Debate tonight

| 42 Comments

Sorry about the late notice, but we just heard about this from a commenter known as “eric”. Tonight, at 7:00 Central Standard Time (or 8:00 Eastern Standard Time), Sean Carroll will debate William Lane Craig on the subject, God and Cosmology. Professor Carroll is a physicist and cosmologist working on dark energy and dark matter at Caltech; Professor Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology and a well known Christian apologist. You may see their biographies at the link above.

The debate is part of a forum sponsored by the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. It will be streamed live here. Professor Carroll has announced the debate here. I may report on the debate after it is over, but I will leave comments open here in any case. The amnesty on certain trolls will not be extended, however.

42 Comments

Hooboy, WLC. His major argument goes something like this:

1 - Anything that begins to exist does so because it was caused. 2 - The Universe began to exist. 3 - Therefore God.

ksplawn said: Therefore God.

Ah, but which god? How can you prove whether it was Yahweh/Jehovah/Allah or Zeus Pater/Jupiter or Wotan/Odin or Vishnu/Shiva or Mumbo Jumbo Lord of the Congo or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Whose signature is really on the cell?

Seems to appeal (or maybe not appeal to it, but completely avoid answering about it when questioned) to the “finely-tuned universe” argument too, which I hate. If I win the mega-lottery (I hope I do!), I can’t turn around and say the mega-lottery was finely-tuned specifically for me to win it!

If any of you are interested, someone on YouTube just produced a 2 part documentary presenting popular theories that try to explain what happened before the Big Bang. The first part covers Loop Quantum Cosmology, and includes extended interviews with Abhay Ashtekar and Ivan Aguillo. The second part covers Conformal Cyclic Cosmology (CCC), and includes an extended interview with Roger Penrose.

In the second part, Penrose is asked about Craig’s misrepresentation of his work, and he clearly says that Craig is mistaken and that CCC implies a universe that is eternal into the past. Hopefully Carroll will correct him on that today.

ksplawn said:

Hooboy, WLC. His major argument goes something like this:

1 - Anything that begins to exist does so because it was caused. 2 - The Universe began to exist. 3 - Therefore God.

Your summary of WLC reminds me of arguments put forth on the PT BW by IBIG - “That which has a beginning, has a cause. That which has no beginning, has no cause, and is thus eternal. God is eternal, therefore God has no cause. Everything else in the entire universe has a beginning, so everything else has a cause. (Can you guess who the ‘Causer’ is?)”

This is my paraphrase of IBIG’s “Law of Cause and Effect”. Anything that exists before something else comes into existence, can be considered a ‘cause’ for that something, so he told us. If a Uranium-235 atom ‘decays’, at some indeterminant time, into daughter products including gamma rays, then the cause of those daughter products is the U-235 atom - never mind that there is no way to predict when any one given U-235 will ‘decay’. That atom caused the daughter products.

Based upon your statements, I infer that IBIG learned his “Law of Cause and Effect” from WLC.

Such is a mind on fundamentalism.

His major argument goes something like this:

1 - Anything that begins to exist does so because it was caused. 2 - The Universe began to exist. 3 - Therefore God.

Yes, that is a pretty good parody. I watched the entire debate, including the questions and answers, and I thought it got badly bogged down at times in abstruse discussions of whether certain theories of cosmogony were or were not unitary, or something like that. Most of the PowerPoint slides showed up very poorly, and I could not always tell what they were trying to show. Otherwise, it could have been a lot worse.

Craig certainly channeled Aquinas; one of his major arguments actually went something like this:

1. If the universe began to exist, then there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

2. The universe began to exist.

a. Evidence from the expansion of the universe.

b. Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Therefore, there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

Roughly, the argument from first cause, more pompously known as the cosmological argument, with frills. Craig calls it the kalam cosmological argument, but I have never seen any difference between the kalam cosmological argument and the argument from first cause. The standard argument from first cause is pretty easily refuted, and there is no reason to believe that the first cause is intelligent or godly or anything else. And never mind that it leads to an infinite regression.

Well anyway: Craig’s premise (1) contains an unstated assumption, so the reasoning seems decidedly circular. I could have written it this way:

1. If the universe began to exist, then it must have just popped into existence uncaused

2. The universe began to exist.

a. Evidence from the expansion of the universe.

b. Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Therefore, the universe popped into existence uncaused.

Carroll does not like to use the phrase “popped into existence,” but he is at a book signing right now.

prongs said:

Your summary of WLC reminds me of arguments put forth on the PT BW by IBIG - “That which has a beginning, has a cause. That which has no beginning, has no cause, and is thus eternal. God is eternal, therefore God has no cause. Everything else in the entire universe has a beginning, so everything else has a cause.

Or… maybe the universe is eternal, just cyclical, and maybe the universe causes God.

Or… maybe the universe spawning into existence is just the physical manifestation of God blowing himself up by trying the whole “immovable object meets irresistible force” trick, possibly while having one drink too many with his co-deities “Hey Shiva - hold my beer and watch this…”.

Waddya think, IBIG. Are my answers to “why the big bang and what came before?” any more or less plausible than your version? * How do we go about finding out?

Or maybe it’s totally realistic to say “It was billions of years ago and billions of miles away, and involved physical processes we can barely imagine, so we’re in no position to give a thorough answer to even ‘What exactly happened?’, much less ‘What came before?’. Still, the smoking crater and the way it matches what we do know about physics seems to give a much more probable answer than ‘First, God said ‘Poof’…’.” **

*Actually, I do know what happened because I was there - prove me wrong, IBIG.

**Just how the hell are you supposed to write quotes nested three deep? Where the hell do the question marks and periods go?

Please do not taunt the IBIG troll; I will not let it comment here.

Matt Young said:

Yes, that is a pretty good parody. I watched the entire debate, including the questions and answers, and I thought it got badly bogged down at times in abstruse discussions of whether certain theories of cosmogony were or were not unitary, or something like that. Most of the PowerPoint slides showed up very poorly, and I could not always tell what they were trying to show. Otherwise, it could have been a lot worse.

Craig certainly channeled Aquinas; one of his major arguments actually went something like this:

1. If the universe began to exist, then there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

2. The universe began to exist.

a. Evidence from the expansion of the universe.

b. Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Therefore, there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

Roughly, the argument from first cause, more pompously known as the cosmological argument, with frills. Craig calls it the kalam cosmological argument, but I have never seen any difference between the kalam cosmological argument and the argument from first cause. The standard argument from first cause is pretty easily refuted, and there is no reason to believe that the first cause is intelligent or godly or anything else. And never mind that it leads to an infinite regression.

Where he has elaborated on this argument, WLC does indeed try to argue that it must be an intelligent, unchanging, immaterial, yet also powerful AND personal God.

It sounds like Aquians because he he stole it too. The actual source of the argument is the Islamic philosopher Al-Kindi (as one can tell from the name kalam), but somehow in Craig’s version Allah doesn’t turn out to be the first cause.

Matt Young said:

His major argument goes something like this:

1 - Anything that begins to exist does so because it was caused. 2 - The Universe began to exist. 3 - Therefore God.

Yes, that is a pretty good parody. I watched the entire debate, including the questions and answers, and I thought it got badly bogged down at times in abstruse discussions of whether certain theories of cosmogony were or were not unitary, or something like that. Most of the PowerPoint slides showed up very poorly, and I could not always tell what they were trying to show. Otherwise, it could have been a lot worse.

Craig certainly channeled Aquinas; one of his major arguments actually went something like this:

1. If the universe began to exist, then there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

2. The universe began to exist.

a. Evidence from the expansion of the universe.

b. Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Therefore, there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

Roughly, the argument from first cause, more pompously known as the cosmological argument, with frills. Craig calls it the kalam cosmological argument, but I have never seen any difference between the kalam cosmological argument and the argument from first cause. The standard argument from first cause is pretty easily refuted, and there is no reason to believe that the first cause is intelligent or godly or anything else. And never mind that it leads to an infinite regression.

Well anyway: Craig’s premise (1) contains an unstated assumption, so the reasoning seems decidedly circular. I could have written it this way:

1. If the universe began to exist, then it must have just popped into existence uncaused

2. The universe began to exist.

a. Evidence from the expansion of the universe.

b. Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Therefore, the universe popped into existence uncaused.

Carroll does not like to use the phrase “popped into existence,” but he is at a book signing right now.

Has the video of this been posted somewhere?

Has the video of this been posted somewhere?

Apparently not - the link I gave above now sends the message, “This video is private.” I think they are selling DVD’s. Someone who can take shorthand faster than I can has posted a halfway decent synopsis here, though I do not think he has gotten it completely correct.

Helena Constantine said:

It sounds like Aquians because he he stole it too. The actual source of the argument is the Islamic philosopher Al-Kindi (as one can tell from the name kalam), but somehow in Craig’s version Allah doesn’t turn out to be the first cause.

Matt Young said:

His major argument goes something like this:

1 - Anything that begins to exist does so because it was caused. 2 - The Universe began to exist. 3 - Therefore God.

Yes, that is a pretty good parody. I watched the entire debate, including the questions and answers, and I thought it got badly bogged down at times in abstruse discussions of whether certain theories of cosmogony were or were not unitary, or something like that. Most of the PowerPoint slides showed up very poorly, and I could not always tell what they were trying to show. Otherwise, it could have been a lot worse.

Craig certainly channeled Aquinas; one of his major arguments actually went something like this:

1. If the universe began to exist, then there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

2. The universe began to exist.

a. Evidence from the expansion of the universe.

b. Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Therefore, there is a transcendent cause which brought the universe into existence.

Roughly, the argument from first cause, more pompously known as the cosmological argument, with frills. Craig calls it the kalam cosmological argument, but I have never seen any difference between the kalam cosmological argument and the argument from first cause. The standard argument from first cause is pretty easily refuted, and there is no reason to believe that the first cause is intelligent or godly or anything else. And never mind that it leads to an infinite regression.

Well anyway: Craig’s premise (1) contains an unstated assumption, so the reasoning seems decidedly circular. I could have written it this way:

1. If the universe began to exist, then it must have just popped into existence uncaused

2. The universe began to exist.

a. Evidence from the expansion of the universe.

b. Evidence from the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

3. Therefore, the universe popped into existence uncaused.

Carroll does not like to use the phrase “popped into existence,” but he is at a book signing right now.

I don’t have much interest in this debate. It seems that neither of them is endorsing politically/socially ideological science denial; that and the harm it does are my major concerns.

It does seem that Craig is using articulate but logically incorrect medieval arguments. A scholastic argument being borrowed from an Islamic source is most unsurprising.

This is an area in which you would have far greater expertise than me, even though it deals with a time period more recent than Late Antiquity, but I’ve always been interested in the number of “there must be some god at all” arguments present in scholastic philosophy.

I suppose it could be seen as a stepping stone “First let show that there is a god at all, and then later I’ll demonstrate that it must be the Christian God not a pagan god or the Islamic or Jewish interpretation of God”.

However, it also suggests to me that, despite the critical importance of the ritual side of religion to medieval society, there must have been a strong perception of a need to constantly argue against agnosticism.

Medieval people were certainly capable of thinking of the church as a potential vehicle for personal spirituality, while simultaneously satirizing it as massively corrupt.

For every superstitious claim about relics and so on, there seems to have been a coexisting great degree of skepticism. The skeptics seldom wrote their words down, for obvious reasons, but what is written seems to imply that their ideas were commonly expressed and tolerated in the sphere of everyday life.

Many scholastic churchmen themselves were highly skeptical and rational about superstitious beliefs, for that matter, even while never openly questioning official church dogma.

harold said:

I don’t have much interest in this debate. It seems that neither of them is endorsing politically/socially ideological science denial; that and the harm it does are my major concerns.

Perhaps not in THIS debate, but WLC is also in the camp of “correcting” homosexuality.

On the surface he seems to accept much of what mainstream psychology has to say about orientation and he does distinguish between sexual attraction and sexual behavior. So far so good, right? But then goes on to describe homosexual activity as self-destructive (based on claims that homosexual men are heavy drug users and extraordinarily promiscuous), asks if parents really want lesbians to coach their daughters in PE and if not that they should be able to pass laws banning homosexuals from certain jobs, and attacks the idea of homosexual unions as healthy relationships/family models worthy of state recognition. After going through the laundry list of myths and bigoted policy recommendations, he then advocates seeking “help” to reshape one’s orientation and live in a heterosexual relationship. Because that’s what God wants of us, according to the Bible and his own Apologetics.

Craig uses his cosmological argument as the keystone to his Apologetics, and the bigoted consequences thereof. By trying to establish the fundamentalist view of God as being philosophically correct versus any other shade of the more liberal, tolerant Christian schools of thought, he’s essentially using it as a bludgeon to beat back the tide of progress and equality in society. In some ways he’s more dangerous than Ken Ham because he at least sounds rational.

Oh yeah, and he’s a fellow at the DI.

Craig is also a source of many of the more “sophisticated” mischaracterizations of science. Pseudo-philosophical “arguments” making use of pseudoscience seems to have become the norm in the recent babblings over at UD, for example.

The top two “philosophers” of sectarian apologetics on the far Right appear to be Craig and Plantinga; and both of them use “reasoning” that even children find problematic.

With the total failures of “scientists” by the likes of Dembski, Behe, Abel, and Meyer, there will never be a science supporting a particular sectarian deity; so now they turn to “philosophy” and sneer at anyone who can’t follow them into the “stratospheres of their reasoning.”

I looked in on the debate for a while. As with nearly every debate with an ID/creationist, I suspect Carroll was wasting his time. Craig gets boring within the first couple of sentences he utters; and Carroll had to keep reminding him that he did not understand (or perhaps he was repeating his misrepresentations of?) the fundamental science.

WLC also has some dreadful arguments, as bad as Plantinga’s recent dreck. This:

So, for example, if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in brainwashing or exterminating everyone who disagreed with them, so that everybody would think the Holocaust had been good, it would still have been wrong, because God says it is wrong, regardless of human opinion. Morality is based in God, and so real right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions.

from http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-ch[…]omosexuality

The Christian god of WLC is vicious, mysogynistic, brutal… and you know the rest. Right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions? Yeah, riiiight. How can this be the gold standard of apologetics? Why is Carroll even entertaining the guy?

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]isb7SMhyTjFs said:

WLC also has some dreadful arguments, as bad as Plantinga’s recent dreck. This:

So, for example, if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in brainwashing or exterminating everyone who disagreed with them, so that everybody would think the Holocaust had been good, it would still have been wrong, because God says it is wrong, regardless of human opinion. Morality is based in God, and so real right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions.

from http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-ch[…]omosexuality

The Christian god of WLC is vicious, mysogynistic, brutal… and you know the rest. Right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions? Yeah, riiiight. How can this be the gold standard of apologetics? Why is Carroll even entertaining the guy?

There is a big problem with these negative arguments. If we can show that some particular does not work - if we can prove that “naturalism” does not make a basis for morality - if “evolution” does not explain that knowledge is possible - if “science” is not be answer “is there is something and not nothing” - - if we accept those arguments – that does not mean that some spirit is the answer.

Spirits can be evil and liars. Just be because they are super-natural does not meant that they can be responsible what we want.

ksplawn said:

harold said:

I don’t have much interest in this debate. It seems that neither of them is endorsing politically/socially ideological science denial; that and the harm it does are my major concerns.

Perhaps not in THIS debate, but WLC is also in the camp of “correcting” homosexuality.

On the surface he seems to accept much of what mainstream psychology has to say about orientation and he does distinguish between sexual attraction and sexual behavior. So far so good, right? But then goes on to describe homosexual activity as self-destructive (based on claims that homosexual men are heavy drug users and extraordinarily promiscuous), asks if parents really want lesbians to coach their daughters in PE and if not that they should be able to pass laws banning homosexuals from certain jobs, and attacks the idea of homosexual unions as healthy relationships/family models worthy of state recognition. After going through the laundry list of myths and bigoted policy recommendations, he then advocates seeking “help” to reshape one’s orientation and live in a heterosexual relationship. Because that’s what God wants of us, according to the Bible and his own Apologetics.

Craig uses his cosmological argument as the keystone to his Apologetics, and the bigoted consequences thereof. By trying to establish the fundamentalist view of God as being philosophically correct versus any other shade of the more liberal, tolerant Christian schools of thought, he’s essentially using it as a bludgeon to beat back the tide of progress and equality in society. In some ways he’s more dangerous than Ken Ham because he at least sounds rational.

Oh yeah, and he’s a fellow at the DI.

I should have guessed.

Naturally, “Logic proves my authoritarian religion to be true” is basically another version of “science proves my authoritarian religion to be true”.

At the end of the day, using demonstrably false arguments to claim that one’s particular sect is superior to all others is an inherently authoritarian activity.

It’s easy to see why. WLC and others like him want everyone to be forced to accept their sexism, homophobia, economic cruelty, ethnic bigotry, etc.

Some people don’t like it and that makes them uncomfortable.

Their response is to claim that everyone has to accept it because their God proclaims it.

Then, they have to try to “prove” their God’s existence.

It’s just a symbolic gun to everybody’s head. It’s just “Do all the jerky stuff I say to do, whether you like it or not, or my God will put you in Hell later”.

Lest anyone say that this is all Christianity has ever been, that is false. Mainstream traditional Christianity, like most other religions, has actually traditionally used “carrot and stick” techniques, emphasizing being nice to each other, invisible friend Jesus caring about your suffering, and fun stuff like celebrations as much as, or typically more than, threats of eternal violence.

It’s the post-modern right wing version of Christianity, which is nothing more than a clumsy backlash against civil rights and women’s rights, which is nothing but stick. (Of course, there have always been individuals and sects like this.)

Of course the post-modern authoritarian religious right has to try to “prove” that others are “compelled” to accept their version of things. Because they have no ability to persuade anyone who isn’t already a member.

harold said:

I don’t have much interest in this debate. It seems that neither of them is endorsing politically/socially ideological science denial; that and the harm it does are my major concerns.

It does seem that Craig is using articulate but logically incorrect medieval arguments. A scholastic argument being borrowed from an Islamic source is most unsurprising.

This is an area in which you would have far greater expertise than me, even though it deals with a time period more recent than Late Antiquity, but I’ve always been interested in the number of “there must be some god at all” arguments present in scholastic philosophy.

I suppose it could be seen as a stepping stone “First let show that there is a god at all, and then later I’ll demonstrate that it must be the Christian God not a pagan god or the Islamic or Jewish interpretation of God”.

However, it also suggests to me that, despite the critical importance of the ritual side of religion to medieval society, there must have been a strong perception of a need to constantly argue against agnosticism.

Medieval people were certainly capable of thinking of the church as a potential vehicle for personal spirituality, while simultaneously satirizing it as massively corrupt.

For every superstitious claim about relics and so on, there seems to have been a coexisting great degree of skepticism. The skeptics seldom wrote their words down, for obvious reasons, but what is written seems to imply that their ideas were commonly expressed and tolerated in the sphere of everyday life.

Many scholastic churchmen themselves were highly skeptical and rational about superstitious beliefs, for that matter, even while never openly questioning official church dogma.

As you’re well Fundamentalism, including Craig’s brand, is entirely post-modern and nothing at all like medieval Christianity. The scholastics (and Abelard and Bacon aremuch better than Aquinas) accepted god and argued for him because he was the only hypothesis going to explain almost everything for which we have natural explanations today (planetary motion etc.). Donlt forget there is a strait line form the scholastics through Nicole Oresme to Galileo. Medieval thinkers, presented with the evidence WLC has, would have found him just as distasteful and backward as we do.

It should also be noted that WLC is an apologist for genocide (so land as its against the right victims). The adults are evil and deserve to die, while the innocent children are better off being dispatched strait to heaven by having their brains dashed out against the corner of a building than growing up to be corrupted by their parents.

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]isb7SMhyTjFs said:

WLC also has some dreadful arguments, as bad as Plantinga’s recent dreck. This:

So, for example, if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in brainwashing or exterminating everyone who disagreed with them, so that everybody would think the Holocaust had been good, it would still have been wrong, because God says it is wrong, regardless of human opinion. Morality is based in God, and so real right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions.

from http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-ch[…]omosexuality

Well, at the risk of triggering Godwin’s law, it’s probably a good time to note that apparently, God has his issues with genocide, too.

Let us not forget that when the Israelites came back from Egypt, they were instructed to exterminate the native tribes living in the lands God chose for them.

IIRC, the Canaanites were particularly singled out for elimination - God’s orders to the Israelites mandated the killing of all the Canaanite men, to the extent that young boys were to have their heads bashed open with rocks, and babies were to be cut from the womb to ensure that the bloodline was finished.

Since the number of the tribes of Israel was supposedly 600,000 at the time of the Exodus, and since the many battles they fought were apparently closely contested, that means that God ordered the death of maybe a million people so that their land could be given away and every trace of their line wiped out down to the last unborn male child.

Given the populations and technologies for the era, that’s pretty thorough, even compared to the Nazi’s.

stevaroni said:

https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/[…]isb7SMhyTjFs said:

WLC also has some dreadful arguments, as bad as Plantinga’s recent dreck. This:

So, for example, if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in brainwashing or exterminating everyone who disagreed with them, so that everybody would think the Holocaust had been good, it would still have been wrong, because God says it is wrong, regardless of human opinion. Morality is based in God, and so real right and wrong exist and are unaffected by human opinions.

from http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-ch[…]omosexuality

Well, at the risk of triggering Godwin’s law, it’s probably a good time to note that apparently, God has his issues with genocide, too.

Let us not forget that when the Israelites came back from Egypt, they were instructed to exterminate the native tribes living in the lands God chose for them.

IIRC, the Canaanites were particularly singled out for elimination - God’s orders to the Israelites mandated the killing of all the Canaanite men, to the extent that young boys were to have their heads bashed open with rocks, and babies were to be cut from the womb to ensure that the bloodline was finished.

Since the number of the tribes of Israel was supposedly 600,000 at the time of the Exodus, and since the many battles they fought were apparently closely contested, that means that God ordered the death of maybe a million people so that their land could be given away and every trace of their line wiped out down to the last unborn male child.

Given the populations and technologies for the era, that’s pretty thorough, even compared to the Nazi’s.

That is exactly what WLC approves of; wonder what his attitude would be if the Israelis went after the Palestinians, or if Christians in Syria or Lebanon exterminated a few Muslim villages. Good thing the Biblical account is a fictional story.

Helena Constantine said:

That is exactly what WLC approves of; wonder what his attitude would be if the Israelis went after the Palestinians, or if Christians in Syria or Lebanon exterminated a few Muslim villages.

A band of militant Christians is doing exactly this in the Central African Republic right now. Perhaps we should ask Dr. Craig through his QnA website about the implications of this entho-religious cleansing going on today versus the Biblical account of the Jews taking the land of Canaan per God’s instructions.

ksplawn said:

Helena Constantine said:

That is exactly what WLC approves of; wonder what his attitude would be if the Israelis went after the Palestinians, or if Christians in Syria or Lebanon exterminated a few Muslim villages.

A band of militant Christians is doing exactly this in the Central African Republic right now. Perhaps we should ask Dr. Craig through his QnA website about the implications of this entho-religious cleansing going on today versus the Biblical account of the Jews taking the land of Canaan per God’s instructions.

While it’s certainly an ugly situation, and I certainly don’t condone it, it should probably be pointed out that this has been a tit-for-tat blood letting for quite some time. Whoever has the upper hand at the moment, tends to impose severe penalties and reprisals on the other religion/tribe/ethnic group.

It’s hard to see how the peoples of such a region work their way out of such a terrible situation, unless they get to the point of becoming exhausted with the mutual violence, or until a significant portion of the population is killed, or just leaves.

Scott F said:

ksplawn said:

Helena Constantine said:

That is exactly what WLC approves of; wonder what his attitude would be if the Israelis went after the Palestinians, or if Christians in Syria or Lebanon exterminated a few Muslim villages.

A band of militant Christians is doing exactly this in the Central African Republic right now. Perhaps we should ask Dr. Craig through his QnA website about the implications of this entho-religious cleansing going on today versus the Biblical account of the Jews taking the land of Canaan per God’s instructions.

While it’s certainly an ugly situation, and I certainly don’t condone it, it should probably be pointed out that this has been a tit-for-tat blood letting for quite some time. Whoever has the upper hand at the moment, tends to impose severe penalties and reprisals on the other religion/tribe/ethnic group.

It’s hard to see how the peoples of such a region work their way out of such a terrible situation, unless they get to the point of becoming exhausted with the mutual violence, or until a significant portion of the population is killed, or just leaves.

Not to worry, as their respective gods are the objective source of their morality. At least they aren’t unbelievers because then they would no reason to not do what they are doing.

I hate to engage in snark when it comes to subjects like this but I’m thoroughly fed up with the pompous garbage that comes from smug used-car-saleman-bullshiters like Craig. I happen to have one just like him in my own family who not only is impressed with and uses the “objective source” as well as Craig’s other arguments, but is currently robbing his own family of their due inheritance. Not to worry though, he has it completely rationalized.

(also, I note that the nesting of comments is now more limited ? Helena Constantine is quoted in my comment and doesn’t appear.)

Rikki_Tikki_Taalik said:

(also, I note that the nesting of comments is now more limited ? Helena Constantine is quoted in my comment and doesn’t appear.)

AFAIK, comments can be nested as deeply as you want (and will keep growing, if all you do is “Reply” and do not edit the nested comments), but since I’ve been here they have never been displayed more than 3 levels deep. That is, your comment, plus two more levels.

If I want the nested comments to be displayed, I will adjust the “block quote” tags, bringing the prior comments “up” a level, (typically adding a “strong” tag for “so-and-so said:”), until they show up as desired.

Rikki_Tikki_Taalik said:

Not to worry, as their respective gods are the objective source of their morality. At least they aren’t unbelievers because then they would no reason to not do what they are doing.

What’s always been amazing to me, in the Christian-on-Muslim, or Muslim-on-Christian, or Christian-on-Jew, or Protestant-on-Catholic, or Catholic-on-Protestant violence, is that it’s the same God-damned bloody God on both sides. Both sides know, for a killing certainty, that God (the very same God) is on their side. It’s bad enough that the devout Christians on both sides insist that God picks the winners in mere football games, that “winning” necessarily demonstrates or justifies God’s favor.

Scott F said:

Rikki_Tikki_Taalik said:

(also, I note that the nesting of comments is now more limited ? Helena Constantine is quoted in my comment and doesn’t appear.)

AFAIK, comments can be nested as deeply as you want (and will keep growing, if all you do is “Reply” and do not edit the nested comments), but since I’ve been here they have never been displayed more than 3 levels deep. That is, your comment, plus two more levels.

Yeah, I’ve screwed up my own perspective then. I have a habit of editing the blockquote tags because the “comment within a comment” format quickly makes the earlier ones difficult to read. If for no other reason, it makes sense to limit them to three levels because of that effect.

stevaroni said:

Since the number of the tribes of Israel was supposedly 600,000 at the time of the Exodus

Off-topic, but I hate to see this idea go by without a correction. The number of Israelites at the time of the Exodus numbered in the tens of thousands (men, women, and children). See Kenneth Kitchen, James Hoffmeier, Colin Humphreys, and other scholars going back to 1906. Don’t even read Wikipedia on this matter.

The number of Israelites at the time of the Exodus numbered in the tens of thousands (men, women, and children).

Exodus 12:37 says 600,000 men, not tribes, and not counting women and children. No sensible person would believe that number; I’d even be suspicious of tens of thousands leaving Egypt en masse and leaving no historical record.

Rikki_Tikki_Taalik said:

Scott F said:

ksplawn said:

Helena Constantine said:

That is exactly what WLC approves of; wonder what his attitude would be if the Israelis went after the Palestinians, or if Christians in Syria or Lebanon exterminated a few Muslim villages.

A band of militant Christians is doing exactly this in the Central African Republic right now. Perhaps we should ask Dr. Craig through his QnA website about the implications of this entho-religious cleansing going on today versus the Biblical account of the Jews taking the land of Canaan per God’s instructions.

While it’s certainly an ugly situation, and I certainly don’t condone it, it should probably be pointed out that this has been a tit-for-tat blood letting for quite some time. Whoever has the upper hand at the moment, tends to impose severe penalties and reprisals on the other religion/tribe/ethnic group.

It’s hard to see how the peoples of such a region work their way out of such a terrible situation, unless they get to the point of becoming exhausted with the mutual violence, or until a significant portion of the population is killed, or just leaves.

Not to worry, as their respective gods are the objective source of their morality. At least they aren’t unbelievers because then they would no reason to not do what they are doing.

I hate to engage in snark when it comes to subjects like this but I’m thoroughly fed up with the pompous garbage that comes from smug used-car-saleman-bullshiters like Craig. I happen to have one just like him in my own family who not only is impressed with and uses the “objective source” as well as Craig’s other arguments, but is currently robbing his own family of their due inheritance. Not to worry though, he has it completely rationalized.

Fascinating. I’d love to hear how he rationalizes that one.

We’ve all had the inheritance-grabbers in our families. I do wonder what goes through their minds as they grab money away from a little retarded baby cousin, and use it to build the house with the swimming pool.

diogeneslamp0 said:

Rikki_Tikki_Taalik said:

Scott F said:

ksplawn said:

Helena Constantine said:

That is exactly what WLC approves of; wonder what his attitude would be if the Israelis went after the Palestinians, or if Christians in Syria or Lebanon exterminated a few Muslim villages.

A band of militant Christians is doing exactly this in the Central African Republic right now. Perhaps we should ask Dr. Craig through his QnA website about the implications of this entho-religious cleansing going on today versus the Biblical account of the Jews taking the land of Canaan per God’s instructions.

While it’s certainly an ugly situation, and I certainly don’t condone it, it should probably be pointed out that this has been a tit-for-tat blood letting for quite some time. Whoever has the upper hand at the moment, tends to impose severe penalties and reprisals on the other religion/tribe/ethnic group.

It’s hard to see how the peoples of such a region work their way out of such a terrible situation, unless they get to the point of becoming exhausted with the mutual violence, or until a significant portion of the population is killed, or just leaves.

Not to worry, as their respective gods are the objective source of their morality. At least they aren’t unbelievers because then they would no reason to not do what they are doing.

I hate to engage in snark when it comes to subjects like this but I’m thoroughly fed up with the pompous garbage that comes from smug used-car-saleman-bullshiters like Craig. I happen to have one just like him in my own family who not only is impressed with and uses the “objective source” as well as Craig’s other arguments, but is currently robbing his own family of their due inheritance. Not to worry though, he has it completely rationalized.

Fascinating. I’d love to hear how he rationalizes that one.

We’ve all had the inheritance-grabbers in our families. I do wonder what goes through their minds as they grab money away from a little retarded baby cousin, and use it to build the house with the swimming pool.

Have you seen my pool?

The kid can even come over and swim in it once in while.

I mean, get real.

Glen Davidson

Fascinating. I’d love to hear how he rationalizes that one.

First of all outward religious devotion is often a deliberate mask worn by actual flat out consciously scheming sociopaths. I’m not talking about self-serving bias perceived as reality here, I’m talking about outright self-aware scoundrels pretending to be religious as a disguise. It’s common.

Also, although many strictly religious people do follow an ethical code, I find there is some tendency for people who lack empathy-based ethics to over-compensate by adopting formulaic religious dogma.

We’ve all had the inheritance-grabbers in our families. I do wonder what goes through their minds as they grab money away from a little retarded baby cousin, and use it to build the house with the swimming pool.

Inheritance is a significant risk factor for the character. It’s easy for me to say because I don’t expect to inherit anything, but the best way to handle a future inheritance is to forget about it if at all possible. Scheming, plotting, and obsessing over unearned money is unhealthy.

Carl Drews said:

stevaroni said:

Since the number of the tribes of Israel was supposedly 600,000 at the time of the Exodus

Off-topic, but I hate to see this idea go by without a correction. The number of Israelites at the time of the Exodus numbered in the tens of thousands (men, women, and children). See Kenneth Kitchen, James Hoffmeier, Colin Humphreys, and other scholars going back to 1906. Don’t even read Wikipedia on this matter.

Since the Exodus is an entirely fictional event, I wouldn’t worry about it.

Well, at the risk of triggering Godwin’s law, it’s probably a good time to note that apparently, God has his issues with genocide, too.

Naw.

God invented genocide.

He also holds the all time record for most people killed on a percentage basis. All but 8 people died during the Big Boat Event.

It was also a near total failure. Noah was supposed to rescue all the animals. We now know that 99+% of all life that ever existed is extinct. This is despite heavy supernatural support with god poofing miracles whenever the plot bogged down in silliness.

The Flood was supposed to fix god’s mistakes at the beginning. That failed too. We are still the same old humans we always were. His Plan B was to kill himself as jesus. That didn’t work so well either. Plan C, which has been happening Any Day Now for 2,000 years is to come back and kill all 7 billion people at the Apocalypse.

Ever notice how all of god’s fixes involve murdering people? When your only hammer is death, every human looks like a potential dead body.

We’ve all had the inheritance-grabbers in our families.

Well this is timely. My friend just had her brother grab a few $100,000’s of her inheritance, at least half. The lawyers are still trying to figure out how much was embezzled. And she is still in a state of shock and it’s been months.

I do wonder what goes through their minds as they grab money away…

I know this one. Damn it, I got caught. Please don’t file criminal charges. Let’s have our lawyers work it out. You know if I go to jail, you still won’t get anything back.

Matt Young said: Exodus 12:37 says 600,000 men, not tribes, and not counting women and children.

Sorry, I wrote imprecisely.

I said, quoting the number in Exodus…

“Since the number of the tribes of Israel was supposedly 600,000 at the time of the Exodus”.

What I meant was “The number (as in population) of the (communal) tribe was 600,000.

What I wrote is easily misinterpreted as 6000,000 tribes.

In reality, of course, the number was probably more like 6000, all told, or maybe 600. In any case a small enough number that historians outside the group didn’t see the need to write anything down about the episode.

stevaroni said:

In reality, of course, the number was probably more like 6000, all told, or maybe 600. In any case a small enough number that historians outside the group didn’t see the need to write anything down about the episode.

Nor did anyone WITHIN the group until so much later that it had become the legendary/mythological past.

stevaroni said:

Matt Young said: Exodus 12:37 says 600,000 men, not tribes, and not counting women and children.

Sorry, I wrote imprecisely.

I said, quoting the number in Exodus…

“Since the number of the tribes of Israel was supposedly 600,000 at the time of the Exodus”.

What I meant was “The number (as in population) of the (communal) tribe was 600,000.

What I wrote is easily misinterpreted as 6000,000 tribes.

In reality, of course, the number was probably more like 6000, all told, or maybe 600. In any case a small enough number that historians outside the group didn’t see the need to write anything down about the episode.

stevaroni said:

Matt Young said: Exodus 12:37 says 600,000 men, not tribes, and not counting women and children.

Sorry, I wrote imprecisely.

I said, quoting the number in Exodus…

“Since the number of the tribes of Israel was supposedly 600,000 at the time of the Exodus”.

What I meant was “The number (as in population) of the (communal) tribe was 600,000.

What I wrote is easily misinterpreted as 6000,000 tribes.

In reality, of course, the number was probably more like 6000, all told, or maybe 600. In any case a small enough number that historians outside the group didn’t see the need to write anything down about the episode.

You’re still talking as if this is something that really happened and trying to minimize it. You need to get over that. no biblical historian (except the fundamentalist ones) takes the exodus as anything other than an ideological myth that has nothing whatsoever to do with history (beyond the fact that there was always a lot of Semitic immigration into Egypt) for decades now. It functions as a foundation myth for a culture that emerged in Hellenistic times.

raven said:

Well, at the risk of triggering Godwin’s law, it’s probably a good time to note that apparently, God has his issues with genocide, too.

Naw.

God invented genocide.

He also holds the all time record for most people killed on a percentage basis. All but 8 people died during the Big Boat Event.

It was also a near total failure. Noah was supposed to rescue all the animals. We now know that 99+% of all life that ever existed is extinct. This is despite heavy supernatural support with god poofing miracles whenever the plot bogged down in silliness.

The Flood was supposed to fix god’s mistakes at the beginning. That failed too. We are still the same old humans we always were. His Plan B was to kill himself as jesus. That didn’t work so well either. Plan C, which has been happening Any Day Now for 2,000 years is to come back and kill all 7 billion people at the Apocalypse.

Ever notice how all of god’s fixes involve murdering people? When your only hammer is death, every human looks like a potential dead body.

Well, God likes to eat people: http://www.theonion.com/articles/go[…]umans,34264/

Matt Young said:

The number of Israelites at the time of the Exodus numbered in the tens of thousands (men, women, and children).

Exodus 12:37 says 600,000 men, not tribes, and not counting women and children. No sensible person would believe that number; I’d even be suspicious of tens of thousands leaving Egypt en masse and leaving no historical record.

The only thing close is the expulsion of the Habirus by Ahmose at the end of the 6th Hysos dominion.

KlausH said:

Matt Young said:

The number of Israelites at the time of the Exodus numbered in the tens of thousands (men, women, and children).

Exodus 12:37 says 600,000 men, not tribes, and not counting women and children. No sensible person would believe that number; I’d even be suspicious of tens of thousands leaving Egypt en masse and leaving no historical record.

The only thing close is the expulsion of the Habirus by Ahmose at the end of the 6th Hysos dominion.

Typo, meant “Hyksos”.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on February 21, 2014 12:21 PM.

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