Sunday, August 1, 2010

Panache! (no substitute for evidence)

Some Atheistic Arguments Answered
By Wayne Jackson
(http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/405-some-atheistic-arguments-answered)

"In establishing the case for the existence of God, we attempt to present clear reasoning that will lead to a rational conclusion, namely, that the universe, mankind, etc., are not self-explanatory. Rather, logical minds must conclude that a Supreme Being exists. In our approach, we are affirming a proposition for which positive evidence exists."

We have our main points, 'Case for the existence of God', 'Clear reasoning' and 'rational conclusion'. That rational conclusion being that a Supreme Being exists!

I'm not sure of the significance of the 'self-explanatory' bit is though? Is a rock self-explanatory? I think that this might be a bit of rhetoric, implying that atheist 'doctrine' is that the Universe is self-explanatory, perhaps.

"Atheism, on the other hand, is a totally negative system."

I think that this 'point' would be just as good a place for old Wayne to tell us 'case closed' and be done with it, as any other point, but we'll move along.

" It denies much and affirms nothing."

Atheists deny the existence of gods and that's that. What Wayne seems to want is an affirmation of God.

" It robs one of hope and offers emptiness in exchange,..."

As an atheist, I'm hopeful of different things, but once again Wayne seems to be thinking of some kind of 'fullness' which he feels that only God can offer.

".. asserting that there is no transcendent Cause for the universe, and that man is a fortuitous combination of molecules."

Sounds bad for atheists until you 'remember' that he's just defining atheists at this point, painting them in a dismal light.

" Morality does not exist..."

Ahh, now a lie, an outright barefaced lie.

".., or if it does, man, as his own god, determines its nature."

Followed by other horn of a false dilemma. Apparently there either is no morality OR man is 'being god'. Certainly men determine the nature of morality, but Wayne slips in that we need to be in 'god mode' to do it. He sets it up that Either God defines morality or 'man in god mode' defines morality, distancing morality from being a set of customs for the benefit of society.

"Atheism is a philosophical system of contradiction and confusion."

Bold statement. How does 'There are no gods.', become this system of confusion etc.?

" Atheists do, however, attempt to argue their case."

I thought Wayne said that he was going to prove his case. Now he seems to be taking his 'case' as a 'given', 'proven'?

"In this article, we will analyze two of the popular arguments employed in defense of atheism."

Wow, Wayne is setting his bar as low as he can go here, proving to his own satisfaction that a couple of atheist 'attempts to argue their case' don't measure up to his standards.

"Non-Design Negates God?"

Atheist, we 'hear' in this three and a half word sentence attempt to disprove the tautology of 'Designer therefore design, design therefore designer.'

"In contending for the existence of God, theists utilize the design argument, which postulates that where there is purposeful design, there must be a designer."

Panache anyone? I feel as if I'm being panache-pied in the face with all this 'contending' and 'utilizing' and 'postulating' of a silly 'definition' argument(purposeful design implies designer).

"That this type of reasoning is valid is not in doubt,..."

Rolling on the floor, laughing my fucking ass off. A word game, 'design' therefore 'designer'.

" especially for those who respect the authority of the Scriptures (which an atheist obviously would not)"

Paint your opponents as disrespectful and anti-authoritarian, WHILE painting the Bible AS a respected authority! (double whammy)

".., since it is employed by an inspired writer. Paul, in his epistle to the Roman saints, declared:
For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse (1:20)."

But this is an appeal to authority and hardly the logical evidence that Wayne was touting earlier.

"Thus, we may argue logically:
Premise #1: If the universe evinces purposeful design, there must have been a designer. "

Indeed if anything at all 'evinces' purposeful design, it must, BY DEFINITION have a designer. But you are simply posing the question AS the answer.

"Premise #2: The universe does evince purposeful design."

No, it doesn't.

"Conclusion: Thus, the universe must have had a Designer."

Wayne is simply repeating the word game, 'purposefully designed things have a designer', when the question of whether the universe IS designed IS the question. No God, no design.

"The basic point of contention, from the atheistic vantage point, would be the minor premise."

PANACHE alert! Waynes couches his second premise as 'minor', as if we've already proven from the tautology, "Purposefully designed things have a designer!", that the Universe IS purposefully designed!

" The infidel denies that the universe reveals purposeful design."

More panache! 'The infidel' no less! What a joke. And of course he finally reaches the nub of the argument. No, Wayne, you don't 'get away with' saying that there must be a design because there's a God, and there must be a God because the Universe is designed by HIM, and try to pawn that off as logical evidence.

"He feels that he can reverse the argument and make his point against the existence of God."

Why would anyone feel the need to reverse this circular argument?

" He would reason (incorrectly) as follows:
Premise #1: If the universe evinces traits of non-design, there is no Designer.
Premise #2: The universe does evince non-design.
Conclusion: Thus, the universe had no Designer."

What? Why would any atheist try to reverse a circular argument?

"The atheist’s argument is invalid for several reasons."

I'm thinking that Wayne has said 'atheist' when he's meaning 'straw man' here.

"In arguing our case for design, we are not obligated to show obvious design in every single feature of the universe."

Wayne wasn't obligated to write any of this drivel. Looking at some exact opposite ludricous point of view and claiming that this is(must be?) what atheists think is devious because Christians are likely to agree that Wayne's 'opposite' argument must be what 'the atheist' thinks, and we can all laugh at 'the atheist's' silly point of view now.

"We need only a reasonable number of sufficient evidences to establish design, hence, a Designer."

We haven't been exposed to ONE in this monologue.

" Here are two vital principles that must be kept in view:
It is possible that an object possesses purposeful design but that its design is not recognized by the observer. "

Are we down to asking ourselves if it's 'possible' that there 'might' be a God now?

"It is possible that an object once clearly reflected purposeful design, but that through the process of degeneration, its obvious design has been erased. "

Wow! Wayne seems to be readying an escape hatch against any evidence of anything that, if designed, are BADLY designed!

But, there was truck-loads of panache, and disdain. Not so much 'proof' though. No doubt 'faith' steps in to pose as 'proof' later in Wayne's "Case for the Existence of God!"

16 comments:

GearHedEd said...

This:

"Thus, we may argue logically:
Premise #1: If the universe evinces purposeful design, there must have been a designer."

Is First-Order question-begging: There's a premise AND a conclusion contained here.

pboyfloyd said...

Yea Ed, I love the way that old Wayne is saying, "Even if you can show me how the Universe may not look very designed, simply by saying that there might be reasons for a non-designed 'look', we win again, so you guys LOSE, ANYWAYS, HAH!"

Heads Wayne wins, tails atheists lose!

There has to be something a little less than logical and reasonable going on here than Wayne is leading us to imagine for all his boasting about 'reasonable' conclusions.

I don't think the Universe works in the way that says, "My argument wins and even your attempts to refute my argument PROVE my argument!", which is a round about way of saying that 'there's a God, who designed the Universe because WE SAY SO, AND THAT IS THAT!', on the theory that 'the more you struggle the tighter the noose grips your neck'.

pboyfloyd said...

I think that this is a typical 'both sides against the middle' theist argument, really.

I love the one where on the one hand God must exist because, look how wonderful and marvelous we are, and on the other hand God must exist to provide moral laws and such 'cos we are a bunch of FUCKIN' ARSEHOLES!

AHAHAHAHA! You can't win against these peeps.

GearHedEd said...

That entire article was a huge load of stoopid.

For example:

"The atheist argues: “What builder would construct a house with five rooms, only one of which could be inhabited? Such argues for very poor design.”"

That's one I never heard until just now.

Wayne says'

"We live in a huge universe, the diameter of which is estimated to be twenty billion light-years (i.e., the distance it would take light to travel across it at the rate of 186,000 miles per second)."

Nope. Wrong again.

"The edge of the observable universe is now located about 46.5 billion light-years away, giving an observable diameter of 93 billion light-years.[1]"

Observable Universe

Much of the rest is argument predicated on humans being the reason for anything to exist, blanket denials without argument or supported by quotes from the Apostle Paul as an "authority", and appeal to design without showing that anything really IS designed.

What a fossil that guy is.

GearHedEd said...

It's a good thing for his audience that he doesn't allow comments attached to the article...

GearHedEd said...

More:

"The atheist argues: “What builder would construct a house with five rooms, only one of which could be inhabited? Such argues for very poor design.”"

That's one I never heard until just now.

But there IS a variation on that that he didn't use, presumably because it makes sense, and his version paints atheists as stupid:

“What builder would construct a UNIVERSE with untold BILLIONS AND BILLIONS (thanks, Carl!) of planets, only one of which IS inhabited? Such argues for very WASTEFUL design.”"

I myself have made that argument, to Eric (and Harry, when he was still "oneblood") even. And he didn't have a good response to that, either (it was in Brian's "The Pastor Warren Dilemma" thread):

"Really, folks.

Humanity is a bunch of petty, squabbling losers on a tiny speck of dust revolving around an ordinary star out of hundreds of billions (that's at least 11 zeros, kiddies!)of stars in a remote corner of a completely ordinary galaxy among hundreds of BILLIONS (that's at least 11 MORE zeros, kiddies!) of galaxies in the universe. That we might be the excuse for all that is astonishingly conceited, at best, and the notion that the Creator of the Universe gives even the tiniest crap about us is utter nonsense.

Perspective

December 30, 2008 6:32 PM

GearHedEd said...

Eric's response was:

"Gear, there's no way to move logically from some physical observation (e.g. size comparisons, 'one among many' evaluations, composition, etc.) to a conclusion about significance or importance. You simply can't squeeze out the conclusion "Human beings are unimportant, insignificant, etc." from premises about how small we are compared with X, how short our lifespans are compared with the age of the universe, how there are 1x10^80 (or so) atoms in the universe, how there are 100,000,000,000,000 galaxies in the universe, etc.

Here's an intuition pump that may help clarify the issue: what would be more 'significant': the discovery of the 'largest' astronomical object ever observed, or the discovery of a microscopic organism on some distant, 'ordinary' planet? Now imagine how much more 'significant' the discovery of life becomes, and how increasingly 'insignificant' the discovery of the large object becomes, as we move from microscopic life, to sentient life, to intelligent life...

December 30, 2008 9:03 PM"

We may not be able to LOGICALLY make the leap, but intuition can inform the thought here, where logic fails.

"...Now imagine how much more 'significant' the discovery of life becomes, and how increasingly 'insignificant' the discovery of the large object becomes, as we move from microscopic life, to sentient life, to intelligent life..."

And how ORDINARY and COMMONPLACE we would be, if we began discovering life everywhere we looked?

THIS is the theologian's nightmare: that we're not UNIQUE and SPECIAL to the creator of the universe. And if there were proved aliens visiting us with their FTL UFO's, they would HAVE to be better endowed mentally and technologically than we are, which again says "we're NOT the pinnacle of creation".

pboyfloyd said...

Indeed, the 'pinnacle of creation' AND damned by God's LAW in need of salvation.

GearHedEd said...

Yup.

Another helping of cognitive dissonance, please.

pboyfloyd said...

I cringed at the Parable of the ant.

WOW! Talk about self-fulfilling stoopid.

They set the scene with a 'creature' as far below us as we are to God. God is replaced by a plausible figure, the railroad boss.(there must be a railroad boss, right?)

The atheist is replaced by a talking ant!

Talking ants discuss the use of the rails and ant basically challenges a train to be sent out to crush him, proving in a Christian's mind that, obviously big railroad boss(GOD) isn't about to heed challenges from ants(atheists).

This is brilliant.

God is equated with a character who could be expected to reasonably exist, which is the opposite of what an actual atheist thinks, so it already misses every atheist's point of view.

Atheists are equated with talking ants, insignificant little bugs which, while there are actually ants, there are no TALKING ants.

In the parable it's the representative of the atheist who is taking on the 'magical' or unrealistic attributes to demonstrate the reasonableness of GOD, who is given a very reasonable persona.

The best part of the trick is that, since Christians believe that God DOES exist and that humans ARE(or at least atheists are) like ants compared to him, the parable will 'ring true' for them!

Very nice word games, very nice illusion.

GearHedEd said...

I'm guessing that he forgot to realize that Christians are just ants that believe different stuff, but still ants too.

This could explain why prayers don't get answered...

mac said...

I think he falls into the trap of thinking he sees design.
He then assumes because it seems designed to him, that it must be so. If it mus be designed, there must be a designer.


Circular indeed !

pboyfloyd said...

Yea. Just because we are good at seeing patterns and structure doesn't mean that we are seeing patterns made my a 'mind' or structure made by a 'mind'.

The word 'design' is so general, involving pattern and structure, that the design argument itself is designed to be 'unassailable' and simply a matter of opinion which God-believers will agree with.

"Do you see design, do you see a pattern, do you see structure?"

Well of course you do, otherwise we wouldn't be here, it'd all be chaos if there were no observable patterns or structure.

But we CAN see design that WASN'T made by any designer. Natural bridges, off the top of my head, made by the wind.

Harry C Pharisee said...

Good god where do you pick this stuff up at?

I ain't the 'quickest of cats at the best of times' but that was easy pickins.

Congrats. I guess.

Harry C Pharisee said...

Atheism being a "negative system(?)," that made me smile.

I wonder how often I negate myself in two words?

B.R. said...

Very entertaining post, y'all. Gear, I didn't get around to it today, but I plan to have some Lovecraft stuff on my blog tomorrow.