Arguments for a possibly deist god

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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Tue May 07, 2013 10:26 pm

Lausten wrote:
Nearly Sane wrote:There simply is no answer to this

I vaguely remember WL Craig combining first cause with the morality argument and then he piled on some historical evidence. I think it was in his debate with Harris. It went sort of, well, there must be a god because I can't understand all that physics stuff and if something is infinite or has always been there then it must also be intelligent because, well just because.

So, here we are and we can think, which means something must have told us what to think because if we just came from rocks then we'd be no smarter than rocks or at least we couldn't have any rational reason to claim that we are. And out of all the religions in the world, Christianity is doing much better, it's the one that is in charge of the "good" countries, not those nasty communist ones, and we got the 10 commandments and the golden rule and that's working out, so we must have come from the original first cause, see?

And the Bible says so.

Yeah, this is specifically what I had in mind. Craig here completely dismisses the possibility that the first cause god does not interfere. He completely dismisses the possibility that the first cause god did interfere on Earth to humans, but all records of it have been lost, or the records are some obscure documents sitting in some library or something somewhere. Craig also completely dismisses that the first cause god really cares about the aliens of Rigel 7, and doesn't give a flip about the accidental life on Earth. The first cause god argument just doesn't help advance the argument for a christian god at all.

I've seen some of those debates with Craig - I forget if it was in the one with Harris. Craig wastes his entire speech on first cause god arguments, and right at the end makes some little stupid argument that the historical evidence for Jesus is good, such as the tired "people would not die for a lie" argument, and "Christianity spread so much faster than any other religion" argument.
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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby NearlySane » Wed May 08, 2013 7:04 am

EnlightenmentLiberal wrote:Yeah, this is specifically what I had in mind. Craig here completely dismisses the possibility that the first cause god does not interfere. He completely dismisses the possibility that the first cause god did interfere on Earth to humans, but all records of it have been lost, or the records are some obscure documents sitting in some library or something somewhere. Craig also completely dismisses that the first cause god really cares about the aliens of Rigel 7, and doesn't give a flip about the accidental life on Earth. The first cause god argument just doesn't help advance the argument for a christian god at all.

I've seen some of those debates with Craig - I forget if it was in the one with Harris. Craig wastes his entire speech on first cause god arguments, and right at the end makes some little stupid argument that the historical evidence for Jesus is good, such as the tired "people would not die for a lie" argument, and "Christianity spread so much faster than any other religion" argument.



The man is stuffed to bursting with sophistry and believers swallow it up for confirmation bias. An interfering God is indistinguishable from a non-interfering God, and to pander to historical evidence (which is naturalistic) and shite arguments (such as survivorship bias) pertaining to the Christian God being more probable than other possible Gods is just bad philosophy at a basic level. A philosophical "heavyweight" would know this.

Regarding the historical evidence of Jesus, in the past when arguing with Christians, I've even gone as far as to say that I'll hypothetically accept that all the stories of Jesus are true, minus him being God/son of God. I've then even gone on to say that the explanation which allows these stories to be true is that the natural laws have changed. It's for the Christian to then show that a God, and specifically their God, is behind those laws being changed. I've never had an answer that wasn't circular.
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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby Lausten » Wed May 08, 2013 6:52 pm

http://freethoughtblogs.com/reasonabledoubts/2013/04/19/episode-113-the-myth-of-martyrdom-part-1-with-guest-candida-moss/
Reasonable Doubts is doing a 3 part podcast on "die for a lie". Part 1 has an interesting sounding book.

Richard Carrier does a good job of addressing how Christianity spread in "Not the Impossible Faith". It's not so surprising after all, and it took hundreds of years. There was a growing trend toward the more personal god and Christianity was there at the right time, with the right ingredients. Some of it was luck, like how they included women in leadership roles. There was a lot of fighting going on at the time, so religions were competing with the military for leaders.

People like WL Craig rely on an audience that accepts the received history of the story line of Jesus as truth. Sad, since his source has 4 versions of that story. Without even counting the non-canonical texts, we are shown that there were competing sects from the beginning. These coalesced into the Roman Catholic Church. But we're supposed to believe, from each sect, that it is the other way around, that there is just one story, and history has corrupted it and they know the one true story.
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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Wed May 08, 2013 8:09 pm

NearlySane wrote:The man is stuffed to bursting with sophistry and believers swallow it up for confirmation bias. An interfering God is indistinguishable from a non-interfering God, and to pander to historical evidence (which is naturalistic) and shite arguments (such as survivorship bias) pertaining to the Christian God being more probable than other possible Gods is just bad philosophy at a basic level. A philosophical "heavyweight" would know this.

Regarding the historical evidence of Jesus, in the past when arguing with Christians, I've even gone as far as to say that I'll hypothetically accept that all the stories of Jesus are true, minus him being God/son of God. I've then even gone on to say that the explanation which allows these stories to be true is that the natural laws have changed. It's for the Christian to then show that a God, and specifically their God, is behind those laws being changed. I've never had an answer that wasn't circular.


On Craig's forums and elsewhere, I had fun where I said I would sooner accept that Jesus was a goa'uld or a servant of a goa'uld.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goa%27uld
Aliens with advanced tech at least have precedents in my experience. Whereas I have no prior experience of magic beings outside of spacetime or some such doing things I can actually observe, like rising from the dead. For the most part, the tricks that Jesus did could easily be replicated by goa'uld level tech.

I think this is similar to what you said where you wouldn't accept the christian god offhand even if they could demonstrate the purported "miracles". Same here. The other example I used is stage magic, like Penn And Teller. They have several "magics" that I have no clue how they do it offhand, and other magicians as well. However, the sane conclusion isn't that they can break physics. The sane conclusion is that they just happen to know some tricks and techniques that I do not. You might be able to change water into wine, or produce fish and bread from nowhere. Production tricks are well known with technology no more advanced than available to Jesus (if he existed).

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke.
"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!" - Genius Girl Webcomic.
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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby Underlings » Thu May 09, 2013 12:25 am

Theists tend to idolize William Lane Craig and his version of the Kalam Cosmological Argument. My preferred technique is to show how each claim of the KCA can't be stated as fact because there are legitimate questions to each of its premises. And if the premises can't be claimed, then neither can the conclusions. I made a video arguing against every step of the KCA:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ax27g5ZKa-w

But I also wanted to come up with a much shorter, easier-to-grasp evisceration of the KCA, so I came up with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OriymDihU3w

However, an even simpler solution is to insert the word "natural" into the first premise of the KCA, which makes the premise more accurate and eliminates the God conclusion right away:

P1: Everything that begins to exist has a NATURAL cause for its existence....
"Eve, stop! That's not a salad...it's my laundry!"
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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby EnlightenmentLiberal » Thu May 09, 2013 7:07 pm

EnlightenmentLiberal wrote:I think this is similar to what you said where you wouldn't accept the christian god offhand even if they could demonstrate the purported "miracles". Same here.
I need to clarify. I could possibly accept that Jesus is a creature that could break physics by will alone, but the purported miracles in the bible are woefully insufficient. I'd rather he start predicting seemingly random quantum fluctuations while halfway across the world. I want him to teleport ala Star Trek, or at least send a signal faster than light. I want him to replicate stuff ala Star Trek. All under laboratory conditions. Of course, I'm thinking small. Why not have every single animal on the planet start making noises together to do a Bach symphony? All of this would be a great start, as opposed to tricks that I would expect to see from any professional stage magician, or stories that could be easily fabricated or otherwise invented.
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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby NearlySane » Fri May 10, 2013 6:49 am

EnlightenmentLiberal wrote:
EnlightenmentLiberal wrote:I think this is similar to what you said where you wouldn't accept the christian god offhand even if they could demonstrate the purported "miracles". Same here.
I need to clarify. I could possibly accept that Jesus is a creature that could break physics by will alone, but the purported miracles in the bible are woefully insufficient. I'd rather he start predicting seemingly random quantum fluctuations while halfway across the world. I want him to teleport ala Star Trek, or at least send a signal faster than light. I want him to replicate stuff ala Star Trek. All under laboratory conditions. Of course, I'm thinking small. Why not have every single animal on the planet start making noises together to do a Bach symphony? All of this would be a great start, as opposed to tricks that I would expect to see from any professional stage magician, or stories that could be easily fabricated or otherwise invented.


I don't care what he does. If it's an event that occurs in the natural world then there is going to be a natural explanation. God comes in as the explanation behind the natural explanation, which is beyond our perception. There is no red pill or vortex for Homer to turn 3D and enter our world. Jesus is just Matt Groening drawing himself into the Simpson world, and then using the Simpson world to show he exists outside of it. Epic fail.
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Re: Arguments for a possibly deist god

Postby dobbie » Fri May 10, 2013 6:58 pm

Underlings wrote: P1: Everything that begins to exist has a NATURAL cause for its existence....


Would it be better if it said, "Everything that begins to form has a natural cause for its formation"?

Or do I look too closely at the semantics? I mean, when has anyone observed that something began to exist--as opposed to something began to take form out of pre-existing material? Thus, in a strict sense, either "exist" or "form" is meant. "Begin to exist" suggests to me that something can come from no pre-existing material (matter or energy) at all.

So, if you ask me, the premise meaning is loaded in that regard.

It's an aside, but some Bible editors suggest that God made the world and cosmos out of pre-existing material--and therefore the Bible is moot on creation out of nothing. These translators say that "When God began to form the heavens and the earth ..." in Genesis.

Anyway, perhaps I nit pick things about the words "exist" and "form" in the premise?
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