Monday, January 16, 2012

William Lane Craig is a Dumbass

It had to be said.

Some atheists have taken this fool so seriously that they engage in formal "debates" with him.  Why bother? 

The basic idea here is that debates can prove something, which of course they can't.  They are like football for dickless geeks.

There, I said it.  Debates are stupid.

The entire field of Philosophy, which spawned the "debate" format, is bullshit.  Engaging in the sport of philosophical "debate" is a waste of time.  People who make their reputations in this sport are dickless geeky dumbasses. How do I know this?  It's properly basic, of course.  It requires no basis in other beliefs.  Facts, either.  Why? Because I say so.  If I assert it, it is true.  Word.

N.B.:  Please note that the people who engage in this sport are *NOT* women.  That alone should tell you that the sport is a waste of time.

The basics of debating are thus:  Something is proposed.  The opponent attempts to smack it down.  Onlookers then argue about who won: their guy or the other side's guy.  It's always "our" guy.

There are two sides.  The winning side and the losing side.  Neither side is the "right" side.  And of course there can't be a third side, because philosophers can't count past two.

Take for example, the two-hour marathon of William Lane Craig vs. Christopher Hitchens, introduced with sports analogies, held in a basketball gymnasium at a Christian "college."  WLC says he is a "professional philosopher" here.  That alone should disqualify him from the realm of "People Worth Listening to."

I forgive Hitch and other atheists for engaging in this sport, because nonsense like Craig's opinions shouldn't go unchallenged.  WLC's fan club uses his hackneyed arguments to hide from the reality that they are believers because they have been born into a believing society.  If all they have to fall bac on is WLC's position, then watching someone with a mind take on his simplistic ravings may deconvert them.

Having heard a lot about WLC's debating skills, I decided to watch this video.  I really don't see how anyone could say he's a good debater.  Must be something in the rules.  Maybe he's the designated shitter and he's making four-point baskets before the checkered flag comes down.  Some arcane rule that isn't self-evident.

To spare you the agony, I'll summarize his performance:

Despite being a "philosopher, within a few minutes Craig's referring to astronomy and the Big Bang, which can't be uncaused because it's absurd to think of something being uncaused.  Of course something can't come from nothing, except God, which can come from nothing because uhhh god is nothing?   He'll cite science then delude himself that he's debunking it by logical argument rather than scientific observation.

Well isn't that conveeeeeeenient.

I think it's absurd that a "professional philosopher" has an opinion on astronomy.

This is the Cosmological argument.  Oh wait, that's what he calls it.  It's also called the Kalam argument, named after the medieval people who came up with it hundreds of years before Mr. Brilliant said it.

His other trick is unsupported "musts."  The universe must have a cause, and that cause must be beyond space and time, and it must be personal (because it would have to be either abstract numbers or a mind - there is no third option of course).  I guess all these "musts" come from his assumption that to believe otherwise is absurd.  My answer to all these "musts" is "why not?"  Well, no, my answer is really "You're such a fucking dumbass."  (This is why I can't be a debater.  Sometimes the ad hom attack just rolls off the lips)

Then he introduces the Teleological Argument, which then morphs into the Cosmological argument, because that's really all he has.  He's probably aware that "teleological" is often followed by the word "fallacy."  The fine-tuning of the universe to create things just as they are is something he believes has to come from a mind.  He throws around scientific concepts and constants, and claims life could not exist without them.  Apparently, in his smarter-than-you thinking there couldn't possibly be another universe in which life doesn't exist.

Physical necessity, chance, design.  (He uses his thumb plus two fingers to count them!)  He claims the life-supporting universe couldn't possibly exist by chance.  Apparently, while pursuing his philosophy degree he has studied statistics and astronomy such that he knows more than statisticians and astronomers.

Then we move on to The Moral Argument. If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist.  Objective morals exist.  Therefore God must exist.

Yes, he said it with a straight face.  He apparently believes that his morality can't be the product of his culture or genetics.  Note, he is wearing a wedding ring, which my coworkers have told me is forbidden in many churches because of some quotation in Timothy and Peter (books that Bart Ehrman says were forged, btw).  He is violating someone else's objective morality right there!

So...  it's "absurd" to believe that something came from nothing but it's not absurd to believe that a supernatural being with a big ego and a bad temper whipped it all up just for our amusement so he could test us with temptations he knew we couldn't resist (because he made us and he knows everything so he knew we'd fail) just so he could be born and then let himself be killed so he could tell himself to forgive the creatures he made for being as he made them.... something like that.

By his "reasoning," it's not absurd to believe those things. 

But apparently it is absurd to believe that storytellers, scribes, scholars, popes, or anyone else involved with the compilation of the Bible could have made shit up.  He takes the stories of the gospel as sufficient evidence that the Christian deity is in fact the one that fits the needs he laid out in the other "arguments."  He doesn't bother to lay out the shortcomings of the dozen or so other creators of the universe.  This would go against he black-or-white thinking of the well-honed debate skills of Mr. Absurd.  If G is true then G's book is true.  G's book is true, therefore G is true.

Yes, his arguments really are that stupid.  And improperly basic.  You'd think that somoene who has devoted his life to apologetics and philosophy would come up with something more original.

His arguments boil down to "God is true because I believe God is true."  I remain unconverted.

So now that I've summarized the dumbass's "points" for you, you can skip over the bullshit and go right to the Hitchslaps:


Bud said...

Awesome. Just awesome. :-)

LadyAtheist said...

Thanks, Bud. I've been curious about WLC for a long time, and it was very painful watching him spew this stuff! But sometimes ya gotta take one for the team.

Plasma Engineer said...

Nice post.

I blogged about his recent visit to UK and about how he was beaten in a debate in London.

Tristan D. Vick said...

I sense a subtle irony behind the use of philosophy to defend the absurdity of philosophy.

I too dislike sophists.

I am a pragmatic man. I'd like to think that thinking practically serves a far more useful purpose than wasting time with esoteric thoughts which don't apply to reality.

But that's just me. Craig likes magic and thinks hard about the meaning of his favorite bag of spells. But in reality, none of that matters. It might to Harry Potter fans... not that I'd ever compare Harry Potter fans to a cult. At least they can read.

What was I talking about again? I forgot.

LadyAtheist said...

Thanks for the link, P-E. I follow Stephen Law's blog so I'll try to stomach the WLC parts and view the vid. At least I know what to expect now.

LadyAtheist said...

Tristan, I think one of the main qualities of believers is their romanticism. They just can't handle reality.

Robert the Skeptic said...

I've seen Craig debate twice here in town, one was against Physicist Victor Steniger. Of course it was a slam dunk for Craig as he is a Professional Debater. The fallacy is that winning the debate proves the assertion is true. Not. But this is the tactic, being an adroit debater wins the day for Christianity.

One of his biggest opponents is John Loftis of the Debunking Christianity blog. Loftis was a student of Craig... who refuses to debate Loftis because (wait for it) he philosophically does not like to debate former students!!

LadyAtheist said...

I follow Loftus's blog. It must be a real embarrassment for Craig to have a student turn that way. I wonder if he's just waiting for the day when Loftus becomes a prodigal son and switches teams again.

Chatpilot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chatpilot said...

Lady Atheist I have been saying the same thing for years. If you really want to see WLC at his best you should hear his arguments for the resurrection of Christ! Funny as hell! First off he argues from the biblical narratives and states that all of them regardless of their contradictions are fact! I have heard several of his debates myself and always come away with the same opinion; he has not stated one fact that is not based on faith. I too disdain philosophy as a tool to refute or defend religion. It's a waste of time and always leads to fallacious conclusions and circular reasoning.

Allusive Atheist said...

How do we know when something is fallacious? What expectations do we have for the scientific method and why do we have those expectations? These things are the product of philosophy. The problem is not philosophy. The problem is the charlatans who use philosophical tools only so far as it supports their cause. Enter: WLC.

He relies heavily on faulty or fallacious premises. Most people don't know how to identify what exactly is wrong with Craig's assertions even if they know better than to trust them. Those who do explain exactly where Craig has gone astray get ignored or suffer some other form of misdirection.

Misdirection and philosophical illusion are Craig's real job. He has heard the refutations of his claims. He can't not know when his critics are correct. When someone successfully refutes Craig's arguments, he has to know how and why his detractor is correct. Why? Because this is his area of expertise.

William Lane Craig is a professional liar.

Rather than substantively correcting the fallacies he's been milking for years, he keeps using the same faulty arguments and relies on his opponents' inability to out-bullshit him.

I suspect that Craig isn't even a christian anymore. But he knows which side his bread is exorbitantly buttered on. And if there's no god, no hell, no incentive or inducement come clean, why would he? Of course, this is speculation on my part, based on my assumption that he is to smart and educated in the field of philosophy to believe his own BS.

I could be wrong. He might actually believe in the Jesus magic and the jealous petty transcendent super ghost. But there's no way he isn't aware of the gaping holes and disinformation that riddle his life's work.

We don't blame modern medicine for bad doctors or automobile manufacturers for drunk driving accidents. We shouldn't blame philosophy for the scoundrels that misuse it on an unprepared public.

Consider Anthony Grayling. Or even Dan Dennett. Or youtubers like SisyphusRedeemed and TheoreticalBullshit. Philosophy is a tool to be used or abused like any other. And like other tools, proper use tend to result in positive outcomes.

LadyAtheist said...

Good point about the fallacies. Once aware of the types people use it's hard to be fooled by bullshit.

Case in point: WLC. I too suspect he may have lost his "faith." After all these years without coming up with anything novel, a smart guy like him must be harboring a few doubts at least. Perhaps the WLC we see in debates is now a character he portrays, like Colbert's act, but not as satire.

Anonymous said...

Is this a serious post? You trash him for calling himself a pro. philosopher, why? Is it because philosophy isn't a legitimate subject (weird to think considering God's existence is a largely philosophical issue), or that he doesn't actually have credentials?

You failed at even understanding his arguments on suuch an epic level as well. The argument is something that begins to exist, not something that exists, which exludes God who didn't begin to exist, but the universe did.

"Apparently, in his smarter-than-you thinking there couldn't possibly be another universe in which life doesn't exist."

The entire point of the argument is that it COULD have been another universe where life couldn't exist, but against odds it is not. Fail.

He never claims to know more than statisticians and astronomers either. Saying that if constants changed then matter couldn't even exist is accepted by scientists, it's that they don't look at the fact in a way that leads to God. Maybe Craig is wrong in doing so, maybe not, but don't attack the fact when it's accepted as true.

"He apparently believes that his morality can't be the product of his culture or genetics"

He specifically stated that's what it would be if God didn't exist, but this of course isn't an objective standard of good and bad, which he thinks exists.

"God is true because I believe God is true."

None of his arguments boil down to that at all.

I'm an agnostic Jew btw (I don't believe a word of the bible, but the question about the existence of God is interesting to me). Yet, as someone who's blog is a declaration of their atheism, it's sad how little you care to even think about the arguments, when instead you just go off on an angry tangent, missing the point on basically every mark, and then declaring the other person stupid.

And any honest athiest admits that Hitchens got spanked.

thinkingstardust said...

well, Mr.Anonymous you better believe it , this is a serious post. To call this man a Dumbass is still pretty polite in comparison to what he deserves. He is not a Philosopher, he just abuses Philosophy. He did never search for the truth, he just goes around quote mining the scientists with a few bits and baits which fit into his crooked worldview. BTW he did not refute Christopher Hitchens arguments, so he did not win. His stupid monologs will come to an end and what will remain from that braindead snake oil salesman.Nothing ! You can bet your arm, agnostic !

T-Herbert Jeffrey said...

Lol well you know he has a website where you can offer questions and he might answer them. Instead of propagating nonsensical ruse everywhere on the Internet you should actually try and get in touch with him. It's funny how theist are supposed to be close minded thinkers when there is an atheist on this comment thread, in essence, saying "thinking in depth is bad" lol meaning the more you think about the origin of everything, the more it points to God. Without Philosophy America would still be under the control of a monarch. Have we all forgotten about the Enlightenment?

In regards to the article, I stopped reading because I was looking for examples of faulty logic to use against WLC but all I found were atheists whom do not know enough about a subject, so when an expert displays his prowess, they dismiss it because it does not make sense lol. Theists are the close minded ones? This is on the list of numerous hate articles of the Internet about apologists. I am officially not an atheist anymore. Thank you very much. Oh yeah and when he says "It can't" or "It has" he is not just spewing stuff out of his mouth; those declarations are a product of careful thinking. Even we can notice it. Any creator of the Big Bang would HAVE to be timeless to avoid the question of "who created the creator" and infinite regression. When we watch his debates it is critical to understand his logic to prove it false, not just dismiss it because it does not make sense.

Anonymous said...

Thank you LadyAtheist and Allusive Atheist, I had similar thoughts.

Tim Lambert said...

Is philosophy as useless and disingenuous as name calling, screaming, and reacting hysterically?..