Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Snicker Fallacy

Has anyone else ever noticed this odd habit William Lane Craig has during his debates to express what you might describe as muted laughter or a snicker? Is this an intentional effort to make his opponents look absurd? The last 3 debates I've listened to from Craig I took a moment to note when I thought I was sensing this muted laughter, or even outright laughter, directed towards his opponents and I created an audio file with those sections which you can download here. In some cases it is subtle, but I think it's there. These are the debates with Crossan, Ehrman, and Price.

Craig also often uses quotes from scholars expressing what are often bare assertions that Craig's opponents' arguments are absurd. It's unfortunate that much of what Craig offers really is more of an attack directed at his opponent rather than arguments against his opponents' views. Craig of course also makes real arguments, but why the need for the fallacious stuff that really doesn't add much, and probably makes his opponents feel like they are under attack.

But then it's probably an effective technique if the goal is to help build the confidence of Christians that may be feeling like their belief system is a little tenuous.


Anonymous said...

Jon, no offense dude, but this is possibly the lamest thing you have ever posted. It says a lot of Craig's ability as a debater that the best you could do was criticize some of his amused tones, or snickers, as you call them. And to suggest that his motive may be to bolster Christian's faith is such a colossal stretch that it's unbelievable. Dude, if I were an atheist I'd say the same thing to you. You need to come up with some more substantial arguments if you're going to succeed at this atheist crusade you're on.

Jon said...

I'm not pretending that this is a response to the substance of Craig's arguments. It's just an observation. I think I'm hearing a ridiculing tone.

My next post will respond to the substance of his arguments.

Steven Carr said...

William Lane Craig claims to hear voices in his head telling him that he is right.

That is all I can make of his claim that the Holy Spirit whispers to his spirit.

I guess people who hear voices in their head should think twice before laughing at other people....