Failed Arguments for God – Rebuttal to William Lane Craig’s Top 5 Reasons to Believe
last updated 2015/7/24
William Lane Craig is respected in the Christian Apologetics community and is well known to anyone who follows debates on the existence of a god. Here are his top 5 arguments and my annotations to them in red.
1.) The Cosmological Argument from Contingency
1. “Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.” Premise one may already be an assertion. It may be a false dichotomy which states that everything that exists must have either come into existence by an external force/cause, or it exists through the very necessity of its own nature.
2. “If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.” – The very nature of presuppositional apologetics is its need to make assumptions about reality. That a thinking mind is somehow possible or plausible in explaining the existence of the universe is unfounded and unjustified rationally. Notice how Craig says “God”, not “a god” or “gods”. How can you know that there is only one supreme mind which could have created the universe?
3. “The universe exists.”
4. “Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence (from 1, 3).” – The universe does exist, but not all things that exist have to have an explanation through intentional creation. This is an assumption.
5. “Therefore, the explanation of the universe’s existence is God (from 2, 4)” – Where did you get God? The universe exists, so somehow that makes the god of the Bible correct? The god which watches you in your best and worst hour and does nothing.
2. The Kalam Cosmological ArgumentBased on the Beginning of the Universe
“Everything that begins to exist has a cause.” We simply cannot assert that. The logical absolutes do not force you to assert that everything that exists has to have had a cause, so you can be perfectly reasonable in maintaining that you simply do not know.
“The universe began to exist.”
“Therefore, the universe has a cause.” – “The universe has a cause” is a positive assertion as we do not yet know if the universe had a cause or not. I cannot even assert that time exists in the sense that he is describing, as if it were, moving in one constant direction, having started at the Big Bang.
3. The Moral Argument Based upon
Moral Values and Duties
“If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.” – Objective moral values and duties may in fact not exist. I cannot say with any absolute certainty.
“Objective moral values and duties do exist.” – This is not only an assertion that there are clear rights and wrongs, but that somehow they live in religion. What religious texts can you provide to show us exactly how we should live our lives? God commands horrible acts of cruelty and murder in the Bible.
“Therefore, God exists.” – This is like saying that New York City exists, therefore, the Avengers exist with all their magical powers.
4. The Teleological Argument from Fine-tuning
“The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance, or design.”
“It is not due to physical necessity or chance.”
“Therefore, it is due to design.” – Everything in the universe is in fact, incredibly rare and incredibly unique. If things were not the way that they are, we simply wouldn’t be here to think about them. What is my point? The mere fact that we live in a universe that is rare only means that it’s rare, it would only be interesting if we were living in a universe that we can’t live in.
5. The Ontological Argument from the Possibility of God’s Existence to His Actuality
“It is possible that a maximally great being exists.”
“If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.” – It could be possible that fire-breathing dragons exist, but that wouldn’t make it plausible. If “maximally” here is meant to mean “omnipotent” then that being is logically impossible. An omnipotent being can do any and all things. You cannot ever be all things yet also be one. You also cannot be a cubed sphere or create a rock that is so heavy you can’t lift it. Omnipotence is by definition self contradictory. A “maximally great” being is magical and if magic is not possible then your maximally great being doesn’t exist.
“If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.”
“If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.”
“If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.”
“Therefore, a maximally great being exists.” – This is special pleading in which we have defined God into existence. And William Lane Craig is a Christian so somehow this argument has without any evidence argued into existence the God of the Bible which orders you to slaughter homosexuals, those who commit adultery, those who disrespect their parents, women who are not virgins on their wedding nights and anyone he asks you to slaughter. A god who endorses slavery, orders the killing of entire populations, orders rape, forces incestuous breeding, orders the killing of witches, doesn’t answer prayers, lets children die of disease and starvation, lets children get raped and murdered, drowns people alive, killed Lot’s family to teach him a lesson in faith and offers terrible medical advice. (There is a part of the bible which describes seizures as being demonic possessions.)
William Lane Craig is not willing to apply the same standard of logical analysis to most things outside of his god-belief.
See: ‘Does God Play Favorites‘, ‘Are Christians Delusional?‘ and ‘The Problem of Evil Explained‘. I suspect that Craig is perfectly aware that his god is not logical, and the only reason he remains a Christian is due to emotional rationalism.
Thanks for reading !
Sources – Reasonablefaith.org