“Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa.” William Lane Craig ‘Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (1984).
I was sitting around today trying to come up with a topic to discuss in this post, and then it hit me! I posted the above quote on a previous post from noted christian apologist William Lane Craig and I realized that I had a lot to say about it. First off it always amazes me at how much trouble atheists are having with refuting the claims of WLC for his arguments for the resurrection of Christ specifically. But this also extends to all of his other arguments in defense of theism.
The first thing we have to ask ourselves is what exactly does WLC mean when he refers to the so called "witness of the Holy Spirit?" From my experience as an ex fundamentalist I can only say that he is referring to that wonderful tingly sensation that you feel in your body when you read an inspiring passage of scripture or feel that somehow through that scripture you have been given a revelation as to its meaning. Christians refer to this as being led by the Spirit and it is usually applicable to every aspect of your life depending on how much of a fanatic you really are.
Immediately after I left the church and renounced my faith in the teachings of Christianity, I began to research possible explanations for the so called feeling of the presence of the Holy Spirit. I have come to the conclusion that it is actually a psycho emotional sensation that you get that is akin to being inspired or moved by an emotional scene in a movie. The same feeling can be attained through music and various other forms of the arts and especially when you contemplate the beauty of nature. It is that same feeling of awe you may feel as you look down into the Grand Canyon or are amazed at the beauty that is Niagara Falls.
I then began to try and bring that feeling up through the process of meditation, and not surprisingly I was able to duplicate that emotion just by concentrating on feeling energy flowing through my body. Because of my martial arts background I am an adept at Daoist meditation and am able to even meditate in motion (for example in a sparring match).
In the case of WLC and others who are convinced in the veracity of the Bible and its various tales it is no surprise that he would feel the way he does. But to compare the so called witness of the Holy Spirit to "beliefs based on arguments and evidence" is an insult to reason. In actuality a gut feeling or emotional response can never take precedence over actual objective evidence.
These emotional sensations or responses to the so called truth of the Christian faith are nothing more than subjective evidence that is powered by the believers presuppositions of the truths he has chosen or been conditioned to believe in.
This demonstrates clearly that Craig's arguments are not based on facts at all but are rather based on faith. Even his evidence claims that he chooses to call facts are not fats but his belief that they are based on his own convictions. Outside of the bible there is no objective evidence to verify that Jesus existed, the he was executed under Pontius Pilate or that he rose from the dead.