Counter-apologetics

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The atheist Sam Harris quipped about William Lane Craig that he was "The one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists".[1][2]

Within the endeavor of criticism of religion, counter-apologetics is a field of thought that criticizes religious apologetics.

While religious apologists criticize the defense of other religions, the term counter-apologetics is frequently applied to criticism of religion in general by atheists/agnostics.

The atheist Luke Muehlhauser, defines counter-apologetics as "a response to Christian apologetics...examining the claims and tactics of Christian apologists and then equipping [a thinker] with skeptical responses to them"[3]

Atheist apologetics have been very ineffective. The atheist Sam Harris quipped about William Lane Craig that he was "The one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists".[4][5]

Luke Muehlhauser wrote about William Lane Craig:

As far as I can tell, he has won nearly all his debates with atheists. When debating him, atheists have consistently failed to put forward solid arguments, and consistently failed to point out the flaws in Craig’s arguments...

This is especially embarrassing for atheists because Craig’s arguments and debates are easily available, and he uses the same arguments all the time. So it should be easy for atheists to prepare for a debate with Craig.[6]

Dr. Greg Bahnsen became known as "the man atheists fear most" due to Michael Martin's cancellation of their scheduled debate.[7]

Atheists have performed badly in debates (see: Atheism debates and Atheism vs. Christianity debates).

In 1990, the atheist philosopher Michael Martin indicated there was a general absence of an atheistic response to contemporary work in the philosophy of religion and in jest he indicated that it was his "cross to bear" to respond to theistic arguments.[8] Yet, in 1994, Michael Martin was criticized for his eleventh hour cancellation of his debate with Greg Bahnsen (see: Greg Bahnsen and debate and Bahnson-Martin debate press release).[9]

Weakness of counter-apologetics

See also: Rebuttals to atheist arguments and Evidence for Christianity and Arguments for the existence of God

The majority of philosophers of religion, or those who have extensively studied the issue of the existence of God, are theists (72 percent).[10]

There is a considerable body of evidence and argumentation for the existence of God and for the validy of Christianity (see: Arguments for the existence of God and Evidence for Christianity).

On the other hand, atheism and agnosticism lack proof/evidence and are unreasonable (see: Atheism lacks proof and evidence and Rebuttals to atheist arguments and Agnosticism lacks proof/evidence and it is unreasonable).

Anthony Flew on the weakness of Richard Dawkins' arguments

See also: Richard Dawkins quotes and Feminist quotes about Richard Dawkins

The philosopher and ex-atheist Antony Flew, who was one of the most prominent atheist academics in the world before adopting deism, said about the new atheist Richard Dawkins: “The fault of Dawkins as an academic…was his scandalous and apparently deliberate refusal to present the doctrine he appears to think he has refuted in its strongest form”.[11]

Richard Carrier's weakness as a counter-apologist

See also: Atheism and morality and Good without God

Richard Carrier (author of Sense and Goodness without God) published an online course "Counter-Apologetics: Learning the Best Ways to Refute Arguments for God."[12]

Carrier advocates the notion that Jesus Christ likely never existed which is an extreme minority position among historians and contrary to the historical evidence pointing to Jesus being a historical figure (The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, a parcel of the propaganda of the atheistic, communist Soviet Union, is the only encyclopedia to ever advocate the Christ myth. See also: Historicity of Jesus).[13][14][15]

At the launch of the now defunct Atheism plus movement Carrier wrote: "I am fully on board. I will provide any intellectual artillery they need to expand this cause and make it successful."[16] The YouTube atheist Thunderf00t commented on how Richard Carrier "the intellectual artillery" of the movement, quit promoting the movement within a month.[17]

Decline of atheist movement and failed attempts to rebrand atheism

Numerous atheists have declared that the "atheist movement is dead" or that it is dying (see: Decline of the atheist movement)[18]

Before the atheist movement died/declined, various atheists attempted to change the public's perception concerning atheism, but were largely unsuccessful (see: Attempts to positively rebrand atheism and Views on atheists and Distrust of atheists).

See also

Notes

  1. William Lane Craig Puts the Fear of God in Atheists, video clip of the William Lane Craig vs. Sam Harris debate
  2. The God Debate II: Harris vs. Craig, University of Notre Dame YouTube channel
  3. Muehlhauser, Luke (March 26, 2010), "Counter-Apologetics: What is Counter-Apologetics?", Common Sense Atheism (blog)
  4. William Lane Craig Puts the Fear of God in Atheists, video clip of the William Lane Craig vs. Sam Harris debate
  5. The God Debate II: Harris vs. Craig, University of Notre Dame YouTube channel
  6. William Lane Craig’s Debates (Reviews)
  7. Bahsen at the Stein debate by John Frame
  8. Open Questions: Diverse Thinkers Discuss God, Religion, and Faith by Luís F. Rodrigues, page 201
  9. Bahsen at the Stein debate by John Frame
  10. Does it matter that many scientists are atheists?
  11. Ten years on from that book of atheistic faith, the God Delusion by Mike Taggart
  12. Carrier, Richard, November Course on Counter-Apologetics, Freethought Blogs
  13. A Response to "Why I Don't Buy the Resurrection Story" by JP Holding
  14. The Incredible Sinking Carrier or, The Impossible Faith Vindicated by JP Holding
  15. Scholarly opinions on the Jesus Myth by Christopher Price
  16. The New Atheism + by Richard Carrier
  17. Atheism+ Stream: How SJWs pushed their way into Atheism