William Lane Craig has given his response to Peter Boghossian’s A Manual for Creating Atheists and some of his comments from online lectures.
You can listen to it here at Reasonable Faith.
- Craig firstly takes issue with Boghossian’s contention that ‘faith’ is some kind of epistemology for the Christian. Since Boghossian gets his definition of faith incorrect and falsely suggests his definition is the Christian way of doing epistemology his entire attack is a straw man.
I am pleased to say this is something I have already noted at length. See ‘A Manual for Creating Atheists’ Part 3.1: Faith and ‘A Manual for Creating Atheists’ Part 3.2: Hebrews 11:1.
- Craig also noted how disingenuous Boghossian is about his intentions. A clip is played of Boghossian saying he does not intend to create atheists but more about creating reliable epistemologies. But then what about the title of his book?!
- Craig also wishes to ask Boghossian whether a theist can possibly have a rational epistemology. He then lists several top Christian philosophers and asks whether Boghossian would make the claim that they are all epistemologically at fault. This is not answered in Boghossian’s book because Boghossian does not interact with the academic writings of modern theistic philosophers. (At least as far as I have currently got to that has not taken place.) Like the vast majority of the New Atheists, Boghossian has no interest in the slightest in engaging with top-level Christian philosophers. He almost completely ignores their existence and their arguments.
“Now he said there a person can have a faulty epistemology and believe in God or a person can have a faulty epistemology and be an atheist. But will he allow that a person can have a sound epistemology and belief in God? That’s the question. Can you be a critical thinker and believe in God? Or is he really prepared to say that people like Peter van Inwagen, Robert Adams, Alvin Plantinga, and so on and so on, are all irrational? That these men are not critical thinkers? That’s what he is saying, if he thinks that you can’t have a sound epistemology and be a theist.”
- Craig also complains about how condescending his tone and language is. Does Boghossian think that top level Christian philosophers don’t belong at the ‘adult table’?
- He also notes that Boghossian does appear to be attacking people rather than ideas. Boghossian does appear to be suggesting that people’s way of knowing is fallacious and that they are not sincere in their beliefs and claims. This is quite damaging to Boghossian’s method because he often claims he is more interested in critiquing ideas rather than attacking people and yet he does appear to do the latter.
It’s well worth a listen and raises some serious problems for Boghossian. The problem is that, at least so far, Boghossian does not appear to be interacting very much with his critics. Perhaps he’s too busy looking for people at his local supermarket to talk to?