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Does God Exist: The Craig-Flew Debate Paperback – December 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Ashgate Pub Ltd; First Paperback Edition edition (December 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754631907
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754631903
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,663,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Does God Exist? is based on the 1998 public debate between Christian philosopher William Craig and atheist philosopher Anthony Flew. The debate itself was held on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of a similarly titled debate between Russell and Copleston in 1948.
The layout follows a common format for debate-type books. First, a transcript of the debate is provided, followed by comments from subject matter experts representing both sides of the argument. Finally, the debaters are given an opportunity to make closing comments and respond to points raised by the other contributors.
The debate itself was quite good with the discussion covering all the major arguments, cosmological, teleological, existence of evil, etc. In fact, the 1998 debate was superior to the Russell-Copeston debate wherein Russell was largely evasive and did not actively engaged in debate (still an interesting read though). For those new to this area William Craig is the preeminent contemporary Christian apologist (arguably also one of the finest current day philosophers). In addition to his impressive intellectual abilities Craig is a brilliant debater and excellent communicator. Anthony Flew is also a well-known philosopher who has written and debated on the existence of God and other related philosophical questions. Although I respect Flew as a philosopher, he was overmatched by Craig both intellectually and rhetorically.
In my opinion the weakest part of the book was the commentary by the subject matter experts. This is unfortunate, because quite often it is one of the more enjoyable aspects of this format. Michael Martin's comments were interesting, however, the others particularly David and Keith Yandell were weak and added little.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By John D. Lentz Jr. on August 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
William Lane Craig, a Christian apologist, debated Antony Flew, a former* atheist philosopher, on the 50th anniversary of the famous Russell-Copelston debate. This book is the product of that.

Craig's arguments are standard and predictable from anyone familiar with Criag, and Flew fizzles, as even atheists William Rowe and Michael Martin admit. Why is the debate so good then? The commentary on the debate by such HUGE names in the field of philosophy of religion as William Rowe, Keith Parsons, Michael Martin, Paul Draper, Douglas Geivett, Keith Yandell, William Wainwright, etc. is what makes the book so great. Representing a varitey of traditions, from militant atheist (Martin and Parsons), Agnosticism (Draper), to theism, these respondents comment on the debate and press the issues deeper than an oral, short, debate allows.

The best part of the book is that Craig and Flew each get a chance to respond to what the other scholars said. Craig's response to objections chapter is worth the entire price of the book. Craig defends his arguments against heavy criticisms from some of the most prolific atheist currently writing. Anyone who wants to read a very good debate (though admittedly tilted for theism) needs to pick this up.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Reader From Aurora on October 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
Does God Exist? is based on the 1998 public debate between Christian philosopher William Craig and atheist philosopher Anthony Flew (Flew has recently had a highly publicized albeit somewhat tenuous move into theism). The debate itself was held on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of a similarly titled debate between Russell and Copleston in 1948.

The layout follows a common format for debate-type books. First, a transcript of the debate is provided, followed by comments from subject matter experts representing both sides of the argument. Finally, the debaters are given an opportunity to make closing comments and respond to points raised by the other contributors.

The debate itself was quite good with the discussion covering all the major arguments, cosmological, teleological, existence of evil, etc. In fact, the 1998 debate was superior to the Russell-Copeston debate wherein Russell was largely evasive and did not actively engaged in debate (still an interesting read though). For those new to this area William Craig is the preeminent contemporary Christian apologist (arguably also one of the finest current day philosophers). In addition to his impressive intellectual abilities Craig is a seasoned debater and excellent communicator. Anthony Flew is also a well-known philosopher who has written and debated on the existence of God and other related philosophical questions. Although I respect Flew as a philosopher, he was overmatched by Craig both intellectually and rhetorically in this encounter.

In my opinion the weakest part of the book was the commentary by the subject matter experts. This is unfortunate, because quite often it is one of the more enjoyable aspects of this format.
Read more ›
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