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William Lane Craig's 5 Reasons to Believe In God

#1DarkContractorPosted 4/7/2013 2:05:18 PM
I believe we've seen this apologist mentioned in passing on this board, and I'm sure we all know who he is (if not, youtube Hitchens vs Craig or read Rational Faith) yet I've never seen an in-depth analysis of his argument. So I would like to take the time to go over his five points here and we can argue and kill each other and stuff.

Willian Lane Craig's argument is that there are two contentions he abides by: There are zero reasons to believe in atheist yet 5 very good reasons to believe in God. If all his arguments are true, then the logical conclusion is belief Jesus as the Son of God.

1. Cosmological Argument - The philosophical ex nihilio cannot spawn matter. Therefore, something that exists outside of space and time must have birthed the universe. There are two things that do not adhere to space and time; Abstract Ideas and the Personal Mind. Lane argues that Abstract Ideas cannot give birth to the universe, so by process of elimination he arrives to personal mind, which he defines as God.

2. Teleological Argument - Our physics are so improbably fine tuned for life that it seems as though someone manually setup our physics in order to ensure our survival. This process cannot be through physical necessity; no evidence for such a physical process that necessitates certain universes and he also concludes that there would be more solar systems like ours if such a process were to be undertaken.

3. Objective Morality - Without God, there is no objective morality. The naturalistic atheist must automatically concede the position that morality is but a product of evolution. Yet we know in our hearts that of course killing is wrong, of course stealing is wrong, and we know it intrinsically and objectively, and so God must be the one writing his objective morality onto our hearts.

4. Historical Argument - New Testament Historians agree that 1) Jesus, after crucifixion, was discovered missing from his tomb 2) Jesus assumed a divine authority that was simply unheard of and 3) Immediately, his disciples were martyring themselves for him and Christianity immediately boomed.

5. Personal Experience - While bad form for argument, but we all feel the self-evident nature of God, and while we cannot prove it, it is no less credible than our unprovable past or unprovable (to others) existence.

My rebuttals:

1. Okay first of all, there is zero evidence that the philosophical ex nihilio has ever existed, we have not seen one occurrence of whatsoever in any portion of space. The scientific nothingness has evidence and has weight; and it's hypothesized that quantum fluctuations could have birthed our universe. Youtube "an universe from nothing" by Lawrence Krauss. If only nothing can from nothing then by definition then God requires a designer, locking us into an infinite regression. This is why lazy science is dangerous; it locks us into unsolvable perplexities when at the end of the day we have zero evidence of any of them.

Furthermore, even if something formless is what birthed the universe, personal mind vs abstract ideas is a false dichotomy. Any number of things, even in our universe, could exist outside of it, they would simply be without the space or time limits. To assume somethings characteristics are universal through every aspect of it in every dimension and every realm is simply silly. We have zero evidence for anything formless though (most neurologists in fact agree there is a bottom up to our minds; just because we're not there yet does not mean you can claim it to be the exact opposite (as opposed to the scientific neutral stance) and then use it as evidence for a whole other argument.
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#2DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 4/7/2013 2:06:38 PM
2. I'm going to respond to teleological argument last, so onwards to morality.

First, the only 'objective' moral transparent through every culture stealing. Stealing has been deemed wrong and immoral by pretty much every culture of every era. Killing has often aroused in the form of an eye for an eye, genocide, etc. throughout the ages, always a part of many cultures. There is zero evidence of an objective morality outside of stealing, and it is easy to see how stealing would arise- evolutionary necessity for the cooperation of communities. Yes, it might seem advantageous in the moment, but ultimately, humans cannot survive by themselves, we foster through teamwork, and so those who were attracted to stealing died off. We similar logics for killing. For love, love has gone through much evolutionary change in the past milleniums. We used to pretty much just **** whoever, back in the day ****ing someone was given no more attention than grabbing brunch with a friend; you probably don't chill with every single person you would consider a friend, and you certainly would not go on vacation with every single one, and you certainly wouldn't **** every single one. Most bookstores carry some literature on the history of love as currently culturally defined, usually in the science section, I would recommend looking into it.

Objective morality would be nice, but isn't that all God is? The summary of our idealizations? It would in fact be idle that we have objective morality, just as it is ideal that we live forever, have free will, and have a big guy in the sky who will provide every care and need we could ever think about. Regardless, there is zero evidence for any of these idealizations (one of them falsified; free will. And just because you quotemine some atheists who believe they have free will through philosophical rationalizing does not mean they are correct, they still have zero evidence.

3) We just covered the Resurrection topic, all the theists could come up with is an ad populum there was like a lot of people who believed the story of the Resurrection. http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/263-religion/65842525 It's also worth noting his specific use of the phrase "New Testament historians". Of course they do! They even agree on the divinity and miracles of Jesus just like Islamic scholars agree on Mohammed being visited by angels! He doesn't list that agreement there though otherwise he would lose the implication of secular historians he was trying to make.

4) Okay well I don't, nor have I ever, felt that the nature of God was self-evident in anyway so perhaps I'm talking out of my ass when I describe it, but it seems a logical fallacy to assert that "It seems like it to me, so therefore it must seem like it to everyone!" If you quote Romans 1:20, you first need to prove the Bible before you use it as an axiom of belief, thus leading to circular logic.
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#3DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 4/7/2013 2:08:15 PM
5) Teleological - Okay I watched William argue this point several times and I still feel I'm not grasping what he meant by "we would see more solar systems like ours". I'm not sure if he was just spouting nonsense or if he meant something, so if the latter, someone please elaborate.

Anyways, as Hitchens points out, are universe is not fine tuned to our existence, there are tons of things that immediately annihilate life. And WLC laughably and patheticably uses grade school logic to strengthen his point. He contends though that this is only a problem in the atheist perspective, Christian theology pertains eternity, thus eliminating all negative factors so he has no choice but to see the friendly, save environment of all these positive factors. Seriously, this is "How do I know the universe can't mess up my eternity? Because God told me! How do I know God is real, though? Because the universe has no negative factors in it! Well it does, but I'm accepting my premise as my conclusion so **** evidence and **** logic!" What WLC said is but the natural conclusion of Christianity, not an argument for it. This is why I saved it for last, so I could debunk the other four arguments, thus leading to no reason believe what he said.

This eliminates one of WLC's contentions; that there are 5 good reasons to believe. It should be noted at this point this is not how science works; it is not a 50/50 list with pros and cons tacked on to each side, but I'm just playing along with WLC's mental gymnastics.

Anyways, I argue there are 4 good reasons to not believe in God.

1. Dawkin's Ultimate Boeing Gambit - God is so irreducibly complex that he would necessitate a designer, much in the same way creationists looking for examples of irreducible complexity in evolution. If there was a First Cause (or something simply uncaused but caused or simply preceded everything else) what was more likely; this first singularity was random, chaotic particles that randomly drifted around for about 11 billion years, until they randomly drifted into life that then evolved through natural selection for about 1.9 billion years, until we reach the spawn of man which then slowly evolved into what we are today, or the first singularity consisted of particles (or whatever stuff God is made of) that instantly formed an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being who thought to create the universe and happened to be morally perfect, completely honest, have no ill intention for anyone, and set all this up to glorify himself?

2. Free Will - Many religions necessitate free will for their systems of sin. Free will is in fact, whats the Christian verbiose? A false teaching.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-Xp7mvOcVM

3. The Problem of Evil - Even if God is defined as perfect and morally righteous, then still by definition he is not human, he tortures us, he is not altruistic and watches children starve, he designed species like black widows (where the female consumes the male after intercourse), bees that can only martyr themselves to defend their children, and absolutely sickening viruses and bacteria (no pun intended) that torture their victim before killing them off.
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#4DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 4/7/2013 2:09:00 PM
4. Science works - This one is pretty simple and probably comes off as angstheisty, but simply put, if you are choking, would you like me to pray for you, question your existence and the concept of choking, or would you like me to perform the heimlich manuever? An useful litmus test when someone acts like they are so sure of God and trust him so much. Furthermore, multiple studies have been done on prayer. The very best case study had about a 50 percent difference on the people who were prayed for versus those who didn't.

5. The Historical Argument - The Resurrection would have been the single handedly most important event in history ever, if it actually happened. Yet as I discussed when rebutting WLC, we have zero evidence of it. I find that HIGHLY improbable. The Exodus- Absolutely zero evidence it actually happened and the Egyptians were incredibly adept at recording their history. 3000 slaves being led away by magic? Yeah, that's not going unnoticed.

Just like WLC contends in order to continue with atheism one must tear down all 5 arguments he makes, I contend you must tear down all 5 arguments in order to continue with Christianity (except arguably the problem of evil).
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#5DeadPresidents2Posted 4/7/2013 2:11:21 PM
1 and 2 are acceptable arguments, provided that they are argued correctly and humbly--and with acknowledgement of possible error in their understanding. 5 isn't really argument at all, but to be honest, I much prefer it when people use personal experience to support their beliefs than pseudoscience.

3 and 4 are not viable arguments, in that 3 is on the brink of destruction due to emergent theories in evolutionary psychology, and that 4 requires that we base things off of events that can never be holistically verified.
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#6DeadPresidents2Posted 4/7/2013 2:12:30 PM
Sorry, didn't realize you were still posting. I wrote my post only after seeing your original one.
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#7DarkContractor(Topic Creator)Posted 4/7/2013 2:17:35 PM
naw im done now :P
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An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. PSN: MrPillow92 Steam: MrPillowtheGreat
#8TheRealJiraiyaPosted 4/7/2013 2:26:37 PM(edited)
DeadPresidents2 posted...
1 and 2 are acceptable arguments, provided that they are argued correctly and humbly--and with acknowledgement of possible error in their understanding. 5 isn't really argument at all, but to be honest, I much prefer it when people use personal experience to support their beliefs than pseudoscience.

3 and 4 are not viable arguments, in that 3 is on the brink of destruction due to emergent theories in evolutionary psychology, and that 4 requires that we base things off of events that can never be holistically verified.


I would have said 1-3 are just dumb, 4 could make a good argument is argued very well but probably isnt sufficiently convincing (assuming point 4 is historical arguments in general, not specific "the Bible says X" stuff), and 5 isnt transferable.

I think people who accept the cosmological, teleological, and ESPECIALLY the ontological arent thinking it through very clearly.
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#9DeadPresidents2Posted 4/7/2013 2:26:31 PM
TheRealJiraiya posted...
DeadPresidents2 posted...
1 and 2 are acceptable arguments, provided that they are argued correctly and humbly--and with acknowledgement of possible error in their understanding. 5 isn't really argument at all, but to be honest, I much prefer it when people use personal experience to support their beliefs than pseudoscience.

3 and 4 are not viable arguments, in that 3 is on the brink of destruction due to emergent theories in evolutionary psychology, and that 4 requires that we base things off of events that can never be holistically verified.


I would have said 1-3 are just dumb, 4 could make a good argument is argued very well but probably isnt sufficiently convincing, and 5 isnt transferable.

I think people who accept the cosmological, teleological, and ESPECIALLY the ontological arent thinking it through very clearly.



Glad to see that we agree on #3

=D
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#10KNessJMPosted 4/7/2013 2:27:14 PM
1) It is not known whether a thing such as the universe was created or not. On the quantum scale, some things do appear to simply blink in and out of existence (this is where the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle comes in). It is unknown what caused the universe as we know it to take its current form. Assuming it was a deity (much less any specific deity) is an argument from ignorance.

2) This is a strange argument to make, because it's essentially saying that because we exist, it must be possible for us to exist, and then acting as if that's a profound statement. It would only seem like an astronomical (no pun intended) probability for humans to exist if humans existing was a goal that was to be reached. There's no evidence that humanity is not just another random outcome, given the endless possible combinations of matter and energy. Not to mention that more than 99% of all known reality is not conducive to human life. If you dropped a random human being all on their own into nearly any conceivable spot in the universe, they would die within seconds. How is this supposed to be designed for our survival?

3) Morality is subjective.

4) While most historians agree that the historical Jesus did exist, there's no agreement regarding anything at all supernatural.

5) I've never experienced anything that I would call God, so that argument holds no water for me.

WLC is a hack that just regurgitates the same arguments that have been around for centuries (and which have been refuted countless times), and is somehow hailed as an intellectual hero by evangelicals. It's pretty ridiculous.
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