Here are some of William Lane Craig’s most salient stupidities from his Q&A column. While you read these insipid stupidities, keep in mind that this moron is the most well-known and respected Christian theologian in the West today. Enjoy…
Craig says anyone who goes to Hell for not hearing about Jesus would have gone to Hell anyway. God preordained the whole thing so that entire cultures were damned. Talk about racism…
The soteriological problem of evil concerns the alleged logical incompatibility of the two claims
1. God is all-powerful and all-loving.
2. Some people never hear the Gospel and are lost.
The Free Will Defense attempts to show that the religious pluralist has not been able to prove a logical incompatibility between (1) and (2) and, moreover, that we can show (1) and (2) to be compatible by adding a third statement which is compatible with (1) and entails (2), to wit,
3. God has created a world having an optimal balance between saved and lost, and those who never hear the Gospel and are lost would not have believed it even if they had heard it.
But now you raise a quite different objection aimed specifically at (3). “Before God sticks Fred in second century Tibet wouldn’t He have to ascertain that Fred would freely reject the Gospel in all circumstances, not just some of them?” Well, He wouldn’t have to, but that’s my hypothesis. Clearly, God could place a person anywhere He wants in human history, regardless of how that person might freely behave in different circumstances. But my suggestion is that God, being so merciful and not wanting anyone to be damned, so providentially orders the world that anyone who would embrace the Gospel if he were to hear it will not be placed in circumstances in which he fails to hear it and is lost. Only in the case of someone who would be saved through his response to general revelation would a person who would freely respond to special revelation, if he heard it, find himself in circumstances where he doesn’t hear it.
I’m mystified that you find this suggestion “intuitively unattractive.” On the contrary, I think it magnifies the goodness and abundant graciousness of God, that He would prevent anyone’s being lost though the accidents of history and geography. God is so good that He won’t allow anyone to be lost if that person would under any circumstances respond to the Gospel and be saved.
Craig is confident that the Holy Spirit can defeat the arguments of the bad swarthy Muslims:
Of course, the Muslim can say the same thing, and so we have a standoff. But here my distinction between knowing our faith to be true and showing it to be true becomes relevant. In order to show our Muslim friend that his beliefs are not properly basic, we can present de facto objections to the truth of Islam. Since he does not in fact have a genuine witness of the Holy Spirit to the truth of Islam, we can hope that his confidence will crack under the force of the evidence and that he will come to see that his experience was either non-veridical or misinterpreted.
Craig: I could have been a Nazi, but it’s not important because everyone who’s unsaved is “transworldly damned”:
It’s sobering to think that had God chosen some other world, I might have been born in Nazi Germany and become a member of the Hitler Youth Corps or been born in Afghanistan and joined the Taliban. Not that I would have been determined to do those things; but I would have perhaps freely chosen to do those things under those circumstances. Whether you’re a theist or an atheist, we all face the realization that had circumstances been different, we might have been guilty of all sorts of horrors.
But I see no problem in saying that had God actualized a different world, then I or any other saved person would have freely rejected His grace and been damned. For since God has chosen to actualize this world, in which we are freely saved, that counterfactual truth is of no consequence. The more difficult question is whether there are persons who freely reject God’s grace and are damned but who would have freely been saved had God chosen to actualize some other world. On the one hand, that may just seem to be inevitable moral luck; the point remains that God strives to save them, and they freely spurn Him. They and they alone are responsible for their damnation.
But I have suggested that there is another possibility. Maybe God has so providentially ordered the world that all those who freely reject His grace and are lost are persons who would have freely rejected His grace under any circumstances and so been lost in any world feasible for God. We could say that such persons are transworldly damned.
Craig on why murder is AOK with him (committing the tu quoque fallacy in the process, no doubt displaying his incredible philosophical credentials):
I find it ironic that atheists should often express such indignation at God’s commands, since on naturalism there’s no basis for thinking that objective moral values and duties exist at all and so no basis for regarding the Canaanite slaughter as wrong. As Doug Wilson has aptly said of the Canaanite slaughter from a naturalistic point of view, “The universe doesn’t care.” So at most the non-theist can be alleging that biblical theists have a sort of inconsistency in affirming both the goodness of God and the historicity of the conquest of Canaan.
Old Testament scholar Richard Hess took a different line in his paper: he construes the commands literally but thinks that no women and children were actually killed. All the battles were with military outposts and soldiers, where women and children would not have been present. It is, in fact, a striking feature of these narratives that there is no record whatsoever that women or children were actually killed by anyone.
Craig the great philosopher uses the fallacy of circular reasoning:
2´. God’s existence never becomes evident to some people who sincerely seek God.
But why should we think that (2´) is true? How do we know that? It’s obviously inadequate to say that (2´) “is evidently obvious to anyone who sincerely gave Christianity a chance and yet is not convinced of God’s existence.” For perhaps his lack of persistence is an indication that his search was not as earnest as he imagines (he gave Christianity “a chance”?) or perhaps that person will yet find God.
To establish (2´) it seems we’d have to appeal to cases in which a person was a sincere seeker but at the end of his life failed to come to faith in God. The problem with such an argument, however, is that we’re just not in a position to look into the human heart and judge a person’s sincerity in this regard. This would require a kind of psychological insight that is not available to us. Only God is capable of doing the spiritual cardiogram necessary for answering this question.
Your “Edit” tries to support (2´) by saying that “we generally take people at their word about what they believe. Why, then, shouldn’t we generally take the word of non-Christians who claim they sincerely sought to find God?” I’ve already answered that question: if a person persists in unbelief until his death, then the evidence for Jesus’ identity and the truth of his claims gives us reason to think that that person was not as sincere as he imagined himself to be. Notice that in so saying, we do not presume to have the sort of psychological insight that the atheist claims to have.
Craig think that ALL secular morality is “untenable” and that atheistic views are “incapable” of furnishing a foundation for morality! Apparently Craig is claiming to know all possible secular moralities and is able to disprove every single one of them. Perhaps he is omniscient:
Second, I most certainly do not adopt the Bible as a guide to moral behavior just because I can think of no alternative from an atheistic perspective. I have given evidence for thinking that Jesus of Nazareth is God’s Son and the personal revelation of God, so that one ought to believe what he taught, including his ethical teachings. Finally, third, I can think of lots of atheistic alternatives (like Sam Harris’s view); I just don’t think they’re tenable.
For as I argued in the debate, the atheistic alternative is incapable of furnishing a sound foundation for objective moral values and duties.
The Christian view is that Christ died in his human nature, that is to say, Christ’s human nature died. He obviously did not die in his divine nature. The person who was from all eternity the second person of the Trinity didn’t cease to exist between the crucifixion and resurrection. God is, after all, a necessary being and so cannot cease to exist.
In fact, neither did Christ’s human soul or body cease to exist. What is human death, after all? It is the separation of the soul from the body. It is not the annihilation of the soul. Persons who die are in an intermediate, unembodied state until the day of the resurrection, when their souls will be re-united with their renewed bodies.
So it’s a mistake to think either that one member of the Trinity was somehow deleted when Christ died or that Christ’s human soul ceased to exist when he died. What happened is that his soul was separated from his body.
Craig seriously believes that a husband cannot rape his wife. Welcome back to the 19th century, asshole:
The immorality of rape is immediately given in the seventh of the Ten Commandments “You shall not commit adultery.” Any sexual intercourse outside the bounds of marriage is proscribed by the Bible. So rape is always regarded as immoral in the Bible.
Way to completely muddle up a question that should have been a walk in the park for any competent theologian, Craig… Are you even trying?
The theory that I have defended is a form of Divine Command Theory. According to this view our moral duties are constituted by the commands of an essentially just and loving God. It seems to me that this theory does derive an “ought” from an “is,” and justifiably so—though not in the way you imagine. The theory does, as you say, ground moral values in God’s unchanging nature. God is the paradigm of goodness. But that is not to say that “because God is a certain way we ought to behave in certain ways.” No, our moral obligations and prohibitions arise as a result of God’s commands to us. God’s nature serves to establish values—goodness and badness—while God’s commands establish moral duties—what we ought or ought not to do…
So how does Divine Command Theory derive an “ought” from an “is”? Well, it says that we ought to do something because it is commanded by God. That is deriving an “ought” from an “is.” Someone might demand, “Why are we obligated to do something just because it is commanded by God?” The answer to that question comes, I think, by reflecting on the nature of moral duty. Duty arises in response to an imperative from a competent authority. For example, if some random person were to tell me to pull my car over, I would have absolutely no legal obligation to do so. But if a policeman were to issue such a command, I’d have a legal obligation to obey. The difference in the two cases lies in the persons who issued the commands: one is qualified to do so, while the other is not.
[How the fuck would you derive a moral obligation from a legal obligation, Craig? That’s logically impossible. Is this really the best example you could come up with?]
Now, similarly, in the case of moral obligations, these arise as a result of imperatives issued by a competent authority. And in virtue of being the Good, God is uniquely qualified to issues such commands as expressions of His nature.
[And how do you derive moral obligation from a divine obligation? Blank.]
There are so many things wrong with this quote that I am in awe. Where do I start? At the assumption that atheists think we’re just dust and radiation? Or at the assumption that human beings themselves have moral worth, not their actions? What does that even mean? Does Craig believe in “good people” and “bad people”? Or what? I just don’t know.
As persons we have not merely extrinsic value but intrinsic value (see Question #137, number 5). What that means, as the great historian of philosophy Frederick Copleston remarked, is that one single human being is worth more than the entire material universe put together. What a staggering thought! And yet it is clearly true, since dust, radiation, dark energy, luminous matter, and so on, have no intrinsic moral worth. On atheism, I think it’s plausible that that’s all we are, too, and so equally devoid of value. But on biblical theism, a thing’s physical size is just no measure at all of its moral worth.
No wait, maybe this next answer can help us understand how humans have intrinsic value. Well… maybe not…
Think about that first question: Do human beings have intrinsic moral value? Something has intrinsic value if it is an end in itself, rather than a means to some end. Things which are valuable merely as means to some end have only extrinsic value. For example, money has no intrinsic value, in and of itself. Rather it has extrinsic value insofar as it’s a useful means of commerce for human beings and so is valuable to us for the ends it helps us achieve. But in and of itself it’s intrinsically worthless. It’s just paper.
[Craig here seems to be confusing objectification with moral value. What is the relation between not objectifying people and believing they have intrinsic moral value? Maybe by “moral value” he really means “respect” or “rights,” in which case he just writes in a very sloppy manner.]
Now the question is, are human beings like that? Or are they intrinsically valuable? I’m certain that most people, once they think about it, recognize that human beings are intrinsically valuable. People aren’t just valuable as means to some end; rather people are ends in themselves.
[Hang on, I thought humans were a means to God’s ends. Whatever happened to the whole “divine obligation entails moral obligation” principle? Did he forget it already?]
From the moment of conception we have a genetically complete and unique human being; in effect, you began at the moment of your conception.
[Add genetics, personhood, and the concept of “human being” to the list of things Craig is ignorant about, I guess. “I” did not begin to exist at the moment of my conception any more than a building begins to exist when you start putting up the scaffolding.]
Craig patiently explains to us how to tie up an atheist:
One easy thing that we can all do is learn to ask questions. Greg Koukl recommends asking two questions of non-believers:
1. What do you mean by that?
2. What reasons do you have to think that?
It’s amazing how these two disarmingly simple questions can tie people in knots! For example, ask the unbeliever what he means when he says he doesn’t believe in God—is he an atheist or an agnostic? (Be prepared to explain the difference to him!) Whatever he says, ask him, “What reasons do you have to think that?” Many people don’t even understand what they mean by their assertions, and probably most don’t have any good reasons for them. So long as you’re asking questions, you’re not making any assertions at all, and so don’t have to prove anything. Let the non-believers bear the burden of proof for their claims.
Now Craig, let’s apply these two questions to your own claims and see where we end up…
What do you mean by “God”?
What reasons do you have to think that God exists?
And finally, a classic:
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, not vice versa.
William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 36.
Yes, you read that right. Craig actually confirmed later on that if he went back in time to Jesus’ Tomb and never saw him come back to life, he would still believe in Christianity.
And this guy is hailed as a great philosopher! No wonder people think philosophy is shit!