Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

Understanding the logical structure of his arguments

Christianity, Islam, Other Religions & Belief Systems.

Moderators: Blip, DarthHelmet86

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#21  Postby Teuton » Apr 12, 2011 9:54 am

Matt_B wrote:
It's largely because Craig has defined his god as a necessary being and the universe and everything within it as merely contingent. I don't think we have to accept such definitions at all, …


I reject his definition of "necessary being" as "being that exists in all possible worlds".
Logically necessary beings are impossible beings, because there cannot be anything x such that a contradiction is deducible from "x does not exist".

So the kind of necessity in question regarding the concept of a necessary being cannot be logical de dicto necessity (i.e. logically necessary truth of propositions such as "God exists") but only ontological de re necessity (i.e. existential necessity in things). The only intelligible definition of "ontologically necessary being" I know is "essentially eternal being", i.e. "being that exists eternally in all possible worlds in which it exists". More formally:

x is an existentially/ontologically necessary being
=def
x is essentially eternal/exists essentially eternally
=def
For all possible worlds w, if x exists in w, then there is neither a first nor a last moment of x's existence, i.e. then x has always existed in w and will always exist in w, i.e. then x is both uncreatable and indestructible in w.


Existential necessity is called "factual necessity" by Richard Swinburne. The decisive difference between an existentially/factually necessary being and a logically necessary being is that the former is logically contingent in the sense that—contra Craig—it does not exist in all possible worlds. There are some possible worlds where it does not exist.

But if—as I think is the case—God couldn't be a logically necessary being but only a factually necessary being, then the argument that God's existing by "a necessity of his own nature" is a sufficient and ultimate explanation of his existence can successfully be rejected, because it still leaves the question unanswered as to why there is an existentially/factually necessary being; for such beings do not exist in all possible worlds. Craig cannot possibly answer this question, and so has to accept God's existence as an unexplainable contingent fact, as "the ultimate brute fact" (Swinburne). And now that Craig has to accept God's existence as a brute fact, he can no longer prevent the atheist from claiming that Mother Nature's existence is a brute fact.

To make a long story short: The atheist's strategy should be to reject Craig's concept of a necessary being that exists necessarily in the sense of existing in all possible worlds! Reject the concept of a logically necessary being and accept only the concept of a factually necessary being!

"God's necessary existence has been interpreted in two different ways. Some have understood the notion in the sense of logical necessity; others have attempted to delineate a sense of factual necessity.
If God's necessity is understood as logical necessity, the proposition 'God exists' is logically true. A logically necessary being is one that exists in every possible world. The proposition 'three plus five equals eight' is necessarily true; it is true in every possible world. Likewise, if God is a logically necessary being, the proposition 'God exists' is true in every possible world. To say that something is logically necessary is to claim that it is logically impossible for that thing not to exist. Just as it is logically impossible for a triangle to have four sides, so it is logically impossible for God not to exist.
In recent years, many religious philosophers have given up on the notion of a logically necessary being. For reasons that will be explained shortly, they decided the concept was not only indefensible but even damaging to theism. Consequently, in order to retain a sense of necessity with respect to God, these thinkers explained God's existence as necessary in a nonlogical sense; God's existence, they said, is a factual necessity.
A being who is necessary in the factual sense is one about whom three claims can be made. (1) The being is eternal, that is, it had no beginning and its existence will never end. (2) The being is self-caused, which is to say that it does not depend upon anything else for its existence. It is, in a sense already explained, a se. (3) Everything else that exists depends upon the necessary being for its existence. Here is the key difference between the notion of logical and factual necessity: a factually necessary being does not exist in all possible worlds. In the sense of factual necessity, the proposition 'God does not exist' is not logically false. A factually necessary being is, in a sense, accidental."


(Nash, Ronald H. The Concept of God. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1983. p. 108)

"God is supposed to exist 'necessarily'. Some have understood this to mean 'of logical necessity', i.e. it would be incoherent to suppose there to be no God. Atheism does, however, seem to be a coherent position, even if false; and so other theists have understood God's being necessary as his being the ultimate brute fact on which all other things depend."

("God," by Richard Swinburne. In The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich, 2nd ed., 341-342. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. p. 342)

"To say that 'God exists' is necessary is, I believe, to say that the existence of God is a brute fact that is inexplicable—not in the sense that we do not know its explanation, but in the sense that it does not have one. …[A]ny terminus to explanation of things logically contingent must be itself something logically contingent. …[T]here are two ways in which God's existence being an inexplicable brute fact can be spelt out. The first position is to say that God's essence is an eternal essence. God is a being of a kind such that if he exists at any time he exists at all times; his existence at all remains the one logically contingent fact. The alternative position is to say that the divine essence is a temporal essence; the ultimate brute fact is not God's existing as such, but his existing for a period of time without beginning. His subsequent existence would be due to his intentional choice at each moment of time to continue to exist subsequently. Theism has traditionally taken the former position, … . In that case God will have the strongest kind of necessity compatible with his being a logically contingent being. Such necessary existence we may term factually necessary existence (in contrast to logically necessary existence)."

(Swinburne, Richard. The Existence of God. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 96)
Last edited by Teuton on Apr 12, 2011 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Perception does not exhaust our contact with reality; we can think too." – Timothy Williamson
User avatar
Teuton
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 5461

Germany (de)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#22  Postby MrFungus420 » Apr 12, 2011 11:05 am

Teuton wrote:The point is that the "because they're all bullshit" kind of reply wouldn't be considered sufficient in academic discourse.


Hold on...

Are you talking about Craig or academic discourse? One has nothing to do with the other.
Atheism alone is no more a religion than health is a disease. One may as well argue over which brand of car pedestrians drive.
- AronRa
MrFungus420
 
Posts: 3914

Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#23  Postby Zwaarddijk » Apr 12, 2011 11:18 am

MrFungus420 wrote:
Teuton wrote:The point is that the "because they're all bullshit" kind of reply wouldn't be considered sufficient in academic discourse.


Hold on...

Are you talking about Craig or academic discourse? One has nothing to do with the other.


Craig does have an indirect thing to do with academic discourse - he strives for semblance to academic discourse (but with flaws inserted that favour his kind of arguments).

I have been thinking about his kind of apologetics, and I wonder which of these three objectives he wants to achieve:

1) convert people

2) preach to the choir and reinforce their beliefs

3) convince the choir that unbelievers are unreasonable?

I have increasingly started to suspect that people like him mainly aim for the third - a desire to increase polarization between believers and unbelievers. I wonder if anyone else thinks I may be right?
Zwaarddijk
 
Posts: 4334
Male

Country: Finland
Finland (fi)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#24  Postby mindyourmind » Apr 12, 2011 11:28 am

Zwaarddijk wrote:
MrFungus420 wrote:
Teuton wrote:The point is that the "because they're all bullshit" kind of reply wouldn't be considered sufficient in academic discourse.


Hold on...

Are you talking about Craig or academic discourse? One has nothing to do with the other.


Craig does have an indirect thing to do with academic discourse - he strives for semblance to academic discourse (but with flaws inserted that favour his kind of arguments).

I have been thinking about his kind of apologetics, and I wonder which of these three objectives he wants to achieve:

1) convert people

2) preach to the choir and reinforce their beliefs

3) convince the choir that unbelievers are unreasonable?

I have increasingly started to suspect that people like him mainly aim for the third - a desire to increase polarization between believers and unbelievers. I wonder if anyone else thinks I may be right?



You will find support for point 3 in Craig's own comments after his recent debate with Sam Harris (on his page / Facebook page, I think). But then, all three objectives are fair game, all three are used. I see no reason why an apologist would want or need to restrict himself to one only.
So the reason why God created the universe, including millions of years of human and animal suffering, and the extinction of entire species, is so that some humans who have passed his test can be with him forever. I see.
User avatar
mindyourmind
 
Posts: 1661
Age: 56
Male

South Africa (za)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#25  Postby Zwaarddijk » Apr 12, 2011 11:34 am

wow, he's honest about it? I never cared to look at it that carefully.

I thought I was being halfway paranoid when positing that! So he just wants to polarize people? He wants theists to see us as unreasonable?

The first two objectives are obviously fair game, but he uses such terribly flawed arguments that he'll only convert the ignorant. Those that already believe may find his arguments compelling, but that's because they won't even consider that they're vacuous. The third objective though, that's rather different - it's not far from Fox news hate in a more insidious form.

(Thing is, when you want to polarize, you'll want to use even slightly worse arguments - the quicker the unbelievers notice they're stupid, the more kneejerky their response will seem, the more they'll look unreasonable to the believers. A certain balance is needed though, so the believers don't notice what terrible shit it all is.)
Zwaarddijk
 
Posts: 4334
Male

Country: Finland
Finland (fi)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#26  Postby xrayzed » Apr 13, 2011 7:09 am

Working through Craig's arguments is like wrestling with a jelly monster. They look solid enough at first, but once you try to come to grips with it they become all squishy and hard to pin down.

Teuton wrote:
Shrunk wrote:
I don't follow why it is not permissable to state the the universe exists "by the necessity of its own nature", but it is permissable to claim this about God.


"…The atheist has one alternative open to him at this point. He can retrace his steps, withdraw his objection to premise 1, and say instead that, yes, the universe does have an explanation of its existence. But that explanation is: the universe exists by a necessity of its own nature. For the atheist, the universe could serve as a sort of God-substitute which exists necessarily.

Now this would be a very radical step for the atheist to take, and I can’t think of any contemporary atheist who has in fact adopted this line


Is it? I'm quite happy to say that the universe exists "by the necessity of its own nature", not least because the phrase "necessity of its own nature" is wooly enough to be re-defined in answer to any objections.

The reason atheists are not eager to embrace this alternative is clear. As we look about the universe, none of the things that make it up, whether stars, planets, galaxies, dust, radiation, or what have you, seems to exist necessarily. They could all fail to exist; indeed, at some point in the past, when the universe was very dense, none of them did exist.

I find this a peculiar objection from the man who wrote:

The bottom line is: physics doesn’t deal in possibilities. Possibilities come cheap. What we want to know is where the evidence points.
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=8662

and

In order to show that an argument is no good, it is not enough for the sceptic to show that it’s possible that a premiss is false. Possibilities come cheap. I’m puzzled that so many laymen seem to think that merely stating another possibility is sufficient to defeat a premiss.
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/New ... le&id=8533


I'm guessing Craig is happy to make up possibilities here because this allows him to "refute" them. Dummy up a few bogus alternatives, find the flaws, and conclude "if they're wrong I must be right".

But, you might say, what about the matter out of which these things are made? Maybe the matter exists necessarily, and all these things are just different contingent configurations of matter... The universe is just the collection of all these quarks arranged in different ways. But now the question arises: couldn’t a different collection of quarks have existed instead of this one? Does each and every one of these quarks exist necessarily?

Why would each and every quark need to exist necessarily for the universe to exist necessarily?

Notice what the atheist cannot say at this point. He cannot say that the quarks are just configurations of matter which could have been different, even though the matter of which the quarks are composed exists necessarily. He can’t say this because quarks aren’t composed of anything! They just are the basic units of matter. So if a quark doesn’t exist, the matter doesn’t exist.

This is just muddled, and it requires a bit of guesswork to work out what he's trying to say.

He creates an incoherent position (matter is made of quarks, which are composed of matter), and then "demolishes" it. Impressive. :what:

If h'e's trying to argue that the universe must take the form it actually has then this contradicts his earlier point that stars, galaxies, etc could have "failed to exist" (although I'm sure he'd wibble over "necessity in its own nature" vs other types of necessity). If they could have failed to exist than configurations could have been different, contradicting the point he seems to be making here.

Now it seems obvious that a different collection of quarks could have existed instead of the collection that does exist. But if that were the case, then a different universe would have existed...

Similarly, a universe made up of different quarks, even if identically arranged as in this universe, would be a different universe. It follows, then, that the universe does not exist by a necessity of its own nature."
[/url])

Craig appears to see the universe is essentially just a finite collection of discrete objects made up of quarks, with the odd non-material bit such as radiation. So when he asks "how did all these things create themselves?" it seems absurd.

But it's by no means clear that the observable universe is "all there is", and there are plenty of candidates for how the observable universe came into being without needing to poof itself into existence, such as the ekpyrotic model of the universe.

Craig: creating confusion for Christ since 1979.
A thinking creationist is an oxymoron. A non-thinking creationist is just a moron.
(Source: johannessiig, here)
User avatar
xrayzed
 
Posts: 1053
Age: 61
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#27  Postby klazmon » Apr 13, 2011 8:17 am

CarlPierce wrote:Defending your faith with bald assertions and logical errors wouldn't sell as well I suspect. Everything he describes could be used to justify the universe existing due to an alien race or the matrix or a million other 'maybes'. Why on earth pick out an iron age super being.


Well that is illogical as well. Any alien races, gods, matrices, or maybes are all part of the universe if they exist. That is the definition of the word universe.
User avatar
klazmon
 
Posts: 2030
Age: 109
Male

New Zealand (nz)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#28  Postby Teuton » Apr 13, 2011 8:51 am

xrayzed wrote:
Why would each and every quark need to exist necessarily for the universe to exist necessarily?


If one regards the universe as the mereological sum of all fundamental particles and accepts mereological essentialism, then the whole universe ceases to exist even when one fundamental particle ceases to exist. According to mereological essentialism, if parts are subtracted from or added to a whole, it ceases to exist and another, numerically different whole begins to exist. Therefore, a whole exists necessarily only if all of its parts exist necessarily.
(But there are philosophers who reject mereological essentialism.)
"Perception does not exhaust our contact with reality; we can think too." – Timothy Williamson
User avatar
Teuton
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 5461

Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#29  Postby Matt_B » Apr 13, 2011 10:22 am

Teuton wrote:
xrayzed wrote:
Why would each and every quark need to exist necessarily for the universe to exist necessarily?


If one regards the universe as the mereological sum of all fundamental particles and accepts mereological essentialism, then the whole universe ceases to exist even when one fundamental particle ceases to exist. According to mereological essentialism, if parts are subtracted from or added to a whole, it ceases to exist and another, numerically different whole begins to exist. Therefore, a whole exists necessarily only if all of its parts exist necessarily.
(But there are philosophers who reject mereological essentialism.)


Even that wouldn't be a problem, as fundamental particles are governed by conservation laws for which we know of no exceptions. As such, it's not physically possible to take away any single particle from the universe even in principle, without making a corresponding compensation. Also, according to the principle of indistinguishable particles which I alluded to earlier, we can't make the universe different by swapping out a particle and substituting a replacement to make good for the conservations laws; what we end up with is the same universe and, again, this is in principle rather than not just being able to spot the difference in practice.

As such, even if Craig's argument is philosophically valid, I don't see how he can relate it to the physical universe.
User avatar
Matt_B
 
Posts: 4537
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#30  Postby Teuton » Apr 13, 2011 12:05 pm

"Ever since Aristotle, God has been conceived in Western philosophical theology as a necessarily existent being (ens necessarium). Christian theologians interpreted the revelation of the divine name 'I am that I am' (Ex. 3:14 KJV) to express the same idea of God's necessity. For Aristotle, God's necessary existence probably meant simply his immunity to generation and corruption. The Aristotelian conception finds its counterpart among those contemporary philosophers who defend the idea of God's 'factual' necessity: according to this notion, God exists necessarily in the sense that, given that God exists, it is impossible that he ever came into or will go out of existence. He is uncaused, eternal, incorruptible, and indestructible. During the Middle Ages, however, Islamic philosophers such as al-Farabi began to enunciate an even more powerful conception of God's necessity: God's nonexistence is logically impossible. This conception of necessary existence lay at the heart of Anselm's ontological argument: if God's nonexistence is logically impossible, it follows that he must exist. On this view God is not merely factually necessary, but logically necessary in his being.
Powerful theological and philosophical reasons can be given for taking God's existence to be logically necessary. Philosophically, the conception of God as the greatest conceivable being implies his necessary existence in this sense, since logically contingent existence is not as great as necessary existence. Certain forms of the contingency argument for God's existence terminate in a logically necessary being, for only such a being can supply an adequate answer to the question, Why is there something rather than nothing? The conceptualist argument for God's existence also entails the existence of a logically necessary being in order to ground the realm of abstract objects. The axiological argument leads naturally to such a being, since moral values and principles are not plausibly logically contingent. Theologically speaking, a God who just happens to exist (even eternally and without cause) seems less satisfactory religiously than one whose nonexistence is impossible. Mere factual necessity thus does not seem to capture the fullness of divine being.
Since the critiques of Hume and Kant, however, philosophers have until recently widely rejected the notion of God as a logically necessary being. It was often said that to speak of a logically necessary being is flatly a category mistake; propositions are logically necessary or contingent with respect to their truth value, but beings are no more necessary or contingent than they are true or false. If one replied that the theist means to hold that the proposition <God exists> is necessarily true, then the response was that existential propositions (that is, those which assert the existence of something) are uniformly contingent. Besides, the proposition <God does not exist> is not itself a contradiction, so that <God exists> cannot be logically necessary. Moreover, many philosophers insisted that the distinction between necessary and contingent truths is merely a result of linguistic convention, so that it becomes merely conventional to assert that God necessarily exists.
Philosophical reflection over the last quarter century has largely overturned these critiques. The development of possible world semantics has provided a useful means of expressing the theist's claim: To say that God is logically necessary being is to say that God exists in every possible world ('God' in this case being a proper name and, hence, rigidly designating its referent, that is to say, picking out the same entity in every possible world in which it exists). In other words, the proposition <God exists> is true in every possible world. There is no good reason to think that such an existential proposition cannot be true in every possible world, for many philosophers make precisely similar claims about the necessary existence of various abstract objects like numbers, properties, propositions, and so forth. Though abstract, such objects are thought by many philosophers to exist, in Plantinga's words, just as serenely as your most solidly concrete object. Thus, it would be special pleading to privilege these objects with necessary existence while denying the possibility of God's existing necessarily. 
Furthermore, the modality operative in possible worlds semantics is not strict logical necessity/possibility, but broad logical necessity/possibility. Strictly speaking, there is no logical impossibility in the proposition <The Prime Minister is a prime number>; but we should not want to say, therefore, that there is a possible world in which this proposition is true. Broad logical possibility is usually construed in terms of actualizability and is therefore often understood as metaphysical possibility. There are no clear criteria which can be applied mechanically to determine whether a proposition is metaphysically necessary/impossible. One chiefly has to rely on intuition or conceivability.  Propositions which are not strictly logically contradictory may nonetheless be metaphysically impossible, for example, <This table could have been made of ice> or <Socrates could have been a hippopotamus>. Similarly, propositions need not be tautologous (like <If it is raining, then it is raining>) or analytic (like <Even numbers are divisible by two>) in order to be metaphysically necessary; for example, <Gold has the atomic number 79>, <Whatever begins to exist has a cause>, or <Everything that has a shape has a size>. Intuitions may differ over whether some proposition is metaphysically necessary/impossible.  Thus, with respect to the proposition <God exists>, the fact that the negation of this proposition is not a contradiction in no way shows that the proposition is not metaphysically necessary. Similarly, the proposition that <Nothing exists> is not a logical contradiction, but that does not show that the proposition is broadly logically possible. If one has some reason to think that a metaphysically necessary being exists, then it would be question-begging to reject this conclusion solely on the grounds that it seems possible that nothing should exist. 
Finally, as for the conventionalist theory of necessity, such a construal of modal notions is not only unjustified but enormously implausible. As Plantinga points out, the linguistic conventionalist confuses sentences with propositions. Sentences are linguistic entities composed of words; propositions are the information content expressed by declarative sentences. We can imagine situations in which the sentence 'Either God exists or He does not' would not have expressed the proposition it in fact does and so might have been neither necessary nor true; but that goes no distance toward proving that the proposition it does express is neither necessary nor true. Moreover, it seems quite incredible to think that the necessity of this proposition is in any wise affected by our determination to use words in a certain way. Could it really be the case that God both exists and does not exist?
The conception of God as a necessary being in a broadly logical sense thus seems a coherent notion which properly belongs to Christian theism."


(Moreland, J. P. and William Lane Craig. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2003. pp. 502-4)


Okay, let's differentiate between the following kinds of modality (possibility/necessity):

1. Narrowly, formally logical modality

2. broadly logical, logico-semantic, conceptual modality

3. ontological/metaphysical modality


My contention is that God's existence is neither narrowly nor broadly logically necessary, and not ontologically/metaphysically necessary either. For God's nonexistence is not inconceivable, unimaginable, unthinkable, or unintelligible; and so he does not exist in all (ontologically/metaphysically) possible worlds. God can be 'removed' or 'subtracted' from some possible worlds without this resulting in any absurdity or irrationality.
God's existence couldn't be more necessary than factually necessary; and "factually necessary" means "essentially eternal".

"Whatever we conceive as existent, we can also conceive as non-existent."
(Hume, David. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. 1779. Part IX.)

Even if there is no possible world in which nothing exists, it doesn't follow that there is something which exists in all possible worlds: ~(AwExE!x_w –> ExAwE!x_w)
And even if there is something which exists in all possible worlds, it doesn't follow that it is God.
"Perception does not exhaust our contact with reality; we can think too." – Timothy Williamson
User avatar
Teuton
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 5461

Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#31  Postby CarlPierce » Apr 13, 2011 12:26 pm

klazmon wrote:
CarlPierce wrote:Defending your faith with bald assertions and logical errors wouldn't sell as well I suspect. Everything he describes could be used to justify the universe existing due to an alien race or the matrix or a million other 'maybes'. Why on earth pick out an iron age super being.


Well that is illogical as well. Any alien races, gods, matrices, or maybes are all part of the universe if they exist. That is the definition of the word universe.


Can't I just define 'gods' and 'super-aliens' as existing separate from the 'universe' if I'm in the business of making things up to explain the universe's creation, just like Christians do with their 'god'.
User avatar
CarlPierce
RS Donator
 
Posts: 4048
Age: 55
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#32  Postby Teuton » Apr 13, 2011 1:02 pm

Teuton wrote:
My contention is that God's existence is neither narrowly nor broadly logically necessary, and not ontologically/metaphysically necessary either.


Given the theistic concept of God, it is a conceptually and also metaphysically necessary truth that if God exists, spirits exist:

[](<God exists> –> <Spirits exist>)

The following is an axiom of modal logic:

[](p –> q) –> ([]p –> []q)

An instance of this is the following:

[](<God exists> –> <Spirits exist>) –> ([]<God exists> –> []<Spirits exist>)

This means that if God exists in all metaphysically possible worlds, then spirits exist in all metaphysically possible worlds.
But the claim that the nonexistence of spirits (souls) is inconceivable, unimaginable, or unthinkable is ridiculous.
And by modus tollens it follows that if the existence of spirits isn't metaphysically necessary, the existence of the divine spirit called God isn't metaphysically necessary either.
"Perception does not exhaust our contact with reality; we can think too." – Timothy Williamson
User avatar
Teuton
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 5461

Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#33  Postby klazmon » Apr 14, 2011 1:05 am

CarlPierce wrote:
klazmon wrote:
CarlPierce wrote:Defending your faith with bald assertions and logical errors wouldn't sell as well I suspect. Everything he describes could be used to justify the universe existing due to an alien race or the matrix or a million other 'maybes'. Why on earth pick out an iron age super being.


Well that is illogical as well. Any alien races, gods, matrices, or maybes are all part of the universe if they exist. That is the definition of the word universe.


Can't I just define 'gods' and 'super-aliens' as existing separate from the 'universe' if I'm in the business of making things up to explain the universe's creation, just like Christians do with their 'god'.


No you can't. If the gods or super aliens exist then they are part of the universe. That's the definition of the word universe. You can only place them outside of the universe via the logical fallacy of equivocation.
User avatar
klazmon
 
Posts: 2030
Age: 109
Male

New Zealand (nz)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#34  Postby xrayzed » Apr 14, 2011 8:13 am

Teuton wrote:
xrayzed wrote:
Why would each and every quark need to exist necessarily for the universe to exist necessarily?


If one regards the universe as the mereological sum of all fundamental particles and accepts mereological essentialism, then the whole universe ceases to exist even when one fundamental particle ceases to exist. According to mereological essentialism, if parts are subtracted from or added to a whole, it ceases to exist and another, numerically different whole begins to exist. Therefore, a whole exists necessarily only if all of its parts exist necessarily.
(But there are philosophers who reject mereological essentialism.)

And thus does Craig define his way to victory: if the universe could have been different it wouldn't be this universe. Therefore the universe couldn't be different.

In any case it seems convenient to limit the universe to fundamental particles. Are virtual particles not part of the universe? If no, what are they part of? If yes, does the universe cease to exist, and a new one begin to exist, every time a virtual particle disappears?

It's actually a bit painful discussing Craig's arguments because his conceptions of the universe seem so simplistic. It appears to be no more and no less than the "stuff" in the observable universe that poofed into existence ex nihilo. He's free to hold this model, but when it doesn't actually mesh very well with the things physicists are talking about.

So you either have to spend ages trying to bring the discussion into a sensible framework, which is tedious and time-consuming, or you have to take his models on face value, which is only slightly less tedious and time-consuming.
A thinking creationist is an oxymoron. A non-thinking creationist is just a moron.
(Source: johannessiig, here)
User avatar
xrayzed
 
Posts: 1053
Age: 61
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#35  Postby FRAP38 » Apr 14, 2011 6:15 pm

I can tolerate Theist arguments from a number of opponents, Alister McGrath for instance, but Craig is so annoying! His voice! and his repetitive arguments . . . over and over...same shit!
"Intolerance is the natural concomitant of strong faith; tolerance only grows when faith loses certainty; certainty is murderous" . . . "Inquiry is fatal to certainty." -Will Durant
User avatar
FRAP38
 
Posts: 360
Age: 44
Male

Country: USA
United States (us)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Craig's case for Theism: Argument Maps

#36  Postby Teuton » Apr 14, 2011 9:43 pm

klazmon wrote:If the gods or super aliens exist then they are part of the universe. That's the definition of the word universe."


"There was a time when 'universe' meant 'all there is.' Everything. The whole shebang. The notion of more than one universe, more than one everything, would seemingly be a contradiction in terms. Yet a range of theoretical developments has gradually qualified the interpretation of 'universe.' The word's meaning now depends on context. Sometimes 'universe' still connotes absolutely everything. Sometimes it refers only to those parts of everything that someone such as you or I could, in principle, have access to. Sometimes it's applied to separate realms, ones that are partly or fully, temporarily or permanently, inaccessible to us; in this sense, the word relegates our universe to membership in a large, perhaps infinitely large collection."

(Greene, Brian. The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. p. 4)
"Perception does not exhaust our contact with reality; we can think too." – Timothy Williamson
User avatar
Teuton
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 5461

Germany (de)
Print view this post

Previous

Return to Theism

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest