The Craig-Pigliucci Debate:
Does God Exist?

Dr. Craig's Closing Statement

I certainly hope you've enjoyed the debate as much as I have this evening! It's been a very stimulating exchange, I think.

Second Question

Argument from Imperfections

First, what arguments have we seen that falsify the hypothesis that God exists? Well, in the last speech we basically heard again the so called "imperfection argument." But, here, I think, it became evident from Dr. Pigliucci's comments that his arguments are based on the false assumption that according to theism the world is perfect. Frankly, I can't imagine where he got that idea. As Christians, we believe God is perfect, but not that the world is perfect. Look at Genesis, as God saw that the creation was "good."{1} And I think it certainly is good! But the idea that it is a perfectly functioning machine is no part of Christian theology or theism. And without that assumption his whole argument evaporates.

As for the argument concerning evolution, he misquoted me. He said there is no consensus that human beings would not have evolved by chance. My argument from Barrow and Tipler said that there is a consensus among every evolutionary biologists that sentient life which is comparable to homo sapiens in information-processing ability is so improbable that it's unlikely to have evolved anywhere else in the visible universe.{2} And, therefore, you cannot use evolution as an argument against theism. On the contrary, evolution is actually an argument for theism because it is so improbable that it's unlikely to have occurred in the absence of a supervising Designer.

Pragmatic Argument for Naturalism

Finally, he argued that naturalism is tested everyday, and it works. I would say that it only tests that there are natural laws. But that's consistent with the idea that there is a Creator who has made a universe that functions normally according to natural laws.

So none of these arguments provide good grounds for thinking that the God hypothesis is false. In fact what has emerged from this aspect of the debate are two arguments for the existence of God in addition to the five I gave, namely, (1) the argument from evolution and (2) the argument from the existence of evil. So I thank Dr. Pigliucci for giving me two additional arguments on my side of the debate for the existence of God tonight!

First Question

Now what about reasons that verify the God hypothesis?

First Argument

First, I argued that God is required by the origin of the universe. We saw that whatever begins to exist has a cause; the universe began to exist; and, therefore, there must be a transcendent, personal cause of the universe.

Second Argument

Secondly, I argued that complex order of the initial conditions of the universe points to God as a Designer over the universe. And here Dr. Pigliucci now says that "This is such a waste of space! The universe is so large!" Not at all! These stellar spaces are necessary in order for the stars to cook up the heavy elements which are necessary for the existence of life on Earth; and in order to be that old the universe would have expand 15 billion years. So the size of the universe is related to the age of the stars, which is related to the furnaces necessary to make the elements requisite for intelligent life. And, frankly, as a theist I may argue that there may be life elsewhere in the universe that God has created. How do we know that it is wasted space? Perhaps God has created life elsewhere. But wherever life exists, it all depends upon that fine-tuning present in the Big Bang itself, which no one has been able to explain by chance.

Third Argument

Thirdly, objective moral values exist. Again, we saw that in the absence of God we are left with moral nihilism: there is no right and wrong. If you do believe that there are objective moral values, then, I think, you will agree with me that God exists.

Fourth Argument

Finally, with respect to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, I think I showed that the resurrection is the best explanation of those three facts recognized by the majority of New Testament scholars today.

Fifth Argument

Finally, the immediate experience of God. Let me just say this: I wasn't raised in a Christian home or a church-going family. But when I became a teenager, I began to ask the big questions in life--about the meaning of life and death--,and in the search for answers I began to read the New Testament. And I discovered in the person of Jesus a figure that just arrested and captivated me. His words had the ring truth about them. And after a period of about six months of the most intense soul-searching--to make a long story short--, I just gave my life to God, and I experienced a sort of inner rebirth. God became an immediate living reality in my life, a reality that has never left me. And I would just challenge you: if you would like to know God in that sort of way yourself, begin to do what I did. Read the New Testament. I believe it could change your life in the same way that it changed mine.


{1} Genesis 1.10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31.

{2} Their exact words are: "there has developed a general consensus among evolutionists that the evolution of intelligent life, comparable in information processing ability to that of homo sapiens, is so improbable that it is unlikely to have occurred on any other planet in the entire visible universe" (John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986], p. 133).

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