics.

                I don’t think that follows. God is bound by logic in the sense that logic is necessary for claims about God’s power to be meaningful. But that doesn’t preclude the power to create universes with different properties than ours, different geometry, different math, different physics, etc.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

                You think that different math is possible, but not different logic? So such god could create a universe where 1 + 1 = 3, but not where P and ~P are both true?

                In case you weren’t aware, first order logic is pretty much the foundation of mathematics. So making a distinction between “logic” and “math” is downright arbitrary.

                And there are various logic systems, including ones with multivalent truth (aka “fuzzy logic”), where the binary P or ~P doesn’t encompass all possible truth values.

                So I don’t understand your commitment to having a god bounded by a particular subset of logic, but not by any other kind of logic, or what that logic implies more broadly for math.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

                You think that different math is possible, but not different logic? So such god could create a universe where 1 + 1 = 3, but not where P and ~P are both true?

                Applied math would certainly be different in a universe with different physical properties. So would physics. I don’t know what you think it means to say that God could create a universe involving a logical contradiction.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

                Could a god create a different arithmetic? A different calculus? A different geometry? All of those are just as fundamental as logic. The point is that a god that can’t change such things seems rather less than omnipotent. (And it presumably raises the embarrassing question for such a being: where did such laws come from?)

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

                Could a god create a different arithmetic? A different calculus? A different geometry?

                A universe with a different number of spatial dimensions would have a different geometry and calculus. I don’t see how logic precludes such a universe. Not sure about arithmetic.

              • John Scanlon, FCD
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

                A universe with a different number of spatial dimensions would have a different geometry and calculus

                This is a false claim, as shown by the familiar fact that in our universe we can do geometry and calculus in arbitrary numbers of dimensions.

                So stop the fuck repeating it, pls.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

                We can model spaces with extra dimensions using our math, but that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be new math that only applied to those higher-dimensional spaces.

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            “All powerful” meaning having the ability to do things that power can accomplish.

            Sorry, but that’s still incoherent.

            An all-powerful being can’t commit suicide — or, less dramatically, resign the throne or even share power. Yet those are all all very commonplace things to do amongst mere humans, the sort of thing done every day.

            Cheers,

            b&

            • Paul S
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

              I’ve got it. All powerful means you can do anything you want unless it is something so ludicrous that you seem bat-crap crazy when people point it out.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

                Or, more charitably, it’s just a literary device. And, just like the oracle that never fails to tell the truth, or the well that never runs dry, or the sword that always strikes true, its real purpose is to provide for interesting plot twists, generally at the story’s climax.

                Cheers,

                b&

          • Barbara
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

            It is that it is well accepted within Christianity that the problems of the world derive from the presence of sinful mankind. However, that can’t be true. Why not? Because the problems of injury, suffering, and death occurred long before humans, or indeed any mammals, existed. We humans do perpetuate evil, but we can’t be the cause of terrible processes that occurred long before we were here.

            One can sidestep this issue by pointing out that only humans can do moral evil, and I will agree with that, but does the moral dimension that really matter to the trilobite with a chunk torn from the edge of its body, to the fish ripped apart by predators, or the dinosaur with a fungal infection eating away its jaw. All this suffering happened independent of humans.

            • Jim Bradley
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

              Barbara,

              True. Which is why the explanation provided by Christianity appears to be false.

          • truthspeaker
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            “he extent of the limits of power in the natural world are not known and it is an unwarranted assumption that with sufficient power, all things would be changeable. ”

            I’ve bolded your error. In Christianity, God created the natural world. Any limits to his power are there because he placed them there.

            “I think what bothers me most about the anti-religious views here, is that they seem not to have much depth and to be composed of the most easily knocked-down views by the least coherent “fundamentalists” … a near-continuous straw man argument.”

            It’s not straw man if large numbers of Christians believe it. Those easily knocked-down views are mainstream Christianity in the United States.

            “It is well accepted within Christianity, fundamentalists included, that the problems of the world derive from the presence of sinful mankind. I rarely see this mentioned – as if God is always to blame.”

            Now you’ve missed a major part of the discussion. Mankind can only do what God created them to do, and the consequences are what God decided the consequences would be. The Christian belief is that God created everything.

            • Jim Bradley
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

              truthspeaker,

              Bolded error:
              So delete the bolded section. It still does not follow, given that the argument must be necessarily stated from ignorance. We have no ability to demonstrate that power can accomplish every state of affairs, so we cannot know if a counterfactual state of affairs is possible by the exercise of greater amounts of power.

              Straw Man:
              The commentary and the video, in my view, are very divergent. So that’s a straw man right there, if I am correct. A good argument takes the strongest opposition and demolishes it, not a weak version, even if more popular.

              “Mankind can only do what God created them to do” … what is the justification of that assertion? Perhaps mankind can create alternative futures based on choices.

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

                ““Mankind can only do what God created them to do” … what is the justification of that assertion?”

                The entirety of Christian thought is the justification. It’s central to the Christian concept of God.

              • raven
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:49 am | Permalink

                ““Mankind can only do what God created them to do” … what is the justification of that assertion?”

                It’s basically the central point of the bible and sums up the entire religion of xianity.

                Which letter of the words “creator god” don’t you understand?

    • raven
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      The presence of sin and suffering in the world is because of man’s choice which has affected mankind and nature itself.

      You haven’t thought it through just like the xians never bother.

      Why was the magic Tree of Knowledge in the garden with two brainless humans? God could have put it on Jupiter or Kpax IV, 50 million light years away.

      Where did the smartass talking snake come from? Why was he in the Garden?

      Why didn’t the omniscient god know what was going to happen? After all, even a bright kid could predict it, knowing the facts.

      Adam and Eve were plainly set up to fail by god.

      BTW, original sin isn’t in Genesis, it was something made up by Augustine. If you actually read Genesis, god kicked the two humans out because he was afraid of them.

      One of the few things god ever got right. The gods should be afraid of humans. When we stop believing in them, then they die.

      • Jim Bradley
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        I don’t need to “think it through” because I do not defend it. I make the point that the theory promoted by Christianity, of which there is broad (but not specific) agreement, is misrepresented here for the purposes of sensationalism.

        • raven
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          the theory promoted by Christianity, of which there is broad (but not specific) agreement, is misrepresented here for the purposes of sensationalism.

          No it is not. You have been wrong about everything so far.

          There are 42,000 xian sects all claiming to be the One True Cult. Xians don’t agree on anything. In fact, up until recently they killed each other by the millions over their differences.

          I don’t need to “think it through” because I do not defend it.

          Well you should try and think it through. So far all you’ve done is waste a lot of electrons and photons without making any sense.

          It’s OK to hate atheists. We get that from xians every day. At least you know where they are coming from. You just seem hopelessly confused and ignorant about what you claim to know. FWIW, most of us are ex-xians. We know what xians think first hand.

          • Jim Bradley
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

            In my view, the original commentary misrepresents the purpose, theme, and intent of the video by Mr. Craig. Although I do not defend Mr. Craig’s views, I note there is quite a lot of attack directed at the weakest forms of theological argument and misrepresentations of those arguments also.

            “Christians don’t agree on anything”.
            I think that is a false claim. Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Lutherans, etc. all have substantially similar beliefs which center around Jesus Christ (hence the phrase “Christian”). Oxford English dictionary gives a cogent definition and the first paragraph in Wikipedia is pretty clear as well.

            “It’s OK to hate atheists”. I don’t feel that way. I am closer to atheists than I am to Christians, but I don’t feel the level of hostility to either group that I sometimes see on this and other blogs.

        • truthspeaker
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          I don’t see how it’s been misrepresented at all.

    • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      “In Christianity, God has allowed mankind to choose, which has consequences, one of the consequences being the destruction of innocent people (hence, the destruction of Jesus Christ – man killed God’s human son).”

      No, that is not right and it does sound like the excuse a Christian would give, being unaware of what the bible really says and being sure that they and only they are the OneTrueChristians. This god repeatedly interferes with humanity. Any single miracle invalidates any claim of this god giving any kind of “choice”. The bible also says that this god intentionally prevents some humans from understanding and accepting it as well as saying that this god intentionally made some humans to be destroyed.

      Jim, why do you declare that this god can’t be omninpotent whilst citing how “untheologically sound” this is. What does “theological sound” even mean? It sounds as if you are simply making things up when you claim that “poof, violent power has limits”.

      • Jim Bradley
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        ‘Any single miracle invalidates any claim of this god giving any kind of “choice”.’

        I don’t see how that follows. Choices may (or may not) exist independent of whether miracles can or ever have happened.

        “The bible also says that this god intentionally prevents some humans from understanding and accepting it as well as saying that this god intentionally made some humans to be destroyed.”

        True, which is not consistent with the proposed nature of a loving God unwilling to see any “perish”. Again, I don’t propose to defend Christianity. I argue that the characterization of the video is inaccurate and the arguments against Christianity seem to be leveled at the weakest level, rather than against the strongest level.

        I don’t make a claim about omnipotence except to note that “all powerful” doesn’t necessarily mean the ability to accomplish logical contradictions. People take the term “omnipotence” to mean different things. If omnipotence is taken to mean something that makes the anti-theist assertion easiest to argue, it is the weakest form of anti-theist argument. In my view, it should be argued that omnipotent means “something that can be accomplished with power” rather than “able to make any state of affairs, including outright contradictions, occur”.

        • Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          I don’t make a claim about omnipotence except to note that “all powerful” doesn’t necessarily mean the ability to accomplish logical contradictions.

          Again, no need to go with outright contradictions.

          An omnipotent being cannot commit suicide, can’t share power, can’t know what it’s like to be helpless, can’t draw inspiration from frustration, and so on.

          It no more makes sense to seriously propose “the greatest power” than it does “the biggest number,” and for the exact same types of reasons.

          b&

        • Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

          If a miracle occurs, then this god has removed the choice from people who are involved. If God says that one side of a war will win, poof, no choice. If God causes a shooter will hit his target, no choice for either target or shooter. If somone is healed by this god, then no choice for the healed person or the person who wanted to inherit something. As soon as God intervenes and stops one possiblity, then there is no choice. Now, if there are no miracles, then choices proliferate, only limited by physics and chemistry, not some magical being that makes subjective arrangements per the situation.
          Jim, you claim subjectively that arguments are “weak” but have yet to show how they are “weak”. Then you decide that all by yourself, you can declare that “all powerful” doesnt’ mean omnipotent (aka all powerful in hmm, Greek?) and declare on your own that you have decided that all-powerful, only means powerful as is convenient for the mythical nonsense in religion. That is a very very common thing that Chrsitiansn do, try to redefine words so their religion doesn’t fail quite so much, that their supposedly omnipotent god which doesn’t measure up anymore in a educated world with lots of recording media can be depowered to be more acceptable to humans who no longer accept that magical beings cause disease, etc.

          • aljones909
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

            Does a perpetrator who is mentally ill make a free choice? Why doesn’t god intervene to prevent the suffering when there is no exercise of meaningful free will? This could be done in a hidden way by subtle altering of brain activity.

            • Posted December 21, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

              If this god existed and if the parts about even thinking about a sin are as bad as doing the sin, this god could kill a person long before they actually act on their desires. Theists who wish to excuse their god’s inaction always forget about that too.

  30. Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “You’d expect something stupid from this repulsive man, but this is even worse than you could imagine…Craig should rot in hell.”
    o_O

    “Apparently the recent slaughter is God’s way of reminding us of “what Christmas is for, what it’s all about.””

    How does Craig in any way attribute the shooting to God? He was simply saying that horrific events like this demonstrate the reality of evil (rebellion *against* God), and remind us of our need for deliverance.

    • blitz442
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      So when every last human finally accepts JC as their personal savior, God will then step in, perfect the world, and undo all of the damage that two people did?

      If yes, does that mean that those of us that do not accept JC as our personal savior have blood on our hands?

      Does it mean that we will cease to have free will once evil has ended? If no, why did the perfect God not set up the Universe with creatures who had free will, but never(or rarely) chose to do evil?

      • Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        “So when every last human finally accepts JC as their personal savior, God will then step in, perfect the world, and undo all of the damage that two people did?”

        No – I believe that God *will* bring an end to evil and suffering, but this isn’t dependent on “every last human” finally accepting Him. Anyway, I think we would both agree that professing Christians aren’t exactly immune to sin.

        “…why did the perfect God not set up the Universe with creatures who had free will, but never(or rarely) chose to do evil?”

        The existence of evil is consistent with a perfect, all-powerful God *if* God had sufficient reason to create creatures with free will (i.e. the capacity to commit evil). Asking why God didn’t create creatures who commit less evil (or no evil) would seem to require a *limitation* on free will. It’s like asking God to create a free creature that isn’t *really* free (or a rock so heavy that even God can’t lift it). Omnipotence need not extend to logically impossible scenarios.

        • Tulse
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          It’s like asking God to create a free creature that isn’t *really* free

          I’m completely free? I can do whatever I want? So I can levitate, turn anything I touch into gold, end bad reality television, and cure cancer?

          Because golly, if I can’t, it sure sounds to me like my will is limited, and isn’t free at all…

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

            I think you’re confusing free will with omnipotence.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

            • Tulse
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

              If so, can you kindly explain how such limits do not mean my will is circumscribed instead of truly “free”?

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

                For the purposes of God & the existence of evil, free will just means that humans are moral agents, capable of willfully choosing to do good or evil.

                Obviously our moral actions are – to some degree – confined by our physical abilities. But it’s a confusion of terms to think that a lack of superhero powers = a lack of free will.

              • Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

                “humans are moral agents, capable of willfully choosing to do good or evil.”

                I’ll leave Jerry to disabuse you of the “choosing” part, you seem to assume that all actions are as clearly “good” or “evil” as choosing whether or not to massacre a school full of children. Most are much more nuanced and any choice will have both good and evil in its consequences.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

                Can I choose to wipe out all poverty? Can I do that good? Can I choose to torture every human being on the planet? Can I do that evil?

                If the answers are “no”, then I am not capable of a free choice to do any good or any evil. My choices are limited — they are not free.

        • blitz442
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

          “Asking why God didn’t create creatures who commit less evil (or no evil) would seem to require a *limitation* on free will”

          That makes no sense whatsoever. A very moral human does not have less free will than a different human who is less ethical.

          Besides, do we lose our free will when we enter heaven? Are people capable comitting evil in heaven? Do the angels other than Lucifer have free will?

        • blitz442
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          “No – I believe that God *will* bring an end to evil and suffering, but this isn’t dependent on “every last human” finally accepting Him.”

          So what is it dependent on, and what is stopping Him from doing it now if he is capable?

        • Gary W
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          The existence of evil is consistent with a perfect, all-powerful God *if* God had sufficient reason to create creatures with free will (i.e. the capacity to commit evil).

          How is it consistent? If God wants to maximize good, why didn’t he create us such that we have free will but always choose good? And what is this “sufficient reason” to create creatures with free will, anyway?

          Asking why God didn’t create creatures who commit less evil (or no evil) would seem to require a *limitation* on free will.

          Huh? How does it seem to require that? Some people commit less evil than others. So why didn’t God create us such that all of us choose less evil? Or are you claiming that people who commit less evil have less free will?

          • Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

            “..such that we have free will but always choose good?”

            In other words, “free to choose between good and evil, but…actually…not free to choose evil.”

            “And what is this “sufficient reason” to create creatures with free will, anyway?”

            From CS Lewis: “God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong, but I can’t. If a thing is free to be good it’s also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata – of creatures that worked like machines – would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they’ve got to be free. Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently, He thought it worth the risk.”

            “Or are you claiming that people who commit less evil have less free will?”

            I’m claiming that people who commit less evil are exercising their free will to choose *moral actions* over *immoral actions*. Just like people who commit more evil are exercising their free will to choose *immoral actions* over *moral actions*. The fact that people make different choices says nothing, in itself, about their ability to make choices.

          • Gary W
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            In other words, “free to choose between good and evil, but…actually…not free to choose evil.”

            No, free to choose between good and evil, but always choosing good. I may always choose chocolate ice cream over vanilla, but that doesn’t mean I’m “not free” to choose vanilla.

            From CS Lewis: …

            Lewis does not offer any reason why God could not have created us such that we have free will but always choose good. Does God himself have free will? If he does, but he always chooses good, then it must be possible to have free will and always choose good. So why didn’t God make us that way?

            If God has free will but sometimes chooses evil, then God is not the perfect being asserted by Christianity. If God does not have free will but is a perfect being anyway, then free will does not provide any benefit. So why didn’t God create us without free will, like himself?

            And what about the inhabitants of Heaven? Do they have free will? If they do have free will, do they sometimes choose evil? If they do sometimes choose evil, then there is evil in Heaven, which contradicts Christian teaching. But if they always choose good, that would again mean it must be possible to have free will but always choose good. And if the inhabitants of Heaven don’t have free will, then why do we have free will?

            Christian teaching is full of this kind of contradiction.

            I’m claiming that people who commit less evil are exercising their free will to choose *moral actions* over *immoral actions*.

            Yes, we understand that. So why didn’t God make everyone like that? Why didn’t God make all of us such that we choose moral actions over immoral actions more often than we actually do?

            • John Scanlon, FCD
              Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

              “Does God himself have free will? If he does, but he always chooses good, then it must be possible to have free will and always choose good. So why didn’t God make us that way?”

              That’s a rather good point and well put, can I steal it or should I cite a source?

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

                Indeed. If God’s essential nature is such that he has free will but cannot choose to do evil, then why did he not create mankind with the same essential nature?

              • Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

                It gets worse, actually.

                If YHWH knowingly created us with the potential for evil, then our potential for evil must have come from his design, his own bag o’ tricks.

                A perfect being who lacks evil intention cannot possibly create evil. Only an evil being would intentionally create something with the potential evil, and only an imperfect being could do so unintentionally.

                But this is all just another variation on Epicurus’s famous riddle….

                Cheers,

                b&

  31. Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    This man is such a wally and whenever I have had the misfortune to listen to him I end up despairing at such a waste of time. No matter what agenda’s are up for debate he invariably sidesteps every point and brings in his own waffle of shallow piffle. Just another thick-skinned god botherer in my book.

  32. blitz442
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    “You’d expect something stupid from this repulsive man….”

    Agree.

    “Craig should rot in hell.”

    Disagree with that sentiment. Why? Because it must be admitted that Craig is doing nothing other than bluntly stating the logical consequences of his faith premises, premises which by the way are shared by the so-called “reasonable”, moderate Christians who would be quick to condemn and disown him.

    Craig is not an evil or stupid person. He is just someone who appears to truly accept the concept of faith and salvation through all mighty and loving Jesus Christ, and actually seems interested in reconciling the facts of the world to these beliefs.

    The fact that his reconciliations and rationalizations resemble train wrecks of thought just goes to show how hopeless and incorrect the fundamental Christian doctrines are. In some sense, he does the atheist movement a favor by demonstrating the naked incompatibility of the Christian god with the facts of the world and our rational sense of morality.

    I almost prefer Craig’s attempts at theological answers to the mealy-mouthed, evasive answers given by most theologians and religious practitioners. If some Christian wishes to condemn Craig as a lunatic that is not representative of “true” Christianity, let him/her tell us where Craig is wrong from a theological and biblical sense.

    • raven
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      WLC, as repulsive and evil as he is, does serve one useful purpose.

      The vaguely humanoid toad fundie leaders like WLC, create more atheists in a day than Dawkins and Meyers do in a year.

      The fundies created the New Atheists and are rapidly destroying their own religion in silliness, hate, and general sliminess.

      US xianity is shaking itself apart. All we ex-xian atheists can do is cheer wildly and give it a little poke here and there.

      • blitz442
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        I don’t think he’s evil, just profoundly drunk with the toxin of faith.

        Can someone be considered evil if they intend to be good and moral, but are just completely confused as to what constitutes goodness and morality?

        • raven
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          Can someone be considered evil if they intend to be good and moral,

          Yes.

          Evil is as evil does.

          You are making the common error of assuming good intentions and sincerity excuses everything.

          Here is a list of sincere and well intentioned people. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Kim Il-sung, Pol Pot, George Bush, Romney, Perry, Bachmann, Hagee, Robertson. To take just one example, Pol Pot wanted to set up an Agrarian commie utopia.

          Even the xians know this. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Being sincere and well intentioned and $1.75 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbuck’s. If you are lucky, it can also end in millions of dead bodies.

          • Gary W
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            Evil is as evil does.

            I don’t know what this is supposed to mean. “Evil” doesn’t do things. People do things. If someone is “evil” by virtue of doing a certain thing, regardless of their intentions, then they’re evil even if they do that thing by accident. I don’t think most people would accept that claim. I certainly don’t accept it. Intentions matter, not just acts.

          • blitz442
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

            “Evil is as evil does.

            So two parents who believe in faith healing, and cause their child to die through lack of medical attention, would be evil even though the death of the child is opposite of their intentions?

            “You are making the common error of assuming good intentions and sincerity excuses everything.”

            I don’t think that it excuses anything. In the above example, they would still be subject to prosecution under the law.

            • truthspeaker
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

              “So two parents who believe in faith healing, and cause their child to die through lack of medical attention, would be evil even though the death of the child is opposite of their intentions?”

              Hell, yes.

              • Diane G.
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

                + 1

          • John Scanlon, FCD
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            For those missing it (whoosh!, the nifty* thing about an expression like ‘evil is as evil does’ is that by bending normal semantic categories (is the subject a person or an abstract quality? is the modifier an adverb or an object?) it doesn’t commit to any particular sentence structure.

            Because it’s all about saying that individuals and intentions are not the point, but good actions are good and bad actions are bad.

            It’s not about a ‘good’ superhero being justified in smashing ‘baddies’ to a pulp. If that’s your preferred vision of the world, you should certainly disagree with raven and go back to reading your comic books.

            *Is that a word where you live? ‘Tis for me.

            • John Scanlon, FCD
              Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

              (Sorry, close bracket after whoosh!)

              • E.A. Blair
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:53 am | Permalink

                Thanks. I was wondering about that, and would not have been able to fall asleep tonight wondering where that closing parenthesis (not a bracket, which is a ‘]’ or a ‘>’) should go.

            • Gary W
              Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

              Because it’s all about saying that individuals and intentions are not the point, but good actions are good and bad actions are bad.

              Is it? Then it’s even more worthless than I thought.

        • truthspeaker
          Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          “Can someone be considered evil if they intend to be good and moral, but are just completely confused as to what constitutes goodness and morality?”

          Yes. In fact that probably describes most evil people.

          • Gary W
            Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Yes.

            Why? If their intentions are good, and they’re simply making an honest mistake, why are they evil?

            • Tulse
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

              So you think that Pol Pot thought his intentions were evil?

              And, at the risk of Godwinning:

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

                (Sorry, I didn’t realize that would embed, rather than just provide a link…)

            • truthspeaker
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

              Because they didn’t make the effort to resolve their confusion about goodness and morality.

              You know what the road to hell is paved with, don’t you?

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

                Because they didn’t make the effort to resolve their confusion about goodness and morality.

                How do you know they didn’t make the effort? And why would they make that effort if they didn’t think they were confused in the first place?

              • truthspeaker
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

                They obviously didn’t make enough effort.

                Do you really think most evil committed by humans is by people who are making others suffer on purpose? There are people who do that, but they inflict a small fraction of the suffering humans inflict on each other.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

                They obviously didn’t make enough effort.

                Huh? How is it “obvious” that people who “intend to be good and moral, but are just completely confused as to what constitutes goodness and morality” did not make enough effort? What reason do they have to make the effort if they don’t realize they’re confused?

                Do you really think most evil committed by humans is by people who are making others suffer on purpose?

                I don’t really believe in the concept of “evil.” I do believe that it is extremely common for people to act in ways intended to cause other people to suffer in some way.

            • Gary W
              Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

              So you think that Pol Pot thought his intentions were evil?

              No, I didn’t say anything about Pol Pot. If you have an answer to the question I asked, I’d be interested to see it.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

                You said

                If their intentions are good, and they’re simply making an honest mistake, why are they evil?

                My point was that almost no one who does evil thinks that their intentions are bad, including raven’s very long list of “good intentioned” monsters. So no, it’s not enough that parents, or dictators, or mass murderers, think that their intentions are good.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

                You’re not answering the question. If their intentions are good, and they’re simply making an honest mistake, why are they evil? Telling me “it’s not enough that their intentions are good” is not an answer (and I didn’t say that good intentions are enough, anyway).

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

                If their intentions are good, and they’re simply making an honest mistake, why are they evil?

                Willful ignorance is not an “honest” mistake.

                Again, do you think that Pol Pot believed his intentions were evil, or good? How is he any different from the parents you cite?

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

                Willful ignorance is not an “honest” mistake.

                Right, but the premise of the question is that the mistake is honest, not “willful ignorance.” Still waiting for an answer.

                Again, do you think that Pol Pot believed his intentions were evil, or good? How is he any different from the parents you cite?

                I didn’t say anything about “parents.” I don’t know much about Pol Pot, but my guess would be that he believed his intentions were good.

              • Tulse
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

                the premise of the question is that the mistake is honest, not “willful ignorance.”

                I think it greatly depends on what you mean by “honest”. The point that various folks have been trying to make is that it appears your position would hold that people like Pol Pot couldn’t be described as “evil”, which certainly seems wrong.

              • Gary W
                Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

                I think it greatly depends on what you mean by “honest”.

                I mean it in the usual sense of a mistake for which a person does not deserve blame. If someone’s intentions are good, and they simply make an honest mistake (such as being “completely confused as to what constitutes goodness and morality”), why are they evil?

                The point that various folks have been trying to make is that it appears your position would hold that people like Pol Pot couldn’t be described as “evil”, which certainly seems wrong.

                Nothing I have said implies any particular conclusion about any particular individual.

  33. mat'iibn
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Phuckin’ dumb.

  34. deadweasel
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    His tie makes me want to heave a brick through it.

  35. Blake
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Craig said multiple times that the shooting was “evil”. Just because Craig thinks a good can come from an evil tragedy doesn’t mean Craig thinks God set the tragedy up for that good. This is just an uncharitable and wholly irresponsible characterization of Craig’s statement. Specifically, Craig did not say “the recent slaughter is God’s way of reminding us ‘what Christmas is for'”; this wasn’t stated or implied in the video.
    Moreover, you’re mistaken about Craig’s general meta-ethical views.
    (a) Craig distinguishes, like philosophers in general, between moral values (good/evil) and moral duties (right/wrong). Craig only thinks the latter are grounded in God’s commands. He say the former are grounded in God’s nature. So you mischaracterized his position on what is “good”.
    (b) It’s also misleading/confused to say that if God commands it, then it’s right “no matter how odius it seems to us.” Why? Because Craig is always quick to emphasize things about God’s “essential” nature. E.g., Craig believes God is “essentially” honest (this is a technical term meaning that God is honest at all possible worlds at which God exists), such that, necessarily, God will not lie. Likewise, Craig thinks that God necessarily will not command rape. This is really 101 stuff, btw. You should be aware that if philosophers (even atheist ones) catch you writing this stuff, they’re going to look at you the same way you look at Ray Comfort when he is talking about biology. My personal opinion is that you should stick with what you’re trained in, or be far more tentative if your blog posts on philosophy.

    • Dermot C
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Easy OT near-mnemonic: WEbsITe.

    • raven
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Craig believes God is “essentially” honest (this is a technical term meaning that God is honest at all possible worlds at which God exists), such that, necessarily, God will not lie. Likewise, Craig thinks that God necessarily will not command rape. This is really 101 stuff, btw.

      It’s just divine command theory. Anything god says or does is “good”.

      It’s an atrocity. God lies all the time in the bible and commands rape numerous times in the OT. He invented genocide during the Big Boat incident and helped with the Canaanite genocide. Craig just says the monster god is good by definition, no matter how evil he appears to the descendants of the Tree fruit eaters.

      This is really 101 stuff, btw.

      Which you failed completely.

      You should be aware that if philosophers (even atheist ones) catch you writing this stuff, they’re going to look at you the same way you look at Ray Comfort when he is talking about biology.

      No they won’t. Anyone who isn’t a fundie death cult moron thinks WLC is an idiot and a pathetic excuse for a human being.

      My personal opinion is that you should stick with what you’re trained in, or be far more tentative if your blog posts on philosophy.

      Since you were wrong on everything, we will give your opinion the consideration it merits, in the trash can.

      Blake, stick to atheist hating and death threats. It’s within your capabilities (probably), you can’t get too derailed there, and they waste fewer photons and electrons.

    • raven
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Craig believes God is “essentially” honest (this is a technical term meaning that God is honest at all possible worlds at which God exists), such that, necessarily, God will not lie. Likewise, Craig thinks that God necessarily will not command rape

      This is where Craig screws up.

      1. Anything god does is good.

      2. The xian god is a monster who lies, commands rape, and invented and supported genocide multiple times. In fact, god holds the percentage record for number of humans genocided, all but 8 people.

      3. Therefore, lies, rape, murder of infants, and genocide are all good, as long as god is behind them.

      It is theologically sound though. In several places in the bible e.g. Isaiah, god claims that he creates evil. No one who has read the bible or watched xians in action has a hard time believing that.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      “(b) It’s also misleading/confused to say that if God commands it, then it’s right “no matter how odius it seems to us.” Why? Because Craig is always quick to emphasize things about God’s “essential” nature. E.g., Craig believes God is “essentially” honest (this is a technical term meaning that God is honest at all possible worlds at which God exists), such that, necessarily, God will not lie. Likewise, Craig thinks that God necessarily will not command rape”

      Considering Craig must be familiar with the Bible, where God both lies and commands rape, this doesn’t seem likely.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      More the point, your explanation is not an explanation at all, it just turns the problem inside out. Saying that God only does good things is almost the same as saying that all things God does are good. Restating the problem is not a solution.

    • Blake
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      To Raven, Truthspeaker

      (a) Craig doesn’t agree with you that God has even ostensibly done anything wrong in the OT. He thinks Dawkins et. al. misunderstand (egregiously) what was going on with the Canaanites etc.; he’ll deny that you’re competently interpreting the relevant scriptures. He may be wrong, but that’s his position, and so he’s at least not being inconsistent in saying God is loving etc. and simultaneously believing the OT inerrantly depicts God.
      (b) If you could convince somehow convince Craig that God as described in the OT has actually condoned rape or done anything clearly morally wrong, then Craig is on record saying that he would simply reject the inerrancy of the OT. He doesn’t seem too bothered by the notion. Why? Because his theism isn’t grounded in his belief in the Bible, nor does he think God is good because of the Bible. In short, Craig at most would say “Yeah, that’s not a problem for me, any more than the Koran saying xyz is a problem for me”. You’d have to give him a reason to think that “If theism/Christianity is true, then the OT is inerrant (or nearly inerrant)”. That’s quite a burden!

      So, Craig’s theism, wherein God is good, is not obviously in danger, at least not from these fronts.

      • Dermot C
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:55 am | Permalink

        Really, Blake, this is just inaccurate in so many ways.

        WLC talks about the mental strain produced in the Israelite soldiers in having to torture the Canaanite women and kids; this is evidence to WLC and to the Israelites ‘that God has ostensibly done something wrong in the OT’.

        If WLC takes it upon himself to ‘deny that you’re competently interpreting the relevant scriptures’, by what authority does he determine the idea that his reading of a good OT deity is correct, as against the notion of his fellow-Christian, Marcion, that Yahweh was evil and not the same as the Christian god? What criteria do we set in order to authorise s/he who is capable of biblical exegesis? Why is Craig right, and Marcion wrong?

        With regard to the ‘clearly morally wrong’ point, you know that the basic tenet of divine command theory is that whatever God does is, by definition, good. For WLC it is a priori impossible for God to be morally wrong, and also, to pick up another point of yours, possible for God to be ‘loving’, no matter what atrocity he advocates. This is what the ‘competent interpretation of scripture’ means for WLC, the redefinition of words into a grotesque caricature of their popular meaning.

        • Blake
          Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          Dermot C,

          When I say “ostensibly evil”, I mean evil from our human perspective. Craig does say the soldiers mental strain in killing women/children who remained is the best candidate for an evil, but (a) he explains that, unlike Westerners, the soldiers were likely desensitized. Moreoever, I’d add, for women, they saw themselves as God’s hand/judgement, and for children, they arguably knew they were heavenbound. Of course, (b) Craig is thinks “If the Canaanite tribes, seeing the armies of Israel, had simply chosen to flee, no one would have been killed at all. There was no command to pursue and hunt down the Canaanite peoples. It is therefore completely misleading to characterize God’s command to Israel as a command to commit genocide. Rather it was first and foremost a command to drive the tribes out of the land and to occupy it. There may have been no non-combatants killed at all. That makes sense of why there is no record of the killing of women and children, such as I had vividly imagined. Such scenes may have never taken place, since it was the soldiers who remained to fight. It is also why there were plenty of Canaanite people around after the conquest of the land, as the biblical record attests.”

          I’m not sure how to respond to your “competently interpretating” comment. The point is that Craig isn’t being inconsistent.

          I also think you’re confused about divine command theory and the way it factors into the discussion. Nobody has defined good to be whatever God’s nature is in accordance with. When Craig says God is good by definition, he loosely means that God by definition is loving, honest, just and so forth. You seem to be conflating his view here with another issue: Craig also thinks he has discovered that good is constitutionally resemblance to God, somewhat like he has discovered that water is constitutionally H2O. But notice these aren’t meaningless tautologies, because in both cases we’re dealing with a constitutional “is”, not a semantic “is”. When your science textbook says “water is H2O”, it’s not making a meaningless statement. It’s never been a priori impossible to deny that water is H2O.

          • Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            I’d add, for women, they saw themselves as God’s hand/judgement, and for children, they arguably knew they were heavenbound.

            That is one of the most repulsively evil, disgusting, horrific, pathetic, uncivilized, twisted, barbaric, and demented things I have read in a long time.

            And here is where I’ll have to cut off the rest of your well-deserved response lest I run afoul of Da Roolz. Let me just end with this: think of the most insulting epithets anybody could possibly hurl at you. You deserve all those, and more. You are unfit for polite society, to put it mildly.

            b&

          • truthspeaker
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

            “It is therefore completely misleading to characterize God’s command to Israel as a command to commit genocide. Rather it was first and foremost a command to drive the tribes out of the land and to occupy it.”

            And that’s not evil?

          • Dermot C
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            Blake,

            I think you must have mistaken me for someone who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

            Briefly, WLC apologises for God’s instigation; at the minimum, following your interpretation, which I do not accept, God is a Milosevic figure, at the maximum, a Himmler figure.

            WLC is left in the tragic position of defending God’s role in an atrocity that we all suspect did not happen; is this not an existential absurdity?

            Why is it that one always feels dirty having read WLC’s apologetics? I certainly did reading your defence of him.

            The point about one’s competence in interpretating the Holy Book is that anyone, with a background in reading it and a certain level of study, can come up with any construal they want; many have, many are lost to history, and I know that I could construct a reasonably coherent, consistent reading of the two Testaments no less credible than any of the current versions of Christianity. But it wouldn’t make it true; it would lack the authority, but not the credibility, of the sacred meanderings of WLC.

            I am not confused at all about Divine Command Theory. Much like WLC, you redefine it so as to rob it of its meaning. The rest of the paragraph is just meaningless calembours.

            Over and out; that’s my final word.

            • Dermot C
              Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

              …or rather it was my penultimate word. I can’t let these falsehoods remain unrebutted.

              @Blake, passim

              When Craig says God is good by definition, he loosely means that God by definition is loving, honest, just and so forth.

              Likewise, Craig thinks that God necessarily will not command rape.

              I’m sorry Blake, but not only are your posts morally repugnant, they are also, in point of fact, plain wrong. Here’s what the great man, WLC himself, has to say about divine command theory and the human attitude towards God’s moral injunctions. (WEIT persons: feel free to copy and reproduce this, the man condemns himself from his own mouth).

              “According to the version of divine command ethics which I’ve defended, our moral duties are constituted by the commands of a holy and loving God. Since God doesn’t issue commands to Himself, He has no moral duties to fulfill. He is certainly not subject to the same moral obligations and prohibitions that we are. For example, I have no right to take an innocent life. For me to do so would be murder. But God has no such prohibition. He can give and take life as He chooses… God is under no obligation whatsoever to extend my life for another second. If He wanted to strike me dead right now, that’s His prerogative.

              What that implies is that God has the right to take the lives of the Canaanites when He sees fit. How long they live and when they die is up to Him.

              So the problem isn’t that God ended the Canaanites’ lives. The problem is that He commanded the Israeli (sic) soldiers to end them. Isn’t that like commanding someone to commit murder? No, it’s not. Rather, since our moral duties are determined by God’s commands, it is commanding someone to do something which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been murder (WLC’s italics). The act was morally obligatory for the Israeli (ditto sic) soldiers in virtue of God’s command, even though, had they undertaken it on their own initiative, it would have been wrong.

              On divine command theory then, God has the right to command an act, which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been sin, but which is now morally obligatory in virtue of that command.”

              • gbjames
                Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

                “On divine command theory then, God has the right to command an act, which, in the absence of a divine command, would have been sin, but which is now morally obligatory in virtue of that command.”

                The “I heard a voice in my head telling me to kill my children” defense.

              • Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

                Source for those who can’t quite believe that WLC could possibly be so repugnant:

                http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites

                b&

          • raven
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            Blake lying and evil:

            It is therefore completely misleading to characterize God’s command to Israel as a command to commit genocide. Rather it was first and foremost a command to drive the tribes out of the land and to occupy it. There may have been no non-combatants killed at all.

            This isn’t what the bible says.

            You are now lying like Craig does.

            Fundie xianity routinely produces minor and major monsters and Blake is a happy, lying monster. We are done here, I’m not spending my holidays watching fundie xian monsters.

            I know Jerry Coyne doesn’t like this sort of language but sometimes, there isn’t any other way to put it. If I get banned, so be it.

      • raven
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:25 am | Permalink

        Craig doesn’t agree with you that God has even ostensibly done anything wrong in the OT.

        Well so what.

        You really are stupid. That is the whole point.

        The god of the OT is a monster who condones lies, rape, murder of infants, and genocide. Craig says that is OK as long as it is god doing it or his appointed human agents.

        If you could convince somehow convince Craig that God as described in the OT has actually condoned rape or done anything clearly morally wrong, then Craig is on record saying that he would simply reject the inerrancy of the OT.

        Craig lies most of the time. This is a faulty claim and why no one not a fundie has the slightest respect for him.

        He doesn’t seem too bothered by the notion. Why? Because his theism isn’t grounded in his belief in the Bible, nor does he think God is good because of the Bible.

        You are wrong. Craig’s theism is 100% rooted in biblical inerrancy. That is why he lies and why he is an evil, pathetic monster.

        You’d have to give him a reason to think that “If theism/Christianity is true, then the OT is inerrant (or nearly inerrant)”. That’s quite a burden!

        Gibberish. Craig says both that xianity is true and the bible is inerrant. This is a statement of belief and doesn’t prove anything.

        So, Craig’s theism, wherein God is good, is not obviously in danger, at least not from these fronts.

        Craigs claim that his monster god is good by definition is neither provable nor disprovable. It is a definition and statement of belief. You can’t prove a claim by citing the claim, circular reasoning.

        While Craig is incapable of proving that, it doesn’t make much difference. Anyone who can think and isn’t a fundie death cultist like you can see that Craig is a liar and a pathetic evil little man. Fundie xianity produces a lot of warped dishonest people. Like you.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink

        “Craig doesn’t agree with you that God has even ostensibly done anything wrong in the OT. He thinks Dawkins et. al. misunderstand (egregiously) what was going on with the Canaanites etc.”

        That kind of proves our point.

        • raven
          Posted December 20, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          He thinks Dawkins et. al. misunderstand (egregiously) what was going on with the Canaanites etc.”

          Craig has no idea what was going on with the Canaanites either. He just makes stuff up, lies.

          1. The old Jews were just a tribe of Canaanites. There is no Canaanite language. There are a series of closely related dialects, one of which is Hebrew.

          2. The conquest of Canaan never happened. This is just mythology.

          3. Craig says the Canaanites were so evil that they deserved to be genocided and even their babies slaughtered? He has no way of knowing that except to quote the bible, a known work of fiction, and lie a lot.

          He is justifying genocide against a mythological people that never happened which shows how much he really knows.

          This is where he loses normal people. How can babies be evil and deserve slaughter?

          4. About that Flood, Elisha and the bears, human sacrifice, and all the other atrocities in the bible, same thing.

  36. Gilles Gervais
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, it’s surprising that you would talk about God and hell! How about talking about fairies and unicorns instead?
    :-)

    • Kevin
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t you troll somewhere else?

      • Gilles
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Blaming non existing persons or places is delusional!
        Why don’t you go and have your head examined?

    • truthspeaker
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      William Lane Craig didn’t post a video about how the murder of 20 children was a reminder from fairies and unicorns.

  37. Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    He makes it sound as though he thinks someone should go and massacre a school full of children every December to keep the Spirit of Christmas alive.

  38. Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    “Craig should rot in hell.”
    Sorry, there is probably no Hell. (But I wouldn’t worry, WLC is rotting in his own personality, which may be worse.)

    • Gilles
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      We will all rot someday, it won’t be in hell but 6 feet under!

  39. Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    “Craig should rot in hell.”

    Does Craig *deserve* to rot in hell, or the secular equivalent, given that he couldn’t have done otherwise given his genetics and upbringing? Seems like the understanding that we don’t have libertarian, contra-causal free will (an understanding shared by Jerry) should condition our reactive attitudes and responses to wrongdoing, http://www.naturalism.org/policy.htm#background

    • truthspeaker
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Under that caricature of what it means not to have free will, we wouldn’t have a choice on letting something we understand condition any of our attitudes or responses.

      But we do, or we think we do, just as Craig does.

      • Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

        We don’t have a libertarian choice to remain uninfluenced by evidence and arguments, something that wouldn’t do us any good anyway. But we often go through a fully caused conscious deliberative process, informed by logic and evidence, which helps determine our beliefs, which then participate in shaping our attitudes and behavior. If we’re naturalists, we’ll see that Craig was fully determined in his outlook, not ultimately self-created in any respect. So the question arises as to whether fully determined creatures like ourselves *deserve* ostracism and rejection in the sense of Jerry’s statement “Craig should rot in hell,” where to deserve means there need be no good outcome from such rejection, http://www.naturalism.org/Wallerreview.htm#_ftn1

        • gbjames
          Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

          I dont’ know for sure where I stand on the whole free-will thing because it makes my brain hurt. But I think that the answer to your puzzlement (“whether fully determined creatures like ourselves *deserve* ostracism and rejection in the sense of Jerry’s statement”) gets the emphasis wrong. Such ostracism and rejection is useful because it has the potential of modifying the behavior of such yoyos as Craig and (even more so) can influence the actions of third parties. Ostracism becomes part of the environment that influences us all.

          • whyevolutionistrue
            Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

            Yes, absolutely, and I don’t understand why Clark can’t see this simple point. I’ve repeatedly stressed that even if we don’t have free will, punishing or rewarding people can act as a spur or deterrent to others. That’s not rocket science!

        • whyevolutionistrue
          Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

          Tom, you are advertising your own website on virtually every post you make here. Please stop it. If you want to make comments, either choose this site or your own, but not both.

    • whyevolutionistrue
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      Oh, for crying out loud. Craig deserves it because other people will see, by example, that they are ostracized when they spout such nonsense. It’s an example, and deterrence.

  40. Georgia
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    I, too, see nothing in the video that remotely suggests Craig thinks the killings were “God’s way of reminding us” of some theological point. He says the killings remind us – meaning, I guess, that they remind him and ought to remind others – of the existence of unspeakable evil in this wicked world. And that is a legitimate issue: whether “evil” is an ontological reality inherent in the nature of things (such that it can ultimately be overcome only through some kind of supernatural assistance) or is merely a word humans invented to characterize particularly unpleasant events encountered during their brief tenure on this insignificant patch of spacetime. I think it is the latter, but I can see where people might find this way of thinking inadequate to do justice to events like this.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 4:00 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

  41. Posted December 19, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    What a fucking asshole.

  42. David T.
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    I cringe every time these Christians open their mouths after a tragic event. Each one manages to top the next in their stupidity and repulsiveness.

  43. raven
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    This whole thread is getting bogged down. Below is some thoughts from a xian minister.

    The standard fundie theology really is, “god is in charge and everything happens for a reason. They say it and they say it often.

    Some of them waffle around it but in the end, that is what they end up saying. If their god is omni-everything, that is a reasonable conclusion.

    Randomness and Assurance: Does Everything Happen for a Reason?
    by Gregory A. Boyd on Monday, February 27, 2012 · 25 Comments and 0 Reactions

    Filed under 20: Evil, Theology

    The Blueprint Worldview

    On August 1, 2007, a highway bridge several miles from my house collapsed during rush hour, killing 13 people and wounding 144 others. That night, a well-known local pastor blogged about a discussion he had with his eleven-year-old daughter as he put her to bed. He asked her what purpose God might have had for not “holding up that bridge,” even though he could have done so with “his pinky.” He affirmed her when she responded that God “wanted all the people of Minneapolis to fear him.”[1]

    The assumption behind this young lady’s answer is that everything happens for a reason—it’s all part of a grand divine plan. This assumption has dominated Christian theology since Augustine in the fifth century, and I have elsewhere labeled it the “blueprint worldview” because it holds that every detail in history happens in strict accordance with an eternal blueprint that resides in the mind of God. deleted for space

    So far as I can tell, this view is about as prevalent today as it ever was. It’s reflected in the many clichés Christians, as well as non-Christians, often mutter in the face of tragedies: “Everything happens for a reason,” “God has his reasons,” “God’s ways are not our ways,” “Providence writes straight with crooked lines,” “Nothing happens by accident,” “God knows what he is doing,” “God’s timing is the right timing,” and so on. Although the blueprint worldview reflected in these clichés produces rage toward God in the hearts of some sufferers, it provides a great deal of comfort to those believers who feel assured that, however terrible their suffering or the suffering of a loved one may be, at least that suffering is not without purpose or permanent. It is all part of God’s grand plan.

    • Dermot C
      Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      Yes, raven, I think the thread was getting a bit bogged down, in responding to Jim Bradley’s posts. What he did say at one point, that

      the anti-religious views here…seem not to have much depth and to be composed of the most easily knocked-down views by the least coherent “fundamentalists”

      ,

      seems unfair to me. Someone commented that WLC at least personifies the merit of Christian consistency and I think that is nearly true.

      Your quotation illuminates the almost banal Christian need to explain evil and suffering in the world. God has his ways and so on.

      But this is a fundamentally different Christian reaction to that of the early Christians; their lot was to accept evil, pain, enslavement, injustice, to embrace them, even, as a test to match Jesus’ masochistic Passion. For the Second Coming was about to arrive; if the End Times were nigh, there was no need to explain away human suffering, as current Christians must, for generation after generation.

      In Christian thought, your ‘God’s grand plan’ changed from the promise of the eschaton to the cloudly heaven, around about the time of 2 Peter, if memory serves, when Jesus’ non-reappearance was stretching the definition of his return within the generation of his followers. How the Christians have managed and proselytised that grand deferred gratification for 1,900 years is a triumphant piece of propaganda.

      The irony is, in all of this, that the ‘Fundamentalists’ are not fundamentalists at all; if they were, they would be seeking evidence for the Second Coming having already happened within a generation of 30 CE in Palestine.

      Which brings me to my final point. I am coming to the conclusion that very few leading ‘Christians’ really believe in the existent God. A lot of us, in passing, partially as a joke, refer to CofE types as not really believing. I also think it highly likely that high-profile US fundies like WLC don’t really believe, either. “Come on, Bill, between you and me; do you really believe in an omnipotent, omniscient being outside spacetime? You’re an intelligent bloke, pull the other one.” Unproveable, but much more credible than the opposite.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        “The irony is, in all of this, that the ‘Fundamentalists’ are not fundamentalists at all; if they were, they would be seeking evidence for the Second Coming having already happened within a generation of 30 CE in Palestine.”

        +1

      • Christian
        Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        They certainly pay lip-service to this omnimax god but that’s about it. Such a god just isn’t very intuitive and to consistently follow these omni-attributes to their logical conclusion isn’t always compatible with reality nor with any major religion.
        So sooner or later they’re all back at that heavily anthropomorphized entity, the big-man-in-the-sky god of folk religion.
        Even the oh so Sophisticated Theologians aren’t immune to this.

  44. ridelo
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes free speech makes me vomit…

  45. John
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    let me get this straight. the world is full of evil so God comes down and commits more evil to tell us about the evil?

  46. BornRight
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    So he’s basically saying that God created these wonderful innocent kids, only to butcher them mercilessly a few years later and bringing untold grief to their families? God is lucky that he can have his own way and is not answerable to any higher authority.

  47. lamacher
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I have mentioned this previously: Stendahl. the French polymath, said in the early years of the 19th C: ‘God’s only excuse is that he doesn’t exist.’

  48. Kendal
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Is this his strategy to comfort parents?

    By telling a story about god choosing to save one infant but let others be massacred, and that the impetus of the massacre was the birth of the child who was spared from it?

    He’s saying ‘So god doesn’t love your kids as much he loved his, and here’s a story where a bunch of other people’s kids died because of his kid, who was saved from being killed. In fact, when his kid was killed, god brought him back to life – you grieving parents should totally kiss that ass.’

    This guy is a pig.

  49. Nick
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Apologies if this is against ‘da roolz’, but What A Fucking Arsehole.

  50. marcusa1971
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, I could only 4 of the 5 minutes of that video. Craig is so unbelievably nausiating, hypocritically lamenting the evil in the world. Then he seems to suggest that we are lucky somehow to have the evil because it means Jebus is nearby or something. Goody.
    And Craig wonders why Richard Dawkins doesn’t want anything to do with him, let alone meet him onstage for a debate?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/richard-dawkins-william-lane-craig

  51. Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    William Lane Craig: A self-righteous, smarmy robot equipped with a turbo asshole module filled with pious turds.

    Merry Xmas, you psychopathic automaton.

  52. Susan
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    This is a man referring to fairy tales to make vague connections as though he was referring to literal claims that point us towards his particular god.

    The story of Herod, as far as I know, is not only irrelevant here, but has no historical foundation.

    He might as well be using the story of Hansel and Gretel.

    It irks me from the get go that he claims Yaheweh is “God” and that he refers to the slaughter of the innocents under the reign of Herod as though that story is historically valid and that it is a relevant example of Yahwheh’s “hope” despite the fact that Yahweh is just one more unsupported god and the story of Herod has no evidentiary foundation.

    This is how they make their living. They talk about their god as “God” and their book as though it’s a history book.

    They use words like “evil” as though “evil” is an entity, and fling their myths at it as though their delusional commitment to a particular myth makes them experts on anything.

    WLC want to talk about Yahweh as though this god is relevant to anything. And he wants to talk about the mythology of Herod’s baby slaughter as though it actually happened.

    Meanwhile, people’s babies are dead at the wrong end of some very efficient weapons and back here in reality, we need to figure out how to do everything we can to make sure we fix things so it can’t ever happen again,if possible.

    The moral implications of Craig’s argument are certainly worth addressing and have been well-addressed here by many, including Professor Coyne.

    But I don’t think it’s pedantic to wish we stopped referring to Yahweh as though HE had some special “God” status. Or not call out these theologians for talking about their stories as though they are historically valid.

    This is what theologians do. William Lane Craig in his most famous work has recycled a bad argument for deism into an equally bad argument for deism.

    And here he is, talking about “God” and Herod as though it has any relevance to anything, let alone the unspeakable tragedy that will be suffered by family and friends for a life time.

    People are dead. Most of them six-year olds.

    Fuck Yahweh. Fuck Jesus. Fuck Herod.

    What a pile of crap. If “evil” is a useful word, I would say it is evil to detract from real discussion by pointing at myths as though they are real.

  53. AnnoLoki
    Posted December 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Think you’ve misunderstood what he’s saying. He’s not saying that god caused the massacre, and he’s not calling the massacre a miracle. He’s saying that killing children is evil, and it’s precisely the reason that there is such evil on this planet that is why god sent jesus to save us.

    You’re mixing up what he’s said with what Gingrich et al have said, which is more that god caused the shooting to happen as punishment blah blah blah. This guy isn’t being judgmental, he’s saying that even in the face of such evil, there is hope in jesus (even if it is a deluded hope)

  54. gravelinspector
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Now, I may be getting my “nativity” story wrong – it’s a foreign religion, so I’m not too sure on the details – but didn’t the “Massacre of the Innocents” take place a couple of months after Jebus’ birth. So this guy, whoever he is, is putting his seal of approval on the school massacre that will take place in February or March?
    Or have I misunderstood the way that prophets like this turn prophets into profits?
    I suppose I should go and read enough biblical bile to find out when the (alleged) massacre took place, but I’d rather have my breakfast.

  55. Ken Kukec
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Those, like Craig, who ascribe to the “divine command” approach to morality, are certainly in no position to question the actions of the 911 hijackers on moral grounds.

    They may object that the hijackers had embraced the wrong scripture, or that they had employed erroneous hermeneutics in interpreting their chosen scripture, but they are without moralgrounds to contest that, if circumstances had been as the hijackers thought them to be — if they had the right scripture and if, under the proper interpretation of that scripture they understood God to be directing them to fly fuel-laden jets into occupied buildings on 9/11/01, then it would have been the hijackers ineluctable duty to follow those directions — that it would have been as immoral for them to refuse to follow God’s command, as it would have been for Abraham to refuse to raise his sword, on the Lord’s command, to sacrifice his son Isaac.

    It is repugnant, especially given the available insights of the Euthyphro dilemma, that there continue to walk among us believers espousing this demented “divine command” approach.

  56. Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    Hatred inc. This man makes me want to commit murder – him. Where is his empathy? his humanity?

  57. pilgrimpater
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Apologetics at it’s finest. Just like the inconvenience that facts present to the Young Earth Brigade, there necessitates a shoe horning of excuses to defend the indefensible (or should i say the invisible?).
    Just like there be now explanation as to HOW “Jesus died for our sins” actually works, WLC’s apologies make absolutely no sense.

  58. Posted December 20, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Sarvodaya and commented:
    See the video and judge its implications for yourselves. Personally, I think is something very odious about trying to twist something this senseless into something presumably beautiful.

  59. Stephen Lawrence
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    “Craig should rot in hell.”

    Jerry I realise this is emotive language with little thought and so not meant to be taken too seriously.

    But still it’s worth pointing out that the whole point of getting the reason why not having Libertarian Free Will matters is things like that are not true and that we can make moral progress by understanding that.

    • Dermot C
      Posted December 20, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Eh???

      We can make grammatical progress by rephrasing it, Stephen!

  60. DV
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    I have not heard a more odious piece of apologetics. Disgusting.

  61. Posted December 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Craig’s Kalam is such a failure!

  62. Andy
    Posted December 21, 2012 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    You guys are just looking for reasons to be offended. I watched this video expecting to see some HORRIBLE sentiment from some fundamentalist nut, and what I got was “This was a heinous evil action, but there is hope in the midst of tragedy.”

    Um….ok.

  63. Posted December 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Talenin.com and commented:
    Disgraceful. Typically William Lane Craig “morality” coming to the fore here.

  64. Ruan Reid
    Posted January 10, 2013 at 2:34 am | Permalink

    I’d love to know what Christopher Hitchens would have made of this. I suspect a fine Hitchslap would have been delivered.


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  1. [...] Craig’s interpretation of this is so simple-minded, it’s hard to think of the man as a scholar of some repute. I’m not sure I’d go as far as Jerry Coyne, though, in his interpretation of what Craig has to say. Here’s what Jerry says over at Why Evolution is True: [...]

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