Friday, 08 April 2011
Sam Harris ignored much of William Lane Craig's chop shop syllogistic framing and simply presented a positive case for naturalistic moral realism based on the well being of conscious creatures and then attacked in broad strokes the inherent double standards and irrelevancy of Craig's Biblical Christian theistic ontological "sound" "basis" of morality. I thought this was reasonably justified as Harris is talking to a room full of Christians. At no point did I feel that Harris defaulted to his talking points at the expense of addressing some meaningful point as I've seen him do in the past (which I was cynically expecting).
The one point that basically landed the debate in Harris' favor despite not intimately following Craig down his prescribed ultra narrow path for the debate was this: Harris pointed out (@ :09 seconds) that arbitrarily defining God's nature as good is just as much a "definitional game" as Craig's most relevant objection (@ :59 seconds) to Harris' case in his opening. That's pretty much all that needs to be said. Craig in turn reasserted that "no" by definition God is the most worthy of worthiness. My only real complaint about Harris is that he didn't follow up and slam Craig on this in his closing statement and point out that just appealing to how awesomely awesome we've defined the Christian god is simply no different than hypothetically defining Harris' "worst misery for everyone" concept and accepting that connection between facts and values as unavoidably representative of the human condition. That would have knocked it out of the park and stuck Craig in the exact same boat.
Craig is of course set at the proverbial Spinal Tap "11" on morality like if natural morality isn't the most objectively objective objective moral objectivity that's objective beyond objective....he's getting his Nazi on and rapin those babies. Craig seemed incredibly shaken in his first rebuttal to Harris as though at some level he was connecting with where Harris was coming from, but still forced to prescribe all of his superfolous Christian ideology on top of what was already a reasonably complete picture. What a dirty job. To have to be an evil apologist and justify the god of the Bible, and to have to undercut what you've already admitted is common ground observational good that obviously appeals to all people beyond the confines of Christian theology that is such a ridiculous task to justify. I wouldn't want to be Craig. I hope he can live with himself.