Talk:William Lane Craig

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Debates and dialogues[edit]

  • "Sean Carroll at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, "God and Cosmology" (2014)". 
  • "Lawrence Krauss at Melbourne, "Life, the Universe and Nothing: Is it reasonable to believe there is a God?" (2013)". 
  • "Lawrence Krauss at Sydney, "Life, the Universe and Nothing: Why is there something rather than nothing?" (2013)". 
  • "Lawrence Krauss at Brisbane, "Life, the Universe and Nothing: Has science buried God?" (2013)". 
  • "Alex Rosenberg at Purdue University, "Is Faith in God Reasonable?" (2013)". 
  • "Klemens Kappel at Copenhagen, Denmark, "Does God Exist?" (2012)". 
  • "Kari Enqvist at University of Helsinki, "Does God Exist?" (2012)". 
  • "Peter Millican at University of Birmingham, "Is Faith in God Reasonable?" (2011)". 
  • "Peter Atkins at University of Manchester, "Does God Exist?" (2011)". 
  • "Stephen Law at Westminster Central Hall, London, "Does God Exist?" (2011)". 
  • "Sam Harris at University of Notre Dame, "Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or Supernatural?" (2011)". 
  • "Lawrence Krauss at North Carolina State University, "Is There Evidence For God?" (2011)". 
  • "Yusuf Ismail at Jubilee Community Church, Cape Town, "Identifying Jesus: Is he, man or both man & God?" (2010)". 
  • "Victor Stenger at Oregon State University, "Does God Exist?" (2010)". 
  • "Francisco Ayala at Indiana University, "Is Intelligent Design Viable?" (2009)". 
  • "Eric Dayton at University of Saskatchewan, "Does Evil Disprove God?" (2009)". 
  • "Shabir Ally at McGill University, "Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?" (2009)". 
  • "Ronald DeSousa at York University, Toronto, "Does God Exist?" (2009)". 
  • "Shelly Kagan at Columbia University, "Is God Necessary For Morality?" (2009)". 
  • "Richard Carrier at Northwest Missouri State University, "Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?" (2009)". 
  • "Christopher Hitchens at Biola University, "Does God Exist?" (2009)". 
  • "Christopher DiCarlo at University of Waterloo, "Does God Matter?" (2009)". 
  • "John R. Shook at University of British Columbia, "Does God Exist?" (2008)". 
  • "Bill Cooke at University of Auckland, New Zealand, "Is God a Delusion?" (2008)". 
  • "Louise Antony at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, "Is God Necessary for Morality?" (2008)". 
  • "James Crossley, "Was Jesus Bodily Raised From the Dead?" (2008)". 
  • "Roy Hoover, "Should We Believe That Jesus' Resurrection Was Historical?"(2007)". 
  • "Lewis Wolpert at Westminster, London, "Is God a Delusion?" (2007)". 
  • "Bart Ehrman at College of the Holy Cross, "Is There Evidence For the Historical Jesus?"(2006)". 
  • "Austin Dacey at California State University, "Does God Exist?" (2005)". 
  • "A.C. Grayling at Oxford, "Does God Make Sense In Light of Tsunamis?" (2005)". 
  • "John Shelby Spong at Bethel College, "Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?" (2005)". 
  • "Austin Dacey at Purdue University, "Does God Exist? The Ultimate Debate" (2004)". 
  • "Hector Avalos at Iowa State University, "Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?" (2004)". 
  • "Victor Stenger, "Does God Exist?" (2003)". 
  • "Quentin Smith at Harvard, "Does God Exist?" (2003)". 
  • "Peter Slezak, "Atheism vs Christianity" (2002)". 
  • "Shabir Ally, "Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?" (2002)". 
  • "Shabir Ally, "The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity" (2002)". 
  • "Shabir Ally, "Who is the Real Jesus?" (2002)". 
  • "Shabir Ally, "What Must I Do to be Saved?" (2002)". 
  • "Gerd Ludemann at California Polytechnic State University, "Jesus' Resurrection: Fact or Figment?" (2002)". 
  • "Torbjorn Tannsjo, "God and Morality" (2001)". 
  • "Paul Kurtz, "Is Goodness Without God Good Enough?" (2001)". 
  • "Massimo Pigliucci at University of Georgia, "Does God Exist?" (2001)". 
  • "Ron Barrier, "Does God Exist?" (2000)". 
  • "Eddie Tabash, "Secular Humanism vs. Christianity" (1999)". 
  • "Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, "Do Evil and Suffering Disprove God?" (1999)". 
  • "Edwin Curley at University of Michigan, "Does the Christian God Exist?" (1998)". 
  • "Keith Parsons at Prestonwood Baptist Church, "Why I am/am not a Christian" (1998)". 
  • "Robert Price, "Did Jesus of Nazareth Rise From the Dead?" (1998)". 
  • "Antony Flew at University of Wisconsin at Madison, "Does God Exist?" (1998)". 
  • "Peter Atkins at Carter Center, "What is the Evidence For/Against God?" (1998)". 
  • "Jamal Badawi at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "The Concept of God in Islam and Christianity" (1998)". 
  • "Paul Draper at United States Military Academy at West Point, "Does God Exist?" (1997)". 
  • "Theodore Drange at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, "Does God Exist?" (1997)". 
  • "Gerd Ludemann at Boston College, "Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?" (1997)". 
  • "Douglas Jesseph at Arizona State University, "Does God Exist?" (1997)". 
  • "Douglas Jesseph at North Carolina State University, "Does God Exist?" (1996)". 
  • "Quentin Smith at Southern Methodist University, "Does God Exist?" (1996)". 
  • "Corey Washington at University of Washington, "Does God Exist?" (1995)". 
  • "Greg Cavin, "Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?" (1995)". 
  • "John Dominic Crossan, "Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?" (1995)". 
  • "Michael Tooley at University of Colorado, "Does God Exist?" (1994)". 
  • "Ray Bradley at Simon Frasier University, "Can a Loving God Send People to Hell?" (1994)". 
  • "Robert Deitz at Arizona State University, "Does God Exist?" (1993)". 
  • "Richard Taylor at Union College, "Is the Basis For Morality Natural or Supernatural?" (1993)". 
  • "Frank Zindler at Willow Creek Community Church, "Atheism vs Christianity" (1993)". 
  • "Kai Nielson at University of Western Ontario, "God Morality and Evil" (1991)". 
  • "Kai Nielson at University of Calgary, "Does God Exist?" (1982)". 

As I edited and had been reverted - First the general profession[edit]

Hello, I have no intention to discuss this (No time or desire) but I do want to say that in my opinion its more objective to first start with anyone's general profession(s) instead of his or hers Religions stances/beliefs and roles.

Thus I just want to say I support writing: "Craig is a Analytic philosopher" and only after that writing something like "And a Christian theologian, a Christian apologist or a Christian whatever".

Please from now and long count me as one who supports starting with the professional title "Analytic philosopher" even if I won't take active part in discussions about this. That's the man's general profession and anything specific should come after this I think. I would say the very same for an Atheist/Agnostic/Deist/Pantheist/Ignostic or whatever. Ben-Yeudith (talk) 09:17, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

I agree Ben-Yeudith. I've provided several reasons for making this change that have not been adequately addressed. I'm hoping some engagement is forthcoming. BabyJonas (talk) 14:02, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I too agree. Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 17:20, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
I agree. Thucyd (talk) 19:19, 24 May 2016 (UTC)
Also agree, and note, in going thru this wiki-list of modern theologians, that for those who are both philosophers, theologians, or some other profession and Christian apologists, their profession is listed first in their articles and the fact that they are apologists is listed near the rear (e.g., Alister McGrath, "theologian, priest, intellectual historian, scientist, and Christian apologist"). Pleonic (talk) 00:31, 25 May 2016 (UTC)
Hello. I firstly apologise for intruding into the discussion. Though i have been a user of wikipedia for a long time (but an editor for only a short while, on an account that has been currently lost) i feel that i could perhaps provide some aid in the form of my layman third opinion. Now the way i see it, the major problem is the fact that Craig, though having an education in philosophy (among other subjects) has been heavily invested in religious matters or apologetics. In light of this it becomes a point of contention o weather these activities can supercede upon him as an (analytic) philosopher and thus make him primarily an Christian apologist. My view is that, though quite heavily involved in philosophy of religion, it is still philosophy, and since Craig also employs analytic philosophy it is analytic philosophy (of religion, among other things). To me, a philosopher who is involved in religious topics, no matter how heavily or lightly, is still primarily a philosopher and in Craig's case - an analytic philosopher. So, for whatever it counts, my vote/voice is also for Analytic philosopher first. I will not be engaging in any further discussion as i have neither time nor energy to do so, and these types of debates can be quite draining. I wish you all well and a successful resolution of this dilemma. Popokatpetl

For what it's worth I too believe Analytic Philosopher should remain first. 2601:C0:C400:2390:E5D8:22B6:2B59:8AFB (talk) 05:29, 18 September 2016 (UTC)

Articles on people who hold fringe views still have to state the consensus view if they are going to present their subject's view[edit]

@GorgeCustersSabre: History cannot be used to prove miracles, because history by definition is the study of what probably happened in the past, and miracles (also by definition) are not probable. Per WP:FRINGE, an article on a person who holds a view in opposition to the scholarly consensus should not present the person's view unless it also clarifies that this view is not widely shared by scholars in the field. How is said clarification, in your words, "entirely unnecessary"? Hijiri 88 (やや) 05:02, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

History is not at all "by definition"(which one by the way?) the study of what "probably" happened. Lots of historical events happened which were a priori and a posteriori highly unlikely... And for miracles and historiography, it is a huge ongoing debate. See for example: John Earman, Hume's Abject Failure: the Argument Against Miracles, Oxford University Press, 2000. here, or Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, hereThucyd (talk) 05:30, 12 September 2016 (UTC)
When you say Lots of historical events happened which were a priori and a posteriori highly unlikely you are using a sloppy definition of history that professional historians don't like to use. They refer to this as "the past". See [1]. Professional historians, when they talk of "history" are referring to what probably happened in the past, as Ehrman emphasizes here. And even if we take it as an "ongoing debate", that still puts Craig on the fringe when he says in the aforelinked debate that Hume's view has been widely rejected. And if what he says (that Ehrman's view is that of Hume), then (per the Martin lecture I linked, namely "Another--this is another theoretical issue ... people's minds start turning into mud.") he is also wrong, as professional historians all hold to this generally rejected view. Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:46, 12 September 2016 (UTC)

@Thucyd: Since when does tagging an obviously UNDUE section require talk page consensus? If anything, removing a tag requires consensus. Additionally, if you repeatedly revert article edits and ignore attempts to discuss on the talk page, that is called edit-warring. If you persist, I will request that you be blocked. Hijiri 88 (やや) 23:27, 13 September 2016 (UTC) Edited 01:25, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

By the way, please refrain from communicating in edit summaries, and please refrain from writing as though you were another user. I accidentally assumed you were another user because your edit summary claimed you were that user. Hijiri 88 (やや) 01:25, 14 September 2016 (UTC)

Do you have any actual, credible documentation for what you are saying other than a non-timestamped video debate?
Also, do you have any citation for your definition of what history is, and how it precludes miracles? You'll also need to demonstrate, somehow that this is a consensus view among historians, if you can.
Finally, exactly what is being given undue weight in the article? The methodology Craig uses? Craig's own views? BabyJonas (talk) 01:49, 30 September 2016 (UTC)

This is just silly. An article is free to talk about an intellectual's opinions regardless of how unpopular they are. Otherwise the article on Mao Zedong would mention none of his politics and the most articles on philosophers would be nearly empty. Don't change the article if you have such a poor grasp of wikipedia policy. -- Ollyoxenfree (talk) 02:36, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

Reading the section in question and looking at the citations, I believe what @Ollyoxenfree states is correct. The article should talk about Craig's views, works. Perhaps I'm missing something, why is the undue template be needed?
KSci (talk) 05:07, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Both of you did not read what Hijiri said. Read it again. Hijiri is not saying the crackpot's views should not be presented, but that either the crackpot's views as well as the standard view should be presented or neither. And that is right. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:33, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Let's focus on the content and not resort to ad hominem attacks, please. It makes the whole editing experience unpleasant. On the topic at hand, I'd let Hijiri clarify their own position in light of the issue rather than put words in their mouth. Hob Gadling, if you believe the issue Hijiri raises is veridical, could you address some of the questions raised? BabyJonas (talk) 05:55, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
You still do not seem to get it. So I will copy the relevant sentence and highlight the relevant part for you:
"an article on a person who holds a view in opposition to the scholarly consensus should not present the person's view unless it also clarifies that this view is not widely shared by scholars in the field".
As long as you both misrepresent that sentence as "an article on a person who holds a view in opposition to the scholarly consensus should not present the person's view", dropping the second part, thus arguing against some stupid fantasy reasoning from your own brain instead of what Hijiri really wrote, there is nothing to discuss and there is no point in arguing any further with you, "focussing on content" or "addressing questions". Would you please first acknowledge that you understand the issue better now?
BTW, that sentence I quoted is in accordance with WP:NPOV. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:31, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Addition: There is no reason for Hijiri to clarify that. It is as clear as it can get as long as the readers are not too lazy to read more than the first handful of words in a sentence. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:33, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Hob, if you cannot remain civil, it would benefit everyone if you found another article to edit. Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 12:25, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
No it wouldn't. Reading only half of people's sentences and answering as if there were only half of the sentence is much ruder than whatever I wrote. And calls for civility as a response to responses to such things are just dodging the issue. --Hob Gadling (talk) 13:10, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
I don't know why you think I ignored that clause, Hob. I've taken it into account, and raised follow-up questions about it, which you haven't yet addressed. BabyJonas (talk) 10:10, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Since you jumped into this part of the discussion, claiming that what I said was "ad hominem", I assumed you were one the two who didn't get it. Now I see you are not, and I am sorry for the confusion. But you could avoid such confusion if you used the right indentation: one more colon than the contribution you are replying to: the "No it wouldn't" paragraph was not about you. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:57, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
I may be confused,but is the criticism that WLC's view are fringe, or that Lüdemann's hallucination theory is fringe. WLC's position has a lot of mainstream Christian support (some named) and isn't at all fringe, but Lüdemann's hallucination theory has very little peer support, though it is commonly in the arguments after the topic in certain POV blogs. The extent of Lüdemann's support in academia should not be misrepresented, as it has very little acceptance. If I'm not on the wrong paragraph, presenting Lüdemann's mass hallucination theory as if it were widely accepted by his academic peers would misrepresent its support and its significance. A credible academic source or two is needed to establish it as more than popular street knowledge. Please let me know if I'm misunderstanding the problem or on the wrong paragraph.
KSci (talk) 15:41, 8 October 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

That's my general impression too. I understand that Craig's view may be disagreed with, or even considered unpopular. But to describe it as a fringe view? I see no basis for it. Hijiri hasn't been able to support this. If neither Hijiri nor anyone else can support the charge, per WP:DETAG I move to remove the tag. BabyJonas (talk) 08:02, 9 October 2016 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I agee with this entirely. George Custer's Sabre (talk) 04:58, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

I agree too. Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 11:44, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

I just detagged the issue. While we're at it, there's been two tags on the entire article, from Jan 2015. The first one is a BLP Primary Sources tag, and the second is a POV check tag. Can others look over the article for POV issues so we can take care of that tag? That should be relatively easy. BabyJonas (talk) 04:45, 12 October 2016 (UTC)

At least 30 of the references are primary sources. Theroadislong (talk) 07:36, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
Is that a problem? I gather most analytical philosophers (who are not celebrities) rarely have biographical details or even philosophical views featured in non-primary sources. Could we fix the problem by citing his published work? BabyJonas (talk) 09:44, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
Here are some secondary sources I don't have time to write in at the moment.
Craig wrote for Fox News http://www.foxnews.com/archive/william-lane-craig/index.html
Common sense atheism on Craig http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=538
A publication about him from a third party in higher education: http://www.chronicle.com/article/The-New-Theist/140019/
A theological encylopedia http://www.theopedia.com/william-lane-craig
Debate transcript (there are a lot of these) http://www.bethinking.org/is-christianity-true/the-evidence-for-christianity
I think secondary sources are rather plentiful. Craig is a very well-known "celebrity" figure in philosophy of religion and is a central figure in Christian apologetics. He has many professional and lay published works and there are many responses to them both for and against. He is certainly not a person with "fringe" views, so I'm not sure where that idea comes from (I'm curious about the citations could support that idea). A list of Crags works could be gleaned from secondary sources as could his many public debates at numerous universities. Some of his opposition even hold him in high regard as an debate opponent (definitely not as a fringe figure, but as a formitable opponent). http://commonsenseatheism.com/?p=392 I hope this helps. BBL
KSci (talk) 05:44, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
@babyjonus I don't see a reason for the BLP Primary Sources tag or the POV check tag. If there is POV, it may be from the effect produced by an excessive use of tags giving the impression of questionable content where there isn't any. I think at least the BLP and POV tags should be removed, which would also reduce the POV effect created by an excessive and unnecessary use of various tags. Also, a citation should not be requested for to support every trivial detail of every sentence.
KSci (talk) 20:12, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Since the templates have been discussed on this thread, I will bring this up here. The multiple issues template includes one issue and should be modified to the single remaining issue unless removed, as I propose. The single issue remaining is not contended. Since there is no contention over the material these primary citations support, I propose that the "too many primary sources" template be removed and that any disputed content be resolved if it is challenged (unlikely).
KSci (talk) 22:26, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
It does seem to be time to remove that template. What primary citations there still are seem quite appropriate to me. Pleonic (talk) 23:49, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Where are the critical voices?[edit]

Following the long discussion of criticism of WLC above ("Criticism ..."), I wonder why the critics of Craig are hardly mentioned on the WP page? In philosphy and among scholars Craig is a rather controversial figure. His attempt to mathematically "calculate" the probability of Jesus' resurrection (after about 42 min in the linked Youtube video) is ridiculous and a beautiful example for pseudoscience. That alone should be enough to debunk this guy. Peteruetz (talk) 04:11, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for your contributions, and I am sorry, I rolled back your good faith edits, but I believe there are some problems we should discuss. You wrote:

Criticism. Craig's explanation conflicts with many others, e.g. Lüdemann's Hallucination hypothesis. [1] More importantly, Bart Ehrman and others have argued that the resurrection is a theological event that is not accessible or even supported by historical sources.[2] The Gospels of the Bible are the only sources for the resurrection but neither the identity of their authors nor their sources are known. In addition, almost all scholars agree that the Gospels were written decades after Jesus' death, hence the truthfulness of the event cannot be established with any certainty or even probability.[2]

I like Bart Ehrman but he is not on record claiming that the resurrection is a "theological event that is not accessible or even supported by historical sources." Ehrman might agree that he views of the Gospels this way, but he regards Paul as a viable and credible witness for the resurrection (e.g. in Galatians), though he definitely does not accept the resurrection.
The Gospels are not the only sources for the resurrection, and Ehrman argues that Paul of Tarsus is a reliable witness, though Ehrman doesn't conclude that Paul's reports are sufficient evidence to convince him.
Additionally, Lüdemann's Hallucination theory is not widely accepted in academic circles, though it is rather common on the streets. There are some viable criticisms of William Craig's positions, but there is very little evidential support (one controversial academically documented case) for mass hallucination.
The use of mathematics to calculate probabilities Bayesian Probability Calculations) is performed by both theists and atheists. There are a lot of academics who would disagree with your assessment that Bayesian methods for assessing probability. The methods are used extensively in science, though it is true that Dawkins rejects these methods many of his peers don't, such as his colleague Richard Swinburne.
I know this subject matter well, and I'd be happy to help if you would like to discuss some more mainstream and convincing criticisms pf Craig, so let's talk.
Again, sorry for the revert, I don't do them often. .
KSci (talk) 05:48, 21 October 2016 (UTC)

A couple points might be worth raising here:

  • If we're going to be inserting criticism into the article, let's make sure it's credible.
  • There's a delicate balance between criticizing a view, and criticism of a person. We need to ask ourselves how to incorporate criticisms of a view into a BLP. Might the criticism be best located in an article devoted to the view instead?
  • On some level, in academia, every view is criticized by others. This kind of criticism is trivial and might not be worth incorporating.
  • WP:CRIT recommends against a dedicated criticism section.

It might be best to have an idea of what exactly the planned criticisms are.

BabyJonas (talk) 10:37, 22 October 2016 (UTC)


I agree with the post above, criticism should not be in a separate section, and for a living person, anything resembling a personal attack is off limits, as is poorly supported contentious content:

Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libellous. If such material is repeatedly inserted, or if you have other concerns, please report the issue to this noticeboard. If you are connected to one of the subjects of this article and need help, see this page.

Some of the dialogue on this talk page crosses the line.
KSci (talk) 08:10, 22 October 2016 (UTC)
Replaced references with wikilinks.
KSci (talk) 08:18, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Criticism of article[edit]

RationalWiki has some pretty harsh criticism of this article (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/William_Lane_Craig#Now.2C_try_an_experiment). Obviously we can't take their Snarky Point of View but it is something to consider for updates to this article. Sizeofint (talk) 06:44, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Checked it out. The criticisms are junk and that website is run by arm-chair philosophers who hate religion. Why consider it? 2601:C0:C400:D500:E5D8:22B6:2B59:8AFB (talk) 05:04, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

It should be considered because many of the comments in that article are very much to the point. The Wikipedia article eccentrically claims Craig is primarily notable for his claim to being an "analytic philosopher" (a claim the analytic philosophy community would roundly reject), so it would be entirely appropriate for philosophers to write an article taking issue with him. --Epipelagic (talk) 07:14, 28 January 2017 (UTC)

What is your evidence that the "analytic philosophy community" (whatever this is) rejects William Lane Craig as being an analytic philosopher? Is it 51% against WLC being labeled as such? 78%? 100%? Can you provide a definition of "analytic philosophy community"? Is there some kind of membership involved? How does one become a member? Afterwards, can you explain why one would need to be labeled an analytic philosopher by the analytic philosophy community in order for that person to be an analytic philosopher? Wouldn't it make more sense to assess the merits of each individual, assess the definition of analytic philosopher, and then see if the two meet? From what I understand, analytic philosophy is the dominant style of philosophy in English-speaking countries. WLC received his PhD in Philosophy from the University of Birmingham. Are you saying that the philosophy taught at the University of Birmingham isn't analytic? If it isn't analytic, then what style of philosophy do they teach there? Finally, I still don't see any good reason to include the mutterings of anonymous people, many of whom have no expertise in philosophy or science, who have shown a prejudice against anything involving the idea of God. 2601:C0:C400:D500:5866:C338:2BEF:F5BB (talk) 04:29, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

I made a list of four or so issues that criticism needs to address in the context of this BLP. See the tail end of the discussion in the previous section. Also, rationalwiki really is a terrible website. I don't think they are run by philosophers at all, since some of their objections are laughable and cannot be taken seriously. Maybe there should be an article or section about his views, and the criticism should be folded into the sections about his views. BabyJonas (talk) 08:40, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Irrational people do not like RationalWiki, obviously. But that does not matter: wikis are not considered reliable sources anyway, and that is the reason we cannot use it. But much of what they say seems to be reasonable... at the time the paragraph in question was written, the WP article was indeed a puff piece. Their analysis of Craig's fallacies is also spot-on. --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:10, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm looking over the WLC article at RationalWiki and their criticisms are not spot on. The people who wrote this article are obviously unsophisticated in philosophy and especially logic. For example, I invite you to read this blurb about WLC’s formation of the Kalam from “RationalWiki”.

“First he creates the escape hatch that only things that begin to exist need a cause to avoid the infinite regression of who created God etc.”

Notice how the writer assumes bad faith when assessing WLC’s arguments by labeling aspects of his line of reasoning as “escape hatches” and insinuating that his arguments are ad hoc rather than reasoned out. This alone demonstrates the lack of sophistication of the writer. To say the least, this isn’t how things are done in the academic world. Moreover, even if the writer’s pop psychology were correct, it does nothing to undermine the premise, “Whatever begins to exist has a cause”. The writer then goes on to say,

“but as it becomes clear that only God didn't begin to exist this is actually a piece of special pleading to make God exempt from the general premise that Craig is basing his KCA on.”

Evidently, the writer doesn’t know what special pleading is. For those of you who are reading this special pleading is, “a form of inconsistency in which the reasoner doesn't apply his or her principles consistently. It is the fallacy of applying a general principle to various situations but not applying it to a special situation that interests the arguer even though the general principle properly applies to that special situation, too.” http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/#SpecialPleading

So how in the world is Dr. Craig guilty of committing this fallacy by saying that everything that begins to exist has a cause, the universe began to exist; therefore, the universe has a cause? Dr. Craig is open to the idea of the universe being eternal or God beginning to exist, but he has reasons for thinking these propositions are false. The ignorance of this writer is startling, but this is the kind of trash you want imparted to WLC’s article here at Wikipedia.com? I think not. 2601:C0:C400:D500:E5D8:22B6:2B59:8AFB (talk) 06:00, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

So you built yourself a net of excuses why the logic of RationalWiki does not count, including ad hoc ad hominem such "obviously unsophisticated" and category error like "assumes bad faith" (that is just a Wikipedia rule). But it does, and it is special pleading, "a form of inconsistency in which the reasoner doesn't apply his or her principles consistently": the principle is "Everything that is sentient has a cause" but God is supposed to be exempt from it because of word games and lawyering. Craig knows the result he wants, and he rewords his principle in order to be able to get it. "Everything that begins to exist" is convoluted and obviously designed for the "this does not apply to God" result. Serious academics do not do this.
Actually, lambasting fallacies, as in the RationalWiki article, is "done in the academic world", but those who commit the fallacies are students or charlatans or frauds or experts on something else, or short, people who do not know what they are talking about. Of course theologians cannot expunge fallacies consistently because their whole field is based on them, so, within theology, it is, as you say, "not done".
But this is beside the point. This page is for improving the article, and the discussion has drifted away from that. So, EOD. --Hob Gadling (talk) 09:07, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

“So you built yourself a net of excuses why the logic of RationalWiki does not count, including ad hoc ad hominem such 'obviously unsophisticated'”

1. If the writer of the article in question cannot even understand what special pleading is, then they’re unsophisticated in philosophy. Earlier, I explained what special pleading is and provided my source (a good one), and then I gave reasons showing why WLC isn't guilty of committing the fallacy.

2. You don’t need to be on Wikipedia to assume good faith. In academic circles, people typically assume good faith and interpret the arguments of others in the strongest way possible; and they don’t assume the person behind the argument is trying to deceive them, nor do they focus on speculating on the intentions of the arguer like the editors at RationalWiki do. This is just another example of the immaturity and lack of rigor that goes on at that website.

3. The premise in question is “Everything that begins to exist has a cause”. For this to be special pleading Dr. Craig would need to inconsistently apply this principle. That’s not the case though. He applies it to God, but it turns out that even if the proposition were true, then it’d have no bearing since God is eternal. This principle can also be applied to the idea of an eternal universe—but if the universe were eternal, then this principle would also have no bearing on it. Similarly, if somebody created an argument with the premise, "Everything that looks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, and has duck DNA--is a duck" it wouldn't make sense to say this is special pleading merely for the reason that the principle naturally excludes human beings; the principle can be applied to human beings. It's just that the truth of the proposition excludes human beings because human beings don't look like ducks, swim like ducks, quack like ducks, and have duck DNA. You and the writer of this particular RationalWiki article just don’t seem to understand what special pleading is.

4. “Craig knows the result he wants, and he rewords his principle in order to be able to get it”

This is the kind of nonsense the writer of the article in question was espousing. Emotionally driven pop-psychology designed to attack the man rather than the argument (ad hominem). It doesn’t matter what the intentions of the arguer are. What matters is the merit of the argument itself. My suggestion to you is to stop reading RationalWiki and start reading actual books on philosophy written by people with adequate credentials, because learning about philosophy, science, or theology from RationalWiki is a baby step above getting your education from YouTube comments.

2601:C0:C400:D500:3587:9480:190E:3080 (talk) 17:09, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

You are misusing this page. Stop it. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:37, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
@HobGadling, a couple things:
  1. Wikipedia is not a forum. See WP:FORUM. We are discussing the potential quality of Rationalwiki as a source, or even a starting off point for research, where it is seriously lacking. We are not discussing the merit of the website itself, or of Craig's arguments.
  2. Stop with the personal attacks please. You will have trouble if they continue.
  3. The discussions of criticism so far, don't seem to warrant inclusion in the article, because of their low quality, and their lack of notability. There are non-notable criticisms for every view one can think of. We need a higher standard of justification to want to incorporate criticism in the article itself.

BabyJonas (talk) 04:52, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

All this is bullshit. I already said "But that does not matter: wikis are not considered reliable sources anyway, and that is the reason we cannot use it."
The one who used this as a forum was the letter salad user, and all I did was counter a little bit of its nonsense and point out that all that soapboxing is not needed because RationalWiki is a wiki and therefore not acceptable anyway.
And refuting stupid reasoning is not a personal attack, so you can stick it. Stop using strawmen, it will not work with someone like me who is accustomed to debating creationists. EOD, again. --Hob Gadling (talk) 08:37, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Relax Hob. This article is heavily controlled by Christian apologists desperately in need of someone to champion their cause. Without Craig who would they have? So Craig is elevated as the anointed one. Rationality has no place here – better to gracefully accept the situation as it is, and allow them to celebrate their dubious trophy. --Epipelagic (talk) 10:39, 1 March 2017 (UTC)
Are you saying this article is sort of a Conservapedia exclave? That would explain it... --Hob Gadling (talk) 11:54, 1 March 2017 (UTC)

It is quite endearing to see how under the thin veneer of civility and polite debate, many editors would rip out each other's proverbial throats (at least verbally). The way this page is going, a moderator should be summoned, and quickly. As for RationalWiki's valid points, i would put them somewhere below those on Encyclopedia Dramatica.

User:Uriel benziel zvosel (talk) 17:01, 03 March 2017 (UTC)

Epipelagic is clearly a prejudiced figure who thinks that if RationalWiki isn't quantified as a valid resource by Wikipedian editors, then it must be due to the evil Christian apologists who kiss Craig's feet in desperate need of help from science!! Of course, such is nonsense and Epip is quickly losing credibility when he employs such reasoning. One of Wikipedia's policies is WP:IRS, and RationalWiki fails to qualify as a reliable source. Epip clearly has a conflict of interest here with RationalWiki, and this is especially true if he cannot even get past that RationalWiki is not a reliable source and the vast majority of users on the site are religion-hating charlatans. Discussion on the veracity of RationalWiki as a reliable source should be closed now.Korvex (talk) 16:24, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

A gentle notice to everyone: I see an influx of people with a certain agenda here, and they are trying hard to impose their agenda on this BLP. When editors don't bow to their demands, these people get angry and accuse the editors of being "Christian apologists". In fact, I think the editors only care about maintaining the standards of Wikipedia, and not serving any narrow agenda.

In the face of insults from these new people, I suggest editors don't respond with further insults. Instead, take your concerns to administrators, who will introduce disciplinary measures if the bad-faith responses and insults keep coming.

After all, this is Wikipedia, not the Richard Dawkins Wiki. BabyJonas (talk) 22:53, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

Would you please start acting honestly and acknowledge that you used invalid reasoning against what I said? Your contribution above is 100% ad hominem, none of it is to the point, and none of it is "gentle". I don't care what type of apologist you are or are not, I only demand that you follow the rules of discussion. --Hob Gadling (talk)
I don't see how what you've said is pertinent to the issue at hand, namely Wikipedia standards about criticism. You seem more interested in having a personal dispute. I have no interest in that. BabyJonas (talk) 23:27, 4 March 2017 (UTC)
Hob, the behaviour above shows why it is better to gracefully accept the situation, and move on. Trying to stem the apologist relays and counter the projections and schoolboy levels of reasoning is Sisyphean. --Epipelagic (talk) 00:02, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
Epipelagic, I had hoped you were above this grade of discourse, and your contributions to a potential criticism section would be more substantive than what we've seen so far. Nevertheless, in your post, you seem to tacitly endorse Hob Gadling's rhetoric, and chosen to raise the specter of "apologist relays", "projections", and "schoolboy levels of reasoning". Can you clarify what in this discussion falls into those categories? BabyJonas (talk) 07:46, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
I am someone who believes that discussion is a working way of conflict resolution. When people use spurious arguments, as is customary on this page, discussion does not work, and it has to be demonstrated why.
So, since Jonas was obviously wrong, all I wanted was: have Jonas admit that he was wrong (moving this into the direction of serious discussion), or, failing that, have everyone see that Jonas is a person who cannot admit he is wrong, and therefore still carries with him every mistake he ever made in his life - showing to the watchers that Jonas is an untrustworthy person discussing whom is pointless. I have achieved the second goal. EOD, as far as I am concerned. --Hob Gadling (talk) 10:31, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
I think it's better to move on to the issue at hand, namely a discussion of criticism, that responds to the relevant points made above. BabyJonas (talk) 09:52, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Craig as a historian[edit]

In the first sentence of the Wikipedia, I think we should also mention that Craig is, apart from an analytic philosopher, theologian and Christian apologist, a historian as well. Craig's CV reveals he has a Masters in Church History with a summa cum laude, and a lot of Craig's published work (such as his books) on the historicity of the Resurrection, Craig's published material on the historicity of the empty tomb, and other aspects of the Gospel narratives, reveals he has contributed a lot of academic work to the profession of history. So I think this should also be included that he is a historian.Korvex (talk) 16:45, 4 March 2017 (UTC)