Critical Questions

Dear Dr. Craig,
I am an atheist from, and living in, the United Kingdom, a place where Christianity is in pretty sharp decline at the moment. I have viewed some of your debates online with some curiosity. I would like to ask you some critical questions.
1) Don't you agree that the whole time-limit debate format is an extremely poor way of determining the truth? There are numerous flaws. For instance, the fact that a debate can be "won" by tactics and rhetoric alone does not make this seem like a very constructive use of time. Also, the fact that timing is such an important factor means that certain points raised aren't answered by one's opponent, not because they cannot answer them, but because they don't have time to, which gives the audience a misleading impression. Also, heck, anyone who thinks a question like the "existence of God" can be answered in just 2 hours seems pretty dashed overconfident to me!
2) Aren't you a little too arrogant in your approach to atheism and non-Christians? I've seen you describe followers of Dawkins and Hitchens as "ignorant and arrogant" (a little ironic, as some of your acolytes wouldn't exactly qualify for Mensa membership), I've heard you dismiss atheistic arguments as "unimpressive", and I think I've also heard you affirm that there are "no good reasons to disbelieve in God". To me, this sounds like extreme over-confidence. If all of this is true, then why do so many perfectly intelligent and reasonable people disbelieve in God's existence? Arrogance is a luxury you can ill afford if you want your religion to survive nowadays, given the huge increase in intellectual scepticism about theism in Europe and elsewhere. I think you could do with being a little more civil and courteous in your discourse sometimes.
3) Is philosophy ultimately a waste of time? I've heard you say that, even if all the arguments for God's existence fail, God may still exist. This is perfectly correct, and is also true the other way around; they may all be perfectly logical and God may still not exist. So, why bother with philosophical arguments at all if it's so inconclusive? Why not just stick with the facts of science?
4) Is the alleged rise in Christians in philosophy as significant as you think it is? Irreligion is on the rise in the population as a whole, and the statistics indicate that atheism and agnosticism are the majority viewpoint in science, lest we forget.
I ask these questions, not out of pure hostility, but out of concern and a genuine desire to understand where you are coming from. I just worry that your approach will create more division and anger rather than constructive discussion.
Yours sincerely,
United Kingdom

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