Reasonable Faith

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • 66 Posts
    • View Profile
This forum is open for discussion about William Lane Craig's debate with cosmologist Kari Enqvist at the University of Helsinki, Finland on 16/04/2012.



1

Lawlessone777

  • *****
  • 13724 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 01:38:48 pm »
I'm noticing that atheists on stage are beginning to avoid engaging the subject matter directly more and more. I found Enqvist was not arguing the actual topic of debate, but simply trying to assert that the subject of the debate was meaningless to discuss. I found this to be a very disingenuous stance to take, and one that was adopted by both Kappal and Atkins. Why do the atheists sound more and more like they're preaching?
God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.(so) the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.

2

Brandon R.

  • **
  • 23 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 12:24:50 am »
I agree with Dr. Craig on a lot of what he has to say, but did anyone else find it interesting (and odd) how Craig, in presenting his kalam cosmological argument to Dr. Enqvist, a cosmologist, did not discuss the cosmological evidence for the beginning of the universe, but only put forth one of his philosophical arguments? In debates Craig usually skips his philosophical arguments for a finite past in favor of the evidence from isotropic expansion. My guess is that Craig, knowing he is up against a cosmologist, did not want to "put himself out there" on Enqvist's playing field.

No objection here. Just a remark on Craig's interesting debating techniques. (Further evidence of these techniques may be found in his debate with epistemologist Dr. Kappel, where Craig switched from a deductive form of his kalam cosmological argument to an abductive or inference-to-the-best-explanation argument.)
B.R.

3

Lawlessone777

  • *****
  • 13724 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 08:08:13 am »
He changes the style of his debate depending on both the topic of the debate, and the literature he's read on his opponent. If he's found that his opponent uses a certain line of reasoning in their work he'll adapt his opening statement to cover that aspect of their work before the rebuttal period, thus freeing up more time for proper rebuttals later. You'll note he sometimes gets time during his rebuttal periods to even present more arguments for God's existence. This streamlining of his debate style is the reason why he can do that.

In the debate with Enqvist the question wasn't "does God exist" but rather "can the universe exist without God". To present the Kalam as proof of God's existence would mean Dr. Craig was debating a different topic. You'll note throughout the debate he continually tried to prevent the derailing of the conversation and tried to keep things on topic.
God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.(so) the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.

4

Lawlessone777

  • *****
  • 13724 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 08:38:17 am »
What truly disturbed me was when I heard Enqvist saying we ought to abandon reason and rationality because of Quantum Mechanics. I've heard Kappal, Krauss, Hawking and Dawkins spout the same thing. They keep saying philosophy is dead, don't listen to philosophers, stop trying to reason with your mind, only listen to scientists and even then only the scientists that are atheists.

What I'm seeing is reprehensible anti-intellectualism. They're saying, "Thinking leads to God, so stop thinking, let scientists do your thinking for you."
God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.(so) the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.

5

Brandon R.

  • **
  • 23 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 09:14:11 am »
"In the debate with Enqvist the question wasn't "does God exist" but rather "can the universe exist without God". To present the Kalam as proof of God's existence would mean Dr. Craig was debating a different topic. You'll note throughout the debate he continually tried to prevent the derailing of the conversation and tried to keep things on topic."

I too observe that Craig always pulls the debate back to the question or topic, but what I am getting at is beside this point. In his debate with Enqvist, Craig did present the kalam proof for God. He just didn't use the cosmological evidence from isotropic expansion to argue premise (2) that the universe began to exist. Rather, he used his argument from the impossibility of an actually infinite number of things. My question then was why this switch from the unusual presentation? It can't be because the topic was a different question (since Craig still presented his usual syllogism). The only difference is that between a philosophical argument and scientific evidence for establishing (2). I suggested that this may be because Enqvist, as a cosmologist, would go into some highly technical and speculative physics that would be beyond the audience (if not Craig).

So I see what you are saying, but it does not answer my question. And don't get me wrong; if I were debating academics, I too would switch-up my presentations depending on the persons involved to avoid objections--as Craig appears to have done in this debate.
B.R.

6

Brandon R.

  • **
  • 23 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 09:19:38 am »
"What truly disturbed me was when I heard Enqvist saying we ought to abandon reason and rationality because of Quantum Mechanics. I've heard Kappal, Krauss, Hawking and Dawkins spout the same thing. They keep saying philosophy is dead, don't listen to philosophers, stop trying to reason with your mind, only listen to scientists and even then only the scientists that are atheists.

What I'm seeing is reprehensible anti-intellectualism. They're saying, "Thinking leads to God, so stop thinking, let scientists do your thinking for you.""

Agreed. Scientists--as good as they can be--typically make for terrible philosophers. They don't understand the vast number of assumptions they make when they speak on philosophy, nor the vast number of assumptions they tend to make when doing good science. This is why I think theist philosophers like Craig and philosophers of science are very healthy for the philosophical-scientific community. They help set straight the presumptuous overstepping of science left over from the logical positivist era.

B.R.

7

Lawlessone777

  • *****
  • 13724 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2012, 09:21:48 am »
You also have to consider time constraint, the quality of the audience, and yes the opponent being debated with. Avoiding getting into a cosmological discussion with Enqvist would be smart because the debate would devolve into nothing more than highly technical phrases being thrown around, with no one in the audience really understanding what was being said. If you watch Craig debate with Richard Carrier you'll notice he actually openly stated that he would not devolve the debate into point by point refutations of each historical event because the debate would both devolve into nonsense, and the audience wouldn't be able to understand what was being said.

The models of cosmological expansion are sound in the Kalam, and Craig has presented them to physicists before, however bringing that up as a case during a debate with a cosmologist would likely lead to things devolving quickly in to technical discussion that would go over the heads of the entire audience. It isn't that the science Craig rests hits arguments on isn't sound and that a true cosmologist would be able to defeat it on stage, it's that having two people who have delved very deeply into the subject debate it in technical detail on stage would cause the debate to burn down into incomprehensibility.
God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.(so) the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.

8

RCS

  • **
  • 16 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2012, 08:24:22 pm »

“. . .I heard Enqvist saying we ought to abandon reason and rationality because of Quantum Mechanics. I've heard Kappal, Krauss, Hawking and Dawkins spout the same thing. They keep saying philosophy is dead, don't listen to philosophers, stop trying to reason with your mind, only listen to scientists and even then only the scientists that are atheists.”

               I don't know that is what Enqvist was arguing.  He was not arguing logic was invalid, but only that it breaks down at the quantum level.  I believe he was quite clear that he does not believe this happens at our level of existence where the quantum rules of probability smooth out cause and effect to create logical coherence.  

Nevertheless, if Enqvist argument were correct about the problem with logic at the quantum level it does create a problem for questions about the “cause” of the Universe.  Specifically, it appears that the Big Bang and quantum states are intimately connected.  Therefore, if in fact logic does break down at the quantum level then it would likely be meaningless to attempt to talk about a God being the “logical cause” of the Universe.

            It seems doubtful that this is a proof that God does not exist.  But it certainly would make agnosticism the best position - at least scientifically and at least for now.  


9

Blake1960

  • Guest
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2012, 10:31:05 am »
>>> He just didn't use the cosmological  evidence from isotropic expansion to argue premise (2) that the universe  began to exist. Rather, he used his argument from the impossibility of  an actually infinite number of things.

Didn't Dr. Craig mention the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin proof?  If so, that is absolutely recognizing the expansion of the universe.


It just isn't true that probability equates to logic.  As Dr. Craig repeatedly made clear, the rules of logic do indeed still hold at the quantum level.  If logic breaks down anywhere in the universe, then it is rendered invalid everywhere.  Maybe that could support an argument for atheism, that there is no absolute truth for instance.  But then we have the old problem of self-refutation.  LOL.  

10

Laura Grove

  • **
  • 64 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 04:23:56 pm »

Speaking of debate style, I was watching Enqvist proceed in each of his time slots, from "What are the weak points of your position" to "What would be an alternative position to yours, a 'second-best' theory", to "What could make you abandon your position", a trick I vaguely remember from college of getting one's opponent to debate against himself only. It made me pity him more than any other opponents Dr Craig has faced, and I was glad Dr. C did not point it out till the last rebuttal.


11
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 11:03:29 pm »
rs026,

I also think this is a good question about causation, but I saw it being partially answered by Craig in his last Q&A here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-causal-principle.

It could also be said that the notion of causation applied to the Big Bang isn't of something temporatilly prior to it, when there were no physical laws, etc., but of something temporally simultaneous to it (when time itself comes into being), prior only in a causal sense.

But this last Q&A also says something about how the causality in quantum level doesn't abolish the logic of events and things depending of other things, but only of events and things depending of other events. That's why things don't come into being from "nothing" in quantum physics, but from some conditions that make it possible to happen.

12

Jeffrey

  • *
  • 1 Posts
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2012, 09:15:58 pm »

The arguments for God can be found in extant (current)biological processes as well as Singularity (causation) arguments.  We can seeGod's handiwork within heuristic-biased stochastic processes.  In other words, there are law-like"rules of thumb" that are applied at the quantum level (as withphotosynthesis) as well as the molecular level (through epigenetics and thegenome) and neurogenesis and neurological ontogenesis (development) -- as withhuman language acquisition.  At firstglance, these biases may seem loose, but they are as effective as thegravitational attraction of large masses discovered by Newton.  Our apologetical arguments for God need notbe confined to prehistory.  They arewritten across the natural world even at this moment.

JH

13

Blake1960

  • Guest
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2012, 03:59:35 am »
Dr. Craig elaborates on the issue:

   

   http://www.reasonablefaith.org/atheistic-physicists-repudiation-of-logic-and-probability-theory

   

   A clear bias from religious faith seems to be infecting science more now than ever.

14

Damoksta

  • **
  • 945 Posts
  • Once more with feelings
    • View Profile
Dr. Craig vs. Kari Enqvist: "Can the Universe Exist Without God?"
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2012, 04:26:07 am »
From ^^^

Well, fortunately, after our debate Enqvist and I went out to lunch together


Luckily I wasn't drinking coffee when I was reading this otherwise my computer screen would risk certain coffee stain.

I find it incredible that Craig can have a strong, rigorous intellectual debate  with someone one night... and go out for lunch the next day with the same guy. Sometimes it's hard to believe he was genuinely being an earnest nice guy: WLC can sound condescending at times.
The personal patron saint of the apologist should be Balaam's ass. Because he's 2 Peter 2:16... and with a few wise words stop unbelief in its track. The ass which is most thoroughly ridiculous in most people's eyes, to God humble and most completely serviceable. -Os Guinness