David Bentley Hart on William Lane Craig
#1
A buddy of mine who knows I admire Hart sent me this video a couple of days ago. I wasn't surprised by any of it, but my friend was somewhat offended. He is a big time Craig supporter and was at a loss to understand why Hart would be so down on his beloved champion. We ended up having a good conversation about the different philosophical approaches to God and how this influences the rest of theology. I don't think I'm any closer to converting him, but have some hope based on the old boxing adage that good body punches don't produce results until the later rounds.

As an aside wouldn't it be fun if Hart could sucker one of the remaining new atheists into a debate?

Here's the video
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#2
I really can't say much on William Craig, because I've never read him, and from what what I've seen of him on videos I really don't like it very much (well, with the exception of his arguments for the Resurrection).
But here's the complete video. The talk isn't very impressive (basically an overview of the new book, so if you've read it there's nothing new), but the Q&A are quite good. There he talks about capitalism, modernity's view of nature as technology, post-Christian societies, etc.
I don't know why I find it so hard to disagree with him – really, the only contemporary writer with whom I don't have major disagreements. Also his style is quite beautiful. Pity he's Orthodox  :grin:


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#3
(07-30-2014, 11:57 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: I really can't say much on William Craig, because I've never read him, and from what what I've seen of him on videos I really don't like it very much (well, with the exception of his arguments for the Resurrection).
But here's the complete video. The talk isn't very impressive (basically an overview of the new book, so if you've read it there's nothing new), but the Q&A are quite good. There he talks about capitalism, modernity's view of nature as technology, post-Christian societies, etc.
I don't know why I find it so hard to disagree with him – really, the only contemporary writer with whom I don't have major disagreements. Also his style is quite beautiful. Pity he's Orthodox  :grin:

.

Thanks for posting the whole thing. I couldn't agree with you more about Hart.
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#4
(07-30-2014, 11:57 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote: I don't know why I find it so hard to disagree with him – really, the only contemporary writer with whom I don't have major disagreements. Also his style is quite beautiful. Pity he's Orthodox :grin:

Oh, he is? I'll have to pay attention to him, then.  :grin:
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#5
That talk was excellent. Thanks for drawing my attention to him, gents, I'll look him up more.
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#6
Craig does have some very worthwhile contributions as regards the new atheists, but it should be obvious that there's at least something wrong with his philosophy since he rejects the Faith and remains a Protestant.

Since the Faith is about acceptance of certain truths which are not demonstrable by reason, that alone does not mean he has bad philosophy, but it does mean that without the Faith he lacks a very important guard rail for philosophy.

One example, Craig has been one of the most vocal proponents of the "Kalaam Cosmological Argument". It is a very simple argument, which for many who cannot make the necessary queries is effective, but scratch deeper and you find real problems with the theory. For example, the larger argument for God's existence depends on a smaller one which says that the Universe must be finite and thus created. The argument will reject an eternal universe because time "cannot be infinite" since an "actual infinite" is impossible. The problem: Aristotle who admits that an actual infinite is impossble, argues that the universe must be eternal because for the present time to exist, there must have always been a before and after. St. Thomas corrects this in his Commentary on the Physics, and himself says that the only way we can know that the universe was not eternal is by Faith, not by natural reason. It could be eternal, but would be merely posterior in causality.

But if some very decent philosophers like Aristotle and Aquinas both reject "actual infinites" and yet see no problem with the possibility of an eternal universe, it is very difficult to think they were both wrong.

This is but one small problem in one small argument, but it does seem that Craig, for all his good contributions on certain levels, has a serious bias against Aristotle and St. Thomas, and while these two are not infallible, he seems woefully unfamiliar with their arguments, or at least unwilling to mention them. That's enough for me to be a bit skeptical of Craig.
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#7
(07-31-2014, 05:05 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Craig does have some very worthwhile contributions as regards the new atheists, but it should be obvious that there's at least something wrong with his philosophy since he rejects the Faith and remains a Protestant.

Since the Faith is about acceptance of certain truths which are not demonstrable by reason, that alone does not mean he has bad philosophy, but it does mean that without the Faith he lacks a very important guard rail for philosophy.

One example, Craig has been one of the most vocal proponents of the "Kalaam Cosmological Argument". It is a very simple argument, which for many who cannot make the necessary queries is effective, but scratch deeper and you find real problems with the theory. For example, the larger argument for God's existence depends on a smaller one which says that the Universe must be finite and thus created. The argument will reject an eternal universe because time "cannot be infinite" since an "actual infinite" is impossible. The problem: Aristotle who admits that an actual infinite is impossble, argues that the universe must be eternal because for the present time to exist, there must have always been a before and after. St. Thomas corrects this in his Commentary on the Physics, and himself says that the only way we can know that the universe was not eternal is by Faith, not by natural reason. It could be eternal, but would be merely posterior in causality.

But if some very decent philosophers like Aristotle and Aquinas both reject "actual infinites" and yet see no problem with the possibility of an eternal universe, it is very difficult to think they were both wrong.

This is but one small problem in one small argument, but it does seem that Craig, for all his good contributions on certain levels, has a serious bias against Aristotle and St. Thomas, and while these two are not infallible, he seems woefully unfamiliar with their arguments, or at least unwilling to mention them. That's enough for me to be a bit skeptical of Craig.

As I understand it, Craig is a nominalist, which is what makes me skeptical of him.
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