Virtually all commentators, whether Christian or atheist (not all, but nearly all – and at the risk of sounding somewhat elitist, everyone who is in a position to know) who have heard/seen the debate between William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens have concluded that it wasn’t even close. Hitchens lost and lost clearly, and Craig’s arguments carried the day.
John Loftus agrees with this assessment. John runs the Debunking Christianity blog. He’s an atheist who once professed Christian faith, and he was a student of Bill Craig at one point. We’re not bosom buddies or anything, but I’ve had some dealings with him in the past, and while I think some of the arguments he might have sympathy for are pretty bad, and while I think some of the arguments he doesn’t care for are actually pretty good, and while I think he’s about as wrong as a person can be on the God question and on the significance of Christ, I actually kinda like the guy.
Loftus would like to debate Bill Craig at some point. I can’t see it happening any time soon, and that has to do with Bill’s general policy on debating former students (says Loftus), and to do with Loftus’s departure from the Christian faith, something that Craig finds tragic. But who knows, maybe something will work out at some point. Time will tell. In the meantime, in the thread that I linked to above, I’ve made the offer that if John would like some shooting practice, I’d be happy to engage him in debate. Whether or not that will come to pass in any organised way remains to be seen, but here’s hoping. I’ve suggested the moral argument for theism as a possible topic, but I’m open to more general subjects like whether or not God exists.
- Musings on debate outcomes
- D’Souza vs Loftus: Does the Christian God exist?
- Lest we Forget, Loftus
- Craig vs Hitchens
- The untruthful thoughts of a reluctant atheist
5 thoughts on “Dear John”
You live in New Zealand, correct? That’s a bit far for a person to person debate.
Name some topics you’d like to deabte and let’s see what we can do. I think I’m game.
Let’s kep in touch. You’re an evangelical right?
One of your thesis examiners was Dr Edward Feser? Not impressed with him but he would approve of the title to this blog of yours.
I see you’re writing a book on the moral argument. That means I would be outgunned on that topic.
Wouldn’t you know it? We don’t share the same interests, not presuppositionalim, nor Plantinga’s arguments, nor political liberalism. Maybe you’ve read my book? That may give you ideas on what I’m interested in debating. As far as the Norm Geisler recommendation that Apologia Nick rants against I’ve responded to that jive.
In some ways I really would like to debate Craig before anyone else so I can sort of blindside him with my potential opening statement. If I debated anyone before then he would be able to see how I would respond on the probability of Christianity, bit that topic is of the utmost importance to me and one I would entertain debating you about, even on Paltalk, but you’ll have to explain how to do that if we debate.
I consider myself an Evangelical, but sometimes my encounters with North American Evangelicals makes me wonder. There I think the term is as much sociological as anything else. So I don’t know if it’s helpful for people to think of me as an evangelical or not. Let’s just say I’m fairly conservative – in historical terms, not necessarily in modern evangelical terms. My refusal to toe certain party lines on doctrine makes some people a bit leery of me.
As far as topics go, your comment about the moral argument suggests that perhaps we should find a subject that we both have something of an equal interest in.
My main interest in arguments for theism is the moral argument. I have an interest in presuppositional arguments, but a big part of that interest centres around the fact that I think many advocates of those arguments need to be taken aside and have a thing or two explained to them. I think there is great potential in those arguments and I think many presuppositionalists get the argument wrong, or they think they argument proves more than it does. I also have a lot of interest in Alvin Plantinga’s arguments: concerning basic beliefs, concerning the argument from warrant, and I also appreciate (and think that many have underestimated) his evolutionary argument against naturalism.
Moving away from arguments concerning the truth of theism, I also have a strong interest in the widely held (but, I think disastrously wrong) view within modern political liberalism that seeks to see religious convictions kept out of the political process.
I wonder whether or not any of that might interest you. Let me know, and feel free to make suggestions.
The US is definitely too far for an in person debate, but there’s always the option of a live audio debate with a live audience in a PalTalk room, which can be recorded and uploaded.
John Loftus, you’ve suggested people look at your book on several blog comment threads. Your book is not available in the public library or the university library. Have you thought of putting up an online copy?
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