William Lane Craig on Faith and Reason

by Luke Muehlhauser on July 19, 2009 in William Lane Craig

craig2The “glory days” of religious thought domination are over. Fewer and fewer theologians can get away with saying that Christian doctrine is true “because the Bible says so” or “because the Church says so.” Reason and science have proven to be so superior in gaining knowledge that many theologians must now appeal to reason and science to justify their ancient doctrines. “My heart tells me so,” is no longer a credible justification, and so theologians publish works like The Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology, which attempt to justify Christianity with appeal to reason and science.

Atheists protest that this is disingenuous. Christians do not believe in Jesus because of the ontological argument or the cosmological argument or the teleological argument. They believe in Jesus because they were raised that way, or because Christian faith filled a need in their life, or because they had a weird experience that they interpreted as God, or because they just felt God must be real. All these complicated philosophical arguments are just post hoc justification: Christians found their conclusion first, and then looked for justification, content to find whatever seemed to support their cherished personal beliefs. (This process is a nearly unavoidable fact of human psychology called confirmation bias, not exclusive to theists.)

Many theists defend certain arguments for God, but they do not pretend that these arguments are why they believe Christian doctrines. Nor do they pretend certain arguments are why they “know” Christian doctrines to be true. One such example is apologist William Lane Craig. He says he knows Christianity is true “by the self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit,” but he shows Christianity to be true by providing arguments and evidence:

This sounds like doxastic suicide1 to many atheists, for it seems that Craig would remain a Christian even if he found that all his arguments fail and that some atheistic arguments succeed. And why? Because he has a strong inner feeling (which he interprets as the ‘Holy Spirit’) that it is true. (Of course, Craig must ignore all the others who have a strong inner feeling that other gods exist, which they interpret to be something like ‘the self-authenticating witness’ of those gods.)

Is it true that Craig would keep his faith even if all the evidence contradicted it? Apparently yes, for he writes:

I think Martin Luther correctly distinguished between what he called the magisterial and ministerial uses of reason. The magisterial use of reason occurs when reason stands over and above the gospel like a magistrate and judges it on the basis of argument and evidence. The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason submits to and serves the gospel…. Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter.

…We’ve already said that it’s the  Holy Spirit who gives us the  ultimate assurance of Christianity’s truth. Therefore, the only role left for argument and evidence to play is a subsidiary role.2

So for Craig, non-Christian hypotheses are not even “on the table” as options. And yet he accuses atheists of closed-mindedness:

I think many skeptics act in a closed minded way [and] will not allow supernatural explanations even to be in the pool of live options.3

Mark Smith confirmed Craig’s position when he asked:

Dr. Craig, for the sake of argument let’s pretend that a time machine gets built. You and I hop in it, and travel back to the day before Easter, 33 AD. We park it outside the tomb of Jesus. We wait. Easter morning rolls around, and nothing happens. We continue to wait. After several weeks of waiting, still nothing happens. There is no resurrection- Jesus is quietly rotting away in the tomb.

Craig told him he would still believe in the resurrection of Jesus, due to the “self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit.” If that’s not willfully blind faith, I don’t know what is.

Craig also denies that anyone could ever become an atheist due to lack of evidence for God:

When a person refuses to come to Christ it is never just because of lack of evidence or because of intellectual difficulties: at root, he refuses to come because he willingly ignores and rejects the drawing of God’s Spirit on his heart. No one in the final analysis really fails to become a Christian because of lack of arguments; he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God.4

I find it astonishing that Jews and Muslims “want nothing to do with God.” Moreover, Craig seems to deny all the memoirs of people who lost their faith (due to reason and evidence) despite their best attempts to keep their belief in God and serve him fully – including my own.

Despite a career spent on giving reasons for Christian belief, the reasons don’t seem to matter to Craig at all. What matters is his inner feeling that Christianity is true. Craig embodies the hypocrisy of Christian “evidentialism.”

  1. Doxastic just means “pertaining to belief.” []
  2. Reasonable Faith, page 36. []
  3. Craig quoted in Lee Strobel’s The Case for Faith, pages 66-67. []
  4. Reasonable Faith, pages 35-36. []

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Taranu July 19, 2009 at 2:08 am

W. L. Craig never ceases to amaze me with this justification for Christian faith. Until I heard him say it I always thought it was because of the historical and philosophical arguments that he believes.  This came as a great surprise.
Here are two more links related to this topic:
Considering God’s existence
Craig’s Holy Spirit Epistemology

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Jeff H July 19, 2009 at 5:55 am

I really don’t get this guy. As smart as he is, he still comes up with things like this. When it comes down to it, his whole bit about the “self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit” is an argument. He is saying, “I feel this witness. I believe it is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, I should believe what it ‘tells’ me.” He is still using reasoning to talk about this witness, but he shields it from criticism by saying, “Oh, you can’t touch this. It’s my own personal experience.” That, to me, is dishonest. A truly reasonable man should at least be open to the possibility that his experiences are misleading. Craig doesn’t seem to want to entertain this thought.

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Reginald Selkirk July 19, 2009 at 7:41 am

Craig told him he would still believe in the resurrection of Jesus, due to the “self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit.”

Matt McCormick has a sensus atheistus which “assures me, beyond any possibility of mistake, that anyone who claims to have direct experience of God is mistaken.”

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Steven Carr July 19, 2009 at 8:06 am

According to Craig’s personal testimony, his self-authenticating experience seemed to be that he cried a lot, felt a lot better after crying, and then went outside and saw a lot of stars.
 
‘ As I looked up at the stars, I thought, “God! I’ve come to know God!”

That moment changed my whole life.’
Self-authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit is a whole lot of fancy words for an experience that was pure bathos.
 
He saw a lot of stars!

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Eric July 19, 2009 at 8:23 am

When Craig refers to the self authenticating witness of the holy spirit, he’s making a philosophical claim that is, in principle, open to refutation. He’s simplifying Plantinga’s argument concerning the proper basicality of theistic belief. Note, it’s not the case that he’s saying he’d believe even if theism was without warrant, since properly basic beliefs are warranted. In short, I think that Craig’s way of simplifying Plantinga’s argument — which he does for obvious reasons  – often gets him into trouble, *for the wrong reasons*, with those who are not well versed in philosophy. Of course you can criticize the notion that theistic belief is properly basic (i.e. grounded in the self authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit), but you can’t do it in a way that presupposes that this means that theistic belief is without warrant. 

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Leviathan July 19, 2009 at 10:18 am

I love how Craig has changed the issue from believing/disbelieving in God to accepting/rejecting God. If you are consciously and deliberately rejecting God, so as to be “without excuse,” as Craig seems to think you are,  it seems you actually have to deep-down know God exists, and know that you are rejecting him.  But, as Paul says in  Romans 10:9, when you “believe in your heart… you will be saved.” So if what Craig is implying is true, then according to Paul, we’d all be saved!  

“he fails to become a Christian because he loves darkness rather than light and wants nothing to do with God”

Sounds like predestination to me, since we do not ultimately choose our desires, and we always act our strongest ones. But Craig isn’t Calvinist. Keep on trying to square those circles, Bill.

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justfinethanks July 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I was thinking about this very topic regarding Craig’s most recent post to his Reasonable Faith site.   He reponded to a letter from an atheist about objections to the Kalam argument, and then ended it with
“I cannot help but suspect that it’s the looming implication of theism that makes you sceptical of the otherwise impressive evidence for the causal principle.”
It left me flabbergasted that someone who is so quick to point out the genetic fallacy can be so casually patronizing.  I wonder if he talks to his peers in philosophy this way.  Like, if every conservation he has with Quentin Smith ends with “Oh by the way Quentin, you obviously don’t buy my arguments because of their implications of theism, not for any legitimate intellectual reasons, so don’t think you’re fooling anyone.”

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lukeprog July 19, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Interesting point, justfinethanks.

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Kevin July 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm

It’s telling that Craig puts his knowledge of God on a par with that of a “mentally retarded child.”
 
By comparison, I guess all the money and time I invested in my education, the continuing efforts I put into studying philosophy, etc.–all of this is pointless, since a retarded child knows better than me.

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NathanielFisher July 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm

@ Luke: William Lane Craig has since said, I’m taking this from memory, that he would NOT believe that Jesus was God had he seen the body of Jesus Christ in the tomb. You’ll find it in one of his video debates. ***I think this is what he said.***

@ Jeff H: It’s possible that William Lane Craig is an atheist and he just pretends to be Christian for the money. It’s also possible he’s really a Christian and doesn’t understand what he’s talking about…

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Leviathan July 19, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Kevin:
It’s telling that Craig puts his knowledge of God on a par with that of a “mentally retarded child.”
 
By comparison, I guess all the money and time I invested in my education, the continuing efforts I put into studying philosophy, etc.–all of this is pointless, since a retarded child knows better than me.

Yes. I wonder, does Craig think that mentally retarded children are held responsible for accepting Jesus Christ as their personal savior? Cause, yeah, that’s a pretty cruel god.

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Eric July 19, 2009 at 8:28 pm

““I cannot help but suspect that it’s the looming implication of theism that makes you sceptical of the otherwise impressive evidence for the causal principle.”
It left me flabbergasted that someone who is so quick to point out the genetic fallacy can be so casually patronizing.”

Justfinethanks, I think you’re confusing an argument with an explanation here. Craig wasn’t saying, “You simply don’t want to believe, hence your conclusions are false.” Rather, he responded at length to all of the questioner’s points, and then offered, as an explanation of his rejection of what Craig takes to be rather obviously plausible premises, the possibility that the questioner simply doesn’t want to believe. Now, the genetic fallacy is a fallacy, and only arguments can be fallacious. Observations, explanations, insults, etc. cannot be fallacious, by definition. Hence, since Craig was clearly presenting a possible explanation of the questioner’s willingness to reject plausible premises and not an argument that because of this unwillingness his conclusions are false, it follows that he’s committed no fallacy. (Also, N.B., when Craig accuses others of committing the genetic fallacy, he only does so when his opponent presents an argument from the origins of a belief to the conclusion that the belief is therefore true or false.) 

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drj July 20, 2009 at 5:51 am

William Lane Craig has since said, I’m taking this from memory, that he would NOT believe that Jesus was God had he seen the body of Jesus Christ in the tomb. You’ll find it in one of his video debates. ***I think this is what he said.***

 
I did see a segment on some news show (can’t remember which one) that had both Richard Carrier and WLC. In the segment he said that, hypothetically, if the body of Jesus were found and it was shown with certainty to be the corpse of Jesus, that it would falsify Christianity.
 

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drj July 20, 2009 at 6:01 am

In short, I think that Craig’s way of simplifying Plantinga’s argument — which he does for obvious reasons  – often gets him into trouble, *for the wrong reasons*, with those who are not well versed in philosophy. Of course you can criticize the notion that theistic belief is properly basic (i.e. grounded in the self authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit), but you can’t do it in a way that presupposes that this means that theistic belief is without warrant.
 

What are those wrong reasons?
My take on the inner witness/properly basic arguments are that, like so many other apologetic arguments, there is precious little one could not justify with them… just about any type of mystical woo works and becomes “warranted”.

 

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Lorkas July 20, 2009 at 6:04 am

The “glory days” of religious thought domination are over.

Thank God.

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lukeprog July 20, 2009 at 6:08 am

drj, I have that one in my debates list. It’s here.

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Reginald Selkirk July 20, 2009 at 6:09 am

Eric: Of course you can criticize the notion that theistic belief is properly basic (i.e. grounded in the self authenticating witness of the Holy Spirit), but you can’t do it in a way that presupposes that this means that theistic belief is without warrant.

What? Is refusing to acknowledge that theistic belief is warranted until such warrant is established a “presupposition” or is it the null hypothesis? Since when is begging the question a legitimate form of argumentation?
 

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MacGuy July 20, 2009 at 12:19 pm

<b>The “glory days” of religious thought domination are over. Fewer and fewer theologians can get away with saying that Christian doctrine is true “because the Bible says so” or “because the Church says so.” Reason and science have proven to be so superior in gaining knowledge that many theologians must now appeal to reason and science to justify their ancient doctrines.</b>
You make it seem as IF  Christians have always believed blindly, and that they’ve recently came to adopt this holy “advance” in science and reason. The use of reason was used ALL the way back to the Apostle Paul and the apostles. They appealed to evidence from miracles, Jesus’s resurrection, etc that were valid to establish Christianity’s truth. I’m sure you differ on their so-called evidence but that’s not the point here. Blind faith was NEVER a property of Christianity, but is a recent invention by fundamentalists and atheists of the past century. *
 Not everyone needs to be convinced of arguments to have a valid position. I fail to see the purpose of mentioning HOW they came to believe other than from a desire to be insulting and assume that the HS is a false witness. You can ASSUME that, since you rightly do not have any evidential warrant to accept this. However, it is POSSIBLE for this to be so and you can theoretically explain it away as philosophers have done with religious experiences… but no one can deny that these experiences exist.
I’ll leave at this because I don’t have much time to refute every claim here. 
*Technically, you could argue that the church was used as evidence of a miracle. I think you should read up on the reasons that the Christians might’ve thought this. It definitely wasn’t without reason. 

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Robert Gressis July 20, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I’ve only skimmed the comments, but I think I’ve noticed two reasons for attacking Craig:
(1) He thinks that even if he saw Jesus not rise from the dead, he would be hallucinating. (1) has since been contested, so I’m not going to say much, other than that atheists have made similar moves. I believe Dawkins once said that if he saw a stone statue of the Virgin Mary waving, he would conclude that he was hallucinating. I assume the same is true for some of the atheists on this board. If so, it’s worth figuring out why you think your/Dawkins’s response to the Virgin Mary statue is defensible while Craig’s is not.
(2) He says that atheists who don’t believe (and Jews and Muslims, by implication) in Christ and God don’t really want those things to exist. It seems that many of you have taken umbrage at this remark, thinking that this is patronizing, condescending, etc. First, I again point you to the remarks of some atheists, who think that theism is a result of wish-fulfillment, or an authoritarian personality, etc. Indeed, lukeprog, who normally seems to be rather even-keeled, ended his post by writing that “Craig embodies the hypocrisy of Christian ‘evidentialism’”–a remark suggesting that in general Christian evidentialists are hypocrites. Perhaps Luke didn’t mean to imply this, but it certainly seems like a natural reading of his remark. Long story short: some of you seem to be upset that Craig attacks your character, but many of the remarks of your co-non-religionists, and some of your own, amount to attacks on the character of religious theists of most stripes. Again, this might be a perfectly defensible attitude, but it’s worth thinking about why it is.
Going on, it’s worth reading Paul Moser’s book, The Elusive God, about Craig’s claim that non-Christians don’t want to see the evidence available to them. He makes a much stronger case for this claim than I’m used to seeing. Some of you may like it.

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Kevin July 20, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Robert Gressis: I’ve only skimmed the comments, but I think I’ve noticed two reasons for attacking Craig: (1) He thinks that even if he saw Jesus not rise from the dead, he would be hallucinating. (1) has since been contested, so I’m not going to say much, other than that atheists have made similar moves. I believe Dawkins once said that if he saw a stone statue of the Virgin Mary waving, he would conclude that he was hallucinating. I assume the same is true for some of the atheists on this board. If so, it’s worth figuring out why you think your/Dawkins’s response to the Virgin Mary statue is defensible while Craig’s is not.

Dawkins’ response is more defensible because all the evidence tells us that statues don’ wave and dead men don’t rise from the grave.  Against such background knowledge, hallucination seems a more likely explanation of the statue waving than does a true miracle in which the statue literally waves at him.  With Craig, our background knowledge assures us that dead men stay dead.  Thus, it  is unreasonable to label seeing Jesus dead, not risen, as an hallucination.  Invoking hallucinations shows how desparately he wants Christianity to be true.  Atheists may have a similar, though opposite, desire, but their invocation of hallucinations in situations like these is not unreasonable.

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Lorkas July 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Robert Gressis: I believe Dawkins once said that if he saw a stone statue of the Virgin Mary waving, he would conclude that he was hallucinating.

The possibility of hallucination should cross anyone’s mind if they think they see a statue of anyone wave to them.
 
However, there is a big difference here. If I saw Jesus crucified, had the chance to check his vitals, watched him be treated for the tomb, and watched over the tomb the entire time he was in it (possibly with video cameras–if I can travel back in time, surely I can conceal a cam or five around the tomb), and I observed him come back from the dead, then I would not conclude that I was hallucinating, but that I had made the wrong assessment in rejecting the idea that Jesus has magic powers.
 
If proper controls are in place to minimize the likelihood of a type I error, and we still see a positive, then it doesn’t really matter how unlikely the story might seem to us beforehand. What matters is where the evidence points. Unfortunately (for the supernaturalist), every time proper controls are put into place, so-called supernatural phenomena don’t show up. Something about not putting the Lord God to the test, they say.

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Hylomorphic July 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm

You make it seem as IF  Christians have always believed blindly, and that they’ve recently came to adopt this holy “advance” in science and reason. The use of reason was used ALL the way back to the Apostle Paul and the apostles. They appealed to evidence from miracles, Jesus’s resurrection, etc that were valid to establish Christianity’s truth. I’m sure you differ on their so-called evidence but that’s not the point here. Blind faith was NEVER a property of Christianity, but is a recent invention by fundamentalists and atheists of the past century. *

 
It’s too bad you’re not going to continue the discussion, because it would be interesting to see how you might try to defend this claim.
 
Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century certainly believed that there were some things that simply had to be taken on faith. They were the “truths of faith,” which he held to be entirely harmonious with the “truths of reason.” This position was in response to the rise of fideism in the universities–the belief that, though reason contradicts faith, one must still cling to it. This was long before rise of fundamentalism.
 
Similarly, though Paul does at times appeal to reason, he makes a number of claims which have to be taken on faith. His entire position is grounded on it. Paul does not present us with a progression of logical implications culminating in a conclusion. Instead, he makes dogmatic claims which, he claims, one must accept and internalize lest one be consigned to eternal destruction.

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Robert Gressis July 21, 2009 at 2:31 am

Kevin wrote “Dawkins’ response is more defensible because all the evidence tells us that statues don’t wave and dead men don’t rise from the grave.”
 
I think this is the response for Dawkins to take. And for all I know, Craig himself agrees–as has been pointed out, in public he has stated that if he didn’t see Jesus rise from the dead in that situation he would conclude that he didn’t physically rise from the dead. That said, the Craig who believes in the apparently inaccurate won’t be convinced, and I’m not sure that he should be, either (I suspect, though, that he should be convinced). For one thing, Craig can say that there are still lots of other data to be addressed; were there other witnesses to this non-event who say that they saw Jesus rise from the dead? If so, should Craig conclude that they’re crazy? What if there were 50 of them?
 
Second, what if there were only two witnesses to the risen Jesus, but other disciples claimed to have seen Jesus; should Craig still not believe in the risen Jesus in that case?
 
As for Lorcas’s point, I think that’s a good one as well; that said, I take it you would agree that if Dawkins had more time to examine the statue, see why it’s waving, etc., and couldn’t find a scientific explanation, then he should … well, what he should conclude isn’t obvious, but perhaps he shouldn’t conclude that he was hallucinating?

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Steven Carr July 21, 2009 at 4:39 am

‘ believe Dawkins once said that if he saw a stone statue of the Virgin Mary waving, he would conclude that he was hallucinating.’
 
Christians tell lies.
 
On page 159 of ‘The Blind Watchmaker’, Richard Dawkins writes ‘A 
miracle is something which happens, but which is exceedingly 
surprising.If a marble statue of the Virgin Mary suddenly waved its 
hand at us we should treat it as a miracle , because all our 
experience and knowledge tells us that marble doesn’t behave like 
that.’

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Steven Carr July 21, 2009 at 4:42 am

By the way, what was Craig’s religious experience other than feeling better after crying a lot, and then seeing some stars?
 
Is he really claiming that atheists should believe in God if they feel better after crying and then see a lot of stars?
 
And that if they don’t believe in God after seeing a lot of stars in the sky, then they deserve to burn in Hell for rejecting the witness of the Holy Spirit?

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Reginald Selkirk July 21, 2009 at 5:39 am

MacGuy: However, it is POSSIBLE for this to be so and you can theoretically explain it away as philosophers have done with religious experiences… but no one can deny that these experiences exist.

I don’t see a need to challenge the occurrence of such personal religious experience, but I do question whether they have been properly interpreted and attributed. As you presumably do when people report being abducted by aliens. As you presumably do when Hindus or other non-Christians report such personal religious experiences. As you presumably do when someone such as Deanna Laney or Dena Schlosser reports that God spoke to them, and commanded them to do something wicked, like kill their children. Your position is inconsistent if you pick and choose which personal religious experiences you will accept as genuine, and which you won’t accept, although the evidence for both sets is the same.
 

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Steven Carr July 21, 2009 at 6:33 am

‘I don’t see a need to challenge the occurrence of such personal religious experience, but I do question whether they have been properly interpreted and attributed.’
 
How would you interpret Craig’s claim of crying a lot and then feeling better afterwards, and then going outside and seeing the Milky Way?
 
Would you agree with Craig that in that moment Craig had come to know God? And that was a life-changing moment?
 
All he had done was see a lot of stars….
 
 

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Kevin July 21, 2009 at 8:39 am

Robert Gressis: . . . That said, the Craig who believes in the apparently inaccurate won’t be convinced, and I’m not sure that he should be, either (I suspect, though, that he should be convinced). For one thing, Craig can say that there are still lots of other data to be addressed; were there other witnesses to this non-event who say that they saw Jesus rise from the dead? If so, should Craig conclude that they’re crazy? What if there were 50 of them? . . .

Good point.  It is unfair to expect a single point of data, or a single fact, to overturn a belief or set of beliefs that rest on multiple lines of evidence.  This is why it would be unfair for the theist to ask the atheist what it would take to convince him he’s wrong, as if a single fact could do that (and vice versa for the atheist to the theist). 

Still, if we want to embellish this example even further, if Craig were to examine Jesus’s dead body, perform routine medical tests on it, etc., it might be reasonable to give this evidence as much or more weight than that of the eyewitnesses, since we now know the ways in which people can misperceive things, alter or invent memories of events that never happened, etc.  In short, we have good reasons to think that physical evidence can carry more weight than eyewitness testimony.  But still, it might not be an air-tight case.

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Robert Gressis July 21, 2009 at 11:38 am

@Steven Carr: “Christians tell lies.”
 
Are you saying that I’m a Christian and am lying (as opposed to misremembering) or that the source for my belief that Dawkins said this is a Christian who was lying to me?
 
In any case, after reading Carr’s quotation, as well as a lengthier discussion of the case here, I’m not sure why Dawkins shouldn’t conclude that he’s hallucinating. After all, according to Dawkins, the odds against a statue of the Virgin Mary waving  are “unimaginably great but they are not incalculably great. A physicist colleague has kindly calculated them for me. The number is so large that the entire age of the universe so far is too short a time to write out all the noughts!” (Blind Watchmaker, 159-60) If this is really correct–that is, if the authors from whom I get this quote accurate quote Dawkins, and if his physicst friend calculated the probabilities correctly–then why shouldn’t Dawkins conclude that he was hallucinating? Isn’t that more likely?
 
Regardless, Carr is correct that Dawkins didn’t say that he was hallucinating.

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Steven Carr July 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Dawkins said ‘at us’, which is probably why he did not discuss hallucinations.
 
Hallucinations are very common. Almost everybody will have an hallucination at some point in their life.
 
Some religious rituals, such as fasting, seem almost designed to produce hallucinations.
 
Self-flagellation has gone out of fashion with Christians, but the endorphine rush produced by the body’s natural painkilling systems can lead to sensations often described as religious experiences.
 
Crying can also lead to similar feelings once the endorphines have been released by a crying bout.
 
William Lane Craig’s personal testimony is of his feeling better after a good cry.
 
I see no reason whatever to regard this as a visitation of the Holy Spirit,and am just astonished that Craig regarded this as a religious experience of any validity whatsoever.
 
Why didn’t he just do what Christian saints used to do and whip himself until the endorphins kicked in?

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Steven Carr July 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Oh, and Dawkins, being a good scientist compared the chance of the Virgin Mary waving being a natural phenomonen and compared it to the chances of a cow jumping over the moon.
 
But Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker never let that stop their disgusting distortions of what Dawkins wrote, in a sickening piece of propaganda that made no attempt at doing anything other than smear and distort.
Dawkins says that a waving statue would be a miracle,and Hahn and Wiker try to portray this as closed-minded refusal to accept that a waving statue would be a miracle.
 
Even when Dawkins goes out of his way to say it would be a miracle….
 
Hahn and Wiker wrote ‘In fact, all the miracles in the Old and New Testaments could actually have happened just as reported, the only difference being that they were highly improbable molecular events.’
 
This is hardly the atheist position, which is why Hahn and Wiker try to dupe their readers into thinking that it is the atheist position.
 
In actual fact, the miracles in the New Testament are literary creations in much the same way that there are fake stories in the Koran and the Book of Mormon.
 
See http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/mirc1.htm for the gory details. and evidence so strong that Christians have to make excuses for why they do not believe photographic documented evidence of plagiarism.

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katie March 1, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Can we agree that there are still things out there that can’t be explain? Which is why I believe faith should be held over some reason because science is changing everyday. In fact I find the more I learn about science the more I believe in God.

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lukeprog March 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

katie,

Can we agree that there are still things out there we can’t explain? That’s why I have faith in the Flying Spaghetti Monster over science any day. Science is changing constantly. So, the more I learn about science, the more I believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

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katie March 4, 2010 at 2:20 pm

lol Im sure God could look like a flying spahetti monster if He wanted to :)my qusetion is why do you hate the idea of there being a God so much?

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AgeOfReasonXXI August 24, 2010 at 11:03 am

Craig is so easy to see through: he ends almost all of his debates with the story of how he becaome Christian at the age of 16 when he was a “bitter, alienated young man” and “a light when on where before it was only darkness”, and so on.. and he came to know God and “felt a tremendious joy in his heart”! So, is it at all surprising that he’d favor Plantinga’s ‘properly basic’ belief ‘theory’, while at the same time (unlike Plantinga)insist that there can be no defeater for his faith in terms of arguments or evidence, because the witness of the Holy Spirit trumps all?! One can be forgiven for drawing the conclusion that the whole of Bill Craig’s carrer has been aimed at defending his conversion- whatever it takes (‘intellectual honesty’ is a phrase totally lacking from Bill Craig’s dictionary), by showing that there’re good arguments for Christianity and therefore he’s not irrational in his belief (Craig invariably finishes his debates with the insistence that since there’re no good arguments for atheism–which is rather hypocritical of him given his position on arguments and evidence– he’s “perfectly within his rational rights” to be a believer) What Craig apparently doesn’t realize is that not only his view on the ‘proper ralationship between faith and reason’ ammounts to INTELLECTUAL SUICIDE for being a proponent of nothing less than self-induced insanity, but the very fact he’d vigorously defend arguments for God in print or debates (while at the same time dismiss any that turn against his faith) indicts his whole ‘scholarly’ work and apologetics as little more that an exercise in insincerity and, I’d add, blatant HYPOCRISY. Honesty, objectivity– all is gone in his obvious desperation to hold on to his belief that there’s someone up there (the Creator of the Universe at that!)that loves him and cares about him, and that he’s not spent his life with a comforting delusion. Arguments and evidence overturning his Iron Age dogmatic faith? I don’t think so. It’s hard not to agree with Dennett who said that those who have gone to the seminary, got disillusioned with Christian theology and left, were the lucky ones– Craig is a very good example of what eventually becomes of the rest

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Dobbie February 9, 2011 at 5:41 pm

WL Craig mentions Martin Luther and “the witness of the Holy Spirit” as follows (just as it is in the above paragraph):

“I think Martin Luther correctly distinguished between what he called the magisterial and ministerial uses of reason. The magisterial use of reason occurs when reason stands over and above the gospel like a magistrate and judges it on the basis of argument and evidence. The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason submits to and serves the gospel…. Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter.”

I doubt when W. L. Craig says Martin Luther is a good referenc, the Catholic Church is in agreement. Sounds almost as if we are supposed to conclude that both Christian sides (Luther and the Catholic Church) had “the witness of the Holy Spirit” yet became opponents. That is, it’s rather likely the Catholic Church believes the guy it branded as an outlaw in 1521 was in touch with the Holy Spirit.

While W.L. Craig claims “the witness of the Holy Spirit” … well, so do the Mormons claim that it reveals the truth of Mormonism. There’s little chance that W.L. Craig gives credence to Mormonism. It’s just a relative position he takes on “the witness of the Holy Spirit.”

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Dobbie February 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

I doubt when W. L. Craig says Martin Luther is a good referenc, the Catholic Church is in agreement. … it’s rather likely the Catholic Church believes the guy it branded as an outlaw in 1521 was in touch with the Holy Spirit.

Sorry for the two typos, everybody. It’s supposed to read “W.L. Craig says Martin Luther is a good reference. … [However,] it’s unlikely that the Catholic Chruch believes the guy it branded as an outlaw in 1521 was in touch with the Holy Spirit.”

In that way, there are two Christian sides who are at odds. Yet as Christians they both supposedly had “the witness of the Holy Spirit.” It doesn’t add up. And that is why I say it’s really a relative position WL Craig takes when it comes to “the witness of the Holy Spirit.” Whew.

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Nightvid Cole February 27, 2011 at 10:06 am

W L Craig, so far as I can tell, has never defined “faith” clearly enough to have a good discussion on, and also does “reasonable” mean “not irrational” or does it mean “neither irrational nor arational”? I find his failure to do this makes the whole discussion very weak.

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Charles Shingledecker November 19, 2011 at 4:43 am

You’d think people would be too embarrassed to say such things, but apparently not!

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