Thursday, April 2, 2009

Arizona Atheist tries Blogging


Remember AA who with whom I discussed some issues here a few weeks ago? Now he has a blog to disprove God arguments. I hope this time he's learned to actually answer the arguments. Last time I went through ten of my arguments and how each one was not a God of the gaps argument. He did not answer a single issue I raised, but now he's over at DC claiming victory!

He lays out his major strategy which is what I said it would be back when we had our discussion. At that time I said he would come back and dennouce loigc. I've seen this so many times. Atheists can't answer the logical arguments so they decide logic itself is no good for God stuff.

he says:

The truth is, though, that I see nothing special about these arguments. Each of these arguments are fatally flawed when you think about them for just a few minutes (or when you look at the contradictory evidence). When someone comes to me and starts using a lot of philosophical arguments I often dismiss them by claiming they're using "philosophical bullshit" because, while I like philosophy, it can oftentimes be abused and just because something sounds logical doesn't mean it represents reality. Take, for example, the experiment in which a feather is dropped along with a bowling ball (taking wind resistance out of the equation). Logic would dictate that the ball would hit the ground first, but in reality they would both hit the ground at the same time. This is an example of something that seems like a logical conclusion: a heavier object will fall faster, but if you eliminate the affect air has on the objects, they will fall at the same rate and hit the ground at the same time.

then he adds:

"It is because of this that I strongly argue that logic by itself, while extremely helpful and right much of the time, can sometimes get you into trouble."

Yea logic will get you in trouble especially when you don't know anything about it. I identified the anti-intellectualism in his thinking before. We see it above. But now it comes right out in the open:

"With that in mind, let's begin smashing the logical disaster that is theology."

yea let's just do that!

His first example has nothing to with logical arguments for God. Essentially he just argues that the Euthyphro dilemma shows how horrible it would be if such a being as God existed, which is not what the dilemma says, and then he goes off on the OT ragging about how he disagrees with its morality. This is has nothing to dow ti the existence of God as a philosophical tpric, or about logic. The God of the OT is not illogical in his smiting of enemies and so forth, he's just sever. Its' not a matter of logic and he can't give us a logical reason why his moral values are any better than those of the Bible.

The Euthyphro dilemma has to do with the idea that the Greek Gods were not more powerful than the fates. Thus Socrates asks is a thing good becasue the gods desire it, or are the gods becasue they desire good things. The real issue is the question is God the standard of moral goodness, and thus God's whims could change the nature of the good at any time, or does God follow a standard higher than himself, in which case there is something higher than God.

The problem is this comes up in a polytheistic culture where they did not have any God who was like the God of Christian theology. The Greek Gods were contingent, they were produced by prior conditions and none of them created the world. So this issue is not applicable to God of the Bible becasue that God is synominous in his essence with the nature of love. Thus the moral standard is the character or God so there is no dilemma. they are one and the same.

But even if there were a dilemma this would have nothing with disproving god's existence.

Finally he ends his rant by arguing that morality is seperate from God. He then uses the examle of people who do crazy things claiming God told them to:

A related point are people who claim to do helpful and harmful things because god supposedly told them to. Because there are people who have supposedly been told to commit both good and bad acts, this doesn't do anything to fix the contradictory messages that god seems to send (assuming he is real). There are people who feel compelled by god to help the poor, but there are also people who commit horrible atrocities, such as Dena Schlosser who chopped off her eleven month old girl's arms because god told her to.

Now, an apologist will likely say that Schlosser was clearly insane and god would never command someone to do such a thing. But if they dismiss this woman's testimony so quickly, why do they accept a christian's so easily, as long as they're doing something good? The simple answer? Bias.

Morality has nothing to do with god and, therefore, it cannot be used as any kind of "evidence" of god.

Clearly he doesn't understand the basis of meta ethical thinking. He probably has never heard of grounding axioms. But why isn't it a valid answer to say the person was insane and we know God would never tel them such a thing? If we have convincing safeguards why don't they change the argument? If God has nothing to do with morality then on what basis can he judge such actions to be immoral?

Then we get into some real fun with the cosmological argument:

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Of course this is the Kalam arguemnt, its' not the only version and it's not the version I like to argue. I prefer Clark's version.

AA makes some very distorted claims. I think he demonstrates that he has very little understanding of any of the issues he talks about.

There are a few major flaws with this. First, theologians assume that nothing can be eternal; that it's impossible for the universe to just be, to just exist. Second, because of their claims that the universe cannot be eternal they then make a wild claim full of hypocrisy and nonsense and state that their god is eternal and does not need a cause.

I don't think any theologian assumes that nothing can be eternal. Most theologians don't know anything about this stuff. Most liberals don't bother with arguments for God. He doesn't even know the difference in a theologian and a philosopher. Philosophers who deal with modal logic assume that contingent things can't be eternal. By definition they can't be. But more importantly it is physicists show show that the universe is not eternal. The Big Bang theory demonstrates that the universe has a beginning. Thus it can't be eternal.

AA clearly does not understand what constitutes a valid philosophical point and what is merely blubbering with his own personal hatred. He's a good prime example of the hate group element in atheism:

Second, because of their claims that the universe cannot be eternal they then make a wild claim full of hypocrisy and nonsense and state that their god is eternal and does not need a cause.

(1) this is purely an exercise in begging the question. Why would the claim that God is eternal be hypocrisy or nonsense? The idea of God being eternal is proved a prori. its' a matter of logical necessity. But let's assume there could be a reason why ti's hypo racy. No attempt is even made to link this to a logical idea. It's nothing but an emotive statement. He apparently thinks that logic just amounts to making emotive statements.

AA clearly is not convergent in cosmology, nor does he understand the basic implications of the Big Bang. He declares as the third flaw in the CA

Third, they also assume that events that took place in the past could not go on indefinitely. But again, they contradict themselves and claim their god is infinite and has always existed, though they can never articulate "where" their god was or" what" he was doing the eternity before he just happened to create this universe.

At this point I'm spitting milk through my nose. These are some of the most infantile objections that anyone whose read even a few pages should be able to see through. Even a rudimentary knowledge will demonstrate to one with the well documented fact that most physicists hold to a beginning of the universe. Evidence is even stronger that the universe will not go on forever.

Universe continuing to expand

Evidence from three recent studies reveals that the final fate of the universe will be to drift apart and cease all useful functions capable of supporting life due to missing mass, which can't produce gravitational pull to bring it all back together and start again, and heat death in which case energy is useless for work. Several major studies show this to be the case.

[New Scientist Magazine, archive 11, April 98, archive; originally Oct. 96] you should be able to click here, but here's the url just in case) [

"ON THE night of 5 March last year, the huge telescope of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile intercepted a message from deepest space. Transmitted a billion years before the Earth was born, its contents have proved to be of truly cosmic significance. The message was barely readable after its journey halfway across the Universe, and an international team of experts laboured for months to decode it. In January, Saul Perlmutter of the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in California and his colleagues revealed to the world what they believe to be its gist: "The Universe will never end." A month later, a team led by Brian Schmidt of the Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories near Canberra in Australia published the decoded contents of more of these cosmic missives, which arrive as bursts of light from supernova explosions in far-flung galaxies. The message was the same. Now Chris Kochanek and his colleagues at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, are about to publish more evidence, this time from light that has been bent and sculpted by the gravity of unseen galaxies."

* Omega force = Continued expansion forever (no Big Cruch)

"These three sets of cosmic missives all suggest that instead of collapsing in on itself in a big crunch, our Universe will go on expanding forever. And that's not all. They also hint that the expanding Universe is in the grip of a mysterious force that is fighting against gravity--a force that pervades the entire cosmos and springs literally from nothing."(Ibid.)

[mysterious force = "omega" ie the equasion of gravitational force vs. mass needed to close the universe; omega must = 1 to close]

* Missing Mass.

[New Scinentist article April 1999] "If it [the universe] contains enough matter, gravity will eventually slow its expansion, stop it, and reverse it--producing a cataclysmic big crunch billions of years hence. But if there is too little matter--or if there is an extra source of "oomph" at work in the cosmos--then the Universe will expand forever.... Cosmologists call the ratio of the actual density of matter in our Universe to this critical density 'Omega.' And whole armies of astronomers have spent decades trying to work out if Omega is less than, more than or equal to 1.,... "Studies of the gravitational effects of clusters of galaxies have revealed that there must be at least 10 times as much mass tied up in invisible "dark matter" in the Universe as there is in the familiar form of luminous stars and gas. Yet even when all this dark matter is thrown into the equation, it still doesn't make the theorists happy. Despite searching every cosmic nook and cranny, astronomers have never found anything like the amount needed to make Omega equal to 1."

"So the take-home message looks the same as that now emerging from the supernova and quasar surveys: the Universe is going to expand forever, and it may yet prove to be flat. Certainly the idea of the big crunch seems to have gone for good, but the exact values of Lambda and Omega, and the fate of the cosmologists' theories, are still up for grabs. These values may finally be nailed early in the next century, with the launch of NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) and the European Space Agency's PLANCK missions. These will use the heat left over from the big bang to try yet another way of measuring Omega and Lambda, which may lay the question to rest for good ("Genesis to Exodus", New Scientist," 19 October 1996, p 30).

Flat Universe means no contraction

Andre Linde, Scientific American, Sept 1997

"A second trouble spot is the flatness of space. General relativity suggests that space may be very curved, with a typical radius on the order of the Planck length, or 10^-33 centimeter. We see however, that our universe is just about flat on a scale of 10^28 centimeters, the radius of the observable part of the universe. This result of our observation differs from theoretical expectations by more than 60 orders of magnitude." [Messuer is a leading physicist and one of the first to invent the inflationary universe theory]

ABC Scientists: Universe is Flat another link Physics.

Wayne Hu of the Institute for Advanced Studies, School of Natural Sciences in New Jersey said "temperature maps of the CMB form a snapshot image of the Universe when it was extremely young." "The...result supports a flat universe, which means that the total mass and energy density of the universe is equal to the so-called critical density," Wu wrote. "A perfectly flat universe will remain at the critical density and keep on expanding forever, because there is not enough matter to make it recollapse in a 'big crunch.'"

c) End of Universe reveals begining--universe would have already ceased.

Energy of the universe is being expended, as it burns up,it becomes useless for work. The fate of the universe will be eventual death in ciy darkness as all of its suns burn out and their energy disipates][New Scientist, April 1999, oct. 96

"But even if the Universe lives forever, its inhabitants will not be so lucky. A mere thousand billion years from now, all the stars will have used up their fuel and fizzled out. There will still be occasional flashes in the perpetual night: the death throes of stars so large that they have collapsed in on themselves to form black holes. Even these will eventually evaporate in a blast of radiation. For the next 10122 years, this Hawking radiation will be the only show in town. By then even the most massive black holes will evaporate, leaving the Universe with nothing to do for an unimaginable 10 to the power of 1026 years. Quantum theory then predicts that atoms of iron--the most stable of all elements--will undergo "tunnelling" and disappear into tiny black holes, which will themselves end in a final fizz of Hawking radiation. In the beginning there may have been light, but in the end, it seems, there will be nothing but darkness. ".[New Scientist April 1999]

Given infintie time and possibility all potentialities would have already come to fruition, the chain would have already been broken before our universe came into being. This just illustrates the impossibility of an infinte series of events. (being a series of events it would be "in time" so it's really redundant to say "an infinite series of events in time.") In other words, if this universe drifts apart because it lacks mass to produce omega, than the last universe would have too because energy and matter would be the same amount, just formulated differenlty (energy cannot be created or destroyed). The absurdity of the notion of an infinite series of big bang/cruches is driven home; how could there be an "infinite" series if one of the links in the chain can't make it? It can't "already be infifinte" and then stop because infinite means no begining and no end.

Note: If the Skeptic does not agree to this principle, that given infinite time every possibility comes to fruition than he can neither argue infinite chances nor multiple universes against the Antrhopic argument.

d) Universe contains finite stock of order, connot be eternal (because it would have burned out by now)

*Scientific conesnsus:

Paul Davies, in his article, "Space-time Singularities and Cosmology," says,"If we extrapolate this prediction to its extreme,we reach a point when all distances in the universe have shrunk to zero. An initial cosmological singularity therefore forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannot continue physical reasoning, or even the concept of space-time, through such an extremity. For this reason, most cosmologists think of the initial singularity as the beginning of the universe. On this view, the Big Bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the MATTER and ENERGY in the universe, but also of space-time itself."[ P. C. W.Davies, "Space-time Singularities in Cosmology," in The Study of Time III, ed. J. T. Fraser (Berlin: Springer Verlag, 1978), pp. 78-79.]

* Laws of Physics break down at singularity

The laws of physics break down at the singularity. 1st Thermo. would apply after the Big Bang, then the fixed amount of energy that is "put in" to the universe (as Davies puts it) would be finite (in quantity) and subject to 1st and 2nd Thermo.

* 1 LTD applies to matter also. Thirdly, the 1st Law of Thermo. applies to matter ALSO. If you argue that energy is eternal, you've got to argue that matter is eternal, which goes against all the empirical evidence we have for the Big Bang.

* 2 LTD Energy burn to heat death

Fourthly, if you opt for 1st Thermo. before the Big Bang, try being consistent and applying 2nd Thermo. as well. If the energy (AND matter) of the universe is eternal, it would have reached MAXIMUM heat death an INFINITE amount of time ago.

Theoretical physicist Paul Davies, in his book God and the New Physics, states:

"If the universe has a finite stock of order, and is changing irreversibly towards disorder - ultimately to thermodynamic equilibrium - two very deep inferences follow immediately. The first is that the universe will eventually die, wallowing, as it were, in its own entropy. This is known among physicists as the 'heat death' of the universe. The second is that the universe cannot have existed forever, otherwise it would have reached its equilibrium end state an infinite time ago. Conclusion: the universe did not always exist."

If you deny that the universe has a finite stock of order, you are essentially denying the 1st law of thermodynmics, as it requires a fixed finite amount of matter and energy. (check your Encyc. Britannica)

In your wider universe, does the 1st law of Thermodynamics apply WITHOUT the second? What reversed the entropy of this eternally existent universe? As we saw above, a universe containing eternal matter and energy would have reached maximum entropy an INFINITE amount of time ago. What organizing principle intervened 11-15 billion years ago and organized all that energy and matter that was no longer available for work? What or who (or Who) woundthe universe up?

Fifthly, we observe that the universe is expanding uniformly in all directions. Had the universe existed for an infinite period of time, the density of matter would have become zero. (Koons) How do you explain the observable expansion of the universe? We measure the recession velocity of distant galaxies by using Cepheid variables, type Ia supernovas, and now Red Clumps as standard candles. And the microwave background radiation and redshift (doppler effect that skews the red portion of thespectrum of starlight in proportion to the distance of the star) confirm this expansion also. Futhermore, within the very field equations of General Relativity, is embedded the fact of the expansion and decceleration of the universe. There are now 19 proofs of General Relativity in 12 isolated areas of Physics,making it the most exhaustively proven principle. Are you saying that General Relativity does not apply to our universe as a whole?!! It is accurate to better than a trillionth of a percent precision. Where is your scientific evidence for A) seperate portions of the universe which General Relativity does not describe B) seperate universes? If its not falsifiable, and there's no evidence for it, then its just not a threat to the standardBB model as it is not scientific.

O we should note the argument that we can't say where God was or what he was doing. Nothing could be more puerile. This guy has truly marked himself as a know nothing. Of course this is all because he doesn't read the material. He reads atheist websites and doesn't think about what he reads. BTW for those who are in the dark here, there is no "where God was." that is to think of God as a big man in an even bigger room. That sort of conventional thinking sees God as localized and the timeless void "before the big bang--yes AA says those words (anyone who knows anything about this stuff knows that we don't speak of "before the big bang" because there is no before before time) the think of that void as a big room that God is standing in. This is nothing more than the lack of brain power to push themselves to consider radical images. They don't have the imagination to ponder what infinite would mean. God is everywhere (that's what omni present means). So it's pointless to say "where is God." That's like saying "which end is up" in outer space. AS to what God is doing this is also to imagine God as a big man who has to doing things, because he's ansy and can't sit still. God is the ground of bieng, what he's doing is being.

A related point is the fact that if the currently most widely accepted model of the big bang is one in which time didn't exist before the big bang,

(you see, there he says "before time").

how could god exist in a "time" before time even existed?

obviously since there is no "before" before, we don't have a problem. Because then there is no point in trying to image a time before time. What we can do is make it special. that's why the theoretical physicists do. that's the whole point of a concept of space/time. that's space/time is. they make the time dimension spacial and speak of 'beyond even horizon." This is how Hawking speaks in a Brief History of Time. So beyond event horizon there is no big timeless void with God in it, there is only God. God is what there is beyond event horizon. There may be a mutli verse in which case there are other space/times and God fills those and goes beyond them.

It's a contradiction.

It's over your head.

Fourth, with the Kalam Cosmological Argument claiming god has no beginning, thus needs no cause, they have no proof of this, and it's unknown if the universe even had a cause to begin with. The big bang we know of may have been just one out of countless "bangs" that have occurred throughout time, following Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok's theory.

Of course he's missing the point the fact of a need for first cause which is eternal is the proof that God is that. Because that's what God is. that thing, that must be there we call God. How we get the idea of God because there must be something on that order and that's what we call it. The proof is the contingency of the universe, that it begins, it will end, it can't be etearnl, but isnce it can't come form nothing there must be some eteranl form of being.

that is a proof of God's existence and so AA is missing the whole boat. This site I must give it one star, total ignorance!

it's not worth further critique.

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