Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Does God Care If An Apologist Clashes With An Atheist?

From Atheist & apologist debate God’s existence by Michael Farr:

A prominent atheist and a Christian apologist clashed April 4 in a debate titled “Does God Exist?” at Biola University, an evangelical school in La Mirada, Calif., near Los Angeles.

Christopher Hitchens, regarded as a leader of the new atheism movement, went head-to-head with William Lane Craig, a Biola professor regarded as one of the world’s leading religious philosophers. About 4,000 people watched the debate in the university’s gym while an estimated 6,000 others watched it online or from satellite locations around Southern California.

While Craig had the home court advantage, Hitchens didn’t hold back, exhorting, “Emancipate yourself from the idea of a celestial dictatorship and you’ve taken the first step to becoming free.”

But Craig had his rejoinders.

“The fruit of the naturalistic worldview is that mankind is reduced to meaninglessness, valuelessness and purposelessness,” Craig said.
And the fruit of the religious worldview is that it is better to pretend and/or lie that God gives us meaning, value, and purpose. Believe in God, you’ll feel better. How is this different from numbing yourself with drugs or alcohol, or some other fantasy that hides or masks reality?
“We’ve heard attacks upon religion, Christianity impugned, God impugned, Mother Teresa impugned, but we haven’t heard any arguments that God does not exist,” Craig said. “Mr. Hitchens seems to fail to recognize that atheism is itself a worldview, and that it claims alone to be true and all the other religions of the world false. It is not more tolerant than Christianity in respect to these other views.”
Someone should inform Mr. Craig that atheism is not an organized religion. Unlike the religious, atheists make no claim to the truth. Unlike the religious, atheists make no claim to tolerance. We simply believe that there is no deity. An atheist does not need to prove the non-existence of God in order to be an atheist. Or to win any debate concerning atheism. Atheism is not about proving that God does not exist, it is about the absence of proof that God does exist.

I want the next debate to be about my imaginary friend Harvey. Title it: “Does Harvey Exist?”

Let the clashing begin. Harvey won't mind.

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