William Lane Craig v. “Eastwooded” Dawkins

Another Example of Craig’s Dishonesty

In the past I have mentioned that I feel that the famous Christian apologist, William Lane Craig, is on my list of the most dishonest public religious figures.  The reason I feel this way is really simple.  I firmly believe that Craig is an extraordinarily intelligent human being.  The mental gymnastics that he comes up with as attempts to prove his god are stunning.  It is brilliant rhetoric and has been quite effective.  He very much grasps the issues at hand.  He has debated many people with opposing views.  In the various YouTube debates I have watched, I think he performs quite poorly.  His position is untenable; it can’t be defended against someone properly prepared to debate him.  I must say, to the chagrin of many atheists, that I do feel he got the best of Christopher Hitchens in their debate.  Hitchens’ performance, at least to me, could only be described as “Obama-like”.

Craig has made the news today.  The Christian Post reports that once again Craig has asked Richard Dawkins to debate him, and one again, Dawkins has refused.  In light of this refusal, Craig has apparently “Eastwooded” Dawkins.  You are now guessing what that means and your idea is correct, Craig debated an empty chair and pretended it was Dawkins.  This is a small example of Craig’s dishonesty.

Craig apparently used some excerpts from Dawkins writings to “debate” him.  Think on this for a second.  How easy would it be to take a few phrases or ideas from any writer you know of and debate those?  Piece of cake.  Hell, I could debate myself based on a few sentences or ideas from my own writings and defeat myself!  This is not a debate, it is a propaganda stunt.  It is dishonest.  This debate occurred in a room full of Craig fans and has already been posted on YouTube.  You can watch it here.  Many people will tune in, watch the idiotic film and think Dawkins discredited.  Craig is a dishonest man.  This is a typical example of the type of nonsense he pulls in his writings and his debates with real people.  The entire show is smoke and mirrors.

Craig goes on to say that:

“I have been told by people in a position to know, that Dawkins refuses to debate philosophers. I think that when he speaks with philosophers he realizes that he is out of his depth,” http://www.christianpost.com/news/christian-apologist-eastwooding-after-richard-dawkins-refuses-debate-82963/#uSIUUP3dCx4WrJhR.99

I think Craig is confused.  I would venture a guess that Dawkins would not consider himself “out of his depth” but rather, doesn’t want to waste his time on someone who either does not understand or when he does misrepresents the science of the cosmos, a la Craig.  Craig is a waste of time for someone like Dawkins.  As Dawkins pointed out he debates far more formidable opponents than Craig each year, and rejects more formidable requests as well.

There is one final reason that illustrates why I feel Craig is dishonest.  This entire story is hypocritical.  Craig refuses to debate John W. Loftus.  Loftus writing in his books and on his blog has skewered just about all of Craig’s arguments.  Craig still refuses to debate him.  Why?  He claims that he does not want to debate a former student of his, that to do so would be improper.  Loftus has rightly labeled Craig a coward.  Loftus has called Craig out numerous times.  Here is one such instance.

In closing, Craig is a hypocrite.  He fails to admit defeat.  He rolls out the same old tired arguments again and again, often repackaged, after they continuously have been debunked.  You can gift wrap a pile of shit all you want, but it is still a pile of shit.  Craig must be well aware of the inherent failures of the four main arguments he uses for god’s existence.  He has been refuted both in person at debates and in print.  Yet he continues to spew his rhetoric.  I once read (somewhere) that insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result.  Craig’s actions are either the height of insanity or dishonesty—and I have no reason to think he is insane.

Thanks for reading.  I look forward to your comments.


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11 thoughts on “William Lane Craig v. “Eastwooded” Dawkins

  1. hausdorff from Troy, MI, United States

    I agree, I think Craig is smart and I think he is dishonest. I've watched a few debates with him and he seems to feign ignorance about the rebuttals of his arguments. My guess is that it is an "ends justify the means" thing. If you really believe in heaven and hell and you think a lie would get someone to heaven is it worth telling that lie? I think he might conclude that yes, it is.

    "I once read (somewhere) that insanity is repeating the same action over and over and expecting a different result."

    I don't know, I think he might be getting exactly the result he is looking for. I don't think he is trying to convince people like us, although I'm sure he would like that. I think he's trying to give people who already believe some intellectual stuff to hang their hat on. If you are not paying particularly close attention, all you see is both sides trotting out arguments and saying the other person's argument is invalid. It doesn't matter that his arguments have been debunked a million times, if he just starts over at every debate and declares victory afterwards, then it might appear to just be an even fight. Both sides repeat arguments and both sides debunk the others, and both sides say the debunking isn't valid. If you are unable or unwilling to examine the arguments, it looks like a dead heat. It's the same thing with the ID stuff, every single thing I've seen about intelligent design is an argument from ignorance, but if you don't know what that means and you don't really investigate, it just looks like to competing ideas.

    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      " he seems to feign ignorance about the rebuttals of his arguments"—I agree and it is one of my major problems with apologists in general. I also think you may be on to something regarding my insanity quote and Craig's ends. He is prob not trying to convert the likes of us, but rather trying to bolster the beliefs of theists. Good point Haus.

  2. bma from Wroclaw, Lower Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

    Yeah right, all prof. Dawkins has is this vain feeling of intellectual superiority… if prof. Dawkins' arguments are so strong and obvious why not debate and finally put to end this endless discussions?

    1. reasonbeing from Duluth, MN, United States Post author

      That has already been done. The argument is "put to bed". Hence Craig's dishonesty. He realizes yet doesn't care that his arguments have been debunked countless times. He just keeps trotting them out debate after debate, book after book, lecture after lecture. The argument, as you phrase is "put to bed" it is just that some do not want to face that reality or are just unaware of that fact. If you want to see exactly just how "put to bed" the argument is, I suggest you read "Why I became an Atheist" by John Loftus as a starting point. Further Dawkins argues from the point of view of science, particularly biology. Everything he states is factual. If someone chooses not to accept evolution, they are not dealing with reality and are certainly not worth the time to debate and should not be given any forum of "credible discussion".

      1. Loren Miller from Bedford, OH, United States

        The YouTube member NonStampCollector has done a wonderful job of pulling out the "standard" arguments which show up repeatedly in such debates, including some which WLC is too well known for:

        The problem with Craig is that he is so invested in "The Big Lie" that, at this point, I doubt he can let go of it. It would be nice to think that he hasn't drunk his own Kool-Aid, but… Add to that the fact that he has not come up with any new arguments, and his old points have been torn to shreds on YouTube and elsewhere and you have a man whose self-perceived credibility is far better than his de-facto credibility is.


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