Thursday, October 20, 2011

FacePalm of th Day #137 - Responding to Johnny P World and does God have Free Will? Part 6

Well Johnny P returns. This time he doesn't say that he's not going to respond anymore or that he's wasting his time. See? Even he can grow. God sure is good. Well, this time around he ends up at times quoting himself and then my response from my last post and then he "responds". In order to make sure it's clearer I'll annotate his latest round of comments and offer further comments in red. Any past comment of mine will be in red italics.

“Oh but you are "critiquing" my worldview. The term of "perfection" and what that means happens to be important. If you are going to make an argument based on what God's "perfection" means, you should be prepared to define and defend on why your premises are correct. You have to show that you understand what the classical theistic positions are. And you haven't.”

I am critiquing your wqorldview, yes. As a result, I do not have to establish my beliefs as you demand. For example, I do not believe in God. How can I agree on a conept of God with you when my concept is non-existent? So you requiring me to define the perfection of God is stupid. I do not claim God is perfect. Theists do. Therefore, my idea of perfection is entirely irrelevant. Let me analogise so you can understand this highly subtle and obviously evasive point.

I'm not asking you establish your beliefs. I'm asking you to define your terms. God is perfect. This world isn't perfect. Theists do not claim that the world is perfect. What I want to know is are you saying that this world is perfect? It is not the Christian worldview that the world is perfect. You keep claiming that it is. Therefore you need to define what do you mean when you say it's perfect.

Jimmy claims that everything Scrwfcvb does is hilarious. Scrwfcvb ate a sandwich. Therefore, Jimmy must agree, under his claim, that from his point of view, Scrwfcvb’s eating of the sandwich was hilarious.

This is the logic used. Theists claim God is perfect. God created the universe. Therefore, the creation must be perfect.

Would you argue that eating a sandwich could be hilarious? I wouldn't. The conclusion does not follow. Information is missing. Just like your argument is now. Are you going to go on record and say that the creation in its current state is perfect?

Now, either you agree that God is perfect or not, definitions aside. I have yet to meet w theist who claims God is imperfect, or not perfect. From this premise, the rest logically follows.

Again God is perfect. The world is not perfect in its current state and according to the Christian Worldview, it is not in the same state as it was when it was first created. You can't throw that piece of information because it doesn't get you to the conclusion you have already decided to embrace. I was trying to give you an out by giving you a chance to explain what you mean by perfect, but you won't take it.

Getting me to define for you what perfect means is totally unnecessary. It is like refuting the argument of Jimmy based on the fact that you find the definition of hilarious totally different to Jimmy. That is irrelevant, since the argument is applying to the viewpoint and belief of Jimmy, not the belief of you or anyone else. As long as Jimmy agrees with the premise, then FOR JIMMY, the conclusion follows.

I agree that what you believe about the Christian worldview is irrelevant because it has no bearing on whether or not the Christian worldview is true or false. However how do we know that you understand what Christians believe about "perfection" because given your conclusion and premises you don't.

I don’t believe in God, so the premise ‘God is perfect’ is COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS. Therefore, asking me to define perfection makes no sense since the argument does not apply to me (I am not arguing it in the affirmative) and the first premise is meaningless TO ME.

Actually, I remember asking you to not just define what "perfect" means relative to God but also relative to the world as it is today. Your argument falls apart because God's perfection is not mutually inclusive with the world being perfect. It does not follow any more that eating a sandwich is hilarious.

However, it is not meaningless to theists. For example, I gave you empirical evidence that a fellow theist whom you admire believes this premise to be true, as do all other theist that I know.

You didn't prove that Fernandez believes the world is or should be perfect.

Incidentally, I attended the William Lane Craig debate last night in London. He admitted this logical argument by appealing to the omniscience escape clause. JUST AS I SET OUT! Argue with Fernandes or Craig, take your pick. But your pretty naïve attempted refutations of my points are fairly schoolboy.

William Lane Craig does not believe that the world is perfect. I don't have a problem appealing to God's omniscience. It's not a problem but you pretend that it is. On top of that your conclusion is still wrong.

Johnny P said:
“OK, on to science:

I responded:
And the hilarity continues.... “

Blah blah blah, attempted deflection to the fact that you cannot refute the argument.

oooo...I think I struck a nerve.

You claim this:

“When God first made earth, there was no earthquakes and it was not part of the prefect design or earthquakes are a consequence of the fall. I don't know but both of these possibilities fit the Christian worldview and does not not conflict with science”

OK. 1) earthquakes were not originally part of the perfect design (are you now finally admitting to the premises of my argument?!). How did they then become part of the actualised design without God realising they would actualise.

I think you either have a reading comprehension problem, selective amnesia, or stupidity. You claimed that earthquakes were part of the original perfect design. I'm saying that earthquakes in which people die and evil in general were not part of the design when God looked upon His creation and said that it was GOOD.. I never said that God did no know what would happen? He did. Why do you think God told Adam not to disobey Him? Of course God knew. He chose to do this the way it has. Again re-read Romans 8 if you wanna know why,.

They are only evil when people die? [huh?] So animals mean nothing to you? Other hominids who became man? The MECHANISM PREXISTED THE FIRST HUMANS. This means that God designed them into the system. He knew what plate tectonics would do. He knew what humans would do, thus implying WE COULD NOT DO OTHERWISE, or else he would not have had this suffering-inducing mechanism in place already.

You say you are arguing against the Christian Worldview but you don't seem to understand it. From the Bible, it's totally consistent to assume that there was no death before the Fall. No one and nothing died. And according to Romans 8, all of creation became subjugated to death, decay, and vanity because God is working out His will. The world was so different than it is now, we can't even imagine what the perfect world was. As for when humanity (what was here and what wasn't) first appeared and the age of the earth, I think that any conclusion you draw is still open. All I'm sure of is that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old. We don't know have all the facts but to outright toss out the Bible is stupid. The Bible does not tell us all we need to know understand the mechanisms you mention, but those mechanisms are not completely understood either. Surely given more research and time a better understanding will come.

All of which is irrelevant to the logical discussion. It is, yes, another red herring.

The definition of red herring is not a line of discussion that you don't want to talk about.

God is perfect, his design must be perfect, he had death-inducing plate tectonics, diseases and carnivorousness designed into the system billions of years before humans came along. Would you like me to calculate the billions of animals that suffered terribly over these billions of years?

Um...that isn't the Christian worldview. Seems like you have red herring confusion.

Johnny P said.
“b) naturalistic events of material causality can be caused by abstract ideas (which by philosophical definition are causally inert).

So you admit that there is such a thing as sin and that you stand condemned as a sinner deserving of hell fire. If so then you should repent and return to Christ. However, if you agree that the Bible is right about sin being real, then you need to consider what the Bible says is caused by sin. All of creation has been subjected to decay because of our sin. (See Romans 8 again). The Christian worldview is against your very conclusion here. You don't deal with this. You just assume it. Rather sloppy. “

WTF, I mean, WTF? How the sodding hell did you derive that I believe in sin from the claim that YOU infer that abstracts can cause material events, which is philosophically unsupported?

You think sin is an abstract idea...therefore it follows. Like the hilarious sandwich or the perfect world. Like it?

This is your most stupid moment yet. It is utterly fallacious. Have you misread what I wrote. Let us compare these two sentence that you think are synonymous:

naturalistic events of material causality can be caused by abstract ideas (which by philosophical definition are causally inert).

There is such a thing as sin and I stand condemned as a sinner deserving of hell fire.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You are mental.

Let's get down to brass tacks: Can you demonstrate that there is no sin or that it has had no deleterious effects on the world. Good luck with that.

Johnny P wrote:
c) Adam and Eve existed as the first humans. If you don’t bury your head in the sand, you would know this is empirically disprovable through human geography, palaeontology, anthropology and genetics.

You do realize that there are not 100% agreement on that conclusion among professional scientists right?

Tell me one scientist, peer-reviewed and published in the relevant fields, who believes (based on empirical evidence) that Adam and Eve were the first humans and that humanity was derived from them, denying evolution, genetic ancestry, anthropology, palaeontology and so on. You have sunk to new lows.

Read below

OK, imagine you dug up a couple of crackpots. Should I believe, if I am not an expert in the field, the theories of ‘scientists’ that would account for a statistical null in the relevant field? You have a bizarre and rather cherry-picking take on epistemology and plausibility.

I'd think you would have to prove that they were wrong before dismissing them....that is if you were honest. And I thought that the point to have peer-review and published to weed out the crackpots.

Johnny P wrote
“This is cherry-picking. This is why I claim you live a life of hypocrisy. Accepting science (and thus the scientific method) that agrees with your worldview, and rejecting any science which doesn’t. If you can’t see this, then you are wearing blinkers.

You have failed to show this. But I have shown how you live inconsistently by claiming to be a philosopher but refusing to back up your epistemology. “

That’s just horseshit. It really is. I have shown to you, since I am not establishing the premise, that this is not only unnecessary, but clouds the argument as a red herring. I have also shown how you, proven by your responses, cherry pick your science. Therefore, my point entirely stands, and yours falls like all your other empty comments.

So you refuse to back up your epistemology. Gotcha. I haven't cherry picked science. Since when being skeptical of a conclusion equivalent to cherry picking. Oh I see. If one disagrees with you, it's cherry picking but agreeing with you means sound reasoning. Have you got that checked yet? You should.

“I hope you know that Universalism is not the classical Christian perspective, right? Therefore my comment should have made sense even to you, in context. And the YEC comment was important because uninformed people like you seem to think that the Bible says that the earth is only 6000 years-old. Here's a clue: it doesn't.. Some people only interpret it that way. “

Of course I do, you dolt.

You do know that name-calling doesn't add to your arguments right? Just checking.

You’re the one trying to put words in my mouth like some massive straw man factory.

Nope, you quoted me from a comment on Debunking Christianity that you disagree with out of context so I wanna make sure that you understand what I was saying then. Guess not.

YEC, OEC whatever shade you fancy, you need to start with the evidence and work TO the bible. Don’t start FROM the bible and go looking for evidence.

God didn't do things that way. There is much information that it contains that you can't possibly know without revelation. Again, you need to read Romans.

Rudimentary epistemological and methodological mistake. And don’t go asking for my qualifications, you moron. I could tell you I have three higher education qualifications from three different universities ranging from philosophy to education. I could tell you I am a department leader in Geography. Whatever. So what? It has no bearing on the content of what I, and more importantly what YOU say.

It would mean that you might have a leg to stand on. Isn't it hypocritical to demand peer review and test others' credentials without providing your own? Scared? You provide your credentials, degrees, and where you went to school and I'll give you "one scientist, peer-reviewed and published in the relevant fields, who believes (based on empirical evidence) that Adam and Eve were the first humans and that humanity was derived from them". Show me yours, I'll show you mine.

JohnnyP wrote
“"A theist ... would have to argue that this is the greatest possible way to achieve the greatest possible world... God often uses evil and human suffering to draw people to himself. Now God's ways and thoughts are far above our understanding and even the Scriptures state that. At best atheistic arguments show that limited minds can't fully understand why God allows so much evil..."

So even he agrees with my argument in principle.

Huh? How does that quote agree with anything you said?”

This is great. This is pretty much my entire argument. If you listen to the debate, you will understand that he is answering Lowder on exactly the points I have been making. All Fernandes does is appeal to the omniscience escape clause. And yes, it is the 1999 debate. What is your point? That logic has changed in 13 years? That Calvin was wrong because he wrote all those years ago?

The point was that you acted as if you just saw it and it's been out for years....and it's suspicious that you didn't provide a link. Omniscience is not a dodge, but explains how God can use and do anything he wants to bring about the reality He desires to bring into being. Notice how " greatest possible way to achieve the greatest possible world" does not imply that the world is perfect now as it is. That perfect world is coming and everything - even the evil and suffering is being used to bring it into existence. Your argument is still flawed and neither Fernandez or Craig would accept all of your premises or conclusions. You still didn't explain how that quote supports you.

The sum of you argument:

The special pleading that:

Plate tectonics only took effect after Adam and Eve
Plate tectonics would not have killed humans if Adam and Eve did not undergo the Fall.

That all animal suffering and death is either irrelevant or as a result of human sin, even billions of years before God existed.

Um God always existed. There has never been a point where God didn't exist.

Etc etc assertion assertion.
Even this, on the original logical argument, must have been necessary since, as I keep bloody repeating and you ignore:

God could have chosen any other world BY OUTCOME or PARAMETER or BOTH and chose this one, knowing of the Fall (which I find inherently logically flawed anyway) and all the resulting suffering. Since God is perfect, this must have been the perfect choice.

So you now have shifted your language. I agree it is the perfect choice. Of course. But this world is not perfect.

And it also implicitly accepts the punishment of anything, animal or otherwise, for the sine of others as being perfect.

I agree with William Lane Craig that animals don't suffer like people do. And because everyone is a sinner and deserve hell, no one but Jesus Christ has suffered for the sins of another. More proof that you have no idea what Christians believe.

But in order to establish ANY OF YOUR ‘ARGUMENTS’ as valid, anyway, the burden of proof is on you to:

Establish the veracity of the Adam and Eve myth

You call it a myth. Are your credentials a myth? Like I said, if you want proof from me on anything provide your own for why you have any authority or training to make any claims of any kind.

Establish the veracity AND logical coherence of Original Sin / The Fall.

Paul already did. Go read it.

After all, to collectively punish with corrupted natures, pain, suffering, and death all subsequent human beings and animals for an action such as eating a piece of fruit that they had been told not to (whilst having the mitigation of being tempted by the more wily and intelligent serpent) is to me the most improbable action of all for an all-loving god. Does the punishment fit the crime? Only for the deluded.

You don't even understand what the crime was? The crime wasn't eating a piece of fruit - it was disobeying God. The same sin you do every time you rebel against God and claim He doesn't exist.

Oh, and WLC's tuppence:

"The most common answer given by Christians is that the pain and suffering of animals is explained by the sin of human creatures, most notably the Fall of Adam. After all, Romans 8:19-22 seems to imply that the suffering we find in the natural world is part of the “groaning of creation”--a creation which cries out for redemption from the crippling effects of Adam’s sin. Isaiah 24:2-6 directly states that (at least much of) the natural evil in the world derives the fact that the peoples of the earth “disobey the laws,” “violate the statutes,” and “break the covenants.”

However, given the very powerful evidence that animals (and their pain, suffering, death, and predation) pre-existed the first human beings, that view seems incomplete. If the pain and suffering of animals predates Adam’s existence, it is hard to see how his (or our) sin could fully explain it."

I do admire and respect William Lane Craig and I think he is way more credible than you, however, I don't agree with him 100% of the time. And this would be something that I would not agree with him completely on. Notice how he gives his opinion and leaves what the Bible says. I refuse to do that. This doesn't mean that Dr William Lane Craig is not a Christian or that he's not born-again but it does mean that I have to disrespectfully disagree.

Of course, you also prove my point entirely by your theorising. This is how, I think, your scenario would work:

1) God knew Adam and Eve would sin through his divine foreknowledge
2) God could have created any other world, but chose to create this one in his perfect knowledge and omnibenevolence
3) God created a system whereby animals would die through carnivorousness and natural evil (plate tectonics) (These animals died and suffered before Adam and Eve existed)
4) These evils were substitutive sacrifices for the sins of Adam and Eve (man) (paid for in advance, during and after this sin)
5) God designed such punishments into the system in the knowledge that he would need such punishments at a later date for the infallible knowledge that humanity, that he created and knew would sin, would sin.
6) Therefore, natural evils are a necessary product (in payment for sin, and serving a greater good) for the creation of this world, the perfect choice of a perfect God.

This is essentially exactly the same argument as my original argument.

Not exactly the same. Here is where you are confused. Now watch closely because you keep missing this. Temporal pain and suffering is not in payment for sin. They are consequence of sin. The wages of sin is death not the punishment of sin. Therefore according to the Bible, we cannot argue that the imperfect state of this world is to punish sin. The result of sin does not equal punishment. Also given that you cannot prove that this timeline you have set up is true or that the Bible is false. The perfect world is coming but it was lost. We don't know if there were earthquakes then. All we know is that people didn't die and there was no suffering. I'm still shocked that you can't seem to understand what the Bible says.

What had happen' was.....: FacePalm of th Day #136 - Responding to Johnny P World and does God have Free Will? Part 5
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William Lane Craig vs. Stephen Law: Does God Exist? - Apologetics 315

Brian Auten has provided a link to the William Lane Craig vs Stephen Law debate. The Debate was October 17, 2011 if I understand correctly.

William Lane Craig vs. Stephen Law: Does God Exist? - Apologetics 315

I was real disappointed with Dr Stephen Law's performance. I was hoping for more. Instead he bases his entire argument on the problem of evil and argued that there is no more evidence for a good God than an evil God.  and didn't really answer any of Craig's arguments.  They seemed like they went in circles and no matter what Craig said, Law would not step into the circle and interact with most of what Craig was saying. However Craig went after Law's arguments. Well, although I think Law lost this debate, at least he has more courage than Richard Dawkins seems to.


There is a  blog post that uses animation to map "the whole of the debate in argument form, to give a more intuitive way of seeing how all the arguments and objections interact." It is really cool! Get it at the following link:

Stephen Law vs. William Lane Craig Debate: Argument map
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Muammar Gaddafi Killed, Captured In Sirte: Reports (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

The leader de facto of Libya, Muammar al-Gaddafi.                                            Image via WikipediaWow. What does it say about you when people have a party when you are brutally killed? I do not think Muammar Gaddafi was a good man, but it should be sad to see anyone dragged through the streets. Some think that the violence in Libya will begin to subside, but I'm not so sure.

Muammar Gaddafi Killed, Captured In Sirte: Reports (GRAPHIC PHOTOS)
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Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig | Richard Dawkins | Comment is free |

Richard Dawkins talking at Kepler's bookstore,...                                    Image via WikipediaDr Richard Dawkins has caught a lot of flack because he refuses to debate Dr William Lane Craig next week. Dr Dawkins is currently on a debate tool in the UK. Dawkins has recently written a letter defending his decision.

Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig | Richard Dawkins | Comment is free |
In other words: He's trying to save face.

However, John Loftus seems to have bought it. Loftus wrote:

I have to admit Dawkins has class. He continually turns the tables on believers. Listen, we would refuse to debate a Holocaust denier, a spokesperson for the KKK, or a militant Muslim. Why would we? Doing so legitimizes their position. He refuses to debate an apologist for genocide even though Craig speaks for the majority of evangelicals in America. It appears that Dawkins doesn't care that Craig's view is a majority view. It's just not right for him to legitimize such an absurd position, and I can admire that.

Richard Dawkins Explains Why He Refuses to Debate William Lane Craig

It's shows the bankruptcy of Loftus position. Purely emotional in trying to compare William Lane Craig to a Holocaust denier and the KKK. A really poor argument. I consider it inconsistent to support Dawkins not debating Craig but saying that he should debate Craig. If it's a crisis of conscience making Dawkins not want to debate Craig so that he will not "legitimize such an absurd position", then where is Loftus' conscience if he agrees with Dawkins?

No. I think the truth is more better put forth by

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Occupy Movement Turns Geek

Invariably, throughout history, when societies become economically polarized between rich and poor - when a few people control most of the wealth - the society blows up like a powder keg. That is what I see in the Occupy Wall Street Movement. The thing is people have been talking about the 1% and 99% for years. Today due to the economic issues making these things so obvious people are complaining in the mainstream. Fortunately a few good memes have come out of this. Here are two of them I like!

Occupy Movement Turns Geek

U.S. Oil Consumption [infographic] | Daily Infographic

U.S. Oil Consumption [infographic] | Daily Infographic

Craig A. Evans Resources - Apologetics 315

This week, Brian Auten has posted two awesome resources from Dr. Craig A. Evans.  The first is an interview he conducted of Dr. Evans. Follow the link below to hear it!

Apologist Interview: Craig A. Evans - Apologetics 315

The other resource are a few video interviews Dr Evans has done.Go to this link to get at those.

Video Interviews with Craig A. Evans

Lego robot beats human world record for solving the Rubik’s Cube with Android | Hello Android

A robot made out of Legos and a Samsung Galaxy S phone has beaten the world record for a human solving a Rubik's cube (5.66 s) with a time of 5.35 s!! Too awesome!

Lego robot beats human world record for solving the Rubik’s Cube with Android | Hello Android

American Atheists’ Al Stefanelli rallied the atheist troops | True Freethinker

Here is a summary of essays Mariano Grinbank has written responding to American Atheists' Al Stefanelli. Take a look!

American Atheists’ Al Stefanelli rallied the atheist troops | True Freethinker
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