Is God a Delusion?

A two-hour debate between Bill Cooke, Senior Lecturer at Manukau Institute of Technology and William Lane Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada.

Born and raised in Kenya, Bill Cooke was educated there, in the United Kingdom, and in New Zealand, where he now lives. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the School of Visual Arts, Manukau Institute of Technology, in Auckland and is editor of the NZ Rationalist & Humanist. Cooke has authored several books, including "A Rebel to His last Breath, an intellectual biography of Joseph McCabe" and "A Gathering of Infidels."

William Lane Craig is an American philosopher, theologian, New Testament historian, and Christian apologist. He is an author and lecturer on issues related to the philosophy of religion, the historical Jesus, the coherence of the Christian worldview, and natural theology. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.


Mark said...

I wateched this debate, and must say I was again disappointed by Craig's opponent. I've watched him in other debates. He is a VERY strong debater, has excellent technique, and generally comes across pretty good. One thing he does is constantly challenge the other person to answer his arguments, but they never do. It is disappointing to me. Craig is an intelligent and well learned man, but he is just a man. I see many flaws in his arguments just sitting on the sidelines, and I know i'm not as smart as this professor.

I'm just frustrated he seemed to basically role over on the topic.
Cooke just did not seem prepared to debate. I did enjoy his opening statement, and he made a number of excellent points.

In terms of the debate, a couple of interesting things did come out. Lane acknowledges that the earth is Billions of years old. I'm not sure how this squares with his theology, but it is interesting to hear him admit it.

Craig is very insistent that without "god", "religion", etc, there would be no absolute morals and the world would be in chaos. He makes this in his book as well. The funny thing is, the morals of the bible are not absolute. They have changed quite a bit from the old testament to the new testament to today. Craig is willing to pick and choose the morals he wants to stick with, and throw out the others. Why don't we stone disobedient children anymore? Why are women allowed to speak in church against Paul's instructions?

Cooke did a nice job though of pointing out Craig's hypocrisy when craig equivocated on an actual hell of flames and torment, etc. That apparently is figurative, while other parts are literal. Whatever fits Craigs theology.

Also, another gentelemen presented to Craig regarding morality, and how god did not follow his own moral standards. Apparently since he is god, he can do whatever he wants. The wholesale slaughter in the old testament of people that were in the way of the isrealites was apparently god's judement. That is acceptable. This also tells us clearly we are not to kill, torture and slaughter people, UNLESS GOD TELLS US TO! Wow, what a great morality.

Well, craig is a fierce debater, and I'd really like to see him go up against someone formidable such as Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. (I've seen them all debate, and they are excellent). I think they could really give him a run for his money.

Boe said...

Craig likes to make much of the idea of the 'big bang' meaning that everything came from nothing, uncaused. The fact is that the laws of physics, quantum & relativity, break down at some point an exremely close to the event - a theory combining gravity and quantum theory is needed to understand the event itself - One of the prime contenders is String Theory, which Craig also mentions. The thing with this theory though is that it does not say that everything came from nothing, uncaused - this is because in String Theory there are no singularities. Indeed, in this theory, there is an equivalence between a universe of radius R and one of radius 1/R, which sets up a good senario for an oscillating universe, possibly within a seething 'multiverse'.
Craig seems to endorse the notion of the size and age of the universe as envisaged by science. He also obviously accepts much of science, including evolution. As a christian he also says we need to accept Jebus to deliver us from 'sin'. Can he tell us then where this 'sin' comes from? Is it something to do with a talking snake and a rib woman?

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