A few weeks ago, I wrote about The Hotline Project, a phone number where anyone having religious doubts could call in to talk to a trained, trusted individual:
Anyone who read about the project would know that it was not-at-all about converting people to atheism. The entire point was to talk to people who have religious doubts but have nowhere else to turn and no one else to talk to about them.
As Sarah Morehead, the leader of the group sponsoring this project, told me:
Responders will absolutely NOT urge any form of belief or disbelief. In fact, our volunteers will be specifically trained to never debate callers under any circumstances.
… It’s not our place to do anything but encourage exploration and discovery, and to provide a solid support structure as people reconsider the role of religion in their lives. For many, this is a long process and we will be with them every step of the way.
Christian apologist William Lane Craig didn’t bother to read any of that. In typical fashion, he didn’t listen to what the other side had to say. He just created a straw man and started railing against it:
[Craig] said, “Either this group is completely ignorant of arguments for and against God’s existence or they’re ignorant of the best theistic scholarship.”Craig said it seems the secular group “thinks that the traditional arguments for God’s existence are now passé and so no longer need refutation? If so, they are naïve.”
“If anyone is calling the Recovering From Religion hotline looking for a philosophical, moral or scientific discussion, the conversation will no doubt leave them intellectually unsatisfied,” argued Craig, who appears frequently in debates with prominent atheists and scholars from around the world. “It’s difficult to not see this whole project as a speed-dial to secularization. In the end, this atheist hotline will offer nothing — it’s a wrong number.”
This is a perfect example of how Craig’s mind operates. He won’t address the actual points made by the other side. Instead, he has a script and he’s going to stick with it no matter what. To usurp the Stephen Colbert line, “He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday.”
As JT Eberhard puts it:
To be pissed at an organization for not fulfilling a role it has never tried to fulfill (and which it has repeatedly said it doesn’t try to fill) is like trying to get a refund on your lawnmower because it doesn’t make a perfect pizza every time.
If Christians want to offer up one of their best minds for a debate, you would think they could at least find someone who knows how to read.