..because: these types of churchians (ex-pastor pictured above):
“I’ve been a deep believer my whole life. 18 years as a Southern Baptist. More than 40 years as a mainline Protestant. I’m an ordained pastor. But it’s just stopped making sense to me. You see people doing terrible things in the name of religion, and you think: ‘Those people believe just as strongly as I do. They’re just as convinced as I am.’ And it just doesn’t make sense anymore… If a plane crashes, and one person survives, everyone thanks God…..God saved her for a reason!’ Do we not realize how cruel that is? Do we not realize how cruel it is to say that if God had a purpose for that person, he also had a purpose in killing everyone else on that plane? And a purpose in starving millions of children? A purpose in slavery and genocide?… You say there is a purpose to their suffering. And that’s just cruel.”
His complete ignorance of key concepts of Christianity, it’s difference to mere churchianity, and of basic philosophical concerns in ethics and morality, which in no small part is why he’s able to readily say what he said, can actually be excused, because, like most everyone else, they are matters of which he knows not a single whit, but it necessarily calls into question the competency of the church, where people like him — who have a kind of faith that is miles wide and yet mere inches deep — can be ‘pastors’ to begin with.
Why should it surprise him that people do terrible things in the name of religion when it has been written that they would? And that they do, how is that an indictment of religion, or of Christianity in particular, and not of the people themselves, or of people in general? On this score, It would — it should — suffice to point out to him that there’s a difference between Christianity and mere churchianity.
He sees an implication where simply none exists, viz. he regards the actions (or the theological ignorance) of the religion’s self-proclaimed adherents as the standard against which the religion (or in this case, Christianity) should be judged.
But that is simply illogical, not to mention, un-biblical, since, contrary to what he surmises, it’s a confirmable fact that religious hypocrisy is one of the more pertinent themes of the bible:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ — Matthew 7 : 23-27
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” — Matthew 23:13
He (as do I, in fact) rightly sees cruelty in someone who pontificates on the nature of a divine plan that involves the death of the innocent. But that the average churchian is too unsophisticated to know any better than to blather on about things of which he has no idea should have been of no surprise, and should have again been, rather than an indictment of Christianity, a testament to the every-man’s ineptitude on matters theological. After all, he is a long-time pastor who ought to have known that theological consistency is not to be expected from your average churchian.
But the salient question is why this ex-pastor saw these things as forming a disproof for the truth of Christianity.
While a more salient one still, is how this man, whose understanding of Christianity barely even rises to the level of Narnia, and who cannot rationally be said to grasp fundamental aspects of Christian theology, was once a pastor.
And it’ll be less useful to call into question the rational basis for his rejection of Christianity than it would be to use him as reminder for the church that they are doing something wrong, but for which the remedy is simple: equip your churchians, and especially your leaders, with knowledge of the relevant philosophy.
Else, it’ll be for you — for us — the way of the dodo.
Jerry Coyne, respected biologist, responding to a one Fr. Aidan, says:
“If you think there is a supernatural ‘being,’ first give me convincing evidence that it exists. And that evidence cannot be your personal revelation, or that of earlier theologians, but must be something that nearly all rational, objective, and skeptical observers would agree on. If you adduce Scripture as your evidence, then you’re also adducing the very kind of god you reject. Until you give me evidence as strong as that which I’d give you if you asked for evidence for evolution, I needn’t engage you or take your arguments for god seriously.”
O.K., Coyne. As you wish:
Firstly I’ll note with amusement that right-off the bat you misrepresent what our foremost theologians do. They do not, at least when arguing with your kind, cite personal revelation or scripture as evidence for theism. Remember, it’s you who prats on about there being no good arguments for theism, yet you show us that you are simply mostly unaware of them, or maybe pretend they either don’t exist or are unaware of them, as evidenced by what you imply most apologists do.
Convincing evidence that ‘a supernatural being’ (aka “God”) exists are the following: 1, The Cosmological Argument, 2, The Moral Argument, and 3, The Historicity of the man Jesus.
As far as I can gather, most of the rebuttals to these arguments are themselves unconvincing. For instance, one of the most popular objections to the cosmological argument is that it raises the question ‘who created God?’ That is of course not a serious objection as it is to wholly misunderstand the argument it attempts to rebut. Another objection to the cosmological argument is that the universe is simply a ‘brute fact.’ But that’s just to avoid the question and is no different from saying the universe just exists ‘magically’. In the case of the moral argument, one of the best objections that people from the new atheist cabal can give is that morality is an evolutionarily helpful illusion. Fine. It’s either an illusion or it is not. If it’s not an illusion, then some form of theism must be true (needs unpacking, but not here). So people can hardly be faulted for wanting to affirm morality to be objective, in fact Sam Harris, failingly, tries to do it all the time. On the historicity of Jesus, there have been many counter-hypotheses to the resurrection, some more unconvincing than others, like Jesus had a twin, or that the apostles — and hundreds of other people a lot of whom were previously skeptics — collectively hallucinated seeing Jesus. Of course, none of these are convincing. The only way they may seem more convincing is if, as Craig argues, one assumes naturalism from the onset. But if we don’t engage in the fallacious practice of begging the question, then the resurrection hypothesis clearly becomes the most explanatorily powerful given the background evidence (like Jesus’s prescient claims about himself, and so on).
Sure, some, mostly philosophers, do engage these arguments seriously. But you do not. And so do most others like you. So, unfortunately for you, Fr. Aidan Kimel is right: you don’t engage with the best arguments. I doubt it can even be said that you engage with any of the moderately intelligent ones, much less the best ones. In fact you, on one occasion, have made the very unintelligent (to put it mildly) remark that there are no arguments for God’s existence “that aren’t taken up and refuted in [the book] The God Delusion.” You actually seriously meant that Richar Dawkins’s book has ‘refuted’ all the arguments for the existence of God, which is, if you’ll excuse me, downright stupid (more about this and why below).
First of all, Dawkins never addresses the contingency part of the cosmological argument, except in an absolutely puerile manner. He mentions Aquinas’s 3rd way, yet demonstrates that he does not know what Aquinas even means as evidenced by the fact that he believes Aquinas was trying to show the universe had a beginning — Aquinas argues that it’s impossible to show the universe had a beginning! Dawkins even makes, perhaps even popularized, the ‘who created God’ objection, which is, as I soften say, not even a sightly serious objection to the cosmological argument, since the argument isn’t that ‘everything has a cause’, rather it’s that everything ‘contingent’ (or that had a beginning) has a cause. It simply beggars belief that someone who clearly does not have an atom of knowledge about the argument he is criticizing has been able to successfully refute it.
Dawkins, who you say wrote this book that had successfully refuted ‘all the arguments for the existence of God’ at one point even said: “No one has given any reason to think that the First Cause is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, etc”, which is, again, to show a complete bankruptcy of knowledge about the argument he attempts to refute. Aquinas, whom Dawkins is targeting, spends hundreds of pages exfoliating on this and getting those very characteristics of God from his first-cause argument. Other theologians like William Lane Craig, Samuel Clark, and Leibniz do the same thing. So to say that none of it had been done is simply wrong and shows that Dawkins — and, by extension, you — have zero idea, and have never actually read about the writers and theologians you both expend large amounts of energy criticizing. So addressing the best arguments for theism is something neither you nor Dawkins, or anyone like both of you for that matter, seem to do, or even want to do, or even will be doing in the future.
Contra the Moral argument, Dawkins, about whom you rather remarkably said had successfully refuted all the arguments for theism in existence, refreshingly admits that on atheism “there is at bottom no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference..We are machines for propagating DNA.. It is every living object’s sole reason for being.”
Well, good luck with that. If that’s the case then religion isn’t the evil you claim it is, because, remember, as per Dawkins, “there is no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference.. We are machines for propagating DNA“!
I can go on about this book. But that, above, should suffice to show that Dawkins has not, like you claim, ‘refuted all arguments for God’s existence’. It should suffice to show that he (and you) do not understand, much less have successfully refuted, all, or even any, of the arguments for God’s existence. What he — you — was able to refute, and what Fr. Aidan claims you (and he) — and the likes of you and he — attempt to refute, are the strawman versions for the arguments for God’s existence, and not the arguments themselves.
So Fr. Aidan, 1, you 0.
Look, Jerry, clearly you’re an accomplished scientist. Evidence matters to you, I get it. But what’s also clear is that the evidence on this occasion is that when it comes to ‘tackling’ the arguments for God’s existence, you do not know what the hell you’re talking about.
It is a big, if not a grave, mistake likening God to a magical genie, or a vending machine, who, after having been sufficiently propitiated, makes your life all better, gives you that job or that plush vacation. That’s what prosperity gospel preachers want you to believe and hope for to justify the filling of their own coffers. But believe, you shouldn’t, for God wants you to be spiritually prosperous, not financially so.
We’ve been living, as it were, in debauchery — pathetically to the point where we feel entitled to it. And when the proverbial shit hits the fan, we cry out to the Lord for respite. Despite that we are the heirs of a very prosperous and peaceful generation, it’s not all singing around the campfire and it won’t be for long, for Christianity is not and never has been about material gain, but rather is about this man who lived among the poor; was persecuted (then prosecuted); was rejected; was beaten to a bloody heap; and was eventually murdered like a common thug, like, in those days, an animal, for those — for us — he called his ‘friends’. And the sobering reality is that this is the life in which we are being asked as Christians to share.
Stop demanding for that rose garden — all you’ve been able to plunder in this life matters not a whit, for, if you still hitherto need reminding, “as men“, says Publilius Syrus, “we are all equal in the presence of death.”
What, then, ultimately, is there to be had from personal gain, as death — nothingness, perhaps — comes to us all and takes it all away.
Make no mistake; there is no hope — not in man, not in anything — except in Him.
Therefore rejoice, for He has risen. And in his rising, therein lies the true hope.
(I haven’t written anything in a long time. So, I’m sure, this, below, will be a convoluted blur. But I don’t usually write anything I can’t finish in 10 minutes, so.. to hell with clarity.)
So several of the world’s leading atheist intellectuals decide to have some kind of soiree to discuss how to, in there words, “Move Naturalism forward”. ‘Naturalism’, to those who don’t know, is the metaphysical (although the historical data suggests that nary a scientist there, scientific acumen notwithstanding, is familiar with what the word ‘metaphysical’ even means) commitment to the idea that whatever science can’t understand doesn’t exist. Just like those thoughts in your head; your consciousness, yeah, those, they’re not real. Well, they’re only as real as — they only are, in fact — particles (neurons, perhaps) bouncing around your head. ‘They’re ‘illusions’, I think, is the eliminativist catchphrase. Of course, that raises the question: they’re illusions to whom!? An illusion presupposes a consciousness to perceive it, doesn’t it? So consciousness is an illusion to.. gasp.. consciousness? How morbidly incoherent! But, ah, I shouldn’t be getting ahead of myself, or anyone else.
At one corner is Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist (extraordinaire!) and author of The God Delusion (available at fine book stores everywhere!). In another is Daniel Dennett, philosopher of science, and author of Consciousness explained. In another corner.. well, let’s just say that just about every neo-Darwinist with an I.Q. above 140 was there — from Alex Rosenberg to Jerry Coyne, to Almighty Darwin knows who else.
So they discuss and discuss, as intellectuals are wont to do, and then discuss some more.
At one point in the ‘soiree’, Dennett amusingly admonishes his colleagues, saying that if they repeatedly tell people that free-will (and, therefore, moral responsibility) and the objectivity of morality (the idea that some things are *really evil*) are really nothing but illusions, then that conclusion, should it be accepted, has the potential to, in Ferguson’s words, “undermine civilization itself”. So Dennett says, well, that they shouldn’t be telling people those things — even if, in what would seem to be the mother of all ironies, it’s what he actually believes!
Dennett, at another point, bangs his fist on the table (well, not really [I mean the banging part]) and lambasts contemporary philosophers who still refuse to accept the conclusions of naturalism — you know, the idea that we’re really, from top to bottom, meaningless gobs (or particles, if you prefer) of goo:
“I am just appalled to see how, in spite of what I think is the progress we’ve made in the last 25 years, there’s this sort of retrograde gang.[..]They’re going back to old-fashioned armchair philosophy with relish and eagerness. It’s sickening. And they lure in other people. And their work isn’t worth anything—it’s cute and it’s clever and it’s not worth a damn.”
Suddenly, but not unexpectedly, Danny (can I call him Danny?) Dennett, of Thomas Nagel, says: “and then there’s some work that is neither cute nor clever!”
Mr. Nagel, who authored ‘Mind and Cosmos’, has of course been in their cross hairs ever since. I mean the guy, who is a self-professed atheist by the way, concluded in his book that materialism, and by extension, naturalism, is almost certainly false. Nagel makes the argument (the complexity of which makes me unable to get into details) that strict materialism, and therefore, strict naturalism, is so implausible, and in fact so self-defeating, that the universe, or consciousness — or both (actually, both) — can only be explained with recourse to some kind of teleology. The more philosophically astute will understand that to mean that the universe was somehow ‘designed’ or was meant to be the way it is. Now, of course, Nagel, the atheist that he is, suggests this without reference to God. But he probably knows, too, that there cannot be — logically, there cannot be — teleology (design or meaning) without a designer or meaning-giver.
The guys at the table know this too. So they say Nagel is crazy. “How dare he! How dare he not accept naturalism!” O.K., they didn’t actually say that, but they did others to that effect:
“Tom, oh Tom..How did we lose Tom..”
“What has gotten into Thomas Nagel?”
Steven Pinker, another atheist intellectual at the round table of sorts, the guy who wrote this book that claims everyone’s turning so nice and friendly, and that we’ll all be singing kumbaya in no time, contrary to all the evidence we see at youtube comment boxes, or all the evidence available to us in real life, once linked to, through twitter, a negative review of Nagel’s book, and said that it “exposed the shoddy reasoning of a once-great thinker.”
“Thomas Nagel is of absolutely no importance on this subject..”
“He’s a self-contradictory idiot..”
So what has Nagel — who is, again, perhaps the most eminent philosopher still living — actually done to deserve all this negative attention from, of all people, his fellow atheists?
Well, because, in a nutshell, Nagel, their fellow atheist thinker, who just happens to be much more of a ‘freethinker’ then they can ever claim to be, says that “certain things are so remarkable that they have to be explained as non-accidental.”
In other words, it’s that word again; it’s the word ‘teleology’; the word that logically entails the hypothesis these intellectuals have spent considerable time and effort attacking; it’s the word that entails a creator, a designer — a God.
Of course, Nagel spends hundreds of pages in his book exfoliating this conclusion — presumably zero pages of which Dennett had been able to read.
The hilarious thing about radical atheists nowadays is their pathetic, shallow, and ridiculously paltry understanding of not only religion, to which their attention is devoted, but also of history, from which they draw the conclusion that religion is evil.
Take this poorly informed chap, Poch Suzara, for instance, over at some other blog, who starts off his post with such remarkable drivel:
“Throughout History many people have been killed for, or in, the name of someone’s God. Most Religions ‘know’ that their Religion is the only one true and correct Religion and that all others are a threat to their ‘God’, or at least to their Religion, and should be done away with, or ‘converted’ to their Religion.”
You’d think that after the bait he’s given above he’d be subsequently swarming us with sound evidence to support his claims, yet we soon find out, however, he neither does any of that, nor does he even make an attempt to. Rather, he gives us a list which he matter-of-factly names as one that is of “people who probably or actually have been killed in the name of Religion.” (I removed the non-Christian related):
“1. All who were killed by the Inquisition, which was operated by the Catholic Church and also by some governments.
2. All who were killed by God as shown in the Holy Bible (I have seen reference to over 2 million people who were killed by or under the supposed orders of God. I did not add them up, yet. The so-called bad guy Satan is only credited with killing a few people, at least in the Holy Bible. Makes one think, if you are a Freethinker.)
3. All who died in the “Crusades” (Hundreds of thousands if not millions) (Christians and Muslims)
4. American Indians killed for being Pagans by the so-called Freedom of Religion loving Christians (Millions to tens of millions of people)
5. Christians killed by Hitler even thought Hitler was a Christian (Catholic).
6. Freemasons killed by Hitler
7. Hatuey killed by Christians right after the discovery of the New World.
8. Huguenots killed by Roman Catholics in Florida in 1565 in the First Battle for Religious Freedom in America.
9. Irish Catholics and Protestants killed in their fight for whatever they were fighting over.
10. Jacques DeMolay and other members of the Knights Templar murdered by the Catholic Church.
11. Jews killed by Hitler (Said to be over six million, but who knows. Perhaps more, perhaps less)
12. Knights Templar members who were Burned at the Stake by the Catholic Church.
13. Salem Witches
14. Snake handlers who expect God to protect them from rattlesnakes. (God may look after fools and drunks but He only goes so far. Use you God given brain.)
15. Witches who were hung or Burned at the Stake by Christians and perhaps other Religions.
16. Others were not killed but were merely imprisoned and tortured in the name of God. Galileo is an example.”
The really sad — or amusing (whichever the case may be) — thing about what Poch said above is that it’s not satire; no, he’s actually serious. That slab of words I’ve quoted from him above, that was — he was — serious. My estimation of him would be higher in fact had I simply thought him to be disingenuous, as some are wont to be, but no, that’s not the case; he really, truly, believes that shit.
1. Let’s grant him the common tropes, fine; the Inquisition — the medieval, Spanish and Portugal one — the deaths of which we unfortunately find out amount to only 6,000, despite that we are usually told — by atheists mostly — it amounted to millions upon millions.
2. Our ill-informed historian, Poch, goes on to count the one’s “killed by God in the bible”, despite presumably believing in exactly zero of what’s written there. O.K., fine, let’s grant him that, shaky as it may be.
3. Then the Crusades. Ah, one of the usual tropes which nobody — nobody who knows something about history, that is — should grant to our historian given that it was done more for material, rather than religious, considerations. And it would be utterly futile to argue otherwise. The impetus for the Crusades to the East was even the Muslim’s aggressive conquests of Christian Land — it was a response to it.
4. American Indians were killed for their land not their paganism, so shoot that.
5, 6 and 11, are hilariously all about Hitler having killed someone or some group of people, which should apparently be counted against religion by some convoluted logic about Hitler being Catholic. This is, of course, outright idiocy, and therefore, unfortunately for our historian Poch, not counted. If there were any evidence indicating Poch to be an impartial historian, these delusions about Hitler having killed in Gods name subverts them.
7. Hatuey was killed, again, not because of religion, but because of his anti-colonialism. Not counted.
8. Presumably the St. Bartholomew’s day massacre is of what he’s speaking here, where the Catholic church had about 10,000 Protestants killed, seeking to rid the city of them. While I’m tempted to defend this one as just another case of power-hungry ruling elites behaving badly, what the heck, I’ll be generous and give our historian the 10,000.
9. The Protestant and Catholic wars of Ireland were not religiously motivated, although they were often justified in those terms to unite people. The war was scarcely about a theological disagreement on transubstantation, despite that that’s what the radical atheists would have us believe, and was mainly about British colonialism, which the Protestants supported and the Catholics opposed.
10 and 12. Jacks Demolay and the orders of the Knights Templar were arrested and killed because France’s King Phillip was an asshole who happened to be financially indebted to them. Not counted.
13 and 15. The Salem Witch Trials — while we’re led to believe thousands upon thousands of witches were hanged, the actual number is 35.
14. Snake handlers who expect protection from God but get bit instead, have apparently died, if Poch were to be believed, in the name of God. Again, nothing to see or argue against here, just more logical dim-wittery.
15. Galileo was tortured by the Catholic Church, he says. Fine, plus one for you.
What are we left with?
Well, even after being much too generous to him, all in all it amounts to about 2,016,036 deaths — that’s even granting his 2 million biblical deaths, which I don’t even think for one moment is accurate in the slightest.
First, some trivia from Scot Atran, who, according to his Wiki page, “is an American and French anthropologist who has studied violence and interviewed terrorists” — in other words, somone who, unlike Poch Suzara, actually knows shit:
“The Encyclopedia of Wars surveyed 1,763 violent conflicts across history; only 123 (7 percent) were religious.[…]Indeed, inclusive concepts such as “humanity” arguably emerged with the rise of universal religions. “
In other words: sorry Poch 😦
Now, for comparison, let’s take a look this time at the deaths that are causally connected to an atheistic worldview:
For fun, let’s take what University of Hawaii political scientist Rudolph J. Rummel claims is the number of all people that have been killed in history — 284,638,000.
Now, for more fun, let’s take the number of people who’ve been killed only within the last century — 151,491,000.
Now, to make it REALLY fun — gobs and gobs! — let’s take the number of people who’ve been killed by atheistic communism — about 110,000,000!
That would, very amusingly, make 1 out of 3 people that’s been killed in history, killed by an ideology that actively promoted atheism and aggressively subverted religion — and that’s only in the LAST 100 YEARS!
Poch thusly ends his post with this little gem:
“Religions are very effective in enforcing population control. Perhaps they encourage ‘be fruitful and multiply’ so that there will be more people for them to kill.”
Uh, right.. pfffttt..buwahahahahah!!
Sorry, Mr. Poch Suzara, but you lose. Play harder next time.
This clip is proof that, in this day and age, any blithering idiot, no matter how unqualified, can grab a camera, make a documentary, and be taken seriously.
The documentary claims to show how Jesus’s story had been borrowed from Pagan myths.
Their best example is the Pagan God Mithra, who they say was born of a virgin, had 12 disciples, was crucified, put in a tomb and rose from the dead after 3 days.
What’s funny is that they have this douche travelling around to different places and talking to “experts” who in turn give their ideas that, when cherry-picked, supposedly support the Jesus-is-a-pagan-myth hypothesis.
Let’s see if the supposed similarities between Mithra and Jesus add up:
Mithra was Born of a Virgin, so they say. Nope, Mithra was born out of solid rock, wearing a frigging hat. But who knows, the rock may have been a virgin. I don’t think that counts, however. Sure, contemporary books about Mithra say he was born of a virgin, but those writers were bozos. Go to the original manuscripts describing Mithra and find out he was born of a rock already wearing a hat. Doesn’t really sound so Jesus-esque to me.
Mithra had 12 disciples. Nope. This idea came from a carving of Mithra’s image surrounded by 12 other smaller images which led some rather dumb people to believe that it was his “disciples”. However, those aren’t his disciples, those are the 12 signs of the zodiac. That carving was also dated to 200 years after the time of Jesus, so if anyone borrowed anything, it would have been the other way around.
Mithra died, was buried, and rose from the dead after 3 days. No. This is completely false. Mithra didn’t die. He never died. He killed a cosmic bull –whatever that is. The unfortunate bull died, not him. There has never been any record of any belief about Mithra dying. If that bastard were real, he’d still be alive today.
This is the type of nonsense one gets from watching too much Dan Brown movies and Zeitgeist Documentaries. The fact that a lot of people take these lies with much alacrity is sad and pathetic. These kinds of conspiracy theorist documentaries about the origins of Christianity also only serve to show the imbecilic nature of the minds producing them.
Atheist ‘uktelemacher’ has posted this video as a response to my previous blog post where I tried to refute Hawking’s statement that the universe could create itself from nothing. My refutation is below the video.
Oh, where to begin.
I didn’t think this video would have any substance after opening with the strawman that the Genesis account is a ridiculous explanation of how the universe came to be. Yes, we know some people take the apple and the snake quite literally, but this emotional plea against the egregious ignorance of a few dim-wits is quite obviously a tempest in a teapot that will be a waste of 2 brain cells to try to address.
Somewhere near the beginning of the video, I was given some idea as to what kind of dishonesty and/or ignorance I would be dealing with; the lady in the video mocks Craig for contradicting himself in denying the existence of an actual infinite, in virtue of the logical contradictions such will necessarily impose (see Hilbert’s paradox), yet gleefully describing the initial singularity, which allegedly supports the premise of the KCA, as a “state of infinite density”. Presumably, video lady means that one cannot deny an infinite regress while
accepting infinite density; is the concept of infinity logically coherent or not. Oh that Craig, wants to have his denial of infinite regress cake and eat his infinite density too! Unfortunately for the lady, when something is infinitely dense,
it simply means that its measurements are zero; infinite density means “nothing”. And this is exactly what the KCA aims to show; a creation ex nihilo via God. So, no, no contradiction there, lady.
Lady in video then accuses proponents of the KCA of engaging in wordplay; she makes the old retarded claim that if everything has a cause, then God must have a cause. She then accuses apologists of arbitrarily defining God as an uncaused entity to escape the first premise of the KCA. But this is ridiculous on its face; no one is arbitrarily assigning powers to God as one would see fit; we are talking about the Christian God here who is definitionally omnipotent; this isn’t about my action figure being better than yours; God, if He were to exist, would be by
definition, uncaused. So this particular tripe can only obviously be owed to her philosophical misapprehension of that which she tries to argue against.
Then, video lady says that, as far as up-to-date cosmology is concerned, the singularity doesn’t have much evidence going for it, which leads most cosmologists to adopt other theories such as loop quantum gravity (or string theory), which does away with the singularity and posits the idea of a big-bounce –the idea of an oscillatory universe where the first cosmological event is a remnant of the previous universe’s collapse. But the Borde- Guth-Vilenkin theorem already answers this by saying that, even if our universe was in fact an oscillating one and can inflate eternally to the future, it cannot do so infinitely to the past. There has to be some point where it began. Video lady tries to
circumvent this, rather disingenuously it seems, by misquoting Alan Guth as saying that an infinite inflation towards the past was possible. Mr. Guth, although himself an atheist, has made it quite clear that an absolute beginning of the universe (or multiverse, if you prefer) would be inescapable on the theorem.
She again quotes Mr. Guth in his book as saying that a causeless creation ex nihilo was possible, but let’s not forget that this “nihilo” is nothing short of Hawking’s; an ocean of fluctuating quantum energy still governed by descriptive laws –which I’ve argued is hardly a “nihilo”. In fact Guth writes in his own book
— a part which was interestingly ignored by video lady– “and yet the state of nothingness cannot be identified with absolute nothingness” (maybe because an ocean of fluctuating quantum energy governed by physical laws is STILL required, perhaps?).
Even if video lady is right that Quantum loop theory or another such theory –which has yet to be proven or even shown to be likely true– is able to do away with the singularity, this in no way refutes any of the premises in the KCA simply because it does not give us solutions to the logical incoherence of an actual infinity. It in no way shows that things can go existing uncaused.
Video lady then says that we have no reason to trust our intuitions when it comes to quantum particles, like we normally do for things at the macro level. Presumably, this was again to imply that quantum particles are able to, unlike objects at the macro level, pop into existence uncaused. But, again, this is false on account of quantum particles only able to pop into existence out of pre-existing material, i.e, fluctuating quantum energy and physical laws. Why she cant seem to grasp this is beyond mind-boggling. She then shows a video where Richard Feynman says that particles on the quantum level behave differently from objects at more macro levels — and it’s supposed to be some wonderfully new thing that invalidates the first premise of the KCA. But rather than solidify her point, it just ends up repeating the same ignorant assertion that
somethings can exist uncaused. Again, until video lady can show us good arguments for us to distrust our modal intuitions about existing things needing a cause for their existence, then it seems to me we have prima facie evidence –that’s confirmed by human experience– to do the exact opposite.
To sum up: I see no sound refutation of any of the premises of the KCA. I see no solutions to the logical incoherence of an actual infinity. What I do see are some sloppily constructed strawmen and red herrings. Therefore, the KCA, in my mind, stands unrefuted.
Oh yeah, it’s hardly any surprise many cosmologists who’ve been quoted by Craig, or other apologists, don’t agree with divine explanations of the origins of the universe. Since science needs to presuppose naturalism when using the scientific methodology, it isn’t a surprise a lot of scientists have been pushed towards adopting naturalism itself as a philosophy. This does not obviate apologist’s use of their theories as evidence for theism. To argue otherwise would be to run smack, head first, onto a fallacy.
“Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.”
“Hawking then began working on quantum gravity, in hopes that God would be at last eliminated from the equations. Alas, it was not to be: God was even more prominent – and unavoidable – in quantum gravity than in Einstein’s theory of gravity. In his latest book, The Grand Design, Hawking has pinned his hope of eliminating God on M-theory, a theory with no experimental support whatsoever, hence not a theory of physics at all. Nor has it been proven that M-theory is mathematically consistent. Nor has it been proven that God has been eliminated from M-theory. There are disquieting signs (for Hawking and company) that He is also unavoidable in M-theory, as He is in Einstein’s gravity, and in quantum gravity.
In spite of what the atheist press is telling you, it’s looking bad for atheism today. And it is extraordinary the lengths an atheist like Hawking will go to avoid the obvious: God exists.”
I guess the sensationalism did work to Hawking’s advantage though, as he obviously must have expected it to. I’ve no doubt that book will be a best-seller.