Friday, May 15, 2009

Why Loftus Should NOT Debate Craig

I'm a huge fan of John W. Loftus and think he brings more to New Atheism than the four horseman combined. In fact I would like to see more of Loftus around the place. Why Loftus is not as big if not bigger than Hitchens is beyond me. However I am weary about his campaign to debate William Lane Craig.

I could be wrong about this but I see no indication that he is ready to debate Craig. I don't doubt he has the arguments, I doubt he has the most effective message delivery. The recent Carrier v Craig debate was a huge let down. I knew Carrier had good arguments but failed to deliver on the night and given that there was a lot of hype surrounding the debate, it was a disappointing affair. I wonder if Loftus v Craig will turn out the same way?

Has Loftus read every Craig debate? Has he formulated a response to all of his boilerplate arguments? Has he done so in a convincing fashion which will enable him to "win" the debate. Is Loftus even interested in winning the debate or just presenting a case (aka Carrier)? What in Loftus' own book or internet postings could be used against him?

Don't get me wrong - I wan't Loftus to win, just like I want my sports team to win, but if he's spent his winter sitting on the couch and snacking on fast food, I wont be expecting him to run a marathon come summer. Take Kagan v Craig, Kagan has spent his life learning and teaching secular ethics and spent the entire Q & A effectively "schooling" Craig. Is Loftus in the same league?

I also question the debate topic "Is Christianity more probable than atheism?". I can almost imagine it now. Loftus gets up there and presents a plausible and rational account for the reasonableness for atheism and Craig responds by using a multi-part Bayesian analysis of the probabilities involved (aka Ehrman v Craig). Loftus then wastes all his time picking apart the tortured logic, or avoids the issue, either way he will be on the back foot defending and playing into Craig's plan. Game over.

Mr Loftus, prove me wrong Sir.


John W. Loftus said...

Hoefully I'll get the chance.

BTW Thanks for the amazing nod in the first three sentences!

George Chua said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
George Chua said...

I think John W. Loftus is as qualified as anyone on this planet to take on William Lane Craig. I don't for a second doubt that Loftus have the arguments to devastate Craig's flimsy logic. He just needs to be extra careful with Craig's sly use of rhetoric to advance his nonsense(e.g. calling mere assertions "facts"; make unwarranted logical leaps; etc.)

Abbass Zammannii said...

Lane uses the same arguments time and time again and Mr. Loftus has no debates on the internet as far as I have seen, so it should be easier considering that John can review WLC's arguments and prepare ahead of time and WLC will only have Mr. Loftus' book to go on.

chuck said...

Craig is an amazing bullshitter.
You could even say he's a bullshitter's bullshitter.
He rambles and confuses, deftly, and argues the meaning of meaning, and the meaning of "of", disorienting his opponent.
His confident blathering is impressive in it's "jargon word per minute rate", but the arguments don't impress me. He's quick on his feet and pretty good at casting doubt.
But the logic in question is usually simpler.