Wednesday 4 January 2012

More Christian double-speak

Last Saturday's Unbelievable? featured another itch-inducing segment from William Lane Craig. I've not yet heard his Cambridge lecture (not even sure I want to), but Justin Brierley broadcast a section of the Q&A, revealing the egregious double standards of religious language that I touched on in a previous post.

In response to a question about whether God needs to be caused (at 45'15"):
...God is omnipotent, omniscient, exists self-existently, is eternal, is morally perfect, and so forth. There are many many attributes that will round out and give you a very theologically rich concept of God, but it's important to see that in Christian thinking, traditionally God isn't a contingent being — that is to say a being that just happens to exist. God doesn't just happen to exist. He's metaphysically necessary — he's a self-existent being. His non-existence is impossible.
In response to the problem of evil and suffering in the world (at 47'02"):
The atheist has to show that it's either impossible or highly improbable that God has morally sufficient reasons for permitting the suffering in the world, and we're simply not in a position to make those kind of judgements with any sort of confidence. God's morally sufficient reasons for permitting some incident of suffering in your life might not emerge until centuries later, maybe in another country, so that you would have no hope of being able to see what his morally sufficient reason is for permitting this [inaudible] your life. So it's simply impossible for us to make with any kind of confidence these sort of probability judgements when some incident of suffering occurs, that God probably lacks a morally sufficient reason for allowing that. That's sheer speculation.
Craig dismisses the problem of evil on the basis of the impossibility of knowing things about God (describing this as sheer speculation), only seconds after he has claimed all kinds of things about God that he cannot possibly know.