At 11/5/11 01:18 PM, SweetenBoy wrote:
I already watched it and it basically is. I even typed up the problems with his arguments and, even though Hitchens quite horribly dripped the ball on this particular debate, I regret to admit, criticisms of Craigs argument are quite easy to find. I'll post my notes along with some people much more qualified to speak on the subject than I, then you can respond if you like and we can continue the debate for ourselves.
First, professionals criticising the argument.
I could go on, but that's already a lot to watch and I'm not going to have a lot of space to paste this anyway. This is a rundown of pretty much everything Craig says.
1. In his opening argument, Craig immediately resorts to shifting the burden of proof, saying that atheists have been unable to prove that God doesn't exist for thousands of years. The problem is that atheists, on this subject, are actually responding to claims being made by theists. For example, if I make a claim that I am 12 feet tall and capable of running 40 mph and I don't demonstrate this to you somehow, you are justified in not believing me. It's not up to you to prove that those things aren't true, it's up to me to prove that they ARE true. The same applies here. Theists make a claim that there is a god and, as Craig so observantly points out, no proof has presented itself in thousands of years. Doesn't simply turning the argument around demonstrate the stupidity of the point he attempts to make?
2. After that he basically says "the universe began, therefore God." He talks about how infinity is an abstract concept (which is true) and that the universe probably had a beginning (also true I suppose) and he simply fills those gaps with a creator that somehow exists outside of time and space, providing no observations that support this(anything that implies that anything can exist outside of nothingness) and without explaining how he came to this conclusion while examining evidence that does not even imply this.
3. Next he begins the old argument that the universe is finely tuned for existence and life. This is not proof of anything, because life adapts to its environment, not the other way around, and the fact that the universe is tuned perfectly to exist in the form that it exists today doesn't mean that it couldn't exist in some other form. A popular example of this is with a bicycle deck. The odds of drawing a hearts royal flush in poker are about 2,598,960 to 1. But what are the odds of drawing a particular hand at random, like 2 of hearts, 7 of clubs, king of clubs, 4 of diamonds and 9 of hearts? It's a hand that means nothing at all, but the odds of drawing it are exactly the same. People often interpret things that happen to work in their favor as being planned for them when in reality it could have worked out any other way and they would still interpret it in the same way because it's the only way they could acknowledge that it worked out. We give these things meaning, not the other way around.
4. Moral argument then begins. He states that God must be the source of morality. This is obviously flawed, even putting aside all of the immoral things that God obviously supports in the bible. If our morals come from God, where did God's morals come from? If Gods morals are universally correct ways to live life then God is not needed for morality(because morals must exist outside of God and be moral regardless of what God says) and if morals come from God then you would have to concede that things are moral simply because God says so and that if God told you to kill and rape people(which he often does in the bible) then you are morally obligated to do so, which is in fact immoral and slavery. Meanwhile, despite what Craig says about rape not being wrong from an atheist standpoint, atheists don't need to believe in God at all to know that those things are wrong. The fact that people who don't believe in God AT ALL accept the same things as being moral and immoral makes the idea that you can only be moral with God demonstrably wrong. Not only that, but most of the commandments that people actually honor today were laws in almost every developed civilization at the time, including Egypt, and none of them believed in this God.
5. Now he just cites the bible concerning Jesus and occasionally cites others doing the same. The bible cannot be used to justify claims in the bible because there is a conflict of interest.
6. Finally, more unsubstantiated claims. He says that God will reveal himself to people who believe. What about people who believe bust still never have one of these experiences? And what about the fact that God interacting with one person personally is not proof for anyone else because nobody else can share that experience? It's exactly the same thing I had a problem with in bullet 1 - that claims which cannot be demonstrated are not validated claims and one cannot be expected to be persuaded by such a statement.