Eminent Philosopher With Bad Reading Comprehension.

An observably arrogant Stephen Law accuses the world’s foremost  apologist, William Lane Craig, of calling atheists ‘liars’ while saying ‘reason’ leads to atheism or agnosticism anyway. Of course, the competent chap would have already noticed the contradiction in the two: how can anyone who gets to his conclusions using reason be called a liar with regards to them? Ask Stephen. Needless to say, anyone can peruse the actual article where Stephen alleges Dr. Craig to have said those things and see for themselves the disparity between what’s actually been said and how it’s been encapsulated.

What Craig did in fact say was that ‘reason’, as it is currently being defined by a modern intelligentsia that’s slanted towards naturalism and materialism, will inevitably be ruling out natural theology as a means to ascertaining truth. Therefore, ‘reason’, so defined, leads one to atheism or agnosticism. This hardly seems like a concession on Craig’s part that ‘reason’ is on the side of Stephen and his ilk, but Stephen nevertheless gives himself  pats on the back as though it were, giving us not the slightest confidence in his reading and comprehension skills.

I’m not saying Stephen had unruefully violated some principle of charity here, I’m saying he acted outright dishonestly or incompetently –or both.

You would think claptrap like this –quoting people out of context– would be beneath someone of Stephen Law’s stature, but such is to be expected of someone who’s motivated by hostility and not an actual desire for truth.

(Update, 5/20/2012 : I’m honored Stephen Law thought it important to reply to my post above in the combox below (assuming that’s really him). I think it’s only fair that I share his response (at his own blog),  for which I may offer a rebuttal soon –or not.)

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Posted on May 19, 2012, in apologetics, philosophy, Religion and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I didn’t say that article supported that interpretations. The other quotes I gave did. And ifact the Bible also says all men know the existence of God, and so are “wihout excuse” come judgement day. So Craig is just goign with the Bible.

    As I point out, that seems to entail atheists are liars, though see this link:

    http://www.randyeverist.com/2012/02/do-atheists-know-god-exists.html

  2. Stephen, I think the article you linked to is more nuanced then you’re letting it out to be. It doesn’t at all “entail atheists are liars”. ‘Free-will’, for instance, will seem intuitively real even for those philosophers of mind who deny it as an illusion. That doesn’t however entail they are lying or deluding themselves about ‘free-will’ being an illusion.

  3. As I say, the linked article was not my basis for suggesting Craig’s view seems to entail atheists are liars. It was the other quotes I gave that seemed to support that view.

  4. Stephen, yes, I updated the post to include that link –your response at your blog.

  5. My personal experience is that there are certain things that I ‘know’ that often go unnoticed and are forgotten for years if I don’t actively search my heart, pray, and ask God to help me uncover them (as David does in Psalm 139:23). In other words, I have to have a willingness to dig into the recesses of my heart and discover these things, however unpleasant they might be. It was just recently that I discovered a longing and a deep sadness about a particular event with my father…and this was triggered by a particular lyric in a particular song that I hadn’t heard in over 20 years. Too many of these parts of our awareness get buried by layer after layer of knowledge, daily routines, and new experiences…and can go unprocessed for an entire lifetime.

    I’m not saying Stephen is like this, since I don’t know him, but I have three good atheist friends that have lost touch with incredibly painful experiences they’ve described to me. I feel the weight of these experiences when they describe them, but they are strangely unemotional about them. In addition, they get very uncomfortable when I attempt to dig a little deeper with them. They don’t want to go there. It’s like they’ve pulled these experiences into a vault so they can never access them again. I happen to think these three people now live completely in their ‘head,’ and unless something changes, have closed themselves off forever to the working of the Holy Spirit. And whether or not they’re willing to admit it, these experiences have profoundly shaped their view of God and the world around them.

    • Thanks for that insight, Toddler. Unbelief is, for the most part, an emotional response and not based on any lack of evidence as some would have us believe –no matter all the scientistic posturing.

  6. I agree. I found Stephen Law’s article to be an exhaustive game of philosophical ping-pong, and I can’t help but think a lot of atheists are dependent upon the emotional return they get from pedantic arguments like the one in the article. It was easy to follow, but it just is not interesting, as it’s not getting to the heart of the matter–the real question, which is “WHY are you hiding from God?”

    I’d like to know his family history, his experience with the church, etc. I believe his formative years would explain a lot.

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