Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eddie Tabash vs William Lane Craig - Secular Humanism vs Christianity 1999 BEST

This debate ( audio | video | 1:42.10s ) took place in 1999 and was between Eddie Tabash and William Lane Craig. It was held at Pepperdine University in Southern California and the topic was "Secular Humanism vs Christianity" and Tabash made Craig flip a coin over who'd go first on this one.

Debate begins about 3.25s in...

4 Stars. Eddie certainly rattles William Lane Craig in this content packed debate but he doesn't bring too much of the secular humanism game into the mix. BEST

PhilVaz 2/5
APF review: 4.5/5
CSA review: good
Richard Carrier review: Craig won on rhetoric

This one is often cited as one of the few debates Craig doesn't win. Since I think he has lost more debates than what others have argued I agree with this point, but maybe not as much or in the same manner as those other reviewers.

Tabash is a great lawyer and a Bruin (go Bruins!) and has an amazing ability to deliver 500 arguments in a short 15-20 minute opening. Some have tried to call him on doing this but only to disastrous results. Anyways, Tabash comes out swinging and Craig for once has a harder time playing catch up.

In fact a usual issue that debaters against Craig have is that their speeches tend to seem sparse in content. I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, (I think Ahmed's debate, for example, featured more quality rather than quantity in terms of denser content) but the fact that Craig can organize and fit in all these arguments into an 8 minute segment, especially on the fly, sounds - and is, to an extent - pretty impressive. However, Tabash, though unfortunately resulting in his spending less time on defending secular humanism, is able to throw out as much as Craig can.

Some good parts were when Tabash referenced Craig dancing at the airport for Hare Krishna as being a major paradigm shift in Christian thought akin to Jews converting at the time of Jesus if it were to happen but that such an event would still make the claims of Hare Krishna just as unlikely.

I should mention that this is an earlier Craig, 1999. Maybe Craig was still fine-tuning his debate skills, though he’s been doing this since the 80s so I don’t know if this is a good excuse. It is worth mentioning mostly all of the debates Craig has supposedly lost were in that miserable decade the 90s sans the Kagan debate.

Both give a lot of information and the reasons keeping this debate from being a 5 starer is the audio quality is terrible and the fact that Tabash doesn’t flesh out his worldview all that much, he’s mostly on the offensive.

Poor AQ and VQ.

A list of mini-reviews of Craig's debates can be found here! 

RE: 6-30-2013; I added a link to Phil Vaz's review (though it is just a breakdown of the segments with assigned check marks on the debaters' performances) and to Richard Carrier's review. I highly recommend ya'll check out Carrier's review. It is well written, thorough and further features a response from Eddie!

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