Sunday, August 5, 2012

The home stretch

The next few debate posts will probably be even briefer than the last one, as there is not much more to be learned in the final four segments. In the second rebuttal for each participant, Dr. Craig will refocus on his five arguments, hammering away at the same sub arguments that he started with. Dr. Pigliucci will open his second rebuttal with a disclaimer that the lag time between Craig's argument and his rebuttal makes it appear that he's not addressing Dr. Craig, then he proceeds to defend against Dr. C's attacks on his argument from imperfections and "pragmatic argument from naturalism". Dr. Craig's closing argument addresses these last two arguments against the God hypothesis, then recaps each of his own five arguments. Dr. Pigliucci, speaking last, opens by restating the burden of proof (good for him), then mounts a brief final attack on the design argument, the argument from Objective Moral Values and the argument from personal experience.

I came into this little project with a distinct bias - some of it received from other atheist critiques of Dr. Craig, some of it developed through watching videos of his debates. That bias is that Dr. Craig knows how to win debates. Getting into the details has been interesting, but the "cumulative case for the existence of God" is being made mostly by the persuasive power of Dr. Craig - not by any new evidence or profound philosophical insight.

I retain grudging respect for Dr. Craig's ability as a debater, but it has opened my eyes to the unscrupulous tactics being used by one of the (allegedly) most prominent Christian apologists in the world today. As I head into the home stretch on this little project, I hope to have learned from this exercise - what to expect from a theist, what to respond with and how as an atheist. If I can do that, then this will have been all worthwhile.

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