This debate took place in 1997 at Arizona State University. The debate was the second forensic encounter between William Lane Craig and Doug Jesseph on the existence of God. Their first encounter, which I call the “Jesseph-Craig Debate” because Jesseph spoke first in that forum, took place at North Carolina State University (Jesseph’s employer) and is available on the Secular Web at https://infidels.org/library/modern/doug_jesseph/jesseph-craig/.
I do not know of any way for the general public to purchase tapes of the debate; the only way I was able to view the debate was because a Christian philosopher (who I shall not name so that he is not inundated with requests for copies) was kind enough to send me a copy. I wish to state that I have immensely enjoyed my conversations with this philosopher and hope that they will continue in the future.
Summary of the Debate
The following summary of the debate is correct to the best of my knowledge; however, it has not been reviewed by either debater. Also, the following debate summary does not include the Question & Answer period.
Craig’s Opening Statement
I. No good reason to think atheism is true II. Good reason to think theism is true A. Kalam cosmological argument (1) Anything which begins to exist must have a cause (2) The universe began to exist (3) Therefore, the universe must have a cause - cause of the Big Bang must be uncaused, changeless, timeless, immaterial, and personal -- the cause of the Big Bang must be uncaused because there cannot be an infinite regress of causes -- the cause of the Big Bang must be changeless and timeless because it created time -- the cause of the Big Bang must be immaterial because it created space -- the cause of the Big Bang must be personal because how else could a timeless cause give rise to a temporal effect? B. The Fine-Tuning Argument - Life-permitting universes are vastly more improbable than life-permitting universes. The odds of a life-permitting universe like ours coming into existence by chance are so remote that our universe must be the result of intelligent design. - the complexity of our universe and the conditions which allow life are analogous to finding a skyscraper in the Sahara desert. No one would ever claim that a skyscraper in the middle of the Sahara desert arose by chance. Nor would anyone claim that the skyscraper is the result of a random arrangement of sand -- just one improbable arrangement out of many improbable arrangements. The skyscraper has a certain complexity to it and must have been designed. By the same reasoning, then, the universe must also have been designed. - Thus the atheist must not only believe the universe popped into existence, uncaused, out of nothing. The atheist must believe that when the universe popped into existence, uncaused, out of nothing it just happened to be fine-tuned to allow life C. The Moral Argument (1) If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist. (2) But objective moral values exist. (3) Therefore, God exists. D. The Resurrection - The Resurrection of Jesus is the best explanation for 3 historical facts: (1) The empty tomb (2) The post-resurrection appearances (3) The very origin of the Christian faith - This entails a divine miracle and the existence of God. E. Religious Experience - this isn't an argument for God's existence; rather, it's the claim that you can know God exists wholly apart from arguments
Jesseph’s Opening Statement
“atheism” is defined as the belief that the evidence does not support God. Someone who simply lacks theistic belief, a small child who has never been taught about God, or someone who simply rejects God as an act of rebellion does not count as an atheist.
I. Arguments for Atheism A. Argument from Conservatism - We should apply Ockham's Razor. B. Argument from Asymmetry - Believers in one god tend to deny the existence of other gods by using naturalistic explanations. We should be consistent and apply naturalistic explanations to all gods. C. Evidential Argument from Evil II. Craig's Theistic Arguments A. Kalam cosmological argument 1. No reason to think cause is personal, benevolent, etc. Persons are physical things. 2. Causation is a relation between physical events. The striking of a match causes the ignition of the match. But there is no event outside the universe to interact causally with the Big Bang. Craig seems to think God is a sort of cosmological spark plug. 3. Craig seems to assume there is a time before the Big Bang (quotes Ehrman [sp?]). The Big Bang model offers no special advantage to theists. B. Fine-Tuning Argument 1. 'improbable' does not equal 'designed' 2. Craig's argument is like asking the question, "What are your chances of landing in a universe hospitable to life, assuming you were tossed into any old universe whatever." That is precisely not the point. It's presupposed in the question that you're already in a universe which favors life. Confuses conditional probability with unconditional probability. 3. Odds are based on extremely questionable principles of indifference. 4. Other theories do not support Craig's claim that life-permitting universes are improbable: 4.1. Alan Guth's inflationary model 4.2. Sidney [unintelligible]'s worm-hole theory 4.3. [unintelligible]'s virtual particle model C. Moral Argument 1. objective = independent of the observer 2. objective moral values are compatible with the nonexistence of God 3. Euthyphro dilemma D. Resurrection 1. The credibility of the New Testament is in question. The New Testament accounts need independent confirmation. But there is no confirmation independent of the New Testament for the Resurrection. 2. The evidence for the Resurrection would have to be extremely strong E. Religious Experience 1. Jesseph doesn't deny that people have experiences. Jesseph denies their veridicality. 2. Reports of religious experiences are varied.
Craig’s First Rebuttal
I. No good reasons to think atheism is true A. Argument from conservatism 1. Grants the principle of conservatism 2. The issue is whether atheism can provide naturalistic explanations for the five facts outlined in Craig's opening statement 3. Not an argument for atheism B. Argument from asymmetry 1. Double-edged sword. Atheists think ALL theists are wrong. 2. Not an argument for atheism. C. Evidential argument from evil 1. No contradiction between God and evil 2. Free Will Defense 3. The Suffering Brings about Acceptance Defense: god wants the best, but that doesn't mean he wants to make us happy. God's purpose is for people to come to know God. Evil may be pointless with respect to happiness, but not with respect to knowledge of God. In areas of intense suffering, people are coming to know God. 4. Logical problem of evil has been widely abandoned. II. Good reason to think theism is true A. Kalam cosmological argument 1.1 God must be personal because only a being with free will could create a temporal effect from a timeless state. 1.2 God's benevolence was addressed by the moral argument 1.3 The cause of the Big Bang must be the Christian god on the basis of the argument from miracles (the Resurrection) 1.4 Jesseph grants that the universe began to exist 2. The claim that causation is a relation between physical events begs the question by assuming naturalism 3. Kalam cosmological argument does not assume a time before the big bang. Cause and effect can be simultaneous, like a bowling ball depressing a cushion B. The fine-tuning argument 1.1. Agree 1.2. Skyscraper analogy 2. Trained marksmen analogy 3. No theory of everything that would explain physical constants. 4.1. inflationary models require fine-tuning 4.2. Vacuum fluctuation models outmoded. Quotes Christopher Isham. C. The moral argument 1. Jesseph's view leads to moral relativism. 3. Moral values are rooted in God's nature. D. The Resurrection 1. Independent confirmation is not necessary.
Jesseph’s First Rebuttal
I. Arguments for Atheism A. Argument from Conservativism - atheism can easily provide naturalistic explanations B. Argument from Asymmetry 1.1. Atheism is symmetrical. Atheists use naturalistic explanations to explain all religions. 1.2. Theism is asymmetrical. Theists apply naturalistic explanations to all religions except their own. C. Evidential Argument from Evil 1.1. Anticipated this in opening statement. 1.2. Logically possible does not mean probable. It is logically possible that OJ Simpson didn't really do it. 2.1. Craig denies major theological doctrine held from Augustine to Calvin (deterministic theism). 2.2. God could have intervened to stop evils. God could have prevented Hitler's rise to power. 4. Evidential argument from evil was presented. II. Craig's Theistic Arguments A. Kalam cosmological arguments 1.1. Persons are physical things. 1.2. What would 'nonphysical person' mean? 4. Stephen Hawking: the universe did not come from nothing; there's no place the universe came from. That's a subtle yet very important distinction. B. Fine-Tuning Argument 3. Hoyle, Davies, et al pull these numbers out of thin air. 4.1. vacuum fluctuation models are not outmoded and have made a comeback in the 1990s 4.2. cosmology is a speculative science 4.3. Important to avoid error just as much as it is important to find truth. The atheist must be able to show that theistic cosmology is false, but the atheist does not need to be able to say what is true in order to accomplish that. C. Moral Argument 1.1. Objective does not mean popular. Craig misunderstood the argument. 1.2. A lot of things are special about human beings. For example, they can experience pain. D. The Resurrection 1. Can't prove the Bible by quoting the Bible E. Religious Experience 1. Craig hasn't said anything yet about my counterarguments to the argument from religious experience
Craig’s Second Rebuttal
I. No good reason to think atheism is true. B. Argument from asymmetry 1. Why prefer naturalistic explanations? 2. My arguments for theism are good naturalistic explanations C. Argument from Evil 1. The evidential argument from evil is subjective because probabilities are relative to background information. Quotes Daniel Howard-Snyder's Evidential Argument from Evil. 2. Jesseph needs to show that it is probable that God would want less evil. 3. Suffering Brings about Acceptance Defense (SBAD) II. Good reason to think theism is true. A. Kalam cosmological argument 1.2. Consciousness is immaterial. Materialism = determinism. But determinism is self-refuting. 4. Hawking's model is flawed because of its reliance on imaginary time. Everyone believes the universe has a beginning. Where did the universe come from? B. Fine-tuning argument 3. No theory of everything. Appeal to faith in naturalism. The values of the physical constants are contingent. 4. No evidence that vacuum fluctuation models are true. C. Moral Argument 1.2. Why is wrong to cause humans pain? 2. Atheism means that we are animals and not subject to ethics. D. Resurrection 1. Historians consider the New Testament as historical books, not holy books.
Jesseph’s Second Rebuttal
I. Arguments for Atheism B. Argument from Asymmetry. 1. Naturalism works. Supernatural explanations don't. C. Evidential Argument from Evil. 1.1. Mystery maneuver. 1.2. Evils are gratuitous. 3.1. Better ways to accomplish that purpose. For example, God could turn the podium into purple smoke, and I would become a theist right now. II. Arguments for Theism A. Kalam cosmological argument 4. There is no 'where the universe came from'. There's no garage in Pittsburgh, "Home of the universe." B. Fine-tuning argument 3. If the naturalist has faith at all, it is a grounded faith. If we have faith in naturalism, then it is like having faith in using an elevator. We take the elevator up. We don't leap down the elevator shaft. Similarly, "faith" in naturalism, is not a Kirkegaardian leap of faith. Naturalism works. C. Moral argument 1.2. It's wrong to cause humans pain because pain hurts. 2. Can get objectivity without God by appealing to any of the standard ethical theories taught in introductory ethics courses. D. Resurrection 1. The New Testament is so poorly confirmed we should not believe it.
Craig’s Third Rebuttal
I. No good reason to think atheism is true. B. Argument from asymmetry 1. Inconclusive. C. Evidential argument from evil 1.1. God's existence is NOT improbable on ALL of the background evidence (e.g., the evidence Craig presented in his opening statement) 1.2. Not at all a mystery maneuver. 1.3. Prove that evils are gratuitous 3.1. God has provided evidence sufficiently clear to those with an open heart and an open mind. 3.2. The Old Testament records that when God performed public miracles, it did not produce trust in God. It may have produced intellectual assent to theism, but it did not change lives. II. Good reason to think theism is true. A. Kalam cosmological argument 4. Granted, there is no 'where'. But something cannot come out of nothing. B. Fine-tuning argument 3. Jesseph dropped the argument. Jesseph never responded to Craig's claim that the values of the physical constants are contingent. C. Moral argument - What is the foundation for our moral intuitions? If atheism is true, our moral intuitions are foundationless. D. Resurrection 1. Quotes Robert Grant: gospels must be regarded as reliable eyewitnesses E. Religious Experience 1. God can change your life just as he has changed mine
Jesseph’s Third Rebuttal
I. Arguments for Atheism B. Argument from Asymmetry 1. Conclusive argument. We have good reasons to believe naturalistic explanations. Theists have no reason to believe supernatural explanations. C. Argument from Evil 1. Craig seems to be a moral skeptic. He can't tell if evil is really evil. 2. Craig granted compatibilism; therefore the FWD fails II. Arguments for Theism A. Kalam cosmological argument 4.1. Big Bang cosmology is strange stuff. 4.2. Asking "where did the universe come from?" is like asking "what is north of the number 7?" 4.3. Why is there something rather than nothing? Consider the odds. There's only one way for there to be nothing, but there are many ways for there to be something. B. The fine-tuning argument 3.1. Craig's wild improbability calculations are based upon insufficient evidence. If we had a complete theory of everything, there would be nothing surprising about our universe's life-permitting conditions. 3.2. On Craig's logic, rainstorms are miraculous. There are lots of possible raindrops, but the fact that we get certain raindrops (and not others) is NOT miraculous. The raindrops are determined by the conditions. Similarly with the Big Bang. D. Resurrection 1. Contradictions in the gospels. 2. No independent confirmation.
Assessment of the Debate
I. Jesseph's Atheistic Arguments A. Argument from Conservativism. (Craig) Both Craig and Jesseph agree with the principle of conservativism (e.g., Ockham's razor). The question is whether this can be extended into an argument for the nonexistence of God. I agree with Craig that this does not constitute an atheological argument. Jesseph dropped the argument after Craig's first rebuttal, causing me to wonder if *Jesseph* really believes this is an argument for atheism. B. Argument from Asymmetry. (Jesseph) Craig seemed to think the asymmetry had to do with the fact that each group thinks it is right and the others are all wrong, but the asymmetry in the argument refers to the application of naturalistic and supernatural explanations within each group. I think Jesseph won on this argument. C. Evidential Argument from Evil. (Jesseph) Craig initially misunderstood Jesseph to be presenting a logical problem of evil; when Craig finally addressed the evidential version, I think he was unsuccessful. I agree with Jesseph that there is no reason to deny the existence of actually gratuitous evils in the world, that the Free Will Defense is a failure, and that the Suffering Brings about Acceptance Defense is a failure. Following Pascal, Craig claimed that "God has provided evidence sufficiently clear to those with an open heart and an open mind" (and presumably, sufficiently vague for those with a "hardened heart" or a closed mind). But is this really true? Is it actually the case that all nonbelievers have hardened their hearts or closed their minds? Here I think Jesseph would have done well to present J.L. Schellenberg's Argument from Divine Hiddenness or Ted Drange's Argument from Nonbelief. Even if we grant that some atheists have engaged in self-deception, there is no reason to believe that all atheists have done so. Moreover, there are good reasons to believe that at least some atheists have not engaged in self-deception and thus their nonbelief is reasonable. II. Craig's Theistic Arguments A. Kalam cosmological argument (Craig) Craig claimed that an atheist who accepts Big Bang cosmology must believe that the universe came from nothing and by nothing; I think this is patently false. The atheist Adolf Grünbaum, who Craig has called "the greatest living philosopher of space and time", has noted: But in what sense could an uncaused Big Bang universe be thought to have "come out of absolutely nothing"? Surely NOT in the sense that there existed moments of time before the Big Bang at which the physical universe did not yet exist but only nothing. As I argued above, despite the metrically finite past duration of the Big Bang world, there was no such prior time. Thus, the finitude of that past does not warrant the conclusion that if this universe is uncaused, it must have "come out of" a prior state of nothing. Moreover, I have privately corresponded with three additional secular philosophers of religion, one agnostic (Graham Oppy) and two atheists (Quentin Smith and Robin Le Poidevin), who all agree that atheists who accept Big Bang cosmology do NOT have to believe the universe came from nothing and by nothing. (Oppy and Smith consider Craig's claim a rhetorical slogan rather than a serious philosophical argument.) As Jesseph pointed out, Big Bang cosmology does not entail that the universe came from nothing; rather, what Big Bang cosmology entails is that there is no place the universe came from. As Jesseph said in the debate, "That's a subtle yet very important distinction," and one which I don't think Craig adequately addressed. The point is that, on Big Bang cosmology, time itself came into existence with the Big Bang, in which case it makes no sense to speak of the Big Bang "coming out of" anything. There was no time at which the universe did not exist, and there is no place the universe came from. The universe just is. Jesseph initially stated three objections to the kalam argument. His first was that there is no reason to think the cause is a person. As Jim Lippard wrote, "Jesseph maintained that he could make no sense of non-temporal, changeless causes, let alone non-temporal, noncorporeal, changeless persons. I agree. A person is an entity with a mind and a will that engages in temporal processes like thinking and acting. A non-temporal creature can't change, and thus can't think or act." Unfortunately, Jesseph dropped the point but Craig did not, so I must flow that objection to Craig. Jesseph's second objection was that causation is a relation between physical events. Again I agree with this, but Jesseph dropped the point allowing Craig to have the last word, and so I must flow that objection as well to Craig. As for Jesseph's third objection, that Craig seems to assume there was a time before the Big Bang, Craig responded with his simultaneous causation defense. Craig asserted that cause and effect can be simultaneous, like a bowling ball depressing a cushion, and Jesseph never responded to this objection. This is unfortunate, for I don't think that Craig's simultaneous causation defense gets him where he wants to go. In the first place, it's not clear that causes are ever actually simultaneous with their effects. To be sure, a bowling ball depressing a cushion *appears* simultaneous, but I see no reason to think that it actually is. But secondly, even if there really is simultaneous causation, that would only solve half of the problem. Simultaneous causation would explain how the BEGINNING OF TIME could be caused even though there is no moment of time prior to it. But simultaneous causation does NOT explain how an effect in time could be caused by a timeless object. Indeed, it seems to me that Craig's simultaneous causation defense is equivalent to the following: (1) "God's timelessly willing the universe to exist was simultaneous with the beginning of the universe's existence." But that in turn seems to be equivalent to the following: (2) At the beginning of the universe, there both was and was not time. This is because, on big bang cosmology, time itself came into existence with the Big Bang. Thus, (1) implies that at a certain point in time (the beginning of time), there was no time! And that is logically contradictory. The upshot is that even if we allow the possibility of simultaneous causation, there does not seem to be any way for a TIMELESS BEING TO CAUSE ANYTHING. See Part II of the excellent paper by Christian philosopher Wes Morriston, "Is God in Time Prior to Creation?: A Critique of the Kalam Argument" at I therefore think Craig won the kalam cosmological argument, but not because I think the argument is sound. Craig was able to exploit the features of an oral debate setting masterfully here. Moreover, I don't think Jesseph did an adequate job of refuting the claim that materialism / physical determinism is self-refuting. Jim Lippard in correspondence has pointed out that (1) there is indeterminism in nature, and (2) whether thoughts are determined is irrelevant to their accuracy and reliability. "Craig maintained that if natural processes produce brains, then we have no grounds for thinking that our brains engage in rational processes and thus well-founded conclusions. This argument simply doesn't work--an instantiation of a reliable algorithm produces reliable results no matter how it came to be instantiated, whether by randomness plus selection or by conscious design. Craig's argument commits the genetic fallacy." Jim Lippard (again in correspondence) has also suggested an objection to Craig's claim that an actual infinite cannot exist. If Craig's claim is true, then omniscience is impossible. "Craig also made his standard kalam cosmological argument, which has as a premise that there are no actual infinities because they result in contradictions. It is a consequence of his argument (though Jesseph didn't point this out) that omniscience is impossible. There is an infinite number of propositions (just taking knowledge of mathematics alone); if God is omniscient and changeless he must be simultaneously entertaining all of these propositions. But to do so requires an actual infinity of thoughts and beliefs, which Craig said is impossible. Q.E.D." B. Fine-tuning argument (Jesseph) I think Jesseph won this argument hands-down. Craig's probability estimates of a life-permitting universe are pulled out of thin air. The fact of the matter is that, given our current knowledge about the origins of the universe, nobody has the slightest idea how likely or unlikely the universe is. Perhaps, as Jesseph suggested, if we had a complete "theory of everything", there would be nothing surprising about our universe's life-permitting conditions. But even without a theory of everything, the burden of proof lies squarely on Craig to justify his probability estimates for the life-permitting conditions of our universe. As Jesseph said in his first rebuttal, the atheist need only demonstrate the flaws of the fine-tuning argument; the atheist has no burden of proof to provide an alternative explanation. Moreover, Craig's two analogies -- skyscrapers in the desert and trained marksmen in a firing squad -- beg the question. Clearly, if we found a skyscraper in the Sahara desert, we would not assume it was the result of the random arrangement of sand particles. Similarly, if a team of 100 trained marksmen all failed to hit their target, we would not believe this was a random outcome. But what does this have to do with the life-permitting physical constants of our universe? Nothing. We don't know the possible values of the physical constants or how they could be assigned. To be sure, as Craig pointed out in his third rebuttal, the values of the physical constants are logically contingent. But that does nothing to show that the values of the physical constants are physically contingent. Craig has the burden of proof to show that it is even physically possible for the physical constants to have different values from the ones they do, and Craig hasn't done that. As Michael Hurben points out in his excellent Secular Web essay, "On Universes and Firing Squads", if proponents of the fine-tuning argument want to keep their firing squad analogy, I suggest they employ a more honest version, one which is more in accord with what we really know (or rather, don't know) about the origin of our universe: You wake up one morning to find yourself blindfolded. You are led somewhere outside, but you are not sure where. Suddenly, you hear a deafening roar. What was it? It sounded like it could have been a number of rifles firing, but some of them may have been quite distant. Perhaps it was just a single shot. You don't know for sure, you are not certain what happened. All you know is that you are alive. There are many explanations for this rather singular experience, but because you were blindfolded, you can't say which was more likely. Was someone shooting at you? Were they near or far away? And what kind of firearm was used? Were there also other shots fired off in the distance? Were there other people blindfolded and who had a similar experience? Did they survive? Or was it a firing squad of ace sharpshooters aiming at you only, and they all missed? Are any of these explanations inherently better than any of the others? If so, why? And if not, then why should one advocate one theory in favor of the others? C. Moral argument (Craig) In Jesseph's last rebuttal, it was obvious that he ran out of time. He skipped this argument entirely, so I am forced to flow the argument to Craig. Also, Jesseph never responded to Craig's rebuttal to the Euthyphro dilemma, that "the good is the very nature of God and that the commands of God flow necessarily out of His moral nature." Craig thinks he's answering the objection, but actually he's only pushing the problem one step further back. Is God good because His nature fulfills a standard independent of His will, or is the fact that God approves of a certain kind of character itself the standard of goodness? Craig might reply that God is good because He is benevolent, merciful, and just. The question then arises: Are benevolence, mercy, and justice valid grounds for judging a being to be good, and if so, are they not standards by which we human beings are judging good? Jim Lippard, in correspondence, has suggested that Jesseph could have been much more forceful by pointing out "that theists are faced with exactly the same metaethical dilemmas as atheists. He [Jesseph] only alluded to, but should have spelled out more explicitly, that theists who believe in the Bible are forced to conclude that ethics are based on God's whim (since he can command child sacrifice, genocide, etc. and thereby make those things right--which Craig took great pains to say was a view where there is no moral objectivity), or else there must be an objective standard of morality independent of God. Craig never really addressed this argument--he simply suggested that somehow morality flows from God's essence necessarily, but is not a matter of God's whim. He never bothered to address the fact that God of the Bible commanded things which he explicitly stated were evil." D. Resurrection (Craig) Before he got cut off by the moderator, Jesseph got in two final objections to this argument which should have been stated in his first speech. One of the final objections was the point about independent confirmation. Craig and Jesseph went back and forth on that objection, which I consider a draw. As for Jesseph's second final objection, that was a "new" objection which would be disallowed under debate rules. However, suppose we ignore debate rules and consider the objection on its own merit. Without much more explanation than Jesseph gave, his second objection does not constitute a prima facie defeater to the historical argument for the Resurrection. I think the Contradictions Objection to the Resurrection, at least as it was presented by Jesseph, is not as damaging as he thinks it is. We need much more information about the alleged contradictions before we can assess their evidential impact. For starters, we need to know precisely what Jesseph finds contradictory in the Resurrection accounts. Without that information, we are not even in the position of being able to assess the significance of the alleged contradictions, or the merit of supposed reconciliations of the alleged contradictions. What Jesseph should have emphasized is the following: * The empty tomb story is a legend. Legends CAN develop in a short amount of time, even in the presence of eyewitnesses. * All of the appearance stories are either legends or were not physical appearances. * The origin of the Christian faith does not require supernatural explanation. Even if we grant Craig's argument that the concept of resurrection was foreign to the Jewish way of thinking, there is no reason to believe that such a paradigm shift required supernatural intervention. E. Religious Experience (Jesseph) Craig dropped this argument in two of his rebuttals, but then tried to revive the argument in his closing statement. Under debate rules, this is disallowed and Craig therefore lost this argument. But let's consider the argument on its own merits. As Jesseph pointed out, there is no doubt that many rational, sincere individuals have religious experiences. The issue is whether these experiences are veridical. Given the variations in religious experiences, there just doesn't seem to be any reason to believe that Christian experiences are veridical while non-Christian experiences are not veridical. Moreover, Craig never really addressed Jesseph's counterarguments. In his third rebuttal, Craig gave his standard Campus Crusade-style conclusion: "God can change your life just as he has changed mine." But the appeal to changed lives is weak. As Christian philosopher Norman Geisler wrote in Answering Islam: The Crescent in the Light of the Cross: "When one fervently believes something to be true he lives by it. ... Any set of ideas fervently believed and applied will transform believers and their culture." (p. 201) I would add that this is true, regardless of whether the "set of ideas" includes God. I therefore flow this argument to Jesseph.
I agree with Jim Lippard’s assessment of the debate: “I’d call the overall debate a draw; Craig won as far as effectiveness of presentation (as opposed to quality of argument).” The overall debate was a draw (in the sense that there was a 4-4 tie on individual arguments), but Jesseph spoke extremely fast and “he would occasionally drop terminology appropriate to a graduate philosophy seminar rather than a public debate” (Lippard). In contrast, Craig’s presentations always had an intuitive feel and he always spoke at the same unhurried pace.