Earlier, I wrote that:
Craig… seems to understand the scientific issues better than [his opponents] do. On top of that, he always understands the philosophical issues better than they do.
These sweeping assertions are [wildly] optimistic… Most of us could come up with enough counter examples to [Craig's] claims… to fill a book. So could you, and that is why it baffles me that you would say such nonsense.
Why is it that you constantly over-credit him with this tone of reverent awe? Is it because you see him as the best contender for the cause of Yahweh, and since he is the best they’ve got, he should be elevated to the same level as those who actually make sound arguments for the sake of some sort of affirmative action?
Is it that parental authority and hypnotic, preachy self assurance that he has mastered through years of evangelism? Do you think Christians will be more open to you if they think you are giving them a fair chance seeing as you sing his praises? Is it his witty little ad hominems that he offers up in his debates to make his fans cheer? Because his arguments do not work. Even his baby, the KCA, falls flat at every turn. The wild assertion that minds can exist out of time and space and with no brain is just one example.
Why do I write about Craig so much?
No doubt, I cover the work of Bill Craig more than the work of anybody else – theist or atheist. Of about 240 posts on this site, I count at least 24 posts focused on Craig and his arguments. One out of every 10 posts! Why?
- Craig’s work – his writings and debates – are more numerous and accessible than those of any comparable apologist.
- Unlike Lee Strobel or other major apologists, Craig has decades of important published work in the two most important fields relevant to Christian apologetics: philosophy of religion and Historical Jesus studies.
- Craig has repeated his arguments so many times that his responses to almost every objection you can imagine are available somewhere (whether or not they are persuasive).
- Craig still interacts with his fans and critics constantly.
- Craig writes scholarly articles but also does a good job of translating his work for the layman.
“Most of us could come up with enough counter examples to [Craig's] claims… to fill a book.”
This is true of almost any philosophical topic, which is why these topics still belong to philosophy and not science.
It is quite easy to fill a book with counter-examples and counter-arguments regarding D.M. Armstrong’s position on universals, but nobody thinks that Armstrong is naive or silly or not worth taking seriously. And the same is true for hundreds of positions in philosophy: Jaynes’ position on probabilistic logic, Sayre-McCord’s definition and Shafer-Landau’s defense of moral realism, Dennett’s take on consciousness, Chomsky’s linguistic theory, Kuhn’s philosophy of science, and so on.
“Why is it that you constantly over-credit [Craig] with this tone of reverent awe?”
I am rather impressed that Craig is a genuine expert in both philosophy of religion and Historical Jesus studies. I am impressed that he has published so many scholarly articles and books. I am impressed with his skilled debate performances, which he can deliver equally well in English or German. I am impressed with his understanding of cosmology and the philosophy of physics. Craig is an impressive guy in many ways.
In other ways, he is not so impressive. For example, when he speaks on faith and reason, moral values, God’s morality, Christian politics, and a host of topics I haven’t yet addressed. I’ve written some pretty harsh criticism of Craig, and will continue to do so.
Do I think Craig is the best Christian apologist, so he should be elevated to the ranks of people who make sound arguments for, say, some sort of affirmative action?
But, I’d like to know… who are these people who make sound arguments for “some sort of affirmative action”? Most arguments in ethics or politics are irritatingly vague and weak compared to, say, Craig’s Kalam Cosmological Argument.
“Is it that parental authority and hypnotic, preachy self assurance that he has mastered through years of evangelism?”
No. That shit is a turnoff.
“Is it his witty little ad hominems that he offers up in his debates to make his fans cheer?”
“The wild assertion that minds can exist out of time and space [is an example of his failed arguments.]“
“Do you think Christians will be more open to you if they think you are giving them a fair chance seeing as you sing his praises?”
More importantly, I try to encourage what I like and discourage what I don’t. So I praise Craig when he:
- Offers clear and logically valid arguments (unlike most of his opponents).
- Spends decades studying and researching in the fields he discusses.
- Gives clear and succinct rebuttals to his opponents arguments during debate.
And so on. I also criticize Craig when he:
- Uses a double standard when evaluating general morality and God’s morality.
- Uses a double standard when evaluating the epistemic merits of the “inner witness” of Christianity versus the inner witness of other religions.
- Doesn’t respond to the most important rebuttals to his work.
And so on. I encourage what I want to see more of, and discourage what I want to see less of. This strategy makes sense to me.
Perhaps the Atheist Tribe doesn’t like it when I say something nice about a Christian apologist. Or have I misunderstood?