humphreys wrote:Hmm, do you think the same when the atheists win against other believers?
No, because I don't know of any good atheist arguments. Typically, when a theist loses an argument against an atheist it is because the theist is unsophisticated. That's based on my experience, anyway.
Unfortunately, debating in these formats where time is limited and a number of points are touched upon, it's all about style and technique rather than compelling argument.
I disagree. If the arguments that Craig presents ad nauseum were actually weak, then he wouldn't be so successful.
It's exactly like politics. Obama convinced a nation that he was the man for the job in brilliant style, just like Craig, who could win a debate arguing that the sky was brown.
I disagree. WLC debates scientists, philosophers, etc., in formats that are completely unlike the ones found in politics.
The rebuttals are simple, it's just that they're not satisfactory in debate format.
But most of the atheists that Craig has debated haven't come anywhere close to rebutting most of his arguments, despite the rebuttals being simple, as you say.
I gave an example being the cosmological first cause argument. Craig demands that atheists explain the existence of the Universe, of course no atheist can answer that.
That's not what the cosmological argument is about though. The cosmological argument is about analyzing the various explanations for the origin of the universe, reaching the conclusion that God is the best explanation.
No one knows, it's as simple as that, there is no satisfactory answer at this stage other than "we don't know". Craig thinks that justifies citing God as first cause, but he is wrong for a handful of reasons some of which I have touched upon already.
Of course nobody knows with 100% certainty, but you can weigh the various explanations using logic and contemporary science, and then come to the conclusion that one explanation is more plausible than the others. In the case of the cosmological argument, God is the best explanation.
Yes, and he is wrong.
Yes, I know you think he's wrong, but you haven't given any reasons for why you think he is wrong...
Look, I'll give you a simple answer. I do not know how the Universe started, but I can think of ways that it might have that make just as much sense as the God explanation and do not invoke a magical being.
The first cause, for instance is basically a law that says the Universe began to exist, and therefore it must have been set in motion.
I wouldn't say it's a law...
The immediate flaw to this is that it is a law of this Universe, and it is being applied to a time when this Universe did not exist. That just makes no sense. If there is no Universe, there are no laws, and if there are no laws (not even logic, perhaps), then anything is fair game and it is not correct to say a cause is necessary.
I think you're referring to the idea of cause and effect... I wouldn't say there's some sort of law floating around called "cause and effect" and that its existence is the reason why all effects have causes or explanations. "Laws" are just descriptions of how the universe is. Also, the idea that prior to the existence of the universe there "were no laws" and therefore "anything is fair game" is nonsensical for a number of reasons. Like I said previously, laws are just descriptions of how the universe is or works; therefore, if there is no universe, then obviously, there are no laws. However, that doesn't mean that prior to the universe there was chaos. It just means that prior to the universe there was nothing. No potentiality. No matter. No energy. No time. And it's irrational to say that nonbeing could produce anything, let alone a universe, wouldn't you say?
But scientists do not put forward answers like that because it's more a philosophical response than a scientific one, and scientists are not philosophers, so they try to tackle the question scientifically and since we don't have sufficient knowledge yet, the question is accepted as unanswered, and Craig claims a "win".
Most scientists don't have a problem with cause and effect. In fact, without the presumption that cause and effect is true, science would be impossible.
It's just nonsense. God is not an explanation because the same problems we might suggest for the Universe's existence exist for God's existence also: who made him, why, he can't have always existed due to the issues of infinite regress, he is more complex than the Universe and so even harder to explain, and so on, and so on.
1. God is a necessary being. The universe appears to be a contingent being. The universe could have been different, in other words. Or it may have never come into existence. And contemporary science is pointing towards the idea that the universe had a beginning, which again, seems to indicate that the universe is contingent.
2. God doesn't face the problem of an infinite regress because He is a necessary being and the first cause. God is what terminates the infinite regress. Without a first cause, you run into the issue of an infinite regress. So what caused the effect which produced the universe? Now, what caused the effect that caused the effect which caused the universe? Etc. And if the first cause isn't necessary, like God is, then you run into the problem of how could the universe be produced by absolutely nothing?
3. Perhaps God is more complex than the universe, but I don't see how that has on any bearing on whether or not He's the best explanation for the origin of the universe.
Why do atheists have to explain the existence of the Universe in detail along with scientific proof, whereas the believers just have to say "God did it", and they get to leave it at that? Does that seem right to you? It seems like, as always, atheists are expected to do all the work figuring out a ridiculously tough question as the start of the Universe, and when we can't do it quickly enough, you guys get to say "Ha! See, it was God!".
Again, the cosmological argument is about weighing the various naturalistic/atheistic explanations for the origin of the universe, and then showing why they all fall short in the face of logic or contemporary science.
Then we say who created God, and why? And you say, "we don't have to explain that as we have defined him as eternal, uncaused, and necessary. We also don't have to explain how he did it as he is all-powerful and therefore he just does it essentially by magic".
God by definition is a necessary being, but let's say for the sake of argument that I didn't use the word God and just said necessary being. You don't see how it would be nonsensical to ask what created a necessary being? That's like asking why a square isn't a circle or why married people aren't bachelors. I guess you could argue against the very idea of necessary beings. Is that what you're trying to do? I mean, the universe itself could be a necessary being, but it doesn't seem like it is, which raises a number of problems. If the universe isn't necessary then that means it either popped into existence uncaused from absolute nothingness or that it stretches infinitely into the past. And if it stretches infinitely into the past, then how is it possible that we are able to observe the present? In order for us to observe the present, an infinite string of events must have first transpired. Obviously, that doesn't make any sense. This is why atheism seems so irrational to me. As an atheist, you're lead to believe that the universe popped into existence uncaused from nothingness--or you have to believe that the universe extends infinitely into the past. Talk about magic.
Why is he necessary? Because you defined him so.
Then let's not use the word God since it's confusing you. Let's just focus on the idea of necessary existence. Could the universe be a necessary being, for instance?
God isn't an explanation any more than "magical Unicorns" is an explanation.
So you say, but a necessary being who serves as a first cause who produced the universe sounds more plausible than the idea that the universe popped into existence from abolute nothing or the idea that the universe extends infinitely into the past.
Making all-powerful beings up in an ad-hoc manner and then defining them into existence in order to fill a gap in our knowledge is just silly. We've been doing it for centuries. It's "God of the gaps" reasoning, as I said.
The cosmological argument is based on logic and contemporary science, like I said; and therefore, has nothing to do with "God of the gaps" reasoning. God of the gaps reasoning isn't based on what we know. The cosmological argument is.
Here is another possible explanation. A Big Bang occurred because in the absence of laws there was nothing to stop it.
Again, scientific laws are just descriptions of how the universe is; therefore, if there is no matter, energy, etc., to describe, then there are no laws.
Your idea of law sounds like some sort of cosmic policeman who runs around making sure everything is working as it should.
Now, if there was absolutely nothing, then how in the world was the universe produced?
Perhaps an infinite number of Big Bangs occurred spawning an infinite number of Universes all with different laws, a tiny percentage of which sustain life of which one is ours.
If nothingness producing one big bang makes absolutely no sense, then I don't see how an infinite number of big bangs being produced by nothingness would make things any simpler.
He is using the Bible to prove the Bible, in very simplistic terms. I don't trust the Bible, therefore I don't trust its claims about Jesus' resurrection or reliable claims of eye witnesses.
The Bible is a collection of historic documents. What's wrong with it? Or do you just presume it's wrong because you presume supernatural events are impossible? That sounds a bit circular, doesn't it?
I've seen the discussion between Kagan and Craig, but I don't see what you find so interesting.
What is the ontological basis for morality under atheism?