Sunday, August 28, 2016

Further answers to Lowder's F Inductive Improbability of God arguments


 photo Famous252520Vietnam252520War252520photo252520of252520Vietnamese252520children25255B325255D_zps0323965c.png

famous photo of Vietnamese girl napalmed by 
Americans in Vietnam war




This is a continuation of last Wednesday's discussion about Jeff Lowder's argument on natural inequality renders God less probable.[1] "This is one of his F inductive" arguments [2]Because Jeff doesn't have the issue framed in terms of a theodicy argument or in terms of a problem of evil then can't apply so he dismisses my whole approach, My view is that the bottom line is the world does the world seem like the kind of world we would have if there was a God? To be able to answer that we have to know what God is like, That's a matter of special revelation and that means doctrine, 

Jeffery Jay Lowder I think it's rather one-sided for you (or any theist) to appeal to God's omnipotence when defending the possibility (or reality) of miracles, but then to downplay or implicitly deny His omnipotence when responding to atheistic arguments. Make no mistake: you just implicitly denied God's omnipotence. Why? Because if God exists, created physical reality, and used evolution to create complex life, then God is responsible for the fact that the distribution of natural endowments is the result of evolution. Your comment implies that God had no choice but to use evolution, which is false. If God exists, He is omnipotent. He can do anything that is logically possible. At the very least, God could have created us the way Ken Ham says he did, i.e., according to a literal interpretation of Genesis. So appealing to "evolutionary dispositions" is both irrelevant and denies God's existence (by denying God's omnipotence).[3]


(1) Omnipotence does not mean God has no balancing act between necessities

I have not stated a position on omnipotence, relative, it'not in the Bible. Maximal power is not necessarily omnipotence. The only term in the Bible translated as "all powerful" or omnipotent is used one time in one place, revelation. The word is "pantocrator" it means not "all powerful"as it can do anything but powerful in all places, or everywhere. In other words God has jurisdiction over everything. He is the proper power the authority.It means as the authority the one with the power but not necessarily power to do logically impossible things. That does not mean he can do logically contradictory things. While evolution is not a matter of logic that must mean necessarily that God has to balance one things against another. 

A major example is love and free will. If God wants us to love him he must give us free will. He cannot create us loving him that would not be real love. Real love requires free will. God can't go "I can do anything, I'll make them love." It would not be love to do it that way. Omnipotence does not mean the power to violate logical necessity. Thus there are limitations which means God must work with mitigation.


(2) free will is necessary for moral agency, the point of creation.


Without free will there could be no free oral agency, Thus in order to have free moral agents who willingly seek the good God must have a free will universe., That requires that people seek truth, only seeking allows us to internationalize the values of the good. If nature made everyone equal and nothing ever went wrong it would be pretty obvious the game is fixed. So free will requires a neutral world imn which people must search for truth, Thus the discernible processes of the world must be random,

(2) Evolution is just a mechanism of randomness, It's just a means of allowing the universe to be created impenitently of a micro managing agent. That doesn't mean God is not working at some fundamental sustaining level such as thought of the strong force.
(3) Evolution is logical expression of God's nature

Evolution doesn't have to be the only physical alternative but could nevertheless be God's tool of choice or any number of reasons (an expression of God's nature). The idea that God would not use evolution but would "zap things'" (special creation) is based upon a view that God is a big man, He thinks like a man he approaches creation like a craftsman building a cabinet. If we have a more sophisticated view of God as with  process theology evolution would be just a logical expression of God's nature. That would obviously be true for the God of process theology (diapolar between concrete and potential--in the concealment in process with creation).

At this point I invoked a concept "calling" to account for individuals of extraordinary virtue who serve God in powerful ways.

Me:

There may be certain people who are given gits because they are give the opportunity to serve God in some great way . Not all people could be the leader of the civil rights movement, Not all people were given the gifts of Martin Luther King., It's not unfair or immoral that God raises up a Martin Luther King, not everyone is willing to make the sacrifices that go with the gifts.
This evokes the charge of contradiction from Jeff. 






JJL:

This passage contradicts your first objection. You were just telling us that it isn't God's fault because the distribution of natural endowments is the result of evolutionary dispositions. But now you are claiming that God handed out "gifts" based upon how they would be used. That's a blatant contradiction. But let that pass.

No I t does not. First of all gifts are not deserved they are gratuities, One doesn't give gifts because they are earned or merited, merited giving is reward not gift. God is not giving MLK the chance to die for the civil rights movement because he deserves it, he's given the opportunity to subjugate his life to  cause because he chooses to respond to calling. It'snot a reward, Secondly I did not  that "God handed out 'gifts' based upon how they would be used." I did not say god raised up MLK because je would use the gift rightly. God created the job and MLK chose to take the job. Of course he didn't know that but being a minister hie understood calling. There were no doubt others similarly endowed who chose not to go down that path, Other did go down it but didn't go as far such Jesse Jacson. There is nothing immoral or wrong in that situation, God uses people who are willing to head the call. Only those with the endowment who are going to fill the slot. Someone without King's qualities wouldn't make it as leader. Maybe God gave kind a boost because he was needed. That is not the same as saying he was rewarded with leadership. He heeded a call.


JJL:
 A more important issue is this. Since natural endowments are mostly determined before birth (many at conception), no one deserves whatever endowments or lack of endowments they get. Martin Luther King, Jr. did nothing to deserve to be born with the endowments he got. 


That's right it was not a reward Being marketer for civil rights was not an enjoyment bestowed as a gift, it was a responsibility. King chose to live up the talk, which included his life lie being snuffed out. 
JJL:
But the most important issue is this. You are cherry-picking or, if you prefer, understating the evidence. Yes, MLK had certain natural endowments which enabled him to be the kind of person he was. But there are other people who had similar natural endowments and used them for evil. Think Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin. Not anyone who decides to be evil could accomplish what Hitler and Stalin did; it takes certain natural endowments to be able to pull off their monstrosities. Once the evidence about the usage of natural endowments is fully stated, it seems absurd to think that natural endowments are distributed based on they would be used in life. If what you were saying were actually true, then there never should have been a Hitler or Stalin because God would have said, "Whoa! These guys are going to be evil. I'm not going to given them any gifts. In fact, maybe I will make THEM into microcephalics."



Again you have misinterpreted. I did not say gifts are given according how they will be used, I said certain people are called they choose to respond or not, The gifts are distributed by nature, God provides that but perhaps not specifically matching them up. Everyone has some natural ability. That is why we have liberal arts that's where the humanities come from. It's an expression of the imago die we all are made in the image of God. But some choose to use them wrongly.

The idea of God heading off the Hitler because they are going to do wrong is what I said can't be done. That is one of the logical necessities God must juggle. To have a moral universe God must risk our makimng evil choices, Now that is not the same as saying we have to have evil in order to have good, We have have the risk we have to risk the choice that doe wasn't mean we have to take it, There could be no evil if everyone chose to be evil. The variables are too complex to to make the kind so judgement about reality that you are trying to make.

As far as I'm commenced the F inductive aspect makes no real difference,I'm not saying it';s a gimick but it can be answered with ordinary theocracy arguments, see FN 2





[1] Joseph Hinman, "Does Inequality Make God less probable? Metacrock's Blog
http://metacrock.blogspot.com/2016/08/does-inequality-make-god-improbable.html (accessed 8/27/16)

[2] Jeff Lowder,"F inductive Arguments a New Type of Argument," The Secular Outpost , blog, March 21, 2014



“F-inductive argument”: an argument in which the evidence to be explained favors one explanatory hypothesis over one or more of its rivals, i.e., P(E | H1 & B) > P(E | H2 & B). Explanatory arguments are F-inductive arguments and have the following structure.1. E is known to be true, i.e., Pr(E) is close to 1.2. H1 is not intrinsically much more probable than H2, i.e., Pr(|H1|) is not much greater than Pr(|H2|).3. Pr(E | H2 & B) > Pr(E | H1 & B).4. Other evidence held equal, H1 is probably false, i.e., Pr(H1 | B & E) < 0.5.Good F-inductive arguments show that E is prima facie evidence — that is why (4) begins with the phrase, “Other evidence held equal.” They leave open the possibility that there may be other evidence which favors H1 over H2; indeed, they are compatible with the situation where the total evidence favors H1 over H2.F-inductive arguments are “stronger” than C-inductive arguments insofar as they show E not only adds to the probability of H2, but that E is more probable on the assumption that H2 is true than on the assumption that H1 is true. They are weaker than P-inductive arguments, however, because they don’t show that E is ultima facie evidence — they don’t show that E makes H2 probable.One final point. Although I believe I am the first to give F-inductive argument a name and place within Swinburne’s taxonomy of inductive arguments, the structure for such arguments is not mine. Paul Draper deserves the credit for that.
what may be more instructive is in an argument he makes "a good indiuctive argument for theism"
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2014/03/22/a-good-f-inductive-argument-for-theism-based-on-consciousness/

that would bevF inductive argument for theism naturalism. Supposedly naturalism is more inductive of secular thought and so the existence of natural world makes God less probable. But another argument forThwism of the kind would say consciousness makes God more probable because consciousnesses is inconsistent with naturalism.
The standards he's setting are arbitrary. There's no reason to think that nature is not indicative of God. It's a cultural constrict to think that spirit and nature are opposed. The whole problem with his method is that the standardanswers fortheodisy still line up agaisjnt his arguments,

Here is another one, He identities his style of argument with Rowe style arguments how they differ from Humean:


"Rowe-style arguments from evil focus on our inability to identify a God-justifying reason for allowing certain evils to occur. In a technical sense, Rowe-style arguments from evil do not even qualify as an arguments from evil. Rather, they are arguments from the failure of theodicy."
But then it looks like the way to deal with it would be to show that he's wrong and that we can identify God-justifying reason which I did, so why would that not be a good approach?

I think this is really key to my whole issue with this stuff,


[3] Jeff Lowder, "Evidential argument from evil," secular outpost August 21. 2016
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularoutpost/2016/08/21/an-evidential-argument-from-evil-natural-inequality/

7 comments:

Eric Sotnak said...

If God wants us to love him he must give us free will.

Here is an imaginary conversation between a theist and an atheist:

A: “How can you say God loves us? Just look at all the evil in the world: the suffering, the disease, the fear, the hatred, birth defects, viruses…. Where is God in all this?”

T: “He’s there, even if you don’t see him. You just need to look harder.”

A: “This is just an invitation to rampant confirmation bias. You have already decided that evidence of God’s love is there to be found, so you go looking for only confirming instances and discount or ignore disconfirming instances.”

T: “Look, God values free will. If he goes around coddling us, we’ll never develop the moral character needed to make meaningful choices of our own free will.”

A: “Yeah, but there are limits to how far you can push that line of thinking. Dying as a result of a disease for which there is no known cure also prevents us from making meaningful choices. The point is that free will is only one condition that seems to be necessary for us to love God, but there are other conditions that also seem to be necessary, and if we look at the world it seems that many of those are seriously lacking in lots of cases.”

T: “I offer you the analogy of the helicopter parent. The problem with helicopter parents is that by constantly trying to micro-manage their kids’ lives, they actually do more harm than good. Sometimes the best way for a parent to show love is by standing back and not intervening.”

A: “I’ll see your helicopter-parent analogy and raise you one neglectful-parent analogy: If a parent lets their child run out into a busy street and does nothing because intervention impairs independence, they are forgetting that death by being run over also rather impairs independence, wouldn’t you say?”

Joe Hinman said...

Eric thanks or commenting, the thing about your imaginary conversations is they never really deal with the real answers I would give I will interject my own answer in bold,(I say "never" ok you've only done this one or two times that I've seen but whatever).

A: “How can you say God loves us? Just look at all the evil in the world: the suffering, the disease, the fear, the hatred, birth defects, viruses…. Where is God in all this?”

T: “He’s there, even if you don’t see him. You just need to look harder.”

ok I might say that

A: “This is just an invitation to rampant confirmation bias. You have already decided that evidence of God’s love is there to be found, so you go looking for only confirming instances and discount or ignore disconfirming instances.”


of course I have because I've experienced it first hand, it didn't just spring up from nothing, I was an atheist so it's not like never thought about it.Not only do I have na arsonel of discomfiting instances from being an atheist but i do look for them periodically, I'm always thinking about theodicy,yet since i kn ow god love first hand It's not a theoretical refusal to accept the obvious but fist hand knowledge that those disconcerting things can be answered,

T: “Look, God values free will. If he goes around coddling us, we’ll never develop the moral character needed to make meaningful choices of our own free will.”


that's a truncated version of my argument but I would not deploy it at this pit


A: “Yeah, but there are limits to how far you can push that line of thinking. Dying as a result of a disease for which there is no known cure also prevents us from making meaningful choices. The point is that free will is only one condition that seems to be necessary for us to love God, but there are other conditions that also seem to be necessary, and if we look at the world it seems that many of those are seriously lacking in lots of cases.”

the primary one is being open to God's love and building a case for doubt all the time is not how you remain open. Another one id to internalize the values of the good which requires search for truth, nursing doubt is not a search for truth,

5:21 AM Delete

Joe Hinman said...



T: “I offer you the analogy of the helicopter parent. The problem with helicopter parents is that by constantly trying to micro-manage their kids’ lives, they actually do more harm than good. Sometimes the best way for a parent to show love is by standing back and not intervening.”

I don't think Io would say that.


A: “I’ll see your helicopter-parent analogy and raise you one neglectful-parent analogy: If a parent lets their child run out into a busy street and does nothing because intervention impairs independence, they are forgetting that death by being run over also rather impairs independence, wouldn’t you say?”

that's the way it appears on the surface if you are always building doubt, If you seek and you are open to God's love you will see it.

If I told you tales of God working im y life you would just poo poo it, but I could you storioes that woudl freak you out.

Anonymous said...

My view is that the bottom line is the world does the world seem like the kind of world we would have if there was a God? To be able to answer that we have to know what God is like, That's a matter of special revelation and that means doctrine,

Two points here. Firstly, Lowder's argument is against a very specific God. There is no argument against a God who does not give a hoot about what happens to us. Given the next bit, I think you realise that, but it is woryh spelling out.

So the secondpoint is about what sort of God it is arguing against, and I suggestthe answer to that is the God of Christianity. That brings us to this:

(1) Omnipotence does not mean God has no balancing act between necessities

Yes it does. Okay, maybe the Bible does not say God is omnipotent, but Christianity does. The God promoted by Christianity is all powerful. I agree that that does not mean he can do something that is illogical, but he could readily step in to prevent a child being raped and murdered.

(2) free will is necessary for moral agency, the point of creation.

I agree but still that does not prevent God stepping in to prevent a child being raped and murdered - unless God considers the free will of the rapist to be more important than that of the child.

Joe Hinman said...

Anonymous said...
My view is that the bottom line is the world does the world seem like the kind of world we would have if there was a God? To be able to answer that we have to know what God is like, That's a matter of special revelation and that means doctrine,

Two points here. Firstly, Lowder's argument is against a very specific God. There is no argument against a God who does not give a hoot about what happens to us. Given the next bit, I think you realise that, but it is woryh spelling out.

God gives a hoot, i did not have to go to seminary to learn that

So the secondpoint is about what sort of God it is arguing against, and I suggestthe answer to that is the God of Christianity. That brings us to this:

(1) Omnipotence does not mean God has no balancing act between necessities

Yes it does.

no it doesn't. The average Christian does not go to seminary, Preachers are not theologians. The Greek translated "omnipotent" is only used in one place itv does not mean "able to do anything one thinks of doing."


Okay, maybe the Bible does not say God is omnipotent, but Christianity does. The God promoted by Christianity is all powerful. I agree that that does not mean he can do something that is illogical, but he could readily step in to prevent a child being raped and murdered.

No you are missing the point both about what Christianity is what the term means. Some Christians think something those are better educated know they are wrong. I've already explained why he can't create the kind of world where nothing goes wrong, I talk more about it next time too.


(2) free will is necessary for moral agency, the point of creation.

I agree but still that does not prevent God stepping in to prevent a child being raped and murdered - unless God considers the free will of the rapist to be more important than that of the child.


yes itvodes, it mean there have to be parameters.
2:12 AM

Anonymous said...

God gives a hoot, i did not have to go to seminary to learn that

Right. My point is that Christianity posits a god who gives hoot; the POE is an argument against such a god, but not against all gods.

no it doesn't. The average Christian does not go to seminary, Preachers are not theologians. The Greek translated "omnipotent" is only used in one place itv does not mean "able to do anything one thinks of doing."

Ah, so you are arguing for a very specific god; not God as the average Christian understands the word, not God as preachers understand the word. Sure, if you want to define God in some idiosyncratic way, you can get around the POE.

yes itvodes, it mean there have to be parameters.

Sure. You are arguing for a god limited by parameters. That is a good defence against POE. God does not stop child-rape because he is limited and incapable of intervening. But that is not the God of mainstream Christianity.

Pixie

Joe Hinman said...

Hi Pix

God gives a hoot, i did not have to go to seminary to learn that

Right. My point is that Christianity posits a god who gives hoot; the POE is an argument against such a god, but not against all gods.

sure but I refute it

no it doesn't. The average Christian does not go to seminary, Preachers are not theologians. The Greek translated "omnipotent" is only used in one place itv does not mean "able to do anything one thinks of doing."

Ah, so you are arguing for a very specific god; not God as the average Christian understands the word, not God as preachers understand the word. Sure, if you want to define God in some idiosyncratic way, you can get around the POE.

no, same God, better understanding of him


yes itvodes, it mean there have to be parameters.

Sure. You are arguing for a god limited by parameters. That is a good defence against POE. God does not stop child-rape because he is limited and incapable of intervening. But that is not the God of mainstream Christianity.

given the objectives of creation--as zi recall from our debates on Doxa you never did tell me the basis upom which you procalik rivht and wrong