William Lane Craig vs. Stephen Law... now on video!

It took a while, but the debate between Stephen Law and William Lane Craig is finally on video. Personally I much prefer videoed debates over audio-only, so this is a nice touch. I think this debate was a sore spot for Craig. He lost, and lost rather badly because he was unprepared for Law's "evil god" argument. There's been a fair bit of discussion about Law's argument since the debate itself, and I must reiterate that even when Craig clearly loses a debate (his debate with Shelly Kagan also comes to mind), arguments are not won or lost in debates. Debates are rhetorical contests that are often "won" or "lost" on the preparedness and eloquence of the speaker, not necessarily on the strength of the arguments themselves.

Nonetheless I like Law's approach here. He's a very sharp guy who is often overlooked by atheists but, being a philosopher by trade, knows how to sort out the sophistry that often characterizes apologetics.

That being said, there are a couple of things I would have liked to see Stephen jump on. He wavered a bit on responding to the Kalam, when it would have been simplest just to point out that the Kalam commits several categorical fallacies.

The second is that he gives the fine-tuning argument a bit of a pass. The fine-tuning argument is even easier than the Kalam, because Craig is clearly begging the question in the first premise. We don't have to explain the 'fine-tuning'; the idea that the universe is fine-tuned for life is what the argument must prove.


Popular Posts