Let's Recap Why William Lane Craig Refuses to Debate Me

[Written by John W. Loftus]
Let's recap some of Bill Craig's stated reasons for why he refuses to debate me. I think this might be instructive of what might be considered his underlying reason. You be the judge. I'm not asking anyone to respond for him. I'm asking Bill to respond himself should he choose to do so, for no one can really respond but him.

When I was a student of his he told his class something I thought was odd at the time. This was back in 1985 at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He said "the person I fear debating the most is a former student of mine." Keep in mind that Dr. Craig had only been teaching a few years before this to actually know of any student who might want to debate him. But that’s what he said. Again, he said "the person I fear debating the most is a former student of mine." He cannot deny saying this, and I don't think he will. If he does it shouldn't be too hard for me to contact former students in that class to confirm it.

Now I don't want to see anyone argue that Bill does not fear me, and I'm not saying he does. Only he can say otherwise. But is there evidence that he might? That is the question here.

After I had called on him to debate me, Bill said he will not debate former students to a personal friend of mine named Darrin Rasberry. This is consistent with what he said to his class in 1985, isn't it?

Then I was at his debate with Sam Harris and talked with him afterward. I said wanted to debate him. He said he knows but that "it just wouldn't be appropriate for me to debate a former student." What he said is still consistent with what he told his class in 1985, isn't it?

The rest of his reasons either make no sense, are hypocritical, or confirms what he said to our class.

Makes no sense:

Recently he replied to a friend who asked him to explain his refusal to debate me. Bill replied that he doesn't think it would be good for me spiritually. My response is that if I have not committed the unforgivable sin then no one has. If his criteria here is that I was once a believer and he has hopes for me (which he has said), then he needs to explain why he has debated former believers like Robert Price, Hector Avalos and Bart Ehrman. Didn't that hurt them spiritually as well? Why not? And why should he be concerned with me anyway, when he should be concerned for the believers at large who are being influenced by my writings?


Another reason Bill recently gave for not debating me is that I am not qualified. Really? Now aside from the fact of whether I'm qualified or not, let's ask him to be consistent. A few years before I had called for a debate with Bill he had agreed to debate Jeffrey Jay Lowder in 2006. At that time Lowder's credentials were that he co-edited one book, The Empty Tomb, wrote one chapter for it, and that he was the co-founder and past president of Internet Infidels Inc. When it comes to whether or not Craig can consistently maintain I am not qualified to debate him he needs to look at my credentials and compare them with what Lowder had at the time. If it's a Ph.D. he requires then he didn't require it with Lowder, nor with Eddie Tabash, nor Christopher Hitchens.

Hypocritical/Confirms what he said to our class:

Another of Bill's stated reasons for not debating me is that he doesn't want to turn me in "Mr. Anti-Christian Apologist." I was told this by a person who set up the Craig/Carrier debate. That's interesting since he never said that about anyone else. Why single me out? And why is he afraid of turning me into "Mr. Anti-Christian Apologist" when he was not afraid of doing that with anyone else he's debated? Surely he should be able to trounce me and put me back into the ranks of other debunked debunkers, right? If he thinks he can do that then why doesn't he? This reason basically confirms that he fears me, or at least my influence.

Christian Philosopher Victor Reppert said to me: "He should debate you. But I think he would win the debate." Thanks Vic! He should debate me. I know of no stated criteria of Craig's where he will only debate people who could beat him, otherwise very few people are qualified. So bring it.

Jeffrey Jay Lowder and professor Keith Parsons express these same sentiments, and are asking William Lane Craig to either confirm or deny that in 1985 he had said, "the person I fear debating the most is a former student of mine." With the endorsements of Reppert, Lowder, and Parsons, this debate possibility is gaining momentum despite a few naysayers. In a recent poll here at DC, if we discount the people who don't like these kind of debates at all, 83% want to see it. To anyone who wonders why I would want to debate Craig even if I would probably lose, I say that I don't think I would lose depending on how one defines losing. I think I would offer several doubt producing arguments and that's good enough for me.

I haven't a clue why he won't debate me. The only consistent non-hypocritical reason is that he fears me. Again, no one can speak for him, unless you can make better sense of this than I can.

Until then let me remind people that Christians are saying Richard Dawkins is chicken not to debate Craig.

Is it possible Craig is chicken to debate me? ;-) If not, what is the real reason he won't do so?

I think this is the reason he refuses to debate me. <--- read reviews of my book. This is nothing personal with me. I like Bill. I really do. It's just that he has some questions to answer, don't you think? Bill, you called Dawkins a coward for not debating you.

Okay, coward.


Anonymous said...

John Loftus I have the answer

WLC will not debate you, because you are considered the Jimmy Swaggart of atheism.

Julia said...

Look, I'm an agnostic atheist, but based on your previous debate performances, WLC would wipe the floor with you. You aren't qualified, and no one on either side would care to watch a debate between you two.

Anonymous said...

You were destroyed by D'Souza, who isn't the best Christian apologist in town. Craig won't want to waste his time with you.