Some more random thoughts about the article in general. I love how he seems to forget the argument from ignorance when it suits him. When he was defending the second premise of the cosmological argument. It was like he screamed, YOU MUST KNOW THE ANSWER TODAY IF NOT ITS GOD. The contingency argument fails because its a reworked version of the cosmological argument.
I have many thoughts on his presentation of the problem of evil He talks about how, if anything its more probable that the christian god would allow evil then not. It seems like god, especially when its considered that he didn't have to create us at all(we were created of gods pleasure) and he is supposedly capable of doing all things logical and and its capable of knowing all the things that we know and what we don't about everything in a way analogous to intuition(using his definitions as I understand them) then if he is benevolent then he would not have created us. So craig is wrong there. He also says this.
First, the chief purpose of life is not happiness, but the knowledge of God. One reason that the problem of evil seems so intractable is that people tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this world. God's role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God's pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfillment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper, saving knowledge of God. To carry his argument, the atheist must show that it is feasible for God to create a world in which the same amount of the knowledge of God is achieved, but with less evil—which is sheer speculation.
It is sheer speculation by definition because this is the world we live in currently in which Christianity in itself responded too. It is also not technically speculation it is saying, if A is true, then C would be true. We don't see C, so we should doubt A. That is what the argument about god could have done the same thing better is more or less saying, if A(the Christian God exists) then C(a better life then we see would be in existence). If one could rationally argue that there can be a better world. We don't see C so we doubt A. Omnipotence would by his own definition makes this consideration irrelevant. As well he seems to be assuming his conclusion to make this point. Also if Craig is correct, god demands a situation akin to Stalin and the purges. He is desperate for followers. He makes people suffer to make people follow him.
Second, mankind has been accorded significant moral freedom to rebel against God and His purpose. Rather than submit to and worship God, people have freely rebelled against God and go their own way and so find themselves alienated from God, morally guilty before Him, and groping in spiritual darkness, pursuing false gods of their own making. The horrendous moral evils in the world are testimony to man's depravity in this state of spiritual alienation from God. The Christian is thus not surprised at the moral evil in the world; on the contrary he expects it.
That only works if the free will defence works.
Third, God's purpose spills over into eternal life. In the Christian view, this earthly life is but a momentary preparation for immortal life. In the afterlife God will give those who have trusted Him for salvation an eternal life of unspeakable joy. Given the prospect of eternal life, we should not expect to see in this life God's compensation for every evil we experience. Some may be justified only in light of eternity.
Fourth, the knowledge of God is an incommensurable good. To know God, the locus of infinite goodness and love, is an incomparable good, the fulfillment of human existence. The sufferings of this life cannot even be compared to it. Thus, the person who knows God, no matter what he suffers, no matter how awful his pain, can still truly say, "God is good to me!", simply in virtue of the fact that he knows God.
If god is benevolent then there is no reason to believe,considering he ultimately wants us to up with him in heaven, that he wouldn't just create us in heaven. If he wants us there, just put us there.
Also even if all the conventional arguments for god work, you can only get as far as deism because of the problem of evil and the fact that you need a loving theistic god for the arguments for biblical innerrancy to work. I say this bit about deism mostly because, deism doesn't require the creation of a perfect world.
The moral argument is absurd because he seems to be fishing for something that isn't required.
The fine tuning argument as he presents it, seems to be searching for more then what is there. Sure it may be a near miracle that we are here, but that doesn't mean anything other then its a near miracle that we are here. How you can require a cause from improbability is beyond me. Its also a argument from ignorance to assume that we have to know the cause today.
Craig also tries to define atheism into a corner. Atheism can mean both, you know for a fact there is no god, or that you see no reason to believe in one. If there is no good rational reason to believe in the christian god, that god is effectively disproven. A god like that of a christian god even if he is concerned with winning souls more then proving his existence(a distinction without a difference) would have some evidence at least for his existence. And even if that isn't true, then god is a tyrant. Tyranny is not benevolence.
Edited by Valk0010, 10 July 2012 - 02:18 AM.