Theism – Perfectly Rational

William Lane Craig vs. Klems Kappel - Debate: Does God Exist?
In the debate between Craig vs. Kappel on the topic “Does God Exist” the question  “Why should we believe atheism is true?” comes up.
Kappel is unable to explain why anyone should believe in atheism while Craig provides 6 reasons right off the bat while theism is true.

In a debate held April 18, 2012 in Copenhagen, Christian apologist and philosopher William Lane Craig debated atheist philosopher Klemens Kappel on the topic: “Does God Exist?” I couldn’t resist posting this clip  – for a number of reasons, namely:


A. Dr. Craig concludes Theism or “the God hypothesis” as he put it earlier – is “perfectly rational to hold to” – which is of course the theme of this site.

B. Dr. Craig Lists the explanatory power of Theism over atheism, Theism can explain things such as:

1. The existence of Moral Value
2. The existence of Consciousness
3 The Origin of the Universe
4 Why something exists rather than nothing
5 The Fine Tuning of the Universe
6 The historical facts about Jesus

(All good topics I should discuss one day.)

C. In challenging Dr. Kappel to prove atheism is true, Dr. Craig points out a number of ways one can logically or rationally establish an argument, namely by:

1. Philosophical Argument
2. Inference to the best explanation
3. Testimonial Evidence

When you watch, notice two things:

1) Kappel is unable to use any of these methods to prove the hypothesis atheism is true (indeed he claims both theism and atheism are un-provable – which Gives Dr. Craig an opportunity to show the explanatory power of Christianity as listed above.)

2) You’ll note I’ve had occasion to discuss item number 2 in a couple of posts1 since a number of those who claim Christians argue “illogically” seem to be unaware of this concept. Here is yet another confirmation that this is a standard logical concept accepted by atheists and theists alike.

 

Now without further ado, the video:

 

Duane Caldwell | posted 4-30-2014 | print format


1 The posts mentioning an inference to the best explanation are:The Poor Marksmenship of Evolutionists andReclaiming the Intellectual and Moral High Ground

Atheists – too afraid to answer

 Fear, afraid
Some Atheists are too afraid to answer the difficult questions.

 There’s a very good article by Peter Saunders titled Twenty questions Atheists struggle to Answer: How Theism does better on the first six.  Before  presenting the first six issues which atheists struggle to answer (actually he’s being kind – he uses “struggle” as if they have an  answer when actually atheism has no reasonable answer to the first 6.),  he makes some preliminary comments.  The third comment  he makes  – actually a challenge –  is particularly apropos to a recent discussion I had.  Speaking to Atheists and agnostics,  Saunders says:

Third, I challenge atheists (and agnostics) reading this blog not to adopt the view, as a matter of faith, that the atheistic world view is some sort of neutral default position and that the burden of proof
lies solely with theists to prove their case. Let’s not have any of the usual allegations of ‘meaningless questions’, ‘God of
the gaps’, ‘appeals to authority’ or the mockery, ridicule and ‘face-palming’ that often accompanies any attempt by theists to
advance their case.

Of particular interest is the second sentence, a description of the toxic environment  often created by atheists in their so called “discussions” with Christians or theists – discussions which are for the atheist often  little more than opportunities to mock. To the list of the usual allegations I would add the allegation of “fallacious argument” a  claim atheists wield as a shield against anyone who doesn’t agree with them – apparently before even reading the argument because they use it even when it doesn’t apply.

Case in point, my last article – an article which ended with a hypothetical question along the lines of  Pascal’s wager: Continue Reading

Science by Fiat & failed Judo throws – Cosmos’ failed attempts to defend evolution

"...is there question anywhere in our future?" - A few Good Men
In a failed attempted to defend evolutionary theory, Cosmos Episode 2 resorts to science without evidence, and evidently expects to be  believed “because I said so
.”

 

 

 

…is there a question evidence anywhere in our future?

In the classic 1980’s Wendy’s ad, Clara Peller, after looking at a hamburger that’s mostly bun and almost no meat famously asks, “Where’s the beef?” After watching the second episode of the reboot of Cosmos – titled Cosmos A Space Time Odyssey episode 2 – Some Of The Things Molecules Do I was reminded of that ad as I wondered “Where’s the science?”

This episode of Cosmos wants to convince you that evolution is true, and it’s
pulling out all the stops to do so – winsomely asking legitimate questions (Where do all the species come from?), their answer being evolutionary theory,  and that answer is  aided by great animations. And they include what was no doubt intended to be the coup de grace to end questions from Intelligent Design theorists: an attempted  judo throw of Intelligent Design arguments – by redirecting Intelligent Design arguments originally directed against evolution against Intelligent design theory.

Yes, Cosmos took a page straight out of a judo manual: Continue Reading

Reclaiming the Intellectual and Moral high ground

Don’t fall prey to logical traps, old arguments, or the emotional baiting of evolutionists.

Obi-wan to Anakin:

“It’s over Anakin, I have the high ground.”

 In my previous post I referenced an article titled “The Top 10 Signs that You Don’t Understand Evolution at All” which is really a  restatement of objections that evolutionists believe they have adequately answered, while at the same time lightly(?) mocking creationists – as evolutionists are wont to do. (Whether lightly or not I’ll leave to you.) As is typical in a list like this, the more important questions (for which they have no answer) are  not even mentioned much less given adequate answers to.  But since I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving you hanging without the answers having myself referenced the article, here are responses to show none of these issues are problems for rational thinking Christians. A word of warning before we begin: Since he couches many of these statements in broad universals (“never,” “always,”  etc. –  which is a dead give away that the statement is almost certainly untrue and a good candidate for the  “all or nothing” logical fallacy);  it follows that the position he’s trying to ridicule may be technically untrue, but the point beneath the ridicule that he’s trying to make  has been thoroughly refuted as I note below. Below in bold is Tyler Francke’s  list of “The top 10 signs that you don’t understand evolution at all”  with my explanations following immediately;  and so there is no mistake on who’s saying what, my comments are indicated by my initials.

 


1. You Think “it hasn’t been observed” is a good argument against it.”

DC>He makes a number of questionable statements here, I’ll just point out a couple. First he notes:

“Interestingly, evolution is observable “

DC>Evolution of the type we’re talking about – molecules to man is not observable. Like many evolutionists he is committing the logical error of equivocation – using the term evolution in more than one sense (which is commonly done to win arguments, though it’s logically fallacious). Natural selection (which is not evolution) is observable; molecules to man evolution is not. 

Second, he goes on to talk about an inference to the best explanation (which I drew upon in my last article) but intelligent design theorists and creationists alike, (not to mention scientists who dissent from evolutionary theory) would say given the evidence, such as the fossil evidence below, he has not drawn an inference to the best explanation by believing it points to evolution. He states:

Making viable conclusions based on inferences from the available evidence is not at all unscientific, and it is this reasoning that has compelled us toward the theory of evolution.

DC>I would challenge him that it is not the evidence that points him to evolution, it’s his a priori beliefs (science is authoritative over scripture) that lead him to the conclusion that evolution is true because judging by evidence alone, (such as the evidence from DNA, the young solar system, etc.)  the correct conclusion is that there was an intelligent designer.

2. You think we’ve never found a transitional fossil.

DC>This is frankly very misleading. A more precise statement would be Continue Reading

The Poor Marksmanship of Evolutionists

Evolutionists claim to be answering a problem posed to them, but they often avoid the problem or miss the mark.

Captain Kirk to Kahn - "Like a poor marksman you keep missing the target!"Kahn: Kirk  – You’re still alive old friend.

Kirk: Still, – “old friend”. You’ve managed to kill everyone else, but like a poor marksman, you keep missing the target!

And so admiral1 Kirk taunts Kahn, a genetically engineered “super” human who is supposed to be superior to us mere humans in every way – physically, mentally etc. In another classic line, when Kirk is trying to get Kahn to follow the Enterprise into a nebulae where both ships would lose the benefits of key systems such as shields, Kirk taunts Kahn again, saying “I’m laughing at the superior intellect,” a taunt sufficient enough to get Kahn to follow them in.

I don’t mean to taunt the poor misguided evolutionists, but I do hope the air of superiority they tend to express motivates them to try to provide an answer to the questions posed in the post “Windtalkers and DNA” because the responses I’ve had so far don’t address the issues. So like Kirk I say, like poor marksmen, they keep missing the target of the difficulties that DNA poses. So let me spell it out the difficulties for them, – and give them a clear target to hit. But first here is a sample of the poor marksmanship: Continue Reading

What is Rational Faith? Part 2

Rational Faith does not involve a leap of faithThe 19th  century classic “Flatland” by Edwin A. Abbott is an allegory of  the resulting social problems and intellectual impasse that results when a person  who has been enlightened (and sees a truth beyond what’s normally possible in the physical realm) tries to present that truth to the unenlightened.  Flatland is so named because it, and all its inhabitants live in a two dimensional world.  When a 3 dimensional object – a being in the shape of a sphere – is introduced  to a 2 dimensional Flatlander – a mathematician – the response of humans  to revelations (by way of analogy) is on display.

As you might expect, the mathematician has the  all the concepts and mathematical knowledge to understand the description of a sphere, but while he understands technically what the sphere is  saying, since a 3 dimensional object is outside of the realm of the possible within a 2 dimension world, he has a hard time believing what the  sphere is saying is true – until the sphere performs miracles – that is to say feats that are miraculous to the two dimensional characters of the story,  yet totally understandable to a 3 dimensional person (such as the reader). The main conflict of story centers around the beliefs of most flatlanders:  since – as far as they are concerned – 3 dimensional objects are impossible and don’t exist, anyone who claims they are possible (or has seen one)  is  either insane or dangerous or both, and thus must be placed permanently in a mental institution or must be put to death. Without delving any further into the story, let me point out what Abbott so masterfully illustrates using concepts that we, as 3 dimensional beings,  readily understand by his analogy: Continue Reading

What is Rational Faith? Part 1

The Scopes monkey trial, popularized by the decidedly pro-evolution 1960 movie “Inherit the Wind” has been described  by one historian as:

“Lasting just 11 days, the trial became a showdown between faith and reason…”1

The charge to be adjudicated: that a teacher by the name of John Scopes had taught Darwin’s theory of Evolution in the classroom, an act  which, at the time, was illegal. (My how things have changed.) The goal here is not rehash the trial, or discuss perceived winners and  losers. The reason for bringing it up is to point out how it is commonly described: “a showdown between faith and reason.”  This “showdown” has been raging at least since that trial, which began July 21, 1925. Some would locate the origin with

Plato - an early philosopher
Plato
Copy of portrait bust
by Silanion
© Marie-Lan
Nguyen /
Wikimedia Commons
Galileo’s 17th century dispute with the church over whether the earth went around the sun; or the sun went around the earth. Some would take it all the way back to  the early Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle who lived a few hundred years before Christ. The point in bringing up the “showdown”: there is a strong, vocal faction aptly represented by the likes of atheist cheerleader Richard Dawkins, who believes that faith and reason are at odds and are irreconcilable.  In a documentary  called “Enemies of Reason”, Dawkins states: “There are two ways of looking at the world through faith and superstition, or through the rigors of logic, observation and evidence;  through reason. Yet today, reason has a battle on its hands. I want to confront the epidemic of irrational superstitious thinking.”2 
Richard Dawkins Dawkins wants to confront “the epidemic of irrational superstitious thinking.” A noble goal insofar  as he correctly identifies that which is superstitious. Problem is he doesn’t. He has a tendency to group that which is true with that which  is myth. And so one of my goals is to confront the epidemic of irrational atheistic thinking that winds up getting labeled as “scientific”.
Continue Reading