Reasonable Faith

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« on: October 28, 2011, 06:44:17 pm »
This forum is open for discussion about William Lane Craig's debate with Professor Peter Millican, Gilbert Ryle Fellow and Professor of Philosophy at Hertford College, Oxford University.

21st October 2011, The Great Hall, Birmingham University, Edgbaston

Audio of the debate available here.

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2011, 12:07:16 pm »
Peter Millican said several times that there is "absolutely" no evidence that minds can exist independently of bodies.  This ignores the work of several scholars in the sciences and in medicine which cite strong evidence for substance dualism.  For example, psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz of the UCLA School of Medicine,  physicist Henry Stapp of the Lawrence Berkely National Lab, and neuroscientist Mario Beauregard of the University of Montreal have published several books and scholarly articles arguing for substance dualism based on their scientific work.  Similarly, world-renowned cardiologist Pim Van Lommell has published extensively on his scientific studies of near death experiences which strongly suggests that the mind continues to operate during clinical brain death.  So Peter Millican is overstating his case.


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njdeputter

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2011, 12:42:25 pm »
Possibly the best I've ever heard Dr. Craig, he was brilliant.
New Atheism: The desire to be able to do whatever you want without consequences powering a convenient belief that the entire universe came out of nothing for no reason, that life rose out of non-life for no reason, that there is nothing people should or shouldn't do AND that everyone who disagrees s

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2011, 02:08:13 pm »
Zschlichting wrote: Peter Millican said several times that there is "absolutely" no evidence that minds can exist independently of bodies.  This ignores the work of several scholars in the sciences and in medicine which cite strong evidence for substance dualism.  For example, psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz of the UCLA School of Medicine,  physicist Henry Stapp of the Lawrence Berkely National Lab, and neuroscientist Mario Beauregard of the University of Montreal have published several books and scholarly articles arguing for substance dualism based on their scientific work.  Similarly, world-renowned cardiologist Pim Van Lommell has published extensively on his scientific studies of near death experiences which strongly suggests that the mind continues to operate during clinical brain death.  So Peter Millican is overstating his case.



What evidence does their work present of minds existing independently of bodies?
On near death experiences, the claim that the mind continues to operate during clinical brain death simply shows that you do not understand what the criteria for making a diagnosis of brain death is.
Peter Millican is quite right in stating that there simply is no evidence of free floating minds.

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2011, 02:09:15 pm »
Once again, the problems with the debate format and Craig's points in particular are made glaring during the direct interaction when Craig's arguments are directly countered showing their severe flaws.

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Steve_Dallas

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2011, 03:42:17 pm »
   Once again, the problems with the debate format and Craig's points in particular are made glaring during the direct interaction when Craig's arguments are directly countered showing their severe flaws.

   

   You mean none of the atheist debaters can successfully argue that God doesn't exist in all the allotted time before? Good thing there's the extra time so they can REALLY get to the point.

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2011, 12:17:17 am »
Steve_Dallas wrote:
   Once again, the problems with the debate format and Craig's points in particular are made glaring during the direct interaction when Craig's arguments are directly countered showing their severe flaws.


You mean none of the atheist debaters can successfully argue that God doesn't exist in all the allotted time before? Good thing there's the extra time so they can REALLY get to the point.


They do well enough especially when we consider that they don't carry out such performances for a living. It only serves to reinforce my views that debates on such issues aren't the best methods of arriving at the best answers but that discussions work much better.

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Keith Fedrick

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 06:05:21 am »

blank wrote:
Quote from: Steve_Dallas
Once again, the problems with the debate format and Craig's points in particular are made glaring during the direct interaction when Craig's arguments are directly countered showing their severe flaws.


You mean none of the atheist debaters can successfully argue that God doesn't exist in all the allotted time before? Good thing there's the extra time so they can REALLY get to the point.


They do well enough especially when we consider that they don't carry out such performances for a living. It only serves to reinforce my views that debates on such issues aren't the best methods of arriving at the best answers but that discussions work much better.


I dont know what debate you were watching but Craig clearly had the better night and there were really no bright spots for Peter.

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Gerald Ian Ford

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2011, 09:41:13 am »
I would say that one 'bright spot for Peter' was Craig's inability to defend the Cosmological Argument during the Q&A session - for instance, the questions of why a problem with 'real infinities' is more of a problem for 'natural infinities' than an infinite God (or why God can be 'outside time' but a non-supernatural cause cannot).  

I personally also found Craig's flittering between extreme credulity and extreme scepticism unconvincing: his attitudes to physics (we should accept it even where not 100% settled) and biology (evolution is bound to be overturned soon), for instance.  
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pinkey

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2011, 11:19:14 am »
I personally also found Craig's flittering between extreme credulity and extreme scepticism unconvincing: his attitudes to physics (we should accept it even where not 100% settled) and biology (evolution is bound to be overturned soon), for instance.  


I don't see that. Craig gave an argument, quoting Robin Collins that the fine-tuning of the universe is not likely to go away. With regards to Evolution, all Dr. Craig said was that he thinks that soon Biologists will come with something else in the mechanisms of Evolution, to which Dr. Millican actually agreed with! (remember, Craig said he does not have theological objections to Evolution, so don't label him a "creationist", scientists such as Simon Conway Morris think that we are dealing with unfinished buisness when it comes to Biological Evolution [which is still true.])
"[A]ll such persons as I am speaking of, who profess themselves to be atheists not upon any present interest or lust but purely upon the principles of reason and philosophy, are bound by these principles to aknowledge that all mocking and scoffing at religion, all jesting and turning arguments of re

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2011, 12:12:00 pm »
Pharaoh wrote:

Quote from: blank
Quote from: Steve_Dallas
Once again, the problems with the debate format and Craig's points in particular are made glaring during the direct interaction when Craig's arguments are directly countered showing their severe flaws.


You mean none of the atheist debaters can successfully argue that God doesn't exist in all the allotted time before? Good thing there's the extra time so they can REALLY get to the point.


They do well enough especially when we consider that they don't carry out such performances for a living. It only serves to reinforce my views that debates on such issues aren't the best methods of arriving at the best answers but that discussions work much better.


I dont know what debate you were watching but Craig clearly had the better night and there were really no bright spots for Peter.


I listened to the debate later and what appeared to be bright spots for Craig during the formal presentations evaporated rapidly during the short Q and A.

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Gerald Ian Ford

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2011, 12:13:31 pm »
Yes, that's what Craig said - I'm undecided whether he was deliberately giving an answer that would appeal both to the more literalist in the audience ('Darwinism is incomplete!') whilst still being strictly true and also acceptable to more educated theists in the audience.  Perhaps I've just heard too many Creationist speakers and should give Craig the benefit of the doubt.  

Another, better example of Craig's inconstant attitude to scepticism was his third point, the moral argument.  Essentially, he insisted that 'we cannot know God's mind'.  Yet he seems perfectly happy to make sweeping, unsupported claims about God's nature himself (e.g. that God has designed the Universe for maximum salvation).  I didn't think that Millican managed as successful an attack here as Law did last week, and I would probably judge that point as a draw.  Millican did do a good job of pointing out the false dichotomy Craig set up ('either you believe in God or you cannot believe in objective moral values'), which I didn't hear Craig respond to.  
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Gerald Ian Ford

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 01:52:08 pm »

(Simpost - that was @ Pinkey!)

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David Foster

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2011, 04:15:41 pm »
This may be the best of Craig's debates I've ever seen. Both participants did extremely well.

As far as commentary, as much as I liked Millican, he seems to be largely making an argument from ignorance: we should accept atheism because we don't know if the current science and understanding will hold in the future.

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pinkey

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Dr. Craig vs. Peter Millican: "Does God Exist?"
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 11:35:55 pm »
 Another, better example of Craig's inconstant attitude to scepticism was his third point, the moral argument.  Essentially, he insisted that 'we cannot know God's mind'.  Yet he seems perfectly happy to make sweeping, unsupported claims about God's nature himself (e.g. that God has designed the Universe for maximum salvation).  I didn't think that Millican managed as successful an attack here as Law did last week, and I would probably judge that point as a draw.  Millican did do a good job of pointing out the false dichotomy Craig set up ('either you believe in God or you cannot believe in objective moral values'), which I didn't hear Craig respond to.  


I may have to watch the debate again because I just don't agree with what you are saying. I'm pretty sure that Craig claiming something along the lines of "we can't know God's mind" was in relation to the problem of evil or the problem of hiddenness, not the moral argument. As for Craig saying that God "designed the universe for maximal salvation" I think that is fairly basic Christian theology. I don't think it's inconsistant claiming that we can't know excatly the morally sufficient reasons God hides and allows evil but at the same time we can know that God wants all freely saved (the latter may be part of the solution to the former).

Calling Craig's argument a "false dichotomy" is just wrong I think. He doesn't claim that "either you believe in God or you cannot believe in objective moral values" but rather that "Without God existing, there are no grounds for morallity to be objective". His argument is that you already do believe in objective moral values, but you don't have an ontological grounding for them, and only God provides this." You may be confusing epistemological concerns with ontological, Craig's argument is ontological in nature, though it does call upon our epistemological perception of morallity being objective, and then claims that this needs to be grounded in a Moral Law Giver, aka God (ontological grounding).
"[A]ll such persons as I am speaking of, who profess themselves to be atheists not upon any present interest or lust but purely upon the principles of reason and philosophy, are bound by these principles to aknowledge that all mocking and scoffing at religion, all jesting and turning arguments of re