Posted: Dec 24, 2013 12:03 pm
by hackenslash
1. God provides the best explanation of the origin of the universe.

Begging the question that the universe had or requires an origin.

Given the scientific evidence we have about our universe and its origins

We don't have any evidence about the origin of the universe, nor whether it had or required one.

and bolstered by arguments presented by philosophers for centuries

Well, since most of those centuries were pre-relativity, and since the contents of the various umbilici of navel-gazers isn't evidence, we can safely discount their input.

it is highly probable that the universe had an absolute beginning.

On what fucking basis?

Since the universe, like everything else, could not have merely popped into being without a cause,

Everything else? Everything? I really do hope that Hawking radiation is unambiguously observed reasonably soon, because a) it will be yet another example of an acausal existence and b) Hawking will win a Nobel Prize, and I think that would be kinda cool.

there must exist a transcendent reality beyond time and space that brought the universe into existence.

Show your working out here. Equivocation on 'cause' perchance?

This entity must therefore be enormously powerful.

Show your working out here. Simple beginning, simple cause? Simpleton.

Only a transcendent, unembodied mind suitably fits that description.

Ah yes, because we have abundant evidence for that, don't we?

God provides the best explanation for the fine-tuning of the universe.

What fine-tuning?

Contemporary physics has established that the universe is fine-tuned for the existence of intelligent, interactive life.

Actually, the only contemporary work by a physicist that I'm aware of that suggests the universe might be fine-tuned for anything is Lee Smolin's on black holes. Are they intelligent, interactive life?

That is to say, in order for intelligent, interactive life to exist,

Well that rules you out.

the fundamental constants and quantities of nature must fall into an incomprehensibly narrow life-permitting range.

Actually, they could vary wildly with no discernible effect, as long as the ratios between them aren't altered appreciably. Indeed, we can even remove one of the fundamental forces of nature and the universe would still permit life, making it, in fact, more likely. What was that about fine-tuning again? Surely your celestial peeping-tom, if he were fine-tuning a universe for life, would not bother with such an extraneous addition, especially if it reduced his universe's effectiveness in supporting life?

There are three competing explanations of this remarkable fine-tuning: physical necessity, chance, or design.

You left one out, namely that it doesn't exist.

The first two are highly implausible, given the independence of the fundamental constants and quantities from nature's laws and the desperate maneuvers needed to save the hypothesis of chance. That leaves design as the best explanation.

Or the explanation that fine-tuning doesn't exist, and especially not in the sense that you're mangling it.

God provides the best explanation of objective moral values and duties. Even atheists recognize that some things, for example, the Holocaust, are objectively evil.

Objectively? Have you asked any dolphins about this? What about meerkats?

But if atheism is true

Atheism isn't a truth claim, fuckwit.

what basis is there for the objectivity of the moral values we affirm?

Objectivity of moral values? Values can't be objective.

Evolution? Social conditioning? These factors may at best produce in us the subjective feeling that there are objective moral values and duties, but they do nothing to provide a basis for them.

Yet the evidence suggests that they are the basis of our moral values, because they have been defined based on our need to function as social animals.

If human evolution had taken a different path, a very different set of moral feelings might have evolved.

Probably not, because if evolution had taken a different path, we would either not be social animals or the same sorts of constraint on our behaviour would be in place.

By contrast, God Himself serves as the paradigm of goodness, and His commandments constitute our moral duties.

Ah, so stoning unruly children to death in front of the town is a moral duty? Forcing a rape victim to marry her attacker is a moral duty? Or do you just mean the moral duties you cherry-pick because they happen to agree with the general social contract?

Thus, theism provides a better explanation of objective moral values and duties.

Errr, no.

God provides the best explanation of the historical facts concerning Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Historians have reached something of consensus that the historical Jesus thought that in himself God’s Kingdom had broken into human history,

So we're supposed to rest everything on what somebody thinks somebody thought now? Is that how it works?

and he carried out a ministry of miracle-working and exorcisms as evidence of that fact.

For which we have what sources again?

Moreover, most historical scholars agree that after his crucifixion Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty by a group of female disciples, that various individuals and groups saw appearances of Jesus alive after his death, and that the original disciples suddenly and sincerely came to believe in Jesus’ resurrection despite their every predisposition to the contrary. I can think of no better explanation of these facts than the one the original disciples gave: God raised Jesus from the dead.

Or we could try a few others:

1. One of his fanbois nicked the body.
2. He was never buried there.
3. He didn't die (there is at least one former historian to most of the royal houses of Europe who thinks the sponge was infused with some soporific).
4. It was made up out of whole cloth.
5. They were delusional.

God can be personally known and experienced.

Known in the biblical sense? :lol:

The proof of the pudding is in the tasting. Down through history Christians have found through Jesus a personal acquaintance with God that has transformed their lives.

I'm sure Cali's six-foot cockroach transformed his life somewhat.

The good thing is that atheists tend to be very passionate people and want to believe in something. If they would only put aside the slogans for a moment and reexamine their worldview in light of the best philosophical, scientific, and historical evidence we have today, then they, too, would find Christmas worth celebrating!

I did all that, and concluded it was bollocks. Of course, you think we need god to explain the tides, so it's hardly surprising that you're too fucking stupid to understand what the evidence is actually telling us.