1. Joined
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    05 Feb '12 00:292 edits
    This will take several posts and will require some editing to fit so please bare with me.
    I would appreciate it if people could wait to post till after I have finished posting.
    And yes this is a multi post wall... if you don't like it, don't read it.

    This is the unedited complete transcript of WLC’s lecture.

    I will follow this up by highlighting the logical fallacies and other flaws in his argument.

    Thus demonstrating that WLC hasn’t made HIS point.

    Then I will follow up with My counter argument disproving his position.



    The Absurdity Of Life Without God by William Lane Craig (WLC).



    “Man” writes Loren Eiseley “is the cosmic orphan.

    “He’s the only creature in the universe who asks why.

    Other animals have instincts to guide them.

    But man has learned to ask questions

    ‘Who am I?’ He asks,

    ‘Why am I here?’

    ‘Where am I going?’”

    Well ever since the enlightenment when modern man threw off the shackles of religion he’s tried to answer those questions without reference to god.

    But the answers that came back were not exhilarating, but dark and terrible.

    You are the accidental by product of nature.

    A result of matter, plus time, plus chance.

    There is no reason for your existence, all you face is death.

    Modern man thought that in throwing off god he’d freed himself from all that stifled and repressed him.

    Instead he discovered that in killing god, he’d only succeeded in orphaning himself.

    For if there is no god then man’s life becomes ultimately absurd, its without ultimate meaning, without ultimate value, without ultimate purpose.

    I’d like to look at each one of these tonight.



    First; life is without ultimate meaning.

    If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter, whether he really existed or not?

    Now it might be said that his life was important because it influenced others or effected the course of history, but that shows only a relative significance, to his life, Not an ultimate significance.

    If all of the events are ultimately meaningless then what significance is there in influencing any of them?

    Mankind is destined only to perish in the eventual heat death of the universe.

    And thus the contributions of the scientist to the advance of human knowledge...

    The efforts of the doctor to alleviate pain and suffering...

    The efforts of the diplomat to secure peace in the world...

    The sacrifices of good people everywhere to better the lot of the human race...

    In the end all of these come to nothing.

    They don’t make one bit of difference, not one bit.

    And therefore each person’s life is without ultimate significance.

    And because our lives are ultimately meaningless, the activities that we fill our lives with are also, in the final analysis, meaningless.

    The long hours spent in study at the university, our friendships, our interests, our jobs, our relationships, all of these are in the final analysis ultimately meaningless.

    This is the horror of modern man, because he ends in nothing, he ultimately is nothing.



    Twentieth century man came to understand this.

    Read for example a play like “Waiting for Godot”. By Samuel Becket.

    During this entire play two men carry on trivial, mind numbing, conversation, while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does.

    And our lives are like that Becket is saying, we just kill time waiting, for what, we don’t know.

    In a tragic portrayal of man Becket wrote another play in which the curtain opened revealing a stage littered with trash. And for thirty long seconds the audience sat, and stared, in silence at that junk and then the curtain closed that was all.

    The French existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus also understood this.

    Sartre portrayed life in his play “no exit” as hell. The final line of the play are the words of resignation “well... let’s get on with it” hence Sartre writes elsewhere of the “nausea of existence”.

    “Man” he says “is adrift in a boat without a rudder on an endless sea.”

    Camus also saw life as absurd “life he said is like a man doomed for all eternity to roll a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down again. Over, and over, and over again.”

    At the end of his brief novel the stranger Camus’ hero discovers in a flash of insight that life has no meaning, and that there is no god to give it one.

    The French biochemist Jacques Monod seemed to echo these sentiments when he wrote in his work “chance and necessity”.

    “Man finally knows that he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe.”

    Thus if there is, no god, then life itself becomes ultimately meaningless man and the universe are without ultimate significance.





    Second; Life is without ultimate value.

    If life ends at the grave then it ultimately makes no difference whether you have lived as a Stalin, or as a saint.

    As the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky put it “if there is no immortality, then all things are permitted.”

    On this basis a writer like Ayn Rand, is absolutely correct, to praise the virtues of selfishness. Live totally for self, no one holds you accountable, indeed it would be foolish to do anything else for life is too short to jeopardise it by acting out of anything but pure self interest, sacrifice for another person would be stupid.

    But the problem becomes even worse, for regardless of immortality if there is no god then there is no, absolute standard of right and wrong. All we’re confronted with is in Jean-Paul Sartre’s words “the bare valueless fact of existence”. Moral values, are either just a socio-cultural by-products of the evolutionary process, Or else mere expressions of personal taste.

    In a world without god who’s to say, who’s values are right, and who’s are wrong.

    Who’s to judge, that the values of an Adolf Hitler are inferior of those of a mother Teresa. The concept of objective morality loses all meaning in a universe without god, there can be no right and wrong. But that means that it’s impossible to condemn war, oppression, brutality, or crime, as evil. By the same token one cannot praise brotherhood, equality, love, or self sacrifice, as good

    For in a universe without god, good and evil, do not exist. There is just the bare valueless fact of existence and there is no one to say that you are right and I am wrong.



    And Thirdly; Life is ultimately without purpose.

    If death stands with open arms at the end of life’s trail, then to what end has life been?

    Is it all for nothing?

    Is there no reason for life?

    Is there no purpose at all for the human race?

    Or will it simply peter out someday lost somewhere in the oblivion of an indifferent universe?



    The English writer HG Wells foresaw such a prospect in his novel “The Time Machine.

    Wells time traveller travels far into the distant future to discover the eventual destiny of man.

    And all he finds is a dead Earth except for a few lichens and moss orbiting a gigantic red sun.

    The only sounds are the rush of the wind and the gentle ripple of the sea

    “Beyond these lifeless sounds” writes wells “the world was silent

    Silent? it would be hard to convey the stillness of it”

    All the sounds of man the bleating of sheep, the cries of birds, the hum of insects,

    The stir that makes the background of our lives, all that was over”.

    And so wells time traveller returned.

    But to what?

    To merely an earlier point on the same purposeless rush towards oblivion.

    When as a non-Christian and I first read Well’s book I thought “NO! NO! It can’t end this way!” but this is reality, in a universe without god.

    If there is no god then it will end that way, like it or not.

    There is no hope, there is no purpose, I’m reminded of TS Eliot’s haunting lines

    “This is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, this is the way the world ends, not with a bang, but a whimper”.



    If there is no god, then our lives are not qualitatively different from that of a dog.

    Now I know that sounds harsh but it’s true as the ancient writer of the book of Ecclesiastes put it “The fate of the suns of man and the fate of beasts is the same, as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity, all go to one place, all are from the dust, and all turn to dust, again.”

    In this book which reads more like a piece of modern existentialist literature than a book from the bible. The author shows the futility of pleasure, wealth, education, political fame, and honour, in a life doomed to end in death.

    His verdict “Vanity of vanity’s all is vanity” if life ends at the grave we have no ultimate purpose for living.



    So I hope you begin to grasp the gravity of the alternatives before us.

    For if god does not exist, then all we are left with is despair. Life would have no significance, no value no purpose and that is why the question of the existence of god is so vital to mankind.
  2. Joined
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    05 Feb '12 00:311 edit
    Unfortunately most people do not seem to realise this fact. And therefore they go blithely on their way as though nothing had changed.

    I’m reminded of the story told by Friedrich Nietzsche the great atheist of the nineteenth century who proclaimed “the death of god”. Nietzsche tells the story of a madman who in the early morning hours burst into the market place lantern in hand. Crying “I seek god! I seek god!” and since many of those standing about didn’t believe in god he provoked much laughter. “Maybe god has gone on a voyage or emigrated” they laughed. And so they taunted him and mocked him.

    And then, writes Nietzsche, the mad man turned in their midst and pieced them with his eyes “Wither is god” he cried “I shall tell you. We have killed him! You and I.

    All of us are his murderers!

    But how have we done this?

    How are we able to drink up the sea?

    Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?

    What did we do when we unchained this Earth from its Sun?

    Wither is it moving now away from all suns?

    Are we not plunging continually backwards, sideward, forward, in all directions?

    Is there any up or down left?

    Are we not straying as through an infinite nothing?

    Do we not feel the breath of empty space?

    Has not become colder?

    Is not night, and more night, coming on all the while?

    Must not lanterns be lit in the morning?

    Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying god?

    God is dead! And we have killed him! how shall we the murderers of all murderers, comfort ourselves?”

    And the crowed stared at the mad man in silence, and astonishment. And at last he smashed his lantern to the ground. “I have come to early” he said “This tremendous event is still on its way. It has not yet reached the ears of man”.



    You see man did not truly comprehend what they had done, in killing god.

    But Nietzsche predicted that someday, people would realise the consequences of atheism. And this realisation would usher in an age of nihilism, that is to say the destruction of all meaning, and value [in] life

    “The end of Christianity” wrote Nietzsche “Means the advent of nihilism. This most gruesome of guests is standing already at the door. Our whole European culture is moving for some time now” wrote Nietzsche “with a tortured tension that is growing from decade to decade as towards a catastrophe, restlessly, violently headlong like a river that wants to reach it’s end that no longer reflects that is afraid to reflect” most people still do not reflect on the consequences of secular atheism.

    And therefore like the crowd in the market place go unknowingly on their way



    But when we realise as Nietzsche did the consequences of what atheism implies.

    And when we stare atheism unflinchingly in the face, as Nietzsche had the courage to do. Then his question presses hard upon us. “How shall we, the murderers of all murderers comfort ourselves?”



    Well it seems to me that confronted with this predicament we have basically three alternatives:



    Number One; Commit suicide!

    Faced with the absurdity of life, one should simply end it now.

    Camus considered suicide to be the only serious philosophical question, “is it worth it to go on living?”.

    And sometimes we hear of people, who answer no. In the united states the leading cause of death among teenagers today is suicide.

    But for most of us suicide, is not the answer, the pleasures that life does afford, and the fear of the unknown, compel us to go on living.



    The Second Alternative; Is to face the absurdity of life, and to live bravely.

    Atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell said for example, that only upon the firm foundation of unyielding despair can the souls habitation, be henceforth safely built.

    Camus said that we should simply recognise the absurdity of life and then “live in love”, for one another.

    But the problem with this alternative is that it is impossible to live consistently and happily within the framework of such a world view. Man cannot live as though life has no meaning, value, and purpose.

    And so what people subconsciously do, is to assume, that their lives have meaning, value, and purpose. Even though they have no right to since modern man does not believe in god.

    And what I’d like to do is to look again at each of those three areas in which we saw that life is absurd without god. And to show how man fails to live consistently and happily within this world view.



    First the area of meaning . We saw that without god, life is ultimately meaningless. And yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning.

    For example Jean-Paul Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing some course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.

    Now, this program is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say on the one hand that life is absurd. And then to say on the other hand that one may create meaning for his life.

    For if life is objectively absurd, then man is trapped, without god there can be no objective meaning in life.

    Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self delusion. For the universe doesn’t really acquire a meaning. Just because I happen to give it one. And I think this is obvious. For suppose you give the universe one meaning and I give it another who’s right?

    Well I think the obvious answer is neither one. For the universe in and of itself remains intrinsically meaningless regardless of how we happen to regard it.

    Sartre is really saying ‘let’s pretend that the universe has meaning’, and this is just fooling yourself.

    The point is this, if god does not exist then life is objectively meaningless. But mankind cannot live consistently and happily as though life were meaningless. And so in order to be happy he invents certain purposes and projects for life. And he pretends that these invest his life with meaning.

    But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent. For without god man and the universe are ultimately without significance.





    Turn next to the problem of value.

    This is where the most blatant inconsistencies occur.

    First of all atheistic humanists, are totally inconsistent, in holding to the values of human love, and brotherhood.

    Camus’ been rightly criticised for inconsistently holding to the absurdity of life on the one hand, and to the ethics of human love and brotherhood on the other.

    The two are logically incompatible, as one philosopher has written “it is impossible to generate an ethic of brotherly love out, of a philosophy of nihilism”.

    Bertrand Russell too, was inconsistent. For although he was an atheist, Russell was also an outspoken social critic, denouncing war, and restrictions on sexual freedom. Russell admitted, that he could not live as though moral values were simply the subjective expressions of personal taste, and that he therefore found his own views and I quote “incredible, I do not know the solution,” he confessed.



    The point is that if there is no god then absolute right and wrong do not exist.

    As Dostoyevsky said “all things are permitted”.

    But Dostoyevsky also showed that man cannot live this way, He shows us for example in his novel crime and punishment. In which a young atheist brutally murders an old woman. Though he knows that on his presuppositions, he should not feel guilty, nevertheless he is consumed with guilt. Until he finally confesses this crime, and gives his life to god.

    In his masterpiece “The Brothers Karamazov”. Dostoyevsky tells of how a man murders his father because his brother Ivan, had told him that god does not exist, and therefore there are no moral absolutes. The man tells Ivan, that it was really Ivan himself, who murdered their father. Since it was Ivan who said that moral absolutes are illusory.

    Unable to live with the logical consequences of his own system. Ivan suffers a mental collapse. Man cannot live as though moral values do not exist.

    He cannot live as though it’s perfectly alright for soldiers to slaughter innocent children.

    He cannot live as though it’s alright for dictatorial regimes to follow systematic programs of physical torture of political prisoners.

    He cannot live as though it’s perfectly alright for dictators like Pol Pot, Slobodan Milosevic to ruthlessly commit ethnic cleansing and genocide against their own people.

    Everything in him cries out, to say that these acts are wrong. really wrong. But if god does not exist he cannot.

    And therefore he makes a leap of faith, and affirms those values anyway.

    And when he does so he reveals the inadequacy of a world without god.

    The horror, of an atheistic universe was brought home to me powerfully a few years ago through a BBC television documentary called “The Gathering”

    It featured interviews with survivors of the holocaust who had re-gathered in Jerusalem to share their experiences and rediscover lost friendships.

    Now, I had visited concentration camps in Europe and had heard the stories of the holocaust before and I thought I was beyond shocking by further tales of horror.

    But as I viewed these interviews, I found that I was not.

    One women, for example, told of how she was incarcerated at Auschwitz. And was forced because she was a nurse to become gynaecologist at Auschwitz.

    She noticed that Dr [Josef] Mengele who housed all of the pregnant women together in a certain barracks and sometime passed and she no longer saw any of these women.

    She made inquiries what happened to the women who were housed in that barracks.

    “Oh! haven’t you heard?” came the reply “Dr Mengele used them for vivisection.”.
  3. Joined
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    05 Feb '12 00:32
    A Rabbi, told the story of a women at the camp who had a small infant.

    Dr Mengele wanted to conduct experiments to see how long an infant could survive without nourishment. And so he had this woman’s breasts bound up so that she couldn’t suckle her baby And every day the baby lost weight which was eagerly monitored by Dr Mengele. Desperately this poor women tried to keep the baby alive by feeding it bits of bread soaked in coffee but all to no avail

    Every day the baby lost weight and each day Dr Mengele weighed the baby to check it’s decline. Then a nurse came secretly to this women and said “I’ve brought a morphine injection for you to kill your baby. And you can get out of this place I’ve arranged a way of escape for you, but you can’t bring the baby with you”. The women protested “I can’t kill my own child” she said “look the baby is going to die anyway, at least save yourself” and so this mother felt compelled to take the life of her own infant.



    My heart was torn as I heard these stories.



    The Rabbi at Auschwitz said that it was as though there existed a world in which all of the ten commandments were reversed.

    Though shalt lie!

    Though shalt kill!

    Though shalt steal!

    Mankind has never seen such a hell!

    And yet in a real sense if god does not exist, then our world is Auschwitz.

    There is no ultimate right and wrong, ALL things are permitted, but no atheist, no agnostic, can live consistently and happily, within the framework of such a world view.

    Finally let’s look at the problem of purpose in life

    The only way that most people who deny purpose in life manage to live happily is either by making up some purpose for their life which amounts to self delusion, as we saw with Sartre. Or else by not carrying out their views to its logical conclusions.

    For example take the problem of death, according to the psychologist Ernst Bloch

    “The only way modern man lives in the face of death, is by subconsciously borrowing the belief in immortality which his forefathers held to.

    Even though he himself has no basis for this belief since he does not believe in god.”

    Bloch concludes “Thus this quite shallow courage feasts on a borrowed credit card.

    It lives from earlier hopes and the support they had once provided”

    But modern man no longer has any right to that support, since he rejects god.

    But in order to live purposefully in the face of death he makes a leap of faith to affirm a reason for living.

    We often find the same inconsistency among those who say that man and the universe came to exist for no purpose but just by chance.

    For example feminists have raised a storm of protest over Freudian sexual psychology because they say it’s chauvinistic and degrading to women. And some psychologists knuckled under and revised their theories.

    Now this is totally inconsistent.

    If Freudian psychology is really true then it doesn’t matter if it is degrading to women.

    You can’t change the truth because you don’t like what it leads to.

    But people cannot live consistently and happily in a world in which other people are devalued but if god does not exist then nobody has any value.

    Only if god exists can one consistently support women’s rights for if god does not exist then natural selection dictates that the male of the species is the dominant and aggressive one. Women would have no more rights than a female goat or chicken has rights in nature whatever IS, is right.



    But who can live with such a view.



    Apparently not even Freudian psychologists, who revised their theories when pushed to their logical conclusion.

    Or take the sociological behaviourism of a man like B. F. Skinner,

    This view leads to the sort of society envisioned by George Orwell in 1984

    Where the government controls and programs the thoughts of everybody.

    If Pavlov’s dog, can be made to salivate when a bell rings, then so can a human being. And if Skinners theories are right, there can be no moral objection to treating people like the rats in Skinners rat box as they run through their mazes, coaxed on by food and electric shocks.

    According to skinner all of our actions are programmed anyway.

    And if god does not exist then no moral objecting can be raised against this kind of programming.

    For man is not qualitatively different from a rat.

    For both are just the result of matter plus time plus chance but again who can live with such a dehumanising world view.

    Or finally take the biological determinism of a man like Francis Crick, the logical conclusion is that man is like any other laboratory specimen the world was horrified when it learned that at camps like Dachau, the Nazis had used prisoners for medical experiments on human beings. But, why not?

    If god does not exist, there can be no objection to using people, as human guinea pigs.

    A memorial at Dachau says, Nie Wieder - “never again”.

    But this sort of thing continued to go on. It was recently revealed that in the united states after the war various persons of minority group status were injected unknown to them, with a sterilisation drug by medical researchers. Mustn’t we protest that this is wrong?

    That people are more than just electrochemical machines?

    The end of this view, is population control, in which the weak and the unwanted are killed off, to make room for the strong. But the only way we can consistently protest this view, is if god exists. Only if god exists can there be purpose in life.

    And thus as one modern writer has said “if god is dead. Man is dead too”

    Man cannot live consistently and happily, as though life were without meaning, value, and purpose. The finite world alone is insufficient to maintain a happy and consistent life.



    But that throws us on to the THIRD and final alternative.

    And this is to challenge the world view of modern man. To maintain that god does exist, and that life does have meaning, value, and purpose.

    This is the position of Biblical Christianity.



    Biblical Christianity thus provides the solution to the predicament of modern man.

    For according to the Christian world view god, does exist, and life does not end, at the grave. And therefore biblical Christianity provides two necessary prerequisites for a happy and consistent life. God and immortality.

    According to the Christian world view life does have meaning. Because mankind is made in the personal image of god. And our destiny is to know god and enjoy him and his love forever.

    Life has value, because gods own holy and righteous nature is the absolute standard of right and wrong, good and evil. And that nature is expressed towards us in the form of his divine commandments. Which constitute for us our moral duties. And thus the moral choices we make now in this life, are filled with an eternal significance.

    Finally life has purpose, as a Westminster catechism says “The end of man is to glorify god and to enjoy him forever.”

    And thus biblical Christianity succeeds precisely where atheism breaks down.

    The cosmic orphan can come home.



    Now I want to make it clear that none of this tonight proves that biblical Christianity is true.

    But I think that it does clearly spell out the alternatives before us. If god does not exist. Then life is futile. If the god of the bible does exist, then life is meaningful. Only the second of the two alternatives enables us to live a, happy and consistent life.

    And therefore it seems to me that even if the evidence for and against these two alternatives were absolutely equal. That the rational thing to do is to believe in god.

    That is to say it seems to me that if the evidence is equal, that it is positively irrational to prefer death, futility, and destruction, to life, meaningfulness, and happiness.

    As Pascal has written we have nothing to lose and infinity to gain....



    33:20 mins. Questions.

    42:58 END.


    References

    YouTube

    42:58 minutes long. Transcribed by Googlefudge.

    This... (which I found later)

    http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=129

    Appears to be WLC’s written version of the same argument.

    The lecture appears to be an edited sample of the book 'Reasonable Faith' by William Lane Craig, copyright 1994, page 51-75.

    http://www.bethinking.org/resource.php?ID=129

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loren_Eiseley

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Paul_Sartre

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Monod

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyodor_Dostoyevsky

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Nietzsche

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/holocaust/5103.shtml

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp#Medical_experiments

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Mengele
  4. Joined
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    05 Feb '12 00:321 edit
    The logical fallacies and other flaws in WLC’s arguments.



    The purpose and point of a logical argument is that if properly formulated you start with premise A and through your logical reasoning deduce that IF A Therefore B.

    In other words given your starting premises IF the logical argument is correct then the conclusions MUST also be correct.

    However there is a logical fallacy known as the “fallacy fallacy”.

    This fallacy is to claim that because an argument is logically flawed the conclusion MUST be wrong. However this is not necessarily true as it’s perfectly possible to construct a flawed argument that leads to a true conclusion.

    The flawed argument just doesn’t prove that the conclusion is justified, not that it isn’t true.

    In this instance I will point out the many flaws (logical and otherwise) in WLC’s argument thus demonstrating that he has not proven his point.

    I will then Follow up with my own arguments for why his point is not just unproven but false.



    So what logical fallacies are there in Mr. WLC’s Lecture...



    Well by far the most prevalent logical fallacy that riddles then entire thing is the theists favourite...

    Argument from authority.

    WLC uses an inordinate number of quotes from various notable literary and philosophical figures to support his ‘arguments.

    None of these quotes contain any actual arguments or reasoning but are simply conclusions stated without any reasoned backing.

    For example he cites Fyodor Dostoevsky as saying “if there is no immortality, then all things are permitted.”.



    As we are presented with no reasoning from any of these people to back up the ‘quotes’ that WLC cherry picks from their works to add weight and poetry to his lecture there use in their entirety falls wholly under the logical fallacy of argument from authority.

    I have no more reason to take their word for it than his, and I can find plenty of other literary and philosophical greats to disagree with his and their positions if I ever felt like creating my own arguments from authority on the subject.



    The Second largest fallacy is the...

    False Dichotomy. (Or variations on this where the reduction is to more than two options but still discounting or ignoring other viable options)

    This fallacy appears several times in this argument.

    He presents belief in the god of the bible or atheism as the only two available options.

    He argues that unless one commits suicide, that you have to be a nihilist, or be inconsistent (with one’s self presumably, I will get back to this), or believe in the biblical god. At no point does he actually demonstrate adequately (or at all) that those are the only available options and it is in fact trivially easy to think of other alternatives.



    He claims that life must have ultimate value, purpose, and meaning, or no value, purpose, or meaning. Without demonstrating that no other options are viable.



    This is followed up by Number Three...

    False Equivalency and the Non-Sequitur.

    His central argument is that Atheists (which here seems to be anyone who doesn’t believe in the god of the bible... either that or he’s forgotten about every other theist religion on the planet) have no basis for Objective morality due to not having any Objective purpose, meaning or values.

    However the most he ever attempts to disprove is that you can have Ultimate meaning, values and purpose without god.

    He never demonstrates that without ultimate (which looks to me to be meant to mean externally imposed by god) values you can’t have objective values.

    He is claiming a false equivalency between his ‘Ultimate’ (imposed by god) values and Objective values. His entire argument is based on this. Meaning that the entire argument ‘does not follow’ [and is thus a Non-Sequitur]



    Fourthly The entire argument is an indirect Ad Hominem against atheists by (and this is neat) producing a Straw Man depiction of atheism and throwing in a Straw Vulcan representation of rationality as a nice bonus.



    The central core of his argument to make people believe in god is to falsely present Atheists as having no ability to construct a consistent objective morality due to not having any rational basis for objective morality due to atheists logically having to be nihilists... (or possibly worse, post-modernists).

    As he doesn’t actually demonstrate that this is true, and it is in fact demonstrably false and is certainly not the claimed position of any atheist I know (let alone all of them/us) this is a straw man characterisation of atheism and as his argument then presents a false dichotomy (them and us) choice where he slanders one side it’s also an Ad Hominem against the entirety of atheism.

    He also falsely characterises rationality committing a straw Vulcan fallacy.

    However this is somewhat subtle.



    He is trying to make his central point by claiming that it’s not possible to rationally and consistently create objective values using logic alone in a universe without god.

    Now I would agree that logic alone doesn’t allow you to create objective morality...

    You have to use emotions and feelings as well... but how does this fit into rationality?

    Surely you can’t use emotions in a rational argument?

    And thus we have a Straw Vulcan... because you not only can, but actually must, logically, use emotions to determine values in creating an objective rational morality.



    Spock, like all Vulcan’s, is portrayed as having emotions that he deeply suppresses as they are ‘not logical’ and thus bad (to the Vulcan way of thinking) as they impair your ability to think rationally and logically.

    Now it is indeed true that if you have a set of goals that you want to achieve and you want to be rational and find the best way of achieving them then emotions, particularly strong emotions, can interfere with the decision making process.

    However, the question we have here is not how to achieve the goals but where we get those goals in the first place.

    In Julia Galef’s speech at Skepticon 4 entitled “The Straw Vulcan” which I have linked to before and I am referencing heavily here...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=tLgNZ9aTEwc#t=1691s

    She shows a clip where Spock briefly shows emotion at discovering that Kirk is not, as he had thought, dead. He quickly bottles his emotion, and claims that he is merely pleased that Starfleet has not lost a competent and efficient captain. And isn’t simply happy that his best friend is not dead.

    But you can’t care about efficiency on its own, efficiency is only useful for getting good results like your best friend not being dead.

    You need to value some things over other things to care about anything and have goals that you can pursue rationally.

    Once you realise that, it becomes trivially easy to solve WLC’s dilemma and create objective morals without any recourse to god.

    YouTube&feature=channel_video_title

    http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2010/10/matts-superiority-of-secular-morality.html

    In portraying it as being impossible to create objective morality using rationality WLC is implicitly falling into the Straw Vulcan fallacy because it’s only true if you misrepresent what rationality is.



    There is more, but it's late, and I can add more later.
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Feb '12 04:151 edit
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    [b]The logical fallacies and other flaws in WLC’s arguments.



    The purpose and point of a logical argument is that if properly formulated you start with premise A and through your logical reasoning deduce that IF A Therefore B.

    In other words given your starting premises IF the logical argument is correct then the conclusions MUST also be co ...[text shortened]... isrepresent what rationality is.



    There is more, but it's late, and I can add more later.[/b]
    I can see a couple of things he says right away, "We are the only beings in the universe who can ask why'. Right away I get suspicious of his motivation. That seems just a teeny bit grandiose. He is already making the case humans are the crown of creation.

    And as far as the meaning of life if you don't have a god crutch to fall back on, I relish the unknown. Much more interesting than believing in fairy tales. I want to know what makes up the world and I don't have the slightest trepidation about the end of my life and what's it all about, I do what I can with what I have and that's enough for me.

    All his supposed angst he assumes people who don't believe have to have is just that much bull pucky.

    Again, it's the same old rule out of fear. The idea that wonder of the universe as we discover it doesn't come to his mind. He lives in a state of fear maybe coming just around the corner and has his god crutch to hold off his incipient terror of the unknown.
  6. Joined
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    05 Feb '12 05:332 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I can see a couple of things he says right away, "We are the only beings in the universe who can ask why'. Right away I get suspicious of his motivation. That seems just a teeny bit grandiose. He is already making the case humans are the crown of creation.

    And as far as the meaning of life if you don't have a god crutch to fall back on, I relish the unkn ound the corner and has his god crutch to hold off his incipient terror of the unknown.
    So far as I have read googlefudge's analysis he has charged the logical fallacy of Argument from Authority.

    I would think googlefudge would therefore be quick to notice your Genetic Fallacy - assuming Craig's argument is wrong because you suspect a sinister motive.
  7. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    05 Feb '12 06:542 edits
    Well the fact that he says that the only alternative to Athiesm is the christian god is suspect and shows he does not represent all alternatives, as he seems to claim.

    He mentions that it is impossible to love ("brotherly love" ) and have a nihilistic view.
    Wrong. I find paradoxes like that abound in humanity. Why only the other day I met a neighbour of mine who gave me an atheist bumper sticker who has shown me nothing but "neighbourly love" eversince. Such a nice chap.

    I could see people of simple thinking being easily taken in by WLC's emotive arguments, but again, I find that paradoxes abound in human life, and indeed seem to make the cornerstone for many people .

    Thanks for the read googlefudge and jaywill. i recommend it for anyone who wants to test their faith or just get an individuals take on human life and his reasons for believing we need a god.


    edit: in my spiritual view, it is precisely some of these existensial angst points that a lot of those writers touch on that need to be lived and understood- and then transcended in order to have a firm intellectual platform for understanding "God" . Hahahahaha!!!
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    05 Feb '12 07:49
    Originally posted by jaywill
    So far as I have read googlefudge's analysis he has charged the logical fallacy of [b]Argument from Authority.

    I would think googlefudge would therefore be quick to notice your Genetic Fallacy - assuming Craig's argument is wrong because you suspect a sinister motive.[/b]
    that's a lazy apology there jaywill. googlefudge thus far has systematically debunked WLC's central arguments. it is easy to see that WLC is making appeals to emotion and appeals to authority.

    there is really nothing rational about his presentation. it took me all of 3 minutes to realize this trend and discontinue wasting my time, but googlefudge was decent enough to watch the entire pile of steaming dung and to actually make a concrete refutation of WLC's fallacies.
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    05 Feb '12 08:24
    Read this later maybe.

    PS Jaywill, all is forgiven.

    😉
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    05 Feb '12 12:042 edits
    Originally posted by VoidSpirit
    that's a lazy apology there jaywill. googlefudge thus far has systematically debunked WLC's central arguments. it is easy to see that WLC is making appeals to emotion and appeals to authority.

    there is really nothing rational about his presentation. it took me all of 3 minutes to realize this trend and discontinue wasting my time, but googlefudge wa ...[text shortened]... e entire pile of steaming dung and to actually make a concrete refutation of WLC's fallacies.
    What apology ?
    Did I apologize for anything ?

    Where in the world is this "apology" lazy or otherwise ??

    So far as I have read googlefudge's analysis he has charged the logical fallacy of Argument from Authority.

    I would think googlefudge would therefore be quick to notice your Genetic Fallacy - assuming Craig's argument is wrong because you suspect a sinister motive.


    Do you read an apology into that somewhere ?

    I don't even say I agree with his charging Craig on argument by authority. I think so far the charge is ridiculous.

    He furnishes quotations to support a position. Where's the logical fallacy in supplying supporting opinions ?

    You think googlefudge is not going to ALSO refer to those confirming his opinion ? This is just supplying supporting evidence to a argument.

    My comment was only to show that if googlefudge is so savvy to peg logical fallacies he should readily see the one in his cheering corner of sonhouse.

    We'll get to this analysis in time.
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    05 Feb '12 12:071 edit
    Originally posted by divegeester
    Read this later maybe.

    PS Jaywill, all is forgiven.

    😉
    I am puzzled why people are forgiving me or speaking of my "lazy apology".

    I guess someone must think I am impressed with googlefudge's analysis.
    So far I am not. But I want to see it all.

    I think I simply said that he put in some long labor. That's all.
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    05 Feb '12 12:12
    Originally posted by jaywill
    What apology ?
    Did I apologize for anything ?

    Where in the world is this "apology" lazy or otherwise ??
    I think he means apology as in apologetics... what WLC does.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apologetics
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    05 Feb '12 12:15
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    I think he means apology as in apologetics... what WLC does.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apologetics
    Oh!

    Okay. How much TIME I have on any given morning IS a factor. That is not laziness.
  14. Subscribersonhouse
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    05 Feb '12 12:22
    Originally posted by jaywill
    I am [b] puzzled why people are forgiving me or speaking of my "lazy apology".

    I guess someone must think I am impressed with googlefudge's analysis.
    So far I am not. But I want to see it all.

    I think I simply said that he put in some long labor. That's all.[/b]
    Of course you don't agree with the analysis, you are too deluded in your religious myths to be able to use reason. You just don't want to face the fact that you and billions of other people are so profoundly deluded by what you think is religion but what is in fact empire building pure and simple and you and all the rest fell for it hook line and sinker.
  15. Standard memberAgerg
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    05 Feb '12 13:281 edit
    I've heard this no-meaning argument so many times it isn't even funny anymore. If there is any reason to respect this William Craig Lane feller, he doesn't show it with crap like this.

    I haven't read google's rebuttal (sorry) but one of the main flaws in the argument that life is pointless without "God" is that you could argue it's just as pointless with "God". Indeed we go around being born doing things whilst we're alive, dying and then being judged - and if judged favourably living forever in some magical wonderland Or if not we get burned forever and ever in some magical lake of fire. Then "God" sits around lapping up all the praise that humans give it for ever and ever and ever and ...
    But what's the point of it all!???

    The reason I can play the same game is because for all the theist's efforts to find some objective meaning (by pinning it on "God" ) their solution is merely a subjective meaning - that has worth only if you subscribe to the existence of "God" in the first place.
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