Sam Harris’ major blows against William Lane Craig *sic*

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2011/04/sam-harris-to-debate-william-lane-craig.html#comment-180804632

At John Loftus‘ blog linked above, a guy raised these points as Sam Harris‘ “major blows”.

● But first: the definition of what is good and bad in the moral sense. Harris proposed to start as in science or math with a concept that is unprovable, yet everyone would agree. He said: consider the state of maximal suffering for everyone for all times. Everyone would agree that this state is bad.

Now, we can define good which everyone agrees is the opposite, as the state of minimal suffering or the state of maximal well being for everyone for all times. Between these two states, there is a landscape of infinite possible states, of varying degrees of good and bad.

This was a major blow to WLC, who had defined that morality can only be grounded in God, who is the source of all good. And furthermore, WLC had accused that in the atheist world, anything goes as the atheist cannot say that one action is good or evil since in nature, everything is neutral.

● Another major blow to WLC was when Harris proposed a fictitious tribe who believed that God order them to pull the eyes of everything third child. Since God commands, and God is the source of all good, then pulling out the eyes of everything third child would be consider good.

● Another major blow to WLC is Harris saying: suppose Islam is the true religion, then everyone here, including me, who is not a Muslim will go to hell and burn eternally, because even though we will live a life doing good, we bet on the wrong God, or we were born in the wrong country, inheriting the wrong religion or wrong set of values.

● Another major blow to WLC is when Harris said that in India, where the vast majority are Hindus, according to WLC’s religion, there are all going to hell, regardless of how they will have lived their lives.

● Another major blow to WLC is Harris pointing out that each year millions of children across the globe will die before the age of 5, which boils down to thousands a day, and by the end of this sentence 17 children will have died. Imagine he said the suffering of these parents, many praying with all their heart. Yet God who is the source of all good will let them die. And many of them, millions of them, because they were born in the wrong religion will go to hell for eternity.

● Another major blow to WLC is when Harris pointed out that WLC had accused atheists of being incapable of defining what is good, yet WLC himself could only define good in terms of God being the source of good, which is circulatory.

● And to conclude this, not that Harris concluded his debate in this way, but Harris proposed that we can live like those christians who proposed how we should live two thousand years ago, or like the muslims, what was proposed a thousand four hundred years ago, or live in the 21st century by using science to determine what is good, which everyone in the end can agree, and putting an end to sectarian strife that has marked our history so far.

 

Now, I dont consider myself qualified to really comment on this, but I’d be interested to hear what some of you have to say.. or more importanly, what we think WLC would respond to the above.

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17 Replies to “Sam Harris’ major blows against William Lane Craig *sic*”

  1. These debates are predetermined as won by the audience.

    But, look at some of those hypotheticals. They are as bad as the watch maker scenario.

  2. The second to last point is a very good one. In my chapter on genocide, I showed that Craig has been inconsistent on this question.

    1. Thom
      The point:

      Another major blow to WLC is when Harris pointed out that WLC had accused atheists of being incapable of defining what is good, yet WLC himself could only define good in terms of God being the source of good, which is circulatory.

      ?

      I think Dr Peoples answers that quite adequately here:
      http://www.beretta-online.com/wordpress/2011/debate-review-william-lane-craig-and-sam-harris/

      Of course, it doesn’t really matter if Craig “has been inconsistent” on the issue. I’ve been wrong about many things (my wife would say nearly everything :P), but all that matters is that I am right, or “more right” when it matters. Craig might have written something 20, 10, 5, or 1 year ago, or even yesterday, that he might change his mind about. That does not mean he is inconsistent, it means he is still able to learn, and is humble enough to correct himself. Not saying this is the case, but just saying..

  3. I was on Dr. Craig’s side before I went to the debate. (I had never been to one of these! It was fun!)
    However, afterwards I examined more closely the basis of morality and realized that I have been wasting my time with Christ. As Mr. Harris said, if faith has ever been right about morality, it has been right on accident.

  4. Matthew Smith :
    Who is gullible? Me? I don’t think so.

    No Matthew, you have misunderstood me. I meant that you were obviously banking on everyone who read your comment being ridiculously gullible. I was pretty clear that I wasn’t talking about you.

  5. I know people are very gullible. It’s easy to think that Jesus is the only basis for morality– but think about it a little more, and they will be able to see there are other things that don’t depend on where you happen to have been raised. That’s what happened to my friend and me.

  6. I was one a atheist but just yesterday I herd the most powerful argument in a debate and now I am a Christian.

    Let’s hope people are as gullible as you think, MS.

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