Wednesday, November 18, 2015

William Lane Craig vs Alex Rosenberg - Is Faith in God Reasonable? 2013

This debate ( audio | video | very biased transcript | 1:45 ) took place in 2013 between William Lane Craig and Scientism Philosopher Alex Rosenberg. 

1.25 Stars: Rosenberg is completely out of his depth and Craig has just been doing this for too long.

Craig’s still got it. He's debated over 10 other people since Kagan in 2009 and only Tooley, Law, and Carroll between then and now have given him a good debate. Rosenberg is completely scatter-brained and Craig is so focused and slick that he'll make even well spoken opponents cower.

Rosenberg gets a very bad deal, too, because Craig gives seven arguments in this debate, plus his "this isn't really an argument" experience argument. Usually Craig uses five at most and sticks to three depending on what he's vetted about his opponent.

He busts out:

(1) The Contingency Argument;
(2) The KCA;
(3) Fine-tuning;
(4) Conscious Minds;
(5) The Moral argument;
(6) The Resurrection;

Plus one newer argument than his usual material: (6) mathematics. Craig manages to fit all this in and critique Rosenberg's work. It seems like this huge number of arguments and his vague mentions to materialism meant that Craig wasn't as sure of Rosenberg's background as he usually seems to be in other debates. But that sure doesn't phase him and ultimately doesn't backfire on him.

Rosenberg very briefly started out okay by calling attention to the unoriginal arguments Craig brings to the table. And he also preempts any attempt to call on the Holocaust as an example in his future responses for some reason.

But Rosenberg fails to back up his first statement and doesn't convincingly demonstrate how these unoriginal arguments can be destroyed. Craig also steers away from the big H and sticks with good old Stalin, instead. And in general he just creams Rosenberg.

Another philosopher bites the dust. I’ll be honest, I just can’t see any of the other guys I see in my Craig debate queue throwing down. Nor can I see John Loftus, Dan Barker or Michael Shermer.

People I want to see debate Craig: Jeremy Beahan, Justin Schieber, Matt Dillahunty, Douglas Jesseph*, John Loftus** and Zombie Hitch. And rematches I'd like to see are Sean Carroll, Richard Carrier, Keith Parsons, Hector Avalos, and Arif Ahmed.

Good audio quality dunno about the video. Also note that I got the audio from the great GREAT PhilVaz site. 

Other Reviews
PhilVaz 4/5
WK review: Xians always win
Hallq has some thoughts
JJ Lowder considers this one of the worst atheist debate performances.
Edward Feser's brief mention of the debate
Jason Rosenberg's Review part other parts?

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

*There is a transcript of this debate but I am lazy and enjoy audio debates, they should just debate again, because I maintain such a stunning blog.
**I know I just disparaged the guy but I wouldn’t mind seeing a debate between these guys, Loftus certainly wants it to happen.

7-14-2013 Added another review.
8-23-2015 Cleaned up and fleshed out and formattededed. I think I've added enough to warrant a re-post, though.

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