Thursday, August 2, 2007

No Proof (The final response to god)

My voice is in bold print as always!

I would like to start this rebuttal by commenting on your defense of the scripture verses that I posted as contradictions. You took two verses that I actually posted as having no contradiction then refuted them as if they did. This misunderstanding is not conducive to either of us in this debate so let me clarify.

Your fourth example (1 Pet 5:8) indicates no apparent contradiction at all, since 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6, which you list in contradiction to it, do not state which angels were imprisoned;

See I had actually listed both of these examples under the answer “no” for is the Devil free to roam and tempt us. If angels sinned and were cast into hell then wouldn't they be devil's or demons? How does this not pose a contradiction? Since you have failed to address this appropriately I will consider that you have conceded this point and move on to the next.

So omnipotence does not imply the ability to do logically absurd things, like creating uncreated beings, or imagining square circles.

I don’t believe that this was ever implied. This completely ignores the blatant contradiction that was pointed out!

Your assumption of a contradiction here is caused by a failure to understand the overall context of the story, which results in a failure to correctly identify the causality of the people's defeat. God generally uses normal means to accomplish his purposes

There are two major issues that I take with your refutation here. The first is that in order for your explanation of why god has not contradicted him or herself here to work, you have to say that god did not follow through with his/her promise because his/her people failed to “devote them to complete destruction.” This seems to be a recurring theme in the bible. It seems that god tends to enjoy solving disputes through violent means.

What would be really impressive in situations like these is if god made himself/herself known directly to the enemies of his/her people. A direct revelation from god could not be refused. There are many examples of god making people’s hearts hardened and making them disobey his/her command, but he/she never coerces someone to follow them.

The second thing is, if god normally works through average everyday means then how do we know that it is god working? If we assume that it is god working but he/she is working through everyday means then how is that any different than there being no god?

Would they have prevailed against the chariots if they had obeyed God? Of course they would have. God, being all-powerful, was in absolute control of the situation and could direct it as he pleased.

In this statement you present even another perplexing issue and that is the issue of free will. If god is omnipotent and all knowing then god is aware of the outcome of everything in the universe. I would hope you would assume that god knows the future. Assuming that we agree on this then it would seem silly for god to issue a covenant knowing full well that it would be broken. How can you say that if they had obeyed god that they would have prevailed when obeying god was not even an option and god knew it in the first place. If this is the case then god was being deceitful here, which is, as I might add, something that he is not able to do.

Furthermore there is a countless amount of absurdities and direct contradictions in the bible that are impossible to reconcile. A couple of these are the two conflicting accounts of the creation story. In Genesis 1:25-27 we see clearly that humans were created after the animals and in Genesis 2:18-19 humans were created before the animals. As we agreed, if the bible has just one error then it cannot be the holy, inspired, divine, perfect word of god.

All this considered, the conversation on the completely ludicrous account of Noah’s flood, seems to have been dropped. I know that our debate format has not been formal, but had it been then this would have been considered a conceded point.

Regarding the issue of the reliability of oral tradition I have to say that your sources seem to be a bit biased. Even so there are some serious issues in the threads that you have linked me to with oral tradition regarding the canonization of the bible.

“it also ignores the considerable importance given to rote memorization in Jewish society of the time, which would have permitted reliable oral transmission, even for longer material.”

If we are to assume this true then we need to also assume that every single book that is in the bible was created out of this specific tradition. Regardless, if in fact it was the whole founding tradition of a particular culture to pass things on orally instead of writing them down then there would still be a large degree of error. This is if we assume that they were particularly skilled at it. Just because a particular technology was the best at one time, doesn’t mean that it still wasn’t prone to the errors that are related to it in the first place. (By the way your link from was either ripped off from McDowell or vice versa. Also anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry. I think you could think of all of the issues that may bring up for your citation.)

Therefore, we can certainly say that the condition upon which your premise rests is amply met: God has allowed, and even at times commanded atrocities.

This is good enough for me! There is nothing for me to debate if you agree with me. You follow this by breaking down a logical statement as fallacious when it is clearly logically sound. There are many instances in the New Testament where violence is specifically spoken out against . Although I will admit that it is my own assertion that god is not worthy to be worshipped if he commands atrocities, my assertions can also be backed with scripture.

For example in Luke 17:2 Jesus states that if someone were to even offend a little child that he would be better off having a millstone tied around his neck and to be thrown into the sea. (Mathew and Mark seem to disagree with Luke on the semantics of this statement.) Despite this “god” (who, stay with me now, is Jesus) commands children to be killed on several occasions. Number 5:11-21 commands a woman who has committed adultery to abort her child. Numbers 31:17 presents a command to kill young male children. Hosea 13:16 has accounts of unborn children being “ripped up.” In 1st Samuel 15:3 god commands the death of “suckling” infants. There are also a few examples of god being worshipped for slaughtering babies Psalms 135:8, 136:10, 137:9. I am more than happy to go on.

I would like to challenge your supposition that proving something again and again over multiple trials gives us any greater ability to make assumptions about the possibility of it happening in future, given the same circumstances………The problem you have is that probability is measured by dividing the number of actual situations of something by the number of possible situations……..In other words, the accuracy of any scientific experiment is completely unknowable, and thus will never increase even if you were to run experiments until the proverbial cows returned.

If it is your goal to attack and disprove science in order to strengthen your own worldview then that is fine. Probabilities would probably be the worst arm of science for you to go after because it is one of the most precise.

For example we do have a way of knowing exactly the potential outcome given consistent variables. If you are coming up with slightly different outcomes it is likely that your variables have not been consistent. For instance, in your example regarding a measurement taken on the speed of sound, I would question whether or not the scientist was controlling for variables, such as wind speed, air density and elevation.

Let’s say we have two six sided dice. On each dice each number has the exact same possibility of coming up on each roll. The previous roll will not affect the later roll. We can predict and prove over multiple trials that the number 7 will come up more often than any other number. This is because seven has 6 ways of being made on the dice. 1+6, 2+5, 3+4, 4+3, 5+2, 6+1. Whereas 6 and 8 only have 5 ways each 1+5, 2+4, 3+3, 4+2, 5+1 and 2+6, 3+5, 4+4, 5+3, 6+2. It continues to digress. 5 and 9 have 4 ways to be made, 4 and 10 have 3 ways, 3 and 11 have two ways, 2 and 12 have one way. Not only can we use probabilities to test this but we can also use empirical experiments.

In the short run you may see numbers that defy what we know the actual probabilities to be but the more trials we run, the closer the numbers will come to the actual probabilities. This particular example is the foundation of the casino industry. The static nature of these laws are what cause casinos to consistently thrive over the long run with only a slight edge in the numbers. To say that we can’t know anything through repeated testing is entirely un-provable because it is so obviously false.

Therefore, performing repeated experiments is self-evidently pointless from a logical point of view, since you can have no idea whether this is helpful or not.

These calculations are extremely helpful. Being able to “know” and “measure” things is incredibly important. When an airplane takes off the pilot needs to take note of the starting altitude, the temperature, and the wind velocity in order to set his speed appropriately. If there was no way to accurately measure the environment then the pilot would have no way to know how much speed and distance he will need in order to get his airplane airborne. I would suppose that if we were to rely on god for these calculations that we would see a sharp decrease in airplane safety. I am thankful that our country is not that fanatical yet!

After all, it's not reasonable for you to ignore results which are outside your arbitrary margin of error if you don't presuppose that your results will be consistent in the first place.

Yes I agree, but you are assuming that scientist do this. If you know a scientist that is doing this then he is not following the scientific method and his research would be considered invalid.

For example, why do you assume that only one of the results can be correct? Why do you not instead assume that, at that one particular point in time, the experiment yielded a different result, making the whole question of probability moot?

I don’t assume that at all. As a matter of fact I have conceded that the reason why our knowledge does not stay consistent is because the variables consistently change. Water boils and freezes at different temperatures depending on your current elevation. If we know several of these measurements then we can come up with a formula that will allow us to figure out these access points at any given elevation without actually going there. We are also able to use measurements from the past and present to predict (and rather reasonably well) events that will occur in the future. Some examples of this are solar and lunar eclipses as well as the appearance of comets.

You assume that the future will resemble the past, and that an experiment conducted in one location will yield the same result when conducted in another.

Uniformity is only a baseline that is assumed in an environment where all variables are controlled. Your statement here is false.

I have shown that scientific theories do not describe reality as it actually is, and never can; that they are not actually empirical at all; and that they are founded upon assumptions which are rationally unjustified. Attempts to justify them result only in circular reasoning and other logical fallacies. The form of reasoning in the scientific method itself can be essentially represented as follows:

This object is spherical.
Billiard balls are spherical.
Therefore, this object is a billiard ball.

This is a perfect example of faulty logic. You have applied it here to the scientific process even though science would not derive this result. Once again you have committed the strawman fallacy. Many objects are spherical. This seems like a feeble attempt to make a philosophical point. Unfortunately your premise has completely fallen short of acceptable.

Thus, since the assumptions underlying all scientific reasoning are logically fallacious, it follows that all scientific theories are logically fallacious also.

I do not know how to say this without sounding like I am being mean, but I need to call into question your education regarding science and it’s methodology. You seem on the surface to be reasonably intelligent yet some of your beliefs are wholly rooted in superstition and faith. Intelligent people that believe in gods and fairy tales tend to do so because they are very good at coming up with intelligent explanations to explain away the obvious contradictions in their worldview.

If you would like to take the stance that we have no way of knowing anything except through god and that we must rely on god for everything, then I must insist that your actions follow your words. The next time you are sick you should rely solely on prayer to help you. Do not go to the hospital, do not buy medicine and while you’re at it you might as well drop that insurance plan. You need to do away with thermometers and clocks and any other “inconsistent and manmade” measuring device. You should not use automobiles or airplanes since their construction and daily operations rely solely on the calculations of the scientific method.

It is time for you to rely wholly on god and to cease to borrow from the world of science which you seem to abhor. If you are not willing to live this way then you really have no reason to continue. Religion was sufficient to quell the intuitive nature of humans before we had the means to discover the world for ourselves. Now it appears to be a relic that will fade as the world becomes more and more educated.


Bnonn said...

Hi Angels. You call this your final statement, but I had thought we were still going to post simultaneous conclusions following my response to it. Can you confirm this is still the plan? I'm not troubled if you would instead like to make this statement your last; I am quite willing to do the same with my response. Just let me know.


angelsdepart said...

It is the final "response" I still plan on posting a conclusion.

Bnonn said...


tina said...

I really enjoyed your last two paragraphs. Can I borrow those?? I will put a link back to your page.

angelsdepart said...

Please feel free to borrow whatever you would like.

Bnonn said...

Hi Angels. I have now posted my final response. How would you like to proceed with the conclusions? I propose a 1500 word limit, and that we both publish them on Wednesday. Although Wednesday starts for me before it does for you, I am happy to post at around midday. I have no problem with you perusing my conclusion before posting the final version of your own—it seems only fair, given that I have so far had the advantage of responding to you for the whole debate.

Tina: I hope you will read through my response to Angels, since the last two paragraphs of his statement here, which you laud, unfortunately very badly misunderstand and misrepresent my position. If you examine my response, linked above, you will see that only the Christian worldview makes a reliance on science and medicine and so on justifiable. Angels seems to suppose the opposite, which is strange since this suggests he has failed to understand the entire case I am making.


Bnonn said...

Hi Angels, I have now posted my conclusion.