| Posted 04/03/07 at 01:39 PM||Reply with quote #1 |
|My own impression was that any philosopher in the audience would have said that Bill easily bested Begon. (An unbelieving philosophy colleague of mine said of the radio debate between Bill and Wolpert that he had it down as 'all rounds to Bill', but, he added, tellingly, that he wasn't sure it was 'wise to talk about basic beliefs at that time of the morning'.) Indeed, as Bill said, Begon didn't even attempt to prove that belief in God was false, although that's a necessary condition of being a delusion. The problem was, however, that there weren't many philosophers in the audience (one of my colleagues did come, but he was an unbeliever-it was unfortunate that all the rest of them were away this week on reading week). Some philosophy students were there, though, which was great. |
In addition to the clash between the American style and the British style there was also the clash between the philosophical style (numbered premisses, heavy emphasis on logic, use of technical terms such as 'basic belief', 'epistemological' etc., introduction of alternative possibilities such as the Matrix that seem bizarre to the common person) and the scientific style ('where's the evidence?'; 'I always keep an open mind, but they don't'; 'is there another explanation?'). I think that a British audience (and, indeed, an American audience, but not, say, a French audience) reacts ill to a philosophical style and well to a scientific style. (I have found this on numerous occasions in my own debating career!) So I'd suggest that next time UCCF look for a non-philosopher or someone that will put the debate in non-philosophical terms (as I now try to do in my own debates!).
Daniel Hill, University of Liverpool
| Posted 04/19/07 at 10:15 AM||Reply with quote #2 |
|I find the style question interesting. As an American with no prior philosophical training when I first began listening to/reading Dr. Craig's debates, I was shocked to hear a Christian guy using that kind of terminology. Not only did he use it, but he seemed to have a better command of the concepts than his opponents! Even thought I rarely understood what was being argued, I was thrilled to know that it could be done. I really can't express the how big an encouragement this was to me, and it stimulated me to study the issues to be able to understand more. |
Christianity in America is primarily an emotionalistic enterprise, at least in the Bible belt where I'm from, so Dr. Craig's work was like pouring water on a parched and dying plant. I wonder if the techinical, philosophical approach had a similar impact on anyone in the UK despite stylistic preferences.
| Posted 09/12/12 at 02:33 PM||Reply with quote #3 |
|I'm not sure if Craig (or any philosophical apologist) should dumb down their arguments and/or presentation. I think if an audience member doesn't understand something, they should study and inform themselves. If they are open-minded seekers of truth, this is probably what they will do.|