"There are some oddities in the perspective with which we see the world. The fact that we live at the bottom of a deep gravity well, on the surface of a gas covered planet going around a nuclear fireball 90 million miles away and think this to be normal is obviously some indication of how skewed our perspective tends to be." Douglas Adams
"I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky." Carl Sagan
Man seems merely dust postponed: the sublime as an encounter pleasurable, intoxicating, even with human weakness in the face of strength, age and size of the universe. Alain de Botton
"We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes - one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
"Why do humans exist? A major part of the answer: because Pikaia Gracilens survived the Burgess decimation."
— Christopher Hitchens
Being a public intellectual in America is not easy. Even more difficult is being a public intellectual that matters in a culture that prizes populism and frivolous entertainment over intellectual honesty. Whether one agrees or disagrees with him on the several issues he covers it is always challenging, stimulating and worth discussing.
"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter." Dr. Martin Luther King
Life is too short to be silent. Most men go to the grave with the song still in them. Hitchens cannot be accused of that. Whatever the outcome with this blow of fate his writing and voice have been heard. When it comes to death we are all comrades. The uncertainty of life and the certainty of death unite all of us who come to this existence on this blue planet.
"The powerful play goes on, and you will contribute a verse." — Walt Whitman (Leaves of Grass)
Hitchens: It’s not for everybody. Not everyone wants to always be an outcast or out of step or against the stream. But if you do feel that the consensus doesn’t speak for you, if there’s something about you that makes you feel that it would be worth being unpopular or marginal for the chance to lead your own life and have a life instead of a career or a job, then I can promise you it is worthwhile, yes.
CHARLIE ROSE: What’s the worst part of it(Cancer)? Is it -- it puts some sense of mortality in your focus?
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: No, because I think the focus on mortality is a useful thing to have, and that’s why I begin my book with it. You should always know--
CHARLIE ROSE: Before you knew.
CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS: -- that your time is very limited, and that you’re lucky to live in a time and place where you can be healthy until you’re 60, as I was. Most people in history never had a chance even to hope for a thing like that. So, no for the avoidance of hubris, I think it’s good to have a sober feeling of the presence of death.
Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a while consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra kneeling beside him. "What art thou doing there?" said he at last, "I knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he draggeth me to hell: wilt thou prevent him?"
"On mine honour, my friend," answered Zarathustra, "there is nothing of all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear, therefore, nothing any more!"
The man looked up distrustfully. "If thou speakest the truth," said he, "I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more than an animal which hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty fare."
"Not at all," said Zarathustra, "thou hast made danger thy calling; therein there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perishest by thy calling: therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands."
When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further; but he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra in gratitude.
A Christian Apologist like William Lane Craig does not study Science or philosophy because he wants to understand and know more for the sake of curiosity but instead he uses knowledge as a will to ideological power. A means of intimidation and manipulation. Craig is the Christian Orientalist and Colonialist in the manner of the critique of Edward Said. Edward Said noted that Western Colonial powers studied a culture not to genuinely understand it but rather to dominate and control it. Craig uses science and philosophy when it is convenient to his ideology.Craig uses knowledge instead of truly seeking knowledge. William Lane Craig for that reason is a corrupt philosopher. Knowledge as a will to power not as a will to truth. He seeks to win not to be wise. There is a high degree of smugness with William Lane Craig. Ernest Becker noted that dogma gives the human the ability to be smug about death and terror. Voltaire stated that doubt is uncomfortable but certainty ridiculous. Craig's ability to be smug when he believes in Biblical miracles is surely a sign the Enlightenment never really took to American Society. William Lane Craig's apologetic presentations may be organized and disciplined in his delivery but it lacks the meat and weight of the burden of the philosopher. Craig is a suppressed philosopher who has never wrestled with despair and never allowed for the release of the Titans in his mind. Michel de Montaigne said that "Philosophy is Doubt" but for WLC it is his faith. Faith in his credentials even more than his God. He attacked Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins for being philosophical lightweights compared to his credentials and yet most of the Christian community he swims in are full of people much less educated than Christopher Hitchens or Dawkins. And what about his own weaknesses including his lack of credentials in Biology or Astronomy? Dr. Craig speaks of Richard Dawkins and the New Atheists lack of command of philosophy and theology and yet I wonder if his lack of scientific specialization ever gives him any pause? WLC lacks the education Dawkins has in Biology. Should WLC get a doctorate in Biology before he discusses anything to do with Science?
WLC does not chastise the lack of scholarly knowledge in the faith community that he swims in as long as they agree to his vision of God. For William Lane Craig it is not the pursuit of knowledge that matters but instead that you submit to his ideology. Craig does not want people to study more he wants an Amen from the credulous crowd. For Craig there is no pressing need for Christians to study more just trust in his scholarship and pay him to go up against those troublesome skeptics.If there was a true scholarly revolution in the American Church there would be less faith and more doubts in the fundamentalism that Craig champions. If more Christians were sophisticated Bible Scholars there would be more Crossans, Borgs and Ehrmans and less fundamentalism like Craigs brand. Craig does not give good reasons for faith in Jesus but he gives good reasons for faith in himself! Craig gives believers less educated than Hitchens reasons to feel good about themselves being credulous. If an educated man like Craig is a believer than I am ok. Craig shows contempt for the layman and yet he expects the layman to follow him without question. Again this points to his desire for the layman to submit more to his scholarship not to study more for themselves.
WLC lacks humility and imagination. Wisdom requires some humility. Knowledge requires curiosity and compassionate people need imagination to be empathetic. Craig lacks on all three fronts except in knowledge as a will to power. In his debate with Victor Stenger the topic of Christianity coming late in evolution and human history was brought up. Craig actually got into the numbers game of how many humans suffered and died before Jesus showed up in human history. Something Adolf Eichmann would surely appreciate. The lack of empathy and imagination is there to see-(it was only millions of Jews who perished in the holocaust not billions?) what empathy! -if this is where Christian Apologists want to make their stand there is no amount of shame possible to get them to be people of compassion.
Mary Jo Sharp has a blog called “Confident Christianity” with the type of followers of William Lane Craig it should be called “Cocky Christianity.” WLC followers are so enamored with his presentation, organization and discipline that they forget what really matters is if he is speaking for the truth or not. What matters to them is that he gets his God concept off on a theological technicality instead of caring for the reality of whether God does exist or whether Jesus is God. What matters to them is that he wins a point or two in debate tactic comparisons versus the unadulterated truth. This insecure juvenile reaction of cocky Christianity lacks the humility of the Nazarene and the faith of the early Christians.It is American Christianity with an emphasis on winning a game instead of sincere faith in the man of sorrow in early Christianity. Christian apologetics as entertainment value not a way to wrestle with knowledge and God. No matter how many philosophical cliffs WLC takes you to he still has no bridge to build to his Christian God. In the end it takes a leap of faith. But the prideful Craig has a hard time admitting that leap. Mark 10:15 (New King James Version) " Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it."
For William Lane Craig it takes a scholar and a scholar who agrees with him completely! Where does reason end and faith begin for Craig? If it is not faith is it Christianity? Is it faith in himself? What is the genuine anchor for Craig -Faith or Reason?
1 Corinthians 1:20- Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? Jeremiah 9: 23 This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches,but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD.
Where is the humility, kindness, justice and genuine faith in William Lane Craig's Christian Apologetics? It lacks these but it has plenty of pride, sophistry, smugness and indifference. "Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete." -The Apostle Paul William Lane Craig is a human mortal with all the limitation, baggage and bias that we all carry. His knowledge is incomplete. He needs faith to get to the Christian God. Can he even admit what the Apostle Paul stated? Or is he so invested in protecting his pride and his tribe that he fails to see his own weakness and fragility?
William Lane Craig Critiques Christopher Hitchens Debate
"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter" Dr. Martin Luther King
Author of Blog
Born in the United States of America. Spent my Childhood in Kenya, East Africa. Graduate of George Mason University in Global Affairs with a concentration in Africa and the Middle East. What I desire is not total agreement but thoughtful people. To share ideas and expand knowledge in the era of globalization.