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Atheism and Christianity are two social beliefs that have been discussed so much in the social forums. Among some of the well known debates include that of William Craig and Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins is an English ethologist, an author as well as an evolutionary biologist previously of the University of Oxford. William Lane Craig on the other hand is an American analytic philosopher, theologian and a Christian apologist who is known for his well-publicized defense of Christian theism.
Debate at the University of Oxford
These two debaters were to debate at the University of Oxford about Christianity and Atheism. However, Professor Dawkins failed to turn up leading to a lecture which William gave. However, on the 13th of November 2010, they finally debated about the significance of the universe on La Ciudad de las Ideas conference which was airing on a Mexican television.
In Craig’s opening remarks in the debate, he states two main contentions; if God does not exist, then the universe is not important. If God exists, then the universe is important. According to the first contention, we are all doomed if the worlds does not have a purpose. All human are subjected to immortality, which is a belief that is not embraced by the Atheists. The fact that there is no direction in our life because of God’s absence is according to Craig the main reason why the universe will be destined for doom.
On his second contention, Craig argues out that as much as physical life is cut short by death, life does not end at the grave. There is life beyond the grave and that is the purpose given by theism. According to Craig people ought to embrace theism since it provides an objective meaning for life, He says that, “The purpose of life is the profound and personal relationship with the holy and loving God.” According to Atheists, this meaning is short of communication since it is truncate. However, Craig says that atheism does not provide a more meaningful explanation for life. He goes ahead to dare his atheist opponents to prove that God does not exist. According to him, if they do not prove inexistence of God, then definitely God exists; and if God exists, there is a purpose for the universe.
Craig finishes his argument by stating five important things about theism. He says that, one, God is the best explanation for why there is anything rather than nothing. He explains that God is the reason why there was the beginning of the universe, the fine-tuning of the universe, and existence of objective moral values. In addition, the very possibility of God’s existence entails that God exists.
In the debate, Dawkins claims that Christianity is a creation of man to answer the evils and the ills that are characterized by the society. He argues that as a justification of the social wrongs we men engage in, we built illusions to help us guide ourselves. According to him, Christians like Craig appeal to emotions when they debate about these issues. This is opposed to the reality since in the debate; William gave ten arguments, and only making one of it being based on emotional experience. Dawkins resolves to the fact that Christians (and other faiths) should create their own purposes of life instead of relying on nihilism. This is contrary to the general belief since if man was to abandon theist beliefs for other beliefs, which are created by them; it would just be jumping from one illusion life to another, since all these are based on abstract beliefs.
Responding to Craig’s claim that the universe’ fine-tuning is due to God’s existence, he states that Darwin explained it all. He claims that science will provide a way of establishing this. According to him, if physicists do not have the answer, they are working on it. He closes by remarking, “What on Earth makes you think that Religion has?”
In light this two debaters and philosophers, there definitely exists skepticism against each other’s beliefs. Atheists believe that the fact that theists believe in God is an illusion. They claim that God does not exist yet they do not have a way of proving it.
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