Problem of evil debate - William Lane Craig vs Walter Sinnott-Armst...
While preparing for the Problem of Evil course I'm now running, I found this debate between Craig and Sinnot-Armstrong above. And it seemed like two people arguing, one in English and the other in French.
Sinnot-Armstrong like any atheist argues from the primacy of the physical world. So suffering is extensive and indiscriminate for human and non-human animals. Against any of our moral standards this is grossly wrong if should be stopped. It therefore contradicts the existence of the traditional god. His proof was everyday experience in our physical world.
Craig, as the Christian apologist, argues from the primacy of the divine world. Our physical world is a simply a proving ground for humans, a probationary period prior to eternal life. All suffering is therefore non-gratuitous as it contributes to "finding" god. His proofs rest on standard arguments for god and acceptance of Christian doctrine, supported by vague analogies and pure faith.
What struck me is that both speakers were talking about two vastly different things even though they shared the same English words. They shared the odd verbal punch but mostly plugged their separate stories, truly different worlds. Ultimately I wondered whether an atheist could have any meaningful engagement or argument with a (strong) theist.
Alex's Heresies - Embracing a Physical Reality