Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Debating a Theist

I am in the process of debating a theist here. The topic, “Does God Exist?” is not very exciting, but he seemed quite enthusiastic about debating me, so I obliged.

Question: Does any one think there has been any new developments in this fight in the past…say…100 years? Or is it the same arguments re-worked?


  1. New? I suppose Swinburne and Plantinga can be considered to give at least a new twist on old arguments.

  2. Notes:

    Remember, the 2loT is a *statistical* law, not a fundamental law like quantum mechanics. Indeed, it explicitly says its is indeed *possible* for a closed system to become more ordered, it's just highly unlikely.

    It's close enough to a fundamental law for *practical* purposes, for macroscopic systems on human-sized scales of time and space. But when we're talking about conditions such as the Big Bang, we're don't even *know* what scales to consider, not to mention what those scales are.

    Second, WOFman is trying to slip positivism in: We haven't *observed* abiogenesis, therefore (natural) abiogenesis lacks a scientific justification.

    But this is simply *not* how science works. Many scientific theories (such as quarks) cannot be established positivistically, i.e. by *direct* observation. Rather they are justified as being the best explanation to account for what we *can* observe.

    Positivism is not WOFman's primary point (it's a straight God of the Gaps argument), but theists try to slip in Positivism precisely because it undermines science at a fundamental level and it's much easier to rebut since it's actually contradictory.

  3. Keep us informed in comments here, please, when you post there? I can't put BBS posts on an RSS feed.

  4. DagoodS,

    Ever see the movie Aliens? Remember when the landing party has to high-tail it out of the city dome, after getting their butts whopped by the aliens inside? Finally able to catch their breath, one of the survivors cries, "That's it man, game over man, game over!"

    After reading your debate (more like, "debate"), that little scene comes vividly to mind. You've produced such a knock-down argument - and one so unlike the usual ones we hear - I actually feel sorry for your opponent. Yeah, part of it was his own doing ("science proves God" then later "science is wrong"...LOL), but the Argument from Methodology proves itself once again.

    You need worthier opponents.

    Making My Way

  5. The Next posts are up. It was indicated my Second Response is extremely hard for my opponent (Woffie) to follow. Any constructive criticism as to why it is hard to follow would be helpful. Perhaps I can clean it up.

  6. I think it's because your opponent is an IDiot.

    Probably a complete waste of time with someone that uneducated, but you never know who all is reading along, I suppose. A noble effort. :)

  7. Sacred slut! How great to hear from you. I no longer link to your blog because…er…apparently one needs a key to get it. He he he. I can’t imagine why.

    I wonder how I can communicate, though. It is frustrating to be as straightforward as possible, numbering out the claims, addressing in outline fashion. And then hear that they “can’t follow it.” Not sure how to write it so they can.

  8. I think you are doing a great job. I suspect Woffie has pulled all of his hair out by now. :-)


  9. He can't hear you because he's got his fingers in his ears and he's going LA LA LA LA!!! It makes for an entertaining if sometimes frustrating read.

    Re: my blog, I'm on hiatus for now...couple of "fans" got to be too much for me.

  10. And btw, what ad hominemens? You mean the parts where you pointed out that he was wrong? Typical.

  11. bookjunky,

    I think he meant the St. Augustine quote at the end of my second response. Which is funny--considering I picked it up from Dr. Francis Collins’ article. So a Christian, quoting another Christian about Christians is an “ad hominem.”

    Who am I to argue? *grin*

  12. The Barefoot Bum

    *chuckle* Not only had I read it, I see I commented on it quite enthusiastically in the Peanut Gallery. Seems like a long time ago—Rev. Muse, jdlongmire, Vorkosigan…

    It does exemplify, though, my reluctance on this debate, “Does God exist?” Re-reading yours we see the same arguments, “Can’t replicate natural abiogenesis = God.” “To call something evil you must believe in God.”

    While I haven’t seen “No purpose” in my debate, it may still come up. I wonder if we could all get together, flip a coin to determine who plays the part of the theist and who plays the part of the non-theist, and make the same arguments.

    I listened to the Turek – Hitchens debate (terrible, by the way) and hear the same things over and over.

  13. Nice job with the debate.

    It must be incredibly frustrating to debate with someone who constantly ignores your precise refutations of their ignorant, unscientific presumptions.

    The self-aggrandizing nature of an ignorant theist attempting to debate against logic and reason merely discredits their belief system.

    To so profoundly misunderstand science calls into question every interpretation and conclusion they have ever arrived at.

  14. Thanks Jerry. The third statements are up and I see little hope for improvement. My opponent thinks he is wasting his time, and that I am not debating. I think he wants to avoid methodology because he cannot frame one, and has absolutely no clue regarding science.

    “Laws are timeless and eternal”? I mean—really? Holy Rotten Science, Batman!

    Seems these debates always end in both sides talking past each other.

    I am mildly curious as to how he envisions this debate happening. Discussion over “missing links”? I wonder how many other debates on “Does God Exist?” he has read. And seen how most are philosophical endeavors. Not evolution vs. YEC Creationism.

  15. What I find most hilarious is WOFman chastising you for trying to control the debate by asking him questions. Immediately after his diatribe he asks you two questions and criticizes you for not answering them yet.

    How could WOFman take an extra week to form an argument and simultaneously overlook this extremely hypocritical lack of logic.

    Even worse, his two questions had already been answered. It is so curious how he flaunts science he does not understand to attempt to prove his position. Even worse, he cannot even recognize when someone is addressing and refuting his own points with the science he claims to be proof of the supernatural.

  16. With little fanfare, and even less surprise, my opponent abandoned the debate after only 3 rounds. I posted concluding remarks. He will whine…