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The cosmological argument


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In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 18:04:18 BDT
AJ Murray says:
I fear you may be correct Hugh, Tom M is long on incoherent rants and cant but falls short when it comes to actual argument. Like yourself i have extended him an invite to put his case reasonably but yet again he fails to deliver.

Posted on 12 Jun 2012 18:04:24 BDT
AJ,

While there isn't a huge number of replies to your deconstructions of Craig's arguments, I should say that they are interesting, enlightening, and are being read.
I thought there ought to be some feedback to show that you're not wasting your time.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 18:16:32 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Aj- like wot Sam said. Very interesting posts.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 18:31:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 12 Jun 2012 18:32:22 BDT
AJ Murray says:
Thanks Sam, C.A., much appreciated. What i am finding is how superficial Craig's reasoning is with no support being given for his desired conclusions most of the time and simply dismissing arbitrarily any other views that are inconvenient. I have downloaded some more apologetics and hope to critique these in turn. I might even plump for some of Anthony Rizzi's stuff to see how robust it is.

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Jun 2012 18:48:20 BDT
I admit that I haven't really examined Craig's arguments before (not enough time for everything I'd like to do), but I read the article that you're now critiquing when you started this thread. I too was amazed by just how weak his arguments were. While I didn't spot everything that you did, I came up with a fair amount of it. If I can do that, it amazes me that anyone falls for it.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 11:47:30 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Sam, they fall for it because they want to, indeed, need to believe it.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 20:25:17 BDT
Tom M says:
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In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 20:30:59 BDT
Drew Jones says:
Get on with it already.

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 20:45:26 BDT
You talk a good game. Any chance of you actually getting onto the field within, say, a human lifespan?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 20:49:56 BDT
Withnail says:
Its like a riddle - but one where he doesn't know the answer. Like Alice in Wonderland - When is a raven like a writing desk?

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Jun 2012 20:58:33 BDT
Last edited by the author on 13 Jun 2012 20:58:51 BDT
Drew Jones says:
"When is a raven like a writing desk?"
That one's easy: When Aristotle says it is!

Posted on 22 Jun 2012 13:52:03 BDT
AJ Murray says:
It just struck me that Tom M has been promising this dénouement of Dawkins since January, but has yet to come up with the goods. Like so many Christians there is a lot of idle talk but very little of substance.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 14:08:46 BDT
"But I agree its due time to get on with this very light task."

Get on with it then, before we all die of boredom.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 18:10:02 BDT
He probably hasn't yet found that certain special website from which to copy and paste the answer.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 19:06:41 BDT
Withnail says:
He could try this one-

http://www.victorzammit.com/articles/dawkins77.htm

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 19:24:53 BDT
I found it particularly ironic that Zammit criticises Dawkins' apparent lack of objectivity concerning the paranormal and then ends the article with...

"We must never forget, we are on the WINNING side - and nothing, and no one - no materialist, no skeptical debunker, no orthodox scientist on earth is going to change that ever - guaranteed!"

Yeah, Vic, you're just the poster child for unbiased objectivity.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 20:19:19 BDT
AJ Murray says:
Toot true, what makes me laugh is when he copies the copyright and then accuses other people of lacking in intelligence...

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 20:24:41 BDT
The 'deliberate' mistakes are obviously part of his grand plan. Gotta be...

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 20:27:12 BDT
Withnail says:
"They're disseminating darkness on a global level - and surely one day they'll have to pay the price for that."

Or not...

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 20:31:06 BDT
I dunno though... with all of that global darkness, we'll need a lot of torches, and the price of batteries is quite high. That's probably what they were talking about.

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 13:03:19 BDT
AJ Murray says:
So Tom M after much posturing has given us a taster of his so-called 'demolition of Dawkins', his other claims towards Hume and Russell appear to have gone missing, but let's see what we're left with.

He writes:

-"Just to continue in this vein for a moment from Feser, Aquinas never argued as...Dawkins states , that 'There must have been a time when no physical things existed'. Quite the opposite as anyone remotely familiar with his arguments knows."

So let's look at the text of The God Delusion to see whether Tom is on target.

-

Dawkins begins a chapter of the proofs in which he offers his critcisms:

>'The five 'proofs' asserted by Thomas Aquinas in the thirteenth century don't prove anything, and are easily - though I hesitate to say so, given his eminence - exposed as vacuous. The first three are just different ways of saying the same thing, and they can be considered together. All involve an infinite regress - the answer to a question raises a prior question, and so on ad infinitum.'

He then paraphrases the first three proofs. Now the third one is the one that Tom M, in his role of channeling Feser, takes issue with.

This is Aquinas' third proof:

'The third way is taken from possibility and necessity, and runs thus. We find in nature things that are possible to be and not to be, since they are found to be generated, and to corrupt, and consequently, they are possible to be and not to be. But it is impossible for these always to exist, for that which is possible not to be at some time is not. Therefore, if everything is possible not to be, then at one time there could have been nothing in existence. Now if this were true, even now there would be nothing in existence, because that which does not exist only begins to exist by something already existing. Therefore, if at one time nothing was in existence, it would have been impossible for anything to have begun to exist; and thus even now nothing would be in existence - which is absurd. Therefore, not all beings are merely possible, but there must exist something the existence of which is necessary. But every necessary thing either has its necessity caused by another, or not. Now it is impossible to go on to infinity in necessary things which have their necessity caused by another, as has been already proved in regard to efficient causes. Therefore we cannot but postulate the existence of some being having of itself its own necessity, and not receiving it from another, but rather causing in others their necessity. This all men speak of as God.'

This is a variation of the CA known as the argument from contingency - simply put it argues that because things exist there must some 'thing' or 'being' that grants those things existence, otherwise there would be nothing.

Yes, Dawkins gets this (slightly) incorrect, but only if you don't read the whole sentence:

'There must have been a time when no physical things existed. But, since physical things exist now, there must have been something non-physical to bring them into existence, and that something we call God.'

So partial credit to Tom/Feser there.

Next, Tom writes:

-"Dawkins...claims...that Aquinas "gives absolutely no reason" to think that the First Cause of the universe is omnipotent."

This is what Dawkins actually wrote:

>'All three of these arguments rely upon the idea of a regress and invoke God to terminate it. They make the entirely unwarranted assumption that God himself is immune to the regress. Even if we allow the dubious luxury of arbitrarily conjuring up a terminator to an infinite regress and giving it a name, simply because we need one, there is absolutely no reason to endow that terminator with any of the properties normally ascribed to God: omnipotence, omniscience, goodness, creativity of design, to say nothing of such human attributes as listening to prayers, forgiving sins and reading innermost thoughts.'

In actual fact this is a criticism of these forms of arguments and not directed at anything Aquinas wrote in his proofs. Also i would point out that Aquinas *does* argue for some of these properties elsewhere in the Summa Theologica.

Next, Tom writes:

-"[Dawkins]...also thinks that Aquinas' teleological argument in the fifth way has something to do with Paley's watchmaker."

I am not sure whether Tom/Feser is familiar with Paley's work or the teleological arguments but Dakwins brings them both together in his paraphrase of the fifth proof:

'The Teleological Argument, or Argument from Design. Things in the world, especially living things, look as though they have been designed. Nothing that we know looks designed unless it is designed. Therefore there must have been a designer, and we call him God. Aquinas himself used the analogy of an arrow moving towards a target, but a modern heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile would have suited his purpose better.'

Dawkins then writes:

'The argument from design is the only one still in regular use today, and it still sounds to many like the ultimate knockdown argument. The young Darwin was impressed by it when, as a Cambridge undergraduate, he read it in William Paley's Natural Theology. Unfortunately for Paley, the mature Darwin blew it out of the water. There has probably never been a more devastating rout of popular belief by clever reasoning than Charles Darwin's destruction of the argument from design.'

So out of three objections Tom gets partial credit for an unsympathetic reading of the paraphrse of the third proof.

Dakwins 2
Tom M 0.5

Posted on 28 Jun 2012 15:52:24 BDT
Cheers for the Breakdown AJ, been wating months for this.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 15:59:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 16:08:22 BDT
So, Paul Boire paper tiger, can't say I'm surprised. We all knew why the longest strip-tease in forum history was becoming interminable.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2012 16:12:29 BDT
Tom M says:
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Posted on 28 Jun 2012 16:12:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 Jun 2012 16:21:51 BDT
Tom M says:
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Discussion in:  religion discussion forum
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Initial post:  20 Apr 2012
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