William Lane Craig vs. Peter Atkins

William Lane Craig is a philosopher/theologian from Talbot School of Theology in California. Peter Atkins is a chemist from Oxford University. So grab your popcorn, and possibly your headphones (if you have a roommate who doesn't want to hear this stuff at 12 at night), and get ready for a philosophical duel. Without sounding too biased, I'll say one of the debaters dances circles around the other one. Despite that, it is a great debate. Enjoy!


Jordan said...

Thanks for posting this Mark, I don't think I've ever watched that many YouTube vidoes in a row before!

I thought Dr. Craig was the clear winner. I especially liked how he made his arguments from a specifically Christian standpoint, rather than arguing from a broader, more general theistic viewpoint. I think it’s important for Christians to go beyond theism and give evidence for their specific worldview in order to distinguish it from other religions and worldviews and to demonstrate its unique claims. I also liked that Dr. Craig included an argument for believing that one of God's necessary attributes is that He is personal. It is an attribute that is sometimes overlooked too often. Dr. Craig speaks with clarity and precision, his logic is very easy to follow and he doesn’t mince words.

Dr. Atkins seems to be a quintessential modernist; he could have been beamed in straight from the 19th century. I can't believe he actually said, "I am on the brink of understanding everything." As the debate progressed, he seemed to slide into a kind of scientism, ironically treating science and mathematics as a kind of god.

In the end, it’s a difference of worldviews. Dr. Atkins says "praise be to ourselves" and trumpets the triumphs of the human intellect, science and mathematics. Dr. Craig says "praise be to God" and is humble and wise enough to acknowledge a Higher Power and the limits of the human mind.

Brandon said...

I agree, this was a good debate. I also think Craig had not only a better argument, but a little less arrogance than Atkins. He also spoke more clearly and confidently than Atkins.

Though I couldn't help feeling that at the end Dr. Craig was about to give an altar call or something. That was a little scary...:) But it was also scary when Dr. Atkins said he was "on the brink of understanding everything."

I liked it though. Thanks, Mark.

Philosophy Foosball scores again!