A philosophical revolution in the Anglo-American world?
#1
What are the fallacies you can spot in this clip from Dr. William Lane Craig?
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#2
I can't really put my finger on the logical fallacies he commits. Equivocation? As he is using his own definitions of "revolution", "renaissance". He also thinks just because people are dead, what they said is not valid. I guess since Einstein is dead, relativity isn't valid anymore. Also, what fallacy would ignoring reality count as?
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#3
can't figure the logical fallacy exactly, some equivocation in revolution as lije pointed out, also exaggeration or rather an Outright lie as lije pointed in the link
but i think it is False cause or post hoc
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#4
(18-Sep-2011, 05:54 PM)LMC Wrote: can't figure the logical fallacy exactly, some equivocation in revolution as lije pointed out, also exaggeration or rather an Outright lie as lije pointed in the link
but i think it is False cause or post hoc

(18-Sep-2011, 02:33 PM)Lije Wrote: I can't really put my finger on the logical fallacies he commits. Equivocation? As he is using his own definitions of "revolution", "renaissance". He also thinks just because people are dead, what they said is not valid. I guess since Einstein is dead, relativity isn't valid anymore. Also, what fallacy would ignoring reality count as?

Most of the arguments against Craig's position have been listed above by LMC and Lije. In the public discourse, it is often more convenient to show Craig's position as an instance of something that is a more commonly recognized meme, like the Courtier's Reply, than to show it as an instance of a fallacy whose application may not be immediately obvious.

In say, a Facebook argument with theocentrists, we can call it the Courtier's Reply and leave it there, but let's proceed to see what instances of fallacies we can find in it. Special Pleading 'involves someone attempting to cite something as an exemption to a generally accepted rule, principle, etc. without justifying the exemption.' In the Courtier's Reply, the emperor's nudity, which looks like any other nudity, is argued to be an exemption without any sound justification. The wikipedia article rightly observes that "special pleading also often resembles the 'appeal to' logical fallacies". This is because when an exemption cannot be justified reasonably, the apologists must find grounds for it in popularity or authority. P Z Myer's version of the Courtier's Reply reads: "His (Dawkins') training in biology may give him the ability to recognize dangling genitalia when he sees it, but it has not taught him the proper appreciation of Imaginary Fabrics." The Courtier appeals to his own claimed authority on Imaginary Fabrics to plead for the exemption of the Emperor's nudity from ridicule. Likewise, Craig appeals to his own theological clique's supposed authority on the subject to dismiss all criticism which we claims is emerging from unsophisticated scientific circles. In that sense, this is an Argument from Authority. That he's arguing from authority is clear because he is not offering any new arguments for his position and is only rehashing age-old ones, themselves considered authoritative in theological circles, like the Kalam Cosmological Argument.

Craig commits Special Pleading of sorts in another way as well. He considers the presence of a number of vocal, like-minded philosophers as a favorable 'revolution' and 'renaissance' in his field; and in the process wholly unjustifiably singles out his preferred group for the renaissance honour when by these his very criteria for a renaissance, the New Atheist movement should qualify as one too!

Therefore, Craig attempts to dismiss New Atheism's credibility as a philosophical movement in the first place. To do this, he must 'ignore the reality', as Lije says, and he does so by cherrypicking the philosophers who conform to his worldview and concludes conveniently that Philosophy as a discipline is becoming more theocentric. He names philosophers like Richard Swinburne, Brian Leftow, Alvin Plantinga and Dallas Willard. He conveniently leaves unnamed Simon Blackburn, Ned Block, Colin McGinn, A C Grayling, John Searle, Rebecca Goldstein, Michael Tooley, Mark Balaguer, Hubert Dreyfus, Daniel Dennett, Alva Noe, Massimo Pigliucci, Bede Rundle, Shelly Kagan, Herman Philipse, Patricia Churchland, Ronald de Sousa and so on. One only needs to watch Jonathan Pararajasingham's videos ( 1 and 2) of academics talking about God to see Craig's cherrypicking for what it is.

If presented with the above list, we can expect Craig to turn around and say, "Oh well! No true philosopher would say the things these folks say...", which is quite obviously, an instance of No True Scotsman.

Even if we grant for a moment for argument's sake that there is indeed a trend towards theocentrism in the discipline of Philosophy, then to insist that the fact that there is such a trend suggests that's the way it should be and the stance of its adherents should be true, amounts to committing a form of the Naturalistic Fallacy.


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#5
The claims made by Craig in the video posted here led to this article. The article is not directly relevant to the subject of this thread- logical fallacies in Craig's claims- but I thought it is somewhat relevant nevertheless since it focuses on the factual errors/deception in the claims made by Craig.

Here's the relevant portion:

Quote:Luke Muehlhauser over at Common Sense Atheism reported last year that the largest ever survey of philosophers (mostly focused on Alglophone analytical philosophers) found that 72.8% were Atheists.

Eric Schwitzgebel, professor of Philosophy at University of California at Riverside, carried out a study on the philosophers cited in the well-respected Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and listed the top 40 most influential contemporary philosophers. I dug a little further to find out the religious belief/non-belief stance of the top 10 most cited contemporary philosophers listed by Schwitzgebel. The results are as follows.

1. Lewis, David : Atheist

2. Quine, W.V.O. : Atheist

3. Rawls, John: Christian, but not Biblical literalist.

4. Davidson, Donald: Atheist

5. Putnam, Hilary: Jewish

6. Kripke, Saul: Jewish

7. Armstrong, David: Atheist, culturally Jewish/Christian

8. Nagel, Thomas Atheist

9. Fodor, Jerry: Atheist

10. Dennett, Daniel: Atheist

I think we can safely conclude that William Lane Craig is full of it. The greatest philosophical minds of our time are almost certain to discard the idea that the Bible is the inerrant word of god, and are very unlikely to identify as Christians. Non-belief is without doubt the norm when it comes to the question of god amongst the leading philosophers of today.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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