Monday, July 27, 2015

More back & forth with Blake!

Blake amended his post with another response to me (scroll down for Part 2).  He's gone straight for the meat and I shall return the favor in kind!

Necessary Beings & Theism

Blake says:
"I wouldn’t quite try to get to theism from NBE; that’s too bold even for on overzealous apologist like me! The relevance of NBE to theism is that it was one of theism’s entailments. With NBE confirmed, theism is to some degree less risky now--there are fewer ways for it to go wrong. At least in type, confirming < NBE > is to < God exists > as confirming < aliens exist > is to < red aliens exist >. I don’t think atheism had any such entailment, but either way, this makes theism more modest than it otherwise would have been. In Bayesian terms, doing this plays an important role in boosting theism’s “intrinsic probability."
 I can agree somewhat, in that I think theism is more unlikely than pure naturalism, since theism is a very particular subset of "supernaturalism" which per our conversation before is simply the claim that the fundamental nature of reality is mental instead of physical. So yes, if you're going to do the Bayesian game, then I can see the relevance of this step, though it's very minimal compared to what you were doing in the debate (ie. I still have strong issues with the arguments about NBE being personal, etc).

Friday, July 24, 2015

A Counter-Counter-Reply to Blake Giunta

In my last post, I put up a review of the debate between Matt Dillahunty and Blake Giunta where I largely was responding to the arguments Blake was making.

Blake caught wind of this and in replying to me decided to put up his own response to me on his blog.  This caught me at a decent time and he was very kind in his reply to me, so I decided to answer some of his questions that he posed as well as to respond to some of the things he said.

 Jump below the fold for my response!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Debate Review: Matt Dillahunty vs. Blake Giunta

After hearing that Matt Dillahunty was debating Blake Giunta, I was excited to see a YouTube video  of the debate go up and had it on as background for work this morning. 

I happen to like Matt and I actually like when I’ve heard Blake on various atheist podcasts, like Dogma Debate. He certainly comes off far better than the majority of popular apologists I’m familiar with.

I was prodded from my Blog/Video slumber to put something up for this debate, so here we go.  Let’s start with Blake’s case.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Quickie on Catholic Apologetics

Followers of this blog will have noticed how sparse things have been lately.  Short story is that work is insane and I'm gearing up for a move.

However, while looking at Reddit this morning, I stumbled across a post on /r/TrueAtheism that caught my eye and I ended up typing a reply there that should be put up as a post of its own.

The post on Reddit references this blogpost by a Catholic that is arguing for god's existence.  Below is my response from Reddit:

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cheering for Justin Schieber

This weekend Justin Schieber of the Reasonable Doubts podcast is going to be debating Randal Rauser at the University of Alberta. 

These two fine gentlemen will be following up their debate the next day with a dialog on Belief and Doubt in the 21st Century.

Fortunately for those of us unable to travel that far, plans are to have at least audio, if not video of the debate and discussion available for public consumption online.  Hopefully it won't be long after the debate before it's available.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Quantum Eternity and Young Earth Creationists

Yesterday's post about scientific evidence that something material having always existed got some interesting reactions off site.

Eventually I came across this Q&A by William Lane Craig to attempt to answer what Sean Carroll called the Quantum Eternity Theorem.

Here's the first part that truly struck me:

"Saying that the time variable t runs from −∞ to +∞ just implies that quantum time evolution is information-preserving: “given the current quantum state, we can reliably reconstruct the past just as well as the future.” In other words, we can extrapolate from the present indefinitely into the past or future. This allows us to describe a moment prior to a given moment if there is such a moment; but in order to know whether there is such a moment we must look to empirical evidence. "
- William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith Q&A

This was very similar to an argument I got elsewhere that things like quantum mechanics don't really address whether or not material things were created or not, but rather describe "already existing systems".

This is part and parcel of how apologists will try to evade the kinds of points I brought up saying how we have some evidence that "something material has always existed".  It's effectively a way to insist that there is a metaphysical question that can't in fact be answered by any kind of scientific evidence.

In order to respond to this, it's very important to see exactly what the theist is claiming here.  As charitably as I can interpret them, it goes like this:

The material world is described by laws (or regularities) that make it look like it has always been there, if we assume those laws have always applied.  However, theism does not assume that those laws have always applied. Effectively there is no logical contradiction to believe that god created a universe that looks like it can't be created or destroyed once it exists.

So what are we to think of this?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Evidence that the Universe has Always Existed

This is a topic that comes up fairly often for me, given that the cosmological argument is what drew me into counter apologetics.  If you've followed my videos as well as the more prestigious debates on the topic, none of the information here is going to be new to you.

I've said before that both theists and atheists necessarily think that "something has always existed".  So long as you accept the axiom that "something can not come from nothing", you're going to be faced with the above conclusion.

Theists think a god has always existed.

Atheists (generally) think that something material has always existed.

What I wanted to do is provide the philosophical and scientific evidence that we have for the atheists conclusion.

Both the theist and the atheist agree that "something material" currently exists, and certainly theism is compatible with the idea that something material has also "always existed".  It is notable that the specific Christian dogma creation ex nihilo is not compatible, so they're going to have problems with the evidence I'm about to present.

So lets get to it.