Scientists like to use something around 99.9999% certain, while theists (like Craig and Plantinga) like to use something above 50%.
This is an obvious strawman. You claim Craig and Plantinga use >50% as the level at of determining truth. In your previous post, you make this argument citing as evidence the debate between Craig and Krauss. In that debate Krauss accuses Craig of exactly the same thing you have done (I wonder if that is where you got your argument?)
Prehistoric hominid is a sufficiently vague term that I can use it to mean what I like, unless the person using it explains what he means. And Professor Plantinga didn't. I chose to use it for humour.You are correct in saying that pre-literate humans would have met tigers. Not in particularly good circumstances perhaps. You are also correct in that some of our non-human hominid cousins would have met tigers. But, I think that Plantinga is specifically talking about what led us to thinking about evolution, so you have to include Darwin in that chain, and I doubt that his forefathers had travelled via East Asia.I fully accept that I might wrong on that.Edit: That all said, you haven't addressed the key point. Have you sat down and thought through Plantinga's arguments, if so do you still think they are strong and valid and if so, why?With regard to the tiger, it's not so much that he might have been wrong about the species, or the location in which prehistoric hominids might need to ponder the dining habits of tigers, but that our ancestors might have easily done the right thing to avoid tigers without having any rational thought process or cognition process preceding it.
Quote from: Geneticist on January 28, 2013, 01:55:37 amThis is an obvious strawman. You claim Craig and Plantinga use >50% as the level at of determining truth. In your previous post, you make this argument citing as evidence the debate between Craig and Krauss. In that debate Krauss accuses Craig of exactly the same thing you have done (I wonder if that is where you got your argument?)Nope, but I applaud Krauss for picking up Dr Craig on what he does.I put a lot more effort into Dr Craig's probability arguments in Sweet Probability. In this article, I show that his use of the equation that he is relying on is poor.My question was about Professor Plantinga, and I notice that you haven't addressed it. Could you possibly do so? Thanks.
Now at one level it seems to me indisputable that there’s evidence for God. To say that there’s evidence for some hypothesis is just to say that that hypothesis is more probable given certain facts than it would have been without them. That is to say, there is evidence for some hypothesis H if the probability of H is greater on the evidence and background information than on the background information alone. That is to say,Pr (H | E & B) > Pr (H | B).H = hypothesisE = evidenceB = background informationNow, in the case of God, if we let G stand for the hypothesis that God exists, it seems to me indisputable that God’s existence is more probable given certain facts—like the origin of the universe, the complex order of the universe, the existence of objective moral values, and so forth—than it would have been without them. That is,Pr (G | E & B) > Pr (G | B).G = God existsE = existence of contingent beings, origin of the universe, fine-tuning of the universe, etc.B = background informationAnd I suspect that even most atheists would agree with that statement.So the question “Is There Evidence for God?” isn’t really very debatable. Rather the really interesting question is whether God’s existence is more probable than not. That is, isPr (G | E & B) > 0.5 ?Now I’ll leave it up to you to assess that probability.
Rational thought can contribute to reproductive success, but that does not mean it is the only viable strategy and if incorrect beliefs lead to reproductive success, then they too will perpetuate. Where I differ with Plantinga is that I am uncertain as to what the probability that Evolution would favor this over rational thought would be. I don't discount that he could be right about the probability, I certainly agree with how he describes the relationship between Evolution and correct belief, I just am uncertain about the actual probability and that is the weakness of his argument.
I'd like to be as polite as possible, so I should point out that I am a fan of neither Doctor Craig, nor Professor Plantinga. That said, Dr Craig often goes out of his way to discuss his case with people who disagree with him. I am doing the same sort of thing here and would appreciate being given the same level of courtesy he is offered. My thanks in advance for your forbearance.I find Professor Plantinga's arguments to be particularly weak, as I've outlined here in an article about his tiger problem. His Ontological argument (as portrayed by Dr Craig) is more than weak, it's deceptive in its misuse of logical forms.What I'd like to ask is, have people here actually sat down and thought these arguments through carefully, after doing so do you still think they are strong and valid arguments and, outside of a debate format, can you provide a convincing case why a) Plantinga isn't mistaken about his tiger and b) why his misuse of logic is acceptable. The logic question is quite specialised, so if you only feel confident addressing the tiger, I fully understand.