8 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Reasonable Faith (Paperback)
I read this book after realising that I had not read much in the way of Christian apologetics, and was in danger of only looking at one side of the argument. All I can say after reading this is that, if this is the best that Christian apologetics can come up with, atheism has absolutely nothing to worry about. Craig blots his copybook right from the beginning, and makes it clear that this is not an objective, dispassionate piece of writing but propaganda - he has already made up his mind what the "truth" is. He rails from the beginning about the "...bitter fruits of secularism", begging the question that secularism is in some way bad or wrong (naturally without presenting any evidence that this is the case), and incorrectly equating secularism with atheism. From then on, the book is a veritable catalogue of question begging, wishful thinking, wish fulfillment, assertions made without evidence, logical fallacies both formal and informal and straw men. Certainly, read this book if you're a Christian and want to memorise some fine-sounding phrases to bandy about. Just don't expect it to hold any water if someone digs a little deeper to see if the fine-sounding phrases make any sense, because they don't.
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Showing 1-10 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 8 Sep 2013 22:14:34 BDT
George G. Dunlop says:
This must be the most uncritical, biased, narrow minded and idiotic review I have ever read. Intellectual suicide by an angry atheist and nothing more. Completely invalid review and one that most people will ignore for the false tripe that it is. I doubt you even read the book properly.
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Sep 2013 07:53:50 BDT
If I might quote A.C. Grayling - "...the first step in properly discussing religion requires plain speaking - and plain speaking naturally enough sounds harsh when it is about something which for many centuries has protected itself from scrutiny...by demanding uncritical deference and respect..."
At the beginning of this book, Craig does in fact assert that secularism is evil. He makes absolutely no argument to support this. He then asserts that secularism and atheism are the same. This is simply not true. Craig either knows that they are not the same thing, in which case he is lying for the purposes of making propaganda, or he does not, in which case he is ignorant. Either position is unforgivable in a person of his supposed intellectual standing. Craig employs the same sophomoric debating "tactics" throughout the book, which you would know if you had read it from cover to cover, as I have.
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Oct 2013 21:32:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 8 Oct 2013 21:35:34 BDT
You complain that Craig begs the question that secularism is in someway bad or wrong by his reference to 'bitter fruits' without citing evidence. If you lived in Europe to which he refers you would not feel the need to question this. Even those in other regions can judge for themselves through the media. In an increasingly secularist society we now have a 'Celebrity Culture' where people crave instant fame and wealth as the perceived route to happiness, where people are judged by what they own, rather than what their values are and where drugs and alcohol abuse are epidemic.
I must confess I am always cynical about those who claim to have read a book from 'cover to cover'. Unless, of course, they comment on aspects mentions in pages not included in the 'Look Inside' facility. Like page 36 or 104 or 111, for example.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2013 08:03:32 BDT
I have to confess that I fail to grasp your point. If you're accusing me of not having read the book, then I'm sorry but you're just going to have to take my word for it. I could quote you page X, Y and Z ad nauseam, but what would that prove? And would you mind telling me what "celebrity culture" has to do with secularism? The last I checked, secularism had to do with the separation of the state from religious institutions. I have no idea what you're on about.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2013 09:46:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Oct 2013 09:48:29 BDT
Really? I would have thought the point was manifestly clear. There would be no need to quote anything ad nauseam; merely quotes from pages which aren't available from Look Inside. Reviewing three books in a day would be a remarkable [impossible!?!] achievement. Of course, the idea that you read them at other times and just got round to reviewing them on that day is not credible, not least when viewed in conjunction with the timing of your other reviews. So, no actually, I don't have to take your word for it. In fact, I see no reason to attach any credibility whatsoever to your word.
And you really can't see what celebrity culture has to do with secularism??? Certainly, it propounds to be about ensuring that the freedoms of thought and conscience apply equally to all believers and non-believers alike. However, the reality is that religion is being side-lined, marginalized, if you like and it cannot be denied that this has clearly had consequences.
The decline in Christian values and the rise in secularism can be mapped precisely against a model society where 'Self' transcends [almost] everything. This Self is perceived to be fulfilled through self-interest, often through a craving for fame and wealth . People receive public accolades for having won a 'Reality TV' event where personal qualities, integrity and honesty are scarcely on the radar. They become famous for being 'famous' on TV. There is a similar correlation between a huge rise in crime, drug abuse, alcohol consumption, and so on.
I accept, of course, that correlation is not proof; in the absence of other credible explanations, though, it does seem to be the only thing which reflects the reality we see.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2013 15:26:42 BDT
Well, if you insist.
"Here Meier asserts that Jesus' resurrection was an actual, bodily event but that it did not occur in time and space."
Reasonable Faith - William Lane Craig, page 354 (Kindle edition)
That in itself course "proves" absolutely nothing, of course, but I strongly suspect that nothing could or would "prove" to your satisfaction that I have, in fact, read the book. But to be blunt, it is a matter of supreme indifference to me what you personally do and don't find impossible or credible.
You have, intentionally or unintentionally, failed to grasp or answer my main point, which is this - Craig is absolutely incorrect to equate secularism with atheism. Secularism has absolutely nothing whatsoever to say about the existence or otherwise of any god or gods. To reiterate, for Craig to equate the two is a massive red herring, and he is either ignorant of the fact that secularism and atheism are not the same or he is lying for the purposes of propaganda. You have so far failed to answer that point.
In reply to an earlier post on 9 Oct 2013 16:12:30 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Oct 2013 16:13:28 BDT
I can only conclude your complete indifference is due to the fact that you are unable to show you have read the book(s). It would be very easy to do and blow my point out of the water. [Sorry, any proof after this only shows you've managed to find a copy in the library - you had your chance at establishing credibility!]
By the way, readers might only wonder why someone whose views are so entrenched and clearly immovable would spend so much time reading religious texts?!?!?!
You criticize Craig for equating secularism with atheism. I can only guess that you make this assumption on the comment he makes of the secularist reaction in the US following the 9/11 attack? this would be fairly easy to refute, if untrue. If Craig is referring to secular humanism then, of course, this is indistinguishable from atheism.
It is also true that most secularists are, themselves, atheists although, no doubt a few theists might be found in their ranks. In the UK the secularists support the following causes. (If you can find a single thing which atheists would not also fully support I should be interested to hear which one it is. It is no accident that atheists are right behind the secularists in their aims and objectives.)
The complete separation of church and state.
The disestablishment of the Church of England.
The repeal of the Act of Settlement.
No official representation of religions in Parliament. this would mean no bishops in the House of Lords.
The banning of prayers from Parliament, Council chambers, etc.
The ending of religious oaths as a condition of holding public sector jobs.
Money given to religious organisations from public funds should not be usable for missionary work.
The abolition of any special privileges granted to religious organisations.
The abolition of any special protection granted to faith groups.
The conversion of faith schools to community schools open to all pupils regardless of faith or lack of it.
Religious education should be non-denominational and multi-faith.
No religion should be taught as fact and no religion described as superior to another.
Education should also cover non-religious ways of looking at the world
Some secularists would prefer RE to be replaced by citizenship lessons including only brief coverage of the basic tenets of world religions.
This would not exclude religious references in other subjects such as history, art etc.
The abolition of "blasphemy" laws.
Secularists support the protection of individual believers, but not the protection of their beliefs.
Secularist groups are entirely opposed to discrimination against people because of their religious beliefs.
Secularists believe that the law should not restrict reasonable and vigorous criticism of religion.
Secularists believe that the law should not prevent criticism that hurts religious feelings.
Secularists do believe that the law should not permit incitement to religious hatred.
Secularists support legislation to outlaw discrimination in employment on the grounds of religion (or lack of it).
They oppose exemptions which religious organisations are seeking to enable them still to discriminate.
Abolition of the special treatment given to religious broadcasting.
I must admit the last one does make me smile. Religious broadcasting has all but disappeared from UK television.
In reply to an earlier post on 10 Oct 2013 07:50:32 BDT
As I predicted, nothing could or would prove to your satisfaction that I have read the book. QED.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Oct 2013 21:56:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Oct 2013 22:00:11 BDT
Absolutley, wrong!! And your response proves it!! You say "nothing could or would prove to your satisfaction that You have read the book to my satisfaction'.
Are you Real? Anyone following this thread knows EXACTLY. What would prove it to my satisfaction? Er? Have you forgotten already?? Just comment on any page of the books you've reviewed that aren't in the Look Inside facility. QED!!! Back atcha. Of course you now have had time to search out library texts which means anything you come up,with has no credibility.
In reply to an earlier post on 14 Oct 2013 07:53:20 BDT
Page 354 isn't in the Look Inside facility. Idiot.