What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

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mattfara50
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What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by mattfara50 » May 9th, 2018, 7:13 pm

I first came across Craig in a debate he had with Sam Harris. I have since watched several of Craig's debates. With the help of Spiral, another member here, I found that Craig's moral argument is incomplete, at least as understood from his debates.

I borrowed Craig's Reasonable Faith from the library and read the relevant sections. This is the diagram I fashioned from the chapter.

Let's break it!

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 11th, 2018, 7:21 am

The first 3 boxes are idle speculations.
1) "God exists" - what is god?
2) "if god does not exist, then..." - on what grounds?
3) "Objective moral exist..." - only in the minds of humans. This being so , then god only exists in the minds of men. We already know that.

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chewybrian
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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by chewybrian » May 11th, 2018, 9:00 am

mattfara50 wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 7:13 pm
Let's break it!
^It is very odd that you end this way. It seems to imply a motive other than seeking truth. It feels like the way most people approach politics, rather than philosophy. If, heaven forbid :wink: , God exists, would you not want to learn the Truth? If you begin with the premise, or secret motive, that God could never exist, then why bother? This seems no better or worse than beginning with the premise that He is real, if you are both unwilling to see 'unpleasant' truth if it might be presented to you. It appears this way at a glance, but I don't know your motives.

I'm not finding much to argue for or against in the diagram, as it seems to be full of assumptions that defy proof or disproof. I agree with

"The origin of a belief does not influence the truth value of the belief".


The rest...who can say?

It does seem obvious that morals exist without the idea of God for many people. Most of them probably consider them to be objective goods or evils, rather than subjective. Their origins, presumably, are in an implied social contract that says we have duties to be fair to others if we wish to enjoy the benefits of society. But, their origins don't affect their 'truthiness'. If we made a Venn diagram of everyone's ideas of moral good, there would surely be a large area of overlap. The fact that there are gaps might imply that our views are subjective, or simply that some of us are incorrect or ignorant in some aspects, or that some morals are objective and some subjective.

So, I disagree with

"If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist",


and by extension, much of the rest. Assuming you've laid out his argument well, then I would choose Descartes ' if I were trying to 'prove' the existence of God. Neither convinces, but Descartes is at least a bit compelling.

mattfara50
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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by mattfara50 » May 11th, 2018, 9:24 am

chewybrian wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 9:00 am

It appears this way at a glance, but I don't know your motives.
I am open to the existence of God. Moreover, God's existence does not depend on the validity of Craig's argument. My only motive is to scrutinize the argument per se.

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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by mattfara50 » May 11th, 2018, 11:18 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 7:21 am
The first 3 boxes are idle speculations.
1) "God exists" - what is god?

Craig asserts God as the greatest possible being - the usual stuff: all knowing, all powerful, all benevolent, etc

2) "if god does not exist, then..." - on what grounds?

On the grounds of the hypothetical syllogism....

3) "Objective moral exist..." - only in the minds of humans. This being so , then god only exists in the minds of men. We already know that.

If they only exist in the minds of men, then they aren't objective. You're attacking a straw man.

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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by Alias » May 12th, 2018, 4:11 pm

mattfara50 wrote:
May 9th, 2018, 7:13 pm
Let's break it!
It's a nice flow-chart, going from nothing to nowhere, containing lots of opinions and subjective value judgments. (Morally handicapped??)
If you started from observable and verifiable phenomena and built upward, you might have an edifice.
If you start in midair and build down, you have a hot-air balloon.

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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by mattfara50 » May 12th, 2018, 11:59 pm

Alias wrote:
May 12th, 2018, 4:11 pm
It's a nice flow-chart, going from nothing to nowhere, containing lots of opinions and subjective value judgments. (Morally handicapped??)
If you started from observable and verifiable phenomena and built upward, you might have an edifice.
If you start in midair and build down, you have a hot-air balloon.
Please direct your attacks towards specific propositions seen on the chart (preferibly referencing the numbers given). Also please dig a little deeper than simply saying that something is a value judgment. I'm not sure it is possible to avoid value judgments when discussing morality.

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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by Alias » May 13th, 2018, 10:32 am

mattfara50 wrote:
May 12th, 2018, 11:59 pm
Please direct your attacks towards specific propositions seen on the chart
It's not an attack. It's a description of what I saw.

1.1 is the balloon. The whole structure flows downward from a proposition based on nothing tangible.
Also please dig a little deeper than simply saying that something is a value judgment.
2.2, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.9, 5.7, 6.7, 8.1, 8.2
I'm not sure it is possible to avoid value judgments when discussing morality.
Perhaps not, but if you start from observed phenomena - even subjective ones - you might be able to build up to a belief, or system of beliefs.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by ThomasHobbes » May 13th, 2018, 11:04 am

mattfara50 wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 11:18 pm
ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 11th, 2018, 7:21 am
The first 3 boxes are idle speculations.
1) "God exists" - what is god?

Craig asserts God as the greatest possible being - the usual stuff: all knowing, all powerful, all benevolent, etc

2) "if god does not exist, then..." - on what grounds?

On the grounds of the hypothetical syllogism....

3) "Objective moral exist..." - only in the minds of humans. This being so , then god only exists in the minds of men. We already know that.

If they only exist in the minds of men, then they aren't objective. You're attacking a straw man.
I'm attacking a straw man of Craig's own making!!

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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by mattfara50 » May 13th, 2018, 11:05 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
May 13th, 2018, 11:04 am
I'm attacking a straw man of Craig's own making!!
One doesn't construct a straw man of one's own argument. I understand your point, however. Please make an objection to Craig's actual points. Otherwise, what's the point. An exercise in rhetoric?

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Re: What are flaws in William Lane Craig's moral argument for the existence of God?

Post by Alias » May 14th, 2018, 12:34 am

What is Craig's actual point?
Those who can induce you to believe absurdities can induce you to commit atrocities. - Voltaire

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