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1
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Craig, Goldstein, Peterson Debate
« on: July 29, 2018, 05:50:43 pm »
Well, both tried to place the focus on the good things we can bring out of life, which is good and fine, but that doesn't take away that all good things come to an end if there is no God and therefore no afterlife. I recognise Nietzschean proclivities in Peterson. Goldstein as a humanist deals with the question by basically wanting to make things better for others, which in turn makes things better for ourselves. I think that both of them miss the mark, because both assume the good without accounting for it. What I think is good and meaningful may not be what you think is good and meaningful, and without God, who is to say which one of us is right?

I mean, even if all that is true, I don't really care. Death is the end of pain (see Epicurus)

2
"Witch of Endor" sounds like something from Lord of the Rings

Personally, I was reminded of Star Wars. But I take the point.

lol, that too. Given that historians no longer think, for example, that Moses existed (as well as Adam, David, Noah, etc.), I wonder what Jews and Christians should make of the OId Testament. Even rabbinical scholars now admit that the Exodus did NOT happen. 

3
I had a discussion recently where someone said we have more evidence for Jesus' existence than Hitler. I found this to be absurd. I'm not saying Jesus didn't exist, but his existence surely isn't as well-evidenced as Hitler.

4
"Witch of Endor" sounds like something from Lord of the Rings

5
A theodicy is not merely a possible reason for why God allows evil-that would be a defense. A theodicy aims to show what God's actual reasons are.

6
I think the Indifference Hypothesis is no different from Deism, because in a way its saying God does exist, but God is indifferent to human affairs. My understanding of Draper's argument is more along these lines:

P1. If a loving God exists, then he would not be indifferent to humanity.
P2. If God is indifferent to humanity, then we would have no evidence of God's involvement in human affairs whatsoever.
P3. We have no evidence of God's involvement in human affairs.
C1. Therefore, (from P2) God is indifferent to humanity.
C2. Therefore, (from P1) a loving God does not exist.

P1 and P2 are analytical, because they are merely trying to define God in such a way that makes the nature of his existence observable. Where the argument gets into trouble is with P3, because it's not obvious that this premise is true. Adherents to most religions would say God has involved himself in human affairs by revealing himself to prophets and priests throughout human history.

The Skeptical Theist might say: "but we have no way of verifying or falsifying these revelations." But this is a red herring, because the contents of revelation are secondary to the phenomenology of revelation itself. If God were truly indifferent, then we wouldn't have any revelations period. If one were to try and prove P3, they would have to disprove every instance of revelation that has ever happened - which in practice is impossible. And, appealing to the possibility that all revelations might be mistaken is simply begging the question. Given this, the Skeptical Theist now has to backwalk and simply say "well, we ought to be agnostic towards religious revelation," which is fine... but in taking that position the Skeptical Theist is making an argument-defeating concession, because he's admitting that revelation is real (which is evidence of God's involvement in human affairs). Thus, P3 is defeated and the conclusion no longer follows.

I think an indifferent deity entails indifference, but I don't think indifference entails an indifferent deity. If we are comparing deism to classical theism, it's hard not see that how deism isn't a better explanation than classical theism. That's because, at the very least, classical theism requires an additional assumption that God has unknown morally sufficient reasons for allowing suffering. Deism (nor naturalism) need this assumption.

7
A sketch of Draper's argument:

Let O (for "observations") represent the evidence to be explained, in this case observations about pain and pleasure. More formally, Draper defines O as a statement about "the kinds, amounts, and distribution of pain and pleasure in the world." In Draper's formulation, O is the conjunction (or combination) of the following:

O1 = a statement about facts concerning "moral agents experiencing pain or pleasure that we know to be biologically useful";

O2 = a statement about facts concerning "sentient beings that are not moral agents experiencing pain or pleasure that we know to be biologically useful"; and

O3 = a statement about facts concerning "sentient beings experiencing pain or pleasure that we do not know to be biologically useful."

So defined, Draper's argument from the biological role of pain and pleasure runs as follows:

1. O is known to be true.
2. Theism (T) is not much more probable intrinsically than the hypothesis of indifference (HI) [i.e., Pr(|T|) is not much greater than Pr(|HI|)].
3. O is much more likely on the assumption that the hypothesis of indifference is true than it is on the assumption that theism is true [i.e., Pr(O | HI) >! Pr(O | T)].
4. So, other evidence held equal, theism is probably false.



Skeptical Theism and Draper's Response


With respect to skeptical theism, Draper responds by granting that, for all we know, God has a good reason for allowing various instances of suffering. But, says Draper, it is also true (and antecedently just as likely) that, for all we know, God doesn't have a good reason for allowing various instances of suffering. Hence, we're right back where we started, which is working with what we do know.


Response to Draper by Perrine

Timothy Perrine responds by first combining theism with skeptical theism. That is, skeptical theism is (arguably) very likely on theism. And, if this is the case, we can't know that the third premise is true in Draper's argument.
Next, in order to deal with Draper's objection to skeptical theism, Tim combines skeptical theism and theism with a certain principle regarding belief. Tim calls the principle "Principle".  Tim summarizes it as follows:

If a person reasonably believes that P is true only if Q is true (e.g. that P implies Q), and it is unreasonable for that person to believe that Q is true, then it is unreasonable for that person to believe P.


Perrine says the following:

Suppose your students have done particularly poorly on the last in-class quiz. You claim that this data—poor quiz grades—is more probable given one hypothesis—they are incompetent—than another hypothesis—they are competent. In response, I point out that a competent but otherwise lazy and uninterested student will do just as poorly on a quiz as an incompetent one. Suppose, further, that you cannot reasonably rule out the possibility that most of your competent students are lazy and uninterested (it is early in the semester, say). Intuitively, it no longer remains reasonable for you to believe that the poor quiz grades are much more likely given that your students are incompetent than competent. Now imagine someone lodges an analogous offsetting objection:
But suppose you consider this possibility which you cannot reasonably rule out: for all you know, almost none of your competent students are lazy. This possibility “offsets” the other one. Therefore, it is now reasonable for you to once again believe that your initial data of poor quiz grades is much more likely given the hypothesis that they are incompetent than the hypothesis that they are competent. This objection is intuitively unpersuasive.


Hence, Perrine isn't just comparing the Pr(O|HI) to the Pr(O|T). Rather, he is comparing the Pr(O|T & ST & P), where ST stands for 'skeptical theism' and P stands for the Principle.


My Thoughts

I'm not sure why we still shouldn't accept that HI is a better explanation of the data of evil than Perrine's expansive theism. Perrine adds two auxiliary hypotheses to theism simpliciter. So, Perrine's explanation is much less simple than the hypothesis of indifference.

Not to mention, one can argue that human ignorance of God's reasons for allowing evil is much more expected on the hypothesis of indifference than expansive theism. Expansive theism does give us some grounds for our ignorance, but our ignorance isn't at all surprising given the hypothesis of indifference. That's because HI entails that there is no Omnipotent and Omnibenevolent Being who cares about our ignorance. On the other hand, theism does not entail skeptical theism.

8


Since physicists have done all sorts of modeling and abstract reasoning to construct the world from very simple physical conditions and failed, this expectation of an atheist/naturalist reality has failed. Thus, the world as we observe doesn't meet the expectations of an atheist/naturalist mindset. Hence, the atheist/naturalist should give up their atheism.



Total non-sequitur.

9
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: The Modal Objection to Rowe's EPOE
« on: April 18, 2018, 10:45:07 pm »
I think discussing Rowe's 1979 argument is beating a dead horse at this point. Rowe even admitted (in 1996) that it wasn't a good argument

10
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What do you think of the resurrection?
« on: April 18, 2018, 10:40:25 pm »
The empty tomb isn't a minimal fact. Craig includes it, but many apologists don't. It's no longer 75% (and 75 isn't even a very strong consensus for the subject)

11
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: The Modal Objection to Rowe's EPOE
« on: April 15, 2018, 06:45:43 am »
I'm not really a fan anymore of Rowe's argument, at least as originally stated. It's not obvious to me that there couldn't be at least one instance of gratuitous suffering on theism. In other words, I sort of agree with Peter Van Inwagen's objection. However, that's not to say that we can't reformulate the argument (see Nick Trakakis).

I'm a much bigger fan of Draper's argument

12
Choose Your Own Topic / How many beliefs does God have?
« on: March 09, 2018, 12:15:13 pm »
Does God have an infinite number of beliefs? If God doesn't have an infinite number of beliefs, then is he omniscient? If actual infinities can't exist, according to Craig, then how can God have an infinite number of beliefs?

13
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Expanding Craig's Moral Argument
« on: March 07, 2018, 08:03:13 am »
Even some theists would argue that God is not a moral agent because to be a moral agent, a being must be obligated to an external law and be capable of evil.  What are your thoughts on this?

That's a good point. So far, I don't think the argument requires that God have moral obligations. But, perhaps God would still be a moral agent in a different sense.

It seems like there could be a lot more written on the subject of God and moral agency. Assuming modified-divine command theory, could God be obligated to do what is in God's nature? If God has free will, like most theists seem to think, then it seems there is still some sense of moral obligation. At the same time, one may argue that God can't do evil, which is why moral obligations don't make sense. But does God actually have free will if God can't even choose to do evil? This also raises issues for the free will defense.

14
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Expanding Craig's Moral Argument
« on: March 06, 2018, 05:48:39 pm »
If you went down the Platonist route, there could definitely be a morally perfect being that isn't 3-O.... the Form of the Good. Though, if understood correctly, Plato theorized that goodness actualizes all other forms, so technically the Good would obtain all knowledge and all power, but again, that requires another sub-chain of argumentation.

I think you're right. I think it's hard to harder to establish that a moral perfect being doesn't exist if God does not exist, but it's easier to establish that God (of classical theism) doesn't exist if a morally perfect being doesn't exist (by definition). 

Perhaps my argument should be changed to:

1. Necessarily, if a personal morally perfect being does not exist, then God does not exist

2. If God does not exist, then moral facts don't exist

3. Therefore, if a personal morally perfect being does not exist, then moral facts don't exist (1,2)

4. Moral facts do exist

5. Therefore, a personal morally perfect being exists (3,4)

6. Therefore, God exists (1,5)




Sub-argument:

1.1. If a personal morally perfect being does not exist, then an omnibenevolent personal being does not exist

1.2. If an omnibenevolent personal being does not exist, then an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent personal being does not exist

1.3. Therefore, if a personal morally perfect being does not exist, then an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent  personal being does not exist

1.4. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent personal being does not exist, then God does not exist

1.5  Therefore, if a personal morally perfect being does not exist, then God does not exist

15
Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Expanding Craig's Moral Argument
« on: March 06, 2018, 10:18:49 am »
Quote
1.2. Necessarily, if God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent, then a morally perfect being exists

You'd need another premise (or perhaps even another sub-argument) to connect 3-O to morally perfect. I'd consider borrowing from Liebniz's best of all possible worlds argument. The real question is: wouldn't an omnibenevolent being already be morally perfect? If so, why? If not, why not?

Thanks, Yeah, I was thinking that premise was relatively uncontroversial (at least if it was worded better). In my mind, I was thinking that all-goodness entails moral perfection. I don't know if the doctrine of divine simplicity would help. Particularly on Thomistic thought, there can only be one God (capital "G"), however, some theists don't think it's impossible for there to exist multiple deities who are contingent but also possess the 3-O's.

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