Talking to my Husband
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
14-04-2016, 05:01 PM
RE: Talking to my Husband
Hi Sally,

One of the simplest responses that you can make to this sort of reasoning is quite simply that arguments are not evidence. Theists could make valid arguments until they were blue in the face but they'd still have failed to provide the evidence that is what most atheists are interested in.

Consider a murder trial. Imagine that the prosecution immediately jumps to making arguments rather than presenting evidence. They might make some damned fine arguments but without any evidence they're never going to convict the suspect. Unless they have a very stoopid jury. All the defense has to do is point out that the prosecution has failed to even demonstrate that the purported victim is dead.

That said, here's the TL;DR dissection of the article that you linked:

Quote:1. God is the best explanation why anything at all exists.

No. God is the worst possible explanation for anything. An explanation requires that you understand something. By contrast, God is infinite and thus defies mortal comprehension. So whenever somebody argues that 'God is the best explanation for X.' they are effectively saying 'magic is the best explanation for X.' Actually magic would be better because you might have some hope of some day figuring out how the wand works. As you can see though "God" isn't an explanation whatsoever. God is an excuse to stop asking the question.

Quote:We can summarize this reasoning as follows:

1. Every contingent thing has an explanation of its existence.

2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is a transcendent, personal being.

3. The universe is a contingent thing.

4. Therefore, the universe has an explanation of its existence.

5. Therefore, the explanation of the universe is a transcendent, personal being.

– which is what everybody means by ‘God’.

Premise #2 is just plain wrong. It's a beautiful example of cherry-picking your arguments so that you don't arrive at an incovenient conclusion. If you allow the possibility that the universe didn't have a cause or had a natural cause then this argument doesn't arrive at God, so the theists have quietly ignored those possibilities.

Premise #3 is not demonstrated. Causality is a function of the universe. That means that the universe itself may not have a cause as we understand the term.

And that isn't what everybody means by 'God.' What a lot of people mean is a homophobic bastard that has children torn apart by bears for taunting bald men. Or some sadistic nightmare that demands genital mutilation. Or equally absurd nonsense.

Quote:2. God is the best explanation of the origin of the universe.

No. As I mentioned above, God is the worst possible explanation for anything. The universe might not have an origin, at least not as we understand it. What makes this one sneaky is that it's more or less asking "Why did the universe happen?" That looks profound by virtue of being an important question but if you examine it carefully you find that the question doesn't actually make any sense. That's because our language has evolved to talk about the weather, how the crops are doing and why the cow is sick. It breaks down when used to speak about the beginning of reality itself.

The word "Why?" implicitly asks for a description of an event. In this case the cause of the universe. Since space, time and causality likely began when the universe did that's pretty much asking you to describe a cause before causation at a date before time in a place before space. The question doesn't make sense so when people try and answer it they get really absurd results, like "God."

For shits and giggles, try this one on your husband next time he brings it up. Ask him to describe God before he Created the universe. Remind him that there is no space and no time so if he describes motion, space or even a state of being then he's doing it wrong. The human mind can't do this since it's pretty much asking him to imagine something existing outside the four dimensions that he's familiar with. And that's exactly what he's asking you to do when he asks "Why did the universe begin?" If he's as intelligent as you suggest he ought to pick up on that but watching the inner turmoil should be entertaining. Bring popcorn. There are few things funnier in the world than a powerful mind that's been turned in on itself.

Quote:3. God is the best explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world.

The Commandment that Thou Shalt Not Invoke God To Expalin Anything aside, this is simply wrong. The applicability of mathematics is nothing like a "happy coincidence." We learned mathematics and logic by observing the physical world. Ug and Og spent many a day at the beach putting one rock next to another rock and getting two rocks every last time. Nuclear physics is just quarks doing math at absurd speeds. This argument demonstrates only the impressive predictive power of the natural sciences, something that religion utterly lacks.

Quote:4. God is the best explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.

The universe isn't finely tuned to produce intelligent life, intelligent life is highly evolved to exist in this universe. The argument from fine tuning is a great argument against god, because a fine-tuned universe doesn't need galaxies or asteroids or quasars. It needs a flat surface, air, water, food, etc. all miraculously caused and created. You don't need a sun, you need a magic light source. Only an incompetent Deity would use a perpetually exploding fusion reaction balanced by its own gravity (aka the Sun) as the source of light and heat hor His creation. It's an argument of an entire universe balanced on the head of a pin where any competent Creator would have used at least three sturdy table legs.

Quote:5. God is the best explanation of intentional states of consciousness.

This belies a woeful ignorance of the workings of the human brain. Seriously? Did this guy just tell me that God is what makes me think? So God is what is making me think that God doesn't exist? God makes me think that God doesn't exist and then when I die God sends me to Hell for it? I think not. Talk about your reductions to absurdity.

Quote:6. God is the best explanation of objective moral values and duties.

I'll tell this one to the Saudi's the next time they want to execute a woman for the crime of being raped. Or the Christian right the next time they want to discriminate against... Everybody.

Morality is little more than the interactions that are necessary for a functional society. If we allow murder then eventually almosteverybody ends up dead. Same idea for rape, theft, etc. So simple even computers can do it.

Quote:7. The very possibility of God’s existence implies that God exists.

Oh goody, here comes the Ontological argument. This one's a bit more than a millenium old and was discreditted back then. There are several problems with the premises. For real fun try the following modification:

Quote:God, Anselm observes, is by definition the greatest being conceivable. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God. Thus, God is the greatest conceivable being – a maximally great being.

But that's wrong. The term "conceivable" limits the definition of God to what my puny mortal mind can handle, and as egocentric as I am, I expect any Deity to be more impressive than that. If God exists then God is well and truly beyond conceivable. Since my inconceivable God is Bigger and Stompier than any conceivable "God" then it must be God, by Anselm's logic. But this means that God can't be conceived of, that the mere mortal mind cannot grasp His magnificence. In a nutshell, that Anselm's argument cannot demonstrate God's existence. If it could then God would be bound by mere mortal reasoning and would be a lesser deity and that's something that the Ontological argument doesn't allow.

Quote:8. God can be personally known and experienced.

Because the human mind is so wondefully capable of understanding the infinite and ineffable. At least he admits that this one isn't actually an argument. Just open your heart, blah, blah, blah... Allah is knowable too. As are Zeus, Odin and Pele.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 6 users Like Paleophyte's post
14-04-2016, 05:19 PM (This post was last modified: 14-04-2016 05:26 PM by Heatheness.)
RE: Talking to my Husband
I have never seen nor heard, no matter how intelligent a religious person is, any testable evidence of god. There's lots of evidence of belief but none of god itself. When he can show you testable, repeatable evidence of a supernatural being/s then he'll have something, until then, no. He can throw all the books he wants at you and there are just as many books about Santa, unicorns, dragons and the like but they too are just fiction.

Your empathy towards suffering is not a testament to anger against a real god, it's a testament to your anger at humans for using an imaginary being to justify real harm to real people.

One of my favorite quotes for those who claim the "you're angry at god" bs.


“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

― Epicurus

I would also challenge him. Since he has been giving you things to read why not do the same. Give him the link to:

http://chrisstedman.religionnews.com/201...-believer/

http://clergyproject.org/

Both of these are from the deconversion POV.

[Image: dnw9krH.jpg?4]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Heatheness's post
14-04-2016, 08:21 PM
RE: Talking to my Husband
(14-04-2016 11:40 AM)SallyBr0wn Wrote:  ANYWAY, he will send me links of things to read. I do read them, but I feel like I am too incompetent to talk about the articles. I know that he reads them and understands them 100% and I know that I do not. I am so frustrated at myself. So, here is an article sent to me. It is crazy long, so you all may not want to read it. But this is what I am against. I am basically married to WLC understudy and I do not see how I can ever get him to see my side.

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/popular-a...-god-exist

I don't know if it's possible to convince your husband that he is wrong, but it really shouldn't bother you. In case you want to know what the problems with the article are, here you go.

It opens with a long-winded ramble about the history of modern Christian philosophy, which isn't really important even assuming that it is correct (and it probably isn't). Moving on to the actual arguments Craig presents:

Quote:1. God is the best explanation why anything at all exists.

"God did it" is not an explanation. It asserts that the existence of the universe is evidence for the existence of god, which is the non sequitur fallacy, the most absolutely basic mistake it is possible to make in logic. It simply does not follow. There is no reason to believe that the universe must have a creator.

Craig gives the example of finding a ball to try and support this, but this is a false comparison; the ball and the universe are nothing alike. Specifically, the ball exists within space-time, and is thus subject to causality. The universe is space-time, and there is no reason to believe that it is - or even could be - subject to causality. Basically, before the universe, there wasn't necessarily a law that would have required a cause.

And, ultimately, this leads to the problem of special pleading, which means that Craig sets up a list of rules that his argument operates under, then tries to make an exception to those rules without any justification.

Specifically, he says that "The explanation of the universe can lie only in a transcendent reality beyond it... the existence of which transcendent reality is metaphysically necessary". But there is no reason given as to why this "transcendent" reality (God) is any more necessary than the "real" universe. It simply is, because he says so. Everything has to have a cause, except this one thing that he gives a special label to for no reason.

This is what the vast majority of William Lane Craig's arguments - and most theist arguments ever made, really - boil down to. Claim that the universe must have a cause, for no adequately explained reason. Then claim that this cause does not need a cause, for no adequately explained reason. Claim victory.

It's really that simple. Everything else Craig says on the topic is just trying to dress that up in fancy words. And yes, it's every bit as stupid as it sounds.

And, as if to illustrate my point, Craig immediately repeats this argument in part two. Moving on.

Quote:3. God is the best explanation of the applicability of mathematics to the physical world.

...Mathematics is the language of nature. But how is this to be explained? If mathematical objects like numbers and mathematical theorems are abstract entities causally isolated from the physical universe, then the applicability of mathematics is, in the words of philosopher of mathematics Mary Leng, “a happy coincidence.” On the other hand, if mathematical objects are just useful fictions, how is it that nature is written in the language of these fictions? The naturalist has no explanation for the uncanny applicability of mathematics to the physical world. By contrast, the theist has a ready explanation: When God created the physical universe He designed it in terms of the mathematical structure which He had in mind.

This is complete nonsense.

Mathematics is a language. It just happens to be a language with exceptionally clear and strict syntax, because it is a language explicitly developed to model the behavior of the natural world. Numbers are not "abstract entities causally isolated from the physical universe". Nor are they "useful fictions". They are words, used to describe things.

Mathematics' practical applicability is due to the rigorous and strict definition that it has, not because a wizard did it. And that's all Craig's explanation is, in the end. "A wizard makes it work".

Quote:4. God is the best explanation of the fine-tuning of the universe for intelligent life.

The universe is not fine-tuned for intelligent life. Craig is simply wrong.

Quote:5. God is the best explanation of intentional states of consciousness.

Philosophers are puzzled by states of intentionality. Intentionality is the property of being about something or of something. It signifies the object-directedness of our thoughts. For example, I can think about my summer vacation, or I can think of my wife. No physical object has intentionality in this sense. A chair or a stone or a glob of tissue like the brain is not about or of something else. Only mental states or states of consciousness are about other things... By contrast, for theists, because God is a mind, it’s hardly surprising that there should be other, finite minds, with intentional states.

"A wizard did it" again. In case you haven't heard of it before, this is the god-of-the-gaps argument in its purest form. It comes down to "I don't understand how this thing happened, and therefore God did it".

There are a number of fallacies encompassed by the god of the gaps argument. Most notable are the argument from personal incredulity and the argument from ignorance. "I don't know how it could have happened, and therefore it cannot be true" and "I don't believe it, and therefore it cannot be true". Neither of these is an actual argument.

I won't get into all the scientific study into the nature of consciousness going on, because it's very in depth and would probably constitute an entire thread, but suffice to say that atheists are not incapable of handling the idea of consciousness.

Quote:6. God is the best explanation of objective moral values and duties.

Objective moral values do not exist.

Quote:7. The very possibility of God’s existence implies that God exists

This is something that a lot of would-be apologists like to bring up. It's called the modal ontological argument, and boils down to an attempt to define God into existence.

Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. All ontological arguments are based on definitions; ontology itself is really just the field of putting names to things, though a great deal of very silly people (most of them theists) will argue otherwise. All ontological arguments boil down to "God is defined as being so awesome that, if it's even possible that he exists, he exists; it's possible that God exists, so he does".

This is obviously nonsense. Leaving aside the fact that there is no coherent definition of "awesomeness" (or "greatness", as the ontological arguers like to say) which can be linked to existence, all this argument says is that, if God exists, God exists.

Which is true, but useless. Unless the arguer can establish that God exists, the ontological argument hasn't done anything but supply us with a definition.

There are other problems with it as well, of course, mostly to do with the incredibly poorly-defined terms it tries to use ("possible" is completely undefined, for existence) and the fact that it can be trivially disproven by counterexample, but that's a little much to get into right now.

Quote:8. God can be personally known and experienced.

No, he can't.

There. Done. And you can safely ignore William Lane Craig for the rest of your life, because this is all he ever says.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Unbeliever's post
14-04-2016, 08:58 PM
RE: Talking to my Husband
What is his PhD in? That can make a difference in your approach.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes The Organic Chemist's post
15-04-2016, 01:39 PM
RE: Talking to my Husband
I long ago gave up attempting to debate William Lane Craig's voluminous ramblings with any theists. It's a waste of time and effort and brain cells.

And I note WLC starts off by saying "New Atheism is, in fact, a pop-cultural phenomenon lacking in intellectual muscle" as though merely having said it makes it true. What sort of conceit is this?

And I broke up reading his claim that "the very possibility of God’s existence implies that God exists"! What about the very possibility that leprechauns exist? Or Bigfoot? Or alien bodies at Roswell? Or.....? He was obviously away on the day they studied Logic 101.

Much smarter people than me have convincingly debunked WLC's apologetics.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like SYZ's post
20-04-2016, 05:36 PM
RE: Talking to my Husband
I recommend this:




This deals with the first two of Craig's arguments nicely.

Point three: Craig doesn't understand what math IS.

I'll admit that I'm an engineer and as such a math nerd. I like math. But he's assigning it some sort of supernatural power it doesn't have.

Math is simply a set of linguistic shortcuts and some axioms. That's it. Then we just made more observations about said axioms and made more up. Why does one plus one equal two? Because that is how two is defined.

Point four: Craig is simply making assumptions that he can't back up. How do we know that the "physical constants" aren't fixed? What does he base this on? I tend to think they are, that we simply don't have the final pieces of the puzzle that will show how they are fixed. Why does he throw out chance? Just because something is improbable doesn't mean it can't happen. And if, as some have theorized, there are many universes then there might be many different constants. We just happen to live in the is one.

I'll get to the others when o get my laptop and can spend some time with them but I will grant that WLC is a good orator. His arguments are flawed but he presents them well.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like natachan's post
20-04-2016, 08:47 PM
RE: Talking to my Husband
(14-04-2016 11:40 AM)SallyBr0wn Wrote:  I know that he reads them and understands them 100% and I know that I do not.
If he comes up with the conclusion that god exists and god is the Christian god then he is definable not understanding fully any article that leads him to believe this.

He has a confirmation bias, for sure.

There are certain things he is not willing to challenge.
Like the lack of evidence, like the special claims of resurrection, walking on water, virgin birth, heaven/hell etc. It's all just unsubstantiated magical thinking.

He, no doubt fear to not believe, fears to lose his place in heaven.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
20-04-2016, 11:14 PM
RE: Talking to my Husband
(20-04-2016 08:47 PM)Stevil Wrote:  
(14-04-2016 11:40 AM)SallyBr0wn Wrote:  I know that he reads them and understands them 100% and I know that I do not.
If he comes up with the conclusion that god exists and god is the Christian god then he is definable not understanding fully any article that leads him to believe this.

None of these theological arguments admit of actual understanding because they're all logically flawed. All the theists do, in my experience, is muddy the waters enough with long words and long chains of questionable argument, so that anyone genuinely trying to follow along is bewildered, then calmly they announce "And therefore God".

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes morondog's post
21-04-2016, 04:02 AM
RE: Talking to my Husband
(20-04-2016 11:14 PM)morondog Wrote:  None of these theological arguments admit of actual understanding because they're all logically flawed. All the theists do, in my experience, is muddy the waters enough with long words and long chains of questionable argument, so that anyone genuinely trying to follow along is bewildered, then calmly they announce "And therefore God".
Exactly.

They are considered "intelligent" people, but the arguments they make just leave you scratching your head. Really, they come to that conclusion, they can't see the obvious flaw in their argument?

I often just feel that they are taking the mickey, that they don't actually believe what they are saying, they just spout it because they want to prove how great a debater they are, or how they can bedazzle people with a convoluted confused cacophony of conjured claims and contorted crazy conclusions.

I mean, take a look at WLC's cosmological argument. The flaws have been pointed out endless times, and yet he continues to use the argument.
It then comes down to the matter of the confused audience just picking the guy they trust more. Christians claim that WLC wins the debate, non Christians point out that is logic is flawed.

But really, I struggle with the likes of scientists like Kenneth R. Miller, who, for a living works with the scientific method and fully understand the importance of objective methods of inquiry and evidence and falsifiable claims etc and yet in his person life forgets about these important things and chooses to believe in the Catholic god.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
21-04-2016, 04:30 AM
RE: Talking to my Husband
You're a wife. Get a divorce, take half his stuff and alimony for life.

Done!

Why do you think I never married.

Jeez!

(I am presently in a dark mood)

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: