Last Monday, Christian apologist William Lane Craig debated atheist philosopher Stephen Law on the question ‘Does God Exist?’
Craig presented three arguments in favour of God’s existence:-
1. A version of the cosmological argument: everything that begins to exist must have a cause for its existence; the cosmos had a beginning; therefore it must have a cause beyond itself, and this we may call a Creator).
2. A version of the moral argument: objective moral facts exist; these are best explained by the existence of a supreme moral being.
3. An argument from the resurrection of Jesus Christ: the resurrection is an historical fact, and vindicates the claims that Jesus made about himself as the Son of God.
Two things struck me about Stephen Law’s presentation:-
1. He advanced only one argument in support of atheism. This was an argument from the presence of suffering in the world. This is probably fair enough, because this is probably the atheist’s strongest suit. But Law’s version of this argument – ‘we do not argue from the presence of suffering in the world to a belief in an evil God, and neither should we argue from the presence of good in the world to a belief in a good God’ – demonstrates a stubborn refusal to take seriously the ‘god’ whose existence he was seeking to refute (i.e. Craig’s ‘God’; the God of Christianity).
2. In response to Craig’s three main arguments, Law admitted that he could not account for the origin of the cosmos or the existence of objective moral values, but preferred to say, “I don’t know” rather than consider the Christian explanation seriously. On the question of the resurrection of Jesus, Law merely asserted that unusual phenomena happen all the time, but because naturalistic explanations for these can often be found (he gave as an example a ‘UFO’ sighting that turned out to be the planet Venus) such an explanation is potentially applicable to all of them.
In other words, ‘Anything but God’.