Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Frank Turek vs. Christopher Hitchens Debate #2 MP3 Audio

Frank Turek debates Christopher Hitchens on the topic: What Best Explains Reality: Atheism or Theism? This is their 2nd debate. Their first debate can be found here.

The debate video can be found at Crossexamined here.

Full MP3 Audio here. (2 hours)

Enjoy.


22 Comments

  1. Aaron August 19, 2009

    Thanks bro!

  2. Lee August 19, 2009

    "What Best Explains Reality: Atheism or Theism? "

    The question makes no sense…

    Why or how could a non-belief explain anything? Who claims that it does? Hitchens? I hope not… but it is always fun listening to the man.

    The 'bloke in the pub' philosopher

    Lee
    PS
    And Yes, as always I like to make a comment BEFORE I listen

  3. SteveC August 19, 2009

    Lee,
    The question makes perfect sense. We all know Hitchens has a worldview.Can his worldview explain reality or not? Lets not give him a pass because Atheism is a so called "non-belief". Hitchens certainly holds some beliefs about reality. If those beliefs cannot explain reality, maybe he should find some that do.

  4. Lee August 19, 2009

    Hi SteveC

    We all know Hitchens has a worldview.Can his worldview explain reality or not?

    And if it doesn't – does this prove God?

    Nope…

    Anyway, I will try and listen on the train.

    Which reminds me…

    Must go

    Lee

  5. Brian August 19, 2009

    Have a great day, Lee.

  6. Lee August 20, 2009

    Thanks Brian. Hope you have/had a good one also.

    It started bad though for me when I found that this debate had not downloaded to my ipod for some reason.

    I was 'forced' to listen to more of WLC – always a pleasure.

    I think have the debate now…

    Lee

  7. SteveC August 21, 2009

    Id like to offer a summary of Hitchens case.

    People do bad things,therefore God does not exist. Wow.

    You might ask how that answers the question "What best explains reality: Atheism or Theism?"

    Hitchens never even tries to answer that question. Tureks' case is virtually untouched by Hitchens. Turek also gives one of the best closing statements I have heard.

  8. Lee August 22, 2009

    Hi SteveC

    Id like to offer a summary of Hitchens case.

    People do bad things,therefore God does not exist. Wow.

    Rubbish isn’t it… shame that isn’t the only argument Hitchens makes, but it seems the one you have chosen to remember.

    The one I took away from the debate was Hitchen’s pointing out the argument from Frank was only for the deistic god, and not the theistic.

    Hitchens also pointed out that religion has made good people to do bad things. This isn’t an argument against God directly – since God could still exist.

    However, it does raise the question what type of God would allow this to happen.

    You might ask how that answers the question "What best explains reality: Atheism or Theism?"

    It doesn’t – but it is a nonsense question anyway. As I have already asked – how can a non-belief be expected to explain anything?

    Does my non-belief in invisible blue unicorns explain reality any better?

    It's stupid.

    Now, if you want to ask does science answer reality any better – that is a different question and not what the debate was about.

    Tureks' case is virtually untouched by Hitchens.
    Turek’s case was merely an argument for the deist god and rested largely on physics he doesn’t understand.

    I’ve already written a lot against the first cause and the fine tuning argument – they are both very poor. That seems the best Frank has.

    The moral argument is also invalid for me unless he can provide evidence for absolute morals – which he of course fails to do.

    Turek also gives one of the best closing statements I have heard.

    Did nothing for me – if I recall he was only attacking strawmen.

    Funny also how Turek cried “it’s not fair that I have to do a closing statement and he doesn’t”… made me smile.

    Lee

  9. SteveC September 1, 2009

    Hi Lee,
    "the argument from Frank was only for the deistic god, and not the theistic"

    "The argument" did include(though not fully develope), a reference to the resurrection of Jesus. If true, that would be an act of God in history,thus revealing a theistic God. Even if Franks case did only prove a diestic god, wouldnt that still disprove atheism?
    Lee, Im glad to hear that you dont believe in blue unicorns. Your disbelief in unicorns is justified because there is no good reason to think they exist. The non-existence of unicorns has no bearing on explaining reality. No one thinks a unicorn could bring a universe into existence. There are no features of the world that are best explained by blue unicorns. However Frank T. gave six different features of the world best explained by God. Big difference.

    "Turek’s case was merely an argument for the deist god and rested largely on physics he doesn’t understand."

    That is not a refutation of the physics arguments Frank made. No he isnt a physicist.But the sources he quotes are. Hitchens isnt a physicist either. That shouldnt disqalify someone from referencing authorities. If Frank mis-used a source, Hitchence couldve protested or at least provided a counter example. Again, Hitchens doesnt interact with the arguments other than to say that Christians should avoid dealing in "evidences", and stick with "faith". Im sure that would make Hitchens job easier.

    Just curious what you think of Antony Flew and his recent change of mind?

    Thanks,

  10. Lee September 2, 2009

    Hi Steve,

    "The argument" did include(though not fully develope), a reference to the resurrection of Jesus

    Right at the end yes… this was the part Hitchens was talking about ‘getting his trousers off’

    If true

    “If true” is rather key… if true, I could be the best basketball player in the world.

    If true.

    that would be an act of God in history,thus revealing a theistic God.

    And what evidence outside of the bible do we have for 6 hours of darkness, dead saints getting up and making themselves known, and Earthquakes at the time of the crucifixion.

    All of these we should expect evidence in the written historical record – outside of the bible.

    Why isn’t there any?

    If there isn't evidence for claims that can be tested – why should I believe claims that cannot?

    Even if Franks case did only prove a diestic god, wouldnt that still disprove atheism?

    Firstly, I said it was only an argument FOR the deistic god – I didn’t say it was a very good one 🙂

    Secondly, no… it’s a-theist not a-deist

    Thirdly, it provides no reason to believe in the Christian God.

    Lee, Im glad to hear that you dont believe in blue unicorns.

    We can agree then… hooray.

    Your disbelief in unicorns is justified because there is no good reason to think they exist.

    Change the word ‘unicorn’ for ‘God’ and the argument is the same 🙂

    The non-existence of unicorns has no bearing on explaining reality.

    So how do YOU explain rainbows? 🙂

    No one thinks a unicorn could bring a universe into existence.

    With 6 billion people in the world, there is probably one.

  11. Lee September 2, 2009

    There are no features of the world that are best explained by blue unicorns.

    Apart from rainbows…

    However Frank T. gave six different features of the world best explained by God. Big difference.

    It’s been a while now… what were they?

    First cause argument – fail (special pleading stating God is uncaused. Oh, and read my many posts on the subject)

    Fine tuning argument – fail (see my post
    http://strawmen-cometh.blogspot.com/2009/07/fine-tuning-argument-is-rubbish-or-why.html
    )

    Design argument – fail. Inductive nonsense at best. Read Hume.

    Moral argument – interesting, but still fails (Is it called a false premise?) The argument asserts absolute morals but these have never been shown.

    5 and 6?

    I cannot remember.

    I assume one of them is the ‘empty tomb’ argument which requires evidence for it first – at best it is evidence of a story, nothing more.

    Which one am I missing?

    No he isnt a physicist. But the sources he quotes are.

    Quote mining is not making an argument.

    That shouldnt disqalify someone from referencing authorities.

    I did not mean to imply they could not refer to authority just it should not be misplaced.

    I’ve heard too many times that ‘Hoyle thought that’ and ‘Davis said this’ and ‘Hawkins wrote this’ and some chap who accidently discovered the cosmic background radiation cannot think of anything better than Genesis 1.

    These quotes do not make an argument, just offer opinions at best.

    If Frank mis-used a source, Hitchence couldve protested or at least provided a counter example.

    As you said, Hitchens isn’t a physicist – and Hitchens did counter saying Frank should not misuse physics.

    Not important – happy to discuss the physics with you though anytime 🙂

    Again, Hitchens doesnt interact with the arguments other than to say that Christians should avoid dealing in "evidences", and stick with "faith". Im sure that would make Hitchens job easier.

    Hitchens for me is great entertainment – I do not think he is the best philosopher or scientist or even debater.

    But good fun most of the time.

    Just curious what you think of Antony Flew and his recent change of mind?

    I assume he is still a deist…

    I heard a debate with Flew and William Lane Craig a while back.

    What I would like to read/hear is Flew tackle his own arguments he said when an atheist.

    Until then, what am I to think of him?

    Lee

  12. SteveC September 2, 2009

    Hello again Lee,
    Forgive me if I dont get to all your points. Time is short.

    "And what evidence outside of the bible do we have for…"
    I have to ask if this is an honest question Lee, because my suspicion is that no matter how many non-Biblical references one could site for an event, you would not accept it as evidence, but rather dismiss it on some ground that would never be applied to other events of history.
    Example.Clements letter to the Corinthian church in 95 AD and Polycarps letter to the Phillipian church in 110 AD each mention the resurrection of Jesus. Also Pauls list of eyewitness in 1 Cor.15:3-7 has been shown to pre-date the New Test. writings. Now Im sure you will dismiss these sources for some reason, but you cant maintain that there arent sources outside the Bible.
    Besides, your overlooking the fact that the New Test. documents are historical sources. Simply dismissing them because they are "Christian" sources, is like saying we shouldnt accept accounts of Roman history because they were written by Romans. If you want to know what the early Christians believed, read the early Christians.

    About unicorns and rainbows.Im not sure if you were being serious here, but we both know there is a natural explaination for rainbows,right? There can be no natural explaination for the origin of the universe, given there were no laws of nature prior to the Big Bang. An uncaused first cause isnt special pleading. Its the only plausible option, even Aristotle knew that.
    One last thing for now. You said "These quotes do not make an argument, just offer opinions at best."Right,the quotes dont make an argument. Rather the quotes are used to support an argument,namely that the universe is fine-tuned to support life, therefore the universe must have a "tuner/designer".I heard no alternative explaination for this fine tuning from Hitchens.
    Lee,I do appreciate your interaction with my comments. I have enjoyed it and have been challenged as well.
    Thanks

  13. Lee September 3, 2009

    An uncaused first cause isnt special pleading.

    Yes it is…

    The core of the first cause argument is everything needs a cause, except for the special case of ‘God’ that the argument is trying to prove.

    “Everything needs a cause except the thing I am trying to prove”… THAT is special pleading (or if I have the name of the fallacy wrong, it is still faulty logic)

    So the argument fails on this alone.
    (And adding special pleading that ‘everything that begins to exist requires a cause’ is doing the same thing. Special pleading)

    I’ve written several posts on the first cause argument on my blog – please take a read, happy to discuss this further, but I just don’t wish to repeat myself too often.

    Just click on the label ‘first cause’ over at my blog.

    Its the only plausible option, even Aristotle knew that.

    My point here would be that ‘common sense’ has been shown to fail – time and time again. Aristotle has been shown wrong on many areas of physics.

    So I would not put too much trust/faith in Aristotle and what ‘he knew’

    the quotes are used to support an argument,namely that the universe is fine-tuned to support life, therefore the universe must have a "tuner/designer".

    Too fast… you are asserting too much and you do not realise it.

    “the universe is fine-tuned to support life”

    Let’s focus on this point first.

    If I gave a ‘special pill’ to 1 million people, and 999,999 people died a horrible painful death BUT ONE got their cold cured…. would you say that my ‘special pill’ was fine-tunned to cure the common cold?

    Or would you notice that 999,999 people have died a horrible painful death and think, maybe this pill was in fact designed to kill people in a horrible fashion, and by blind chance this one person got their cold cured?

    What do you think?

    Do you still think the universe was fined tuned for life? Then explain why 99.99% of all species to have existed on the Earth are now extinct, and how 99.999999% of the universe is inhospitable for life.

    Your argument would be better (but still flawed) if you said the universe was fine tuned for black holes.

    I heard no alternative explaination for this fine tuning from Hitchens.

    Hitchens isn’t making the claim – so he doesn’t have to.

    The universe could be the way it is because it is the way it is… OK, this doesn’t say much or help with our understanding – but if you move from this position to make a claim (like you and Frank have done) it is for you to back it up.

    The burden of proof is with you to back up your claim.

    Now, just to give you a flavour of an alternative explanation…

    Can you draw me a circle where if you divide its circumference by its diameter you don’t get Pi but a different number. Any number… any number at all.

    What are the chances that if you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter it will be close (but not equal) to 3.1415926535897932384626433832795?

    My point is that we just don’t know if the universal constants can vary and be something else.

    Since you don’t know this – you cannot say they are finely tuned, anymore than you can say Pi is finely tuned to make a circle.

    I do appreciate your interaction with my comments. I have enjoyed it and have been challenged as well.

    Thank you– I enjoy this discussion also.

    Now… that should keep you busy 🙂

    Don't worry about having to reply to all of it – if you merely read it I will be happy.

    All typos are my own…

    Take care

    Lee

  14. Lee September 3, 2009

    Simply dismissing them because they are "Christian" sources, is like saying we shouldnt accept accounts of Roman history because they were written by Romans.

    Let’s say we have only one Roman account that stated that a general raised an army of 10,000 soldiers and marched onto a town of Jellybaby.

    Now, we might be sceptical of the town of Jellybaby (it is a silly name) but nothing in the account is out of the ordinary. So why not believe it? It does not change our knowledge of world history and our ‘souls’ do not rest upon believing it. Romans raised armies of around 10,000 and more, and did march onto towns… there are other accounts for this type of activity (both written and archaeological) so it all seems reasonable.

    Now, what if we had just one account (again Roman) that stated a General raised an army of 10 million soldiers that flew onto the town of Jellybaby?

    What then? I think both of us would be rather sceptical on the whole account.

    10 million is a silly number, the town is a silly name, and there is no evidence outside this account that Roman’s had the ‘power of flight’.

    If later archaeologists dig up evidence that Romans DID have the power of flight, then things change a little. Until then, we should both be sceptical, and rightly so.

    If you can agree with my logic and reasoning for this Roman example – then why is it wrong to apply it consistently to other accounts i.e. claims in the bible?

    Are you seeing now why I required independent sources to back up the original claim?

    Am I being unreasonable and/or applying my logic and reason inconsistently?

    If you want to know what the early Christians believed, read the early Christians.

    I have a good idea on what they believe, but this doesn’t mean what they believed in was true.

    I’ve read a bit on people who believed they have been abducted by aliens – do you believe that aliens really abducted them?

    Why not? They believe it, why don’t you?

    About unicorns and rainbows.Im not sure if you were being serious here, but we both know there is a natural explaination for rainbows,right?

    I am being serious… let’s see if we can both be consistent.

    Is it your logic that it is a miracle from God until science shows a natural explanation?

    Before Newton, was there a natural explanation of rainbows?

    Nope… not that I am aware of…

    According to the bible, it was a gift from God after the Flood showing that He will not kill us all by water again. Right?

    So, using your logic, before Newton, a rainbow was a miracle, after Newton it was natural. (Same goes for thunder and hail – just read Job, very funny)

    There can be no natural explaination for the origin of the universe, given there were no laws of nature prior to the Big Bang.

    You are asserting that their can be no natural explanation for the origin of the universe?

    How do you know this? You don’t know – so how then can you go from this ‘I don’t know’ to the ‘I know there were no laws of nature prior to the Big Bang’?

    Also, does your supernatural explanation actual answer anything anyway? Don’t think so… why did your God create this universe with talking monkeys and not another type of universe?

  15. Lee September 3, 2009

    Example.Clements letter to the Corinthian church in 95 AD and Polycarps letter to the Phillipian church in 110 AD each mention the resurrection of Jesus.

    “The Church of God which sojourns at Rome, to the Church of God sojourning at Corinth, to those who are called and sanctified by the will of God, through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you, and peace, from Almighty God through Jesus Christ, be multiplied. ”

    Now call me old fashioned, but this does sound like a Christian writing… I do not deny that there were believers writing at the time, as I said.

    I will grant you that if this was written in 95 AD that this would be very interesting that people believe in the Jesus story within 60 years. I’ve not got time to read the whole letter, so could you point out where in letter it quotes 6 hours of darkness, dead saints getting up and making themselves known and earthquakes?

    So in conclusion, the writer is not an eye witness of the events I am questioning, and merely confirming their own belief in the biblical account. They have an investment in promoting the Christian belief.

    It does not fulfil any of my requirements for evidence for the biblical account, they are in fact part of the biblical account. After all, the bible wasn’t complied until 320 AD-ish

    Also Pauls list of eyewitness in 1 Cor.15:3-7 has been shown to pre-date the New Test. writings.

    Erm, the last time I checked (just now) 1 Cor.15:3-7 is in the bible so this doesn’t count as non-biblical now does it?

    As for the 500 – where is their account?

    I have only the Paul’s word that there were 500 who saw anything. What evidence do you have to back up the claim made IN the bible (the book we are questioning remember) – using this verse is circular reason at best. “It is true because it says so in the bible”

    Now Im sure you will dismiss these sources for some reason, but you cant maintain that there arent sources outside the Bible.

    Actually, the last one is ONLY in the bible.

    The first one is a Christian text which I admit I wasn’t clear about before when I said this wasn’t the type of evidence I was looking for.

    Am I wrong to reject it as evidence FOR the bible? Please tell me why.

    Besides, your overlooking the fact that the New Test. documents are historical sources.

    No I am not – they are the historical sources, when have I ever said they are not?

    What I am trying to do is to test and validate. these source against other sources.

    I cannot use them to test themselves…

  16. Lee September 3, 2009

    I should have also said ‘non-Christian’, since why should anyone of us be surprise that a Christian ‘believes’ that Jesus rose from the dead and stuff?

    I do not deny that Christians believe what is written in the bible and would likely be happy to write down words that confirm their belief.

    This would not be evidence for anything more than their belief in the stories of the bible.

    Let’s face it, I assume this is what you and others here believe – but as far as I am aware you don’t have any evidence you can share on why you believe (and the last time I checked, ‘feelings’ are not considered good evidence in a court of law – though they can help guide an investigation. If you think ‘feelings’ should be admissible as evidence in a court of law – just say)

    Now, I will have to be clear again… I am not rejecting the Christian historical account ‘out of hand’ – it is what I am testing, so I cannot use it to prove itself. That would be circular reasoning/logic.

    It would be like believing in the Emerald city because why else would someone write about the yellow brick road – it has to lead somewhere right?

    I think it is reasonable to expect non-Christian accounts for the events described happened at the crucifixion – IF they truly happened. There where plenty of historians writing at the time and of the period.

    If you disagree on this, then please explain?

    My point would be that if I am to reasonably expected to accept that years (20? 30?) after the event a Christian scribe could write a reliable account then why can’t a non-Christian?

    6 hours of darkness is 6 hours of darkness, earthquakes are earthquakes (dead people getting up and making themselves known can be debate).

    A whole city of people should have seen these events – if true – where is their account? Why isn’t it known?

    An historian should be aware of these events if they happened, even IF their interpretations of the events are different to that of a Christian (i.e. A Greek might say it was Apollo, A Roman could say Saturn – who knows.)

    Basically, I want to see independent accounts written by people without any invested interest in what they are writing. i.e. a side remark by a historian about an earthquake and 6 hours of darkness while they are reporting the military movements of the Roman soldiers would be priceless.

    Lastly (though this is merely icing on the cake), it would be nice to have these accounts written at the time by the actual eye witnesses. Now I understand this isn’t always possible for ancient history, but it will add weight to the evidence if it was written by an actual eye witnesses, rather than someone who heard it from someone, who heard it from someone else.

    Now onto your examples…?

    Lee

  17. Lee September 3, 2009

    Hi Steve,

    Forgive me if I dont get to all your points. Time is short.

    No worries – I cannot even remember them all.

    So long as you tackle the ‘challenging’/interesting ones first.

    RE: "And what evidence outside of the bible do we have for…"
    I have to ask if this is an honest question Lee, because my suspicion is that no matter how many non-Biblical references one could site for an event, you would not accept it as evidence, but rather dismiss it on some ground that would never be applied to other events of history.

    Yes it is an honest question.

    I have no problem with you being suspicious of me (though I feel you don’t have to be), but don’t use that as a reason to reject my argument.

    If you could provide good non-biblical historical account written at the time then you would have provided me reasons to doubt my own position.

    I personally would be happy with that – I have no investment in my current conclusions and will be happy to change them.

    After all, who wouldn’t want to believe in Jesus and an afterlife?

    However, it seems I might not have been specific enough with the ‘non-biblical’ statement earlier since your response is off the mark a little (Sorry about that – I’ve asked for this type of evidence so many times, sometimes I am a little short in describing what I mean…. so I will expand a little here.)

    Non-biblical is the easy bit to explain, it means that it does not appear in the bible.

  18. SteveC September 3, 2009

    Hi Lee,
    Wow, where to begin. I want to be sure I understand you. You would like sources outside the Bible that are non-Christian sources, preferably eyewitnesses, right? I would agree that eyewitness testimony is preferable. But that is precisely what you will not accept. Mathew and John were eyewitness, Marks Gospel is believed to be the memoires of Peter, and Luke being a companion of Paul, likewise had access to good information close to the events. Paul, by the way, was NOT a Christian when he claims to have encountered the risen Christ. Please don’t say these aren’t valid because they are “anonymous”. There are plenty of references in the early church Fathers as to who the authors were and there were no competing claims otherwise. Even if we didn’t know the true authors, the accounts date to the 1st century, which is good for ancient sources.

    What has always troubled me about your approach is that historians are not this skeptical of other historical sources. Only with the N.T. accounts do skeptics say it’s not good enough. If we site other sources, you could always say they were mis-informed, right?

    As for other non-Christian sources, I don’t see why you would expect non-Christians to be writing and affirming something like the resurrection of Jesus or any other miracle related to him. The most we should expect from Non-Christian sources are perhaps references to the “odd” behavior and beliefs of early Christians. Do you really expect an ancient non-Christian source to write that he saw the risen Christ? If he did, would you immediately disqualify him as a credible witness? No, as long as he is isn’t a Christian, right? If Jesus really did those things, then who else would you expect to write about it, but those personally impacted by it? Personal involvement in an event, no matter how incredible, doesn’t invalidate a testimony. It seems strange to say the only testimony worth considering is that of those who were not there. I’m glad our courts don’t operate with that kind of skepticism when evaluating a past event.

  19. SteveC September 3, 2009

    About earthquakes, darkness, and the dead rising. I do believe earthquakes were common place in the ancient world. We wouldn’t expect an account of all of them would we? I’m not sure that other references to the dead rising would convince you since we already have multiple accounts in the New Testament documents of other people being raised during Jesus lifetime. I do think you would be interested to know, that there is a record of a non-Christian reference to the darkness during the crucifixion:
    Julius Africanus, who wrote about 221 A.D. found a reference in the writings of Thallus(1st cent.). Africanus asserts:
    “On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.”

    About the “Emerald City”, I would not believe anyone writing about that either, unless we had good reason to think this were an historical place. We DO know Jesus was an historical figure at an historical place and time.

    About the 1Cor 15 passage. Yes it’s in the Bible. My point was that it did not originate with Paul, but has been identified by scholars as an oral tradition/creedal statement dating back to within a couple years of Jesus death. It pre dates Paul’s letter, and is an indication of what the original Christians believed had happened. No time for myth to develop. You ask where is the testimony of the 500 witness. Why would that concern you? They wouldn’t be credible, they were Christians, right? Your question is good though. Those who read Paul’s boast of these witnesses could have asked the same thing. This seems to be why Paul includes the indication that most of these people were still living. They could be questioned about what they saw.
    I’m not arguing that the resurrection is true because the “Bible says so”. I am starting the same way historians do, by examining the written records. These records were not Biblical books when they were written, but ancient biographies and personal letters. What if I said you shouldn’t believe Tacitus history of Rome just because Tacitus says so? Historians don’t do history that way. Good thing, because many facts of ancient history rest on a single source.

    There are many corroborations of biblical detail in other sources which have been well documented. You can always pick and choose some detail that isn’t corroborated by an outside source. This can be done with any historical account. No historian in his right mind would claim that unless ALL DETAILS in a source can be corroborated, we should throw out the account. Let’s just be fair, and evaluate the N.T. accounts by the same rules used for other historical accounts. We are both interested in the truth, right?
    Yes, the N.T. accounts are incredible. But if they really happened, wouldn’t you want to know it? Why raise a level of skepticism that could prevent you from finding the answer?
    I need an aspirin.

  20. SteveC September 3, 2009

    “You are asserting that there can be no natural explanation for the origin of the universe?”

    My understanding is that all time, space, matter, and energy, came into being at the Big Bang event. Unless Einstein’s theories regarding this have been refuted, then I don’t see how any natural laws or resources could have brought the universe into existence.

    This is no mere assertion. Based on the cause and effect structure of the world, we know there are only two kinds of causes. Personal agents and non-personal/natural causes. Again, with no natural laws prior to the Big Bang, a personal cause is the only true option. Any speculation about a mysterious, non-personal, yet to be discovered force, bringing everything into being seems like a greater leap of faith.

    The core of the argument is that everything that has a BEGINNING has a cause. If you are going to tell me an infinite regress of causes is more likely than an uncaused first cause, then I have some beach front property on the Moon to sell you.

    Regarding the fine tuning argument; I think you are assuming too much as well. In order to know that God’s design of the universe is flawed, you would need to know what his purpose was in the first place. Christians believe this present universe and all present life is intended to be temporary. The eternal state is the ultimate destination, but that’s another matter.

    You seem bothered by the fact that there is so little life to be found in such a vast universe. But again, you assume to know God’s intentions as to how many life forms he wanted to make and where.
    Secondly, it’s not the absence of other life that needs an explanation, but rather the life that we know of that needs an explanation. Unless the laws of physics were precisely as they are, there would be no possibility of advanced, carbon-based life, like we have.
    Also, I don’t believe there is any wasted space in the universe. The mass density of the universe is determined by its size and make up. Every uninhabited planet or galaxy, every star, every black hole, contributes to the precise mass density constant. There is no evidence or law that suggests these constants had to have been this way.
    Again, if you want to believe these kinds of physical constants are accidental, I’ll remind you that my lunar beach property is still on the market!

    SteveC.

  21. Lee September 4, 2009

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I think we really should take this over to my blog… not sure if Brian wants all this nonsense of mine other here.

    I’ve just created a new post on the fine tuning argument – shall we take it over there?

    http://strawmen-cometh.blogspot.com/2009/09/finely-tuned-cure-to-common-cold.html

    My next reply will be a LONG one

    Lee

  22. Lee September 4, 2009

    Hi SteveC

    Your reply is over at my blog.

    Hope that is OK

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