# Community Debates Forum

#### Bertuzzi

• 8713 Posts
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##### Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« on: August 24, 2016, 02:48:21 pm »
**Q&A THREAD**

Hatsoff and I have decided to take a brief intermission from our formal debate to answer questions from the RF audience. Please read the rules provided below prior to asking a question.

1. You may post only one question.
2. Try your best to keep your question to a maximum of around 150 words.
3. We will try our best to keep our responses to a maximum of around 350 words.
4. Specify who your question is addressed to.
5. Do not post follow up questions in the Q&A thread (you may post them in the comments thread).

We are not guaranteeing that we will respond to every question. There is no time limit on responses. Cross responses between the debate participants are permitted (for instance hatsoff is permitted (though not obligated) to respond to an answer Bertuzzi gives to a question he receives).

Link to comments thread.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 03:18:09 pm by Bertuzzi »
Husband. Father. Photographer. Blogger.

capturingchristianity.com

"No theodicy without eschatology." - Hick

1

#### ParaclitosLogos

• 4902 Posts
##### Re: Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2016, 10:23:10 pm »

Hatsoff, could you expand on why "strongly" requires "r"? (LL)

2

#### ATheisticSeeker

• 2442 Posts
##### Re: Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2016, 10:26:29 am »
Question to Bertuzzi...

The FTA is essentially a "probabilistic argument", yes?  Ie, it intends to show that the probability of God is much greater than the probability of brute naturalism, yes?  And any probabilistic argument for X is essentially an argument that ~X is at least possible, yes?  Ie, if ~X were impossible, we wouldn't try to argue that P(~X) << 1, we'd argue that P(~X) = 0, yes?

That said, here is my question...Do you consider it dishonest to use the ontological argument in conjunction with the FTA?  After all, FTA leaves the door open to the possibility of not God, and the very possibility of not God renders it necessary that there is no God in the ontological argument.
My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

3

#### Bertuzzi

• 8713 Posts
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##### Re: Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2016, 11:06:23 am »
Question to Bertuzzi...

The FTA is essentially a "probabilistic argument", yes?  Ie, it intends to show that the probability of God is much greater than the probability of brute naturalism, yes?  And any probabilistic argument for X is essentially an argument that ~X is at least possible, yes?  Ie, if ~X were impossible, we wouldn't try to argue that P(~X) << 1, we'd argue that P(~X) = 0, yes?

That said, here is my question...Do you consider it dishonest to use the ontological argument in conjunction with the FTA?  After all, FTA leaves the door open to the possibility of not God, and the very possibility of not God renders it necessary that there is no God in the ontological argument.

This is a great question, thanks for asking. The probability I am using in the argument is a non-statistical kind of probability called epistemic probability. It is the same kind that is used extensively in scientific confirmation. Recall the example I gave from continental drift theory (CDT). This was a singular, non-repeatable event. It was judged that the similarity that exists between animal and plant life (on different continents) was unlikely if the theory were false but not if it were true. When combined with the likelihood principle, this confirmed CDT over ~CDT. That is the kind of probability we are using.

Epistemic probability at most entails epistemic possibility. There is no contradiction in saying it both epistemically possible that God exists and epistemically possible God does not exist. Perhaps for all we know either one could be true. That would just be a psychological fact about our current state of knowledge. Where there does arise a contradiction is when one asserts it both metaphysically possible that God exists and metaphysically possible that God does not exist. That, however, is not a consequence of my argument. So no, I do not think it dishonest to use the ontological argument in conjunction with the FTA.

Recall that the conclusion of my argument is quite modest - it doesn’t conclude that T is true but rather that T is confirmed over the atheistic alternative with respect to the evidence of FT. So the argument, if taken in isolation, doesn’t lend much support to the crucial premise of the ontological argument. One would need to develop the argument as part of a complete inductive case, taking into account all the evidence (not just the evidence of FT). If one were to successfully do that, then I believe it could lend significant support to the ontological argument.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 11:07:54 am by Bertuzzi »
Husband. Father. Photographer. Blogger.

capturingchristianity.com

"No theodicy without eschatology." - Hick

4

#### hatsoff

• 6278 Posts
##### Re: Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 10:42:48 am »

Hatsoff, could you expand on why "strongly" requires "r"? (LL)

Sure.  Asserting strong support for T over NSU is tantamount to saying that there is some significant to the degree of support for T over NSU.  The value r represents the measurement of that degree.  Without r, or something comparable, it does not follow that the support for T over NSU is strong.

5

#### ParaclitosLogos

• 4902 Posts
##### Re: Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 10:48:31 am »

Hatsoff, could you expand on why "strongly" requires "r"? (LL)

Sure.  Asserting strong support for T over NSU is tantamount to saying that there is some significant to the degree of support for T over NSU.  The value r represents the measurement of that degree.  Without r, or something comparable, it does not follow that the support for T over NSU is strong.

Thanks Hatsoff.

6

#### Language-Gamer

• 7794 Posts
• I sneezed on the beet and Dwight got mad.
##### Re: Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2017, 10:45:34 am »
Bertuzzi,

What do you think the best objection to the FTA is?
I told her all about how we been livin' a lie
And that they love to see us all go to prison or die
Like, "Baby, look at how they show us on the TV screen"
But all she ever want me to do is unzip her jeans

7

#### Bertuzzi

• 8713 Posts
• Check out my new blog!
##### Re: Forum Q&A for the Bertuzzi-Hatsoff FT Debate
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2017, 11:13:22 am »
Bertuzzi,

What do you think the best objection to the FTA is?

Probably an Everettian multiverse (a form of modal realism in conjunction with the many-worlds interpretation of QM).
Husband. Father. Photographer. Blogger.

capturingchristianity.com

"No theodicy without eschatology." - Hick