Talk:William Lane Craig/Archive 4

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"defense of cosmological intelligent design from the fine-tuning of the universe"

I would point out that as far as I can remember, none of the cited sources (which I added) mention either cosmology or fine-tuning in mentioning Craig's "defense of intelligent design". The claim would therefore appear to be pure WP:OR. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:03, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Which is why a list of Craig's most acclaimed debates would be an appropriate addition to the article. He provides a philosophical argument for a Designer of the universe on the basis of cosmic fine-tuning almost every time he debates the existence of God. There are numerous videos on YouTube, most of them uploaded by the user drcraigvideos, which attest to his endorsement of cosmological "intelligent design," if one wants to call it that. (talk) 07:46, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
No. Even if it weren't for the already-excessive reliance on Craig-as-a-source, we could not use these. They are WP:PRIMARY sources, so cannot be used for interpretations such as "his work in theistic and Christian apologetics also includes defense of cosmological intelligent design from the fine-tuning of the universe", without a WP:SECONDARY source supporting this interpretation. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:36, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm forced to agree with Hrafn's interpretation here. A debate isn't really a fair basis for a comment about Craig's overall beliefs. They are primary sources. But, also, debate have a problem as a source whatsoever because they're really about presenting Craig's views, they are about winning over an audience for or against a proposition. This means that Craig may not present his views on issue X, but a version of issue X that will win the argument. So, we really can't use debates for much. Theowarner (talk) 17:00, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
While I think we should assume Craig states his positions accurately in debate (I find it rather cynical to suspect without warrant that he might be covering up his actual beliefs for rhetorical purposes.), if the consensus is that public debates are not the most reliable sources to gather someone's personal views, then that's fine. I would also note, however, that the aforementioned user has also uploaded plenty of lectures where Craig makes a case for a cosmic Architect on the basis of the fine-tuning of the Big Bang's initial conditions and argued against the multiverse hypothesis. Would you consider lectures more reliable sources than debates? Hrafn, cite secondary references for the "Academic background" section if you believe there is too much reliance on primary material for this article, but primary references should not be barred from the "Views" section since no one can articulate William Lane Craig's positions more accurately or more authoritatively than Craig himself. (talk) 21:33, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
To expand on the comments above, primary sources are okay for some things, but according to WP:SPS, we need to be careful about their use: "Take care when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else will probably have done so." BLP's are even more restrictive than regular articles on insuring the accuracy of the things we report, particularly when it comes to the views or actions of the subject. We have to be careful that his position has not changed, and we should not be presenting certain facts disproportionately to others. This all becomes rather difficult when working with a single primary source, which isn't republished in any secondary medium. Youtube is also not a reliable source, primary or otherwise. The question should be, "has any reliable secondary source ever published information on Craig's views on this topic?" If the answer is no, then why are we going out of our why to try to include our own coverage?   — Jess· Δ 00:03, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Which Book?

A while ago there was a wonderful sentence in the first paragraph that mention Craig's The Kalam Cosmological argument. Now, it seems to have been replaced with a sentence about Reasonable Faith. Reasonable Faith is a fine book but it is one of many books that summarize apologetics. It's hardly the best, first, or last. But, The Kalam Cosmological Arugment is far more unique. In fact, if I were to reduce Craig's entirely article to one sentence, I think it would still need to mention The Kalam Cosmological Argument. I think we should revert to Kalam over Reasonable Faith. I'm making the change now. Please discuss here if there are issues. Theowarner (talk) 17:15, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

I'd prefer neither book to be mentioned in the lead, lacking any third-party notice bestowing particular importance on either of them (in fact lacking any third-party notice, they really belong nowhere but the Bibliography). But having to choose, I'd prefer not to see the unsourced claim that "Craig's most popular book ... is Reasonable Faith", so TKCA would appear the lesser of two evils. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:30, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Canvassing on ReasonableFaith

A thread was posted about the recent changes to this article on the Reasonablefaith forum. Here's the link. I've encouraged some of those posters to discuss the topic here. All the best,   — Jess· Δ 20:32, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Small proposed change

"He is a prolific debater best known for defending the existence of God, the ontological necessity of God for objective ethical values and duties, and the historicity of the physical resurrection of Jesus." Δ "He is a prolific debater best known for defending the existence of God, the ontological necessity of God for objective ethical values and duties, and the historicity of the physical resurrection of Jesus." Theowarner (talk) 00:18, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Do we have a source for the two claims you'd be deleting? I don't see any, but perhaps I missed them. If not, then yes, go ahead and remove them.   — Jess· Δ 00:21, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
No sources. I'll delete them. Theowarner (talk) 00:25, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

WP:IRS Non-dust jacket sources

Re the PS tag. There's enough here to replace some of the book cover sourced content with 3rd parties. Good luck In ictu oculi (talk) 10:54, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Splitting the "views" section.

This article requires expansion. I am proposing that the views section be split into two categories: the kalam cosmological argument, and other views. William Lane Craig is known for his defence of the kalam argument, so it should have its own section. This section could be expanded using <>.. What does everyone think? Joycey17 (talk) 17:46, 16 September 2011 (UTC)

Seeing as the Kalam Cosmological Argument has its own page, this should be necessary, and the KCA page should be linked here. Maiorem (talk) 18:15, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
@Joycey Sections aren't typically split in order to give emphasis. They are split to logically group content, or separate longer sections. Right now, we only have two or so sentences, so splitting the section seems premature. I definitely agree that the article needs expansion, and including that source is very helpful to that end. However, I'm not sure how suitable it would be to, for instance, include a detailed formulation of Kalam within this article. You have not proposed we do this, of course, but I'm sort of reading between the lines to envision what content you wish to include. Can you give more specific examples of what you have in mind? Thanks.
@Maiorem, KCA is already linked in the lead and views sections.   — Jess· Δ 19:05, 16 September 2011 (UTC)
Not saying a detailed formulation is needed, but perhaps a general one would be welcome? I would suggest stating the aims of Kalam, noting what makes Craig's formulation unique in light of past versions, and possibly listing a few responses to it as per the new source? Joycey17 (talk) 01:33, 17 September 2011 (UTC)
Stating the aims of Kalam, noting the uniqueness of Craig's forumlation, and listing responses to it would be informative. It would also be more suited to the page on Kalam. And, of course, it's important that it be substantiated with reliable sources. We could each probably write a fine paragraph, but that's not how wikipedia works. Theowarner (talk) 21:46, 17 September 2011 (UTC)

Almost a complete lack of third party sourcing

Given that the vast majority of this article is cited wither to his 'reasonablefaith' websites, or to his other writings -- and the majority of the remainder is cited to affiliated organisations, it is not in the leasr bit clear that William Lane Craig is notable. I am therefore tagging this article as such. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:40, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, if you want to delete the page, you'd actually have my blessing on that. Craig is perhaps the most prominent Christian apologist working today, but he's very hard to establish as notable outside his own press-machine and the press-machines of his colleagues, which tend to mutually-reinforcing. Theowarner (talk) 12:55, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
In such situations where there's the impression of notability, but not the third-party substance, it's generally not possible to get an article deleted -- so the best that I can do is press the lack-of-third-party-coverage, to see what improvement I can press for in what is there. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:25, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Do a brutal edit and just eliminate everything that isn't covered by third-party sourcing. I'd love to see what that looks like. Theowarner (talk) 13:50, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
In such situations I would also ask: what is he prominent for? He seems to be prominent simply for being well-connected in conservative Christian circles, rather for anything he's done. The Kalam Cosmological Argument, for example is neither particularly original nor particularly compelling. Lacking either any third party notice, or any particular basis for notability, it is hard to see what a balanced article can say about him. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:43, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, Kalam gets a little a press but only because Craig actively promotes it so much. Occasionally, letters to local newspapers will appear that are almost certainly from his devotees. I agree that it is neither original nor creative, but such is not its relevance. And I agree, without using Craig's own press-machine, very little will remain. It's hard to envision what will obtain! Theowarner (talk) 13:50, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

By my estimation 20 out of 27 sources are affiliated. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of these are self-published meaning that the article also falls afoul of WP:SELFPUB. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:43, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Fair enough. You had not indicated previously that 'self-publishing' was why you were removing biblographic entries. Theowarner (talk) 12:55, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
It wasn't. But per WP:IINFO & WP:PSTS, an article is meant to be here to describe how secondary sources describe him, not simply list his works. So the latter should not dominate the former. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:21, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

To which the question has to be asked: if William Lane Craig and his 'reasonablefaith' websites are so "important", then why does nobody other than William Lane Craig and his 'reasonablefaith' websites write about them? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 12:48, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Probably because, as I mention above, it's very hard to establish Craig's notability outside his own press-machine. Nevertheless, if the article exists, it's absolutely essential that Craig be described as both a scholar and an para-religious leader. Theowarner (talk) 12:55, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Surely per WP:V & WP:WEIGHT, "it's absolutely essential that Craig be described as" reliable third-party sources describe him? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:19, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
So, what do you propose? Deleting the page? Even when Craig is mentioned on FOXNews, it's clear that they are reading from his press-kit. Theowarner (talk) 13:24, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I would propose restricting the article, as far as possible, to what genuinely independent sources say about him. If the article is almost solely sourced to his writings, his websites, and his press-kits, how can it possibly be a NPOV article about him? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 13:28, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Okay. I think you'd be left with about a sentence, then. Theowarner (talk) 13:41, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I did say, "as far as possible". Given that you are fighting tooth and nail for extended coverage of his website, I rather doubt if I'll be allowed to take the article down to one sentence -- but I would hope for some trimming. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:08, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
  • How about we start by eliminating any paragraph that does not have even one third-party source? If we can't find a third party source that at least discusses the general issue, let alone the specific claim, then how can we claim that the issue is "important"? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:26, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
    Alternatively, we could hold an RfC on what to do next. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:42, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

I propose we delete the biography section in its entirely. Theowarner (talk) 17:53, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

If you want to AfD it, I'll support you -- but I prefer not to nominate an article myself unless I think I've got a reasonable chance of getting it deleted (and I think this one has too much 'I've heard of him so he must be notable, even if I can't provide third party sources or what he's notable for' to get deleted). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 07:33, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I have to agree with Hrafn that the article probably won't be deleted in its entirety. Honestly, I also fall into the camp of "I've heard of him so he's probably notable", which is to say I think there's probably enough sources out there somewhere to meet WP:N. That said, I don't think Theowarner was suggesting we go to AfD. I think he was suggesting we delete the section titled "biography". Unfortunately, I have to disagree with that proposal; the biography section may be the only well sourced section in the entire article, since it's the only information for which we prefer primary sources from the subject. It's also fairly common to have a biography section in a BLP, so as long as the article stays around, it would probably be good to keep that section in some form. I don't necessarily oppose changing any (or all) of the content in the section, however, or deleting content which is unsourced entirely. I also agree there's a serious problem with the article being essentially single sourced to WLC's website.
Further, I'll point out that we need to make sure the article doesn't turn into a forum through which editors promote the image or ideas of WLC, such as by presenting him in the way he wishes to present himself (instead of how 3rd party sources would present him), or by linking to his works in a way which is unduly self serving (such as by including external links to articles which don't discuss him, e.g. the Christianity Today article). These are both common problems with articles which don't have lots of reliable third party sourcing (which is one of the reasons the AfD process exists). If I get some time (which, unfortunately, seems unlikely given my recent schedule), I'll try to track down some better sourcing, and clean up some of the article. All the best,   — Jess· Δ
Sorry -- Freudian slip there. Though I would not exactly call the biography section "well sourced" -- have you seen the number of tags on it -- 2/3 of it isn't sourced, and the other 1/3 is only sourced to WLC & his website. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 18:07, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Well yea, it does have tags all over it... but it probably shouldn't. Cite 1 and 2 cover all the info there, as far as I can tell from a quick skim. I believe the tags are there because cite 1 and 2 are closely tied to WLC, and an editor preferred something a little more secondary. However, as I mentioned above, that shouldn't be necessary for a bio section. So yes, well sourced. Not perfect, by any stretch, but certainly adequate.   — Jess· Δ 01:39, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
"Shouldn't be necessary for a bio section"? Perhaps. But then a bio section shouldn't be in an article that is already chock-to-the-gills with primary-sourced material in the first place. And lacking third-party notice, should we be including the Charcot–Marie–Tooth disease bit? It's not exactly standard bio fodder. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:27, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, that problem is with the rest of the article using primary sources, not with the bio section existing. But otherwise, yes, I'm in agreement with you. I've also removed the disease bit, since that doesn't seem particularly relevant to the article or the subject's domain. If we had third party coverage of it, we might be able to include it again in the future.   — Jess· Δ 05:49, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Proposed trimming of material lacking third-party sourcing

As neither his debates nor his "Atlanta-based ministry" have received any third party notice, I'm proposing starting my trimming there. Any objections? I would note that the ministry material probably falls afoul of WP:SELFPUB, "the article is not based primarily on such sources", due to the volume of citations to the Reasonable Faith website in the article. Thereafter I'll probably suggest further trimming of views and activities that lack any third-party notice. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:39, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Go for it.   — Jess· Δ 05:49, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Have any of his views, other than on ID, received any third party mention? If not, I'd suggest that they go as well. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 05:55, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Drrll asked for comments on the article's shortening at WT:WikiProject Christianity. For the record, I agree with the shortening (compared to, say, this version) and don't think that any of the removed sources, with the exception of the Whittier Daily News, satisfy Wikipedia's standards of reliable sources independent of the subject. Some primary sources might be acceptable, but they will never suffice to establish notability, and the article should not be mainly based on them. Huon (talk) 15:57, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
A lot of the information pulled from Craig's website was not out of line, and was actually helpful. By all means edit out the Craig fanboys, but leave good information there. I want to see who he has debated. I want to know what fields of study he has covered. If this info needs to come from his website, I don't care. Like it or not, Craig is an interesting figure in Philosophy of Religion, at the very least because he's the most fun to argue against. I come across him often enough in my studies to want to keep an eye on him from time to time, and it annoys me that his entry has been unnecessarily (in my view) stunted. I don't want the article to be removed or information to be suppressed, purely because you don't like him. I'm going to suggest that the information which comes from the website relating to his debates and activities be re-included as it does not violate facts and is impartial. Joycey17 (talk) 06:30, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Hi Joycey. Thanks for participating in the discussion. There are a couple issues with much of the information that was removed. Please take a look at WP:SPS, and WP:BLPSPS. Note, in particular, clause 5 of sps: "Self-published and questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves... so long as... the article is not based primarily on such sources." We have a problem in this article, right now, where we have almost no secondary sources discussing Craig. Including a substantial amount of information based on a single primary SPS is therefore problematic, because it limits our ability to determine what content is notable (as judged by independent parties), what content should receive what amount of weight (as judged by its prominence in 3rd party literature), and generally speaking, what other kinds of emphasis, structure and coverage we should include (as determined by the distribution of coverage by neutral parties). Ultimately, we need secondary sources to solve this dispute, and until then, we have to emphasize the secondary sources we do have. Are you aware of any other secondary sources we haven't included?   — Jess· Δ 07:12, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
"William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He is best-known among philosophers for his extensive and influential work in the philosophy of time and the philosophy of religion. He is known to the wider public as someone who is able to articulate and defend the doctrines of the Christian faith in a way that is highly accessible but also philosophically and theologically rigorous. He became a Christian at the age of 16, pursued undergraduate studies at Wheaton College, and holds two earned doctorates: one in philosophy from the University of Birmingham, and one in theology from the University of Munich. He has authored or edited over 30 books, as well as over a hundred articles in professional journals of philosophy and theology." - Michael C. Rea, (here). Joycey17 (talk) 03:43, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

"Extensive and influential"?

Pretty loaded language there. I'm deleting it. Theowarner (talk) 12:47, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Source's words, not mine. Joycey17 (talk) 14:59, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Okay. Well, we seem to be at this again. We're talking about this sentence: "He is notable amongst his fellow philosophers for his extensive and influential work in thephilosophy of time and the philosophy of religion." I feel that it should not be included for the following reasons.

  • It is not our place to assert that Craig's work is either extensive or influential as these are terms of evaluation. The alternative evaluation, the Craig's work is scant and unimportant, is equally inappropriate. WP:NPOV. The neutral comment, therefore, is that 'Craig writes' or 'publishes' or something like that.
  • The quote is not reliable. It comes from the introduction in a debate. People may not realize this but the biographical introductions in a debate almost always come from the participants themselves. I'm be 100% certain in this case but, I'm willing to bet that Dr. Craig had a hand in crafting those sentences. Alternatively, regardless of whether Craig had a hand in it, biographical introductions in debates are almost always complimentary. It's a sign of graciousness at a debate to speak highly of the participants. We should not understand the sentence as an attempt to objectively describe Craig's career. Theowarner (talk) 15:05, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Sure. I think I can accept your reasoning in terms of "influential", but I think the source covers "notable" and "extensive" well enough, and they seem to be much less on the loaded side. I think someone like Rea would be given the job of moderator partly in order to provide a sense of authority to the introduction, so I think on that basis (that he does provide it), it would be ok to leave the less loaded terms there. Joycey17 (talk) 15:20, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Harris and Krauss

I'm sorry to continue rehashing this. But, right now, as the article reads, we have "Craig did XYZ." And then, two sentences from Harris and Krauss evaluating Craig as both really great and not so great. The combined effect seems to be that Craig is less a straight forward philosopher, but some wild and crazy guy. I'll work think about how better to explain that but, I think both quotes (especially combined) are not appropriate in the article and really undermine any objectivity. Craig's bio should basically be this: "Craig is a philosopher and apologist. He writes on subjects ABC. He reintroduced Kalam." And nothing more. This attempt seems to be about depicting him as a divisive cultural figure or someone who is both effective and loathed or whatever. Those characterizations may be true, but it's just not our place on an encyclopedia article to get into that. Now, if Craig's career suddenly becomes more important and we need to produce twenty-five times more material for the page, then speaking about his reception in the atheist community might be important. And that's another thing: why are we citing two his debate opponents? Why a colleague? Or just a third party observer? I'm but these sentences are a total fail. Theowarner (talk) 12:47, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

I think that it makes the article more interesting, and helps establish WP:N. Craig is an interesting figure; people who have divergent opinions stated about them consistently generally are. It's the main reason I'm interested in Craig at all. Should we ignore what makes Craig interesting? Now I'm not saying that what you're saying seems to indicate a genuine desire to make Craig appear as uninteresting as possible, which would be a violation of WP:NPOV. It just seems to me that it's fine. The material is sourced. It's relevant and interesting. It's objective (I don't see how it's not; you called the Harris quote unrepresentative, I suggested you place a counter-quote so we could describe the apparent dispute and make the article more interesting. Failing that, I provided one for you, and was even generous enough to ascribe the POV to "some" atheists, rather than just Krauss, per your view that the opinion was widespread.) So, I think there is no reason it should not all be included in a proper WP article. I believe that if the information indicates that Craig is less a straight forward philosopher, that's probably because he is not a straight forward philosopher. He's apparently a little bit controversial; i.e. interesting. I think the main point here is it's not exactly the aim of WP to suppress interesting, relevant information. Also, WP:N is the criteria for importance, and that is what is being partially established by the quotes. The source for that other sentence is moderator Michael C. Rea - an analytic philosopher at the University of Notre Dame. Thanks for your feedback. Joycey17 (talk) 14:58, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm sorry, but "more interesting" isn't the point. When you ask, "should we ignore what makes Craig interesting?" I'm forced to answer: yes. For the most part, when makes Craig interesting is precisely inappropriate for this article. For example, I find some of Craig's comments on his podcasts (like his view that women who refuse to have sex with husbands are abusing their husbands, that it is the woman's duty to give sex to his husband) that make him most interesting. But, clearly, that is DEEPLY inappropriate for a wikipedia article. That some people think Craig is the greatest philosopher since Thomas Aquinas and some people think he has the analytic ability that God gave celery are opinions that should not be represented on this page. We should stick to the obvious and easily sourced facts about Craig's career and leave it at that. As to your suggestion that Craig is not a straight forward philosopher, I agree and that's because he's also known as a public debater. We can mention that inert fact. Again, when we evaluate his status as controversial, we're opening a massive can of biased worms. This might be different if the controversy Craig caused was unto itself about Craig -- like the controversy Che Guevara started or Andy Warhol started. But, Craig is just participating as a public intellectual in an controversy as old as time: does God exist? It strikes me as not noteworthy that some people think he's great and some people don't. The same can be said for almost every person involved in that debate. Theowarner (talk) 15:18, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
It's just these opinions are coming from notable people, on what seems to be a key issue relating to Craig: his reception amongst those whose opinion he has spent his career challenging. If you've got more notable sources with more representative quotes, those should be shared instead. However, I think there is a clear call for this sort of information, generally. You could argue that the controversy that Warhol or Guevara were involved in was related more to people's opinion's on art and politics, just as the controversy around Craig is related to people's opinion on religion. The point is, just as Warhol and Guevara were arguably focus points for more wide-spread attitudes in society, Craig is similarly (albeit less publicly) a focus point. My argument is that he is interesting in this regard. Joycey17 (talk) 15:33, 21 September 2011 (UTC)


Is it even worth mentioning Dr Craig's supposed involvement in the intelligent design movement? He is not notable for it although he has expressed support for it, but so what, that's not enough to make mention in an encyclopaedia is it? Although Craig has views on the matter of evolution, his research is not around that area. He does spend time researching and working on cosmology, physics etc. What do people think? I have even heard him say in his podcast that he is "agnostic" when it comes to evolution. I suspect the intelligent design barely warrants a mention here, but am open to other opinions since he does sometimes talk about it in his podcasts, but then he talks about an awful lot of other things in his podcasts too. For example, his moral argument, his argument from contingency etc. These probably deserve more of a mention than this "Intelligent Design" mention. What do you think? --Andygsp (talk) 00:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

I am removing the catagories and mention of Craig as a creationist and I am disputing the characterization of Craig as such but am willing to discuss the matter and see if someone knows (with citation) something that I don't. I am aware of Craig's recent posts on his website, but I do not believe that he, at any time, identifies himself as a creationist, or a "progressive creationist." He does voice skepticism of macroevolution--but he has always maintained that macroevolution is compatible with Christianity--he says that his skepticism is not required by his theological commitments. I don't think it is fair to characterize him as a creationist if he himself does not embrace that label. Is David Berlinski, for example, also a "creationist" as he voices similar skepticism (without belief in a god)? Is Francis Collins a "creationist" because he believes, as Craig does, that the big bang carries theological implications? It isn't fair, or objective by wiki standards, to slap a label on someone when that person does not embrace the label (unless Craig has and I am just unaware of it--in which case I will yield upon seeing a citation). Adlucem2 (talk) 22:16, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

WLC is NOT a "Young-Earth Creationist". He is a "creationist" (note the use of the lower-case "c") more along the lines of Francis Collins and he (WLC) DOES agree with modern cosmology. I heard him something to that effect (I don't remember the exact words) in a debate I found on YouTube - "Willaim Lane Craig vs Lewis Wolpert"

Part 11 of 12
Part 12 of 12
The relevent part starts around 8:35 in part 11 and continues into part 12.

Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 08:30, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Collins isn't a creationist fitting the definition of creationism. BBiiis08 (talk) 17:55, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I never said Collins was a Creationist. I said he was a creationist, meaning that the universe didn't pop into existence uncaused - see Theistic Evolution here for more information: Collins is a Christian, not an atheist.
Bill the Cat 7 (talk) 07:05, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that it is not fitting to refer to Craig as a creationist. Theowarner2 (talk) 20:43, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Craig is a member of two creationist organisations, the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture and the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, who has written against evolution. That makes him a creationist. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 11:44, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I like the recent language which says Craig "inclines to toward progressive creationism" and "advoc[ates] for intelligent design." Somehow, those philosophical positions seem more descriptively accurate than the label 'creationist.' Maybe there are too many connotations to use 'creationist.' Theowarner (talk) 13:44, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Although it is probably not fitting to explicitly use the label, lacking a WP:RS so labelling him, it is hard to see WP:DUCK leading to any possible inference that he's not a creationist. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 14:05, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

That's true, but I don't think it's our place to affirm it. We present the facts: he has argued for it a few times and inclines towards a position. We need to let the people decide what that means. And wait for a clearer statement. Theowarner (talk) 14:25, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Craig believes "that the universe has an external cause" (Reasonable Faith page 152). He goes on to explain that he believes in a "finely tuned" universe and it doesn't much matter whether evolution existed or not and if it did, it's theistic evolution (pages 193-194). The most succinct explanation of his view is on page 112 of On Guard where he calls it "an end run around evolution". This is distinct from what most people would call creationism - which is associated with a belief that evolution is false. --B (talk) 14:57, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
If he believes that "it doesn't much matter whether evolution existed or not", then why is he a Fellow of an organisation dedicated to 'proving' that it didn't exist (the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture) -- as well as repeating a number of that orgasnisation's talking points in his debate with Ayala? And if he's not a creationist then why does he resort to the generic creationist 'microevolution not macroevolution' talking point? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 15:17, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I would think you could be a member of an organization without believing in everything they believe in. The world is not black and white. As for his debate, is there a transcript so that I can read what he said? I obviously can't offer an opinion to something I haven't seen. --B (talk) 15:40, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
You "think you could be a member of an organization without believing in" the whole point for that organisation existing, whilst mouthing that organisation's claims on that subject? I don't think so. The world may not be "black and white" -- but religious conservatives' thinking generally is. No, I do not have a transcript -- you'll just have to deal with watching it the same way as I had to a few days ago when it was cited at me (see #"critiques of evolution via natural selection" below). HrafnTalkStalk(P) 16:20, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Even FoxNews has its token liberals and MSNBC has its token conservatives, so I don't see why the Discovery Institute couldn't have its token people who disagree with it. I don't think you can just use your biases about an organization to paint everyone affiliated with that organization. I realize that the outside world may not understand/care about the differences, but Christian conservatives are not a monolithic group - we are individual people with our own opinions about various issues. I will watch the video when I get a chance to see what he said. --B (talk) 16:36, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
" whilst mouthing that organisation's claims on that subject" -- Craig is not a token evolutionist, and the DI is not Fox News. Think tanks (of any stripe) rarely, if ever, have "token people who disagree with it." And conservative Christians very much tend towards eliminationist groupthink -- see Rightwing authoritarianism for the details of the dynamics. Craig walks with, talks like and acts like a creationist -- so I see no reason whatsoever to pretend that he's not one when the subject comes up. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:25, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

Added + Repaired dead ISBNs

I am curious why some book titles that Dr Craig has been an editor on are missing? For example: Blackwell Companion to Natural Theology Wiley-Blackwell ISBN #1405176571

According to this source from the Evangelical Philosophical Society website, this book is listed under the category "Books by William Lane Craig".

I am not sure whether books that you are an editor in qualify for mention in the bibliography or not. But still I feel that this example alone qualifies for a mention somewhere. Perhaps some may say it doesn't deserve a mention because he is not a significant contributor in terms of authorship to the book. But then the book is a collection writings, so this is hardly surprising. But he is a significant contributor to the book in the sense that he co-edited the book and it is a significant academic work in its own right. Anyway, what do you think? --Andygsp (talk) 01:26, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

I fixed the ISBN links so an admin can remove the notice Cheers (Petersgoldpan (talk) 09:39, 6 July 2011 (UTC))

Is he notable?

I have a general feeling that this article is currently not very complete. I compare it with other articles, such as the one for Bart Ehrman, and I see dissimilarities between the two. I actually think the Bart Ehrman article is far better written, but that's just IMO. What do you think? Does this thing need a re-write? That said, Bart Ehrman has appeared on the Colbert Report, a credible criteria for whether you're notable or not LOL. But seriously, what do you think about the dissimilarities? Theowarner, you're probably the loudest anti-craig person here, so what do you think? --Andygsp (talk) 03:49, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Bart Ehrman is a figure with similar notability to Craig, and he has a well written article, I agree. I think the rewrite should be based on a similar format to the Erhman page. If you want to attempt this, feel free (WP:Bold). Joycey17 (talk) 14:25, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the recent remove of the tag about WLC's notability. He is notable. No doubt about it. Theowarner (talk) 19:23, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Why is he notable: have you found answers to the questions of (i) what exactly WLC is notable for and/or (ii) what third party material there is that demonstrates that he is notable? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 19:41, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Hrafn, I don't believe there's a need to cite a third-party source calling him notable. I'm not sure why the article does not mention his many debates with other notable people such as Gerd Lüdemann, Marcus Borg, Bart Ehrman, Richard Carrier, Paul Kurtz, Antony Flew, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Peter Atkins, A. C. Grayling, Victor Stenger, and Shelly Kagan, to name only a few. Of course, Polly Toynbee and especially Richard Dawkins categorically refuse to debate him (Grayling refuses to debate him again on meta-ethics), and Dawkins has stated that he is an unworthy opponent whom he "loathes viscerally," but that does not mean Craig does not deserve his own Wiki entry. He most certainly does. (talk) 22:39, 10 September 2011 (UTC) your 'beliefs' have no basis in policy. WP:Notability requires "significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject", so yes, significant third party coverage is required. The article does not at present cover these debates, because nobody can find reliable third-party coverage of them. And the reason that he may "not deserve his own Wiki entry" is NOT because a whole bunch of people think he's loathsome, but because nobody can find significant, reliable independent coverage on him! HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:38, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
You'll find references to WLC and his apologetics and debates on the websites and blogs of a number of prominent atheists (Dawkins, Harris, Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers to name a few). All seem to agree that, although he's a douchebag whose arguments don't hold water, he's fairly prominent in the field of public speakers on apologetics. Although blogs aren't generally strong sources, I'd say we have enough evidence from people who are reliable in knowing when an apologist is sufficiently prominent to warrant a specific rebuttal. Dr Marcus Hill (talk) 22:44, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
"...he's a douchebag whose arguments don't hold water..."
If only Dawkins had the courage to defend that contention to Craig's face. Unfortunately he's felt too uncomfortable to debate academics since his rather humiliating exchange with John Lennox. (talk) 23:10, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Such debates value style over substance and are purely entertainment, with little or no scholarly merit. Why should Dawkins want to turn up to such a 'dog and pony show', against an opponent who appears to have little in the way of serious academic gravitas? HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:44, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
You can dismiss all debates as mere sophistry if you like, but it does not change the fact that, although Richard Dawkins has been been more than happy to debate such intellectual giants as Kirk Cameron and Ted Haggard, he refuses to debate well qualified academics who are abundantly capable of chewing up his poor, tired arguments and spitting them out. He speaks with supreme confidence, but his actions demonstrate that underneath he is a coward. If Dawkins elects not to show up at Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre for the scheduled debate with Craig, then Craig will simply give a philosophical lecture critiquing the abysmal arguments in The God Delusion. You might think William Lane Craig lacks "academic gravitas," but Dawkins' biological background in no way qualifies him as an authoritative voice on the question of the existence of God; Craig's philosophy credentials do. (talk) 07:15, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
(i) Such sources bestow no notability (both on general principles, as self-published sources, and because such sources often poke fun at quite obscure individuals), (ii) per WP:BLPSPS, they may not be used in a BLP about a third party. As such, they're of no help whatsoever. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 04:26, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
The fact that you're still inclined to label Craig an "obscure individual" despite the fact that, as one of the world's foremost apologists for Christian theism, he has engaged so many other "notable individuals" in public debates and has written more extensively than anyone else on the Kalām cosmological argument for the existence of God simply astounds me. If Craig does not meet your notability standards, then no Christian apologists do. (talk) 07:56, 11 September 2011 (UTC) Kindly cease and desist misrepresenting my comments. I DID NOT "label Craig an 'obscure individual'". My point is that (i) "Dawkins, Harris, Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers", etc quite frequently ridicule quite obscure individuals (I can go to their blogs and dig up examples, if you want), (ii) so that the fact that they ridicule Craig is not a sign of notability. And repeated claims that he's "one of the world's foremost apologists for Christian theism" (or variants thereof) are simply worthless argumentum ad nauseam, lacking substantiation in the form of reliable third-party coverage of his activities as an apologist. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 09:20, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
"Kindly cease and desist misrepresenting my comments. I DID NOT label Craig and 'obscure individual'." Your point is well taken, so chill. Sam Harris, whom you mentioned by name and who himself has made no "notable" contributions to any field except popular (i.e., militant, non-academic) atheism, debated Craig at the University of Notre Dame, as I noted previously, on whether science can provide us with a system of moral values (the topic of Harris' recent book, The Moral Landscape, which has been negatively reviewed by both professional philosophers and scientists alike). Would you call this merely "poking fun?" Moreover Craig spanked Harris because of the latter's use of red herrings as well as his evident lack of education and competence in ethics. Hrafn, there is no need for a third-party source labeling William Lane Craig a notable figure deserving his own entry, as his impressive C.V. clearly implies he fits that description. (talk) 23:28, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
There's a wonderful book called A History of Apologetics by Avery Cardinal Dulles. It mentions Craig and thus, I would say that Craig is notable. What is notable, however, is that it mentions Craig as a utterly minor player in a small corner of modern apologetics. Theowarner (talk) 17:04, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Which corner of apologetics would that be? I'm not really that worried by the fact that it only "mentions Craig as a utterly minor player" in it -- at this stage, even third party sourcing as to his shoe size would start to look good. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:37, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
[Looks up the book for himself on Google Books] Natural theology, I take it? I suppose I shouldn't be surprised given the relationship between Intelligent design and William Paley. Do you think we can make a sentence or two out of this? I'll be WP:BOLD and make an attempt. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:45, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Added it. The reference to natural theology in Dulles however was somewhat indirect -- so I was unable to make mention of it without engaging in marginal WP:Synthesis. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 17:55, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Wow... you did that very well. That's really all we can say, imo. Theowarner (talk) 00:18, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Being described by Sam Harris as "the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists" is not notable enough? That was stated during the second installment of "The God Debate" at the University of Notre Dame on 7 April 2011. Here's the video of the debate as recorded by the University of Notre Dame, and here's a transcript of the debate. Objective enough? Maiorem (talk) 02:16, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Of course not. Sam Harris' opinion of Craig does not make Craig notable. Now, I know that's not quite what you mean, but I'm not sure what the factual claim here is. Craig has a reputation among atheists? Well... that's certainly not true because many atheists couldn't care less about Craig. So, Craig has a reputation among some atheists? Well, that certainly is true, but hardly notable. I have a reputation among some atheists. So, I suppose the point would be that Craig has based some threshold of notability among atheists. This may be true, but, were it, we could hardly substantiate based only on Harris' word. There are, of course, contextual issues with the quote that need to be preserved, bias issues considering how much Craig has used this quote in his promotional literature, and, most importantly, the quote simply doesn't substantiate the intended, underlying meaning. For the record, I think Craig is notable so this conversation has already moved passed its intended purpose, but Craig's notability is neither caused by Harris' quote nor substantiated by it. Theowarner (talk) 13:09, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
Theo, you are in no position to claim that "many atheists couldn't care less about Craig". Harris, on the other hand, as a prominent representative of his own group, the atheist community, is in a position to make any such claims about Craig, which proves to be the contrary. As I have argued, Sam Harris' opinion of Craig's impact on his community is notable in itself. You are not as prominent as Sam Harris is, thus your claims that "many atheists couldn't care less about Craig" carries no weight or verifiability. If you have indeed taken note of what Harris specifically said, Craig's impact is on "many" atheists, not "some". If there are any, please state the contextual issues with the quote, as the whole debate has been made available on YouTube as well as in transcript, as I have pointed out. Do not merely make up excuses. Also, Craig did not use this quote in his promotional literature; that press release was not from Craig, but the organizers of the Reasonable Faith Tour. Furthermore, if there were issues with the use of that quote, Harris would have been the first person to speak out against its use in the promotional material, but he has never said a word denying it, thus there is no bias issue here. Please explain what is the alleged "intended, underlying meaning", because that appears to me as original research rather than taking the quote at face value. Do not impose your own interpretation of the quote, especially with no evidence to back that view. Maiorem (talk) 17:04, 18 September 2011 (UTC)
"Theo, you are in no position to claim that "many atheists couldn't care less about Craig". I'm not? It would seem to me fairly obvious that many atheists couldn't care less about Craig. I'm not offering it, though, as a factual claim for inclusion in the article. I'm only suggesting it in weighing the significance of the Harris quote. I appreciate your interpretation of the Harris quote, that it is a claim about Craig, but I'm not convinced. I think it's a claim about his e-mail and, more importantly, I think it's probably meant in a complimentary setting. Everyone says something nice about their opponents... I'm not sure we can take it that seriously. Also, I have to say that I don't really think you're conducting yourself in the manner that's assumed of editors here on wikipedia. That said... I think I've made my objections pretty clear but I can restate them here: The quote's meaning is not clear because the quote could be complimentary, more so than accurate. Furthermore, the quote's claim (something like 'many atheists are afraid of Craig') strikes me as being the sort of claim that simply shouldn't be represented on wikipedia. "Atheists are afraid of X" is just an inflammatory statement. Even balanced against some other opinion. I'll think more on it. Theowarner (talk) 02:41, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, Theo, you are not in such a position. That is your own opinion and is tied to my question to you in the other section, for if there are about fifty to a hundred quotes about Craig by atheists, how then could you claim that many atheists couldn't care less about Craig? Your suggestion is worthless if it were simply a matter of your own personal opinion. Furthermore, I did not offer any interpretation of Harris' quote, but merely suggesting a direct quotation of Sam Harris. Obviously the quote is a claim about Craig made by Sam Harris; that is no interpretation. You're not convinced, and? Then what? No, it is not a claim about his email. What you think is unimportant because we're offering a direct quote, not an interpretation, per WP:NOR. I'm not sure I could even take you seriously. Regardless of the quote's meaning, we offer it as a direct quote, void of third party interpretation, along with the context of the quote, such as follows: "During the second installment of the God Debate in the University of Notre Dame, notable atheist Sam Harris described Craig as "the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists." Is there any personal interpretation involved in the citation of this quote? Are there any issues to be found? No and no. If the manner that's assumed of editors here in Wikipedia is to be nice to everyone, then I admit that I don't act like that. I act in a fair and objective manner, which may involve direct criticisms against those who are guilty of wrongdoing. And even when the quote is stated explicitly, you still cannot be bothered to recheck the quote and instead opt to misrepresent the quote's claim as "something like 'many atheists are afraid of Craig'" and this is not acceptable for an editor of any kind. Of course "Atheists are afraid of X" is an inflammatory statement, but that does not even come close to what Sam Harris said. Maiorem (talk) 13:33, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, the issues of interpretation emerge by quote-selection, not in added language that we would include. My point is that in selecting this quote, the wikipedia page suggests that it is a fair representation of the atheistic evaluation of Craig. So, is there an interpretation involved in the citation of this quote? Sure. Absolutely. We're assigning it weight. And, I think, undue weight. My point in offering possible interpretations like "atheists are afraid of Craig" is that those are inflammatory interpretations that one might reasonably interpret from the quote were we to use it. Frankly, it is entirely close to what Harris and it strikes me as a reasonable interpretation. Again, your tone and your assumptions about my good faith are not courteous. Theowarner (talk) 14:20, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
I do not see your points as valid. Also, I do not see how one might "reasonably interpret" that "atheists are afraid of Craig" from the quote. That is not at all close to what Harris said, and perhaps that might stem from ignorance of the term "fear of God", but that is pure speculation as to how people might utterly misinterpret a phrase. The only way that quote could be interpreted that way is via failure in comprehension. I may not be courteous in that I am direct in terms of my criticisms, but I am not wrong in saying such things. Maiorem (talk) 14:37, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
You don't see "the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists" to be a statement about atheists being afraid of Dr. Craig? Really? Theowarner (talk) 14:46, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Of course! If I had to explain this to you, Sam Harris simply meant that Dr Craig has caused many of his fellow atheists to doubt atheism. Can you please explain to me how "the fear of God" could be interpreted as a fear of Dr Craig? Maiorem (talk) 14:59, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
First of all, "doubt atheism" is YOUR interpretation. And second of all, "fear of God" means "really afraid." God is an emphatic and is not necessarily theistic. I think that's part of the wit of the quotation itself. Anyway, I'm going to arrange for dispute resolution. Theowarner (talk) 15:28, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── That interpretation is on the basis of the meaning of "fear of God", which does not mean "really afraid". Please see Wikipedia's article on the Fear of God for more information. The "God" in this phrase is not emphatic. There is no such use of the phrase in the English language or in any other language for that matter; it is an absurd notion and would make absolutely no sense to suggest that "fear of God" refers to "great fear" in the least. Did you take it to mean something along the lines of "God's fear"? If so, that is due to your ignorance of the English language and the use of phrases which occur in the English language. This is a fact and is not meant to degrade you, but to show you where you have erred in your interpretation of this phrase. As such, you are strictly unqualified to comment on any interpretation of any quotes. I would also appreciate that you redirect me to the dispute resolution were it to occur. Maiorem (talk) 15:49, 20 September 2011 (UTC) Theowarner (talk) 15:57, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Take it in its proper context, please. The debate is theological in nature, and it is irrational to state that William Lane Craig makes atheists scared. Also pardon my ignorance of the use of this phrase in America, as I am neither American nor do I study American English. However, my stand still remains that Sam Harris did not mean that William Lane Craig caused many of his fellow atheists to be greatly afraid. However, even if it were so, then it still stands that it is a direct quote by a prominent member of the atheist community and thus would not decrease its weight in terms of who uttered it, when it was uttered, where it was uttered, under what circumstances was it uttered and why it was uttered. Maiorem (talk) 16:10, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Protected again

I've protected the page for a week. Use the time to resolve this dispute. Those who continue to edit war over this article when protection expires will be blocked without further warning. Regards, causa sui (talk) 18:01, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Thank you. Maiorem (talk) 18:03, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we can start by listing the central issues of contention here. Just glancing at it now, I have several.
  1. Referring to KCA as "the most widely discussed argument for the existence of God in contemporary Western philosophy" may be sourced appropriately (although Dr. Smith clearly has an interest in making KCA seem important since he's one of the persons who treats it seriously) but, the article doesn't need to assert it as a fact. There's a difference between asserting that Dr. Smith as made some comment about KCA and asserting that the comment itself is true. It's not our job to agree or endorse Dr. Smith's evaluation. Likewise, even if the claim is factually true (if we could count discussion and measure its wideness) the claim itself hopes to lend Dr. Craig legibly or important, which is also not our business.
  2. By mentioning that Dr. Craig is the author of "over 30 books," there seems to be some suggestion that this is, unto itself, a reason for the article. Authoring over 30 books doesn't make Craig notable. However, I would say that authoring one specific book, namely The Kalam Cosmological Argument, makes Craig notable. I've argued in the best at this should be mentioned in opening paragraph. The "over 30 books" seems deeply irrelevant. Compare to Bertrand Russell's page... there is absolutely no need to mention the number of books Russell published in his life time...
  3. So, which books should we include in the opening paragraph? There are, at present, four books listed: "The Kalam Cosmological Argument (1979), Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology (co-authored with Quentin Smith) (1993), Time and Eternity: Exploring God's Relationship to Time(2001), and Einstein, Relativity and Absolute Simultaneity (co-edited with Quentin Smith) (2007)." Clearly, the last three are not prominent books and deserve no place in the opening paragraph. I've heard some conversation about including Reasonable Faith in this opening paragraph. I might be convinced to support including Reasonable Faith (perhaps in conjunction with Dr. Craig's ministry), but hardly these last three.
  4. I think the section of Craig's academic background is strong. The Talbot School of Theology is part of Biola University. That should included but other than that, it's very strong.
  5. There's a section called "Work." I'm not sure that that's a good name for the section... How about "Major Ideas" or something like that. I would argue that there are only two things that need to be included in this article whatsoever: Dr. Craig's apologetics (his debates would be mentioned here) and his philosophical work on the KCA. Beyond that, everything else is pretty much insignifant (from the level of inclusion here on his artilce.) However, if we're going to open the door to things like Philosophy of Time, then I think we need to be sure that we're including his Reasonable Faith Ministry. This is a balance act, in other words. His philosophy of time work is not equitable to his work on Kalam or his status as an apologist. Frankly, I would prefer keeping the article short and just eliminating the section on Philosophy of Time altogether. And the section on divine foreknowledge, which seems sort of orphaned.
  6. I also challenge the sourcing of the philosophy of time and divine foreknowledge sections, too. I doubt that these can be supported using third-party sources. I question as a source, too.
  7. The section of KCA is a little too involved for me. What makes KCA unique among the cosmological arguments is its use of infinity. That's more or less all we need to say. Spelling it out as a miniature presentation of the argument itself seems to involved. There is a wikipedia page on the argument already, it's worth noting. Also, the POV in the presentation is a little suspicious and seems to presume the success of the argument. I think the best way to clean this up is simply to describe the argument in the most general terms and refer readers to the article on Kalam itself. Theowarner (talk) 18:34, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. Please read the statement again; "his defense of the Kalām cosmological argument is the most widely discussed argument for the existence of God in contemporary Western philosophy." It is not the argument itself that is referred to as "the most widely discussed argument", but rather, that statement is referring to William Lane Craig's treatment of the argument. In addition to that, Dr Smith is not involved with the making of this statement; the statement originates from The Cambridge Companion to Atheism, published by Cambridge University Press.
  2. That "suggestion" in itself is no grounds for its removal, especially since it is a subjective view from you and not an objective observation. In addition, by listing some of the books he has authored or edited, one can see the nature of his books, and even this is fairly notable among theologians and philosophers.
  3. I propose we follow the list provided by his profile on the Reasonable Faith website: The Kalam Cosmological Argument; Assessing the New Testament Evidence for the Historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus; Divine Foreknowledge and Human Freedom; Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology; and God, Time and Eternity. I would also propose we add "William Lane Craig also wrote articles for professional journals of philosophy and theology, including The Journal of Philosophy, New Testament Studies, Journal for the Study of the New Testament, American Philosophical Quarterly, Philosophical Studies, Philosophy, and British Journal for Philosophy of Science."
  4. Fine.
  5. Actually, the section on Philosophy of Time is related to the Kalam Cosmological Argument, and the section on Divine Foreknowledge (and it should have been a separate section from Philosophy of Time) deals with Craig's Molinist views, which is a significant point for theologians since Christian theology is branched into Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, etc. and so it is important to make clear his soteriology. The section should more accurately be labeled "Works" rather than "Work".
  6. Well of course you will hardly find any third-party sources which state the same since these sections deal with Craig's own views on these matters. Indeed, since you question Closer To Truth, please state appropriate reasons why it should not be considered a reliable source. Is it simply because it is a Christian source that you find it unreliable?
  7. The section on the Kalam Cosmological Argument presents the way Craig argues for and defends it. Not every philosopher deals with the Kalam Cosmological Argument the same way, e.g. how Craig has modified the "Hilbert's Hotel" thought experiment for his argument of the impossibility of an actual infinite in relation to the second premise of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. The POV does not presume the success of the argument, but rather the factuality of the argument. If you still feel that there is a POV issue, then by all means introduce counter-arguments which Craig has not addressed. Maiorem (talk) 19:20, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. So, accepting your corrections about my reading of the sentence and its origin, my comment remains: the article doesn't need to assert it as a fact. There's a difference between asserting that it was made some comment about Dr. Craig's defense of KCA and asserting that the comment itself is true. It's not our job to agree or endorse an evaluation. Likewise, even if the claim is factually true (if we could count discussion and measure its wideness) the claim itself hopes to lend Dr. Craig legibly or important, which is also not our business. Another way to put this is: "He has made major contributions to the philosophy of religion and his defense of the Kalām cosmological argument is the most widely discussed argument for the existence of God in contemporary Western philosophy" and "He has made major contributions to the philosophy of religion including his defense of the Kalām cosmological argument" make the same point: Dr. Craig has done X. To add to that a comment about how important it is is not the job of this article. Likewise... I just realized that "major contributions" is something I have issue with. "Contributions" is neutral. "Major" is not.
  2. I've made a point here about including the words "over 30 books." You're response is that the connotations I describe are just my opinion. I would suggest that I'm not pointing to an arbitrary connotation. I mentioned Bertrand Russell's article which makes no mention of the number of books he's published. You've also suggested including mention of his scholarly articles. I feel like next you're going to want to include his facebook notes. It's simply a question of what that phrase ("over 30 books") is doing in the article. Compare these two sentence: 1) "Dr. Craig is an author and research professor at Talbot." 2) "Dr. Craig is an author of over 30 books and is a research professor at Talbot." What's the difference? Well... clearly the the phrase "over 30 books" is an argument about something... probably about how prolific he is... something like that. Anyway, it's doing something. I'd like to hear your thoughts on what it's doing there.
  3. You propose we follow the listed provided on Dr. Craig's website? Is that... utterly biased?
  4. Good.
  5. Why is it important to establish Craig's soteriology? I should say that I entirely understand his work and contribution to this field. My comment is about the relative important of that contribution to the entire wikipedia page. It may be something that Craig is personally interested in and spends a great deal of his working on... but that doesn't translate into mention on this page. I think that the word "Molinist" is all we need to include.
  6. As to why I question closertotruth, well... there are a few reasons. First of all, as was discussed above, the biographical information provided to closertruth comes from the guest (Dr. Criag) and can hardly be treated as third party. Second, when Dr. Craig speaks about his own positions, I question the weightiness of the position. If it doesn't exist anywhere except from his own mouth and writings, it's hard to imagine that we need to include it here in the article. And closertotruth, while Christian, is also uncritical of the information they provide. They are platform for intellectuals to speak. It also seems to be a rather personal project of Dr. Kuhn and seems rather like Reasonable Faith in that regard.
  7. I don't think the POV issue in the KCA section will be resolved by presenting the opposing views. In fact, those seem inappropriate for inclusion here. My objection here is several fold. "Craig's primary contribution to philosophy of religion is his revival of the kalam cosmological argument. In The Kalam Cosmological Argument he formulates the argument in the following manner: Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence. The universe began to exist. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence." I would insert a phase like "which is a cosmological argument from the impossibility of actual infintities." But, okay... I can accept it as it stands. I may nudge it some way as it still leaves me with the feeling that the article endorses it, but I can set that aside for the moment. Theowarner (talk) 20:00, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Interesting that you consider the Smith quote unimportant but has no problem with including the fact that Craig is a member of Discovery Institute. You insist that we shouldn't put anything in the article that portrays Craig in a positive light. Please look at the following articles on these philosophers and pay attention to these quotes:

Hilary Putnam: '…has been a central figure in analytic philosophy since the 1960s, especially in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophy of science.[2]

Saul Kripke: Since the 1960s Kripke has been a central figure in a number of fields related to mathematical logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, epistemology, and set theory. Kripke has made influential and original contributions to logic…

Richard Rorty: Rorty is one of the most widely discussed and most controversial of philosophers of recent years,[14] and his works have provoked thoughtful responses from many well-respected philosophers.

Wilfrid sellars: He is widely regarded both for great sophistication of argument and for his assimilation of many and diverse subjects in pursuit of a synoptic vision.

Bertrand Russel: He is considered one of the founders of analytic philosophy…and is widely held to be one of the 20th century's premier logicians.[2]

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Bertrand Russell described him as the most perfect example of genius, "passionate, profound, intense, and dominating",

Now according to you we should not give credit where credit is due. We should not claim that these are all important figures in their fields (even if the claim is well sourced). Instead we should delete these claims because it is not our job to state that X has made major contributions to such and such field. Why? I'll respond to your other points later Theo.HyperEntity (talk

Again, I would appreciate it if you would focus your response on the comments I make about the article and not focus on me as a person. That will help us to build the best article possible. And, you mischaracterize me saying that I consider the Smith quote unimportant. My actual comment was: "the article doesn't need to assert [Smith's claim] as a fact. There's a difference between asserting that Dr. Smith as made some comment about KCA and asserting that the comment itself is true. It's not our job to agree or endorse Dr. Smith's evaluation. Likewise, even if the claim is factually true (if we could count discussion and measure its wideness) the claim itself hopes to lend Dr. Craig legibly or important, which is also not our business." Could you respond to that comment? Theowarner (talk) 21:14, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

The reply dealt with your comments. Your argument, as far as I understand it, is that if we put this quote it will make Craig 'look good' and you don't like it when the article makes Craig look good. My reply is threefold. First, I cited a number of Wikipedia articles where similar statements exist. Consider the following quotes from these wiki pages:

Stephen J Gould: He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation.[1]...and has received wide praise for his book Ontogeny and Phylogeny. Gould's greatest contribution to science was the theory of punctuated equilibrium.

Albert Einstein: Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history.

Out the list I cited, one was selected by Wiki editors as among the best articles here, at least one of them was voted a good article, and all of them are well sourced. Unless you give an account of why we should treat Craig differently from other academics on Wiki we'll keep it.

Second, your subjective reaction to a factual proposition is not, by itself, good enough to change said proposition. Third, you did not have problem putting the (rather rude) Krauss quote about Craig nor did you have a problem putting the Avery Dulles quote stating that one of Craig's books led to a resurgence of philosophical theology in Evangelical circles. Based on these facts I suspect your motivations are more than an honest concern about the 'objectivity' of the article.HyperEntity (talk)

  1. Your contention would be with Cambridge University Press then. Your assertion that "the claim itself hopes to lend Dr. Craig legibly or important" is your personal subjective view and does not contain objective arguments against the claim's inclusion.
  2. Slippery slope. So what if Bertrand Russell's article makes no mention of the number of books he's published? In this case we have a source for that claim. I already stated many times (ironically) that I do not wish to repeat myself. Previously, I have said "In addition, by listing some of the books he has authored or edited, one can see the nature of his books, and even this is fairly notable among theologians and philosophers."
  3. How is following the list provided on Dr Craig's website biased in any way? Also I would like your input concerning the listing of the journals he has contributed to.
  4. Skipped to next issue. I already said that I do not wish to repeat myself. Craig's soteriology is important information to Christians and other theologians. It is not simply a matter of personal interest, but they are part of his professional works both as a philosopher and as a theologian.
  5. Can you prove that the biographical information provided on the website comes from the guests themselves? Can you prove that Closer to Truth is uncritical of the information they provide simply because it is a platform for intellectuals? It being a personal project of Dr Kuhn, regardless if it is true, would not make it similar to Reasonable Faith, or are you able to show what similarities there are?
  6. The phrase which you propose be included has already been addressed in the defense of the premises, so it would be redundant to include it again, and because it is not part of the premises, but an established fact which is drawn upon by the premises. Your personal feelings, as I may have mentioned before, are irrelevant. Maiorem (talk) 20:45, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. "Your contention would be with Cambridge University Press then. Your assertion that "the claim itself hopes to lend Dr. Craig legibly or important" is your personal subjective view." Okay. Can you tell me what you think that claim is doing in the article? Theowarner (talk) 21:19, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Simple: to state a fact. Maiorem (talk) 21:28, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
With no connotations?Theowarner (talk) 21:30, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes. Any connotations that may be derived from the inclusion of the statement is subject to the readers' own interpretation. The fear of connotations is not a valid reason against the inclusion of any statement. Maiorem (talk) 04:10, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

1: Smith’s claim was based on a review of the philosophical litrature regarding the existence of God. This is his job as professional philosopher. If you think his claim is false, please review the entire litrature yourself and present us with your findings. Until then, we’ll leave it as it is.

[And yes: It’s not your business to present Craig as a major philospher of religion because you’re a deeply biased man (and frankly, given your YouTube record, shouldn’t even be allowed to edit this article)].

2 & 3: The purpose of this article is present factual and enlightening information about Craig. The opening states that he’s edited and written over 30 books. This, combined with the fact that his work is highly cited shows that a respectable academic. Similar facts are presented on the pages of many other philosophers and academics, and there is no reason not to mention here. Craig (like Swinburne, Plantinga, Lewis and Rorty) merits a wikipedia article and whatever images leap to your mind when you see that sentence is not our problem.

As for what books to include, I think we should include important works (the Craig/Smith book is widely cited and is a standard textbook on the relationship between God and Big Bang Cosmology). We should also include edited works. I think the edited book by Craig and Smith is OK as it emphasises Craig’s work in philosophy of time. I’m open to suggestions but I feel we should add books that support the line: ‘’He is known for his work on the philosophy of time and philosophy of religion.’’

5. What’s wrong with work? He works on philosophy of time and religion. What’s the problem?

6.The propositions sourced from CTT are backed up with references to Craig’s books. On what basis are you challenging it?

7. If you don’t like the POV we can open a criticism section next to the argument. This would make article too long so I suggest leaving it as is. HyperEntity (talk

(1) The first point I made was about the inclusion of the phrase “"the most widely discussed argument for the existence of God in contemporary Western philosophy.” There seems to be some disagreement about who is the source of this sentence. It was, I thought, Dr. Quentin Smith, but I'm not sure now. Maybe someone can clear that up for me.... I don't own a copy of The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. At any rate, you're response to me was that the claim was based on his evaluation of the literature and that I needed to produce evidence that it was false. If you recall, I said: “even if the claim is factually true (if we could count discussion and measure its wideness) the claim itself hopes to lend Dr. Craig legibly or important, which is also not our business.” So, you're response is ultimately non-responsive. I am accepting that the claim may be factually true. However, my concern is that it connotes something that we don't need to connote, namely that Dr. Craig is important. There's a phrase that's worth including here... res ipsa loquitor. The thing speaks for itself. To say that Dr. Craig is the author of the KCA is enough because it speaks for itself. If we then come in and add something to that, like an evaluation, we're stepping over a line that we're not supposed to. (2 & 3) I'm glad that you said that the purpose of this page is to “present factual and enlightening information about Craig.” I'm actually not sure I agree with that. I think the purpose is more like: what you need to know about Craig. The difference is that you would accept anything factual and/or enlightening. I think your standard is not qualitative and certainly opens up the door for the inclusion of all sorts of information that really should not be included, like Daniel Dennett's comments on Craig. But, on the point, this section of conversation is about the phrase “over 30 books” and which books to mention in the opening paragraph. Your point seems to be that the fact that he has published over 30 books “shows that a respectable academic,” and I think you mean “respected.” So, on its surface, this is not true. Many people have written 30 books and are not respected because of it. Likewise, it's not our job to demonstrate that Craig is respected. I think our job is to point readers to the information they need without commenting on it. We have included a complete bibliography and if its not complete, I definitely recommend we fill it out. That's really all we need to do. On the other hand, we may want to highlight one or two books as the most important. It's a way of indicating to our readers that if they start with a certain book, they will be make large steps towards what they need to know when it comes to understanding the significance of Dr. Craig. In this sense, The Kalam Cosmological Argument seems like an obvious first pick. And then Reasonable Faith if we need a second. Books that Craig has edited, as you suggest, are hardly essential to understanding Dr. Craig. (5) I have called into question the relative importance of Dr. Craig's work in the philosophy of time. Again, this is measured against the overall length of the article, how long it should be, and Dr. Craig's importance. That is to say: if the article is 1 paragraph long, do we mention Time? If it is 5 paragraphs long, do we mention Time? Is his work on Time part of what makes Dr. Craig important? Now, I express these rhetorically. In general, my claim is that his work in Time is not what makes Dr. Craig important. If he had done nothing else, we wouldn't even have a page on him. So, since we have a page for other reasons, do we need to include Time? I would say 'yes' but we don't need to elaborate on it like we have. I think one sentence ought to cover it. (6) I have challenged CTT has a source on the grounds that is (a) one person's project and (b) uncritical. Also, biographical comments on CTT almost certainly come from the guests themselves (from Dr. Craig) and so can't be read as a third party comment. (7) I mentioned this already but I'll repeat it here: “I don't think the POV issue in the KCA section will be resolved by presenting the opposing views. In fact, those seem inappropriate for inclusion here. My objection here is several fold. "Craig's primary contribution to philosophy of religion is his revival of the kalam cosmological argument. In The Kalam Cosmological Argument he formulates the argument in the following manner: Everything that begins to exist has a cause of its existence. The universe began to exist. Therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence." I would insert a phase like "which is a cosmological argument from the impossibility of actual infintities." But, okay... I can accept it as it stands. I may nudge it some way as it still leaves me with the feeling that the article endorses it, but I can set that aside for the moment.” Theowarner (talk) 20:30, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

HyperEntity, given your propensity for both ad hominems and ridiculously mean-spirited participation, I propose that your IP address be banned outright from editing this article. I am ignoring your comments. Theowarner (talk) 19:19, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Right, since you guys have never engaged in ad hominems throughtout the history of this article. You have a personal intersst in making this article look bad. Drawing attention to this fact is important. Having someone to counteract your influence is important. Other than that, I think my comments were pretty much on topic. You are also free to ignore me but I'm not going anywhere. I am prepared to work constructively to improve this article. This is in accordance with Wikipedia guidelines which encourage cooperation. If you aren't interested in cooperation you will be violating those guidelines. I've seen many cases where people tried to do what you're trying to pull here. They ended up banned. Don't be one of them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by HyperEntity (talkcontribs) 19:38, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Okay, hyperEntity, if you claim to be "prepared to work constructively to improve this article," I will give you the benefit of the doubt. I must say that when you say "you guys," you seem to be point the finger at someone for something... And you're accusation that I'm a "deeply biased man" is certainly not going to foster the sort of cooperation you claim to be interested in. I'll respond to your comments now. Theowarner (talk) 20:03, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. The relevant portion of The Cambridge companion to atheism is available online at Google Books. Smith says: "Nonetheless, a count of the articles in the philosophy journals shows that more articles have been published about Craig's defense of the Kalam argument than have been published about any other philosopher's contemporary formulation of an argument for God's existence." To me that's sufficient to mark Craig's KCA as "the most widely discussed argument for the existence of God in contemporary Western philosophy", and Smith seems enough of an expert that we don't need to qualify his published statement - unless there are reliable sources disputing the claim?
  2. I don't have any problem with stating the number of books Craig has authored. For a notable football player we would state the number of games he has appeared in, for actors we routinely provide a filmography or, at the very least, give the number of films; why should an author's total output not be mentioned? This seems a non-controversial factual statement, and for those even primary sources would suffice if no secondary source ever bothered to count Craig's output.
  3. I see no need to mention any book except Kalam in the opening paragraph. It's the only book mentioned in our secondary sources; mentioning others would raise issues of undue weight.
Regarding Theowarner's points 5 and 6, I agree with him. The lack of secondary sources on such subjects as the philosophy of time shows that those aspects of Craig's work are not notable, and a short one-sentence mention should suffice, if we need to mention them at all.
Regarding our coverage of KCA: Since the KCA article has an entire section devoted to Craig's version of the argument, we need not go into detail here. This article is about the man, not about Kalam. For comparison, Antony Flew developed the No True Scotsman fallacy, and the article provides no more than a link.
In general, I have a problem with the lack of secondary sources. This lack has been discussed here before, and consensus at that time was to trim whatever did not have third-party sources. WP:RS also states that articles should be based on third-party sources. Currently this article largely isn't, and we should remove those parts. Huon (talk) 23:34, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I would have no problems if you want to reduce the number of books mentioned in the first paragraph down to just Kalam. However, I would suggest that a list of his publications be included in the External links section.
Perhaps Craig's work on the philosophy of time and divine foreknowledge may not be notable among laypeople, just as Rickey Henderson is not notable to a nation that does not care for baseball. However, his works are indeed notable among fellow philosophers and theologians, as you can see for yourself from this review of one of his books on the philosophy of time and divine foreknowledge.
As I have pointed out over and over again, primary sources are allowed so long as there is no original research and the article is not entirely based on primary sources. Furthermore, WP:RS simply states that "Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources". I believe I have also cited the policy of WP:PRIMARY. Thus, the "consensus" to remove any part which does not have third-party sources is invalid as it is not according to policy. Maiorem (talk) 04:10, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm all for an external link to Craig's complete bibliography. I still disagree on both the primary sources and the notability issue, though. The very first sentence of WP:RS#Overview reads: Articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. In a section above, Maiorem argues that the reason for requiring third-party sources is is mainly to avoid original research. There are at least two additional reasons: To establish notability (and the article currently does a poor job of that) and to avoid undue weight. Basically, we need third-party sources to judge which parts of Craig's work are notable enough to be mentioned and which are not in order to avoid writing a biased, non-neutral article. We need not use sources for laypeople - we have Smith pointing out the importance of Kalam. But "reliable, third-party" is a requirement.
Amazon has a vested interest in selling the book and is thus likely to provide only positive editorial reviews; I don't think those snippets are helpful. Matters might be different if we could dig up the complete reviews, but even then the parts published on Amazon deal rather narrowly with the book itself and do not actually address Craig's significance in the field of philosophy (or theology?) of time. Huon (talk) 04:49, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
So, the published reviews by John R. Lucas, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Don Page, Quentin Smith, Robert Russell, and George Ellis are not helpful? They do not deal with Craig's significance in the field of philosophy or theology? Have you even read the reviews? Here's what Quentin Smith said in his review: "William Lane Craig is one of the leading philosophers of religion and one of the leading philosophers of time." You are free to doubt Quentin Smith and his expertise, but those are, once again, not valid grounds. Maiorem (talk) 06:00, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, if the only place those reviews are published is Amazon or other bookstores, which are hardly known for fact-checking but for commerce, they are not helpful. I tried to find a reliable source for the Smith quote and failed. Huon (talk) 10:46, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Actually, those reviews are in the book itself. That is why you can see almost every online bookstore carrying this book putting up these reviews. As the publisher is not tied to Quentin Smith in any way, the book should count as a reliable secondary source for the Quentin Smith quote. Maiorem (talk) 11:08, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Uh, no, sorry. You can ask the reliable sources noticeboard if you doubt me, but a sales blurb is not a reliable secondary source. Huon (talk) 11:12, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Those are not sales blurbs. Please understand the difference between sales blurbs and reviews. Maiorem (talk) 11:26, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Michael C Rea is a Professor of philosophy at Notre Dame Unversity. Here he describes Craig’s work in philosophy of time as extensive and influentional.

I decided to run some of Craig’s books on philosophy of time on Google Scholar and came up with 200+ citations in total. Not all his work obviously. Not the dozens of papers he’s published in peer reviewed journals. Just the books on philosophy of time listed in the bibliography (and I’m not sure if you’ve included the full bibliography either). After that I ran The End of Faith by Sam Harris and The Moral Landscape also by him. In total less than 130 citations.

I’d be grateful if somebody could explain to me why a professor of philosophy who is cited in academic journals is not worthy of two paragraphs expounding his work in technical philosophy while a book like The Moral Landscape which has 22 citations (almost none of which are in peer reviewed journals) is considered worthy of its own page. Why does Sam Harris have an obscenely long page dedicated to expounding his (pretty bizarre) views on religion in The End of Faith when Craig’s Theism, Atheism and Big Bang Cosmology (which turns 110+ citations on Google Scholar) is not worthy of nine different sections? HyperEntity (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 18:18, 28 September 2011 (UTC).

WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, and I agree that the Harris article could do with some removal of stuff without secondary sources. The Moral Landscape seems to have about as many reliable secondary sources as Craig, if not more, but the article could probably also do with some shortening. If people there argue that paragraphs based only on primary sources are OK, feel free to summon me. Huon (talk) 01:21, 29 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, how about WP:RS, which is totally fine with the use of primary sources so long as there is no original research based on those primary sources? Maiorem (talk) 04:09, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

I also have no problem with you want reduce the list of books. With regard to the point about the KCA not needing a section because it already has its own page: We can draw an analogy between Hilary Putnam's multiple realizability argument and semantic externalism, Rorty's critique of the correspondence theory of truth, Fodor on functionalism etc.

Each of these has its own page yet there is a section of the philosopher's page providing a brief overview of his work. If you look at Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy's discussion of the KCA, it focuses almost exclusively on Craig's version of it. When we note that this the most widely discussed theistic argument I think it clearly merits own section. HyperEntity (talk)