Posts Tagged ‘ william lane craig ’

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

The never ending discussion on the compatibility between science and religion asks if they can get along and coexist. The argument, no matter how it is stated, comes down to this: Science has facts, religion has faith. As long as religion has faith it will remain incompatible with both science and reality. Believers might argue that their faith is compatible with science yet they will not allow for someone else’s faith being compatible with their own. When believers can’t even get their ‘faith’ coherent but decide to disagree with the best method we have of knowing the world around us then it is completely incompatible with science.

A religion that is not incompatible with science would be one that requires no faith. Would that be a religion?

Can’t we all just get along?

NO, we can’t as long as you are unwilling to be a full participant in reality.

Before anyone thinks I’m calling all believers stupid, just stop. This is a reaction to the discussion of compatibility and not simply your particular point of view. That said, if you want to feel offended, that is your prerogative, just don’t expect an apology.

 

 

William Lane Craig: Debunked … Again

If you have been reading along for a while you should probably already know that I think William Lane Craig is a crank. A well educated and vociferous crank, but a crank just the same. His debate tactic is that annoying kind of style where he throws out everything he can so there is no time to reply to all of it then declares his opponent offered no evidence and did not speak to all his points. He is truly annoying so it is with some manner of glee that I present this video of his argument on animal pain being taken apart with surgical skill. This is probably the only way to address his speeches, one point at a time with great pains over the details. He is a dangerous idiot because he misleads a lot of people with his rhetoric and lies.

 

As recommended in the comments, here is another debate with WLC where his technique is not able to overcome the failures of his arguments.

 

The Next Logical Step For Theological Argument

I’ve been thinking, as I listened to the video clip below, theists and apologists use the same thread bare arguments which have been used for centuries. They have been refuted time and time again but they keep using them as if somehow repetition creates truth. I’ve been wanting to hear someone excoriate WLC for a while now. Here you go:

 

 

When atheists debate apologists they soundly refute these arguments and countless bloggers have refuted them. In the style of war or tit-for-tat, there should be a return volley from apologists. Where is it? Where is the counter argument to the refutations of apologists? Where is the counter argument to Hitchens, or Dawkins?

Why don’t apologists attack the refutations rather than simply reiterate their tired old arguments? Am I missing something? Am I not watching the right blogs and Youtube channels?
Let me know in the comments below….

William Lane Craig Is An Idiot

UPDATE: The timing was almost perfect. Here is a story from The Conversation about “science and a declaration of animal consciousness” which makes William Lane Craig’s arguments seem facile and undeserving of respect.

He is either a liar or too ignorant to know that he is a philosopher and not a neurologist, biologist, or scientist of any kind. Watch this video and let me know whether you think I’m being too harsh on him or not.

Perhaps my dogs will never bite William Lane Craig but I will….

Oh! Subscribe to skydivephil’s channel. There are some great videos on the channel.

1 + 3 = 4 Your Consideration

Every now and then I see some things that seem to add up. Today it was two videos and a blog post. The combinatorial effect is more or less how I feel about things, where things equals anti-theism. By now you should know that I’m not too keen on an ‘atheist community’ because it just doesn’t fit with how I feel about non-belief. I don’t need help to not believe. I’m pretty good doing that all on my own. So lets get to the bits that link up:

Really, who has the staminal to argue with the Hitch? Not many I would think.

Then there is this from Dusty

Go Dusty! There are the reasons that leaving religion behind is important.

Then there is this sort of guest post from Ellery Schempp at the Friendly Atheist

There is NO reason to think that inter-faith efforts do anything but bolster the position of religion. Really, religion has to go. No need to say anything more. Those famous atheists who support working together simply have no clue as to how caustic religion really is. That is sad.

 

Lets not forget JT Eberhards view on why Reason is a Moral Obligation:

What Is The Kalam Cosmological Argument

or more specifically, ‘Why I Think The Kalam Cosmological Argument Is profoundly wrong’ and other thoughts.

Defining Moment

I like to review some definitions when I think about the meaning of something that has been said. In this case it is the definition of the words used by William Lane Craig ( let’s just call him Bill ) to state his contemporary format of the Kalam Cosmological Argument

Contemporary argument

William Lane Craig has formulated the argument as follows:[20]

  1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
  4. This cause is the God of Classical Theism, and is a personal being, because He chose to create the universe.

Whatever: Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘anything or everything’

Begins: Merriam-Webster gives –2 a : to come into existence : arise b : to have a starting point 

Exist: Merriam-Webster says:

1 a : to have real being whether material or spiritual [did unicorns exist] [the largest galaxy known to exist] b : to have being in a specified place or with respect to understood limitations or conditions [strange ideas existed in his mind] 2     : to continue to be [racism still exists in society] 3 a : to have life or the functions of vitality <we cannot exist without oxygen b : to live at an inferior level or under adverse circumstances [the hungry existing from day to day]

Cause: Merriam-Webster says:

1    a : a reason for an action or condition : motive      b : something that brings about an effect or a result      c : a person or thing that is the occasion of an action or state; especially : an agent that brings something about      d : sufficient reason [discharged for cause] 2    a  a ground of legal action     b : case 3     : a matter or question to be decided 4  a : a principle or movement militantly defended or supported     b : a charitable undertaking [for a good cause]

The KCA Breakdown

Whatever includes both the universe and gods and … well, everything. The word ‘begins’  seems straightforward as well, though the word existence gives some wiggle room to argue that it does not really apply well to the thing Christians describe as their god, that point can be taken up later in this post. For now let’s get mired in the definition of exist. It’s the last of the four words of interest in the first premise that is most troubling. All of the defined uses of the word ’cause’ imply or specify intention as though the word is short for ‘intentional cause’ or ‘intended cause’. On this point I do not think that Bill will argue even though I think he should. Imagine you are hovering over the ocean on a dark and starless night. A wind blows and causes a wave to rise. As this waves crests and crashes back to the ocean body it causes a splash. From that splash there are several drops of water that go flying off in varying directions. Each of those flying drops of water has begun to exist, but none of them began to exist as a result of an intentional cause, nor due to the intentional action of some agent. The water itself gave rise to the beginning of existence of the water drops. It may be argued in some circles that gravity gave rise to the existence of the water drops but that argument takes a lot of time and physics to explain, and does not include provisions for intention or independent agents so really doesn’t have to be made. I refute the first premise in this way – it is not always true and therefore cannot be cleanly applied to ‘anything and everything’. The first premise is false.

Wait! What if the water drops are not considered to have come into existence? There would be no need of an intentional cause or intentional action by some independent agent. Lets cover that a bit as we talk about premise number two.

Bill is off to a not-so-good start. When he moves on to the second premise we are witness to more folly. He will claim that science proves that the universe began to exist, quoting some scientist or other who talks about the big bang event. The trouble is that we don’t know that the universe and all it’s ‘information’ did not exist prior to the big bang event. He is misunderstanding scientists and seems to presume that scientific theorems cannot change in light of new evidence. So the second premise might or might not be true. Which is it? We don’t know yet. If the water drops above existed before the big splash event, the second premise is false if the universe was created in similar way from an ocean of ‘space’. If they only began to exist after the big splash event then perhaps the second premise is true but it still leaves us with the problem of intentional action by an independent agent. Simply put, the doubt here makes this a weak premise. Bill says that he has spent a great deal of time studying philosophy. This argument, so far, does not look like it was made by an ardent and capable philosopher. If the statement is not known to be true, it is a false premise. That is strike two. If this were baseball, Bill’s team would be getting ready to ‘take to the field’.

Lets look at the third and  stronger premise. Oh, wait…. oops!

This argument is based on just two premises. One is false and the other is not known to be true. Of course you can say that the water drops did not begin to exist so the first premise stands but you cannot say that the universe did not come to be as it is in a similar manner to those water drops, so premise two still fails. In either case the two premises do not make a good argument. You most certainly cannot in good faith and honesty arrive at the conclusions which Bill does using these two premises as he has. Yes, I know that Bill did not originate this argument, however he did revive it from an almost certain philosophical death and has been making a living by talking about it for several decades. He removed the fallacy of special pleading to make it sound more reasonable and almost acceptable… at least if you’re not thinking critically of his argument.

With a false or very shaky set of premises, the deduction that the existence of this universe had a cause is incorrect, false, or otherwise not true. Everything else from this point in the argument is objectionable. It is objectionable because there are no facts to support the deductions. That is how this deductive logic thing works. If any of the premises are wrong then the argument fails because we cannot make the deductions that lead to the conclusion based on fantasy or imagination. It must be based on fact. If you want to then say “well, some universes may have an intentional cause through the intentional action of an independent agent” I will reply that this does not show that the only universe we know of had such a cause. The argument still fails to be true.

Step four in Bil’s argument is a bridge too far.

This cause [of the universe] is the God of Classical Theism, and is a personal being, because He chose to create the universe.

There are three conclusions here that cannot be supported:

  1. The unproven or maybe unprovable cause is the god of classical theism
  2. That god is a personal being
  3. He chose to create the only universe that we know of

Not one thing in the argument supports the first conclusion here. Despite the argument that such a god does not exist, there is nothing here that says such a being would intentionally cause the only universe that we know of to exist. If there was a cause it might have been entirely accidental… we do not yet know and cannot know with the information currently available to us.

Absolutely nothing in the argument describes any god. To say that this supposed god is a personal god is just wishful thinking. Even if this argument strongly argued for a god that is the cause of the existence of the only universe that we know of this argument does not show, prove, or hint at the idea that such a god doesn’t hate this universe and regret its very existence. Concluding that we know  something about this god other than it created the universe in some way is profoundly wrong.

It’s not bad enough to be profoundly wrong in the second conclusion, Bill has to go on and opine that this supposed god ‘chose’ to create the only universe that we know of. The universe in which we live might well have been an accident while this god was working to create the universe that he actually wanted. To conclude that you know the mind of god based on this argument is fallacious in the highest degree. Lets leave the argument of whether a god is perfect so would not make mistakes for another post, one that is not talking about proof that such a god exists rather than the qualities of such a god. IE, the aesthetic beauty of a flower does nothing to prove that it exists, for no flower is needed to talk about aesthetic beauty of a flower, it can be an abstract idea.

I used the phrase ‘the universe that we know of’ several times for an important reason: We cannot yet know if there is more than one universe or if this is the smallest of many nested universes. This argument of Bill’s only speaks of this one, not any of the other possible universes. Even though we don’t yet know the origin of this universe it is worth mentioning because Bill’s snake oil pitch assumes only one, and further that he knows how it was created … or at least who is responsible. Clearly these are not things that we can yet know. This argument is ardently preached by Bill, to the point that it has to be called a lie. At the moment I rather favor the water drop hypothesis of universe origin.

Do you want data with that?

If the only universe that we know of began to exist in a similar way to how the water drops above began to exist then what Bill has presented here is no argument at all. I’m not saying that because ‘if I can imagine a thing then it must be true’. Lets look at some of the reasons that a person might agree with me.

The Water Drop Hypothesis

Disclaimer: I am not a physicist, professional scientist, or think tank member etc.

Edwin Hubble‘s work led to the realization that the universe is expanding rather than holding still in a steady state as much of religion had believed up to that time.There is quite a bit of chatter about what the shape of the universe is. The “global shape” of the universe and what effects dark energy and dark matter actually have are unclear. They are given as explanations for observations of the universe. Then you get string theory involved. Explaining string theory to an ape is like trying to tell a tropical fish that air is not nothing or emptiness. Yes, I know the meme, if you think you know string theory then you don’t know string theory.

The current statement of my Water Drop Hypothesis is this: While we can imagine an ocean of quanta vibrating to create the four dimensions of the only universe we know, we cannot quite imagine what might be outside that ocean (the only universe we know). If a drop of quanta were to be separated from the larger “ocean” it previously belonged to, and the perturbations of it’s shape causes fluctuations in the material of the drop so that we can see the 4 dimensions we believe we see today, I think several things might be possible;

  • Time is the effect of dilution of the coherence of the vibrations. The faster you move through space (the more energetic the coherent wave is), the less time you experience.
  • The point of separation of the drop from the ocean may have caused a strong reaction in the energy field(s), which in turn created the disturbances within the center of the drop to form the 3 dimensions of space.
  • As the drop expands the ‘space’ of our universe expands while the properties of dilution of energetic coherent waves remains the same… the speed of light then appears to slow down.

There should be lots of math and use of scientific data for this, which I have not done. It’s an idea that occurs to me rather than an explanation for the data observed. It’s an idea that makes human apes even more inconsequential than any previous idea to my knowledge. Our entire universe is but a drop of quanta briefly separated from a puddle or ocean of it in a much larger existence. Clearly I have no scientific case to say that this is even close to possible but it is just as plausible and more useful than the Kalam Cosmological Argument. I’m willing to accept new data, new information and change my hypothesis. Once you say ‘my god did it’ you are done. Revising your ideas after that is to admit defeat.

If you know exactly why this hypothesis cannot be true please let me know in the comments. It will save me time searching.

Why William Lane Craig Is Like A Cancer On Society

Yes, I’m going to explain that headline, but it will take a bit. Get a drink or smoke ’em if you got ’em. Here we go. Lets start 2012 as we mean to finish.

I’m not insinuating anything here, but in the USA we only really give three names to convicted felons, murderers, and heinous people who broke the law.Yes, I know we give three names to presidents too. I guess that joke wasn’t funny as it was in my head.

I don’t think that three names adds profundity, nor do I feel that titles add authority or guarantee rightness. So from here on out I’m just going to call him Bill. Despite all the time he wasted in divinity school his title offers no authority in my opinion. If you get someone to offer you a title for spending 8 years of your life studying the tooth fairy and all the arguments for and against its existence and other bits, you are not deserving of  respect based solely on that. It is wise for the reader to remember that Bill makes his living spouting the stuff that he does. The more he spouts it in public the more money he makes. That is more or less the Hollywood business model, the crack pipe-dream of using more than  your Warholean 15. Philosophy is an odd thing. As important as it might be it is rather useless to the normal person just trying to pay bills on a day to day basis. Even Bill has not figured out how to make philosophical thinking a useful tool for those who would rather know where their next meal is coming from or have some clean drinking water.

Even having said that, most probably all of us ponder the great questions of why do we exist and what is our purpose. Bill has added some to this questioning by championing the Kalam Cosmological Argument. It’s a god of the gaps argument that will eventually be put to rest, but it is his big thing. I won’t tell you that Bill is not well spoken nor well read, but I will tell you he is just an ape in a nice suit. Nice suits don’t make your argument more true. You see, to believe as I do you have to believe that we humans are apes. Apes with grand skills and abilities, but apes nonetheless. So, that puts some perspective on this post. We’re talking about an ape in a suit who very strongly believes the Kalam Cosmological Argument proves his deity exists.

One of the things that really stands the hairs on the back of my neck straight up about this guy is his thoughts on animals. I’m not a PETA member, those folk are a bit nuts. I do believe that we have more in common with other mammals than we don’t have in common with them. The basics of our brains are the same. Anyone that can tell you that animals do not feel pain the way that we do is an evil person. There is no room for argument on this, they are simply evil. Their bigotry and racism is without question. Animals do have morality and you can see examples here and here and here and here and there are many more examples. We are slowly learning how little the difference is between humans and other animals. If you simply take the science stories in the news about human children and animals you will begin to see that there is very little difference. If human children can know about their pains so can other animals. Bill is lying to everyone and he knows it. How can he claim to be a top class intellectual and make such bold assertions? He’s a philosopher, not a doctor of neurobiology. His ideas about animals comes from a dusty old book written by people who practiced ritual sacrifice of humans and animals alike in their past. His holy text is demonstrably easy to show as full of contradictions, corrections, changes. It is generally easy to show that it is not inerrant. Kosher and Halal ritual killing should be banned in every country, as should ‘stoning to death’ and beheading among the many objectionable religious practices in the world. Many of these are taught as law in the holy text that Bill wants you to believe is the inerrant truth of his chosen deity.

There are several links to Bill’s website above. Go and read a bit about his thoughts on animal pain. Remember, he’s just an ape in a suit. While you are reading try this fun word game: substitute the word ‘animal’ and its various forms with a word like ‘homosexual’ or ‘black’ or ‘indian’ and see how bigoted and racist he sounds. It was not long ago that social Darwinists used the same kind of arguments for unethical treatment of other humans.

Bill gets a lot of respect. Far more than I think he is deserving of. He uses that undeserved respect to add weight or value to the ideas he spews onto the social conscience of society. Without proof that his deity exists he insists that it does and further that this deity wants you to live this way or that. Along the way he justifies some very nasty things. His thoughts on animals is simply one of them. So prolific is his fount of ‘thoughts’ that it cannot be helped that some unfortunate among us will be duped into believing as he does. This is how cancer works, generally. It does not take over all the cells of your body but slowly, just one or two at a time. In time it will take over many cells in your body. Finally it will have taken over enough to kill you.

Bill is not advocating that we seek knowledge and truth. He is certain that he has the truth already. He has no proof of course, but he is certain anyway. Bill is a snake oil salesman, and a good one at that. He makes his living from the pockets of those he dupes.

By the way, Bill’s belief that the Kalam Cosmological Argument proves the existence of god does not prove that there is a god. Even if it did, it does not prove his god is the one. Even if it did prove his god exists, it does not prove another deity did not create this existence. All that you will find on Bill’s website is bullshit argument from a bullshit artist. Because he is able to convince others to think like him he is a cancer on society.

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