Wednesday, 24 April 2013

William Lane Craig and failures of reasoning.

But first, something random...

A total number of around 106 billion humans have existed on this planet.

"Next time someone complains that you have made a mistake, tell him that may be a good thing. Because without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist." - Stephen Hawking

"People who boast about their IQ are losers." - Stephen Hawking

"It was childish to feel disappointed, but childishness comes almost as naturally to a man as to a child." - Isaac Asimov

"It was a miserable machine, an inefficient machine, she thought, the human apparatus for painting or for feeling; it always broke down at the critical moment; heroically, one must force it on." - Virginia Woolf

"The longing for Paradise is man's longing not to be man." - Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

"Art is not life, and life is not art; but the beauty and horror of the human condition exists between the two." - H. G. Mewis

"We are meaning-seeking creatures. Dogs, as far as we know, do not agonise about the canine condition, worry about the plight of dogs in other parts of the world, or try to see their lives from a different perspective. But human beings fall easily into despair, and from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that, against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value." - Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth

Can a very pure mind really have a proper connection to the world when the real world is so painful and spotted?

How many people unknowingly give up on their dreams? Would we be happier to live a life of not remembering how many of the things we gave up on or going on to the very end of life recollecting all the things we didn't have the will or determination to see through because of our own personal flaws or fears about what we had the potential to accomplish?

Eating one banana gives you a higher dose of radiation than living within 50 miles from a nuclear power plant for a year.

...and the topic.

I've listened to some of the debates by Willian Lane Craig (WLC) and have been really unimpressed by him, supposedly a foremost christian apologist. He makes logical fallacies, and is in my opinion insincere. Is this the best they can do? I've had this plan to critique all his arguments for a while now and collect the logical fallacies he makes to single easily accessible and identifiable list. I've meant to get started on this for a while now, but never quite had the time, but I guess I'll just have to get started somewhere. Today I'll begin by writing something. Perhaps I will gradually collect some of the better arguments from youtube as well.

(this video not related)

Do note that I'm only interested in the nature of reality and what we know about it, not semantics or personal opinions.

A brief word about my personal beliefs (for the sport of it): I am a person who lacks a belief in all supernatural. I believe the Universe and all of mankind is a simple deterministic digital machine. I believe everything that exists, does so because of necessity and the Universe is a self-contained, self-sufficient mindless entity whose main building blocks are pieces of information and natural logical evolution of states of information. Mind as far as I can tell is nothing more than a sophisticated computer, a product of the laws of physics and evolution by natural selection.

But, let's begin with this debate now...

WLC: There are good reasons to think supernaturalism is true.
WLC: The origin of the universe points to the existence of a transcendent creator.
**let's see if we hear any good reason as to why this would be the case.

WLC: Out of nothing, nothing comes.
**This principle is irrelevant because we know nothing about anything (relevant to the context, such as energy) coming into existence, the initial state of universe is known to exist, but a state of non-existence is not, we don't even know if it is coherent to speak of such because the initial state is the beginning of time and space. Therefore we cannot say whether it is possible for something to come from nothing or even if the whole sentence makes any sense. The evolution of the universe is causal flow of energy, like a computer doing calculations which started around 14 billion years ago, but no relevant examples to justify the used principle exist for this context. The argument is totally incoherent and useless in this context.

**Note: WLC tries to place the cause of the universe outside of the space and time, however quantum fluctuations by definition have their origins outside of space and time as well because we cannot causally identify their source within this universe at this time.

WLC: Timeless, spaceless... There are only two kinds of things that fit that description, abstracts or intelligent mind. Abstract objects cannot cause anything?

**There are only two kinds of things that WE KNOW OF. Furthermore, what if abstract objects can cause something? Do we really know that they aren't some deeper underlying structure of the universe which might necessitate something to come into being or existence of some structure like the universe itself. Geometry is a relevant part of mathematics, the numerical value of pi in Euclidean geometry surely must be exactly what it is by necessity. Perhaps equally well the universe simply must exist and there is no other alternative. In fact from a certain perspective we know this to be the case because it exists, the beginning is the past. What happened, happened. Of course one might dive into the depths of solipsism, but perhaps there will be another time for that. After all I don't believe many people think solipsism is particularly relevant in this context at this time. Never the less, we don't know anything at all about timeless and spaceless things, the information content of our minds themselves as far as we know is bound to the existence of our space-time.

WLC: It therefore follows that the cause of the universe is a transcendent personal mind.

**We don't know that a mind can exist without time, space and energy. There are no examples to justify this conclusion. Furthermore, the initial state of the universe, the quantum vacuum, which is know to exist, seemingly shares the characteristic of having its source outside of time and space is know to be "white", meaning its nature is purely statistical, it shows no characteristics of a mind, and yet seems to have the same potential for creating the universe as a god would, but without any need for a mind. It is in many ways more plausible explanation.

WLC: Fine-tuning of the universe points to a designer.


1) Fine tuned for life as we know it, so what? We don't know all the possible types of life that can exist. There could still be other kinds of life even if the constants were different and we would still be asking the same questions even if we were that other kind of life.

2) It would have to be demonstrated that the constants could be different from what they are. A problem arises from the premise that the cosmological constants are in fact 'fine tuned' at all. This premise assumes that there is a certain range of values that each constant could assume. Perhaps the values they have now are the only values they can assume.

3) If there were a God, rather than needing 70 sextillion stars and 13.75 billion years, there would only be need of one planet. Therefore fine-tuning is in fact argument against the existence of god.

4) Perhaps the values are in fact very finely "tuned" for life, and there are other universes which have different values, but since we are asking the question, we must exist in an universe where the values made it possible.

[11:00] TBC fact I think I might just recap at some point why Kalam Cosmological argument, Fine-Tuning and Argument from morality are stupid arguments. Or perhaps try to address how in general none of these arguments have any merit. Though it might be more interesting to point out in which ways WLC is disingenuous. Although I have genuine trouble understanding why anyone with even a half of brain would have any difficulties seeing it.

Another interesting point to note is that practically no one believes in god due to these arguments. People have their faith due to other reasons. Another thing, people say there are answers in the bible (or whatever holy text they might be reading). I would like to know what exactly there is such that actually explains something that isn't explained elsewhere and independently, often much better and plausibly. I for example don't remember learning anything from the bible or religion which would explain or reveal anything useful I dind't either have reasoned myself or learned from elsewhere.

Then there is the talk about solipsism, but I don't quite see the point. I think therefore I am. It is irrelevant what I am, where I am, when I am. My experience exists and what I call the world, the people, the matter, they are bits of information which exists at a distance from me, my ability to influence requires certain effort, I am at a distance from them. Their definition and experience is relevant as defined as external world regardless if it is "actually" internal or external in any idealistic sense. Also this material and immaterial talk seem irrelevant to me. What we call matter, energy, and what would be called immaterial is only information. Minds included. Relations between relevant objects of existence. All this seemingly complicated philosophy people seem so baffled about seems so trivial to me. It is only a language game. What I know is what I know. Perhaps in the future I know more, but that is irrelevant until I know it. I don't make mistakes because given the information I knew at the time I would make the same mistake all over again. That is not a mistake, it is the only possible action given a certain state of affairs. There is no second guessing anything, things are the way things are. Always make the best possible decision based on the facts you know and there is never anything to regret.

"Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones." - Marcus Aurelius

I never cease to be amazed by peoples need to accept any stupid answer to their poorly understood questions in the face of unknown.


Causality shows that every cause is also an effect of something else. Except your 'magic' first cause. Causality can only exist within a temporal dimension. Outside the temporal boundary, causality cannot exist. This is very simple. What 'caused' the temporal boundary to begin? You claim magic man. Scientists point to spontaneous events from outside our universe that are occurring all the time. God is a far more complicated explanation and raises only more questions while not really contributing to our understanding.

Besides, what would be the point of debating someone like WLC who doesn't understand the rules of the game or simply doesn't respect them.

No comments:

Post a Comment