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William Lane Craig - for children - Comments

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins

He sent me a stack of the worksheets which the children had completed in their childish handwriting, and they were so precious to read!

"PRECIOUS"! Yuck. Would you let this man within ten yards of any child you cared for?

Richard

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 11:58:18 UTC | #859650

hauntedchippy's Avatar Comment 2 by hauntedchippy

"PRECIOUS"! Yuck. Would you let this man within ten yards of any child you cared for?

Possibly, but for reasons other than use of the word precious surely?

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 12:06:55 UTC | #859651

Outrider's Avatar Comment 3 by Outrider

I thought WLCs arguments were already for ten year olds?

O.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 12:32:26 UTC | #859658

Phen's Avatar Comment 4 by Phen

There just isn't anything out there that I know of for helping pre-teens learn the rational grounds for their faith

Sentences like this really sicken me, I mean pre-teens? Plus, it likely damages their future ability to think rationally, if this BS is taught as rational thinking. The dumbing down of kids has always played an important role in the indoctrination process. It's really horrible and ironic to think that a childs intellect must be toned down for them to be 'educated'.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 12:42:22 UTC | #859662

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Comment 5 by God fearing Atheist

And why can they get away with it? Because human kids are more inclined to believe mumbo-jumbo, in spite of the evidence, than a chimp!

The Human Ape (part 5 of 10)

It starts in the previous segment (4 of 10 @ 7:35)

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 13:06:12 UTC | #859674

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 6 by Jos Gibbons

WLC calls his website "Reasonable Faith" and here wants youngsters to know the "rational grounds for their faith". This is bizarre because by definition to be "faith" a position has to lack a rational or reasonable basis. If he'd instead said "Christianity" each time he said "faith" I couldn't make that objection, because Christianity is defined by its claims, not how good its claims are (that follows subsequently when you look at the evidence). And just as WLC shows no understanding of faith, he shows no understanding of rationality and reason either; for if he understood these things, he'd know you a rational basis for a belief is one which leads you to that belief and can be volunteered by anyone who has that belief without them even having to be told about it. And the very idea you can spoon-feed children the case for theological propositions as if they're a priori like maths encapsulates everything that's wrong with apologetics, or at least with the ontological argument, which in every formulation has to imagine existence can be necessary.

It would have been nice if WLC had demonstrated how awesome the worksheets are in terms of how good are the cases they make by quoting from here. Instead his entire reason for jumping for joy is children estimate themselves as having understood most of the content of the lessons in which they filled in the sheets. BTW, unless you understand ALL of an argument, you don't really understand any of it, because you can't really follow the train of logic from start to end.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 13:17:33 UTC | #859682

YetAnotherSteve's Avatar Comment 7 by YetAnotherSteve

Is this book going to be the first 'flea' for Dawkin's 'The Magic of Reality'?

Personally I'm looking forward to reading WLC in children's format, as whenever I try to read any 'adult' version of WLC arguments, I find it completely unintelligible, as if he is deliberately obfuscating what he is saying. It would great to see a children's version where he cannot hide behind a dictionary and has to say exactly what he means. I suspect when that happens, it will just show that his arguments and evidence for the supernatural are pretty light on the argument and completely missing the evidence part.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 13:20:24 UTC | #859683

magster2's Avatar Comment 8 by magster2

I had never heard of the word aseity before, let alone seen its Wikipedia entry after googling it just now. I just thought someone had forgotten to double the s.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 13:33:40 UTC | #859689

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 9 by SaganTheCat

Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins :

He sent me a stack of the worksheets which the children had completed in their childish handwriting, and they were so precious to read!

"PRECIOUS"! Yuck. Would you let this man within ten yards of any child you cared for? Richard

It's creepy alright. I got over my revulsion by hearing the sentence in Vincent Price's voice

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 14:40:38 UTC | #859714

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 10 by Alan4discussion

At the end of the lesson, he asks the children to indicate the percent of the lesson they had understood, and I was amazed to see that the children had indicated ">80%" and ">90%" for the lesson on ontological argument!

I'm surprised that it was not 100%. God-did-it, is simple enough even for William Lane Craig to grasp! Not like this complicated sciency stuff!

I've got some trips coming up this month which I'll tell you about in our next letter.

He's bound to have trips and keep falling over those damned inconvenient FACTS!

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 14:48:58 UTC | #859715

ShinobiYaka's Avatar Comment 11 by ShinobiYaka

Do the test sheets come on genuine Hogwarts headed paper?

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 15:19:56 UTC | #859729

Karen Hill Anton's Avatar Comment 12 by Karen Hill Anton

Unbearable. How regrettable he gets to empty this stuff into the brains of children.

Karen

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 15:51:53 UTC | #859742

skiles1's Avatar Comment 13 by skiles1

Would you let this man within ten yards of any child you cared for?

No. I wouldn't; he's an absolute slime ball. Any man who lies for a living doesn't get near my child.

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 15:53:09 UTC | #859743

Garnetstar's Avatar Comment 14 by Garnetstar

A great opportunity for Craig to teach kids his rock-solid argument for why they should carry out genocides if God tells them to. And, how moral and justified those genocides actually are.

"Train a child in the way he should go and he will not depart from it."

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 17:22:33 UTC | #859777

The Plc's Avatar Comment 15 by The Plc

Isn't it funny to note that Craig speaks of the pre-teens having "their faith" while acknowledging that they can't possibly have had made any rational, informed individual decision about "their faith" in the first place? Is the Christian religion rational or isn't it?

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 17:32:11 UTC | #859782

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 16 by Mr DArcy

This is from the man who thinks Hawking doesn't understand physics! At least when God is required in creating the universe. The man who gives his respect to science and then worships a perpetual motion machine in the sky!

Wed, 10 Aug 2011 18:58:02 UTC | #859820

Stevezar's Avatar Comment 17 by Stevezar

Comment 9 by Daniel Clear :

Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins :

He sent me a stack of the worksheets which the children had completed in their childish handwriting, and they were so precious to read!

"PRECIOUS"! Yuck. Would you let this man within ten yards of any child you cared for? Richard

It's creepy alright. I got over my revulsion by hearing the sentence in Vincent Price's voice

Thats funny, the voice I was hearing it in was Tim Curry as Cardinal Richeliu in "The Three Musketeers". Unfortunately, that one did not help me over my revulsion.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 00:46:03 UTC | #859905

Hobomidget's Avatar Comment 18 by Hobomidget

Ok, so why haven't kids learned to stay away from these kind of guys yet?

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 01:33:30 UTC | #859916

Vicar of Art on Earth's Avatar Comment 19 by Vicar of Art on Earth

The USA's Nancy Reagan, the first lady under Biblical law who should be stoned for consulting a fortureteller, started the DARE program to keep kids off drugs. Kids do more drugs after the DARE lies than before. The same with the Christian sex education program that promotes virginity as the only answer, us taxpayers are picking up a lot bills for unwanted children of children. If Biblical God is not going to visit the sins of the father on the children, Christian sex education will.

I think it was Sam Harris who wrote, he could almost be for putting the ten commandments in all school rooms so children can learn to be better religious hypocrites.

Prehaps the NBGA fund on this site could give Mr. Craig a grant so the next generation can go on to new and more productive arguments after witnessing how silly his is.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 01:59:08 UTC | #859925

Bobwundaye's Avatar Comment 20 by Bobwundaye

Am I the only one who doesn't think this is such a bad idea? Let's not forget that before these arguments are Christian-religious arguments, they are philosophical arguments taught in many introduction to philosophy courses as a means of engaging people in thinking differently, or at the very least, give them a history of human thought. The biggest threat to religion is education (of any sort) that teaches thinking and reasoning. And yes, these arguments are reasonable and do require people to think and reason, even if it is to point out the errors.

And worst case scenario, even if these children grow up to be ardent apologists, I doubt that this sort of thinking and argumentation results in the fundamentalist religionists. At best, we get another Francis Collins, at worst, we get a convenient-social believer - someone who believe because it is easy to since all his/her friends are believers.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 05:06:21 UTC | #859957

irate_atheist's Avatar Comment 21 by irate_atheist

Comment 1 by Richard Dawkins -

"PRECIOUS"! Yuck. Would you let this man within ten yards of any child you cared for?

Richard

Well, if WLC was in the stocks and the child had a bucket of rotten fruit, I'd let 'em get as close as the wanted to.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 08:56:27 UTC | #859998

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 22 by AtheistEgbert

This is how religion works--any outside criticism is quickly silenced and replaced by material written by the 'community'. When The God Delusion became popular, there were countless apologetic books written to answer that book, and theists would turn to those works for their answers, rather than thinking for themselves.

The creationist phenomenon does exactly the same thing, by trying to 'replace' the authority of science by the 'community' instead.

This is a simple tactic of silencing and preventing people from thinking.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 10:21:10 UTC | #860022

Kasterfin's Avatar Comment 23 by Kasterfin

Oh dear... Apologetics- even the name shows that it's nothing more than logical and philosophical tricks-of-the-light that do nothing more than rationalize.

He sent me a stack of the worksheets which the children had completed in their childish handwriting, and they were so precious to read!

"PRECIOUS"! Yuck. Would you let this man within ten yards of any child you cared for?

Richard

It is a very unusual choice of words, indeed.

I do think we do need to divert some resources to a rather rigorous debunking of Craig's arguments. Richard didn't deal specifically with Craig pet Kalam argument in the God Delusion (other than a remark right at the end of chapter 4), as Craig gleefully points out at every opportunity.

Let me have a go;

Craig advertises the argument as 'very simple'; 1) Everything that begins to exist has a cause 2) The universe began to exist 3) The universe has a cause

Now, it doesn't stay simple for long, as premises 1 and 2 both use fifth century assumptions about causality and extend them way beyond their breaking point. But I'll skip this as it's been done to death by physicists like Stephen Hawking.

The most apparent flaw is in fact the use of 'conceptual analysis' to identify the 'cause' with God - a personal, omnipotent being. It's just nonsense to automatically identify the cause with God, but just where is the trick card being played?

The hidden assumption goes something like this;

'A mind's ideas may be complex, but a mind itself is a remarkably simple thing, being an immaterial entity not composed of pieces or separable parts.'

What champions of the Kalam argument do is assume that 'mind' deserves a place right at the base of reality along with space, time and so on. For example, Craig's 'conceptual analysis' argument includes the claim that because the big bang occurred at a particular time there must have been an intelligent, timeless 'agent' who 'freely chose' to create the universe. (this was in his 'refutation' of Richard's arguments in the god delusion) There is no such thing as a 'freely choosing' agent in the sense of an immaterial thing that creates causes without effects.

We don't have any such agent sitting in our own minds, as Theists tacitly assume, so there's no reason to grant God one. If the mind really worked like that, I would probably be a Deist. That's why, if we demystify the mind we will show that you cannot assume 'mind' as a thing without backup in the physical world. Then no-one can claim that a mind created the universe.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 11:11:25 UTC | #860030

Robert Howard's Avatar Comment 24 by Robert Howard

I'm now slowly going through the lectures, ironing out the inevitable infelicities and adding references to sources quoted. We plan to make these available on the website and eventually assemble the whole package into a book which will survey the body of Christian doctrine along with apologetics. Having this under one cover will make these lessons a tremendous tool for Sunday School teachers everywhere. Again, this is going to take some time but I want you to know that this valuable resource is already in the works!

There's a three-word phrase to be found in this paragraph which I think describes Mr Lane Craig perfectly.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:07:17 UTC | #860041

Sample's Avatar Comment 25 by Sample

lol @ Comment 24

Mike

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:12:05 UTC | #860043

Kasterfin's Avatar Comment 26 by Kasterfin

@ Comment 24

I'm not very good with these things - could you spell it out?

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:31:32 UTC | #860046

Saganic Rites's Avatar Comment 27 by Saganic Rites

Comment 26 by Kasterfin @ Comment 24 I'm not very good with these things - could you spell it out?

At a guess, 'a tremendous tool'.

Well spotted Sample.

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:43:45 UTC | #860050

Sample's Avatar Comment 28 by Sample

Saganic Rites,

I didn't want to spell it out because it was hillarious once it jumped out from the page, like one of those Maze/Scare internet vids.

Mike

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 12:50:01 UTC | #860052

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 29 by Alan4discussion

Having this under one cover will make these lessons a tremendous tool for Sunday School teachers everywhere. Again, this is going to take some time but I want you to know that this valuable resource is already in the works!

Did you spot the other ones? (As with a spanner in the works)

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 14:12:56 UTC | #860071

Bobwundaye's Avatar Comment 30 by Bobwundaye

LOL Robert Howard!

Made my evening!

Thu, 11 Aug 2011 14:26:30 UTC | #860076