Friday, June 10, 2016

Challenge to atheists, God Argument, debate me

fund filled friday
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If you recall last time I posted a prolegomena to an argument from laws of nature. In other words, an argument for existence of God based upon laws of physics and nature. That article was just thinking getting ready to make such an argument, Here I am making it. I encourage the reader to go back and read the article fist if you haven't already. The point is two fold:  the folks on Secular Outpost were so dubious of any such argument  and the presentation that set them off so deserved their ire (designed by Campus Crusade for Christ) [1], that I felt like I had to try to (a) prove to the atheists there is a potential argument there and show my fellow Christians how to find it, at to offer  direction in which to move.

The bad argument on the website was purely a "god of the gaps" argument:

How is it that we can identify laws of nature that never change? Why is the universe so orderly, so reliable?"The greatest scientists have been struck by how strange this is. There is no logical necessity for a universe that obeys rules, let alone one that abides by the rules of mathematics. This astonishment springs from the recognition that the universe doesn't have to behave this way. It is easy to imagine a universe in which conditions change unpredictably from instant to instant, or even a universe in which things pop in and out of existence."[2]
The only rational upon which the argument turns is the mystery concerning how laws work. That is a god of the gaps argument by definition, textbook. My arguments begins by stating a rational that, while it may hard to prove, is at least not a gap in knowledge, at least not only a gap. The problem with gaps is that they close up. Yet if we can demonstrate that mind is a more solid basis for the seeming law-like regularity of the universe that night make for a better explanation.[3] The argument:

1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know,

(2) Random ordering is usually inefficient and the odds are against it's dependability.

(3) The Universe Displays a Law-like efficiency and dependability in the workings of it's natural machinations.

(4) Such efficiency and dependability is indicative of mind as ordering principle (from 1,3), therefore, it is logical to assume mind as the best explanation for the dependability of the universe..

(5) A mind that orders the universe fits the major job description for God, Thus mind is the best explanation, assuming the choices are mind vs random chance.
\
 the background for this argument is a post I did here last May Day.


[1] Bradly Bowen, Adamson's Cru [de] Arguments for God part 1, Secular Outpost, (April 25, 2016) blog URL:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/04/25/adamsons-crude-arguments-for-god-part-1/
accessed April 28, 2016

[2] Marlyn Adamson, "Is There a God," Every Student, Published by Campus Crusade for Christ
On line resource, URL: http://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html
She sites fn 11:Dinesh D'Souza, What's So Great about Christianity; (Regnery Publishing, Inc, 2007, chapter

[3] I recently posted on criteria by which to judge best explanation.
 
 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know,

No it is not. The ordering of atoms in salt crystals is way better than we can do. For example, perfectly alternating sodium ions and chloride ions in table salt, going on in three dimension for around 10^18 ions (that is, 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 ions). Have you ever tried ordering 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 things? Know anyone who has?

Further, the last two words there indicate this is god-of-the-gaps.

Oh, and the fourth word, "most", is a tacit admission that there other ordering systems out there.

(2) Random ordering is usually inefficient and the odds are against it's dependability.

What is "random ordering"? Putting stuff in a random order is trivially easy.

More importantly, order comes out of random. The 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 salt ions form that perfect ordering because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the unlying mechanism for which is random distribution of energy.

(4) Such efficiency and dependability is indicative of mind as ordering principle (from 1,3), therefore, it is logical to assume mind as the best explanation for the dependability of the universe..

No it is not, as (1) and (2) are flawed. But let us suppose it is; all you have is god-of-the-gaps.

People thought lightning came from the Gods, because at the time it was the best explanation. Then we discovered electricity. Here you claim the laws of nature come from God, because at this time it is supposedly the best explanation... but only until a better one comes along.

(5) A mind that orders the universe fits the major job description for God, Thus mind is the best explanation, assuming the choices are mind vs random chance.

The word "God", especially capitalised, encompasses a lot more than that. At best, you have proved some "mind" behind the laws. That would not allow you to then claim that, some example, that mind goves a hoot about mankind.

The Pixie

Joe Hinman said...

Hey Pix thanks for playing. at least someone cares.


Anonymous said...
1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know,

No it is not. The ordering of atoms in salt crystals is way better than we can do. For example, perfectly alternating sodium ions and chloride ions in table salt, going on in three dimension for around 10^18 ions (that is, 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 ions). Have you ever tried ordering 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 things? Know anyone who has?


That doesn't prove it's efficient just because it has m ore volume.



Further, the last two words there indicate this is god-of-the-gaps.

that is not GoG just because the world "know" soused doesn't mean it's GoG. There's a positive knowledge not merely trying to plug a gap.


Oh, and the fourth word, "most", is a tacit admission that there other ordering systems out there.

so what? that doesn't disprove the argument that this is the best one



(2) Random ordering is usually inefficient and the odds are against it's dependability.

What is "random ordering"? Putting stuff in a random order is trivially easy.

I didn't say it was difficult I said it was inefficient.



More importantly, order comes out of random. The 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 salt ions form that perfect ordering because of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the unlying mechanism for which is random distribution of energy.

that's not because randomness makes it orderly it's because there's an underlying law. My argument is that such laws are indicative of mind.\



(4) Such efficiency and dependability is indicative of mind as ordering principle (from 1,3), therefore, it is logical to assume mind as the best explanation for the dependability of the universe..

No it is not, as (1) and (2) are flawed. But let us suppose it is; all you have is god-of-the-gaps.


if 2 and 2 are flawed that doesn't prove that 4 is wrong. you have not given a reason. you have not shown a gap. GoG requires a gap.


People thought lightning came from the Gods, because at the time it was the best explanation. Then we discovered electricity. Here you claim the laws of nature come from God, because at this time it is supposedly the best explanation... but only until a better one comes along.


argument form analogy seldom proves anything. best explanations can also be right. that they can be wrong is not a reason to reject best explanation.




(5) A mind that orders the universe fits the major job description for God, Thus mind is the best explanation, assuming the choices are mind vs random chance.

The word "God", especially capitalised, encompasses a lot more than that. At best, you have proved some "mind" behind the laws. That would not allow you to then claim that, some example, that mind goves a hoot about mankind.

The Pixie

that is bogus. It's true that there more involved in Christian concept of God than just being mind. But being mind and being creator of all also entails being necessary and eternal as a logical extension. That opens the door to the whole concept.


Anonymous said...

Opens the door to the possibility.

All you can conclude - if your argument is right - is a mind behind the laws, because that is all you would have shown.

Pix

Joe Hinman said...

no read it again I said in essence any mind that couple fill the bill as creator has to be god because it would have to be eternal and necessary. those attributes only God can have. I am assuming the mind is not created by another mind but we don't have an ICR so it has to stop somewhere and any that creates all things ids God.

Anonymous said...


That doesn't prove it's efficient just because it has m ore volume.

What exactly do you mean by efficiency? My suspicion is that "efficient" here means just what you need it to to support your argument, and so you will keep it vague.

A mind requires energy to sort. The sorting of atoms in a salt crystal produces energy, so with regards to energy, the salt is more efficient. If you want to discuss time efficiency, see how long it takes you to sort 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 things. The salt crystal will form from a saturated solution in less than an hour.

By any reasonable metric, the sorting of ions during crystallisation is both more efficient and more dependable that sorting by a person.

that is not GoG just because the world "know" soused doesn't mean it's GoG. There's a positive knowledge not merely trying to plug a gap.

It is classic god-of-the-gaps. You are drawing a dubious parallel, and claiming that your parallel is the best we know. In effect you are saying: I think my prefered deity causes this effect, and there is no better explanation, there I am right.

This is the same argument the pagans used for lightning, it is the same argument creationists use for creationism. We both agree the reasoning is flawd for the pagans and creationists.

so what? that doesn't disprove the argument that this is the best one

you did not argue it was the best, you asserted it. Big difference.

that's not because randomness makes it orderly it's because there's an underlying law. My argument is that such laws are indicative of mind.\

Kind of highlights the difference between order and law, which you seem to be conflating.

if 2 and 2 are flawed that doesn't prove that 4 is wrong. you have not given a reason. you have not shown a gap. GoG requires a gap.

I assume you mean (1) and (2). Your (4) specifically says it comes from (1) and (3). If (1) is flawed, then so is (4).

argument form analogy seldom proves anything. best explanations can also be right. that they can be wrong is not a reason to reject best explanation.

Arguments from analogy never prove anything, but they can illustrate why something is so.

Pix

Edward T. Babinski said...

"1) mind is the most efficient and dependable source of ordering we know"

Any argument that revolves around analogies with "mind," specifically, human minds, must also take into account the embarrassing fact that the human mind and its intelligence is not something one is automatically born with--rather, it is as much a product of sociological and historical emergence as a product of evolutionary biological change. In other words members of our species does not pop out of the womb knowing how to speak a particular language and live in a particular culture, and if someone is raised from birth without hearing others speak or seeing how they interact, that human might never learn how to speak and interact but merely grunt and grab. A newborn, if denied the enrichment of social and linguistic interactions with other humans (like a child raised from birth in some overcrowded orphanage where its only interaction with others is a brief span of time having its diaper silently changed once a day and given a bottle to suck on, or like a child raised in a closet and not spoken to, with food slipped beneath the door, or like the case of a boy allegedly raised by wolves in a case in France) will lose more brain cells than children normally do during their early years--and depending on how long such denial of enrichment continues, will suffer the equivalent of a permanent mental handicap, and not due to genetics, but purely environmental circumstances.

Think also, not of the infant and its immediate social influences that allowed it to learn a particular language and hence an enhanced avenue of interaction with others and enhanced intelligence, but think also of the ages through which our species (the last remaining species of upright ape left standing on this planet, which used to be covered in apes of more species than exist today)--and how much any of us knows or thinks they know, and how that is based on the gradual accumulation of knowledge of previous generations, from our ancestors who tamed fire, invented cooking, invented the wheel, writing, agriculture, and the accumulation of knowledge of all sorts, etc. How much "mind" would any of us have if it were not for such a long history of biological, linguistic, sociological and historical development?

Edward T. Babinski said...

Hi Joe, I just finished responding to some of your arguments at Vic Reppert's blog, Dangerous Idea, but I will share my responses with you here as well:

One does not have to claim that everyone's religious experiences are false in order to ask, How can any kind of God expect us to know what to make of the diversity of religious beliefs and miracle stories? We are presented with a mixed bag of evidence.

Miracles from all religions (including amazing coincidences that seem to just happen and are not related to a religion), when viewed together, provide a crazy mixed bag of "evidence." So how can "God or WhateverIsOutThere" expect us to know what to make of them?

See this piece and its links http://religiousmiracles.blogspot.com/2013/02/miracles-of-all-religions-provide-crazy.html

P.S., Protestants see Jesus and angels but seldom Mary because the awe/respect that Catholics pay Mary is denigrated by Protestants. Catholics see Jesus and Mary. Native Americans experience illuminating visions of animal spirits. Hindus may be visited by personae from their vast pantheon, while Buddhists may experience the compassionate ‘amida Buddha’ as they pray, ‘Save me, amida Buddha.’ A different school of Buddhists even experiences ‘born again’ like experiences of hellish fears followed by the relief of salvation (as discussed in Conrad Hyersʼs book, One-Born, Twice-Born Zen). New Agers see chakra colors and UFOs. A Gallup poll revealed that Southerners hear Godʼs voice much more often than Northerners. Just whose voice are these people hearing and does it sound Southern to them? (Protestants stress hearing Godʼs voice more and the value of ‘the Word,’ while Catholics stress seeing God more, which may explain the greater number of visions they experience in general.) What about J. B. Phillipsʼs story that C. S. Lewis ‘appeared’ to him after Lewis had died? (Cannon Phillips had corresponded with Lewis ‘a fair amount’ before Lewis died, and only saw him in the flesh once before. When Phillips mentioned that appearance to a certain saintly Bishop, the Bishopʼs reply was, “My dear J., this sort of thing is happening all the time.”) My friend, Will Bagley, told me that in a very realistic dream, Rajneesh, the Hindu guru, once appeared to Will at the foot of his bed with a brief message. My former fiancé told me about how a Catholic aunt of hers once saw Jesus before going to bed one night. (She told Jesus she was tired, and went to bed!) Dr. Robert Price knew a woman who ran a religious bookstore who claimed that Jesus appeared to her often. (Ask him about that story sometime.) My step-fatherʼs great aunt was very ill and staying with me and my Mom and Step-Dad when she seemed to be hearing voices and seeing lights before she passed away. I have also read stories on the web of Near Death Experiences as told by people from different cultures such as a person in Thailand who claimed to have seen some deities from their Buddhist religious backgrounds, including a talking turtle.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Also, Joe, Elsewhere I see that you have tried to defend the empty tomb and guards story in Matthew by appealing to the Gospel of Peter as an early independent witness to such a tale. But neither Raymond Brown nor the majority of biblical scholars views the Gospel of Peter as containing authentic history. The reception history of the Gospel of Peter and its additions to the tale of the empty tomb and to the tale about the guards, and its added weird miracles speak volumes about it being a later creation based on the Matthew story rather than the other way round. You should read the conclusion to this book on the reception history of the Gospel of Peter: https://books.google.com/books?id=1qHKGmydMnMC&lpg=PA30&ots=AQMWnPsBRT&dq=Raymond%20Brown%20%22Canonical%20Gospel%20Priority%22&pg=PA221#v=onepage&q&f=false

Even your fellow Evangelicals disagree with you concerning the value of the Gospel of Peter, read the info at the following link from pages in Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the State of Current Research (New Testament Tools and Studies)May 25, 1998 by Dr Craig A Evans and Bruce Chilton, pg. 512ff https://books.google.com/books?id=AJM9grxOjjMC&lpg=PA512&dq=reception%20history%20of%20%22the%20gospel%20of%20peter%22&pg=PA512#v=onepage&q&f=false

Edward T. Babinski said...

TO ADD TO WHAT I WROTE ABOUT "MIND"

Human language and intelligence do not appear to be metaphysical entities but owe much to countless interactions between our ancestors living together in societies, and between humans and nature, over vast periods of time. So the "mind" of humans has been socially constructed both as a species and as individuals from birth.

Moreover, this universe was devoid of human mentality for billions of years, since our species in particular only arrived very recently, and might even vanish the next cosmic instant, perhaps even vanish due to being too successful "mentally," i.e., too good at turning more and more of our environment into more and more humans and all their subsequent waste products.

So whatever argument classical theists (like Vic Reppert) are trying to build toward God that are based via analogy with the existence of "human minds," such an argument must take into account all of the factors that raise concerns as to what "minds" really are, and how brief has been the sojourn of intelligent minds on this planet, perhaps in the cosmos itself.

Not to mention the fact that minds as we know them are subject to forgetfulness, subject to mixed and conflicted desires and emotions, subject to illusions, subject to emotional traumas that can incapacitate them, subject to difficulties of communication, subject to hypnosis, suggestion, subject to indoctrination by others and even by one's self, often via simple repetition, etc.

Joe Hinman said...

I was into organized debate4. you have to stick tov the subject. I was kind of annoyed that you didn't even bother to listen tom y thing about the Book or even mention the specific argument,l



Also, Joe, Elsewhere I see that you have tried to defend the empty tomb and guards story in Matthew by appealing to the Gospel of Peter as an early independent witness to such a tale. But neither Raymond Brown nor the majority of biblical scholars views the Gospel of Peter as containing authentic history. The reception history of the Gospel of Peter and its additions to the tale of the empty tomb and to the tale about the guards, and its added weird miracles speak volumes about it being a later creation based on the Matthew story rather than the other way round. You should read the conclusion to this book on the reception history of the Gospel of Peter: https://books.google.com/books?id=1qHKGmydMnMC&lpg=PA30&ots=AQMWnPsBRT&dq=Raymond%20Brown%20%22Canonical%20Gospel%20Priority%22&pg=PA221#v=onepage&q&f=false


Brown proves the reliability and independence of the source from PMPN and that is all I need. it establishes that GPete is independent an older than Mark. since it includes the guards that gives us a second guard source,

Even your fellow Evangelicals disagree with you concerning the value of the Gospel of Peter, read the info at the following link from pages in Studying the Historical Jesus: Evaluations of the State of Current Research (New Testament Tools and Studies)May 25, 1998 by Dr Craig A Evans and Bruce Chilton, pg. 512ff https://books.google.com/books?id=AJM9grxOjjMC&lpg=PA512&dq=reception%20history%20of%20%22the%20gospel%20of%20peter%22&pg=PA512#v=onepage&q&f=false
12:08 PM


thst dos not pertaiknto the specoifckisssue of guards.

Joe Hinman said...

intelligence is not something one is automatically born with--rather, it is as much a product of sociological and historical emergence as a product of evolutionary biological change. In other words members of our species does not pop out of the womb knowing how to speak a particular language and live in a particular culture, and if someone is raised from birth without hearing others speak or seeing how they interact, that human might never learn how to speak and interact but merely grunt and grab. A newborn, if denied the enrichment of social and linguistic interactions with other humans (like a child raised from birth in some overcrowded orphanage where its only interaction with others is a brief span of time having its diaper silently changed once a day and given a bottle to suck on, or like a child raised in a closet and not spoken to, with food slipped beneath the door, or like the case of a boy allegedly raised by wolves in a case in France) will lose more brain cells than children normally do during their early years--and depending on how long such denial of enrichment continues, will suffer the equivalent of a permanent mental

quite beside the point the point is mind is best \t explanation for heirarchcial orderkin.

JBsptfn said...

This is what I was talking about before, and why JP Holding got annoyed at Edski in the past. He just goes on these pointless tirades about Evolution and other things.

Joe Hinman said...

ah, I see