This was a three part dialogue held in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane Australia this past August. All three dialogues can be found here:
- Part 1: Life, the Universe and Nothing: Has science buried God?
- Part 2: Life, the Universe and Nothing: Why is there something rather than nothing?
- Part 3: Life, the Universe and Nothing: Is it reasonable to believe there is a God?
These debates, dialogues, or whatever you want to call them were interesting and very different from most debates I’ve seen, especially debates with William Lane Craig. I’ve seen many of Craig’s debates before, but in these dialogues, I was able to see Dr. Craig in a setting that was completely different from any that I’ve seen before. Unfortunately, these debates did NOT fare well for Dr. Craig. Let me explain.
It’s not because I think Dr. Craig didn’t have good answers, or because he did a bad job. I think given the situation, Dr. Craig did a fantastic job! However, Krauss was extremely aggressive, especially in the first dialogue. In fact, I’d say he was outright disrespectful and attacked Craig personally on several occasions. Krauss even had a buzzer at one point in which he would buzz Dr. Craig when he said something Krauss disagreed with. Can you say Childish?! It was obvious that Krauss came to the first dialogue still holding a grudge from their formal debate back in 2011 in which, I think few will argue, Dr. Craig dominated.
In all 3 of these Australian debates, Krauss kept jumping from topic to topic, most of which were completely unrelated to the main topic of the night. He would challenge Dr. Craig on a particular issue and before he could finish giving an answer, Krauss would interrupt him and throw up yet another challenge. Unfortunately, I think Dr. Craig is simply too nice and Krauss used this to his advantage to control the conversation. Click here for a compilation video of the many interruptions.
Given all the straw men and red herrings, I think Dr. Craig did an outstanding job. However, it is obvious to anyone who is familiar with William Lane Craig’s work and prior debates that a setting like this is not Dr. Craig strong suit. Dr. Craig is an expert on the matter and a master of the formal debate, so it makes sense that Krauss pushed to have an informal debate.
What’s shocking is that Krauss seemed to give up several points that he has been known to hold to quite aggressively. Some of these concessions included that:
- Jesus most likely DID exist: Krauss has been known to advocate the view that Jesus of Nazareth was likely a recreation of prior myths and probably wasn’t a real person of history. He also conceded that Dionysus and Osiris are not good comparisons to Jesus.
- The universe probably did have a beginning: His only objection is that no one can know with 100% certainty.
- Philosophy can be good: Krauss has been known for his uncharitable opinions of philosophy.
In the end, I think Krauss comes out looking foolish. His behavior played a big part of this, but I think also because now he has surrendered certain points that he is known to aggressively hold. It makes one wonder whether Krauss truly believes the views that he advocates or if he is simply willing to promote complete nonsense, particularly the notion that Jesus is a recreation of prior myths, for the cause of atheism.
Some of the atheists who attended the debate have had similar opinions. Here is a quote from one self-identified atheist who attended the event:
I must say, being there as an atheist has really opened my eyes to how reasonable, intelligent people can believe in god. My mind has been changed. My opinion still hasn’t but that’s not the point.
I thought that Craig took large parts of the debate away from a very feisty Krauss. This type of dialogue reaches more people than anyone would realize. Can’t tell people how grateful I was to be there.
Congratulations to WLC for accepting a debate such as this. The forum suits argumentative atheists like myself. WLC NAILED it.
Much credit to you guys for a super gutsy and even effort in a difficult forum. I am now going to endevour to read all of WLC’s books with a very open mind. Might even open the bible again!!!! I will also read Krauss’ book again for some clarity.
I feel. . . Blessed! Lol.