Wednesday, February 09, 2011

William Lane Craig vs. George Williamson Debate Audio

William Lane Craig debates George Williamson on the topic: Does God Exist? at the University of Saskatchewan in 2011. Original Videos here. Also added to the WLC Audio Debate Feed. Their earlier 2008 debate can be found here.

Full MP3 Audio here.



  1. paulcorrado February 8, 2011

    "shmatheist" – it is about time we get better terms. Both God and atheist are such loaded words. 🙂

  2. SaskSkeptic February 9, 2011

    A post from George Williamson regarding the debate is here

  3. Drew February 9, 2011

    I like Craig's use of the term "shmatheist" as it avoids the quibbling over the word "atheist" as well as subtly mocking the skeptic community for appealing to such semantics.

  4. Seth February 9, 2011

    I'm sure I'll listen to this audio, but I want to ask, how different is this debate than Craig and Williamson's previous debate?

  5. Stephen February 9, 2011

    This is probably the best I have heard someone do against Craig. Admittedly, I have not listened to a vast number of interviews, but Williamson stuck to task and offered a good and clever critique of theism.

    I will say that in trying to shift the burden of proof, he committed a red herring, and Craig was correct to point out that the debate was not about what Williamson believes, but atheism. Williamson showed some ignorance in his own view when he said that atheism is the denial of theism. Actually, atheism is not "a" (against) "theos" (God) "ism" (belief). It is "atheos" (Godless" "ism" (belief).

    Williamson again forgot what the debate topic was when he said that Craig should be arguing against Allah and Vrishna. The debate was about Christianity, but theism. Allah and Vrishna are Gods, aren't they? Craig did not respond to this very well, saying he had debated muslims, which prompted Williamson to respond "… and Vrishna?" which I thought was fairly funny.

  6. Andrew February 9, 2011

    Great debate, although I think the Cosmological argument as presented has a few misunderstandings in the adjoinment of science to philosophy. I've re-worked a position for the enjoyment of all to peruse.

    Proof God Exists

    1) Time is from a philosophical perspective arguably absolute and infinite – there could not have been a "beginning" of time, as one could justifiably ask for any postulated beginning in time what happened a moment before? Hence it is reasonable to posit that absolute time comprises an actualized infinity a priori (an infinite number of absolute time units regressing into the past).
    *note, physicists define time at zero or beginning at the big bang, but this is only "relativistic time" – depending on consecutive changes of state of matter.

    2) Our universe/multiverse of energy, forces and matter is not infinitly old – as if it where our universe, should have already substantially reached a state of completion (i.e. a state of maximized entropy, deep freeze, no life – per current consensus scientific perspective), which is not the case.

    3) There must therefore have been a delay from eternity past, to allow provision, or at least a first interaction, of said energy, matter and forces to allow for the beginning of our unvierse/ multiverse.

    4) The delay mechanism must have had intelligence, as without intelligence there would have been no capacity to effect such a delay. Further, the delay is beyond human comprehension, as it must had traversed an infinite time a priori.

    5) The delay mechanism can be postulated as an intelligent creator of our universe/multiverse with a characteristic which surpasses all human understanding = God.


  7. Brian Auten February 9, 2011

    Let's keep the comments on the content of the actual debate and not get sidetracked on your personal reformulations of a cosmological argument.

  8. Nick Potts February 10, 2011

    I'm gonna write against his arguments of theodicy, though, well done, definitely missing some key components.

    I'll post when I'm done, and everyone can critique it so I can learn a proper understanding.

  9. Ranger February 12, 2011

    Williamson did very good at first in that he is very likable and seems humble. His points were largely identical to those made by Martin in the 80s and didn't seem to move much beyond them. Of course, WLC's arguments are similar to what he was using in the 80s as well. Rather standard arguments and rebuttals across the board.

    As the debate progressed though, WLC clearly ended up on top. He responds much better to the arguments his opponents present in their openings and always tries to bring the discussion back to his arguments for God's existence. In the cross-examination/discussion period at the end, WLC pulled far ahead in that Williamson did not seem capable of responding to what WLC was actually saying on points.

    He may have simply been misunderstanding him, but in a limited amount of time you have to be prepared and able to respond adequately. Williamson was not ready (and furthermore continued to make the same mistakes in his written response linked above), and I've gotta give this one to Craig by a rather healthy gap.

  10. bossmanham February 12, 2011

    I think Williamson did just as poorly in this debate as he did in the last. Whenever an atheist tells us we need to argue against the existence of other gods, we need to call them on their red herring. Craig's goal was to support theism, not necessarily a specific form of theism. But the funny thing is is that he did support a specific type in the argument for Jesus' resurrection. If you show that, you've automatically disproved other forms.

  11. Nick Potts March 12, 2011

    here is my review, sorry it took so long, been extremely busy.

    Also, I'm still fairly new at this, so any criticism, please let it be contructive and gentle, until I get a little tougher skin haha.