Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #60 on: December 24, 2011, 03:43:54 pm »
This isn't going anywhere.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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depthcharge623

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #61 on: December 24, 2011, 03:44:41 pm »
I liked this comment by Michael:

Hrmm.... perhaps a 'logical fallacy' drinking game. Perhaps not, come to think of it, my liver is not up to that. Ah well, onwards and upwards!

I think this is a great idea.  Anyone want to get together to stream WLCs next debate with a few adult beverages?  A drink every time either party commits a logical fallacy haha.

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SueDoeNimm

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #62 on: December 24, 2011, 04:41:08 pm »

Some comments on Michael's opening statement:

[Edited to be more of commentary and less of a reply.]

Michael wrote:
.........

But  hang on, time is going forwards, and so we must pass all the previous  't's before this one. So before we can hit up time 't', we must hit up  time 't' -1. And before that 't' -2. Start counting folks, cause for  every number you can think of, I can think of one higher.

 

And  the wisdom of old mate Aristotle begins to make sense. If the universe  stretches back into infinity, then the passage of time could not have  traversed all those 't's before this current 't', and we wouldn't be  having this conversation now, now would we?

 

So,  the universe began, at some point.

Strictly  speaking this is an argument for time having a beginning, not the  universe having a beginning.  If the author is going to admit timelessness  then the universe could have existed in a timeless state before time  began.  Space could exist in a timeless state.  Energy could exist in a  timeless state.
   
(To say that time has a beginning and the universe has time therefore  the universe has a beginning is the fallacy of composition.)
 

On that, most scientists agree,

 

No, this is basically a straw man.  It is an out of date view that some theists latched on to when the big bang idea was new.  If one asks cosmologists they will say that any talk about before the big bang is hypothetical at this time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang#Speculative_physics_beyond_Big_Bang_theory
 

 

........

Now  then, we have two possibilities. A conscious cause, existing outside of  time and space, which I shall refer to as a 'mind', and an unconscious  cause, existing outside of time and space, which I shall refer to as a  'mechanism'. Ten points for guessing what that is.... Bingo, another  dichotomy!

 

A conscious mind outside of time?  What a leap. The only minds that have ever been  shown to exist have been in living physical bodies on Earth in the later part of Earth's history.  Positing a mind outside of a body much less outside of time is some mighty special pleading.

The use of the term 'mechanism' without further elaboration is question begging.  Could the laws of nature be 'mechanism' or part of 'mechanism'?  Are Newtonian mechanics 'mechanism'?

Other possibilities have been neglected.  It could be that multiple causes are required.  It could be that a committee of minds caused the universe.  It could be that conscious and
unconscious causes are required to act together.  It could be that a series of three causes in sequence are necessary.  So what has been raised is not a dichotomy but a false dichotomy.
 

 

 

.......

 

So,  conscious or unconscious, mind or mechanism, that is the question. At  this point, we have to play a game of probability, or perhaps try  applying our understanding of logic to something outside our universe.  Well, I don't know any other system, so let's forge ahead regardless.

   

So the author is applying a type of logic where he doesn't have reason that it would apply.   His forging ahead may be properly disregarded.
 

   

 

Let's  look at the options now: Behind door number one, we have a universe  creating machine. For every time you press the big red button on top,

   

So now 'mechanism' has a red button.  The author's use of the term 'mechanism' was and is a straw man and question begging.
 

   

.....

So,  just for kicks and giggles, let's say the two decide to have a  competition to create a universe. It doesn't matter how many they make,  or how long they spend (because time, outside of time? Forgeddaboutit!)

     

Fuhgeddaboudit is right.  This is a looney tunes scenario.  The author insists on certain rules and then demands they be selectively ignored.
 

     

.......

With  baited anticipation, they turn their attention to the mechanism,  waiting to behold the wonders of this number crunching behemoth, and  they find.... that button, still waiting to be pressed.

 

In  case you missed the moral of this little fable, let me break it down  for you, street style. A machine is incapable of self initiating a  process, where as a mind isn't.

     

No, the moral of this fable is that when one uses special pleading, question begging, straw men, and false dichotomies one ends up with simply a fable.  

Who says the unconscious cause has to have a button on it?  If one can have a bodyless mind that wills outside of time one can have buttonless unconscious cause that is autonomous and outside of time.

 

     

.......

But  which God is it? Yahweh? Allah? Vishnu, or one of the Polynesian  microgods? I've got thirteen hundred words left, so let's break it down  as quick as we can.

 

Let's  do away with all the pantheons and tribal gods straight away, with a  quick flick of a razor by a little monk by the name of William of  Ockham.

Man, the author just shaved off his God.  God is a tribal god no different than any of the others.  The bare-faced assertion that God escapes Ockham's razor is incredible special pleading and question begging.  (So God created the universe so he could have us cut off parts of men's penises?  The God hypothesis is
    parsimonious?  It is not tribal?)

........

So  let's, for simplicity sake, say we're left with the three big  monotheistic religions,

For fallacy sake, more like it.  For no rational reason the author has excluded alternatives.

.........

Well,  it was one actually, and no prizes for guessing who. Jesus said it  firstly in the temple, and people began to pick up rocks to stone him  for blasphemy. The second time was after his arrest, when he was  speaking to the Sanhedrin. He said "I AM", they said "I see what you did  there, kthnxbai, now you die" (I mentioned that to some Jehovah  Witnesses, by the by, they agreed with what I said without realising the  implications, they ran out the door about forty seconds later).

 

So  the dude obviously thought he was,

This reminds me of the Woody Allen joke:
A: My brother thinks he is a chicken.
B: Why don't you take him to a psychiatrist?
A: We need the eggs.

 

 

so let's do away with any 'just a  great teacher' nonsense before it begins. But what if he was just a  liar, or a lunatic?

 

False dichotomy.  The author has left out 'legend' among other possibilities.

 

 

.......

Well,  if we tally the number of manuscripts found, and then factor in the  year difference between when the manuscripts were dated, and when the  originals would have been written, we have a fairly high standard of  verification here.

 

We have acurate manuscripts of Shakespeare's plays.  Does that mean Romeo and Juliet were real?

 

   

.............

So  if Mr Sparkling wishes to have readers of this debate entertain the  notion that the case for the Christian God is simply not there, then he  will have to do any number of the following:

 

Firstly,  he must undermine the case for theism in general. If he can do this,  then he can relegate the problem of the historical resurrection to  future sciences, by claiming no reason to accept the supernatural as an  explanation in a purely naturalistic universe.

 

Because  the case for theism is based on a dichotomy, he will need to  demonstrate not only why the case for a conscious mind as a creator  fails, but then demonstrate why it is more likely that an unconscious  mechanism, unassisted or activated, self initiated the process that  begun the universe and time and space as we know it.

   

Done.  The case made for theism fails from multiple faults.
 

   

 

Sparkling  might protest that he simply needs to show why my argument fails, but  because my argument is based upon the reasoning that an unconscious  mechanism is incapable of self initiating (essentially a claim towards a  negative), in order to show how my argument fails, then he must show  how that claim towards a negative is illogical, by building a positive  case.

   

Or he could demand actual reasoning rather than just an assertion that an unconscious mechanism is incapable of self initiating.
 

     

 

............

 

On  the occasion that Sparkling fails to undermine the causational  argument, and therefore concedes theism as a probably explanation for  life as we know it, he will then need to demonstrate that my argument  for Christianity, based on a process of elimination of the other  monotheistic religions, fails.

     

The "process of elimination" was nothing but a hand wave.
 

Before deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.  After deconversion: Chop wood, carry water.

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depthcharge623

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #63 on: December 24, 2011, 04:51:53 pm »
Sue,

Let's not focus so much on the specific arguments.  This is a debate after all, and we should let the debaters speak for themselves.

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #64 on: December 24, 2011, 09:25:26 pm »
Michael's Second rebuttal is up, meaning that Sparkling's reply should roll in at around 12/25 9:34am (New York), 12/25 2:34pm (London), 12/26 1:34am (Sydney).
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Saibomb

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #65 on: December 24, 2011, 11:17:25 pm »
Archsage you would be a really great event organizer or a manager of some company or something. You ooz responsibility.

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #66 on: December 25, 2011, 05:47:18 am »
saibomb wrote: Archsage you would be a really great event organizer or a manager of some company or something. You ooz responsibility. 

   

   Thank you! But I won't pretend that I'm not a little bit overwhelmed, ha.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #67 on: December 25, 2011, 09:50:38 am »
[Originally posted by Sparkling]...Hawking see a problem with words like “cause” and “beginning” because, as far as we know, the very laws of cause and effect only came into existence with the big bang


If I understand correctly, it's theorized that outside of the big bang (or prior to the big bang, for lack of a better term) there possibly were no natural laws as we currently know them, such as cause and effect, according to the atheist.


...soooo, prior to the big bang there could have existed all numbers of crazy, unnatural, currently illogical things (according to the present natural laws) like an omnipowerful, trinitarian Flying Spaghetti Monster who speak things into creation ex nihilo?  A very interesting development!

"What never claimed objectivity cannot be destroyed by subjectivism. The impulse to scratch when I itch or to pull to pieces when I am inquisitive is immune from the solvent which is fatal to my justice, or honour, or care for posterity.
When all that says ‘It is good' has been debunked, what says

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cutz22

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #68 on: December 25, 2011, 10:00:16 am »
I can't resist but making a comment on this part here:

Michael wrote: "When nothing happens, nothing happens".

It's simple, it's self proving, it's a tautology, it's yours now for twenty nine ninety five if you call in the next ten minutes.

Simply put, if there's been no action, there's been no cause. And, if we spin that on its head, if there's no cause, there's no action. Thus, we can say that if something changes, begins, or ends, there's been a cause for that change because, if nothing happens, nothing happens.

If there's been no action, there's been no cause really isn't an accurate rephrasing of the original tautology and is equivocating on the word "cause". In the restatement, by "cause" it is really meant "effect". When nothing happens, nothing happens means that when nothing happens, no effect happens. Also, an action isn't the only type of thing that can happen, so we may change "action" to "event". Now the proper restatement is, "if there's been no event, then there's been no effect".

Now when you "spin that on its head", what you did was take the converse, when what you should have taken is the contrapositive. The truth of the original proposition only guarantees the truth of its contrapositive, not its converse. So taking the contrapositive of the new proposition we get:

"If there's been an effect, then there's been an event."

And that is just obviously trivially true. Because the effect is itself an event. What this shows is that you can't get anything out of a tautology that you didn't put in yourself. And even if you had just taken the contrapositive of the original formulation you had, you get:

"If there's been a cause, then there's been an action."

Again trivially true. And so I don't think you established the causal premise of your argument.


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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #69 on: December 25, 2011, 11:39:19 am »
Oh cutz! I attempted to explain the "trichotomy" to you in post #48. I wanted to know, was that helpful at all to you, or did I not make sense?
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal

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Michael S

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #70 on: December 25, 2011, 11:14:08 pm »
Alright, I'm done with the debate proper. As soon as Sparkling makes his closing remarks, I'll have my housemate sign up for an account to read through the debate and then elect who he believes best fulfilled their obligations in the debate.

As he is someone who identifies somewhere between agnostic and atheist, I'm actually a little nervous to see what he says!

Anyway, I'll back out of the discussion thread until after Sparkling and my housemate have done their bit, and then I imagine we'll move on to some Q&A.

There are many things in life worth taking seriously. You and I are not among them.
The Dalai Llama walks into a Pizza shop and says "Can you make me one with everything?"

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Saibomb

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #71 on: December 25, 2011, 11:36:38 pm »
Michael won. I actually don't think some of his arguments were that great but sparkling failed to really address his arguments in a significant manner and typically resorted to emotional appeals.

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Saibomb

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #72 on: December 26, 2011, 12:09:10 am »
I would base my beliefs off which belief (out of various possible beliefs) is the most probable. I could have several beliefs I'm evaluating that are quite probable, but I would only choose to believe the most probable. The same can be said of a set of beliefs which have a low probability. You still have to choose which is the most probable out of all of them - that is, unless the probability of the most probable belief is so low that it is better to be agnostic about the issue.

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Rostos

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #73 on: December 26, 2011, 01:13:58 am »
choux wrote:

Also, If God is timeless and doesn't change then He cannot change and take on human flesh and enter time. Neither can he change again by leaving this spacetime world back into a timeless spaceless existence with a physical body.

So your putting limitations on God?

"My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
Isiah 55:8

"For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." - Mathew 23-12

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Archsage

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Michael vs Sparkling Debate Discussion - "The Christian God Exists"
« Reply #74 on: December 26, 2011, 06:59:07 am »
The debate is just about to over and the Q&A session will begin. (I won't even bother putting up the time for Sparkling's Conlusion as I don't believe it would be followed -- for future debates I'm going to be much more strict).

   

   As this thread is 6+ pages long, I'm going to make a new thread just for the Q&A. There readers will just post questions, no comments, and each debater will pick questions for the other to answer. This thread will still be used for discussion, not the Q&A thread. More details will be in the Q&A thread coming in as soon as Sparkling posts his conclusion.

   

   So start preparing your questions.
“It is of dangerous consequence to represent to man how near he is to the level of beasts, without showing him at the same time his greatness. It is likewise dangerous to let him see his greatness without his meanness..."  –Blaise Pascal