Does God Exist? Debate Summary of William Lane Craig vs. Klemens Kappel

Summary of Craig’s and Kappel‘s opening speeches and their first rebuttals.

There were more than 600 people(majority of them were theist of 15-30 years) present at the debate. Those who came late could not get in. Yesterday’s debate was at Indre Mission, Rømersgade 17, 1362 Copenhagen K from 19:00 – 22:00.

I would describe Kappel as a friendly atheist who is definitely not a new atheist. He did not offer any ad hominen or ridicules. He was honest and had a typical Danish humor.

Craig opened the debate by offering Leibnizian cosmological argument, Teleological argument, Kalam cosmological argument and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Kappel opened by defining God, atheism, and atheist. Atheism, Kappel said, is the view that God does not exit. An atheist is a person who believes that God does not exit. (Sorry I was not quick to write his definition of God: the debate will be available in YouTube for free soon)

Kappel admitted that it is not easy to come up with evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist. People don’t believe God exist because of the same reason they don’t believe Thor (Danish god) exist. The reason some believe in God is because they are born in environment that believes in God.(Comment: Genetic Fallacy)

Kappel’s reasons for not believing in God is that we ought to treat God Hypothesis as an alternative hypothesis to much of what we take for ourselves to know from science and common sense about the would.

We are entitled, said Kappel, to ignore such alternative hypotheses as the God Hypothesis and the purported evidence that support it. (Comment: He did not give reasons why)

Kappel said “you cannot prove that God exist or God doesn’t exit”. We can just treat “God Hypothesis” as “Thor Hypothesis” because the supporting evidence is weak. He offered a Magical Mythological star that doesn’t exist, The Magical explanatory star and ontological Necessary star that leave no physical trace, not subject to physical laws of nature and no evidence as illustrations.

We should not take them[the Hypotheses] seriously because the standard and methods of science determine what exists in the world and what doesn’t. We should give special priority to empirical observation.

Craig’s rebuttal: Kappel did not give justification for holding his position. Craig pointed out the genetic fallacy and show that giving the “star” attributes of God just doesn’t work. Craig added the Moral argument.

Kappel’s rebuttal: “What is the aim of this debated” wondered Kappel, since the Danish’s norm is that religious beliefs are private. “Why is it important to prove God?” He continued to wonder. “It is not important to their[Danish] lives”.

Kappel continued, “We know God does not exit”. We don’t have to prove that God doesn’t exist. He then admitted. “ I have not presented any argument that God does not exit”. Kappel said “ [Craig’s arguments] are fine arguments but all the premises are controversial. He said some think moral values are objective, but some think they are not. Even though things in the universe has explanation of their existence, it’s still in dispute whether the universe itself has an explanation (Comment: Taxicab fallacy)

It was interesting debate, though I hoped Kappel would have dealt with Craig’s argument. I will let you know when the debate is available on YouTube.

[Update: Its now available Copenhagen’s Debate ]

My best friend Pierce Peter has also reviewed the debate in his blog: FactorySense

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12 Questions I Found Useful Asking Jehovah’s Witnesses

  1. Why did Jehovah’s Witnesses properly worshiped Christ Jesus until 1954?
  2. If all that was made was made through Logos(John 1:3) and for him( Colossians 1:16, Romans 11:36), why add word “other/s” in Col 1:15-17?
  3. Was Jehovah God without wisdom before creating him(Proverbs 8:22-31) ?
  4. If firstborn means first created, then what does firstborn of the dead mean?( or what does Israel(Exo. 4:22) and Ephraim(Jer. 31:9) being firstborn mean?) Could not Paul use firstborn in Messianic sense? (Ps 89:27 “I will also appoint him my firstborn (πρωτότοκον), the most exalted of the kings of the earth,”
  5. Why is Christ Jesus calling himself the first and the last?(Revelation 1:17-18)
  6. Was early Christians’  understanding of Jesus as God, from A. D. 30-250, wrong?
  7. If Jesus is a lesser god because he is only Might God(Isaiah 9:6), would that not make Jehovah God also lesser god since his  is also called Might God(Isaiah 10:20-21)?
  8. If Only-begotten(John 3:16) means Jesus was Jehovah’s first creation, how then do we explain Isaac(Hebrews 11:17) being the only-begotten of Abraham and not Ishmael?
  9. Why did God, in Genesis 1:26, said let us make man in our image(God’s image, not angel + God)?
  10. Could you explain how “Jehovah made it rain sulphur from Jehovah” Genesis 19:24 NWT?
  11. Why did Thomas say to Christ Jesus “the Lord of me, and the God of me”(John 20:28 cf. Psalm 35:23)?
  12. Why does historical documents show that the first Christians and Apostolic Fathers prayed and worshiped Christ Jesus as God?

School Prayer + Bad Argument

“As prayer has gone out of the schools, guns, knives, drugs, and gangs have come in.”

– Ernest Istook, Jr.

Quiz: Is this a good argument? If not explain what is wrong with it?

Premise I: If prayer go out of the schools then  guns, knives, drugs, and gangs will come in.

Premise II: Prayer has gone out of schools.

Conclusion: Therefore guns, knives, drugs, and gangs have come in.

No Reason To Believe Them!

C. S. Lewis(1898-1963)

If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents – the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts – i.e., Materialism and Astronomy – are mere accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk-jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.

C. S. Lewis,

“Answers to Questions on Christianity,” in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology & Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1972), 52-53.

Some Arguments Atheists Make Against God’s Existence

One of the most important living philosophers of religion, who is also credited with helping revive Christian philosophy, Alvin Plantinga answers some of the arguments atheist make against God’s existence.

Site:

Closer To The Truth: Robert Lawrence Kuhn’s ‘s life journey to grasp Cosmos, Consciousness, and God, visiting those who think deeply about existence, meaning and purpose.(He interviews both world leading theists and atheists professors)

Alvin Plantinga: Warranted Christian Belief and God, Freedom, and Evil

Cosmic Beginning Quote

It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning (Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).

Leading cosmologists,

Alexander Vilenkin