Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Reflection after William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss Debate: Why are atheists so passionate?

This week I attended the Brisbane instalment of the William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss debate. Craig was generally patient and tried to engage Krauss on important and relevant issues. He made good points about the importance of God and Christianity in providing an environment and framework in which science can flourish and have an ethical framework. To these Krauss just seemed to take cheap shots and not really engage with the core arguments. (Krauss wanted to say “thanks for what you’ve done for us, but now you can go and we’ll take it from here”, but I suspect he doesn’t properly appreciate the “hand who feeds him”.)

Sadly, Craig’s theology let him down with the “genocide” issue. From when I have looked at his website previously, he seems too committed to libertarianism, and perhaps overemphases the place of rationality vs revelation. (I was a little surprised that AFES/CBF/QTC invited Craig, given his different theological perspective, but good on them for ecumenism!) However, I was glad that Craig clearly declared God’s prerogative to give and take life, although some more proclamation, especially about Christ, may have been better.

However, as I reflected afterwards on Krauss' attitude, I wondered how he rationalized his passionate atheism. I may well be ignorant on this, but he, like Dawkins, seem to espouse an evolutionist materialism, yet at the same time vigorously demanding the value of logic, reason, and "scientific process". What I don't get is, how can you justify putting value on anything, if everything is just a matter of physical and chemical processes etc? If any sense of value, worth or passion is just an illusion, some evolutionary "benefit", really just some kind of existential vapour of electrochemcial sparks in the brain, about to become meaningless history at some arbitrary point in the future, then who should really care? What is "care" afterall? How do they justify such moral high-ground, and give their own reason such a high standing? How do they really know that "religion" is not a better evolutionary product? It seems to me that the true logical conclusion of materialism is uncaring nihilism. There is no place for moral high-ground, even the moral high-ground of having no moral high-ground.

I remain illumined by the wisdom of God, who tells us that, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 14:1 and Psalm 53:1)

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