(redating post originally published on 13 November 2006)
Keith Parsons recently sent me the following e-mail, which he has authorized me to post here on the Secular Outpost.
What is really sad is that these “young people” that were subjected to Craig’s browbeating probably got no chance at all to hear an equally eloquent case for the other side.; I had to fight off dyspepsia while reading it. Apparently Craig’s daughter, Charity (surely, there must be a Hope and Faith as well?), was talking to some friends who said that they were not Christians because Christianity was not “relevant” to their lives. Craig was nonplused by this answer and took it upon himself to address a group of young people on the topic of the relevance of Christianity. He told them that if Christianity is true, it must be relevant, and made the following points, and I quote:
“I argued that if Christianity is true, then it is hugely relevant because (1) there is meaning to your life, (2) there are objective values in life, (3) there is a purpose to your life, (4) there is hope for deliverance from the shortcomings of life, (5) there is forgiveness for your guilt, and (6) you can know God personally for eternity.”
Gee, it occurs to me that maybe Charity’s friend is pretty smart and thinks that Christianity is irrelevant for good reasons. After all, many atheists would have no problem at all affirming all of these points but the last, since, obviously, you cannot have a (nondelusional) relationship with a nonexistent being. Unless Craig is tacitly defining “meaning,” “purpose,” and “objective values,” in some question-begging way, then think I would have no problem at all with defending (1) -(5) as equally available to the atheist. Just think of all the non-Christians that have led sad, meaningless, purposeless, lives, wandering aimlessly with no objective values. People like The Buddha, Confucius, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Eratosthenes, Archimedes, Euclid, Lucretius, Cicero, Spinoza, Hume, Darwin, Russell, Einstein…Sad, sad, sad. Such wasted, pointless lives.