Preview of the William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss debate

UPDATE: I have now posted a preview of the William Lane Craig vs. Sam Harris debate!

UPDATE: The video and audio from the Krauss-Craig debate are linked in this post.

I’ve put together some relevant resources to prepare you for tonight’s BIG debate (and to get tweeted by Brian Auten of Apologetics 315, I hope!)

The Big Bang and the Fine-Tuning

First, since Lawrence Krauss is a physicist, I expect that there will be some disagreement about the the kalam cosmological argument and the cosmic fine-tuning argument. To prepare yourself for the cosmological argument, you should print out this peer-reviewed article written by Craig. To prepare yourself for the fine-tuning argument, you should read this paper by Robin Collins.

And then you can watch this 10-part lecture delivered by William Lane Craig at the University of Colorado, Boulder. It is entitled “Beyond the Big Bang”.

Beyond the Big Bang

Here’s part 1:

The full playlist is here.

If you watch the full lecture, you’ll notice that Craig takes a question from famous atheist Victor Stenger. Stenger is a physicist whom Craig had debated before the lecture on the existence of God at the University of Hawaii. You can watch their entire debate on Youtube, and I’ve linked it below.

William Lane Craig vs. Victor Stenger

Here’s part 1:

The full playlist is here.

Keep in mind that Craig recently debated arch-naturalist Francisco Ayala (link goes to Youtube playlist), so he will be fully prepared to debate philosophy of science, should that come up. I don’t recommend watching the entire debate, because Ayala is difficult to understand.

The moral argument

The owner of the Persistent Questions Exchange blog informed me that Krauss has actually spoken out on morality and science in the past, so we may see some sparks flying on the moral argument. It may therefore be worthwhile for you to review Craig’s recent comments on Sam Harris’ theory on scientific foundations for morality. I think that Krauss may say something similar. (Also note that Harris will be debating Craig on April 7, 2011 at the University of Notre Dame).

You should either read Craig’s paper on the moral argument OR watch a lecture he recently delivered at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Here’s part 1:

The full playlist is here.

If you want to see the moral argument played out in a couple of debates, you could watch the William Lane Craig vs. Paul Kurtz debate on Youtube. Yes, that’s the same Paul Kurtz who wrote the “Humanist Manifesto”. Or you could watch the more recent William Lane Craig vs. Louise Anthony debate on Youtube, if you’ve already seen the Kurtz debate.

So, I think that’s where the clash is going to be tonight – on those three arguments.

Extra credit

Brian Auten maintains the William Lane Craig Audio Debate Feed here, in case you get through all of these and would like to see how well Bill Craig performs against other famous challengers, like Marcus Borg, Lewis Wolpert, Arif Ahmed, Bart Ehman, John Shelby Spong, Gerd Ludemann, John Dominic Crossan, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, etc.

21 thoughts on “Preview of the William Lane Craig vs Lawrence Krauss debate”

  1. This ought to be a good debate when they get onto place of methodological naturalism as an ethical problem (if they do so). I think that Craig clearly has the upper hand on the philosophical position about arguing from naturalism, but I know that if they get to trying to be persuasive about the public use and value of methodological naturalism (in academic institutions, for instance), Krauss won’t be able to stop trying to push his agenda.

    As usual, I don’t think that Craig will let the topic get off track from the “is there evidence…” that was selected, but it would be interesting to hear these two debate outside of the bounds if even just for a bit.


    1. Brian Auten is the king of apologetics recordings. He knows all and sees all. If it happened, he has the recording. So I think we should trust Brian to get us recordings of these two debates. He has spies everywhere.


  2. I’m a Muslim, however, I follow Dr. William Lane Craig’s debates. I must say, he’s a brilliant Philosopher and an excellent debater. He literally mopped the floor with Dr. Krauss. I’m studying Physics and Neuroscience, however, I’ve made it a point to study Philosophy. It’s a shame to see how poor of a philosopher Dr. Krauss is. He contradicted himself. 1) He states that the universe isn’t logical, 2) yet he uses logical reasoning to demonstrate that we need to rely on experimentation to see what the universe is like 3) at the end of the debate he agrees that not every religion can be correct (contradiction). However, what does a contradiction mean in a universe that isn’t logical? ;)

    Dr. Craig does it again! Of course, my only contention would be to challenge the Christian view of Jesus Christ. As a Muslim, instead of presenting the case for resurrection, I would present the case for the Qur’an as a Miracle. If you are interested, you should see Hamza Andreas Tzortzis’ (greatly influenced by Dr. Craig) presentations on the Inimitability of the Qur’an.


    1. Nice point Fahim! I also noticed the tension in what he said but you spelt the contradiction out well.
      Have you seen Dr. Craig’s debates on Islam, with Jamal Badawi and Shabir Ally? What do you make of them? For example, about the historicity of the Qur’an’s claims that Jesus did not actually die on the cross?
      Would be interested to know what you think!


      1. Hi Michael,

        Thanks for your comment! I have watched the Shabbir Ally debate with Dr. Craig, however, it has been a while so I’ll have to watch it once more. I haven’t watched the Jamal Badawi debate though. I haven’t followed Dr. Badawi’s works very thoroughly either. I am, however, interested in a debate between Dr. Craig and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis (the Muslim equivalent of Dr. Craig :D). Hamza is well-versed in Craig’s excellent arguments, and has a similar style of presenting them in his debates with many Atheist academics.

        I’ll try my best to get back to you after I watch the Shabbir Ally debate again!

        Take care and God Bless!


  3. Krauss also stated that Deism was very plausible and would explain many things about the origin and fine tuning of the Universe. I can’t help but wonder what message he was trying to convey with his arguments.


    1. Basically, I think he embraces atheism for reasons of personal autonomy. It’s a presupposition. The first rule of atheism is pursue pleasure without regards to moral obligations. As long as God doesn’t communicate requirements, you can do as you please. What atheism is is fear of not having as much fun as you would like to have. It’s not a knowledge claim about the universe. It’s selfish hedonism. That’s why Krauss can educate himself to the level of a Ph.D and have never thought about the existence of God rationally and evidentially until the moment he stood to reply to Craig’s opening speech.


  4. Once again Craig has the mopped the floor with an atheist and once again no one who doesn’t have a background in logic will see this. What’s interesting to me is that the atheist claim to be logical/rational/evidence based is actually used to make an *emotional* impact and is then *not* supported by the atheist with logical/rational/evidence based means.


  5. That was embarrassing. Krauss was inexcusably unprepared.
    For the record, Krauss made a highly questionable statement about quantum mechanics in his last Q&A response. He stated that all interpretations of quantum mechanics are fully deterministic. He can say that only because he redefines “quantum mechanics” to exclude measurement, which he later admits is non-deterministic. I have never seen quantum mechanics defined in such a way that excludes measurement. Indeed, “the measurement postulate” is often listed as one of the fundamental _postulates_ of quantum mechanics! I suspect that Krauss redefined quantum mechanics in an attempt to avoid the serious implications quantum mechanics has for consciousness, determinism and materialism.


    1. What’s funny is that Krauss said this in reply to Craig’s comment that most quantum models are deterministic in nature–Craig’s overarching point was that quantum indeterminacy is purely epistemic when it comes to matters of causes, so that Krauss’ arguing they are deterministic in a physical manner is all so much the worse for its use as an objection to the causal principle!


      1. I know!!!! It undermined his whole case. Like when he kept waffling between the universe being created 13.7 billion years ago was A FACT (which it is), and then talking about not knowing whether the universe did or did not have a beginning. One wonders whether the man even has a coherent worldview. Honestly, he seemed to me to have a mental disorder like schizophrenia or something. Maybe I am being too mean. Maybe he was just flustered or something.


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