Craig vs Krauss

A place for discussion and feedback regarding the Non-Prophets podcast and/or the Atheist Experience TV show.

Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:54 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b8t70_c8eE

I've watched the second of the three debates. I'm working on part 1 now. Is it just me, or is Krauss an ass in these? He did not handle himself well. And this is in comparison to Criag.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:15 am

Halfway through part one. That was an amazing film documentary that Craig is a lying bastard.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby dobbie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:45 pm

I considered it unnecessary rhetoric for [part 1 @24:00] L. Krauss to complain about W.L. Craig as if he were similar to "George Bush."

I agree with W.L. Craig that L. Krauss often "equivocates" when L. Krauss uses language such as the word "nothing." L. Krauss needs to work on making the term clear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b8t70_c8eE
Life, the Universe and Nothing: Has science buried God? 1/3
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby dobbie » Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:55 pm

I must say that (regarding part 1) this is the worst speech W.L. Craig has ever made. He seems to have gone the way of the likes of Eric Hovind and Ray Comfort.

For one thing, Bible interpreters, such as W.L. Craig, say that God created the cosmos out of nothing. But other Bible interpreters say that the Bible doesn't support the notion, and that there existed some kind of basic material beforehand.

And still others say that the Bible supports the notion that the cosmos was created out of a previous one, which the Devil had destroyed in a war against God.

Thus, there's no reliable talk in the Bible to show that God started from nothing, to make the world and stars.

W.L. Craig represents one view, one interpretation of Genesis. Yet he doesn't tell us that there are the two other interpretations. Or even that a fourth religious view says that Genesis creation is just a myth and shouldn't to be taken in a literal sense in any respect.

Nor doesn't the Bible say anywhere that God started the cosmos from a little point and stretched it out from there. Or took millions of years to make the first stars. And so on and so forth. By the way, most so-called pagan creation myths say that the world and stars had a beginning, and that they were made from either nothing or chaos, anyway. So the Bible is hardly unique in that respect. In fact the Big Bang theory itself doesn't say the cosmos came from nothing! So W.L. Craig is out of luck.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:41 am

"Or even that a fourth religious view says that Genesis creation is just a myth and shouldn't to be taken in a literal sense in any respect. "

Lol, of course. Craig says that big bang cosmology proves Jesus because Genesis, but Genesis is entirely incompatible with big bang cosmology. Only if you reduce it down to half a sentence blurb "Christian god creates everything" can that possibly follow. Thank you for reminding me about that.

Also thank you for reminding me that the bible does talk about a spatial void before the Christian god's creation. Good call there too.

I finished part 1. Krauss was less of an ass. Through most of part 2 Krauss was even worse. I mean, I'm ok with calling a liar when he lied, so I love that bit, but during the discussion in part 2 I felt it was not handled well. Probably making a mountain out of a molehill. Meh.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby dobbie » Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:28 am

Moderator [part 1 @1:33:00]: "How can you [Craig] be so sure about the will of God?"

Craig: "Well, I don't claim that I am so sure about these things."

Well, at last we've cut to the chase. But the deal is, he didn't say it until the moderator asked it! He didn't share it until he was questioned on it.

It's plain he has his views on religious stuff. But who doesn't?! So it's just an exercise in relative points of view!

Yes, he goes on to say that he has an ethical theory about God's behavior which, he goes on to say, is supposed to make a good deal of sense. That's the juncture at which his luck runs out. Namely, I, for one, don't think he makes a good deal of sense. Typical of W.L. Craig's way, however, he tells us he makes reasonable sense, he doesn't ask us.

Meanwhile, others don't consider his views make a lot of sense, and I've read on the web that those others include some Christians. It's a case of Christian versus Christian. So it sounds to me that W.L. Craig's so-called moral objectivity has gone south. He states [@1:34:00] that it's even possible his view fails! Well, I say he could've been more forthcoming. He should've said it at the outset of the debate.
Last edited by dobbie on Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby dobbie » Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:04 am

W.L. Craig: [@1:40:15] "Science didn't arise in the Orient."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-b8t70_c8eE#t=6015

Huh? Did I miss something there? It sure sounded to me that he meant to assert that there wasn't any science in the Orient until Western science.

Web:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_science_and_technology_in_China
"Ancient Chinese scientists, mathematicians and doctors made significant advances in science, technology, mathematics, and astronomy. Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine were also developed through empirical observation and scientific experimentation. Among the earliest inventions were the abacus, the 'shadow clock,' and the first items such as Kongming lanterns. The Four Great Inventions: the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing, were among the most important technological advances, only known in Europe by the end of the Middle Ages 1000 years later."

Did I misunderstand the guy? He was talking about this planet, wasn't he?
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:19 am

It's a kind of No True Scotsman. Informal science has existed as long as there have been neurons. It's just slowly been refined over time.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:20 am

In part 1.

~glares at Krauss for falsely conflating science with humanism~

Ugg, but seriously. This turned into a debate over morality, and both sides are retarded.

I don't mean this as needless flattery, but I really do find Matt Dillahunty to be the best speaker on this topic, hands down. He's right that every debate eventually goes to morality, and he does it well. Why can most people not recognize that it's an axiomatic value that we should value the well-being of conscious creatures? I give Sam Harris almost equal credit, but his presentation is IMHO a bit bit worse on the core "doctrine". He's not clear enough that valuing well-being (humanism) is just as groundless as valuing evidence and truth (science). Too many people have been indoctrinated with Hume's is-ought distinction (which is right) plus the belief that science is objective and morality is not (which is just false). Either science and humanism can both be "objective", or neither is "objective", under any reasonable definition of objective you can use.

Then, we shouldn't care what the insane say (those who deny science), and we shouldn't care what the sociopaths say (those who deny humanism). There is no more reason to give them credence than the man who says that he is the center of the universe and the rest of us are figments of his imagination.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:52 am

You're so close Krauss to making the good argument. So close. You were almost using the (good) terminology of logical positivists. You asked "what does it mean" (or something close). You almost got to asking "You argue that there can not be objective morality without god. What would a world without god look like? How would the world be different if there was no objective morality? Would it look different? How could you tell which world you were in?" There is no answer to that question. That's why the term "objective morality" as used by Craig is simply meaningless.

PRATT warning

In other words, Craig's argument relies on a conflation of the several meanings of "realism", "objective", and "absolute".

"Realism" is defined only in the context of science. "Realism" itself is rather ill-defined. We can talk about how things might be different, and what observable differences that might make, but that's as far as "realism" is meaningful.

"Objective" can mean that the truth of an objective statement is derivable from the truth of other, more basic, statements.

"Objective" can mean that the values and process leads to the same conclusion for every reasonable practitioner. Judging football is objective. Judging figure skating is not. Science is objective.

"Objective" can be a synonym for "realism".

"Absolute" can describe a measure. An absolute measuring system is one in which there is an unambiguous "better" or "greater". Perhaps it implies a total ordering, or perhaps it implies only a partial ordering.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_order
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partially_ordered_set
For example, someone who is a cultural relativist does not have an absolute morality.

"Absolute" can be a synonym for any of the above senses of "objective" and "realism".

Each of those different sense are important, and they are not the same. It is coherent to talk about a system with a "greater than" comparison which is derived from more basic values, and another which is not derived from more basic values. It is coherent to talk about such systems which can be used to come to universal agreement like judging football, and those which have ambiguity, such as judging figure skating. We can talk about systems with a "greater than" based on (scientific) realism, such as "longer than", and those not based on scientific realism, such as any morality with a "better than" comparison.

The morality of Craig is not realism, despite his protestations to the contrary. It is objective in the sense that it can be derived from more basic values, but only if you allow the silly option of breaking Hume's is-ought distinction. It is not objective in the sense of realism. It is objective in the sense that the values and process lead to the same conclusion for everyone who adopts those values and uses that process. It is not absolute in the sense of realism. It is absolute in the sense that we can say that some things are better than other things.

My morality of humanism is not realism, nor objective in the sense of realism, nor absolute in the sense of realism. My morality is not objective in the sense that I derive it from other, more basic, value or statements. (I do not break Hume's is-ought distinction.) It Is objective in the sense that every practitioner arrives at the same conclusion, and it is absolute in the sense that some things are better than others under the system.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:22 am

In a nutshell, Craig's argument against consequentialism: [i]Imagine a hypothetical situation where raping an innocent young girl would directly bring about world peace, end world hunger, and bring contentment and happiness everywhere. On consequentialism, it would be morally obligatory to rape the girl. Thus, consequentialism is bad."

Now, if you flesh that argument out a bit, it looks like: [i]Imagine a hypothetical situation where raping an innocent young girl would directly bring about world peace, end world hunger, and bring contentment and happiness everywhere. On consequentialism, it would be morally obligatory to rape the girl. Thus, if people adopted consequentialism, the consequences would be that (more) little girls would be raped. Thus the consequences of consequentialism are bad. Thus, consequentialism is bad."
Talk about hypocritical and inconsistent.

Furthermore, the original argument is bullshit. It's not an argument against consequentialism. It's an argument against a particular brand of utilitarianism. There is nothing in consequentialism which says "the good of the many outweighs the good of the few". This is a naive distortion of consequentialism. Part of the consequences of raping that little girl is that the girl will be raped. That's part of the consequences. Her pain and suffering are part of the consequences.

Even under the completely contrived scenario that this rape will somehow result in a world where even she is happy and has no lasting suffering, the rape still happened, and the suffering was still endured. This seems to be predicated on the value of valuing only the final configuration, not the path to get there. This is a very common failure of the religious mind. No matter what I do, the world ends in heat death. Nothing I do will make a practical difference in the end. However, it changes the path to the end. Some of those paths are better. My temporary happiness has value, even thought it will end. Equivalently, even if the path of raping the little girl ends with perfect happiness and well-being for everyone including the little girl, it is fallacious to say that only the end matters. It also matters how we got there, and any suffering along the path.

The problem also is that this is a completely contrived scenario. Most moral scenarios are not zero-sum games. Most of the time, to help yourself is to help your neighbor.

Finally, it's a fallacious appeal to emotions. Let me contrive a scenario. Aliens come to Earth, and present compelling evidence that they're fuckwits who fuck with alien planets. They offer me compelling evidence that if I play along with their game, they'll leave me and the rest of humanity alone after their game, but if I refuse to play they'll torture everyone on the planet in the worst ways possible. Their game is rape a little girl or else. Yes, in that case, based on the consequences, you should do so. It's a completely contrived scenario with no relevance to real moral questions, but fuck Craig's fallacious emotional appeal It's emotional blackmail in argument form. It's asking "You wouldn't rape a little girl, would you?". Just ugg.

tl;dr Obviously we decide our actions based on the likely consequences. It doesn't include only the happiness and suffering "at the end". It must include temporary suffering and well-being along the way, because all suffering and well-being is temporary. How do you decide when the good of the many outweigh the good of the few? You can adopt a utilitarian approach, or you can adopt a rule-based approach. Both are consistent with consequentialism. Finally, many real moral problems do not involve the good of the many vs the good of the few tradeoffs. Many moral problems are not zero-sum games.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby dobbie » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:36 pm

EL wrote: Craig's argument against consequentialism: Imagine a hypothetical situation where raping an innocent young girl would directly bring about world peace, end world hunger, and bring contentment and happiness everywhere. On consequentialism, it would be morally obligatory to rape the girl. Thus, consequentialism is bad."


I'll weigh in a bit, too. My favorite response to the argument is to ask whether the innocent young girl desires to be raped. If she answers No, then I can be free to say, Then I won't do it, because I don't wanna. And I let the world go to hell in a hand basket. I can see nothing immoral about my decision making there. It sounds a lot to me, too, like the argument in which that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. I question whether the argument is so safe.

It doesn't make proper sense to me, anyway. Because, I'm unable to imagine a situation such as that one. Namely, how it has arisen, how world peace is supposed to follow, and how happiness is guaranteed everywhere. I'm personally unable to imagine it, so the argument can't go the distance. That hypothetical amounts to an impractical consideration.

The trouble with W.L. Craig and his M.O. is that he so often speaks in generalities, remains in generalities, and his generalities are nebulous. When he finally dares to get down to a specific, he tends to get into trouble. For example a far-out scenario such as the one above. It doesn't fit well into real life. Not on this planet, anyway. As it seems, he nonetheless doesn't bother his head about it.
Last edited by dobbie on Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby dobbie » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:52 pm

Life, the Universe and Nothing: Why is there something?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V82uGzgoajI

L. Krauss: [@17:00] "When you think about nothing you have to be more careful than you normally are because nothing is a physical concept ...."


Me: He ... he ... has to be more careful. The "you" isn't me, or anybody else. The word "nothing" isn't the correct word to use, anyway. So he's taken hold of an unsuitable word there.

Further, I have to sit down for the part where he explains that nothing isn't nothing, anyway. But that it's a kind of nothing because there's something exotic in it.

I say if L. Krauss will simply stop misusing the word, the whole auditorium will become better off for it. He seems to have something against clarity of words there.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:38 am

Krauss just fundamentally ducks the question. I don't know if it's purposeful or not.

IMHO, it's just not a very interesting question. What possible use is it to know why there is something rather than nothing? I say "I don't know". Seems infinitely more honest than Craig's approach where you invent the concept of a "necessary being" in order to a solve this esoteric problem. It's special pleading at its finest.
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Re: Craig vs Krauss

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:28 am

part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b8t70_c8eE
Around 1:40:00

Well, that was miserable of Krauss. He didn't bother asking Craig what these "magical" presuppositions are which Christianity provides which science needs. That should of been amusing, but instead he let's it slide with only the barest of a rebuttal.

He also completely failed the obvious rebuttal. When Craig argues that the Gallop poll shows that there is no causation, that learning science does not make you more religious, and instead the correlation is explained in that people who are already not religious are drawn more to science, that plays entirely into our hands, but Krauss missed it completely. I mean, Craig handed that to you on a silver platter. "Thank you Dr. Craig. This has been my contention the entire time. Teaching religion to children poisons their minds and makes them unable to do science. Thank you for arguing the point for me."
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