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lucid
Reply with quote  #1 
I recently posted a video of Robert Prices damning expose of Craig's methodology which backfired. I was entirely to blame. 

However, I've been given permission to repost the video and reignite this issue, because by all accounts, Price absolutely rinsed Craig.

One of the key weaknesses I see in Craig is his lack of variety, so it really only takes one guy to nail him on his predictable faults to be able to dismiss the rest of his apologetics career. 

Many christians here seem to think that anything other than a direct engagement with Craig's arguments amounts to nothing more than ad hominem attacks. But I think that this is actually a diversionary tactic to discount the very reasonable, very real criticisms of Craig's flawed mentality. 

Here is the link to the video again - 

Here are some particularly salient excerpts. 

"Dr Craig freely admits that his conviction arises from purely subjective factors (in reference to Reasonable Faith Pg 48)"

"His enterprise is circular since he grounds christian belief in a subjective state described already in christian theological terminology i.e "gods spirit dwelling in his heart" etc." 

"[For Craig] The arguments are ultimately beside the point, if an unbeliever doesn't see the cogency of Dr Craig's brand of New Testament criticism (the same thing exactly as his apologetics) it can only be because the doubter has some guilty secret to hide and doesn't want to repent and let Jesus run his life."

"He's not trying to do disinterested historical or exegetical research, he's trying to get folks saved."

"Note how he characterizes people who do not accept his version of the historical Jesus as "unbelievers" who merely "cast up smokescreens" of insincere carping. But this functions as a mirror image of his own enterprise, his apparently self effacing pose "If my arguments fail to convince then I must have done a poor job of explaining them" just reveals the whole exercise to be a sham"

"The arguments are offered cynically, whatever it takes. If they don't work take your pick between brimstone "god holds you accountable" and treacle "god still loves you

"He is so committed to a dogmatic party line, that he cannot see truth as meaning anything but that party line"


WLCFan
Reply with quote  #2 
Just listened to both parts. That was fantastic.
Satarack
Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid
"Dr Craig freely admits that his conviction arises from purely subjective factors (in reference to Reasonable Faith Pg 48)"

"His enterprise is circular since he grounds christian belief in a subjective state described already in christian theological terminology i.e "gods spirit dwelling in his heart" etc."

"Note how he characterizes people who do not accept his version of the historical Jesus as "unbelievers" who merely "cast up smokescreens" of insincere carping. But this functions as a mirror image of his own enterprise, his apparently self effacing pose "If my arguments fail to convince then I must have done a poor job of explaining them" just reveals the whole exercise to be a sham"

Those are actually a single point, which amount at most to an ad hominem critique of Dr. Craig and not his arguments.  What Dr. Price is essentially saying is, "Dr. Craig has personal religious convictions that drive his apologetics, so by hook or by crook he'll find a way to get an argument for God's existence.  Even though he gives you reasons why he thinks you should believe, they aren't his reasons for believing."  Well so what?  Everyone has personal motivations, the question is does Dr. Craig give something more than personal reasons for believing his arguments.  As long as he can give independent and objective reasons to support his arguments then it just doesn't matter what his personal motivations are.  Even if his personal motivations are completely reprehensible, the independent and objective reasons would remain untouched by an attack on his personal reasons.

Moreover, the sword cuts both ways.  Dr. Price has personal and religious reasons for denying Dr. Craig's arguments, and it could equally be said that by hook or by crook he'll find a way to do it.  As rhetorically persuasive as it might sound when used against Dr. Craig, it is just rhetoric.



Rostos
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satarack
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid
"Dr Craig freely admits that his conviction arises from purely subjective factors (in reference to Reasonable Faith Pg 48)"

"His enterprise is circular since he grounds christian belief in a subjective state described already in christian theological terminology i.e "gods spirit dwelling in his heart" etc."

"Note how he characterizes people who do not accept his version of the historical Jesus as "unbelievers" who merely "cast up smokescreens" of insincere carping. But this functions as a mirror image of his own enterprise, his apparently self effacing pose "If my arguments fail to convince then I must have done a poor job of explaining them" just reveals the whole exercise to be a sham"

Those are actually a single point, which amount at most to an ad hominem critique of Dr. Craig and not his arguments.  What Dr. Price is essentially saying is, "Dr. Craig has personal religious convictions that drive his apologetics, so by hook or by crook he'll find a way to get an argument for God's existence.  Even though he gives you reasons why he thinks you should believe, they aren't his reasons for believing."  Well so what?  Everyone has personal motivations, the question is does Dr. Craig give something more than personal reasons for believing his arguments.  As long as he can give independent and objective reasons to support his arguments then it just doesn't matter what his personal motivations are.  Even if his personal motivations are completely reprehensible, the independent and objective reasons would remain untouched by an attack on his personal reasons.

Moreover, the sword cuts both ways.  Dr. Price has personal and religious reasons for denying Dr. Craig's arguments, and it could equally be said that by hook or by crook he'll find a way to do it.  As rhetorically persuasive as it might sound when used against Dr. Craig, it is just rhetoric.



Exactly!

Mae
Reply with quote  #5 
Is there a link to the entire debate? I would like to hear it. As far as this clip, I do agree with a lot of what Price says, even though I generally disagree with him. The part about Christian scholars not wanting to find new information that would challenge theology, and instead "holding down the fort" was particularity interesting to me.
depthcharge623
Reply with quote  #6 
Bart Ehrman tries something similar in his debate with Mike Licona and Licona does a great job of showing that Bart is no less guilty and that it is the reasons that matter.
Lightfoot
Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satarack
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid
"Dr Craig freely admits that his conviction arises from purely subjective factors (in reference to Reasonable Faith Pg 48)"

"His enterprise is circular since he grounds christian belief in a subjective state described already in christian theological terminology i.e "gods spirit dwelling in his heart" etc."

"Note how he characterizes people who do not accept his version of the historical Jesus as "unbelievers" who merely "cast up smokescreens" of insincere carping. But this functions as a mirror image of his own enterprise, his apparently self effacing pose "If my arguments fail to convince then I must have done a poor job of explaining them" just reveals the whole exercise to be a sham"

Those are actually a single point, which amount at most to an ad hominem critique of Dr. Craig and not his arguments.  What Dr. Price is essentially saying is, "Dr. Craig has personal religious convictions that drive his apologetics, so by hook or by crook he'll find a way to get an argument for God's existence.  Even though he gives you reasons why he thinks you should believe, they aren't his reasons for believing."  Well so what?  Everyone has personal motivations, the question is does Dr. Craig give something more than personal reasons for believing his arguments.  As long as he can give independent and objective reasons to support his arguments then it just doesn't matter what his personal motivations are.  Even if his personal motivations are completely reprehensible, the independent and objective reasons would remain untouched by an attack on his personal reasons.

Moreover, the sword cuts both ways.  Dr. Price has personal and religious reasons for denying Dr. Craig's arguments, and it could equally be said that by hook or by crook he'll find a way to do it.  As rhetorically persuasive as it might sound when used against Dr. Craig, it is just rhetoric.







Agreed --and I couldn't say it better myself.
lucid
Reply with quote  #8 
Taken point by point. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satarack
Those are.. an ad hominem critique of Dr. Craig and not his arguments.

As I mentioned in the OP, there is a tendency for Craig's followers to immediately categorize any direct critique of his presuppositionalist dogma as an ad hominem, or a failure to engage with his actual arguments. I don't take these responses seriously for two reasons. 

1) Craig himself admits that his arguments by themselves hold no innate persuasive value. What matters is whether you accept Jesus into your heart. What is the point in even bothering with the arguments in the first place if your opponent already has this unshakeable conviction?  

2) Challenging Craig's conviction gets to the root from which all of his arguments spring. It is a critique of Craig's methodology as being dogmatically biased and subjective and does not amount to personal abuse. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satarack
Dr. Price has personal and religious reasons for denying Dr. Craig's arguments.

This is false. Price is not pre committed to any religious conviction. He does not categorize everyone who disagrees with him as an "unbeliever" as Craig asserts. 

"Biblical critics take miracle stories on a case by case basis. But such a selective piecemeal and probabilistic acceptance of miracle stories is not what apologists want. They take umbrage that biblical critics do not wind up accepting any and all biblical miracles. So if it would not require a blanket principle to reject the historicity of particular miralce stories, we must ask if it would take a blanket principle to require acceptance of all biblical miracles. Clearly it would."  
Noraaron
Reply with quote  #9 
Price has no evidence to contrast this with. 

If he does that he then can accuse WLC of his evidence being purely subjective at it core, because that would then be a diffrence between them, if he does not have contrasting evidence he is better of concentrating on building his own arguments.  

That said, it is a good tactic by price which could make him appear to be the more reasonable participant to the unfamiliar on the topics, and as it is about winning a debate, not proving a point necessarily, it is a good tactic. 

But it is tantamount to saying....if you are going to debate this, you cant believe your own proposition is true, otherwise that is bias.
Blake1960
Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rostos
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satarack
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid
"Dr Craig freely admits that his conviction arises from purely subjective factors (in reference to Reasonable Faith Pg 48)"

"His enterprise is circular since he grounds christian belief in a subjective state described already in christian theological terminology i.e "gods spirit dwelling in his heart" etc."

"Note how he characterizes people who do not accept his version of the historical Jesus as "unbelievers" who merely "cast up smokescreens" of insincere carping. But this functions as a mirror image of his own enterprise, his apparently self effacing pose "If my arguments fail to convince then I must have done a poor job of explaining them" just reveals the whole exercise to be a sham"

Those are actually a single point, which amount at most to an ad hominem critique of Dr. Craig and not his arguments.  What Dr. Price is essentially saying is, "Dr. Craig has personal religious convictions that drive his apologetics, so by hook or by crook he'll find a way to get an argument for God's existence.  Even though he gives you reasons why he thinks you should believe, they aren't his reasons for believing."  Well so what?  Everyone has personal motivations, the question is does Dr. Craig give something more than personal reasons for believing his arguments.  As long as he can give independent and objective reasons to support his arguments then it just doesn't matter what his personal motivations are.  Even if his personal motivations are completely reprehensible, the independent and objective reasons would remain untouched by an attack on his personal reasons.

Moreover, the sword cuts both ways.  Dr. Price has personal and religious reasons for denying Dr. Craig's arguments, and it could equally be said that by hook or by crook he'll find a way to do it.  As rhetorically persuasive as it might sound when used against Dr. Craig, it is just rhetoric.



Exactly!

Blake1960
Reply with quote  #11 
The OP's statement demonstrates the unreasonable eagerness that afflicts some faithful atheists.

>>> "...by all accounts, Price absolutely rinsed Craig."

Reason demands that an argument itself be attacked, not the arguer. Attacking the arguer, whether the thread author likes it or not is nothing but ad hominem and thus entirely fallacious reasoning. The argument thus fails egregiously.

Emotion has no place in substantive debate. Reason must govern, if truth is the objective. Ad hominem offered in debate is nothing but deception built upon emotion.
Satarack
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid
This is false. Price is not pre committed to any religious conviction. He does not categorize everyone who disagrees with him as an "unbeliever" as Craig asserts. 

Lucid, everyone has personal and religious reasons on matters of religion and religious beliefs.  Everyone.  I have them, you have them, everyone on this forum has them, Dr. Craig has them, and Dr. Price has them.  It's dishonest to not admit that.  

Are we to take it that Dr. Price somehow is different from the rest of humanity?  That he and his fellow Jesus mythicists are the only biblical scholars that set aside their personal biases and review the evidence objectively?  That all of Dr. Price's peers who each look at the evidence for themselves and independently came to believe that Jesus existed; are we to take them all as simply being, "friendly to traditional Christianity, for the simple reason that most biblical scholars are and always have been believing Christians."  Apparently if we listen to Dr. Price and follow his methodology then he thinks that anyone who rejects his position does so not from an objective review of the evidence, for if they did they wouldn't reject his position, but from a pre-existing commitment to Christianity.  But wait, that's exactly the type of assertion he tried to use on Dr. Craig to discredit him.

At the end of the day, Dr. Price has a commitment to the myth of Jesus, and whether or not he reached that by evidence, he is committed to it now and seeks ways of defending it against new attacks and new evidence.
Satarack
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid
1) Craig himself admits that his arguments by themselves hold no innate persuasive value. What matters is whether you accept Jesus into your heart. What is the point in even bothering with the arguments in the first place if your opponent already has this unshakeable conviction?  

2) Challenging Craig's conviction gets to the root from which all of his arguments spring. It is a critique of Craig's methodology as being dogmatically biased and subjective and does not amount to personal abuse.


You fail to even understand my point.  You have not shown that Dr. Craig's personal beliefs are implicit in the premises of his argument, or required for his arguments to be valid.  Until you can show either of those two then his arguments simply aren't question begging.  You can talk as much as you want about how dastardly or uncritical Dr. Craig is, about how he wasn't convinced to believe in God on his own by these arguments, how the reasons he gives aren't his reasons, etc.  But until you can show that his personal reasons and motivations are in some way intrinsic to his arguments, such that the two cannot be separated, then there simply isn't any circularity or question begging in his arguments.  As long as it is possible to ignore Dr. Craigs reasons and only look at the arguments based on the independent reasons he gives, then discussing his personal reasons is just an irrelevant waste of time and a distraction.
CrashTestAuto
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Satarack

You fail to even understand my point.  You have not shown that Dr. Craig's personal beliefs are implicit in the premises of his argument, or required for his arguments to be valid.  Until you can show either of those two then his arguments simply aren't question begging.  You can talk as much as you want about how dastardly or uncritical Dr. Craig is, about how he wasn't convinced to believe in God on his own by these arguments, how the reasons he gives aren't his reasons, etc.  But until you can show that his personal reasons and motivations are in some way intrinsic to his arguments, such that the two cannot be separated, then there simply isn't any circularity or question begging in his arguments.  As long as it is possible to ignore Dr. Craigs reasons and only look at the arguments based on the independent reasons he gives, then discussing his personal reasons is just an irrelevant waste of time and a distraction.

I don't think you are quite understanding the point of the OP.  The soundness of Craig's arguments has been repeatedly undermined in other places.  No atheist (clearly) thinks they are convincing, and many theists agree.  The point isn't that Craig's motivations make his arguments invalid, it's that the main supporter and advocate of these arguments doesn't agree with their conclusion as a result of hearing them.

A complete lack of objectivity in addressing an argument's worth, or any other evidence is a bad thing.  There is no ad hom fallacy here, because the arguments aren't the things being attacked.  The motivations for supporting the arguments are being attacked.

Also, the idea that atheists have the same level of religious bias as theists is utterly ridiculous.  I have absolutely no doctrinal reason for being an atheist, and no one is offering me eternal reward for maintaining my atheism.  I sincerely hope that the God of the Bible does not exist, but that is nowhere near akin to theistic faith in terms of bias.
Satarack
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrashTestAuto
I don't think you are quite understanding the point of the OP.  The soundness of Craig's arguments has been repeatedly undermined in other places.  No atheist (clearly) thinks they are convincing, and many theists agree.  The point isn't that Craig's motivations make his arguments invalid, it's that the main supporter and advocate of these arguments doesn't agree with their conclusion as a result of hearing them.

That does not follow.  The fact that Dr. Craig had already believed the conclusion before he developed his arguments tells you nothing about what Dr. Craig would have done had you gone back into the past to present these arguments to him before he had become convinced of the conclusion.  In fact it seems to make it more likely that should this happen that he would be convinced of the conclusion by the arguments, given that he must have been amenable to the conclusion from the fact that he arrived at it apart from the arguments he gives.
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