Monday, April 1, 2013

Christian Response to Atheism Pt 2

Chipmunk
Previously, I had started evaluating the claims made by an apologist, as he had made as objections to a clip from The Atheist Experience - mostly to address the epistemological basis of his position.

Here's the other half.


Response to the claim that the Koran is based on the same god as the Bible

[Buzzing noise] Wrong! And then they started talking like they're scholars [starts mimicking hosts]. You know as though they're these scholar Harvard graduates or something [continues mimicking hosts] Okay first of all, God chose Isaac. The New Testament - all through - accounts - Isaac, Jews, Hebrews - history - understand? The Bible and the Qu'ran are not the same - are not about the same God. Sorry to tell you. First of all, first of all, the Qu'ran rejects Jesus Christ as the son of God outright. Rejects his death. Rejects his Calvary on the cross. Rejects the resurrection. The Koran is hostile against the Jews and Christians, and says that the Muslims will be killing Jews in their apocalyptic verses, and, in fact, Christians will be slaughtered too if they don't convert to Islam. Now, the Bible, on the other hand, has Jesus Christ as the son of God, his death at Calvary  resurrection from the dead, God gathering the Jews back into Israel, giving them their land again, and defending them against their enemies. Does that sound like the same God to you? Or does it sound like two opposing forces? Huh! Maybe you should think about that before you say anything.
His response here was a bit strange. I think the root of his confusion stems from the fact that he's not distinguishing between old and new testament texts. The Old Testament, which is basically the Hewbew Bible ("Torah"), was something that Christians hijacked and slapped their own fan fiction on top - kind of like how Mormons have done the the same thing with their "Book of Mormon", which is basically the Third Testament.

This is not an unusual occurrence. 

The Koran branches off the Old Testament, not the New. I almost think Bob was mistakenly believing the argument was that the Koran picks up where the New Testament leaves off - I'm not sure. 

But yes, there's actually a significant overlap between the Koran/Qu'ran and the Torah/Old Testament. I'm sorry, but he's simply factually wrong here.

What's more bizarre about Bob's argument, is that if we were to accept it, we would have just destroyed Christianity. The New Testament's relationship to the Old is not that dissimilar from the Koran's... so if we take this argument from "Does that sound like the same God to you?", we can rule out Christianity as having had anything to do with Torah.

The differences between the Old and New testament gods are staggering, after all. The Old God is angry, spiteful, murderous, genocidal - there's no hell, exactly, and God is frequently not omnipotent nor omniscient. In the New Testament, he's all about love, forgiveness, faith, turning the other cheek, etc. One can try to rationalize that it's a progression of the storyline, but it's sudden, and it still qualifies under this argument.

So, therefore, Christianity - refuted... if we were to use this guy's argument.

Other than that, the rest of Bob's argument is basically nonsensical. As explained, the New Testament references are not relevant. He seems to have this idea that the Jews were favorably considered in the New Testament. They tortured and executed his "savior". A large amount of antisemitism has gushed forth from Christianity, such as from Martin Luther, and his influences

The only reason "pro-Israel Christians" exist now is because of their demented end-times theology, where Israel's destruction plays a pivotal role. Otherwise, Bob would have to admit that the Jews are God's "chosen people", which quite excludes Christians.

Yeah, this argument was fairly incoherent... but it's downhill from here.

Response to hosts saying they came from their parents when asked whether they think they came from nothing

Where did your parents come from? Where did their parents come from? And the parents before them come from? And how did they exist on this Earth. Where did the Earth come from? How did it all come together? How is it governed by laws? How is it full of everything needed to maintain complex life? How does that happen? How? In a universe full of complexity and complex equations and laws that exist all over the Earth - come on man! It's insane! It's insane for you to just totally deny that. ... he came from his parents, and then he's talking about - "Well the sun formed from particles, from gravity" - No, the Earth, I'm sorry - the Earth I think he said from particles and gravity - or I might have that backwards how he has the sun and the Earth - whatever - the latest thing is because there so many different realms of the evolutionary insanity - and there's multiple versions out there - I believe that's what he said that these things form from particles and gravity. Well that's great! Well then where did the particles come from? Where did gravity come from? Who keeps them... who governs the laws of the universe... that keeps these things the way they need to be? How does that work? How does it happen? Does it happen by accident, that everything in the universe  everything just came from nothing? It's governed by nothing so now you have laws without a governor? Nobody governs the laws - they're just there, because it just happened. An intelligent life just formed because, well, things were just floating around, and exceedingly long chains of amino acids and they just kind of branched themselves together coincidentally and massive strands where if one tiny piece is out of whack then the whole things falls apart. And then, you know, these reproductive systems - hearing, smell, taste - the brain - everything just came together and formed life - living, breathing, talking life, yes, and all different animals, and there was no intelligence involved and it all came together on a planet out of nowhere, in a universe out of nowhere, governed by nothing. This is - you're a genius - this is - [mocks/mimics hosts some more]     
Okay, let's break this one down a bit.

Where did your parents come from? Where did their parents come from? And the parents before them come from? And how did they exist on this Earth. Where did the Earth come from? How did it all come together? How is it governed by laws? How is it full of everything needed to maintain complex life? How does that happen? How? In a universe full of complexity and complex equations and laws that exist all over the Earth
All great questions. Some we have more answers to than others. If Bob has any assertions he'd like to make to answer some of these questions, then I expect him to gather enough positive evidence to create a compelling case that can then by peer reviewed.

 ... come on man! It's insane! It's insane for you to just totally deny that.
Uh... deny what? That he came from his parents, or that everything came from nothing? I think Bob skipped a step here.

... he came from his parents, and then he's talking about - "Well the sun formed from particles, from gravity" - No, the Earth, I'm sorry - the Earth I think he said from particles and gravity - or I might have that backwards how he has the sun and the Earth - whatever - the latest thing is because there so many different realms of the evolutionary insanity - and there's multiple versions out there - I believe that's what he said that these things form from particles and gravity.
...

Planetary formation is a well studied and understood thing. It's actually one of the simpler concepts/phenomenon in cosmology.

What's his objection? Ah... it's not actually about how planets form...

Well that's great! Well then where did the particles come from? Where did gravity come from?
Most of the "particles" were fused together as heavier elements within suns that then went nova/supernova. As for gravity, again, a great question. We don't know yet why gravity exists, let alone the other basic forces.

Who keeps them... who governs the laws of the universe... that keeps these things the way they need to be? How does that work? How does it happen?
This is odd. He seems to have set up a false equivalence between descriptive physical laws, and proscriptive societal laws. Since societal laws need "governors" to enforce them, therefore, the physical laws need that as well... apparently.

The word "law" doesn't make them equivalent. There's nothing about descriptive physical laws that seems to require a "governor", so I don't know why that's a problem for him.

The appropriate question would be, "why does the universe work in such a way that's consistent enough for us humans to create conceptual "laws" that describe the phenomenon?" As soon as he started with "who", he was already confining the answer to a being or entity.

It'd love to figure out the answer, but unfortunately, we don't have enough data to know, yet.

Does it happen by accident, that everything in the universe  everything just came from nothing? It's governed by nothing so now you have laws without a governor? Nobody governs the laws - they're just there, because it just happened. An intelligent life just formed because, well, things were just floating around, and exceedingly long chains of amino acids and they just kind of branched themselves together coincidentally and massive strands where if one tiny piece is out of whack then the whole things falls apart. And then, you know, these reproductive systems - hearing, smell, taste - the brain - everything just came together and formed life - living, breathing, talking life, yes, and all different animals, and there was no intelligence involved and it all came together on a planet out of nowhere, in a universe out of nowhere, governed by nothing. 
In the past part here, he starts to create a straw man. The hosts did not say they believed that everything came from nothing. I'm not sure where he's getting that idea... unless he's still operating under that false dichotomy that it's either God, or nothing, and no other possibilities exist.

The rest begins to be basically an Argument from Incredulity - he can't believe that all this came out of nothing, so it can't be that way.

He doesn't seem to have a coherent objection.

Response to hosts' claim that they understand the science

Yeah you understand the science of everything coming from nothing, governed by nothing, created by nothing - yeah yeah they understand that. Okay man. And they wonder why the Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Is there any question ... is there any question as to the truth of that?  
He continues the straw man argument. At no point have the hosts said they believe everything came from nothing, governed by nothing, created by nothing. If asked, they might take issue with whether it's a requirement that physical laws need governors, or whether the universe was "created" versus "formed naturally"... but at no point in this apparently ultra-long show of 4 minutes out of the typical 60, did they say anything like that.

And they wonder why the Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Is there any question ... is there any question as to the truth of that?  
*raises hand* Yes, I have a question.

How does that make sense in any way, shape or form? How does being fearful of a destructive dictator form the "beginning of wisdom?" It's strange that I'm being asked whether there's an question as to the truth of something that is essentially word salad.

The beginning of wisdom is observation. Too bad observation contradicts the Bible left and right.

Response to the hosts equating the laws of the universe to the current state of life

The laws of the universe dictated that us - that humans - are going to be the current state - I guess he meant to say supreme life on Earth, as far as we have rule over the animals, etc. The laws of the universe dictated the current life - really, genius? Laws out of nowhere, dictated that we're the current state of life on this planet out of nowhere, created by nothing, with laws created by nothing, with no god that created anything... are you serious, man? Do not even begin to tap into how ignorant and foolish you sound. You have to at least suspect it - you at least have to have some degree of awareness of how absurd it is - how insane - what it is you're saying sounds - and truly is. It's like the worst comic book in the history of man. It's the worst comic book that your position is. Particles, gravity out of nowhere, Earth out of nowhere, laws out of nowhere, intelligence out of nowhere, intelligent life forms out of nowhere, out of nothing, out of things that just happened to be around at the time - so on, so on, so on - it is lunacy!  
Here, Bob cranks his straw man argument to 11.

Take the "created by nothing" part... Matt in the video explicitly asked "Who said we did?" So, either Bob wasn't listening, or is a bald-face liar.

The laws of the universe dictated that us - that humans - are going to be the current state - I guess he meant to say supreme life on Earth, as far as we have rule over the animals, etc. The laws of the universe dictated the current life - really, genius?
No, he didn't mean that. The laws of the universe result in things happening, but it wasn't based on any kind of plan, and more than icicles forming on the edge of a roof was planned. All life on this planet is the result of how the universe works, not just humans.

And yes, that's that the science is pointing to.

Laws out of nowhere, dictated that we're the current state of life on this planet out of nowhere, created by nothing, with laws created by nothing, with no god that created anything... are you serious, man?
Here's a list of things Bob asserts the hosts think that were not stated and are not supportable:

  • Universe coming from nothing
  • Planets coming from nothing (hosts explicitly stated otherwise)
  • Physical laws coming from nothing
  • Not even that there's no god
Do not even begin to tap into how ignorant and foolish you sound.

Do I need to comment?

You have to at least suspect it - you at least have to have some degree of awareness of how absurd it is - how insane - what it is you're saying sounds - and truly is. It's like the worst comic book in the history of man. It's the worst comic book that your position is.
I'm not sure what he means. The hosts' positions on these topics either either supported by the science/evidence, or their position is "unknown.". That's not absurd. That's rational.

So far he's had zero salient objections. He is either staggeringly ignorant of the facts, embarrassingly wrong on the hosts' positions, or conjuring objections that are flooded by easily identifiable standard logical fallacies.

Particles, gravity out of nowhere, Earth out of nowhere, laws out of nowhere, intelligence out of nowhere, intelligent life forms out of nowhere, out of nothing, out of things that just happened to be around at the time - so on, so on, so on - it is lunacy!  
And just to make sure we're well aware of his utter cluelessness about even the basics of the conversation that he was responding to, let's go one more round!

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