"And my view here is that the way in which I know Christianity is true is first and foremost on the basis of the witness of the Holy Spirit in my heart and this gives me a self authenticating means of knowing that Christianity is true wholly apart from the evidence. And therefore, if in some historically contingent circumstances the evidence that I have available to me should turn against Christianity, I don't think that that controverts the witness of the Holy Spirit."
''a self authenticating means of knowing that Christianity is true wholly apart from the evidence. ''
Wow, talk about circular.
The epistemological problems here are distinctly evident. For my money, anything issued forth by this man following this is negated. Seriously, I do not see the need in even addressing any of his points, as in my mind, he has already discredited himself. Usually, an attack on a person's character or past statement(s) is NOT a reasonable argument when it comes to assessing their claims (ad hominem fallacy); however, in this case, I think this is very much warranted, as this clearly and distinctlly calls into question his very thought processeses and how he views and attains knowledge (his epistemology). Someone putting forth supposedly rational arguments for belief, backed by evidence, would presumably have an epistemological stance that uses as the framework of its methodology evidence backed claims bolstered and/or elevated to beliefs based upon logistical and rational pathways (could probably be worded better but I am not a philosopher, sorry). And he does put this impression out there with his logically correct (but not always sound) arguments.
However, to then say that, he, as someone who appparently requires evidence for claims that he accepts as true, for someone who posits reason and logic as pathways to soldifiying and backing these beliefs, to then say that he would believe anyways, even if all of the evidence contradicted his beliefs/claims, completely discredits everything he is saying for me. All of his arguments for the existence of the creator (who he then, after 'proving' its existence, attempts to prove happens to be the Christian god) are, in my mindm now discredited (not that they necessarily stood up to scrutiny before......
Well, okay, sure, this actually still is fallacious on my part, in that his arguments are no more or less sound in and of themselves because of this. Okay, I guess in that sense I am wrong. This still is an ad hom fallacy, and I admit this.
HOWEVER, what it does show us is that HE'S FULL OF SHIT! His beliefs are NOT based upon the evidence, but rather, they predate his gathering of evidence, and he just uses the evidence to bolster them in public and make it appear as though they are supported. It's an intellectual game he is playing, and it's a fucking facade. The great irony here is that the majority of believers who look up to William Lane Craig believe based on 'faith' but they acknowledge that there's an inherent flaw in that model, and they look to him as the sort of harbringer of 'evidence based Christianity,' as I call it, which enables them to feel as though they have more of a reason to believe than they originally thought. They also use him as a counter to what they see as the atheistic intellectual elitisim. Yet, William Lance Craig's beliefs are, at their core, based on fucking faith as well, and he unabashedly admits this!! Their 'prophet' of reason and evidence based beliefs, at his core, BELIEVES ON FAITH!!!!!!!!!!!
The irony is ASTOUNDING!
What kills me is that, for someone of his supposed intellectual stature, how does he not understand that saying this is to essentially shoot himself in the foot, as his arguments are then discredited in the eyes of those who hear this (and don't believe faith is a valid tool of discerning truth), fallacious on our parts or not? Again, the arguments themselves might not be harmed by this, but his credibility is!
EDIT: You can hear him say this in this video:
NOTE: I am working on finding a text based link, preferably a primary one, although that's CLEARLY him speaking.
EDIT TWO: Okay, so I guess he said this (or a version of it) in his work, Reasonable Faith, of which I do not have a copy, but it is certainly in there*
*William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith (Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 1994), pp. 31. (Link)