Craig, in the video above, cements the sort of views which I posted in the previous blog entry. Thanks to GearHead Ed who linked this video in the last blog post. Watch this video, and read the last blog post, and you shall see that one can conclude the following about Craig’s views:

1)      The Witness of the Holy Spirit / subjective experience of God trumps every other type of evidence / proof.

2)      As such, there is no contrary evidence whatsoever that would invalidate a belief in God, given an experience of the Holy Spirit, since such an experience will always overcome any contrary evidence.

3)      There is nothing in the world, therefore, that could ever budge Craig from his belief in God.

4)      Suppose the concept that God does not exist. Imagine this is so, and that Craig’s experience of the Holy Spirit is somehow false. Craig has no way whatsoever of accessing this truth.

I find this an incredibly dogmatic approach. I remember listening to Craig’s 1998 debate with Keith Parsons. Craig criticised Parsons as having a too high bar against which to judge miracles (Parsons used the ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’ mantra, to which Craig posited there could be no level of evidence that would convince Parsons). There seems to be not a little hint of hypocrisy in this approach from Craig. The bar is set impossibly high by the nature of this rather nebulous ‘Witness of the Holy Spirit’. No empirical evidence will ever topple that bar, it seems.

Is this justified? I would definitely assert that it is not. As an agnostic at heart, this sort of approach is extremely dogmatic, leaving no room for doubt. No margin for error.

In the video, Craig talks about if believers have a worry, a doubt about some aspect of their belief, then they should take it on as a research project; they should get to the bottom of the issue or “nagging doubt”; they should “pursue it into the ground until they reach intellectual satisfaction”. However, if after researching this issue for some time, if having tried to get to the bottom of it the issue still persists, then Craig returns to the default position. As he says, “While this is a healthy exercise, the more fundamental task that we need to do is to have to learnt to live with unanswered questions without allowing them to become destructive doubts.”

Another rather spurious claim that Craig makes in this video concerns the very nature of doubt itself. He says of the spiritual dimension to doubt, “There is an enemy of your souls, Satan, who is… who hates you intensely and who is bent on your destruction and who will do everything in his power to see that your faith is destroyed. And therefore, when we have these intellectual doubts and problems, we should never look at them as something that is spiritually neutral, or divorce them from the conflict that we are involved in.”

Hmm, perhaps I’ll let those strong words talk for themselves and hold back on the whole Satan debacle. He could always read my chapter on Satan, and my chapter on Hell in The Little Book of Unholy Questions!