Veritas Forum Discussion
August 7, 2008 — 8:13

Author: Michael Almeida  Category: Uncategorized  Comments: 5

Keep thinking about evil! Meantime this panel discussion on Science and Religion features Quentin Smith, Al Plantinga, Richard Gale and W.L. Craig. Enjoy it, if you haven’t already seen it. Enjoy it, even if you have seen it.

  • Mike Almeida

    The champion of atheism, Smith, seems less than prepared and just lost. He’s pretty funny, but Gale is always less than prepared. It won’t change your philosophical life, but the different styles are interesting to watch. Craig, again as always, is too prepared. He’s got a pencil box somewhere, I’ll bet anything.

    August 8, 2008 — 8:56
  • I only listened to it once, but from what I remember, Smith didn’t do that bad. Craig did pretty well, except one comment which I thought Smith put him to task for. As usual, Plantinga and Gale were good.

    August 9, 2008 — 19:58
  • Mike Almeida

    The perception of the discussion depends a lot on whether you’re familiar with the arguments. Smith’s argument is pretty old, so though he fumbles through it, we know where he’s going. I’ve never seen Gale speak where he didn’t beg off. He always claims inexpertise somewhere, and chooses not to comment. But he has the best sense of humor. Plantinga also holds forth on a pretty familiar line. I don’t know what it is about Craig. I like him, but I wish he weren’t such a . . . hall monitor, I guess. I’m not sure how else to put it.

    August 9, 2008 — 20:28
  • Raymond W Aldred

    Mike, I think I know what you mean about Craig, he’s a fine philosopher, his arguments are okay but if I were to debate or discuss philosophy of religion with him, the way he handles himself would kind of make me uncomfortable? Maybe I’m just looking at Gale’s an Smith attitudes through the debate. Smith comes across as uncomfortable, and struggles for the right words; he’s a great philosopher but not the best public speaker or presenter. Gale is like a hornet, he seems to poke all these little holes in what might be described as a “pop” version of theism; he goes after dualism, a version of a teleological argument, proper functionalism etc. But he doesn’t really make a great lasting opposition from what I can tell; in other words he doesn’t really stick to a single really strong argument but kind of seems to make several arguments that may pose a small problem for religious folk but not huge ones. Plantinga I think handled himself the best, he was funny, and looked particularly relaxed. I’m particularly fond of his otherworldly counterexamples.

    August 10, 2008 — 19:00
  • Raymond,
    I think the reason why he doesn’t stick to a single strong argument because it may mean, for him, that he has to reject theism. I think he’s agnostic so he thinks there are some arguments against theism, but not sufficient to reject it.

    August 10, 2008 — 21:19