Friday, March 14, 2014

Analysis of William Lane Craig versus Sean Carroll February 2014 Debate

Philosopher William Lane Craig and Physicist Sean Carroll debated the subject of God and Cosmology on February 21 in New Orleans.  Out of all the debates of Dr. Craig's that I have seen (which are many), this one was definitely one of the best.  Both debaters carried themselves professionally, made a reasonable effort to respond to each other's arguments, and managed to keep the debate both informative and entertaining.

I will confess at the outset that I generally find Dr. Craig's arguments to be sharp and persuasive, though I do not sympathize with his Christianity.  Although I do end up mostly defending Dr. Craig's position and criticizing Dr. Carroll's position in this analysis, I attempted to do so fairly and with attention to arguments.  I believe this is in alignment with the spirit of debate and also makes for an enjoyable exercise of philosophy.

Given the debate structure and my interests in the topics discussed, I've divided this analysis into three main parts: Dr. Carroll's positive case, Dr. Craig's Positive Case, and Dr. Carroll's Negative Case.  The positive cases comprise each debater's arguments in favor of their preferred world views: naturalism and theism, respectively.  Those who are familiar with Dr. Craig's debates may wish to skip my discussion of his positive case because they are likely familiar with it.  Dr. Carroll's Negative Case comprises his arguments against Craig's theistic arguments.  I finish the article with a few concluding remarks.