Thursday, August 07, 2008

Science and Religion Discussion

Here is a video of an interesting discussion on science and religion with Alvin Plantinga, W.L. Craig, Richard M. Gale and Quentin Smith.

HT Mike Almeida at Prosblogion

3 comments:

Ron said...

That was interesting. Plantinga was my favorite. Smith's argument against the existence of God struck me as very dubious to say the least. Craig did a good job of pointing out the flaws in that. Smith though did get the better of him when he mentioned the "point of eternity," and the timelessness of God. Kinda lost me there.

Dale was interesting. I wish they spent more time on the issue of libertarian free will and theism but time was limited.

Smith's biggest mistake was to say that naturalism and Darwinian evolution are inseparable. This is not true. Darwinian evolution only implies that natural processes were the only things involved in the evolution of life; it does not say anything about metaphysical realities. Naturalismm, however, is a set of metaphysical beliefs which include causal closure, atheism, etc.

exapologist said...

Hi Ron,

I agree with all the nice points you make here. I'm often puzzled by the things Smith says.

M said...

I can attest from first-hand experience that Smith is much better on paper than he is to an audience. Of course, this is obvious when contrasted with Craig--a brilliant rhetorician and sophist of the highest order. Craig wants to pursuade and convert; Smith wants to learn the truth and doesn't care about his appearance, delivery, or Craig's specious, crowd-swaying debate tactics.

However, I absolutely relished seeing Craig stumble when Smith called him out on his theo-babble nonsense; I loved how he didn't let Craig get away with apologetic bullshit. Sadly, the moderator (sympathetic to Craig, I suppose), quickly changed the subject.

Smith and Craig are both Presentists; and I always thought that Smith's arguments against Craig's were less understandable. But looking at them again--after many years of intensely reading the both of them--I think that Smith's "Presentist Eternalism" has more going for it than what I (and others) originally thought. His theory of time--connected with his Naturalism--is almost Spinozist while making room for presentism. Very interesting. Great discussion.

Oh, and I can't stand listening to Plantinga anymore. I've seen him speak several times in the past year and I'm convinced that he (1) has nothing new to say and (2) has long since passed his heyday (70's-1990).

Though I disagree almost entirely with the lot of 'em, Swinburne is a far, far more capable, coherent, and intelligent philosopher than either Craig or Plantinga.

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