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Ep. 286 Scoring the Debate Over God Between William Lane Craig and Christopher Hitchens, Part 2

After having parsed William Lane Craig’s opening statement making the case for theism, Bob now evaluates Christopher Hitchens’ opening. He concludes that Hitchens hardly responded at all to Craig, and spent most of his time criticizing Christianity rather than theism.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Ted Patrick Adams on 08/18/2023 at 3:04 AM

    I love the Bob Murphy Show! I have been a big fan and very interested since you have had the same ideas about God and libertarian theory as me! You are my personal hero Bob and I really hope to see you grow your content huge with more like-minded fellows!

    • Robert Murphy on 08/22/2023 at 10:02 PM

      Thank you sir!

  2. Fabian on 08/30/2023 at 3:46 PM

    Maybe you can look through Mishkin vs White debate?

  3. Dave H on 09/05/2023 at 1:27 PM

    The moral argument is garbage but it’s unfortunate that Hitchens never addressed it adequately. The very premise, that “we all just know” that certain things are wrong, is simply false right out of the gate. MOST of us know that murder and rape are wrong, but some people genuinely do not know that. And the less damaging some activity is, the fewer people naturally believe that it is wrong. This is exactly what you’d expect from an evolved species basically like all of the others rather than a divinely touched one.

    Some people go around insisting that they “know” that homosexuality is wrong. Yet to insist that homosexuals also know that but insist on doing it anyway is ridiculous. Homosexuality has no victims and so cannot be declared wrong at all from a libertarian framework, so what are such people talking about when they insist that it is wrong? Where are they getting that idea?

    • Will on 10/03/2023 at 1:40 AM

      As a Christian, I agree with your argument here. Theism as a basic stance is rational, though whether it is convincing ultimately depends on the people making the decision. But outside of the general theistic stance, you cannot reason yourself into any specific faith. Religion is a revelatory experience. You have a revelation of God’s presence and will that transforms the way you think and (hopefully) thereafter the way that you act. This is part of the reason that trying to scientifically prove religion doesn’t work. God isn’t a piece of datum to be manipulated. God is a Person in every sense of the word. And like all beings, you have to invest time into your relationship in order to get to know Him.

  4. Adam Haman on 09/05/2023 at 5:49 PM

    There seems to be a confusion of language here. I see (at least) 4 categories of person re belief in a god:
    1) Person who believes there is a god — a deist or theist
    2) Person who claims to know for certain no god exists — called an atheist.
    3) Person who sees no convincing evidence that a god exists — also (confusingly)called an atheist.
    4) Person who sees some evidence supporting the existence of a god, and also some evidence refuting the existence of a god, and just can’t decide — called an agnostic.

    I am in the (3) camp. I think (2) and (4) are untenable positions. I think the best arguments for (1) are some form of direct experience of meeting or communicating with a god — though even there, it could be a delusion.

    I think the confusion over the meaning of “atheist” is unfortunate.

    I also think people intentionally obfuscate or mislabel these categories when making their arguments to score cheap points.

    In any case, these were a great couple of episodes, Bob. I really enjoyed them!

    • Robert Murphy on 09/07/2023 at 12:51 AM

      Thanks! You think (4) is untenable in the specific case of a god, or in general you think people should always come down (perhaps weakly) in favor of some view, based on a preponderance of the evidence?

      I.e. do you think it’s tenable for me to say I’m agnostic as to who will win the Super Bowl?

      • Adam Haman on 09/09/2023 at 9:08 PM

        Great question!

        I was using (4) in the specific case of a god, mostly because I don’t know of any argument or evidence I would consider persuasive. The best evidence I can imagine are experiences (such as yours) of a direct sensory perception of encountering a god – though even there I would strongly suspect hallucination or false memory or similar.

        I definitely don’t think people should feel obliged to come down in favor of some view or another when they don’t feel they have enough evidence to do so.

        As to the Super Bowl example, I just wouldn’t use that word. I would think “agnostic” is imprecise. You are unsure who will win, or you don’t have an opinion who will win.

        I use “agnostic” to apply only to whether a thing exists or doesn’t exist, or whether a thing happened or didn’t happen. What will happen in the future doesn’t (to me) seem an appropriate use of “agnostic”.

        Big fan. Love all you do!

    • Dave H on 09/09/2023 at 6:20 PM

      There is also:

      5) Person who thinks that the debate can never be resolved even in principle. This is also an agnostic.

    • Will on 10/03/2023 at 1:48 AM

      But what couldn’t be a delusion?

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