Written proof that William Lane Craig is retarded

I don't like visiting the website of my favorite apologist punching bag William Lane Craig – which is ironically entitled "Reasonablefaith.org", because "credulitycentral" would be a far more appropriate name – but since I wrote a letter to him recently, I decided to bop over there today. And to my surprise, he actually attempted to answer a question about the nature of causality.

One of the common objects to the cosmological argument – which attempts to prove the universe required a "causeless first cause" is that it doesn't make any sense to apply causality to the universe itself. Our very concept of causality is merely an observed phenomenon within the universe itself, one that requires time and space in order to occur. So saying the universe itself required its own properties to come into existence is a pretty obvious failing of logic.

Craig attempted to respond to that argument in his most recent "Q & A" section, and I can't imagine that anyone who has the capability of elementary reasoning skills could not absolutely tear his meager response to shreds. You can read the whole steaming pile here, but what follows are what to me seemed like the most relevant quotes:

I must confess that I'm baffled why atheists would think that causation presupposes time and space or at least time. Janey and John, you need to ask them what they mean by "causality" and what reason they have for believing that it presupposes time and space. They're the ones raising the objection, so make them shoulder their burden of proof. After all, it's not just obvious that causality presupposes time and space. So ask them for their argument.
You could also do a thought experiment. Ask them why one timeless entity—say, a number—could not depend timelessly for its existence on another timeless entity. Why is that impossible? Why couldn't God timelessly sustain a number in existence? That would clearly be an asymmetric causal relation. Why is that impossible?
In any case, even if time is a precondition for causality, why should that preclude God's being the cause of the universe? Many Christian philosophers and theologians, perhaps the majority today, think that God has existed for infinite past time and created the physical universe a finite time ago. This was Isaac Newton's view as well. He thought absolute time was just God's duration, which is from eternity to eternity. Ask your friends why they think Newton's view was wrong.
In fact, here you should turn the tables and ask them how time could come into existence with no causal conditions whatsoever. That is truly bizarre. Why did time and the universe begin to exist at all? How could they begin to exist in the absence of any causal conditions?

I'm going to ignore the blatant appeal to authority fallacy for the most part, and just point out that Isaac Newton also believed in alchemy. While we're busy appealing to authority though, Stephen Hawking does not think the universe had a beginning. So, suck on that.

Craig's first obvious mistake is assuming that atheists are arguing that a timeless, non-physical causality is impossible. Of course it's "possible", the exact same way it's "possible" that there exists beyond our universe a magical land of cheese-growing trees. But here's the problem: causality, as we know it and observe it, exists solely as phenomenon that is an outcome of the properties of the universe. If there does exist some kind of non-physical (or "supernatural") causality, who is to say that it need resemble physical causality in any way? What rules might it follow? How might it be defined?

Craig misses the obvious circularity of his arguments. We've observed physical causality. We know how it works and why it works. No one has ever observed any sort of "non-physical causality". We don't have any way of knowing if such a thing does or even can exist, much less how it would work if it did exist. But in order for the argument for God being the First Cause to be valid, you have to make the a priori assumption that this non-physical causality exists – which is of course what the cosmological argument is trying to prove in the first place. When you have to grant all or part of your conclusion as an assumption within your premise, you are using circular reasoning.

The rest of Craig's ramblings, particularly the idea that the universe could "begin to exist in the absence of any causal conditions" fallaciously assumes that the universe actually did "begin to exist" – a notion wholly unsupported by anything in modern cosmology – and that the universe requires an explanation for its existence, but God, for some reason, does not (which I discussed in this recent post.)

Seriously, I think I'm done with this guy. I've written a lot of blogs in responding to his comedic attempts to form baseless assumptions into logical syllogisms, and frankly this stuff is just getting too pathetic to be worth the trouble to respond. Although I will, of course, post his response here alongside my own in the unlikely event that he responds to my recent letter.
 

Comments

  1. Mike, I just finished listening to the whole 2+ hrs of Craig vs. Hitchens at Biola Univ.

    Of course the first part of the debate was stuff you would know by heart coming from both of them.

    What was really telling was the direct cross examination of Craig by Hitchens. Hitchens was trying to pin him down as to what is it that he really believes? Demons, witchcraft, the various miracles, exorcisms, historical accuracy.

    If he would have said yes to most of it, he knows he will sound like an idiot.

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