Monday, October 05, 2009

William Lane Craig vs. Arif Ahmed: Is Belief in God Reasonable? Debate MP3 Audio

William Lane Craig debates Arif Ahmed on the topic: Is Belief in God Reasonable? Q&A follows. Also added to the WLC Audio Debate Feed.

Full MP3 Audio here. (1hr 50min)

Enjoy.

14 comments :

Jon said...

I was disappointed with Ahmed in this debate, especially in light of his superb performance against Habermas, where I think he won by a wide margin.

dewayne ward said...

which debate is that (habermas vs Ahmed)? Every debate that I have heard HAbermas do, he destroys the person, so I would be interested in hearing one where he lost by "a wide margin".

Brian said...

For those who want to listen to the Habermas and Ahmed debate, click here.

winteryknight said...

I totally agree. Ahmed blew Habermas to bits and Habermas seemed to have lost all sense that debates are competitive. But I just listened to Ahmed's opening speech and it is the worst I have ever heard. I will be writing a summary of the debate on my blog to come out sometime this week.

I hope Craig doesn't read this as I am supposed to be transcribing the Craig-Morriston debate for him. Ooops!

josh said...

Ahmed's opening statement, in which he actually quoted Craig stating that (paraphrasing here) Christianity is true, even if reason and rational arguments fail was NEVER addressed or defended by Craig. I would say that this failure was a decisive blow to Craig's efforts in this debate. Ahmed was tight, articulate, and did NOT argue from authority on any issue whatsoever. Ahmed is a schooled philosophical debater and well versed in matters of logic and coherence. Craig, for all his "if we can't say there is a God, then there must BE a God" dribble just does not hold up to the scrutiny of applied logic and critical reasoning of his opponent. Sorry, Craig simply rehashes arguments (teleological, cosmological) that have been soundly refuted by science for some time.

Russell said...

Josh,

I what ways have these arguments been refuted?

Do things that begin to exist no longer need a cause?
Did the universe not begin to exist?

Have the various complexities of the universe been proven no to be complex?

Anonymous said...

Im not sure why people are saying Ahmed was weak here. What Craig does is spew as many fallacious arguments as he can get out in his time, and noone can possibly correct all that fail in their allowed time. Ahmed did one of the best jobs at addressing Craig's silly arguments, promptly dealing with them all. You can tell he did well by the way Craig opened up his second speech (I can tell were going to be in for a good debate), he had a tone like he wanted to say "wow you really stuck it to me."
Craig was on the defensive ever since

The Dimery said...

Yes I was impressed with Ahmed's opening speech, he did address all of Craig's points and undermined Craig in regards to mathematics and Craig's own comments in his book Reasonable Faith.
This definitely reeled Craig back.

robby said...

Why did god need to make such a large and complex universe so that all of fine tuned constants of the early universe could work so that a small speck of dust in a remote area of the universe could harbor life? Why not just make a sun and an earth? god is "all powerful" right? Also, couldn't god made an earth that doesn't require plate tectonics and all of it's natural evils...earth quakes, and volcanoes? Did god not anticipate that homo sapiens would die from the harmful effects of the tectonic process--tsunamis?

If god fine tuned this universe, I think he should and could have tweaked the knobs a little better....for all the vastness of the universe, we know of only our speck of dust that can harbor life.... That's some fine tuning (<--sarcasm)...

Russell said...

Hi Robby,

How does the idea the God created "such a large and complex universe" pose a problem? Perhaps He is a god that enjoys creating?

robby said...

Pure speculation on your part....why would he need to create anything or anybody? Was god lonely? What a petty human emotion for an all powerful being to have. It is counter intuitive to think that god created an infinitely large universe just so we can a comparitively miniscule home for a brief natural lifetime just to test us, to make sure we believe in him...


Hmmm? How does that pose a problem?

Look at the result of his creation. As far as we know, the earth is the only place that can harbor life. You are telling me, god needed to create the entire immensity of the universe just so all his "fine tuned" constants could work so that life could exist on a small speck of dust called earth!!!!

I dont buy it...

I'm just saying, if god is all powerful, and he can manipulate nature any way he sees fit, why didn't he just create an earth spinning around a sun? Making the entire universe is waste of time and space....especially if earth is just a layover flight...to either heaven or hell...

Why do apologist say the universe is fine tuned for life? If that was the case why can't we fly to mars. Mars is part of the universe isn't it? But I can't live on mars. Mars isn't fine tuned for me...it's rather deadly...only parts of the earth are "fine tuned" for life, not the whole universe.

Russell said...

Hi Robby,

I am glad we are continuing the conversation here. Many times people forget or simply don't continue to respond. Thank you for sticking with your topic.

Pure speculation on your part....why would he need to create anything or anybody? Was god lonely? What a petty human emotion for an all powerful being to have. It is counter intuitive to think that god created an infinitely large universe just so we can a comparitively miniscule home for a brief natural lifetime just to test us, to make sure we believe in him...

It may very well be speculation on my part, but so is the majority of your post. Also, I think you are moving a little quickly here with your reasoning. I am not willing to grant that God created because He was lonely or to put us through some sort of test. I would be interested to know whether or not you have children. If so, I am curious if you did so out of a petty human emotion such as loneliness. I don’t know exactly why God created us, but I certainly don’t think it was out of loneliness. It would seem to me that a triune God is not lonely.

Look at the result of his creation. As far as we know, the earth is the only place that can harbor life. You are telling me, god needed to create the entire immensity of the universe just so all his "fine tuned" constants could work so that life could exist on a small speck of dust called earth!!!!

I dont buy it...


Again, I do not understand the logic here. The fact that the universe is huge in no way poses a problem. You go on to say…

if god is all powerful, and he can manipulate nature any way he sees fit, why didn't he just create an earth spinning around a sun? Making the entire universe is waste of time and space

I find it strange that you are saying that “Making the entire universe is a waste of time and space”. For one, it just seems strange for a finite being to be making such a claim. It seems perfectly reasonable, and I think is quite evident in the Bible, that God enjoys creating. Now I want you to imagine if God had actually just created the Earth and the sun. Wouldn’t that stifle the inquisitive nature that’s obviously built in to us? We have marveled at the vastness of the universe since the dawn of time. Each time we make progress, we find that we aren’t even close. I just don’t see why a God who instilled a curiosity in us, would leave us with a sort of cosmic killjoy.

Why do apologist say the universe is fine tuned for life? If that was the case why can't we fly to mars. Mars is part of the universe isn't it? But I can't live on mars. Mars isn't fine tuned for me...it's rather deadly...only parts of the earth are "fine tuned" for life, not the whole universe.

Again, you just aren’t making statements that logically follow. Why must Mars be habitable in order for the Teleological argument to be valid? No one ever said the whole universe had to be fine tuned to support human life. The argument is impressive when you consider “the entire immensity of the universe” and the fact that rational beings seem to pop up amongst the irrational.

robby said...

because the fine tuned argument says the universe is fined tuned for life...but so much of it, can not harbor life....in fact most of it...is down right deadly....

I do have kids...and the reason I do is because of strong biological urges...think about this...if no one could have kids, the world would be a lonely place...

if god is all knowing...and he knew beforehand exactly how many souls would come to "know him"....why even bother creating us?

why not just run the whole scenario is his head and then just call it good?

why create a very imperfect earth full of natural evils that cause so much suffering, when he already knows the final result?

Is god a sadist? Does he like to see his creative beings suffer...just so through that suffering, they could come to him....

that seems like convoluted logic just so you can hold on to your beliefs

Russell said...

Hi Robby,

Thanks for your response.

because the fine tuned argument says the universe is fined tuned for life...but so much of it, can not harbor life....in fact most of it...is down right deadly....

No one is arguing that the whole universe is fine tuned for life. Perhaps it would be helpful if you stated what you mean by the fine tuning argument.

I do have kids...and the reason I do is because of strong biological urges...think about this...if no one could have kids, the world would be a lonely place...

I doubt the only reason you have children is because of your "biological urges". Many people choose not to have children despite these urges. Some choose to adopt.

if god is all knowing...and he knew beforehand exactly how many souls would come to "know him"....why even bother creating us?

The answer here depends on a person's view of sovereign grace. Personally, I am somewhat undetermined (pun?) on this. If you are interested I would suggest some research on the various views. Pleaseconvinceme has some basic information (http://www.pleaseconvinceme.com/index/pg83497) regarding it.
Regardless, your question is still a good one. Again, I think it's obvious that god enjoys creating, which provides some reason for our creation. I also think that it's perfectly reasonable that God knows that the good that comes from our creation outweighs the bad.

why not just run the whole scenario is his head and then just call it good?

That's sort of like thinking about a child rather than having one. Or looking at a picture of someone rather than pursuing a relationship with them.

I think my above answer concerning the idea that the good produced from our creation will out weigh the bad is something of an answer for the remaining part of your post. However, I have question for you if you don't mind. I would like to know what your worldview entails. You seem to have very strong emotions concerning the good and evil present in our world. It's interesting that you use terms like "imperfect earth", "natural evils", and "suffering". I am wondering where the basis for this derives from in your worldview. Why is there such a thing as good or bad in our world and what are we measuring these things against? Or do you hold a more relativistic view in which moral categories don't really exist?

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