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Sam Harris vs. William Lane Craig
Posted: 08 April 2011 11:42 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I’m just finishing up part 6 of 9 of the debate and I’m wondering if anyone else had the following thoughts:

1) Sam Harris crushed Dr. Craig

2) Since Dr. Craig used quite a bit of straw man arguments (misrepresenting arguments) that anyone who’s paying enough attention, has enough understanding of Sam Harris’s philosophy, and has a good enough background in logic could crush Dr. Craig in a similar debate.

3) I really wish I was able to attend.

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Posted: 08 April 2011 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I think the most disappointing aspect of the debate wasn’t that the relationship between determinism and morality wasn’t really flushed out well. I think it’s sort of implied by Harris’ arguments.

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Posted: 09 April 2011 08:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Vladimir_Marduk - 09 April 2011 03:42 AM

I’m just finishing up part 6 of 9 of the debate and I’m wondering if anyone else had the following thoughts:

1) Sam Harris crushed Dr. Craig

2) Since Dr. Craig used quite a bit of straw man arguments (misrepresenting arguments) that anyone who’s paying enough attention, has enough understanding of Sam Harris’s philosophy, and has a good enough background in logic could crush Dr. Craig in a similar debate.

3) I really wish I was able to attend.

 

It is not terribly difficult to undermine the logic that supports magical thought.

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Posted: 09 April 2011 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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toombaru - 09 April 2011 12:31 PM
Vladimir_Marduk - 09 April 2011 03:42 AM

I’m just finishing up part 6 of 9 of the debate and I’m wondering if anyone else had the following thoughts:

1) Sam Harris crushed Dr. Craig

2) Since Dr. Craig used quite a bit of straw man arguments (misrepresenting arguments) that anyone who’s paying enough attention, has enough understanding of Sam Harris’s philosophy, and has a good enough background in logic could crush Dr. Craig in a similar debate.

3) I really wish I was able to attend.

 

It is not terribly difficult to undermine the logic that supports magical thought.


Let’s say that you are in a debate with a bunch of second graders who are trying to convince you that there really is an Easter Bunny.

The argument against delusion has no where to start.

It is a waste of time to confront thinking on the level in which the illogical belief occurs.

All one has to do is ask for evidence to support their view of reality.

Chances are the little bastards will be stunned into silence.
Debate over.

[ Edited: 09 April 2011 09:31 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 10 April 2011 10:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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It seems to me that it is impossible to argue that morality does not come from within our selves and that we get it from a god figure.  Craig stated that we gain our morality from a god that we follow because god is good.  We must first know within ourselves what is good in order for us to decide to follow the teachings of a god because he is good.

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Posted: 11 April 2011 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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djohnson - 11 April 2011 02:06 AM

It seems to me that it is impossible to argue that morality does not come from within our selves and that we get it from a god figure.  Craig stated that we gain our morality from a god that we follow because god is good.  We must first know within ourselves what is good in order for us to decide to follow the teachings of a god because he is good.

 

The ideas of “good”, “God” and “morality” all come from within the electro-chemical reactions of the neurons in the human brain.
Outside of that arena…..they do not exist..

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Posted: 12 April 2011 08:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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It was useful for Dr. Harris to have an opportunity to make some key points in a public forum.


Today I listened to Mr. Craig speak on the video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOBsUP0N3tQ
This video shows that Craig has the same old tired, abusive, and poisonous right wing Christian fear of human sexuality. It’s sad that such poison not only exists in Mormonism (the religion of my youth), but also in the minds of abusive twits like Craig.


My own history with religion requires that I present a very stiff middle finger to people like Mr. Craig on this issue.
Here’s a related book and exit journal I wrote:
http://corvus.freeshell.org/corvus_corax/two/life_path/Mortal_Mormonism.htm


When your god gets to sleep with the wives of other men (god sleeping with Mary the mother of Jesus - as in more advanced Mormonism), or when the founding prophets of your religion gets to sleep with the wives of other men (Joseph Smith & Brigham Young), then you had better not preach to other people about their own sex lives. And we all know that where you find an ultra right wing Christian obsessed about homosexuality, there my friend, you usually find a closeted or not so closeted self hating abusive person who also happens to be gay.


The following video is a very apt response to Craig:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh2DP1F8rBs

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Posted: 13 April 2011 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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birdman - 13 April 2011 12:44 AM

It was useful for Dr. Harris to have an opportunity to make some key points in a public forum.


Today I listened to Mr. Craig speak on the video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOBsUP0N3tQ
This video shows that Craig has the same old tired, abusive, and poisonous right wing Christian fear of human sexuality. It’s sad that such poison not only exists in Mormonism (the religion of my youth), but also in the minds of abusive twits like Craig.


My own history with religion requires that I present a very stiff middle finger to people like Mr. Craig on this issue.
Here’s a related book and exit journal I wrote:
http://corvus.freeshell.org/corvus_corax/two/life_path/Mortal_Mormonism.htm


When your god gets to sleep with the wives of other men (god sleeping with Mary the mother of Jesus - as in more advanced Mormonism), or when the founding prophets of your religion gets to sleep with the wives of other men (Joseph Smith & Brigham Young), then you had better not preach to other people about their own sex lives. And we all know that where you find an ultra right wing Christian obsessed about homosexuality, there my friend, you usually find a closeted or not so closeted self hating abusive person who also happens to be gay.


The following video is a very apt response to Craig:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh2DP1F8rBs


Are you convinced that the world without religion would be a better place?
Eighty percent of the humans on earth believe in a supernatural force that governs the universe.
Perhaps religion, although imaginary, is one of the reasons that man has evolved to be the dominate (for a while) organism on earth.
The attempt to refute their mass delusion through logical discourse is a wack-a-mole nightmare.
Instead of taking them all on, perhaps it would be more productive to understand the origin of religion and the nature of belief.
A excellent place to start is “God’s Brain” by Lionel Tiger and Michael McGuire.
Your life can become a lot less stressful if you get a glimpse of the futility in your quixotic efforts to minimize their beliefs by interjecting your own.

[ Edited: 13 April 2011 10:09 AM by toombaru]
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Posted: 13 April 2011 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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toombaru - 13 April 2011 12:50 PM


[1] Are you convinced that the world without religion would be a better place?
[2] Eighty percent of the humans on earth believe in a supernatural force that governs the universe.
[3] Perhaps religion, although imaginary, is one of the reasons that man has evolved to be the dominate (for a while) organism on earth.
[4] The attempt to refute their mass delusion through logical discourse is a wack-a-mole nightmare.
[5] Instead of taking them all on, perhaps it would be more productive to understand the origin of religion and the nature of belief.
[6] A excellent place to start is “God’s Brain” by Lionel Tiger and Michael McGuire.
[7] Your life can become a lot less stressful if you get a glimpse of the futility in your quixotic efforts to minimize their beliefs by interjecting your own.


[Numbers inside of brackets added so that I can more easily response to each point.]


Here are my responses:


1. Yes.
2. Down from 100% - we’re doin’ pretty good. Let the Enlightenment continue.
3. Let the delusion continue, however harmful and abusive? Some religions are more damaging than others.
4. The nightmare comes when we keep silent.
5. There’s nothing wrong with doing both. I can take account of Daniel Dennett’s words on the issue, while at the same time calling out the abusers, child molesters, circumcisers, mutilators, liars, charismatic charlatans, and pompous anally-retentive a-holes for what they are.
6. As far as I can tell children in modern secular cultures are not adopting the demon haunted worldview en masse.
7. People with little or no experience with real hard core religion often take such a stance. They see no reason for some of us to protest, and to get out there and speak loudly. They simply have no idea what they’re talking about.


http://corvus.freeshell.org/corvus_corax/two/life_path/life_path.htm#history


As a side note, Lawrence Krauss has also debated Craig.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHHTYbusTmw&feature=related
Krauss’s supine intro where he thanks Craig and where he says it’s futile to try to disprove “god,” his approach is particularly disgusting and highly annoying. In light of Craig’s disgusting and abusive views as conveyed at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOBsUP0N3tQ
Krauss’s response and approach is almost unwatchable.


Krauss has always apparently had a problem with honesty relative to whether we can actually address the issue of whether a given concept of a god has a high or low probability. Also it’s disingenuous to use the god term without stating that not all definitions of the term are the same. The Templeton Foundation, for example, and it’s lackeys in public radio (such as Krista Tippett and the program “To the best (worst) of our knowledge”) often blows out such confusing & dishonest smoke.


Just because some people believe in an alien loving or angry god doesn’t mean that such a pursuit is of value, or should be supported by apology for it & self-censorship or the censorship of others. Nor is there value in silencing those of us who’ve had real experiences with real hard core religion.


I’m not claiming that you in particular hold all these stances I’m responding to, but I have had this same type of discussion with others. And I’ve seen first hand the large difference in approach between those of us spent our childhood in cults, as compared to those who only went into a church during Christmas & Easter or who were raised in a “light” religion like UK-style Anglicanism. And those who were raped by priests in Catholicism may take a harder stance as well.

[ Edited: 13 April 2011 01:02 PM by birdman]
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Posted: 13 April 2011 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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birdman - 13 April 2011 04:56 PM
toombaru - 13 April 2011 12:50 PM


[1] Are you convinced that the world without religion would be a better place?
[2] Eighty percent of the humans on earth believe in a supernatural force that governs the universe.
[3] Perhaps religion, although imaginary, is one of the reasons that man has evolved to be the dominate (for a while) organism on earth.
[4] The attempt to refute their mass delusion through logical discourse is a wack-a-mole nightmare.
[5] Instead of taking them all on, perhaps it would be more productive to understand the origin of religion and the nature of belief.
[6] A excellent place to start is “God’s Brain” by Lionel Tiger and Michael McGuire.
[7] Your life can become a lot less stressful if you get a glimpse of the futility in your quixotic efforts to minimize their beliefs by interjecting your own.


[Numbers inside of brackets added so that I can more easily response to each point.]


Here are my responses:


1. Yes.
2. Down from 100% - we’re doin’ pretty good. Let the Enlightenment continue.
3. Let the delusion continue, however harmful and abusive? Some religions are more damaging than others.
4. The nightmare comes when we keep silent.
5. There’s nothing wrong with doing both. I can take account of Daniel Dennett’s words on the issue, while at the same time calling out the abusers, child molesters, circumcisers, mutilators, liars, charismatic charlatans, and pompous anally-retentive a-holes for what they are.
6. As far as I can tell children in modern secular cultures are not adopting the demon haunted worldview en masse.
7. People with little or no experience with real hard core religion often take such a stance. They see no reason for some of us to protest, and to get out there and speak loudly. They simply have no idea what they’re talking about.


http://corvus.freeshell.org/corvus_corax/two/life_path/life_path.htm#history


As a side note, Lawrence Krauss has also debated Craig.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHHTYbusTmw&feature=related
Krauss’s supine intro where he thanks Craig and where he says it’s futile to try to disprove “god,” his approach is particularly disgusting and highly annoying. In light of Craig’s disgusting and abusive views as conveyed at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOBsUP0N3tQ
Krauss’s response and approach is almost unwatchable.


Krauss has always apparently had a problem with honesty relative to whether we can actually address the issue of whether a given concept of a god has a high or low probability. Also it’s disingenuous to use the god term without stating that not all definitions of the term are the same. The Templeton Foundation, for example, and it’s lackeys in public radio (such as Krista Tippett and the program “To the best (worst) of our knowledge”) often blows out such confusing & dishonest smoke.


Just because some people believe in an alien loving or angry god doesn’t mean that such a pursuit is of value, or should be supported by apology for it & self-censorship or the censorship of others. Nor is there value in silencing those of us who’ve had real experiences with real hard core religion.


I’m not claiming that you in particular hold all these stances I’m responding to, but I have had this same type of discussion with others. And I’ve seen first hand the large difference in approach between those of us spent our childhood in cults, as compared to those who only went into a church during Christmas & Easter or who were raised in a “light” religion like UK-style Anglicanism. And those who were raped by priests in Catholicism may take a harder stance as well.


Personally I believe the practices of all religions are disgusting…..some more so than others.
Even those actions they undertake to “help” others are done to hopefully gain favor with their ever angry god and procure a place
in their imagined future life.

I am suggesting that when the overall effects of religion are studied objectively the possibility arises that the overriding function of religiosity increases the chances of survival of a group of like believes.

I am suggesting that the human species may not be the apex species in the world today without the benefits that delusional-shared belief structures offer; and that wiping out religion may not be as beneficial as it first appears.

It’s not like secular leaders have a perfect record.

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Posted: 13 April 2011 07:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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toombaru - 13 April 2011 06:02 PM

<clip>
I am suggesting that when the overall effects of religion are studied objectively the possibility arises that the overriding function of religiosity increases the chances of survival of a group of like believes.

I am suggesting that the human species may not be the apex species in the world today without the benefits that delusional-shared belief structures offer; and that wiping out religion may not be as beneficial as it first appears.

It’s not like secular leaders have a perfect record.


Perhaps.


Will religion die off? Maybe. But it’s important to be weary of dogmatic sociopaths regardless of their beliefs or not in the supernatural.


There may be all sorts of things that may have helped humans survive. But that shouldn’t IMO justify us leaving tribes & religions alone to abuse their own members in the name of what some stuffy academics think might be a survival trait.


Mormonisn may cause people in Utah to have large families, but it also has some rather high costs, costs which those outside the religion have no concept of whatsoever.


Catholicism also may cause a rather high birth rate, but mass child rape really is a bummer.


It’s a bit unclear to me what the goal is of making statements like “religion helped us survive,” and so on. There is a tacit implication that as a result, we should not push so hard to tell the truth.


My main point is that only someone who has had zero experience with real religion can apparently easily choose to be detached from what actually happens to people who are in any sort of real religion. And Krauss’s suck-up light handed approach with someone like Craig really is disgusting and telling - after separately hearing first hand Craig strongly advocate for the human spirit destroying sexual shaming I saw first hand in Mormonism, and that is even (& sadly) more rampant in Islam. I’m glad that Dr. Harris was firmer in his response to Mr. Craig.

[ Edited: 13 April 2011 07:44 PM by birdman]
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Posted: 13 April 2011 10:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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birdman - 13 April 2011 11:34 PM
toombaru - 13 April 2011 06:02 PM

<clip>
I am suggesting that when the overall effects of religion are studied objectively the possibility arises that the overriding function of religiosity increases the chances of survival of a group of like believes.

I am suggesting that the human species may not be the apex species in the world today without the benefits that delusional-shared belief structures offer; and that wiping out religion may not be as beneficial as it first appears.

It’s not like secular leaders have a perfect record.


Perhaps.


Will religion die off? Maybe. But it’s important to be weary of dogmatic sociopaths regardless of their beliefs or not in the supernatural.


There may be all sorts of things that may have helped humans survive. But that shouldn’t IMO justify us leaving tribes & religions alone to abuse their own members in the name of what some stuffy academics think might be a survival trait.


Mormonisn may cause people in Utah to have large families, but it also has some rather high costs, costs which those outside the religion have no concept of whatsoever.


Catholicism also may cause a rather high birth rate, but mass child rape really is a bummer.


It’s a bit unclear to me what the goal is of making statements like “religion helped us survive,” and so on. There is a tacit implication that as a result, we should not push so hard to tell the truth.


My main point is that only someone who has had zero experience with real religion can apparently easily choose to be detached from what actually happens to people who are in any sort of real religion. And Krauss’s suck-up light handed approach with someone like Craig really is disgusting and telling - after separately hearing first hand Craig strongly advocate for the human spirit destroying sexual shaming I saw first hand in Mormonism, and that is even (& sadly) more rampant in Islam. I’m glad that Dr. Harris was firmer in his response to Mr. Craig.


Do you imagine that Mr Craig was humbled by Mr. Harris?
Do you think that anyone in the audience changed their mind?
Have you ever heard of a fundamentalist who willfully dropped their delusion with a dose of logic?
I just finished the book “The Grand Inquisitor’s Manual”.
If you think religion is bad now…................

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Posted: 14 April 2011 03:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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I just finished watching the debate with Dr. Craig, and must say, that Sam takes the win.

I would offer one question to pose to any theist, however, and that is…“If you were an all-powerful god, would you really require worship of your creation?”

I’ve posed this question to theists at a few points in time, but the answer is never given…much like Dr. Craig’s continuous rant about epistemiology and ontology—who cares?  Craig constantly tried to keep the debate within his own framework, obviously realizing that if he let Sam loose, he wouldn’t be able to understand the logical jargon of a scientist, yes, I do jest a little.

However, returning to my question, is it responsible of a god to demand worship…would you?  It seems to be that once more human emotion and passion are placed in the mind of the ethereal, instead of debated to a logical end.  If I were GOD, there would be a hell of a lot more fun on the planet, more exercise, less red meat for fat westerners, and more wealth for the poor of the planet.

Hmmm, did I just give several physical statistics that may prove god either doesn’t exist—or simply—doesn’t care?  I believe I did.

Sam’s narcissistic comment about the real center of christianity made me proud…my chest swelled…because that is the core of all faiths—save my ass, and screw the other guys who don’t listen to me when I talk about my god, faith, children, health, wealth and on and on with these proselytes of faith.

Thanks, Sam—sorry that your opponent kept dodging and misquoting facts and fictions.

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Posted: 14 April 2011 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Some religious oriented people accused Sam that he avoided/did not addressed the ‘philosophical’ points of Graig’s talk. Let’s examining it further. 
On one point Graig says “god is a being worth worshiped.” Is this a statement, of a declarative or of a descriptive nature? If ‘god’ is the ultimate measure of all values –‘ontologically’ speaking- then only ‘god’ can define what is worthy or what is not worthy of worshiping hence a perfect circular argument!
Let’s take again the same statement a bit changed: “The Flying Spaghetti Monster is a being worth worshiped.” Are they, both statements, logically equivalent or not?
How can Sam address such obvious fallacious argumentation without wasting his and public’s time?
Sam was excellent in that debate!

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The whole point about faith is that you do not critisize or test or marshal evidence and argument. The whole point about science and progress in science is that you do.

Patricia Smith Churchland

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Posted: 14 April 2011 06:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Soma67,
I think I get your drift.  A being that has to declare law in order to create goodness is a strange being.  I’ve heard the argument, “Evil proves there is a god.”  I’ve heard it for thirty years…i’m only 48…but the argument is a circle as you say.  The very idea that it takes a lawgiver to define good and evil…ergo, we need a god…is utterly “psychopathic,” as Sam says in the debate.

I actually thought Sam was being nice to the poor doddering prof, at any rate, we could worship Flying Spaghetti, etc. but what would be the point?  Worship is not a godly perspective—it is the invention of humankind—which makes the practice of infant sacrifice that much more fanatical.  A GOD…like, a real GOD…would not demand sacrifice, worship, maybe prayer—because meditation is good for a human body—tithes, testamonials, confessions, etc., etc.

A god would only ask for us to live in love, cooperation, justice…I think you see where I’m going with this?  Sam’s moral landscape can be clearly defined by the realization that benefits to humanity are civil, regal, noble and all of the “good” stuff, without requiring the existence of god.  We’ve grown up…matured…realized that we don’t have to have a discussion that is based in the vulgarness of 2000 years of human stupidity.

I’ve said enough…hope this helps.

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Posted: 14 April 2011 09:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Rand Zacharias - 14 April 2011 10:28 PM

Soma67,
I think I get your drift.  A being that has to declare law in order to create goodness is a strange being.  I’ve heard the argument, “Evil proves there is a god.”  I’ve heard it for thirty years…i’m only 48…but the argument is a circle as you say.  The very idea that it takes a lawgiver to define good and evil…ergo, we need a god…is utterly “psychopathic,” as Sam says in the debate.

I actually thought Sam was being nice to the poor doddering prof, at any rate, we could worship Flying Spaghetti, etc. but what would be the point?  Worship is not a godly perspective—it is the invention of humankind—which makes the practice of infant sacrifice that much more fanatical.  A GOD…like, a real GOD…would not demand sacrifice, worship, maybe prayer—because meditation is good for a human body—tithes, testamonials, confessions, etc., etc.

A god would only ask for us to live in love, cooperation, justice…I think you see where I’m going with this?  Sam’s moral landscape can be clearly defined by the realization that benefits to humanity are civil, regal, noble and all of the “good” stuff, without requiring the existence of god.  We’ve grown up…matured…realized that we don’t have to have a discussion that is based in the vulgarness of 2000 years of human stupidity.

I’ve said enough…hope this helps.


OK….....we can all agree that there is no evidence to support the existence of a supernatural force that governs the universe who has chosen humans as his favorite little animal.

I am suggesting aggressive agnostic posturing and intellectually logical debates have no effect on deeply entrenched religious beliefs.

The fact that religion is so ubiquitous indicates that is not merely an unfortunate happenstance.

The life of any sentient being is full of stress.

The human mind asks questions concerning its own existential reality that it can’t confirm.

That creates stress because the brain wants answers.

Religion, although illogical, may have evolved to relieve and soothe the angst of the imponderables that the conceptual mind creates.

And for those few of us who are not wired to be caught in the trance-dance of religion, it may be wrong to assume that the world would be better off if people would just see their own lunacy.

Perhaps the mass stress of living in the Great-Unknown-Unknowable would accelerate the early demise human species.

We do not…..and cannot…..know enough to start surgically removing religion from the human mind.

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