Atheists’ Lack of Listening: Is It Arrogance or Defensiveness?

By Tom Gilson

It’s not just that they’re wrong. It’s that they’re so sure of themselves. I wonder if they think they’re so much smarter, they don’t even need to read what we write. It’s the arrogance, in other words. Or maybe something else, like defensiveness perhaps.

It isn’t every atheist, certainly, but it’s pretty common. Last week, for example, Luis Granados wrote at The Humanist about William Lane Craig,

His signature argument, borrowed from Thomas Aquinas, is that the universe must have a cause, and the cause therefore must be God. (He uses more words, but that’s the gist of it.) He conveniently omits, though, what the cause of God is or why whatever it is that caused or didn’t cause God couldn’t have done exactly the same thing directly to the universe, skipping the God step.

Craig’s Signature Argument

Those “more words” that Craig speaks on his signature argument, the Kalam cosmological argument, boil down to this:

  1. Whatever begins to exist must have a cause of its existence outside of itself
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. The universe has a cause of its existence outside itself.

This is pretty much the shortest possible way to state it. Now, let’s count Granados’ basic errors.

Four Ways Granados Got It Objectively Wrong

First, this argument shares but one thing with Thomas Aquinas: It’s an argument for God that can be labeled a cosmological argument. Other than that, none of it was borrowed from Aquinas.

Second, Granados’s “gist” omits Premises 1 and 2, without which the argument is incomplete, distorted, and silly-sounding. You don’t have the gist unless you include all three statements in the argument. It can’t be stated any more compactly than that without distorting it…