jockito

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Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« on: May 03, 2016, 02:07:52 am »
Dr. Craig recently debated Dr. Kevin Scharp on the Veritas Forum. One very interesting objection that Dr. Scharp raised to the fine tuning argument is that it appeals to divine psychology to support the premise that design is more probable than chance and necessity.

The basic point was this: Dr. Craig in his refutation to the probabilistic version of the Problem of Evil objects that since we can't have any confidence on the probability that god might decide to permit evil, we're not warranted in stating that it is improbable that god would decide to permit evil. That is to say, that we can't make probability judgements on god's decision making process, i.e. his psychology. The problem of evil argument therefore fails, due to our inability to know with any confidence what god may or may not choose to do in any given situation. I.e. because of an appeal to divine psychology.

But by the same token, the Fine Tuning Argument (FTA) claims that chance and necessity are less probable than design. But the hidden assumption is that there is not an improbable chance that god would decide to fine tune a universe, which, according to Dr. Craig we cannot have any confidence in asserting (because it's an appeal to divine psychology).

I felt Dr. Craig failed to respond adequately to this in the debate. All he said was that god could have good reasons to design the universe and that it's the Atheists burden of proof to show that it's less probable than chance and necessity. But of course, it's the person making the claim which has the burden of proof, in this case the proponent of the FTA. Just because a god could have good reasons to design a universe does nothing to show that it's more probable than chance (after all, a god could also have NO reason to design the universe, making the probability less than chance).

I've yet to hear a good refutation of this objection. Can anyone do a better job than Dr. Craig in this debate?

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cnearing

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2016, 11:02:23 am »
It makes me really happy to see someone else pointing this out.  This is absolutely correct.  A serious, serious conceptual flaw at the heart of the fine tuning argument.
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alex1212

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2016, 12:15:12 pm »
The way I understood Scharp's objection, if cogent, seems to be a knockdown objection to the fine-tuning argument because Craig would have to demonstrate that the design hypothesis is more probable than all other others, but how could he show this given divine psychology? God might have reasons but he might also not have reasons, in fact, it might be necessarily true that God would not fine-tune an imperfect universe or any universe. Craig is running the argument, so he has the burden of proof here.

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redtilt1

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2016, 08:11:49 am »
I Think its even worse than that. Craig claims that that the fine tuning of the universe is not improbable given theism. But why not? If God creates life via a miracle, then we wouldn't expect him to fine tine the universe for life, therefore under theism we should not expect fine tuning.

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Thresh

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2016, 09:36:48 am »
Looks like Dr. Craig responded here:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/divine-psychology

"The first point to notice about Collins’ formulation of the argument is that it does not require us to assign a hypothetical likelihood to God’s creating a finely-tuned universe [P(FT | Theism & k')]. Rather one is asked to assign a likelihood to the existence of embodied, conscious agents (Life) given God’s existence and the laws of nature described in k'. Thus, one need not worry about the probability that God would create a finely-tuned universe; that probability plays no role in Collins’ formulation of the argument.

The second point to note is that Collins’ argument does not require that it be at all probable that God would create a universe with Life."

"The argument doesn’t assert that it’s probable that God would create a fine-tuned universe or even that God would create a universe with Life. It just claims that the probability of Life, given that God exists, is not absurdly small. That claim is justified in light of the plausible reasons God might have for wanting a universe with Life. We needn’t claim that we know what those reasons actually are, but just that it’s not absurdly improbable that He have such reasons."

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cnearing

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2016, 10:47:14 am »
Collins's argument fails quite a bit more trivially on the grounds that he never actually produces any meaningful evaluation of the likelihoods he compares.

In point of fact, a God who desires embodied conscious agents is no more common, among the space of conceivable Gods, than a universe which naturally produces embodied conscious agents is among the space of conceivable universes.

One only achieves a higher likelihood for life given theism on an arbitrarily restricted subspace of possible theistic hypotheses and--guess what--we can achieve the same likelihood for life given ASU on a similarly restricted space of possible ASUs.

Collins doesn't have the conceptual grasp of the logic he is trying to use that he actually needs in order to prosecute his argument successfully, and he does not in fact prosecute his argument successfully.  The divine psychology objection is as pertinent to his formulation as it is to Craig's.

Also, frankly, turning to Craig for answers regarding probabilistic reasoning is like turning to Oprah for answers regarding modal logic.  It is so far out of his area of expertise that he is not just not an authority, he is downright unreliable.
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Thresh

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2016, 12:18:22 pm »
Quote
Also, frankly, turning to Craig for answers regarding probabilistic reasoning is like turning to Oprah for answers regarding modal logic.

Hmm, I don't know who you think is "turning to Dr. Craig for answers regarding probabilistic reasoning" here, but the OP is certainly centered around the conversation Scharp and Craig were having in their recent debate. Therefore, it is not out of the ordinary to think that a further clarification from Dr. Craig, about his own previous discussion and specifically in response to this very thread, would be worth mentioning. Don't be silly.

Do you think turning to online forum denizens named "cnearing," for "answers regarding probabilistic reasoning" is a good practice? Seeing as your post history covers a wide range of topics, you must be a literal academic wonder if you claim to give reliable answers or objections to others, in online forums, according to your criteria for such things.

Don't be such a snob.

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cnearing

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 12:59:26 pm »
Craig made an effort to defend Collins's formulation of the FTA.

Collins's formulation is somewhat more sophisticated than Craig's, but it is still flawed for the reasons I point out.  Moreover, Craig's attempt to defend it, quotrd above, not only fails to accomplish that goal, but illustrates that Craig doesn't actually understand at all why the divine psychology objection is a problem for the fine-tuning argument.  His response not only fails, it fails to even sort of aim at the right target.

This is remarkably similar to his efforts to respond to probability-based criticisms of his plausible premise criteria. 

In fact, Craig shows us over and over again that he is an anti-authority when it comes to probability and probabilistic reasoning -- his error rate in that arena is at or near 100%.  He is reliably wrong, and this (as I illustrated) is just another data point in that continuing trend.

Did you have an actual substantive response to my rebuttal of Craig above?  Or are you satisfied with your vacuous and irrelevant personal attack against me?
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Thresh

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 01:53:06 pm »
Personally I think you are an arrogant, educated fool, judging by your silly dismissals of a world class philosopher as having an "error rate" of near or at 100% in probabilities. I do have my concerns about your "answers regarding probabilistic reasoning," but I don't wish to discuss them with you because I'm fairly certain your inevitable disagreement would be heavily motivated by your incredible bias and I don't have enough knowledge about the subject to do it justice by clarifying pointed obfuscations. This bias is easily apprehended when looking at your unrealistically poor assessments of Dr. Craig.

Futhermore, as I already have alluded to in my very last post, I am posting this to let this thread's participants know of Dr. Craig's response because it is a direct response to this very thread. I didn't say "Hey guys, this answer totally destroys Kevin Scharp's laughable Divine Psychology objection. Take a look a Dr. Craig's unbeatable logic."

I never claimed to have a response of your rebuttal above, lol. I never claimed to have a position on this issue at all. My "personal attack" was merely an objection to your assessment, using the same logic and criteria as you did in your appraisal of Craig being like Oprah. In other words, if Craig is like Oprah, is "cnearing" like "Jar Jar Binks"?

If you want to throw down with someone about this so very badly, you're barking up the wrong tree, as I have no interest in doing so.


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cnearing

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 01:57:04 pm »
Okay.  In that case my demonstration of yet another of Craig's error son this front stands quite nicely.

Thanks for your input.  Shame it wasn't something useful.
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iToldMeSo

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2016, 05:06:57 pm »
Quote from: cnearing
In point of fact, a God who desires embodied conscious agents is no more common, among the space of conceivable Gods, than a universe which naturally produces embodied conscious agents is among the space of conceivable universes.

This looks like the wrong way to approach plausibility because if "the space of conceivable" whatever is our criterion for plausibility then there is no such thing as plausibility, period. For instance, a universe which popped into existence five minutes ago with everything exactly as it now is is no less common among the space of conceivable universes. How would you refute that silly assertion? Indeed, we could make that silly assertion for almost anything because there is no criterion or calculus for "the space of conceivable" x.

Craig doesn't frame the issue in terms of "the space of conceivability" (because thats such a fuzzy concept, I guess). He frames it in terms of plausible reasons God has for wanting life.

Craig's response to the divine psychology argument isn't well captured in the quoted portion. If you read Craig's entire answer I think we can summarize it this way: "divine psychology" is conjecture about what God would probably do in any given circumstance.  And Craig claims that his response to the problem of evil is *not* an argument from skepticism of divine psychology. Rather, his response is that, given our own psychological limitations, we are not in a good position to say that there is no morally sufficient reason for allowing certain events to occur, for an agent that has omniscience. So the skeptical response to the problem of evil is not that we have no idea what God might do, period. In fact I'm guessing that Craig would be inclined to say that at one level we *do* know exactly what God would do in any given circumstance: that which is good or most fitting. (His justification for this wouldn't come from any special insight into divine psychology, but rather from the moral argument.) Rather the claim is more specific: we are not in a position to know what events might have morally sufficient reasons behind them. In other words, it's a more narrow skepticism. Scharp's divine psychology argument is a universal skepticism.

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cnearing

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2016, 05:49:17 pm »
Unfortunately, the problem remains.

If Craig narrows the space of hypotheses covered by "theism" just to those God's which would "plausibly" fine tune the universe for life, that hypothesis space is still matched and outperformed by a similarly narrowed space of chance hypotheses.

C
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iToldMeSo

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2016, 08:55:09 am »
Unfortunately, the problem remains.

If Craig narrows the space of hypotheses covered by "theism" just to those God's which would "plausibly" fine tune the universe for life, that hypothesis space is still matched and outperformed by a similarly narrowed space of chance hypotheses.

C

I already pointed out that this talk of "space" makes no sense. What's your criterion or calculus for measuring these "spaces"?

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cnearing

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2016, 09:44:19 am »
I take it you are not familiar with probability theory at all then?

Just need to know where to start educating you.  Have you take calculus?

Linear Algebra?
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Bertuzzi

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Re: Divine Psychology objection to the Fine-Tuning Argument
« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2016, 08:31:26 am »
Collins's argument fails quite a bit more trivially on the grounds that he never actually produces any meaningful evaluation of the likelihoods he compares.

He defends the premises of his argument.
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