Krauss calls WLC out for being a liar, con artist, and bathrobe salesman

Still patiently (well, less and less) waiting on the good folks at Life, the Universe and Nothing and City Bible Forum to release the videos from the three-part debate between cosmologist Lawrence Krauss and apologist William Lane Craig which took place in Australia over the last few weeks. So far the only way to get information on how the discussions went is to stalk facebook and the blogosphere for eyewitness reports.

In the meantime, however, the host group has published a couple interviews with WLC and Krauss, and the latter is characteristically frank. He explains, very simply, that he agreed to the discussions because he wanted to expose Craig as a “con-artist” and “liar” who distorts science in order to bolster his arguments for God. I’ve posted a few of the more interesting quotes from Krauss below, and you can read the entire interview here (the best part is when he calls out Craig for using his popularity as an apologist to sell bathrobes…really, go here):

“In this particular case, I also [agreed to the discussions] because I happen to think William Lane Craig abuses science and says many, many, many things that are not only disingenuous but untruthful, but recognises that his audience won’t know that. So one of the reasons I like to do these, and certainly why I agreed to allow the first one to be videotaped, is to demonstrate explicitly examples of where he says things that he knows to be manifestly wrong, but also knows that the audience won’t have access to the information. It amazes me because I wouldn’t presume to talk about theology and nor would I want to, although I’ve spent a lot of time with theologians. That’s what upsets me the most. I feel the same way about Deepak Chopra, who also usurps science in a different way. Dr Craig makes it appear as if (a) he understands the science, which he doesn’t and (b) as if the science provides some support. Where in fact, science tells us a wonderful story about the universe and it tells us that we don’t need anything beyond the laws of nature to understand what’s going on. That’s not a failing, that’s just the way it is.”

“I’ve had discussions with theologians who I think are much more honest [than Craig]. I first debated Dr Craig in North Carolina. I agreed to do it for this group called Campus Crusade for Christ, but I agreed to do it anyway because I thought he was an honest intellect and we could have a discussion. I think he’s wrong, but I thought we could have a discussion. But the minute he started talking I thought, ‘this guy is a con artist’ and I still think so.”

“Well, I said I’d never debate him again. But I agreed to do it publicly because I wanted to show that he was a liar. I think I did that, in my opinion, in the last debate. And I’ll do it again. I want to show what the science is. So I’ll show it again. Tonight I’ll show that he abuses the science but I agreed to do it mostly because the people who run this organisation [City Bible Forum] impressed me and against maybe my better judgement and after several meetings were I was highly suspicious, I was convinced that they were well-meaning people interested in honest discussion.”

“I have a double purpose: to promote some aspect of science, and I don’t care what people take away from it except some amazing aspects of the universe, and if it reinforces their faith I don’t give a damn, but also to recognize that they should listen to people who are honest and not trying to sell bathrobes on their website and raise money for ‘A Reasonable Faith’ by doing whatever they can. I mean, I have a day job and I think people should recognise that when they’re buying ideas they should ask whether the people selling them are making money off them.”


  1. Krauss recanted and now thinks Craig is no longer being dishonest…see the beginning speech of last australian “discussion.”

    1. Sure.

      He says, ““I’ve listened to Dr. Craig over the days, and I’ve changed my opinion. I’m much more charitable. I came here convinced, based on my past interactions and his writings, that Dr. Craig is a dishonest charlatan. But I don’t believe that. I think Dr. Craig earnestly believes deeply, in the issues he is talking about — so deeply, and as a man of great intelligence, he is convinced that there must be a reason to believe that way…”

      That video you linked was made and released right before the debates in Australia.

      Here is the link to the third debate, which he mentioned changing his mind about Craig.

    2. Also, it appears the WLC’s peers and other atheist academics think he is not only honest, but does good work.


      – Quentin Smith (Philosopher) –
      On Time and Eternity, “William Lane Craig is one the leading philosophers of religion and one of the leading philosophers of time…It is a rewarding experience to read through this brilliant and well-researched book by one of the most learned and creative thinkers of our era.”

      – Jeff Jay Lowder (Well known, Atheist Blogger) –
      “As a freethinker, I think it’s important to follow the evidence wherever it leads and avoid sloppy thinking….I take the charge of dishonesty extremely seriously. Anyone who levels the accusation of dishonesty has the burden of proof, and they had better make sure they attempt to get the other person’s side of the story before publicly concluding that dishonesty is the best explanation. If Craig has been dishonest, I have yet to see any evidence of that.”

      “A second allegation is that Craig is dishonest in his public debates because he uses arguments which he “knows” are false. Really? I do wonder how these people “know” what Craig thinks.”

      – John W. Loftus (Blogger with a Master’s in Theology, plus some PhD level study) –
      “From personal knowledge my testimony is that Bill sincerely believes and is not being dishonest with himself. Unless someone knows him better than I do then my testimony should be taken seriously. He does not think he is wrong even though he is.”

      This is emphatically not the case as much as some atheists would like to think. He is delusionally dead wrong. But he sincerely believes. I know him personally and have talked with him on several occasions even after deconverting.”

      – Keith Parsons (Philosopher) –
      “Having debated Craig twice face to face and once in print (in the Dallas Morning News,of all places, June 13, 1998) let me weigh in on Jeff [Jay Lowder]’s side. In these debates only once did I feel that Craig said anything that even sounded like a cheap shot. This was at the debate at Prestonwood Baptist Church near Dallas with 4500 people in attendance, about 4450 of whom were on Craig’s side. Craig asked whether anything would convince me that he was right. I responded, as Norwood Russell Hanson did in “What I do not Believe” that some huge display that everyone would see would convince me. Earlier, I had rejected Craig’s appeal to the “500” witnesses mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians XV and noted that mass hallucinations do sometimes occur. Craig then asked whether I would not also dismiss ANY display as a hallucination, prompting much braying laughter from the highly partisan audience.

      Now whether Craig was intentionally playing to the audience or not, I don’t know, but this was a legitimate question and I obviously had left myself open to the rejoinder. When the laughter died I explained…Craig had no response, so I think I took the point.”

      “Now if you are looking for nasty, there are people like Steve Hays, Holding/Turkel, and Ed Feser. Ad hominem, character assassination, straw man, and vituperation are their stock-in-trade. I would not at all put Craig in their sleazy category.”

      – Christopher Hitchens (Journalist) –
      “But I can tell you that my brothers and sisters and co-thinkers in the unbelieving community take him [Dr. Craig] very seriously. He’s thought of as a very tough guy — very rigorous, very scholarly, very formidable. And I say that without reserve; I don’t say that because I’m here.”

      – Michael Ruse, Philosopher –
      On his book debate with Walter Sinott Armstrong “This is a wonderful exchange about the existence of God–fast, fair, informative, intelligent, sincere, and above all terrific fun.”

      – Daniel Dennett, Philosopher –
      After he heard Craig speak, said “That was a virtuoso job! A stunning amount of careful articulation and structure of some dauntingly difficult issues.”

      – Kevin Scharp, philosopher –
      “In assessing his arguments, I will talk as I would to any other professional philosopher whose system I’ve managed to work my way into. That is, I don’t pull punches, but I also never attack character, so it isn’t personal. Professor Craig knows this; I know this; I’m saying it for the benefit of the audience. In part, because I respect the guy. He’s got some great philosophical skills, he’s a talented system builder, which I admire, and he’s done a tremendous service to the atheist movement by trouncing most of our heroes and raising the bar on both sides. [Audience laughter] I’m serious! That’s a major benefit, a major thing that we can say thank you for.”

      — Respected? —

      He’s a respected philosopher in his field, yes. Quentin Smith writes, “a count of the articles in the philosophy journals shows that more articles have been published about Craig’s defense of the Kalam argument than have been published about any other philosopher’s contemporary formulation of an argument for God’s existence.”

      In atheist philosopher Graham Oppy’s “Arguing About Gods”, Craig is cited 23 times in the references; more times than anyone save Oppy himself.

      He has a huge section in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy dedicated to his KCA (about a 4th of the article on the cosmological argument).

  2. The same can be said about all Pastors. They are selling ideas with their own interpretation of information and ad libbing God into the equation. They call it “Ministry”. Its a bigger version of a church fundraiser. I find nothing special about WLC in this manner.

    Though the request to not release the debate is equally as weaksauce as Answers in Genesis disabling comments.

    And what is this arcane knowledge that Krausss speaks of that the internet does not give us access to?

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