A Christmas Gift for William Lane Craig – Five Reasons Your Specific God Probably Doesn’t Exist
On Friday, Christian apologist and philosophical theologian William Lane Craig published “A Christmas gift for atheists – five reasons why God exists,” in which he insists that most atheists “have no good reasons for their disbelief.” He then lists five numbered statements he says are meant to answer atheists’ “repeated slogan” that “There’s no good evidence for God’s existence!”
But Craig’s time-tested “defenses of Christian theism” fail for a number of reasons. His statements do not represent “evidence” for the existence of a God – and certainly not for his particular deity. Instead, his age-old “proofs” consist mostly of long-debunked arguments from ignorance and appeals to philosophical assumptions.
In October, Craig gave some advice to a Christian who read Disproving Christianity and other Secular Writings and was subsequently finding it “hard to believe in God.” Craig’s response was to tell the confused person to, “Quit reading the infidel material.” So, in honor of Craig’s own efforts to limit the availability of secular material to Christians, I thought it would be appropriate to republish Craig’s best defenses of the Christian God in their entirety and make them (and my responses) available to everyone. Since I don’t generally speak in absolutes, I’ve called my response, “A Christmas Gift for William Lane Craig – Five Reasons Your Specific God Probably Doesn’t Exist.”
1. God provides the best explanation of the origin of the universe. Given the scientific evidence we have about our universe and its origins, and bolstered by arguments presented by philosophers for centuries, it is highly probable that the universe had an absolute beginning. Since the universe, like everything else, could not have merely popped into being without a cause, there must exist a transcendent reality beyond time and space that brought the universe into existence. This entity must therefore be enormously powerful. Only a transcendent, unembodied mind suitably fits that description.
Craig makes a number of assumptions in this point, the first of which is that philosophical arguments constitute real evidence. When asked for evidence, for instance, that a particular person committed a particular crime, would a prosecutor merely assert that, philosophically speaking, the crime must have been committed? Craig then uses these vague “philosophical arguments” to misrepresent all atheists’ various positions by asserting that they believe the universe “merely popped into being,” while ignoring the logical conclusion that his deity would have had to do the same. In essence, he makes the centuries old mistake of claiming that the universe is too complex to exist without a Creator. But what is by definition more complex than the universe? A being that is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect. He somehow doesn’t see the need for a designer there, though.
2. God provides the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe. Contemporary physics has established that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent, interactive life. That is to say, in order for intelligent, interactive life to exist, the fundamental constants and quantities of nature must fall into an incomprehensibly narrow life-permitting range. There are three competing explanations of this remarkable fine-tuning: physical necessity, chance, or design. The first two are highly implausible, given the independence of the fundamental constants and quantities from nature’s laws and the desperate maneuvers needed to save the hypothesis of chance. That leaves design as the best explanation.
Craig’s (and others’) assertion that the universe is “fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent life” simply plays on the very basic and well-understood illusion of apparent design. It ignores that the fact that earth is our only data point for life, and that even here the environment could easily be less harmful, less wasteful, and much more conducive to life. It also ignores the fact that there could be an infinite number of parallel universes with different physical constants. In the end, this argument is best-refuted by Douglas Adams, who says, “Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, “This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!”
3. God provides the best explanation of objective moral values and duties. Even atheists recognize that some things, for example, the Holocaust, are objectively evil. But if atheism is true, what basis is there for the objectivity of the moral values we affirm? Evolution? Social conditioning? These factors may at best produce in us the subjective feeling that there are objective moral values and duties, but they do nothing to provide a basis for them. If human evolution had taken a different path, a very different set of moral feelings might have evolved. By contrast, God Himself serves as the paradigm of goodness, and His commandments constitute our moral duties. Thus, theism provides a better explanation of objective moral values and duties.
Saying we get our morality from religion is like saying we get our trees from houses, because it’s completely backward. Religion gets its morality from humanity, not the other way around. We have morals because our ancestors realized the importance of cooperation. Without it they wouldn’t have survived on a long-term timeline. But cultures throughout history fused their religious origin mythologies with their local laws in order to ensure adherence. These various religions’ holy codes are nearly impossible to change, which is why it’s often the religious groups that hold back scientific progress and civil rights progress. The so-called holy books provide moral codes that necessarily become antiquated and irrelevant after a period of time, which is why the stagnant morals of any holy book will always work to inhibit our own moral evolution. Today, in modern times, we have a system in which people are employed by the government to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and detain offenders based on the violation of laws that are as fluid as our ideas and can be amended as such. So, when Craig asserts that the Christian God best explains morality, I’d be forced to ask why, if God gave 10 fundamental rules that outline how human beings can live happy and moral lives, rape and slavery are mentioned in none of them and the first four are about preserving God’s name?
4. God provides the best explanation of the historical facts concerning Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Historians have reached something of consensus that the historical Jesus thought that in himself God’s Kingdom had broken into human history, and he carried out a ministry of miracle-working and exorcisms as evidence of that fact. Moreover, most historical scholars agree that after his crucifixion Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty by a group of female disciples, that various individuals and groups saw appearances of Jesus alive after his death, and that the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe in Jesus’ resurrection despite their every predisposition to the contrary. I can think of no better explanation of these facts than the one the original disciples gave: God raised Jesus from the dead.
Occam’s razor states that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Aside from the fact that Craig has attempted to misrepresent the understandings of “most historical scholars,” his problem lies within assuming that the most likely result of an empty tomb is a being miraculously resurrected from death through a mysterious connection with its father/self. More likely scenarios include a stolen body, a mismarked grave, a planned removal, faulty reports, edited scriptures, etc. No magic required.
5. God can be personally known and experienced. The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Down through history Christians have found through Jesus a personal acquaintance with God that has transformed their lives.
“Down through history [Muslims] have found through [Muhammad] a personal acquaintance with [Allah] that has transformed their lives.” Your personal religious experience can and should be disputed in the same way you might dispute the alleged personal experience of a Bigfoot believer or someone who claims to have been abducted by aliens. Your strong feelings, anecdotal accounts, emotional reactions, and scripture are not evidence of the supernatural. Believers often forget that most atheists used to be religious, that many non-believers used to think they had a personal relationship with their God and they used to “feel” the power of prayer. They’ve since learned that it was all a farce, that their feelings were internal emotions and not some external force.
And now, we hope that William Lane Craig sees this
It won’t matter if he sees it. It’s not about David’s points (which are concise and well-presented), it’s that Craig has presented this presuppositional garbage over and over again and had different versions of these responses — and other good ones — spelled out for him by many different people in formal debates and panels (Hitchens, Harris, Krauss, Grayling, Carrier, etc. etc. and even Dawkins, who tried to avoid him for years because Craig condones genocide among other things). He doesn’t care. He just keeps crowing on and on in the same smug voice about fine-tuning and the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection (where? From whom? He never answers these questions. It’s in the bible, donchaknow). I’m glad David wrote this, because what matters is that other people see it. People who might not sit through a 100+ minute debate or long complicated written responses might be able to read this and understand why Craig’s points are baseless and presumptuous.
And even if a “god” DID create even ONE planet, who is anyone to say WHICH “god” it was??? Why on earth should anyone choose to believe it was just one, once-unimportant tribal war god of a very small group of people? As always in such discussions, there are way more questions than answers.
David’s points are indeed well-represented arguments and very convincing. That is, against the strawman of Craig’s arguments created by David. It may be that David took lessons from that King of Strawmen, Richard Dawkins, as he uses one of Dawkins’ arguments regarding a contingent nature of God.
I’ll deal with just one of the issues in David’s post for the sake of time, and let’s make it the first one as some evidence I’m not merely cherry picking the weakest from among a group of weak arguments. I think Craig may be a bit smug, but for good reason–his arguments have completely withstood the incoherent and inconsistent counters from the atheists mentioned by Darbi, which David’s posting to their misfortune captures pretty well.
David ignores, for example, the evidence for a beginning of the universe presented by the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, which states that any universe with a net positive coefficient of expansion (and evidence is strong that this describes the universe with great accuracy) must have a boundary point in space and time, otherwise known as a beginning. This is the scientific foundation upon which the rest of Craig’s argument follows nicely, so it is not some purely philosophical exercise as asserted in David’s strawman.
The scientific evidence certainly seems to point toward a universe that is contingent and cannot be eternal in the past. The remainder of Craig’s cosmological argument, IMO, hinges upon the need for a Necessary being as causal agent, and I think this makes far more sense than its contrary argument, which suffers not only from unconformity with established theorems, but from requiring such things as infinite regress. Its opponents have felt compelled to resort to ad hoc assertions, gratuitous physics, and some really awful rationalism. I think Craig shows quite well the decisive superiority of the theistic position, based on established science, observation, and rational thought.
Clark Griswold, you have misrepresented what various scientists posit as possible sources of the singularity. All of these scientists would say they don’t know what caused the singularity to begin expanding, because in all likelyhood we can’t know. They are simply saying that the rules that apply to this universe in all likelyhood did not apply to whatever caused the singularity. But lets ignore that.
Why does an eternal wizard from the void seem like a more satisfying speculation?
You need to learn to read. These are not W.L. Craig Strawmen, these are his arguments directly quoted with clearly marked rebuttals inserted.
Maybe the big bang was the ‘uncaused cause’ or maybe there was an infinite chain of collapses and big bangs preceding this ‘iteration’. Who knows? But still I am confident in saying that it is a ridiculous notion that either of these were the desire of a particular bronze-aged tribal deity who could not cross the oceans until after men built big enough boats.
(claps) I love the part about the boats.
The post indeed quotes Craig, then reframes each point. Classic strawman.
Oh dear, Mr Griswald. You are actually proposing the “Kalam” argument as a rebuttal? That there MUST SURELY have been an initial “mover” (because you say so?), therefore God? Oh dear, isn’t this a perfect example of bending the science/philosophy to fit the predetermined and desired result? Here’s a beginner’s sample from Wikipedia that neatly disposes of at least one plank of that argument. I’m sure if you quit trying to rubbish Dawkins (he’s not the atheists’ god, btw) and research more properly, you will find the equally obvious disposals of the other planks.
“Ghazali thought that it is at least theoretically possible for there to be an infinite regress, and that there is nothing that necessitates a first-cause simply by pure deductive reason. He thus disputes one of the essential premises of the first-cause argument. Muhammad Iqbal also rejects the argument, stating: “a finite effect can give only a finite cause, or at most an infinite series of such causes. To finish the series at a certain point, and to elevate one member of the series to the dignity of an un-caused first cause, is to set at naught the very law of causation on which the whole argument proceeds.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kal%C4%81m_cosmological_argument
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“Saying we get our morality from religion is like saying we get our trees from houses, because it’s completely backward. Religion gets its morality from humanity, not the other way around. We have morals because our ancestors realized the importance of cooperation.”
Dude, you’ve seriously got to prove this whopper load of crap. Who were these “ancestors”? Where were they when they developed these “morals”? When were they codified and agreed upon? What council ever convened to consider them? Flat out – how do you know ANY of what you just asserted? Answer? YOU DON’T!
Who and where? Pick up and book by an anthropologist (try Helen Fisher) and pick one. There are common morals and expectations of behavior along the line in groups of humans that still exist now, outside of Abrahamic religions (if you are looking for examples, try tribes in New Guinea or the Kung bushmen). Humans with no history of contact with Yahweh or any version of him developed common rules in the group (the two that jump out immediately and are common to human groups are general bans on murder and incest, among others). Also, the Code of Hammurabi dates to about 1700BC and had a bunch of rules that predated all versions of the ten commandments and included laws on how to treat others…those were formal guidelines based on what was morally acceptable in societies. Moral behaviors facilitated cooperation of the ingroup and were therefore selected behaviors.
” I’d be forced to ask why, if God gave 10 fundamental rules that outline how human beings can live happy and moral lives, rape and slavery are mentioned in none of them and the first four are about preserving God’s name?”
Once again, because you understand pitifully little concerning Christian doctrine. Those first four form a basis for all else. What or who formed the basis for what you admit are ever-changing laws; ones that are purely subjective? I told you once before you all have the habit of knitting all religion together and then tossing the fabricated blanket over Christianity.
Deuteronomy 17:1-5 Murder worshipers of other gods for breaking the 1st commandment.
Leviticus 24:16, Matthew 12:32, Mark 3:29 Murder Blasphemers (3rd commandment) they cannot ever be forgiven.
Exodus 31:15, Numbers 15:32 Murder Sabbath Breakers (4th commandment)
Exodus 21:17 Murder Disobedient Children (5th Commandment)
Leviticus 20:10 Murder Adulterers (7th Commandment)
6th commandment- Don’t kill. Ezekiel 9:5-7 Kill.
Deuteronomy 20:10-14, Judges 5:30 God rewarding thieves, coveters, and murderers (8th & 10th commandments)
Luke 16:17, Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus upholds these senseless barbarities.
I look at the Bible and Jesus’ teachings and Christianity and I see Evils and Barbarism and contradictions and uninterrupted Fallibility.
There is a growing body of evidence that morality is actually an evolved construct. For a quick primer check out de Waal’s TED talk here http://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals.html
This is actually a reply to multiple assertions made by those supporting David’s initial post. First, we are talking about Craig’s version of the Kalaam Cosmological Argument, not Ghazali’s version, so it does no good to attempt to revert to that. And dear me, had I known that someone would throw Wikipedia at the argument, I never would have bothered! :-^
That the universe had a cause (as stipulated by Benjamin) seems to be supported by the science. And this is precisely in line with the second premise of Craig’s Kalaam. Now, either that Cause is contingent or necessary. If the former, there is either an infinite regress of causes, or some termination at a Cause that is necessary. The only other possibility is something that is worse than magic–a contingent being popping into existence uncaused out of nothing (and by nothing I mean actually nothing, rather than Krause’s gratuitous re-ified “nothing”).
Now, as to morality, it matters not whether someone can show evidence of an evolved morality. Now, as to consequences of that, how can those who deny the existence of objective morality say that anything is morally right or wrong? How do you put the Colorado movie shooter in jail? Yet he is in jail. Wasn’t he just, in the words of the Great Strawman warrior himself, “acting out his DNA?” I note that supposedly Dawkins didn’t want to debate Craig because Dawkins objected to what he claimed was Craig’s support for genocide (which I find laughable on several levels). So, even people who claim there is no objective morality ACT LIKE THERE IS. Their deeds deny their words.
Well, that’s a neat dodge effort, Clark, on two bases: First, that Craig’s is a “different” Kalaam argument to the one you attempted, unsuccessfully I might add, to depose. Second, you resorted to the Wikipedia Put-Down – argument by personal dismissal. Seriously? That’s all you have?
The Kalaam argument, and all its variants thereof including Craig’s, are essentially the same: There must have been an “first-cause unmoved mover” therefore God. Please look up “fallacy of personal incredulity” before you go on much further with this.
As for the Wikipedia Put-Down, I did mention that the reference was indeed “a beginner’s sample”, i.e. somewhere to at least start, not where it should end. I also suggested fairly strongly you would need to go on from there and do more research more widely into the subject. That you refuse to even step on the doormat of that threshold suggests you really don’t wish to challenge your views with any contrary evidence. Ears, fingers, la la la.
Meanwhile, your argument is pretty much using $10 words to sell a $1 story not yet worth a dime.
Thanks for responding to my post. And I am sorry for my snarky slap at the use of Wikipedia as an appeal to authority. You must note, however, that I said Craig’s version of the Kalam is different than Ghazali’s BECAUSE IT IS. And since you use Wikipedia as an appeal to authority, you will find IN WIKIPEDIA that is in fact the case. Perhaps Ghazali did not dismiss the possibility of infinite regress and that Craig does exclude that as a possibility. But that does not mean in the least that Craig is wrong.
The argument against infinite regress is on good grounds both philosophically and scientifically. Since Ghazali’s time some additional philosophical work has been done in this area. But the scientific basis for the same conclusion, to which Ghazali did not at all have access, is even stronger.
Like much else, William Lane Craig has quote mined others in order to support his work. His ramblings about the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem demonstrate that Craig doesn’t understand it…or any of the alternatives (such as Hawkings no boundary proposal).
Even if the authors of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem turn out to be right, however, Craig has still not won the day. Not by a long shot.
In Vilenkin’s book “Many Worlds in One” you will find this passage:
“Anyone who attempts to understand the origin of the universe should be prepared to address its logical paradoxes. In this regard, the theorem that I proved with my colleagues does not give much of an advantage to the theologian over the scientist.” (pg. 176)
Whoops. Craig should have kept reading…and been more honest.
Jamie, you will find that Vilenkin has since told Craig in correspondence which Vilenkin gave Craig permission to make public, that Craig has correctly represented Vilenkin’s work. I believe this is captured on Craig’s web site reasonablefaith.org.
If you’re going to use Occam’s razor to disprove something, don’t go behind yourself and list 5 things that may have happened, when what you are trying to disprove only listed one. The 5 you listed would have had to have some sort of conspiracy between at least two people; or, it was God. Do we assume there was a small conspiracy between 2 or more people, or do we assume that one person (God) did it? Fewest assumptions equals one person (God).
That logic only follows if your God was a person who has been shown to exist. Since that’s not the case, “God” is as likely an answer as “aliens” or “Bigfoot.”
Also, one (real) person could have stolen a body.
Saying that God did it takes at least two assumptions, as you have to assume that he exists, before you can assume that he did it.
A Christmas Gift for William Lane Craig – Five Reasons You should be Happy Atheism is probably True
1. You love your family. If your God is real, some of the people you love will be left out of paradise.
2. You love children. If your God is real, the suffering of little kids is optional. God could reduce it, but just doesn’t want to.
3. You love freedom. If your God is real, we live in a kingdom where obedience is the only survivable option.
4. You love reason. If your God is real, reason is a distraction from the truth.
5. You love yourself. You could be mistaken about your own salvation and end up in Muslim hell. Or even Christian hell. No one knows the mind of God.
Why is it that the obvious religious people (as found here) constantly attempt to misrepresent what has been said? What David has posited is not a straw-man, is very rational, is hinged on logical thought. What Craig brings to the table is nothing more then the exact same tripe that we always see! The same misguided assumptions, the same misrepresented ideas. Would it really hurt any of you to simply open a book? Occam’s Razor-The is a plethora of other (more) possible/plausible ideas than God did it. Kalam? Seriously? If you even attempt to posit that idea, you are a moron, no if’s or buts. Circular Logic? By that notion Spiderman is real. Denial of evolved morality in social species? Once again, read a frick’n book, get an education, do anything other than what you are doing. Why, because you are exactly what is wrong with our society.
He appears to start off by assuming scientism as the only useful source of knowledge, which is self contradictory. The statement “scientism is the only useful source of knowledge” is itself not a scientific statement. Granted he does not come right out and make this statement, but it seems to be heavily implied. I am not sure what the point of his crime analogy is, so I will ignore that unless you elaborate for me on what he is getting at. The rest of his first statement shows his misunderstanding of logical possibilities. Craig knows that not all atheists think the universe just popped into being from nothing (he constantly discusses the multiverse theory and the problems with it). But the philosophical concept of a Prime Mover seems to be logically coherent as opposed to an infinite regress (which the multiverse does not resolve). A Prime Mover is logically sound as a metaphysically NECESSARY being, rather than a CONTINGENT one.
His second rebuttal is rather humorous. I have never understood why people ignore the obvious. The idea of a “perfect” world, or even a better world than the one in which we find ourselves may not be a feasible one to produce given the full scope of the Creator’s intent. Keep in mind that a metaphysical being created our world in a realm other than His own. His realm is the “perfect” one, for lack of a better term. I would also point out that perfection is an ambiguous concept. Anyway, if you remember my response to one of your notes a few months ago, I proposed that omniscience was not necessary and all that is required is sufficient knowledge. I know that is a minority opinion among theists and I may be wrong there. Anyway, it may not matter. Assuming the normal attributes associated with God, I see no reason on Christian theology to expect our world to be better designed. I mean, when I hear people make these kinds of statements I think they are forgetting just how special our little point in the universe is, since there is absolutely no evidence of life being anywhere else in the universe. That seems to imply that we ARE special.
I actually laughed out loud after reading his third point. He has completely misunderstood at least two things. However, he is not to blame with all of the bad theology out there. That God is the basis for morality is NOT that the Bible is the basis for morality. I am surprised that atheists even bring the Bible up here, because it isn’t necessary for the argument to go through. All that is required is the acknowledgement that there are objective moral values and duties. You don’t need to read in a book that rape and torture are wrong, because you know that already. So the question is, “Are rape and torture wrong because they are not helpful in the propagation of our species?” or “Are rape and torture right because they are helpful in the propagation of our species?” If you answer yes to the first question, with no other basis to answer you would have to answer yes to the second. If you answer yes to the second, then there is no truth value to your morality. Indeed, it is just a means for survival. If that is the case, then we can never claim moral improvement, only moral change.
I completely disagree with his application of Occam’s Razor here. Occam’s Razor applies to a single event. Here he seems to want to use any number of explanations for the empty tomb but disregards the unique burial and post-mortem appearances. Craig offers A SINGLE hypothesis that best explains all of these events, which meets the criteria of Occam’s Razor.
I should allow and perhaps even agree with his final point, but so does Craig. Although Craig does not say it here, he has often admitted that personal experience is not an argument for the existence of God. He simply uses it as a tool to help people understand that they do not have to ignore their personal experience and easily give it up.
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At the end of the day, all the theists have is their imagination to work with. And considering that their imagination is confined within ancient mythology, they are clearly not very imaginative on their own.
I noticed that Clark Griswald (more lack of imagination) tries to validate Craig’s version of the long buried (for good reason) Kalam argument on the basis that Craig’s version includes an “infinite regress” assumption. But Clark fails to understand the problems of this “infinite regress.” Or he would not support it.
Infinite regress, as Craig presents it, is a very clever sort of snake oil that Craig realizes will fool most people who cannot comprehend time. And of course, his followers are mostly these kinds of people. They say things such as “God is beyond time” or “God is timeless.” There is no better way to say “I have no clue about time.”
So here’s the problem with Craig’s assertion:
Craig assumes eternal time is impossible. In the example Craig uses, he convinces people like “Clark” into believing that there is no way for the universe to be eternal. By using a trick. The trick is to pretend that when we measure time, we must not use a reference point. That we must instead use a moving target which is the “infinite regress” that Clark cites from Craig. Every moment is measured by the moments before it. Every moment is not measured by the moving target of eternal time. This is where Craig uses his snake oil. He tries to say that time had to have a beginning and that this beginning had to be caused. This is nothing short of trickery.
And by the way, “infinite regress” is nonsensical because infinite refers to expansion and Craig tries to apply it to time and to REVERSE the expansion (apply it to past events). Infinite regress is a philosophical concept which has to to do with Arguments. But Craig is speaking to the non-philosopher and the non-physicist in order to sell his roadshow and his books to people who want desperately to prove their God’s existence and cannot do it on their own. And it’s no wonder Craig and others who seem to come close must use a combination of philosophy and redefined scientific terms. Because God is a CONCEPT. Just like infinity.
What Craig is actually referring to when he says “infinite regress” is “eternal regress.” He avoids using the word eternal because it would be embarrassing to refute “eternity” (which is the reified noun version of the adverb eternal) when this concept is at the very foundation of Christianity. But this is what he does to avoid the unpleasant fact that time is eternal. There can be no such thing as “before time.” Time may warp and fold and even pulse. But time does not BEGIN.
Without time, there can be no events. So therefore, if God is said to create, God is said to be operating within the confines of time. And the alleged creation event is an event and so it is also subjected to time. Mass requires time. There can be no measure of mass without time. Energy requires time. There can be no measure of energy without time. Without time, there can be nothing. This includes no God. Sentience, by virtue of thought, is a series of events. Sentience requires time.
The only way there could be a God is if the God were also thrust into existence by some event. And that this event were caused by a sentience. I know this sounds silly but this is the assumption that Craig makes. So by Craig’s own assertions, God required a great sentience which also required time in order to have a beginning. Everything must have a beginning according to Craig because of his “infinite regress” fallacy. What we end up with in the end is an “infinite regress” of Gods creating other gods.
There was never ever nothing. As the very existence of something negates nothing. You don’t have nothing and then have something because for there to be nothing, there is no time. I know this is very hard for many armchair physicists (like Craig and “Clark”) to understand. But there is a big difference between empty space and nothing. At least empty space can be filled. And I suggest “Clark” and Craig do just that.
You’ve made quite an assortment of assertions there! I might request evidence for a few of them, such as:
– the existence of eternal or infinite time
– the exclusive plausibility of B-theory time or the impossibility of A-theory time
– the eternality of material
– how God cannot be a Necessary being
And it is precisely the atheists like Lawrence Krauss whose enterprise it is to equivocate over “nothing,” reifying the term to apply to “empty” space that is actually roiling with virtual particles and vacuum energy. It is people like Craig who state that nothing is just that.
I have presented evidence from pretty well-established theorems to indicate that time and material came into being at the Big Bang. If true, this means that material cannot be Necessary or eternal.
Now, if you are saying that, as some have proposed, as time and material came into being simultaneously, there was never “a time” at which there was “no material,” I might accept that as a philosophical and metaphysical possibility, but don’t think any common sense perspective would equate that to “eternal time.”
I am aware that Craig’s argument makes a lot more sense if one adopts an A-theory of time and that most scientists go for the B-theory (though some believe it still makes sense under the B-theory). A lot of “science enthusiasts” prefer the B-theory because it more comfortably accommodates such favorite notions as time travel and material as Necessary. But I am not aware of any scientific reason that as yet invalidates A-theory (McTaggart’s paradox is not a scientific reason, for example).
If you think you understand time, and that from a scientific perspective, that puts you in a minority, to say the least. So I would certainly like to hear more from someone who truly understands time. Please explain more fully and cite your perspectives.
And please try to enlighten me without your witty condescension. It’s not necessary. Really.
Since this man’s ‘arguments’ have long since been debunked it’s pretty clear that his audience are not atheists, but rather Fox News viewers (of whom 99% have never cracked open a Bible; nor are they capable of forming philosophical opinions themselves).
“Craig makes a number of assumptions in this point, the first of which is that philosophical arguments constitute real evidence. When asked for evidence, for instance, that a particular person committed a particular crime, would a prosecutor merely assert that, philosophically speaking, the crime must have been committed? Craig then uses these vague “philosophical arguments” to misrepresent all atheists’ various positions by asserting that they believe the universe “merely popped into being,” while ignoring the logical conclusion that his deity would have had to do the same. In essence, he makes the centuries old mistake of claiming that the universe is too complex to exist without a Creator. But what is by definition more complex than the universe? A being that is omnipotent, omniscient, and perfect. He somehow doesn’t see the need for a designer there, though.”
He isn’t saying that the universe is too complex to exist without a creator, he is stating that God is a necessary being, as “necessity” is an essential attribute to what God is.
When I say essential I mean it in the sense that “necessity” is a property of God’s nature. Necessity goes with God’s identity in the same sense that contingency goes with a human’s identity, since humans were brought into being.
God was never brought into being, and if you assert that God was brought into being then you arent talking about God, because as I said before, God is by definition a necessary being.
So IF God exists, then God would exist necessarily. This means that asking who designed the necessary designer is equivalent to asking for the name of the married bachelor’s wife. The question is incoherent.
Therefore this objection fails.
Remember, Craig is also using God as an inference to the best explanation. Craig argues that God BEST EXPLAINS why time and physical space began to exist.
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