September 26, 2012

7 Reasons why Dawkins' Excuses for not Debating Craig are Illogical


I've touched upon this subject in earlier posts, but a recent comment by an atheist at my blog has underscored why this subject needs to be specifically addressed and plainly spelled out for people who continue to deny it. In no uncertain terms, Dawkins' excuses for not debating William Lane Craig are illogical when taken in the context of history and Dawkins' publicized comments.

If someone was challenged to a debate and replied, "No, I refuse because your hair is short." This would seem to be an illogical response. However, if we were talking about The Long Hair Debate Club, then it would be a logical reply. Context is important. If a person was uncivilized and has had a habit of swearing and vituperating outbursts of unsubstantiated slander, then this would be a valid reason not to accept a debate offer. It would conceivably be a waste of time to attempt a civilized and rational discourse with such a person. But, what if an atheist were to state, "You believe the Bible is literally true, therefore I won't debate the existence of God with you." This would not be a logical or valid reply if the conditions of the debate and the truth values were not based on the Bible alone. This is because a vast multitude of Christians and theists over the ages have believed the scriptures are true and have also used reason and logic to defend theism. This has been the historical context of such debates. This is one of the many reasons why Dawkins' excuses not to debate William Lane Craig are illogical and disingenuous.

1. Dawkins wrote a book claiming that belief in God is delusional.
2. William Lane Craig outlined why Dawkins' book is illogical.
3. Instead of defending his book with logic and reason in debate, Dawkins offered tangential and illogical excuses.
4. There are at least seven reasons why Dawkins' excuses are illogical.

It's quite easy to write a book and pretend that it holds philosophical value. However, when the same book has been dismantled in a civilized manner and the author refuses to debate with the same critic, one is likely to find that the excuses for not debating are illogical as well. Such is the case with Richard Dawkins and his God Delusion. William Lane Craig had basically dismantled the quasi-reasoning of The God Delusion in Craig's 2010 book On Guard:

"No logical rules of inference would permit you to draw this conclusion from the six premises..."Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" does not follow from these six steps, even if we concede that each of them is true and justified... At most, all that follows is that we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe. But that conclusion is quite compatible with God's existence and even with our justifiably believing in God's existence."[1]

Let's consider Dawkins' published response to Craig's challenges to debate from October 20, 2011, "Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig" - Here, Dawkins summarized his primary excuse:

"This Christian 'philosopher' is an apologist for genocide. I would rather leave an empty chair than share a platform with him."[2]

According to his summary quote, Dawkins has refused to debate the existence of God with William Lane Craig because Craig is a biblical literalist with regard to the historical attack on Canaan. Craig is one who does not consider extraordinary and controversial themes in the Bible to be ipso-facto metaphorical. Instead of debating the truth or falsehood of belief in God, Dawkins presumes to know enough about scripture and history to use this biblical account as an excuse for claiming moral superiority. Craig has outlined the correct historical and biblical interpretation of the Canaan attack, however, Dawkins is apparently interested in finding any excuse he can to avoid debate, no matter how illogical.[3] There are at least seven reasons why Dawkins' responses are illogical.

1. Dawkins' refusal to debate Craig as a biblical literalist is illogical and invalid in considering the context of history.

In the context of history, a vast multitude of theists have believed the Bible is literally true. To refuse to debate a theist because he is not following a postmodern relativist trend is illogical and invalid. Yet, this is what Dawkins claims: "Most churchmen these days wisely disown the horrific genocides ordered by the God of the Old Testament." A literal view of the Bible underscores that God both ordered the attack and that the attack was justified, as per Genesis 15.16, Ezekiel 33.11 and Revelation 15.3.

Jesus himself supported the Old Testament accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, as well as Jonah's account.[4] Dawkins would apparently claim moral superiority over Jesus Christ because Christ is known to have been a biblical literalist who believed, no doubt, the attack on Canaan was justified. Had he lived in Jesus' day, Dawkins would have perhaps shunned Jesus as a moral wretch for supporting the attacks on Canaan. However, this would not have disproved Christ's truth claims. And neither does shunning Craig disprove his claims. Strike one for Dawkins.

2. Dawkins' use of a biblical account as an excuse for not debating is basically an appeal to consequences.

In his reply, Dawkins shifts focus away from the underlying philosophical question at hand, "Does God exist?" - towards a specific event and a question of moral justification. Dawkins has in no way demonstrated how the attack on Canaan thousands of years ago has a direct bearing on the truth or falsehood of God's existence. In his reply and excuse he is committing the logical fallacy known as an appeal to consequences. A basic description of this appeal to consequences helps to outline why it is not a valid logical response:

"This is based on an appeal to emotion and is a form of logical fallacy, since the desirability of a consequence does not address the truth value of the premise."

If the Bible is true and to be taken literally, then in Dawkins' eyes the biblical God is reprehensible and biblical Christians must supposedly be shunned. In focusing on a tangential and 'consequential' issue, Dawkins is not challenging the underlying question of God's existence, but is simply offering up the consequence of biblical God's existence as some kind of excuse to dismiss deeper philosophical questions. Strike two for Dawkins.

3. Dawkins' Canaan excuse is basically an ad hominem attack.

In addition to an appeal to consequences, Dawkins' Canaan excuse for not debating William Lane Craig is basically an ad hominem attack dressed up in a cheap tuxedo. Dawkins basically told Craig, 'I consider you to be a bad person, therefore, I won't debate the truth or falsehood of foundational beliefs.' Similar to the previous logical fallacy, using illogical and unsubstantiated smears in an attempt to avoid philosophical debate does not count as a valid response. Strike three.

4. Dawkins had previously confessed that he has no objective moral standard with which to judge others.

Dawkins had claimed that William Land Craig is immoral for his support of the historic Canaan attacks, however, Dawkins' own quotes help to outline why his understanding of his own beliefs disqualify him for the task of passing moral judgment on others. In an interview Dawkins had stated, "There is no logical connection between what is and what ought."[5] How is it that a person who confesses that he has no objective basis for discerning what is right and wrong will use a moral reason as an excuse not to debate God's existence? It's not logical. Strike four.

5. Dawkins' form of "reasoning" is not based on logic, but on rhetorical devices.

How is it that a man so widely admired in the atheist community could hold such incredibly faulty reasoning? His excuse offers insight. Instead of using logical arguments, Dawkins relies on various rhetorical props in order to try to make himself look good, and, for the most part, the atheist community tends to buy it.

Dawkins' website claims that he is "for reason", however, he consistently demonstrates a form a reasoning that is void of logical principles. There are basically three types of rhetoric used in attempting to form a convincing argument: ethos based, pathos based and logos based rhetoric. The first is based on a person's reputation and academic authority. The second is based on an appeal to emotions. And the third is based on time-tested principles of logic. In forming his excuse not to debate Craig, Dawkins' first sentence is an appeal to ethos-based rhetoric. He attempts to diminish Craig's academic status: "Don't feel embarrassed if you've never heard of William Lane Craig."[6] And then Dawkins attempts to bolster his own status in the context of considering a debate, "That would look great on your CV, not so good on mine."[7] The fact of the matter is, however, that Dawkins' excuse here, as poor as it is, fails miserably as well. Craig holds two earned doctorate degrees, while Dawkins holds only one. Dr. Craig has 47 books listed as published at Amazon, while Dawkins has 12 published books to date.  Strike five, chalk up another illogical tactical blunder for Dawkins.

6. Dawkins' excuse of self-promotion displays extreme hypocrisy and is thus invalid.

In a Daily Telegraph article, Dawkins’ is quoted as saying, “I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion”[8] This is an illogical criticism because Dawkins is consistently more active in self promotion than Craig could ever be considered to be. Dawkins arranges international book tours in order to promote himself and his books and so his criticism is a logical self contradiction. William Lane Craig does not promote himself in such a manner.  A video clip of Dawkins' book promotion at Barnes and Noble in New York City is a classic example.[9] As noted by Dr. Craig, “Being accused of being self-promoting by Richard Dawkins is, as Sam Harris remarks, sort of like being accused of bad taste by Lady Gaga.”[10] Strike six.

7. Dawkins' brand of anti-religious atheism may easily be used to justify worse forms of racism and genocide.

For an atheist Buddhist racism and genocide would not be logical, because killing innocent people would produce some pretty bad karma. But when all religious implications are stripped away and militant atheism is adopted, then nothing is held sacred and the worst humanitarian crimes may be justified using pragmatism and utilitarianism. Joseph Stalin founded "The League of Militant Atheists" - the same brand of atheism Richard Dawkins embraces.[11] And simple logical syllogisms outline the manner in which Dawkins' brand of atheism has been used, and may be used today, to justify racism and the genocide of innocent people on massive levels.[12] Because Dawkins' brand of atheism may be used to justify racism and genocide, therefore, Dawkins' Canaan excuse for not debating the truth of God's existence is hypocritical and illogical.










Proper and effective logical reasoning includes the use of something called logical consequence, wherein premises are organized into a logical syntax in order to produce a logical conclusion. In the case of Richard Dawkins, we find neither the use of logical principles nor an understanding of logical consequence, neither in his books, nor in his excuses. If anything, a closer look at Dawkins' poor excuses helps to shine the light on Richard Dawkins as the New Atheism emperor with no clothes. As noted at the New Atheism website, New Atheists such as Dawkins are not interested in debating the truth of ideas, they are interested in promoting "intolerance" and marginalizing religious people. Craig's criticisms of The God Delusion remain valid and unchallenged, it's an illogical book written by an illogical atheist apparently bent on prejudice and deception. As the most widely promoted apologist for atheism today, Richard Dawkins, including all his fallacious reasoning and excuses, is perhaps the best argument there is for theism today.

References

[1] Craig, William Lane, On Guard, 2010, David Cook, Colorado Springs, CO,  p.121, see online, Reasonable Faith Forum, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5493
[2] Guardian, Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/richard-dawkins-william-lane-craig
[3] Reasonable Faith, Slaughter of the Canaanites, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/slaughter-of-the-canaanites
[4] CARM, What did Jesus teach about the Old Testament?, http://carm.org/questions/about-jesus/what-did-jesus-teach-about-old-testament
[5] Dr. Richard Dawkins interviewed by Nick Pollard at New College, published in Third Way in the April 1995 edition (vol 18 no. 3) February 28th, 1995, http://www.damaris.org/content/content.php?type=5&id=102
[6] Guardian, Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig - http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/20/richard-dawkins-william-lane-craig
[7] Ibid.
[8] Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God, The Daily Telegraph, May 14, 2011 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/8511931/Richard-Dawkins-accused-of-cowardice-for-refusing-to-debate-existence-of-God.html)
[9] YouTube, Richard Dawkins Book Tour in NYC, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqpN4nq70Rs
[10] YouTube, Richard Dawkins Suffers from Projection while Evading William Lane Craig, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5zp76Yj7bo
[11] Templestream, Dawkins-Craig Debate, Genocide, Israel's Occupation of Palestine,
http://templestream.blogspot.com/2011/10/dawkins-craig-debate-genocide-israels.html
[12] Templestream, How Richard Dawkins' Evolution Justifies Racism and Genocide,
http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/02/dawkins-evolution-justifies-racism-and.html

(updated 09/27/12)

Tags: Dawkins' excuses for not debating Craig, reasons why Dawkins refuses to debate, Richard Dawkins' self contradictions, Richard Dawkins' self promotion, Dawkins shuns biblical literalists, New Atheism is not about promoting truth but demanding censorship, proof Dawkins is disingenuous

85 comments:

  1. Sigh...I see that your straw men factory is working well, Rick...

    R:To refuse to debate a theist because he is not following a postmodern relativist trend is illogical and invalid.

    Straw man, do show the exact quote, where Dawkins claims he will not debate Craig because he considers the bible literally true.

    Dawkins refused to debate Craig because he is repulsed by him, because Craig claims that the genocide of the Canaanites was justified. Refusing to debate someone, because one is repulsed by that person is perfectly valid.

    R:In his reply, Dawkins shifts focus away from the underlying philosophical question at hand, "Does God exist?" - towards a specific event and a question of moral justification

    Again, straw man at sight. Dawkins does not shift the focus from the question. He does not even mention it. He only explains why he is repulsed by Craig and why he will not debate him. 8)

    R:Dawkins basically told Craig, 'I consider you to be a bad person, therefore, I won't debate the truth or falsehood of foundational beliefs.'

    Nope, what he basically said was smth like that: "I am repulsed by you and I have no wish to interact with you in any way." Do try to cure yourself from your reading disability, Rick.

    R:How is it that a person who confesses that he has no objective basis for discerning what is right and wrong will use a moral reason as an excuse not to debate God's existence? It's not logical. Strike four.

    Straw man number four. Dawkins own view on morality are completely irrelevant here as pointed out several times before. He is disgusted by Craig and have the right to not interact with him.

    Besides, you have not provided any quotes outlining Dawkinse s moral views. The only thing one can tell from that quote, is that Dawkins did not base his moral views on science. And it does seem that he changed his opinion with Sam Harisse s book.

    R:Dawkins' form of "reasoning" is not based on logic, but on rhetorical devices.

    If you take into account that all your previous arguments were attacks on straw men, you have failed to show this 8)

    R:As noted by Dr. Craig, “Being accused of being self-promoting by Richard Dawkins is, as Sam Harris remarks, sort of like being accused of bad taste by Lady Gaga.” Strike six.

    Rather straw man number six. The number of published books is not what make a person distinguished. The quality of the material is what is important. Craig could have published a thousand books, but they would still be worthless. He has not presented any new ideas, he just uses rhetorics to push propaganda, no matter how flawed the aguments are. It was pointed out before that Craigs quoting rate is ridiculously low. No one uses his books in research unlike the one s from Dawkins. Hence, from an academical point of view, Craig is a nobody.

    R:But when all religious implications are stripped away and militant atheism is adopted, then nothing is held sacred and the worst crimes may be justified using pragmatism and utilitarianism

    Argument from ignorance. You are unable to even imagine what reason one might have not to rape, pillage and kill without the bible. And that makes you a monster, Rick.

    It was explained to you time and time again why canibalism, rape and murder is wrong. You are also unable for some reason to understand that such actions decrease the happiness of the people. And again, that has nothing to do with Dawkins refusal to debate Craig.

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    Replies
    1. >Straw man, do show the exact quote, where Dawkins claims he will not debate Craig because he considers the bible literally true.

      - Denial is certainly not just a river in Egypt today. The above article references such quotes:

      "Most churchmen these days wisely disown the horrific genocides ordered by the God of the Old Testament."

      See the phrase, "Ordered by the God of the Old Testament" - that is the context of a literal interpretation of the Canaan attacks. As also noted in the above article:

      "Jesus himself supported the Old Testament accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, as well as Jonah's account.[4] Dawkins would apparently claim moral superiority over Jesus Christ because Christ is known to have been a biblical literalist. Had he lived in Jesus' day, Dawkins would have perhaps shunned Jesus as a moral wretch for supporting the attacks on Canaan. However, this would not have disproved Christ's truth claims. And neither does shunning Craig disprove his claims. Strike one for Dawkins."

      >Refusing to debate someone, because one is repulsed by that person is perfectly valid.

      - Not if the debate in question is a philosophical debate and the underlying reasons for repulsion are illogical. Philosophical truth claims do not depend on whether you love or hate someone. Sorry, keep trying.

      >Again, straw man at sight. Dawkins does not shift the focus from the question. He does not even mention it.

      - So, not mentioning the subject at hand is not shifting focus away from it? That is quite humorous. How much vodka have you had already today?

      >Nope, what he basically said was smth like that: "I am repulsed by you and I have no wish to interact with you in any way."

      - Again, that is an invalid and illogical response to a philosophical debate based on the reasoning given for the repulsion and the context of Dawkins' own claims that he has no objective basis with which to morally judge another person.

      >If you take into account that all your previous arguments were attacks on straw men, you have failed to show this

      - Your comments have in no way justified Dawkins' excuses - not even close. Feelings alone don't effect or justify a debate response or a philosophical argument. This is particularly poignant when the excuses are loaded with hypocrisy.

      >Rather straw man number six. The number of published books is not what make a person distinguished. The quality of the material is what is important.

      - Oh, so illogically framed arguments like those found in Dawkins' God Delusion are supposedly high quality? Gosh, you could at least try to make a case to support that claim.

      >You are unable to even imagine what reason one might have not to rape, pillage and kill without the bible.

      - No, it's not about rape at all. You see, exaggeration and hype are the tools of atheist apologists. Craig's explanation is outlined in a link as is my own explanation of the Canaan attacks. I suppose for you making false exaggerations may seem to be more effective than examining actual points.

      You called me a liar for pointing out that Dawkins' excuses are illogical. Now you have offered some extremely paltry defenses of your position. You should probably apologize for your unjustified slander. Though I believe you will probably continue to hold onto the myth that Dawkins writes logical books and offers logical excuses. I suppose this is the real "magic" of the hardened atheist "reality" - as Dawkins calls. It's truly amazing that people defend such obviously faulty logic.

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    2. >Refusing to debate someone, because one is repulsed by that person is perfectly valid.

      - Not if the debate in question is a philosophical debate and the underlying reasons for repulsion are illogical.

      Rick, why didn't you tell us you were a Vulcan?
      You are repulsed by people swearing. You refuse to debate with people who do so. Yet there is no logical reason to do so -- it's just words. So, are you illogical for refusing to debate with people who use different words than you choose to?

      You seem to believe that everyone has an obligation to debate anyone who challenges them -- unless, of course, they swear.

      You should probably apologize for your unjustified slander.

      Oh! Here we go! Accusing other people of being drunk while posting is all in good fun -- but being accused of being a liar (which I do not find him doing -- he accuses you of using straw-man arguments) is "unjustified slander".

      Talk about an impressive double-standard.

      Oh, and Rick:
      It's truly amazing that people defend such obviously faulty logic.

      You're the one who still hasn't explained why your claimed-valid logic proves that birds tend not to fly. You calling other people's logic faulty is the pot calling the zebra black.

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    3. R:See the phrase, "Ordered by the God of the Old Testament" - that is the context of a literal interpretation of the Canaan attacks.

      Sigh...Let quote imnotandrei, maybe that is going to help:

      "No -- because Craig believes that the activities described in the bible were justified and moral. There's a difference between "He believes it happened" -- biblical literalist and "He believes it was right and good" -- genocide apologist."

      Nowhere, does Dawkins say that he refuses to debate bible literalists.

      R:Not if the debate in question is a philosophical debate and the underlying reasons for repulsion are illogical. Philosophical truth claims do not depend on whether you love or hate someone.

      No one claimed that Dawkinse s refusal would influence philosophical truth claims. However, explain me again, why is Dawkins obliged to interact with people he is disgusted with? Why should he deliberately do something unpleasant and which is mostly useless? Just to amuse, Rick?

      R:So, not mentioning the subject at hand is not shifting focus away from it?

      Rick, I am going to tell you a secret. To shift focus from a subject you must first touch upon it. Dawkins did not in any way start the debate if god exists or not with Craig.

      If you disagree with me right now, you would be shifting the focus of the Armenian genocide of 1916. 8)

      R:Again, that is an invalid and illogical response to a philosophical debate based on the reasoning given for the repulsion and the context of Dawkins' own claims that he has no objective basis with which to morally judge another person

      Remind me again, Rick... Since when did you become the supreme dictator, deciding what people can and cannot do? Dawkins did not refuse to debate the question if god exists or not. He just refused to interact with Craig, which is his right you are trying to deny him. 8)

      As for moral views of Dawkins, you have no knowledge of them. You have no right to claim that Dawkins does not have an objective basis for morality, since you lack data.

      R:Feelings alone don't effect or justify a debate response or a philosophical argument.

      No one said that Dawkinse s refusal make a philosophical argument, where do you get all your straw men? And you never explained why Dawkins has to debate Craig in the first place 8)

      R:Oh, so illogically framed arguments like those found in Dawkins' God Delusion are supposedly high quality?

      Yep, they are. Facts are facts, Dawkins has a higher rate of quoting than Craig. He is indeed, more prominent in Academia.

      R:Craig's explanation is outlined in a link as is my own explanation of the Canaan attacks

      I have read your explanation and Craig s explanation. And I stand by my words. I will even present my position in your beloved syllogism.

      1. Warden and Craig believe genocide can be justified (the genocide of the Cannanites was justified, genocide i.e. mass murder)

      2. Anyone who believes genocide can be justified is a moral monster

      3. Warden and Craig are moral monsters

      R:You called me a liar for pointing out that Dawkins' excuses are illogical.

      Let us put Dawkinse s reason in the form of a syllogism, maybe it will help you:

      1. No one is obliged to interact with a person they find unpleasant if there is no objective need to.

      2. Dawkins finds Craig repulsive and there is no objective need for them to debate.

      3. Dawkins is justified in his refusal to debate Craig.

      R:You should probably apologize for your unjustified slander.

      Even if you were right about Dawkins (and you are not), you would still be a liar. Dawkins is only a small point in your articles where you did lie

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    4. I:Accusing other people of being drunk while posting is all in good fun -- but being accused of being a liar (which I do not find him doing -- he accuses you of using straw-man arguments) is "unjustified slander".

      I did accuse Rick of being a liar. There is at least a dozen of points that were shown being false (like with the reasons why Myers refuses to debate Craig or that "Christian" athletes are more successful out of the recent ones), but Rick still pushes them forward just like Craig. Is it a mental block? Somehow I doubt it.

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    5. Oh -- I just meant that in this particular comment, you didn't accuse him of being a liar. There's plenty of evidence that he is one, but that doesn't mean you called him one *this* time. ;)

      Delete
    6. >There's a difference between "He believes it happened" -- biblical literalist and "He believes it was right and good" -- genocide apologist."

      - You both seem to have a shallow understanding of the Bible. The Bible is not a mere list of events, it is also a moral commentary on those events. If one takes the Bible literally, then both the events and the commentary on the events are taken to be as true. In terms of Canaan. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Bible both offers it as a historical attack and also justifies it as a moral command by God. It seems there are probably more who have a shallow understanding of the Bible so I've included the following verses in the article:

      Genesis 15.16, Ezekiel 33.11 and Revelation 15.3.

      In suggesting that theists must label God's command to attack Canaan as immoral, Dawkins is basically claiming that the literal interpretation of scripture here is unacceptable, plain and simple. Like Dawkins, you really need to offer up some better excuses to try and justify your position. You are failing miserably.

      >Why should he [Dawkins] deliberately do something unpleasant and which is mostly useless?

      - You mean attempting to defend an illogical book, The God Delusion, would be unpleasant and useless? I wholeheartedly agree.

      However, Dawkins should probably offer up the main reason why this would be unpleasant and useless for him. It would much more unpleasant and uncomfortable for Dawkins to be defamed and defrocked as the high priest of atheism publicly before the entire world than to go on with his little charade.

      If Dawkins had any actual logical foundation for his arguments he could offer them in book form or in debate. No such luck - just posturing, book tours and pontification.

      >To shift focus from a subject you must first touch upon it.

      No, you can be addressed on a subject and shift focus from it without even mentioning it.

      >I did accuse Rick of being a liar.

      Yes, and it is directly related to the subject of this post:

      R:Whereas Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and many other highly appraised atheists love to make illogical excuses for not debating theists ...Liar. You have never been shown their reasons to be illogical.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/staunch-atheists-convert-at-uk-soul.html?showComment=1348332730146#c4871731657929298915

      I've just given seven reasons outlining why Dawkins' reply to Craig's debate challenge is based on illogical reasoning in the context of Dawkins' own words. You haven't exactly challenged any of the points with any serious arguments.

      >2. Anyone who believes genocide can be justified is a moral monster

      - Instead of running away and shunning debate, perhaps Dawkins should take Craig up on this subject.

      When a person does not understand that God exists and God is justified in giving life and taking it away, especially with regard to people who are embracing wickedness on every level, then of course the same person would not understand how the death of a nation of an historical people at a specific time and place could be justified.

      By that same token, if God does not exist and there is nothing sacred, then people who consider the world to be overpopulated could easily rationalize and justify the mass murder of millions of innocent and good people (useless eaters) in the name of pragmatism and in the name of saving the Earth.

      Due to the law of non-contradiction, only one of these two views could be correct (although others may be possible). You seem to fall into the latter group and I feel sorry for you. You are spiritually and morally blinded.

      >3. Dawkins is justified in his refusal to debate Craig.

      - If he continues to pontificate that belief in God is a delusion, no, he is not justified and you are obviously deceived for believing that he is.

      >Dawkins is only a small point in your articles where you did lie

      - Oh?, please do point out the specific quotes where you believe I told a lie.

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    7. In suggesting that theists must label God's command to attack Canaan as immoral, Dawkins is basically claiming that the literal interpretation of scripture here is unacceptable, plain and simple.

      Very well, then. And he's allowed to do so. You've failed, again, to address the main point: What is the obligation for him to debate Craig? There is none.

      If he considers genocidal apologists unworthy of debating, and he considers Biblical literalists genocidal apologists, then, therefore, he considers Biblical literalists unworthy of debating, and he will not do so.

      I notice that you're not debating with me -- you're debating with everyone else. And yet you deny Dawkins the same right you claim for himself -- the right to decide with whom he chooses to debate, and on what terms. Indeed, you deny Dawkins the same right Craig claims for himself.

      - You mean attempting to defend an illogical book, The God Delusion, would be unpleasant and useless? I wholeheartedly agree.

      Hah, hah, very funny.

      However, Dawkins should probably offer up the main reason why this would be unpleasant and useless for him. It would much more unpleasant and uncomfortable for Dawkins to be defamed and defrocked as the high priest of atheism publicly before the entire world than to go on with his little charade.

      Did you notice that he said, in the article, that he's already debated many other notable people, people with a far higher profile than Craig?

      Then again, given that you regularly choose not to debate with people on your own blog that demolish your claims to logic (I notice that "defaming" Dawkins is OK, but "slandering" is not -- this is an interesting Freudian slip, Rick.) but instead seek reasons to run away from them, or simply don't answer, I call you hypocrite in the highest degree.

      If Dawkins had any actual logical foundation for his arguments he could offer them in book form or in debate.

      And he does -- as has been pointed out to you many times, Craig's assertions are not a disproof. And, as has been pointed out to you many times, your notion of a "logical foundation" is bizarre.

      I've just given seven reasons outlining why Dawkins' reply to Craig's debate challenge is based on illogical reasoning in the context of Dawkins' own words. You haven't exactly challenged any of the points with any serious arguments.

      All right, Rick, and what about *my* serious arguments? Or are you running away from them as well.

      - Instead of running away and shunning debate, perhaps Dawkins should take Craig up on this subject.

      He did. In writing. As usual, Rick, you hold up your preferred (or Craig's preferred) form of "How it's done" as the only way to do it.

      When a person does not understand that God exists and God is justified in giving life and taking it away, especially with regard to people who are embracing wickedness on every level, then of course the same person would not understand how the death of a nation of an historical people at a specific time and place could be justified.

      Or when a person does not believe that that statement is true.

      Due to the law of non-contradiction, only one of these two views could be correct (although others may be possible).

      Thank you for tossing in your parenthetical, because, indeed, others are possible, and others are where, I suspect, Dawkins, Anonymous, and myself all fit. Your "suspicions" are useless here.

      - If he continues to pontificate that belief in God is a delusion, no, he is not justified and you are obviously deceived for believing that he is.

      What? Everyone who claims that God is a delusion is obligated to debate William Lane Craig if he wants them to? That's what you're saying here, by saying he is "Not justified" in his refusal for those reasons.

      And how do you feel abotu Craig's refusal to debate others? Indeed, how do you feel about your own refusal to debate others?





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    8. And as for lies:

      I've recently noted Imnotandrei's habitual slander habit.

      There's one case where I made a misstatement. That's hardly "habitual", Rick, and the slander is on your part.

      Most of the rest of your lies are context-dependent; I can dig them out if you want, but your lies of omission (Like asserting that David Boudia "came back from" 18th place when, after the semifinal dives, points were zeroed out, so he had nothing to "come back from", or asserting that Peter Singer was "mainly known for" his support of bestiality despite it being item 3.5.5 on his Wikipedia page, and unsupported by one of your three citations,) are many and numerous, as are your repeated claims (just as slanderous if not more so than anything you've accused me of) that various people following the law are engaged in unconstitutional acts (see the Salman case) or that professional reporters are deliberately misrepresenting results (see the Regnery study.)

      You also lie repeatedly with your insistence on the validity of your logical forms, even after, as pointed out here: http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/pastor-teesdale-wins-three-year-battle.html?showComment=1347632641531#c4253777119827418546, your logical form is often formally invalid, thereby invalidating, independent of the truth of your premises, your conclusions.

      In short, Rick, you repeatedly make misstatements of fact and of logic, and when you are given the opportunity to correct them, you don't. You leave your previous statements in place, and that means you are stating falsehoods not through lack of information that they are false (an honest error) but through deliberate choice (a.k.a. deliberate falsehood, a.k.a. lying.)

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    9. R:If one takes the Bible literally, then both the events and the commentary on the events are taken to be as true.

      Great, here we go again... A Bible literalist consider both events and commentary as true. However, the interpretantion of the events is different for each literalist. There is no objective criteria by which one can tell whose interpretention is true. It is a fact, deal with it.

      R:In suggesting that theists must label God's command to attack Canaan as immoral, Dawkins is basically claiming that the literal interpretation of scripture here is unacceptable, plain and simple.

      As long as you are going to deny that there is thousands of different interpretantions of the Bible, I cannot help you, Rick.

      R:However, Dawkins should probably offer up the main reason why this would be unpleasant and useless for him.

      You never explained why Dawkins should debate Craig in the first place. It is perfectly logical for a person to avoid unpleasant unneeded interaction. Furthermore, it was shown again and again that the debate format is a terrible way of establishing truth.

      R:If Dawkins had any actual logical foundation for his arguments he could offer them in book form or in debate.

      He does, in the "God delusion" for example. Denial is not a river in Egypt.

      R:I've just given seven reasons outlining why Dawkins' reply to Craig's debate challenge is based on illogical reasoning in the context of Dawkins' own words. You haven't exactly challenged any of the points with any serious arguments.

      I offered you a syllogism that you mostly ignored. Let me rephrase it and maybe you will get it:

      1. Human beings have the right to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary interactions

      2. For Dawkins interraction with Craig is unpleasant and unnecassary.

      3. Dawkins is justifies in his refuasal to interract with Craig

      Which part of this syllogism is faulty?

      R:No, you can be addressed on a subject and shift focus from it without even mentioning it.

      Aren t you ashamed? You have just shifted the focus from the Armenian genocide.

      R:Instead of running away and shunning debate, perhaps Dawkins should take Craig up on this subject

      That is your third post already (counting the article) and you still did not give a reason why Dawkins should debate Craig in the first place.

      R:When a person does not understand that God exists and God is justified in giving life and taking it away...

      And that comment makes you a moral monster, Rick. You deny inalienable rights for life. Human beings have no right to life in your book, they are only allowed to live by the grace of a tyrant and slave master.

      R:By that same token, if God does not exist and there is nothing sacred, then people who consider the world to be overpopulated could easily rationalize and justify the mass murder of millions of innocent and good people

      And that comment makes you an idiot Rick. It was explained to you that the problem of overpopulation can easily be resolved without the use of genocide. Genocide will harm greatly the human society and will not even be able to solve the problem of overpopulation (people would still bread and the problem would return). What you are suggesting is curing a cold by blowing yourself up.

      R:If he continues to pontificate that belief in God is a delusion, no, he is not justified and you are obviously deceived for believing that he is.

      That is a non sequitur. Craig is not the only christian apologist. Dawkins never said that he refuses to debate the topic, he only refuses to debate Craig.

      If you disagree, you have no right to slander atheism and be a theist, since you refuse to debate imnotandrei and Havok.

      R:Oh?, please do point out the specific quotes where you believe I told a lie

      Sorry, I am not going to play your parrot game. If you are trully concerned about your reputation, look up the comments in your recent articles that you left hanging. You do not have that many of them.

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    10. P.S. And imnotandrei has already done the job with the lies, gathering a bunch of them in the post above

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    11. Imnotandrei is a habitual slanderer and I just don't have time to waste chasing down and disproving all of his unsubstantiated lies. I've documented all that I need to document.

      After a prolonged game of cat and mouse, Imnotandrei finally admitted September 10 that he had made a false claim about an article:
      If it is so important to you, I'll say it -- on August 28th, it had not been formally discredited. Yet, even though he admitted this at 7.44 AM, by 10.26 AM he was back at it,  calling me a liar. He offered links and claimed that Stephen Law embraces logical principles and so my article here is supposedly a lie. In my article, I claim that top atheist apologists tend to avoid logical principles in their arguments. Imnotandrei offered a link to a supposed example of Law using logical principles. He said, "There's the ECG, laid out with responses considered, at a level of formality at least equal to any you use."

      However, as we see in Law's linked argument, there is not even a summary of premises. Contrary to this commenter's claim, I always use a summary of premises in my arguments. Whether a formal or informal argument, one of the most basic principles of logic is to summarize and simplify an argument down to a format that may be more easily evaluated. Mark Pearl has outlined how this helps to, "Decide whether you think the conclusion follows from the premises." Law apparently does not believe the form and specific wording of an argument is very important. When I asked him to present a summary of his argument, he stated, "The argument is already out there in various forms, Rick." In accordance with the bare minimum of logical consequence, the form and wording of an argument is highly important and so we can see that Law does not hold a high regard for very basic logical principles. Thus, Imnotandrei's knee-jerk claim that I am a "liar" is shown to be unsubstantiated. I simply do not have time to chase down all of Imnotanrei's slander and correct him. And I find his knee-jerk and habitual slanderous statements to make it quite impossible to carry on a civilized discourse. If there are any atheists who are able to carry on a civilized debate, I would welcome it.

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    12. Ladies and gentlemen, the argument ad hominem:

      imnotandrei is a habitual slanderer and I just don't have time to waste chasing down and disproving all of his unsubstantiated lies.

      Note that until very recently, Rick had a specific request *not* to use this argument in his little statement at the bottom; now he uses it exclusively in dealing with me.

      To be "habitual", one would need to have done it more than once, Rick; and I've made one mistake.

      And you are a liar, Rick. I notice that the quote you give isn't relevant to the link you give -- I was linking to Law on Plantinga, you cite Law on the EGC. Yet another example of a lie by misdirection.

      Whether a formal or informal argument, one of the most basic principles of logic is to summarize and simplify an argument down to a format that may be more easily evaluated.

      This is nonsense -- pure, unadulterated nonsense. One of the most basic principles of logic is to *clarify* your argument -- you repeatedly use deceptively simple "summaries" that, when challenged, you have to edit in order to get your logic anywhere close to being right -- see, for example, here: http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/syllogisms-of-september-11-2001-logic.html?showComment=1347447303953#c5996750018582830204.

      And when called on fundamental errors of reasoning, you do not respond: see here: http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/pastor-teesdale-wins-three-year-battle.html?showComment=1347547971375#c1414134735751233224

      The argument you put forward in defense of your article was fundamentally logically flawed, "summary" or not.

      So, areyou done slandering Stephen Law, and myself, Rick? Since you yourself repeatedly use flawed logic and dubious rhetorical approaches, you are in no position to claim the moral high ground here.

      And I find his knee-jerk and habitual slanderous statements to make it quite impossible to carry on a civilized discourse.

      Your incapacity to deal with someone calling you out on your errors is not my problem; perhaps if you learned to admit error when you made it, you wouldn't feel slandered all the time.

      And perhaps, Rick, if you have any empathy, you now understand a bit of how Dawkins might feel about Craig chasing him. I think you're less justified than he is, but that doesn't matter for the feeling of empathy.

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    13. Anonymous, if you believe Imnotandrei is justified in claiming that Stephen Law uses sound logical principles in his arguments, please point out the actual premises of Law's favorite argument in relation to his conclusion at the following link:

      http://lawpapers.blogspot.com/2009/06/evil-god-challenge-forthcoming-in.html

      Even the most basic descriptions of logic emphasize the importance of using premises in an argument in relation to a conclusion:

      "The reasons given in support of the conclusion are called premises. We may say, 'This is so (conclusion) because that is so (premise).' Or, 'This is so and this is so (premises), therefore that is so (conclusion).' Premises are generally preceded by such words as because, for, since, on the ground that, and the like."

      http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/premiseterm.htm

      Logical consequence depends on the logical "support" pf the conclusion, as the above quote outlines. Joining strings of ambiguous descriptions together, as Law does, is not conducive to sound reasoning and does does exemplify a desire to embrace sound logical conclusions.

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    14. Using your beloved "summary form":

      Premise 1: The Good God Hypothesis has characteristics X, Y, Z. (Section I, para. 1)
      Premise 2: X, Y, and Z have challenges A, B, and C. (Section 1, subsection "The Problem of Evil."
      Premise 3: A, B, and C are countered via theodicies. (Section 1, subsection "theodicies"
      Premise 4: The Evil God Hypothesis has characteristics X, Y, and Q (subsection "the evil god hypothesis")
      Premise 5: Premise 2 and Premise 3 are equally true of the Evil God and the Good God hypotheses ('the problem of good" and "some reverse theodicies"
      Conclusion: Therefore, the EGH and the GGH are roughly symmetrical, and arguments in favor of one are mirrored by arguments in favor of the other. ("the symmetry thesis".)

      There you go, Rick. I have not written Law to ask if he agrees, but that's from my reading of the text. It is at least as precise as most of your "arguments", and has premises which you can dispute, and a conclusion that follows from its premises.

      Now that you have narrowed your challenge from "Top atheist apologists tend not to use logic" to "Stephen Law doesn't use logic" to "Stephen Law didn't use logic in this one particular case", and it's now been demonstrated that he did, are you prepared to admit that your original statement, which you've supported with bad logic and bad faith, is untrue?

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    15. Guess I will humor Rick here and be the useless third wheel.

      "Using your beloved "summary form":

      Premise 1: The Good God Hypothesis has characteristics X, Y, Z. (Section I, para. 1)
      Premise 2: X, Y, and Z have challenges A, B, and C. (Section 1, subsection "The Problem of Evil."
      Premise 3: A, B, and C are countered via theodicies. (Section 1, subsection "theodicies"
      Premise 4: The Evil God Hypothesis has characteristics X, Y, and Q (subsection "the evil god hypothesis")
      Premise 5: Premise 2 and Premise 3 are equally true of the Evil God and the Good God hypotheses ('the problem of good" and "some reverse theodicies"
      Conclusion: Therefore, the EGH and the GGH are roughly symmetrical, and arguments in favor of one are mirrored by arguments in favor of the other. ("the symmetry thesis".)

      There you go, Rick. I have not written Law to ask if he agrees, but that's from my reading of the text. It is at least as precise as most of your "arguments", and has premises which you can dispute, and a conclusion that follows from its premises.

      Now that you have narrowed your challenge from "Top atheist apologists tend not to use logic" to "Stephen Law doesn't use logic" to "Stephen Law didn't use logic in this one particular case", and it's now been demonstrated that he did, are you prepared to admit that your original statement, which you've supported with bad logic and bad faith, is untrue?"

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    16. Thank you, Anonymous; I find Rick's "I'm going to engage with imnotandrei, but not directly" to be more than a tad hypocritical, since he's wasting other people's time by doing so, but it's clear he wants to actualy *try* and defend himself.

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    17. Anonymous,

      >Guess I will humor Rick here and be the useless third wheel.

      - It seems Imnotandrei wanted to answer this question for you and you don't mind his answer.

      If I ask Stephen Law whether or not he considers this summary to be a valid and acceptable summary of the logic behind his EGC argument, I wonder how he will respond. He did not respond the last time I asked a similar question.

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    18. He did not respond the last time I asked a similar question.

      The irony in this is impressive indeed.

      Are you going to engage with the answer you've been given, Rick?

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  2. OK. Let's see what your claims of "illogical" behavior are now.

    If a person was uncivilized and had a habit of swearing and vituperating unsubstantiated slander, then this would be a valid reason not to accept a debate offer.

    Demonstrate the "logic" of this position, please -- why does swearing invalidate a logical position?

    That's a matter of personal choice, Rick, not a "logical" position. And given your own history of deceit, hardly one you're entitled to make a big deal out of.

    But what if an atheist stated, "You believe the Bible is literally true, therefore I won't debate the existence of God with you." This would not be a logical reply.

    So I take it that you view presuppositionalist apologetics as illogical, since their basic position is that people who do not agree with their presuppositions have no grounds to argue from?

    2. William Lane Craig outlined why Dawkins' book is illogical.

    All we've ever seen from you is Craig's *claim* that this is true. Which in and of itself bears little weight -- indeed, just as much weight as the claims that Craig's arguments have been discredited.

    According to his summary quote, Dawkins has refused to debate the existence of God with William Lane Craig because Craig is a biblical literalist with regard to the historical attack on Canaan.

    No -- because Craig believes that the activities described in the bible were justified and moral. There's a difference between "He believes it happened" -- biblical literalist and "He believes it was right and good" -- genocide apologist.

    Craig has outlined the correct historical and biblical interpretation of the Canaan attack

    Which amounts to "God said do it, therefore it's OK." That is an apology for genocide.

    however, Dawkins is apparently interested in finding any excuse he can to avoid debate, no matter how illogical.

    This does not follow from your statements above -- how illogical of you, Rick. You leap from "He gave an answer I don't think is logical" to "He wants to find any excuse."

    He finds the idea of debating a man who believes that genocide is permissible and, indeed, at times morally good to be repugnant to him. Why should he be required to do so?

    However, this would not have disproved Christ's truth claims. And neither does shunning Craig disprove his claims. 

    Dawkins does not argue that not debating Craig disproves Craig's claims. He may well feel that Craig has been adequately debunked elsewhere, and that there is therefore no reason for him to get up on a podium with a man he despises.

    Your next argument relies upon the same basic fallacy -- you think that Dawkins is attacking Craig's truth claims, while instead Dawkins is saying he has no wish to engage in debate with an apologist for genocide.

    Dawkins basically told Craig, 'I consider you to be a bad person, therefore, I won't debate the truth or falsehood of foundational beliefs.'

    Actually, if you read the first few paragraphs, you'll see him also point out "I don't consider you important enough to debate, and therefore I choose not to do so."

    I've noticed this trend -- Christian apologists seem intent on the idea that anyone should be willing to debate them, but, of course, they are free to control who challenges them, by appeals to "civility" and the like.

    To quote: To this I would only say I that I turn down hundreds of more worthy invitations every year, I have publicly engaged an archbishop of York, two archbishops of Canterbury, many bishops and the chief rabbi, and I'm looking forward to my imminent, doubtless civilised encounter with the present archbishop of Canterbury.

    (con't.)

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  3. Part 2: "There is no logical connection between what is and what ought."[5] How is it that a person who confesses that he has no objective basis for discerning what is right and wrong will use a moral reason as an excuse not to debate God's existence? It's not logical. Strike four.

    And we're back to the old "if there's not an objective reason for it, there's no morality" nonsense. You may not approve of consensus morality, Rick, but people do work that way, and do have a moral feeling. One is allowed to be repulsed by an apologist for genocide.

    How is it that a man so widely admired in the atheist community could hold such incredibly faulty reasoning?

    Because on a personal question such as "Do I want to debate this person?" the answer need not be the result of coldly rational principles. Similarly, "What do I want to eat for breakfast?" need not be the result of reasoning-by-syllogism.

    What you also (as usual) refuse to see is that there can be logic without syllogism. For example:

    "Do I want to accept this debate? No. I am too busy, and he is both not important enough and extremely distasteful." is a valid reason not to have a debate with someone, and it's essentially what Dawkins outlined. Only if you believe that Craig has a legitimate claim on Dawkins' time -- a position Craig could not accept honestly, as he has turned down many atheists' attempts to debate *him* -- does it require any further "reasoning" than that.

    Craig holds two earned doctorate degrees, while Dawkins holds only one. Dr. Craig has 47 books listed as published at Amazon, while Dawkins has 12 published books to date.  Strike five, chalk up another illogical tactical blunder for Dawkins.

    And Craig is a professor at a minor school, Dawkins an emeritus professor at one of the most respected institutions of higher learning in the world. You've cherry-picked two metrics that make Craig look more respectable. (For example, on google hits, it's 3.9 million for Craig, 13 million for Dawkins -- while this is not definitive, it is, again, significant.)

    Dawkins arranges international book tours in order to promote himself and his books.

    Indeed -- because his books sell well enough to do so. (Indeed, I suspect you'll find his *publisher* arranges the book tours ;))

    As noted by Dr. Craig, “Being accused of being self-promoting by Richard Dawkins is, as Sam Harris remarks, sort of like being accused of bad taste by Lady Gaga.”

    And why should Craig be allowed to trail on Dawkin's coattails? Dawkins does his own work in self-promoting, while Craig wants to get someone else to help promote him, for free, with whom he disagrees. There's a huge difference there.

    7. Dawkins' brand of ant-religious atheism may easily be used to justify worse forms of racism and genocide.

    And here we get back to this old canard. Given sufficient effort, you can "justify" most *anything* with either theism or atheism. Does Dawkins support the things you've described? No. Does Craig explicitly say the Canaanite genoicde was OK? Yes. There's your difference.

    (I notice you're back to your old habit of citing your old articles as if they had not been repeatedly debunked, perhaps in the hopes that no one will go and read your citations.)

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  4. Pt. 3: (conclusion)

    Proper and effective logical reasong includes the use of something called logical conseqeunce, wherein premises are organized into a logical syntax in order to produce a logical conclusion.

    Which you've completely failed to do here, I'll note.

    And you've described one *category* -- *Some* reasoning uses these forms, but not *all* reasoning.

    As usual, Rick, you've got nothing here that makes your point for you. Indeed, you don't even use that form here -- you just list a bunch of points, then claim that it's "shown". That might even work, except you go on to make your claim at the end that you want a certain form of argument, which you don't even use.

    The only way Dawkins' claims could be "illogical" is if Craig also has an absolute obligation to dispute with anyone who critiques him -- which we have seen he feels he does not: http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2011/10/lets-recap-why-william-lane-craig.html

    You may find his refusal to debate ill-advised, unfortunate, or frustrating, but "illogical" is not a valid criticism.

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  5. Well, at least Rick isn't back on another of his favourite topics...

    But really, who cares if Dawkins' reasons for not wanting to debate Craig are "logical" or not?

    Craig is a religiously-motivated sociopath, as is evidenced by his "defense" of the massacre of babies as was pointed out before. A defense, which you Warden, support.

    Dawkins is perfectly within his right to refuse to associate with a person like that.

    Sure, Craig is a good debater, but that just means that: he's a good debater. Not necessarily that he's right. For an example, look up Samuel Birley Rowbotham.


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    1. >But really, who cares if Dawkins' reasons for not wanting to debate Craig are "logical" or not?

      - No comment necessary.

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    2. Note how selective Warden is in his response to me. He refused to deal with the main point of my comment:

      -that being a good debater doesn't necessarily mean that one's point is right.

      The example I gave was of geocentrist Sam Rowbotham who like Craig allegedly did, had never lost any debate. Does that mean that he was right? No.

      Is Dawkins a professional debater like Craig? No. Dawkins as a retired scientist is used to doing experiments and whatnot.

      Not using rhetoric and refuted arguments to get his point across.

      In print, when one has time to fully examine Craig's arguments, he doesn't look near as impressive.



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    3. >being a good debater doesn't necessarily mean that one's point is right.

      No, but writing logically flawed books and appealing to illogical excuses are pretty good reasons for deciding that a person's arguments are flawed and invalid. And if a person's published arguments are obviously flawed and invalid, and the person refuses to address these flaws, this implies that his main points are likely false as well.

      Do you or any atheist who reads this know of any material showing where Dawkins attempts to correct his flawed logical argument in The God Delusion? If so, please post it for all to see.

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    4. And if a person's published arguments are obviously flawed and invalid, and the person refuses to address these flaws, this implies that his main points are likely false as well.

      Ergo, William Lane Craig's points are likely false, and his main point is the existence of God. ;)

      Be careful what rhetoric you toss around, Rick.

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    5. Reynold, because no one seems to be able to offer any case of Dawkins, correcting his flawed logic in the God Delusion, it seems he has not been willing to address Craig's critique either in writing or in live debate.

      And if you can find the premises of Stephen Law's EGC outlined in relation to the conclusion at the following link, please do point them out:

      http://lawpapers.blogspot.com/2009/06/evil-god-challenge-forthcoming-in.html


      Even the most basic descriptions of logic emphasize the importance of using premises in an argument:

      "The reasons given in support of the conclusion are called premises. We may say, 'This is so (conclusion) because that is so (premise).' Or, 'This is so and this is so (premises), therefore that is so (conclusion).' Premises are generally preceded by such words as because, for, since, on the ground that, and the like."

      http://grammar.about.com/od/pq/g/premiseterm.htm

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  6. Warden:
    No, but writing logically flawed books and appealing to illogical excuses are pretty good reasons for deciding that a person's arguments are flawed and invalid.
    Warden...how many times have the people here shown that your premises are incorrect in some fashion? Don't you realize that thinking logically means more than just being able to make out lists of bad arguments labelled with the word "premise"?

    Your premises have to be able to hold up.

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  7. >Don't you realize that thinking logically means more than just being able to make out lists of bad arguments labelled with the word "premise"? Your premises have to be able to hold up.

    Yes, I agree. You need to both have premises and to have valid ones.

    A summary of logic 101 describes this:

    "As you can see, statements can be true or false, and they can be simple or complex. But they must be grammatical and complete sentences."

    http://philosophy.hku.hk/think/logic/statements.php

    While Dawkins at least intuitively sensed a need to summarize his argument in God Delusion, his logical points in their logical syntax did not reach a logical conclusion. Someone like Stephen Law, however, never seems to be interested in producing succinct summary of statements and premises for his arguments. In a sense, Dawkins' approach was more valid than Law's, though Dawkins' sense of logical consequence was off.

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  8. Yes, I agree. You need to both have premises and to have valid ones.


    Which is part of where you regularly fail. You also regularly fail, as you assert Dawkins does, in producing valid reasoning independent of the truth of your premises.

    Now, let's look at Craig's claim about Dawkins:
    1. One of the greatest challenges to the human intellect has been to explain how the complex, improbable appearance of design in the universe arises.

    2. The natural temptation is to attribute the appearance of design to actual design itself.

    3. The temptation is a false one because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer.

    4. The most ingenious and powerful explanation is Darwinian evolution by natural selection.

    5. We don't have an equivalent explanation for physics.

    6. We should not give up the hope of a better explanation arising in physics, something as powerful as Darwinism is for biology.

    Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist.


    I do not have Dawkins' book in front of me, so I cannot verify the accuracy of his quote. Bearing in mind that he is summarizing several hundred pages, we can expect this to be just that -- a summary, and not as precise as traditional logic would require.

    Let's break it down:
    Premise 1&2: The appearance of design is often explained by the existence of a designer.
    Premise 3: However, the designer hypothesis fails due to the regress of the larger problem of who designed the designer.
    Premise 4: The problem of the appearance of design in biology is solved by Darwinian evoltuion.
    Premise 5&6: While we do not have a similarly powerful solution for physics, we have reason to believe such exists.
    Conclusion: We have strong reason to believe that there is no designer; a.k.a. no God.

    That is more stringent than most of what you post, Rick -- and remember, this is the summary at the *end*, after much has already been said (and therefore his summaries can be understood in context).

    If you persist in calling Dawkins illogical for this, then you had best hand in your own claim to using logic, because both he and Stephen Law use it far more precisely than you do -- I refer you again to Law on Plantinga, as you repeatedly refuse to acknowledge.

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  9. Rick, you ask if I approve the sketch of my argument. It's not a bad rough sketch of the overall structure, but of course the problem with such simplified sketches is that they are - simplified.

    The one above to misses out a lot of supporting argument, clarification, and, more importantly, qualification. And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments).

    Like many philosophical arguments, the EGC argument/challenge is fairly complex. Setting it out formally would require pages and pages. Condensing it to a few short bullet-point premises and conclusion inevitably produces a straw man.

    Because I previously refused to provide you with such a simplified “for dummies” version of my argument, you said: "Law apparently does not believe the form and specific wording of an argument is very important."

    You concluded: "Law does not hold a high regard for very basic logical principles."

    Thanks for that, Rick.

    Actually, it’s because I consider the form and specific wording of an argument very important that I treat such "for dummies" versions of complex arguments with caution.

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    Replies
    1. It's not a bad rough sketch of the overall structure, but of course the problem with such simplified sketches is that they are - simplified.

      Thank you; I tried to get it to Rick's level; had I done it for my own benefit, as you point out below, it would have been much longer, since there are things for which Premise-Premise-Conclusion structures are, shall we say, an inefficient means of presentation.

      Indeed, that has been my point in a long series of arguments with Rick; it is a pleasure to see it demonstrated and explicated so clearly.

      The one above to misses out a lot of supporting argument, clarification, and, more importantly, qualification. And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments).

      My apologies, and I hope I did not offend/obscure overmuch in my attempts to simplify such that Rick would follow -- I was very impressed by the original paper, and want to thank you for taking the time to look at my little summary.

      Actually, it’s because I consider the form and specific wording of an argument very important that I treat such "for dummies" versions of complex arguments with caution.

      As, indeed, is utterly proper. I have never forgotten that I spent quite a bit of time in my course on Analytic Philosophy working out exactly what "to be" meant -- and if *that* is complicated, well, how much more so is anything else?

      Delete
    2. Hello Stephen,

      >The one above [EGC summary] to misses out a lot of supporting argument, clarification, and, more importantly, qualification.

      -I agree with at least this comment in your evaluation.

      I believe it is quite possible to offer a summary that uses meaningful premises, as opposed to if X and Y.... Actually, philosophers whom I hold a high regard for seem to be able to offer these types of meaningful summaries of these arguments.

      >And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments).

      If the claim in the conclusion is not supported by the premises, in what possible manner could it be considered "not a bad rough sketch of the overall structure"? That would seem to be a "logical problem" as you noted, a logical contradiction in fact.

      What claim, then, should be in the conclusion, Stephen?

      >Because I previously refused to provide you with such a simplified “for dummies” version of my argument, you said: "Law apparently does not believe the form and specific wording of an argument is very important."...You concluded: "Law does not hold a high regard for very basic logical principles."

      - Your comment seems a bit oversimplified, Stephen. My estimation that you do not hold a high regard for logic is based on more than one observation. This was the larger context of the quote you offered me:

      "The argument is already out there in various forms, Rick. Engage with them or don't. I could do you your own textbook version, set out as a deductively valid argument, but that would either leave various important stuff out, or else be very complicated in which case I don't have time." (April 19, 2012 11:53 AM)

      1. The fact that you encouraged me to engage in any form of your argument I happened to find on the Internet does not suggest that you hold a high regard for logical form or the specific wording attributed to your argument.

      2. The fact that you seem to avoid or mock the use of summary outlines flies in the face of most of the outlines I've seen regarding the most basic principles of logic.

      3. Another point I made in a previous article highlights your admiration for Dawkins and The God Delusion, an illogically framed book:

      "Stephen Law's most recent post on Dawkins offered a most favorable opinion of Dawkins' book, The God Delusion, "This chapter contains Dawkins's central argument, summarized in pages 188-9....On a second reading, I am rather more impressed."[3]"

      I'm not sure how anyone who holds a high regard for logic could possibly consider Dawkins' God Delusion to be an impressive tome. WL Craig and many others have pointed out the logical inconsistencies. And Dawkins excuses for not debating Craig only add to the mix.

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/03/stephen-law-helps-reveal-nature-of.html

      As compared to someone like William Lane Craig, who tends to present his arguments in a logical summarized format, I would say that your prose approach does not seem to be very helpful when it comes to verifying truth claims. The logical contradiction you just offered in your commentary on this EGC summary is a case in point.

      Delete
    3. Stephen, just to clarify...

      If the structure of the EGC summary noted above is basically OK, but only a concluding statement is off, then it should simply be a matter of just adjusting the concluding statement. If, on the other hand, simply adjusting a concluding statement is not enough, then the structure may be off. IS that correct?

      Thanks for your time.

      Delete
    4. The one above [EGC summary] to misses out a lot of supporting argument, clarification, and, more importantly, qualification.

      -I agree with at least this comment in your evaluation.


      Well, considering it was meant to be a summary, and used his entire article as supporting argument, etc., I'm not surprised. It's as if you posted one of your "summaries" with nothing behind it.

      I believe it is quite possible to offer a summary that uses meaningful premises, as opposed to if X and Y....

      This just goes to show, again, your lack of understanding of logic -- those are variables, and are meant to help demonstrate the underlying logic of the argument. I could have typed out a bunch of characteristics; but for the purposes of establishing the parallelism, they were not required.

      Actually, philosophers whom I hold a high regard for seem to be able to offer these types of meaningful summaries of these arguments.

      This says nothing other than "I like people who do this." This is not an argument, save from personal taste.

      2. The fact that you seem to avoid or mock the use of summary outlines flies in the face of most of the outlines I've seen regarding the most basic principles of logic.

      As I've said before, and someday you'll listen to -- they're problematic because they permit misuse of logic, hiding complicated details behind "summaries" -- as, indeed, you often do, as demonstrated by the number of times you have to go back and edit your summaries because people have pointed out where you are clearly mistaken in them. (Citations upon request.)

      So, he had the choice of "Do it the conventional way" -- as a natural-language argument, in this case -- or "Do it the rigorous way, spending a lot of time and effort to make one person on the Internet who is already pre-disposed not to listen to him happy."

      Funny, that he should decide not to waste his own time answering one person's request, and that you should find that invalid, given your own current behavior.

      As compared to someone like William Lane Craig, who tends to present his arguments in a logical summarized format,

      And who has had his arguments repeatedly debunked.

      The logical contradiction you just offered in your commentary on this EGC summary is a case in point.

      There is no contradiction, despite your efforts to manufacture one.

      And yes, I'm intervening in someone else's argument again -- because you refuse to debate with me (funny, you almost make me feel sympathy for WLC) and because, perhaps, I can save Professor Law's time.

      Delete
  10. Thanks Imnotandrei - and no offence taken.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is a reply I made at Law's blog regarding his last comment in our brief exchange (OCTOBER 1, 2012 4:21 PM)
    >
    >Sorry Rick, but this just ain't worth my time...

    - That's OK, Stephen. No one will force you to try and clarify your own arguments.

    However, keep in mind that the preface of your EGC states, "This paper develops a challenge to theism" and your responses have for the most part nullified your challenge.

    The ambiguous nature of the argument, your self-contradictory statements and your refusal to clarify your own argument all serve to discredit the argument itself.

    As far as I understand it, Imnotandrei has an advanced degree related to logic and he could not understand the main gist of your EGC conclusion. You stated of Imnotandrei's summary:

    "And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)."

    Imnotandrei's interpretation seems to be the most straightforward interpretation of your EGC argument and it mirrors your own quotes in the argument verbatim. 17 times in your argument you use the word "mirror," as noted in this comment of yours: "Notice how the evidential problem of evil mirrors the evidential problem of good." and this one: "The three reverse theodices introduced above to deal with the evidential problem of good obviously mirror the three theodicies we looked at earlier."

    However, as 'obvious' and straightforward as these statements are in your argument, look at what you claim in your recent comments:

    "And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)."

    Perhaps you should take a little time to create a "for dummies" version that is understandable by your atheist peers and is logically consistent with your own understanding and comments about the same argument. If you contradict yourself and aren't able to adequately clarify your own points, why should anyone else even bother to try to understand your argument?

    Stephen, Your EGC challenge reminds me of the Koran challenge, which goes something like this: The Koran is written in such an artistic and beautiful manner that nothing compares to it. If you can find any other writing that matches its beauty, wit and elegance, then you have disproved it."

    http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Miracle/mirac3.html

    As is the case with the EGC, the underlying implication is, "If you cannot intuitively sense the supposed underlying wisdom of the text, then you are just not perceptive enough."

    Without clear premises in a valid form and a defined logical consequence arising from such premises, these types of ambiguous arguments seem to be nothing more than a ruse. Your responses have only helped to clarify that understanding for me.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. However, keep in mind that the preface of your EGC states, "This paper develops a challenge to theism" and your responses have for the most part nullified your challenge.

      Not at all; the challenge is still there, it's just not in the form *you* want it to be in, Rick. Many people have engaged with it -- you choose not to, rather whining about how it's not the way you want it written.

      As far as I understand it, Imnotandrei has an advanced degree related to logic

      Your understanding is flawed; I have never said that. I have been formally trained in it, but that is different.

      However, I don't need to argue from any authority when you continuously make errors in logic.

      "And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)."

      Actually, to clarify: Theodicies are not arguments for/against God -- they are explanations and defenses against arguments against God.

      If X, therefore God is an argument for God.
      If ~X, therefore God is a challenge to the existence of God.
      Y, therefore ~X is invalid is the logical form of a theodicy.

      I used "arguments for" when I should have said, at least, "answers to the problems create by the notion of".

      And *that* is why "logical summaries" are bad ways of formulation a detailed and complicated argument.

      If you contradict yourself

      You have failed to demonstrate anything approaching a contradiction.

      As is the case with the EGC, the underlying implication is, "If you cannot intuitively sense the supposed underlying wisdom of the text, then you are just not perceptive enough."

      Nonsense; Law lays out, step by step, his argument and positions. He just doesn't do it as premise-premise-conclusion.

      Without clear premises in a valid form and a defined logical consequence arising from such premises, these types of ambiguous arguments seem to be nothing more than a ruse. Your responses have only helped to clarify that understanding for me.

      Given that your premises are often unclear (and in need of later revision) and are often in invalid logical form, clearly, your arguments are nothing but a ruse. What's your real goal, Rick?

      Delete
  12. Laws EGC argument is filled with ambiguity and self-contradictions. So much so that his supporters can't even figure out what Law is actually arguing for.

    In the argument itself Law states,

    "The symmetry thesis

    The three reverse theodices introduced above to deal with the evidential problem of good obviously mirror the three theodicies we looked at earlier. In fact, other theodices can be mirrored in this way too (see below). This suggests an interesting way to challenge theism."

    Here Law is claiming that these "reverse theodices" are a way to challenge theism.

    He states that there may be some asymmetries in his thesis, but not related to meaning, only related to "simplicity and economy."

    "I acknowledge that there may indeed be asymmetries between the good and evil god hypotheses in terms of simplicity and economy."

    Then in his conclusion Law offers that he does not believe his symmetry thesis is true... yet people are supposed to take the challenge seriously:

    "Now I do not claim that the symmetry thesis is true, and that the evil god challenge cannot be met. But it seems to me that it is a challenge that deserves to be taken seriously."

    Why should any argument be taken seriously when the crux of the argument contains logical contradictions and Law offers reasons to doubt it?

    It may be that an incoherent argument can never be met simply by virtue of its logical inconsistencies. But that is hardly a victory for Law. The problems with attempting to mirror good and evil are much deeper than "simplicity and economy" but Law offers no intelligible reason why that subject even needs to be taken up.

    1.The good-evil symmetry thesis offers a challenge to theism.
    2. However, there may be not actually be a symmetrical relationship between good and evil. (there are many ways to show there isn't)
    3. Nevertheless, the EGC should be taken seriously.

    As a further blow to his own argument, Law recently stated:

    ""...the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)."

    So, it's no longer, "there may indeed be asymmetries between the good and evil god hypotheses" - Now it's 'the premises do not even support the symmetry thesis at all' according to Law. So what is left of the argument? According to Law's comment, this would be the updated version:

    1. The good-evil symmetry thesis offers a challenge to theism.
    2. However, the premises of the argument do not support the symmetry thesis.
    3. Nevertheless, the EGC should be taken seriously.

    A challenge is supposed to undertake the burden of proof. Law offers no such burden and no such proof in his argument. Quite the opposite, he offers reasons to doubt his argument and his recent comments render the argument illogical.

    Law has basically claimed at least twice now that his challenge is logically tight but just too sophisticated and complex to be put into a formal logical structure. This excuse conjures up analogies of snake oil salesmen and the like. I was hesitant to label him as a sophist in a previous article I had written. I had wanted to give Law the benefit of the doubt. However, his recent refusal to offer at least a small comment to try and clarify the conclusion of his own argument has left me no other choice.

    If there are any civilized atheists out there (who can debate without resorting to swearing and/or unsubstantiated slander) who would like to try and salvage Law's argument, offer your case.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Another excerpt from the EGC"

      "The evil god hypothesis

      I have already pointed out that, certainly in their simplest versions, most of the popular arguments for the existence of God fail to provide any clue as to our creator’s moral character. In which case, to the extent that they support the good god hypothesis (that’s to say, not very much, if at all), they also support the evil god hypothesis."

      Again, this claim that theist arguments for the existence of God (in simplest forms) support both a good God and an evil God is opposed by Law's later claims that his premises do not and are not supposed to support the symmetry thesis. - Self contradictions abound.

      Delete
    2. "Now I do not claim that the symmetry thesis is true, and that the evil god challenge cannot be met. But it seems to me that it is a challenge that deserves to be taken seriously."

      This is called being honest, Rick. He's not sure it's a true statement, and that there are not valid rebuttals. He also thinks it should be taken seriously.

      Why should any argument be taken seriously when the crux of the argument contains logical contradictions and Law offers reasons to doubt it?

      You have repeatedly failed to point out a single contradiction. And Law offers that it might not be true. That's because it's an argument, a question -- not a proof. Indeed, you might be well served if you offered more questions, and fewer proofs.

      ""...the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)."

      So, it's no longer, "there may indeed be asymmetries between the good and evil god hypotheses" - Now it's 'the premises do not even support the symmetry thesis at all' according to Law.


      Actually, you'll note that's Stephen commenting on my summary; that theodicies are not (as I stated before) arguments for God, but are counterarguments for challenges to a divine existence.

      So, you're conflating my premises with Law's thesis, and claiming a contradiction. Not cricket, as it were.

      1. The good-evil symmetry thesis offers a challenge to theism.
      2. However, the premises of the argument do not support the symmetry thesis.
      3. Nevertheless, the EGC should be taken seriously.


      Nompe. Your premise #2 is taking *my* argument and Law's disagreement, and conflating them, as stated before.

      A challenge is supposed to undertake the burden of proof.

      No -- a challenge is supposed to ask a question. A *proof* takes on the burden of proof.

      Law has basically claimed at least twice now that his challenge is logically tight but just too sophisticated and complex to be put into a formal logical structure.

      Actually, he's repeatedly claimed that it's not worth the time to put it into a formal logical structure. That's because no one other than you seems to have the problem of being incapable of understanding it without it being in a premise-premise-conclusion form. It's not a proof; it's a question.

      This excuse conjures up analogies of snake oil salesmen and the like.

      So long as you continue to refuse to speak to people who critique your logic and prove it invalid, you are in no position to call others "snake oil salesmen". Indeed, one could easily consider that "unsubstantiated slander"; which means that Law is at least as justified in ignoring you as you are in ignoring me -- or Dawkins is in ignoring Craig. You can't have your cake and eat it too, Rick.

      Delete
    3. The atheists / secular humanists at my blog could not understand Law's EGC argument at face value. illogical statements in the argument are ignored. And, apparently no one at Law's blog is interested in defending his challenge either.

      Imnotandrei has offered a false definition of theodice in an attempt to salvage illogical arguments.

      "Actually, you'll note that's Stephen commenting on my summary; that theodicies are not (as I stated before) arguments for God, but are counterarguments for challenges to a divine existence.

      Theodices are not focused on "God's existence" but are simply a logical defenses of Gods goodness and explanatory arguments for good-evil questions, as noted:

      the·od·i·cy/THēˈädəsē/ - Noun: The vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil.

      If Law's thesis is correct, then theist arguments for God's goodness should also work as arguments for God's 'evilness' as it were. Law states as much in his argument, with a caveat of "simplicity and economy."

      Imnotandrei offering false definitions in an attempt to salvage a logically contradictory argument is obviously a no-brainer fallacious defense. It seems that Imnotandrei needs the "for dummies" version of Laws defense of his argument as well as for the argument itself. But don't expect either version to appear at the Law blog anytime soon. :-)

      Delete
    4. R:The atheists / secular humanists at my blog could not understand Law's EGC argument at face value.

      Please, do point a single person from your blog, who does not understand Law s argument. Do not think that everyone is an idiot like you, Rick.

      P.S. It would help your case if you did engage in Law s challenge instead of yabbing about the form of his argument.

      Delete
    5. Both the Anonymous from Russia and Imnotandrei, who apparently holds an advanced degree in logic, offered the following outline of Law's EGC argument:

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349024720346#c5360182390828906020

      Law concluded the following of that summary:

      "...And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)."

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349079039457#c1465957146129438801

      As Law pointed out, it seems that there needs to be a "for dummies" version of his argument. But it seems it should first and foremost be written for his own peers.

      It is not surprising that Law would prefer to keep silent on his own argument because, according to his recent comments, the main thesis is becoming more and more illogical.

      1. The good-evil symmetry thesis offers a challenge to theism.
      2. However, the premises of the argument do not support the symmetry thesis.
      3. Nevertheless, the EGC should be taken seriously.

      >P.S. It would help your case if you did engage in Law s challenge instead of yabbing about the form of his argument.

      - This is no longer just about the formal structure of the argument. You obviously have not read very much in this thread. Law's additional comments have basically helped to determine Law's argument has no meaningful purpose. There is no logical consequence afforded from the premises to the conclusion. And calling people idiots will not help to salvage Law's argument in the context of his own statements.

      Delete
    6. R:As Law pointed out, it seems that there needs to be a "for dummies" version of his argument. But it seems it should first and foremost be written for his own peers

      And as Law has pointed out, the argument "for dummies" would inevitably create some important ommissions. A thorough represantion would make that version at least as complicated as the original paper. Hence, you asking for the impossible

      Delete
  13. In response to Law's recent comment, I have offered Imnotandrei's defense to Law to see whether or not it will help motivate him to defend his own argument, as noted:

    Rick

    You're clearly an unacknowledged philosophical genius able to skewer even professional philosophers and reveal their atheistic arguments are full of logical holes. Amazing. Are you entirely untutored? Could this perhaps be a gift from God?

    Anyhoo, can I suggest that you send this off immediately to the editor of Religious Studies, the journal in which my paper was published, as he is duty bound to publish it given its deft and penetrating logical analysis.

    On the other hand, perhaps this is a pile of crap that I can't justify correcting as it would take ages and I know you'll just plough on regardless...

    Rick Warden said...

    Stephen, an atheist at my blog with an advanced degree in logic could not understand the conclusion of your argument, as you yourself pointed out. He is now using a false definition of theodices in an attempt to salvage your argument at my blog.

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349264032080#c3396766387713774294


    William Lane Craig and other prominent philosophers basically consider the EGC argument irrelevant. So why should the editor of Religious Studies consider it worth attention? Secular humanists will attempt to promote anything, no matter how illogical. Dawkins' God Delusion is a case in point. Remember, that's the book you have been so impressed with upon multiple readings.

    "This chapter contains Dawkins's central argument, summarized in pages 188-9....On a second reading, I am rather more impressed."

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2008/09/book-club-god-delusion-chpt-4.html

    As noted by Craig, Dawkin' argument

    "No logical rules of inference would permit you to draw this conclusion from the six premises..."Therefore, God almost certainly does not exist" does not follow from these six steps, even if we concede that each of them is true and justified... At most, all that follows is that we should not infer God's existence on the basis of the appearance of design in the universe. But that conclusion is quite compatible with God's existence and even with our justifiably believing in God's existence."

    Craig, William Lane, On Guard, 2010, David Cook, Colorado Springs, CO, p.121, see online, Reasonable Faith Forum, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5493

    The wonderful thing about logic is that it is universally effective and you don't need an advanced degree in philosophy in order to use it. :-)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. R:Stephen, an atheist at my blog with an advanced degree in logic could not understand the conclusion of your argument, as you yourself pointed out. He is now using a false definition of theodices in an attempt to salvage your argument at my blog.

      Interesting flip-flop... First, you discarded imnotandrei s criticism of your logic, but now you use hims as a referance. Will you address his criticism of your ridiculous assertion that birds tend to not fly or not?

      Not to mention that imnotandrei has denied having an advanced degree in logic before. If you do not correct your statemant even after that, that would make you a complete liar without excuses. Not that we have not already established that you are a liar from your previous posts.

      Furthermore, you are commiting the fallacy of appealing to authority. An authority figure can also make mistakes.

      Not to mention to "prove" imnotandrei s misunderstanding of the argument you quote yourself. A classic example of circular reasoning.

      R:William Lane Craig and other prominent philosophers basically consider the EGC argument irrelevant. So why should the editor of Religious Studies consider it worth attention?

      Since when Craig has become the supreme philosopher who decides whose argument is relevant or whose is not?

      The editor of religious studies DID consider Law s paper as relevant and important. Indeed, if the concept of god is shown to be self-contradictory, that would undermine christianity as a religion.

      I would recommend you to follow Law s advice and send your criticism to Religious Studies. But wait! I forgot about the Academia plot to silence good christians, trying to prove god s existance! Damn it, they are evrywhere.

      R:The wonderful thing about logic is that it is universally effective and you don't need an advanced degree in philosophy in order to use it. :-)

      I hope that one day you will lern to use it properly. Though, I have little faith in that.

      Delete
  14. >Not to mention that imnotandrei has denied having an advanced degree in logic before.

    - please do post a link to that comment. As far as I know, the following claim by Imnotandrei is all we have to go on:

    "That's because imnotandrei was trained as a logician, and knows it to be true."

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/syllogisms-of-september-11-2001-logic.html?showComment=1347464676311#c263088995558405387

    >Furthermore, you are commiting the fallacy of appealing to authority.

    - That seems to be the only type of appeal Law is interested in, based on his comments:

    "You're clearly an unacknowledged philosophical genius able to skewer even professional philosophers and reveal their atheistic arguments are full of logical holes. Amazing. Are you entirely untutored?

    1. A common blogger challenges the logic of law's argument.
    2. Instead of offering a logical explanation, Law appeals to academic conditioning, being "tutored" not to challenge a "professional".
    3. Therefore, Law appeals to authority and ethos-based rhetoric.

    That is why I brought up Craig, someone far more developed academically than Law.

    >Not to mention to "prove" imnotandrei s misunderstanding of the argument you quote yourself.

    - No, I quoted Law. You seem quite confused today.

    >Since when Craig has become the supreme philosopher who decides whose argument is relevant or whose is not?

    - Craig offered a simple logical criticism of the God Delusion, yet, amazingly, "professional" atheist philosophers continue to laud the logic of Dawkins' tome. It does not take a "philosophical genius" to determine when logical laws and principles are being broken. I do not believe academic authority has any bearing on the truth of an argument. That seems to be the underlying claim of those who refuse to discuss the truth of ideas.

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    1. Anonymous has already pointed this out, but I'll add it here, since you seem to need the repetition:
      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349126316286#c3906232971727664817

      Posted less than 48 hours ago. "Your understanding is flawed; I have never said that. I have been formally trained in it, but that is different."

      1. A common blogger challenges the logic of law's argument.
      2. Instead of offering a logical explanation, Law appeals to academic conditioning, being "tutored" not to challenge a "professional".
      3. Therefore, Law appeals to authority and ethos-based rhetoric.


      1. A challenge which had already been dealt with, in other comments on this blog. That you refuse to acknowledge them does not mean Law has to repeat them.

      2. Law has already had ample opportunity to see that you don't listen to logical explanations when offered; instead, you hide in nitpicking and pure assertion. And you manage to fail at reading comprehension again; he's asking in mock-amazement if you're entirely untrained.

      3. Law treated your repeated badgering with sarcasm, because he was out of patience with you. You've not demonstrated any of the skills required to properly engage in the debate with him, and have, indeed, shown a refusal to utilize the ones you have.

      - Craig offered a simple logical criticism of the God Delusion,

      A criticism which others find to be invalid.

      It does not take a "philosophical genius" to determine when logical laws and principles are being broken.

      No; but it is something apparently beyond you, as we've seen before many times. For example, the argument you're still hiding from, that you used to claim supported your assertion about "Top atheist apologists don't use logic".

      That seems to be the underlying claim of those who refuse to discuss the truth of ideas.

      You're the one who's going "Craig said it's invalid, therefore it's invalid." When people present defenses, you fall back on "Craig said it's invalid, therefore it's invalid."

      For example, I posted a defense of Dawkins' logic here: http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1348972960293#c5343983524337039592

      And yet you do not engage, instead parroting Craig's claim. Why do you refuse to discuss the truth of ideas?

      Delete
  15. R:please do post a link to that comment. As far as I know, the following claim by Imnotandrei is all we have to go on

    Being trained as a logician and having an advanced degree in logic is not the same thing. And here is your link in this thread that prove for the 100th time your reading disability:

    http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349126316286#c3906232971727664817

    R:That seems to be the only type of appeal Law is interested in, based on his comments

    First, this is completely irrelevant to the fact that YOU appeal to authority (which you repeatedly ignored before).

    Secondly, Law does not appeal to authority in his post. He is just showing that you are the victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect. Google it, if you do not understand the term.

    R:A common blogger challenges the logic of law's argument.


    Your first and second premises are faulty. You never did challenge Law. You just pestered him and asked to offer a "dummy" version of his argument. In response, he just told you to do your homework yourself.

    R:Instead of offering a logical explanation, Law appeals to academic conditioning, being "tutored" not to challenge a "professional".

    You are not interested in an explanation, Rick. You just want to be "right". Like a victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect, you just push your nonsense with an air of superiority and refuse to listen to criticism. If Law s argument is so weak as you claim, do send an article to Religious Sutdies with your criticism.

    R:That is why I brought up Craig, someone far more developed academically than Law.

    Craig is a clown that has failed to offer anything new to theology. His only skill would be debate. If you think that one s debate skill make one academically distinguished, I pity you.

    R:No, I quoted Law. You seem quite confused today.

    And your reading disability is doing fine as always. Law only stated that it is extremely hard and time-consuming to make an argument "for dummies". Having trouble in formulationg the argument in a premise-conclusion format does not invalid the argument itself.

    As it was pointed out to you numerous time, you are the only one who does have trouble in understanding Law s argument. Furthermore, you have proven time and time again that you are not interested in truth. Losing time and formulating an argument in the format of "premise-conclusion" for a person for a person who will ignore it anyway, would be a waste of time.

    R:Craig offered a simple logical criticism of the God Delusion, yet, amazingly, "professional" atheist philosophers continue to laud the logic of Dawkins' tome.

    Craig s criticism and arguments are mostly crap. The problem with the god hypothethyse would be that it is constantly changing. You are redefining the concept each time. If creationism turns out to be invalid, you just start claiming that evolution is compatible with the principles of the bible.

    R:It does not take a "philosophical genius" to determine when logical laws and principles are being broken.

    You and Craig has failed to show any big flaws in the arguments of Dawkins, Law or any other atheists.

    R:I do not believe academic authority has any bearing on the truth of an argument.

    No one do. However, an academia authority has often a better understanding of the problem than a layman. Engage with them in a debate through peer-reviewed journals. Then your or Craig s claims will be taken seriously.

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    1. Anonymous,

      In the link you provided Imnotandrei clarifies he has been "formally trained" in logic but does not hold an sdvanced degree in the subject. zi have stated clearly several times already that I feel no obligation whatsoever to carry on a discourse with someone who makes false unsubstantiated slanderous claims and therefore I am under no obligation to read all his comments. It seems the reading disability is yours.

      As far as the God Delusion is concerned, it seems another article should be written to clearly outline why Dawkin's argument holds no logical consequence whatsoever.

      As far as Law's argument is concerned, Imnotandrei has attempted two times so far to explain the logical outline and basis of Law's EGC argument and failed both times. The second time he used s false definition of theodicies in an attempt to explain and justify Law.

      Instead of discussing appeals to authority ad infinitum, let's get back to Law's argument. If you, Anonymous, believe Law's argument holds a logical basis, do offer a brief summary of what Law's argument is based on and why anyone should believe it.

      Delete
    2. Rick, you are taking hypocritical dishonesty in rhetoric to new heights for you today. Let's see: You want to be entitled to your own facts, and you use a standard for argument that, if applied to you, would render your arguments completed discredited.

      argument In the link you provided Imnotandrei clarifies he has been "formally trained" in logic but does not hold an sdvanced degree in the subject.

      And the original of that comment was from long before you went on your little passive-aggressive snitfit. And I will note that we have you directly quoting me from a *later* comment in this very thread, so your selective blindness to what I write is very...convenient for you. Enough so that an outside observer would reasonably presume that it's not blindness, it's deception.

      And another point: I did not say "theodicies were arguments for the existence of God." I said, and I quote:

      "Actually, you'll note that's Stephen commenting on my summary; that theodicies are not (as I stated before) arguments for God, but are counterarguments for challenges to a divine existence."

      At which point you try and inform me of the single definition of theodicy.

      I know what a theodicy is, Rick. But they are *used* as defenses against a challenge to a divine existence.

      A person asserts:

      "The problem of Evil contradicts a 3-omni god, therefore a three-omni god does not exist."
      "But here's a solution to that problem, a vindication of divine goodness, so God can exist!"

      See? There's a theodicy, being used, exactly as I described, as a defense against a challenge against the existence of God.

      Now, I will also note that you are using the standard of "he didn't rebut it, therefore it's true" -- a standard by which most of the posts you've made on here are untrue, because you have comment threads full of unrebutted contradictory statements -- points you have just dropped and let go, marching on to some new comment.

      Now, for a few other points:

      i have stated clearly several times already that I feel no obligation whatsoever to carry on a discourse with someone who makes false unsubstantiated slanderous claims and therefore I am under no obligation to read all his comments.

      Oh -- I'll note that "claims" is plural. I've admitted to one minor technical mistake, and that somehow becomes "unsubstantiated slanderous claims". So, show me another, Rick. ;)

      And, as I've asked before -- you slander Law, and yet expect him to dance to your tune and answer your questions. Why should he bother?


      Delete
    3. http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349024720346#c5360182390828906020

      Delete
    4. Anonymous,

      That is a link to an outline that Law already stated was off. He claimed it did not have a logical conclusion. Unfortuntraely, Law was uninterested in supplying a logical conscluion, so Imnotandrei took another stab - and failed. He wanted to smuggle in a false definition of theodices in order to try and make a point. Oops.

      If Law and his arguments are so great and so logical, why is it that no one seems to be able to clarify and define the concluions, including Law himself?

      Is Law among the quixotic "untutored" beings who dare not discuss or utter the sentiments of the atheist gods regarding the most profound logical truths? - Even though his fawning followers really could use a few clues in order to understand his ideas.

      Or, on the other hand, maybe Law is just too busy writing new posts about animal pain. It seems the latter may be more the case. It maybe worth writing a follow up article on Law's EGC at some point and making an offer to see is any other "professional" philosophers can justify it or point out exactly where the logical consequence in the challenge is generally located. We don't want to have too much fun in one comment section, do we?

      Delete
    5. He wanted to smuggle in a false definition of theodices in order to try and make a point.

      Addressed here:http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349361544629#c2991560361979047241

      why is it that no one seems to be able to clarify and define the concluions, including Law himself?

      Because no one is able to make you see what you deliberately close your eyes to, Rick. You're the only one who isn't getting it, and has been demonstrated many times, your ability to not get that which you don't want to is significant.

      It maybe worth writing a follow up article on Law's EGC at some point and making an offer to see is any other "professional" philosophers can justify it or point out exactly where the logical consequence in the challenge is generally located. We don't want to have too much fun in one comment section, do we?

      Feel free to write it; but don't expect professionals to come running, given the show you've already made of yourself. When you refuse other debaters, why should people discuss with you?

      Delete
  16. Sigh... Rick, do you honestly not understand Law s argument or are you just nitpicking at minor details to make yourself feel better? At least be frank with yourself.

    In case you are truly intellectually challenged, I will explain to you the gist of Law s argument. Theists have repeatedly failed to give an answer to the problem of evil. Arguments from theodocies can be used to explain a good god just as well an evil god (two mutually exclusive concepts in Christianity). If the same argument can be used to defend two mutually exclusive concepts, that makes it invalid according to the law of non-contradiction. Hence, the problem of evil remains unsolved and the concept of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient god remains self-contradictory. Do you understand now or do you need a picture?

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    1. Anonymous,

      Thank you for your outline. I believe you have captured the essence of the argument as well as the "backbone" of it, the use of theodicies:

      1. Arguments from theodocies can be used to explain a good god just as well an evil god (two mutually exclusive concepts in Christianity).

      2. If the same argument can be used to defend two mutually exclusive concepts, that makes it invalid according to the law of non-contradiction.

      3.Hence, the problem of evil remains unsolved and the concept of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent and omniscient god remains self-contradictory.

      Now, let's consider the argument in light of Law's recent comments and ask if it still a valid argument or if he has basically nullified it:

      Per Law's comments:

      1. Arguments from theodocies SUPPOSEDLY can be used to explain a good god just as well an evil god (two mutually exclusive concepts in Christianity).

      2. If the same argument COULD be used to defend two mutually exclusive concepts, that WOULD MAKE it invalid according to the law of non-contradiction.

      3. According to Law, the claim that "arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God" is NOT SUPPORTED by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)."

      4. Therefore, according to Law, theodicies do not actually support the mirroring of good and evil. And Law has NULLIFIED his own argument.

      Now, what part of the English language do you wish to try and nullify today, Anonymous?

      Delete
    2. And here you go again, instead of addressing the argument you nitpick and quote-mine.

      R:According to Law, the claim that "arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God" is NOT SUPPORTED by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)

      The argument is not supported in the PRESENTED syllogism, because it is a summary of the argument. You do know what a summary is, Rick? Law did explain that making a thorough syllogism would take pages and a load of time.

      Since you are not even interested in the argument in the first place, it would be a waste anyway.

      R:Therefore, according to Law, theodicies do not actually support the mirroring of good and evil. And Law has NULLIFIED his own argument

      I know that it is hard, Rick, but do try to make an effort to at least read his paper before spouting such embarassing nonsense.

      If you doubt that any explanation for the problem of evil can be turned into an explanation of the problem of good, just give me an example and I will turn it upside down.

      Delete
    3. >instead of addressing the argument...

      No, I am addressing the "backbone" of the argument.

      According to the text of the argument, theodices are the primary means of supporting the claim that evil mirrors good in theology:

      "Notice how the evidential problem of evil mirrors the evidential problem of good." ..."The three reverse theodices introduced above to deal with the evidential problem of good obviously mirror the three theodicies we looked at earlier."

      - According the the structure of the argument presented, Law did not deny that theodicies are a valid aspect of the argument:

      Premise 5: Premise 2 and Premise 3 are equally true of the Evil God and the Good God hypotheses ('the problem of good" and "some reverse theodicies"

      However, Law in his comments offers that the interpretation of theodices is not only illogical, they are not even a supportive aspect of his argument:

      "And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)".

      http://templestream.blogspot.com/2012/09/7-reasons-why-dawkins-excuses-for-not.html?showComment=1349079039457#c1465957146129438801

      So which is it? If theodices are not a central aspect of his argument, then his argument contains inaccurate statements. If theodices do help to form the backbone of the argument then law's latter comments have basically nullified the argument.

      Law does not seem to be able to explain himself and you do not seem to have a logical response either. So much for the "logic" of Laws arguments.

      Delete
    4. No, I am addressing the "backbone" of the argument.

      In other words, you've created a straw man you now wish to beat up.

      However, Law in his comments offers that the interpretation of theodices is not only illogical, they are not even a supportive aspect of his argument:

      "And there are some logical problems too, e.g. the claim in the conclusion that the arguments for a good God are mirrored by args for an evil God is not supported by the premises (the theodicies are not such arguments)".


      All this comes from the use of logical summary, which introduced an inaccuracy. I used the statement that theodicies were such arguments, Law disagreed. You are complaining that two different people using two different modes of argument using two different meanings of a phrase are not in agreement. This is hardly an issue with the logic of the argument, but rather your ability to follow the difference between people, styles, and times.

      Delete
    5. R:No, I am addressing the "backbone" of the argument

      Nope, you are addressing a straw man as imnotandrei has pointed out.

      R:So which is it? If theodices are not a central aspect of his argument, then his argument contains inaccurate statements. If theodices do help to form the backbone of the argument then law's latter comments have basically nullified the argument

      "All this comes from the use of logical summary, which introduced an inaccuracy. I used the statement that theodicies were such arguments, Law disagreed. You are complaining that two different people using two different modes of argument using two different meanings of a phrase are not in agreement. This is hardly an issue with the logic of the argument, but rather your ability to follow the difference between people, styles, and times."

      Delete
  17. Curious if Stephen Law will be willing to address this simple question:

    > I'd be feeling pretty foolish if I'd made such a statement. Wouldn't you? (Stephen commenting on a comment by WL Craig in a debate)

    - A comment in a live debate may be construed as an off-the-cuff remark. However, comments published in articles and writing in general would seem to offer somewhat less of an excuse.

    Stephen, you had written a review of Dawkins' God Delusion stating you have read it at least twice and that you found the summary argument impressive (in a positive sense).

    "This chapter contains Dawkins's central argument, summarized in pages 188-9....On a second reading, I am rather more impressed."

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2008/09/book-club-god-delusion-chpt-4.html

    WL Craig has outlined why there is no logical consequence in Dawkins' argument.

    Craig, William Lane, On Guard, 2010, David Cook, Colorado Springs, CO, p.121, see online, Reasonable Faith Forum, http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5493

    Stephen, do you still hold to your opinion that the God Delusion offers a good argument, a logical argument against God's existence?

    Comment posted at this article:

    http://stephenlaw.blogspot.com/2012/10/william-lane-craig-animals-arent-aware.html

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    1. I'm going to comment here, and perhaps at Law's blog as well.

      I note that in a thread about Dawkins' unwillingness to debate Craig, you're willing to write off Craig making a factually inaccurate statement in a debate as "an off-the-cuff remark".

      Why should DAwkins feel obliged to waste his time with someone who makes inaccurate "off-the-cuff" remarks, and if debate remarks are "off-the-cuff", what importance, if any, do they have in determining truth and value in an argument?

      This is a larger subset of why many scientists refuse to debate apologists -- their casual relationship to facts makes them pointless to debate with.

      Delete
  18. What's interesting about Stephen Law is his refusal to clarify whether or not Richard Dawkins' simple argument in his God Delusion book offers a sound sense of logical consequence in its conclusion.

    Law had first offered a glowing synopsis at his blog, calling the chapter with Dawkins' central argument "impressive." When asked to clarify the logical consequence of the argument, whether it was valid or not, Law either did not understand the question or sidestepped it. Her answered the following:

    Rick - I think Dawkins argument is non-scientific, and probably flawed (which is not to say he doesn't do a fairly good job of dealing with some lines of objection - hence my "rather more impressed than was on first reading comment). (October 7, 2012 10:34 AM)

    I clarified my question for Law: "I had asked you specifically about the logical consequence incorporated in his argument. The question regarded more the logic of the argument not so much the truth of the claims." (October 7, 2012 11:14 AM)

    And he still avoids it. Today I offered one more chance for him to comment at his blog (October 9, 2012 1:13 PM)

    >I identified the relevant clips for you down to the second, Rick.

    - I'm sorry, Stephen, I did not see that comment of yours. What date and time was that posted?

    I had asked you twice about the logic of Dawkins central summarized argument foe the God Delusion. the following are the dates and times of comments in this post:

    October 6, 2012 2:44 PM
    October 7, 2012 11:14 AM

    So far, you have not expressed your opinion as to whether or not Dawkins' summarized argument offers a sense of logical consequence or not. The scientific validity of his points is quite another subject.

    As a professional philosopher, do you think it would be possible for you to offer your opinion on this subject?

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=1905686568472747305&postID=765556352863734884&page=1&token=1349788433512


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    1. Funny, Rick -- Stephen was talking about the subject of the post -- WLC's argument -- when he identified things "down to the second". You were posting about sidetracking nonsense that was of primary interest to you. I seem to remember you complaining in the past at great length about how people should post "where it was appropriate", and here you are doing no such thing.

      Why should Law post in response to your hectoring when you've failed to understand any of his previous posts on the matter? He is not obliged to "clarify" everything until you understand it, especially since anyone who has read you at any length realizes that you are quite capable of massive willful misunderstanding.

      Delete
    2. What is funny is that everyone who is remotely a regular commenter here is waiting for a response from Rick on at least one specific question, and Rick seems to do all he can to avoid answering. He then has the gall to hector someone else about not providing a response (even though Stephen Law DID provide a response).

      Hypocrisy at work! :-)

      Delete
    3. As usual, Havok comes to post falsehoods. It is Havok who failed to provide any answers when asked to justify his slanderous claims that I had provided inadequate or illogical responses to comments. When asked to provide one such example, he was unable to.

      Beginning in December 2011, Havok became so frustrated with his lack of answers that all he could apparently do was to post unsubstantiated slander against me.  If he had an actual instance where I did offer an inadequate or illogical response in that article, he certainly has had enough time to produce it. Imnotandrei is a little different, he has admitted that he had slandered me, yet, he immediately began to do the exact same thing
      again. 

      If there are any civilized atheists out there who would like to attempt to defend these time-wasters, you are welcome to try.

      As for Stephen Law, I'm still waiting for a plain answer on whether or not he believes Dawkins' God Delusion offers logical consequence in the central argument in his opinion.

      Delete
    4. As usual, Havok comes to post falsehoods

      Point out the false statement in his above post. Otherwise, this is once again the argument ad hominem, which you *used* to disclaim and decry.

      Otherwise, this statement is a lie. Which makes you what?

      Delete
    5. And, Havok, it's the usual cycle: "New commenter comes in; new commenter discovers Rick's ways of stretching & ignoring the truth, arguments, etc. New commenter accuses Rick of lying. When new commenter hits close enough to the bone, or goes one step too far*, Rick decries them as a "slanderer" and stops talking, claiming all he gets are liars."

      It's really remarkably predictable, now that I've seen it happen three times.


      * I called Rick a liar for *weeks* before he found one statement where, in retrospect, I was technically incorrect; at which point I became a "slanderer" and all I said became, to Rick, invalid and not worthy of response. Were he held to the same standard, no one would talk to him past his first few replies on most posts.

      Delete
  19. So in this post, boiled down is the two primary reasons for disagreement. Between a Christian apologist and a few Atheists one of which is apparently rather famous? First visit here just thought the back and forth was interesting although it beat around the bush quite a bit.

    First let me state that theirs a few things that you must concede to have a discourse with any Christian about theology. This makes certain that non-believers or at least those that don't understand a valid interpretation of the bible are excluded. Unfortunately over the many centuries the lines between sound doctrine and that which would have in the past been considered apostate is very muddied. I could expound upon this but diligent study of the bible by a non-believer will end up getting us no where since by their very nature they cannot understand it. Of course you should understand that it is not because I wish to insult anybody that I say this but because this is a biblical doctrine also that any learned Christian would believe. So even if you don't concede the above which I'm certain you won't at least concede that any Christian that adheres to the belief that "The bible is the infallible and inerrant word of God." Which by the way is all of true protestantism. This means that if God does something or commands something it is acceptable as it is his right to do so. As the Bible is true and God is the creator of all so he will do as he wills. Now obviously an Atheist won't believe that however understand that any true Christian will. Thus to have a discourse with a Christian is to accept for the time being that a Christian cannot be held accountable by you for an action they deem is right due to the fact that God is the one who commanded it. If you accept this then you can have a discourse if not your argument seals away any chance of a discourse with any Protestant Christian which is mighty convenient. Considering even among apostate church bodies this is the historical stance used to commit evil against the truth. So if you strip the only defense of a person from them based on the fact you don't like their material you in fact negate their ability to have a defense in the first place. Ergo you have Richard Dawkins book and we cannot have the Bible as to use it would be to admit that we are wrong from the outset of the argument because the belief that the Bible is entirely factual and good in nature. Which from a non-christian standpoint cannot be argued. The point of this is why does Rick attempt to debate such men when they attempt to strip him of the Bible as his defense. If you succeed in stripping the Bible as a defense then you cannot argue Christianity. Frankly it comes down to allow these men to believe what they wish and if God calls them to himself at some time they would at that time really understand what was being stated. As they know your point of view at this point and refuse to even hear it out don't waste your time.

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  20. >The point of this is why does Rick attempt to debate such men when they attempt to strip him of the Bible as his defense. If you succeed in stripping the Bible as a defense then you cannot argue Christianity.

    - It's interesting that you would state this opinion because the very post you are commenting on underscores it is not true. W L Craig does not use belief in the Bible as a support for his arguments at all, yet, top atheist apologists are so afraid of a philosophical debate with him that they feel the need to come up with all kinds of illogical excuses.

    I would agree, however, that it is often a waste of time to attempt a logical debate with people who are spiritually blind and in a state of rebellion against God because no matter how logical the argument may be, they will still reject it. One of the points of my blog is simply to point out how many atheists demonstrate their avoidance of truth by their avoidance of logical principles. About 200 people a day come to read the posts and they can see, if they are open minded, who is standing on solid logical ground and who is not. You never know who is seeking philosophical truth at any given moment. Isaiah offered, "Come let us reason together" and I offer the same proposal today, as does William Lane Craig and all the many Christians who offer that when Jesus said he was the "Logos made flesh", full of all wisdom and truth, that this has wide ramifications.

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  21. CE:Thus to have a discourse with a Christian is to accept for the time being that a Christian cannot be held accountable by you for an action they deem is right due to the fact that God is the one who commanded it.

    That reminds me of the Nuremberg trial. Nazi generals could not be held accountable for the attrocities since they were just following orders. And the word of Hitler was also considered perfect and infallible by his subordinates.

    CE:Ergo you have Richard Dawkins book and we cannot have the Bible as to use it would be to admit that we are wrong from the outset of the argument because the belief that the Bible is entirely factual and good in nature

    Most atheists do not rely on books, they rely on reason and science. The word of Dawkins is not infallible and inerrant. When in doubt atheists can double check assertions because they are based on scientific premises.

    That is not the case of the bible. You have admitted that the line between sound doctrine ans apostate is very muddied. But like Rick you fail to offer any objective criteria to differentiate one with another. I am sure that there are diligent bible scholars that are just as smart as you, but do not accept your interpretention of the holy book. So why your point of view is right if you just like them a human being that can make mistakes? What if the holy spirit is speaking through them while you were deceived by the devil?

    You also need to prove that the Bible in entirely factual and good in nature. You also need to explain why many claims from the bible contradict science (like no evidence for the global flood and so on). You also need to explain why the murder of children, rape and slavery is acceptable or even commendable in some cases. You cannot just assume from the start that those actions are good in nature.

    CE:Frankly it comes down to allow these men to believe what they wish and if God calls them to himself at some time they would at that time really understand what was being stated.

    Then why bother with preaching and trying to influence politics because of religion? If christians are unable to make others understand the word of Christ, why do they try in the first place? Why would you try to force your lifestyle on others if you are unable to explain why it is beneficial?

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  22. Quote from Richard Dawkins (Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig):
    “He parades himself as a philosopher, but none of the professors of philosophy whom I consulted had heard his name either. Perhaps he is a "theologian".”

    What sort of nonsensical statement is this coming from an adult in his seventies, and a scientist for that matter? I used to have some respect for Richard Dawkins, but this childish behavior on his part is becoming too ridiculous.

    Is William Craig not indeed a philosopher as well as a theologian? Why does Dawkins feel the need to pretend that he does not know that Craig has a PhD in philosophy (as well as a PhD in theology) and that he is a widely acclaimed philosopher particularly in the area of cosmology and religion? Who does Dawkins think he is fooling (other than his rabid followers)?

    What makes the statement even more ridiculous is the fact that it carries the assumption that a philosopher has to be known by every other philosopher on the planet in order to be truly considered a philosopher. The fact that Dawkins can write such nonsense (and, very likely, lies) is as clear an indication as can be that his academic status as well as his own intellect has been severely exaggerated by the secular media in its desire to hold the most visible crusader against religion in an esteemed light. This is something I have always been aware of despite not been a religious person myself. In fact, it has always been evident to me (and many other people) that without his anti-religious work -especially his book ‘the god delusion’- Richard Dawkins would really be just another assistant professor who just happens to have a proclivity for writing pop science books for laymen. However, because of my support for his anti-religious crusade, I have always shoved that uncomfortable thought out of my mind. But Dawkins’ immature behavior and self-aggrandizing rhetoric (“I am much too important to debate him”) has finally forced me to admit what I have always known.

    Don’t get me wrong. I respect, and even agree with, his decision not to debate Craig. But here is the question: if he does not want to debate the man because he is an experienced and formidable debater or because he believes that he is morally reprehensible, why not just SAY so? Why make up silly, childish and dishonest excuses and engage in equally silly, childish and dishonest disparagement of his qualifications? Why not just be straight with people once and for all?

    V.T.

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    1. >This is something I have always been aware of despite not been a religious person myself. In fact, it has always been evident to me (and many other people) that without his anti-religious work -especially his book ‘the god delusion’- Richard Dawkins would really be just another assistant professor who just happens to have a proclivity for writing pop science books for laymen.

      - Dawkins's is basically a religious zealot for secular humanism, verified as a religious movement in John Dewey's Humanist Manifesto I:

      "EIGHTH: Religious Humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man's life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now."

      www.americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_IThe distinction between the sacred and the secular can no longer be maintained.

      What's ironic is that, void all the rhetoric, Dawkins is a religious zealot who shuns logic while religious theists such as Craig embrace logic.

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    2. Craig...embraces logic? Are you kidding? Look at this. (Have to scroll way down though):

      I once asked a fellow seminary student "How do you know Christianity is true?" He replied "I really don't know." Does that mean he should give up Christianity till he finds rational arguments to ground his faith? Of course not!

      ...The fact is we can know the truth whether we have rational arguments or not.3


      We've already said that it's the Holy Spirit who gives us the ultimate assurance of Christianity's truth. Therefore, the ONLY role left for argument and evidence to play is a SUBSIDIARY role.2

      Some people... say that reason can at least be used... at least by the unbeliever. They ask how else could we determine which is true, the Bible, the Koran, or the Baghavad-Gita, unless we use argument and evidence to judge them? Now I've already answered that question: the Holy Spirit teaches us directly which teaching is really from God...4

      "Thus, although arguments and evidence may be used to support the believer's faith, they are never properly the basis of the faith."5

      These next two are kickers:
      "Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former [i.e. "Holy Spirit"] which must take precedence over the latter [i.e. "argument & evidence"], not vice versa."2

      "The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason SUBMITS TO and SERVES the gospel. ONLY the ministerial use of reason can be allowed… Reason is a tool to help us better understand and defend our faith."2

      And finally:
      …as long as reason is a minister of the Christian faith, Christians should employ it.1
      In other words: Craig only "embraces logic" so long as he thinks it can be made to support his belief. Once it doesn't, logic goes out the window.





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    3. Apologies: Format fail

      Craig...embraces logic? Are you kidding? Look at this. (Have to scroll way down though):

      I once asked a fellow seminary student "How do you know Christianity is true?" He replied "I really don't know." Does that mean he should give up Christianity till he finds rational arguments to ground his faith? Of course not!

      ...The fact is we can know the truth whether we have rational arguments or not.3

      =================

      We've already said that it's the Holy Spirit who gives us the ultimate assurance of Christianity's truth. Therefore, the ONLY role left for argument and evidence to play is a SUBSIDIARY role.2
      ==================

      Some people... say that reason can at least be used... at least by the unbeliever. They ask how else could we determine which is true, the Bible, the Koran, or the Baghavad-Gita, unless we use argument and evidence to judge them? Now I've already answered that question: the Holy Spirit teaches us directly which teaching is really from God...4
      =====================

      "Thus, although arguments and evidence may be used to support the believer's faith, they are never properly the basis of the faith."5

      These next two are kickers:
      "Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former [i.e. "Holy Spirit"] which must take precedence over the latter [i.e. "argument & evidence"], not vice versa."2
      ==================

      "The ministerial use of reason occurs when reason SUBMITS TO and SERVES the gospel. ONLY the ministerial use of reason can be allowed… Reason is a tool to help us better understand and defend our faith."2

      And finally:
      …as long as reason is a minister of the Christian faith, Christians should employ it.1
      In other words: Craig only "embraces logic" so long as he thinks it can be made to support his belief. Once it doesn't, logic goes out the window.





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  23. Reynold

    Someone like Dawkins uses reason as a buzzword in his rhetoric and then fails to use reason and logic in his formal arguments.

    Someone like Craig downplays the importance of reason in his rhetoric, but then emphasizes both reason and logic in his formal arguments.

    Craig has a reason for his attitude. He believes in a transcendent reality that is not fully understood by human knowledge and reasoning. However, at the same time, logic is still considered important in its proper place. Because he believes in divine revelation, he can say, "...The fact is we can know the truth whether we have rational arguments or not." That is completely consistent with the logic of Christian revelation.

    Dawkins, however, really does not seem to have much of an excuse. There does not seem to be any underlying logic for his avoidance of logical principles in his formal arguments.

    The types of interpretations Reynold offers are disingenuous:


    And finally, "…as long as reason is a minister of the Christian faith, Christians should employ it." In other words: Craig only "embraces logic" so long as he thinks it can be made to support his belief. Once it doesn't, logic goes out the window.

    to have "reason as a minister of the Christian faith" does not mean "logic goes out the window" when it cannot support Christian faith. It means that there should not be an idolatry of logic over the transcendent relationship with God. And if God does in deed offer divine insight into questions, then logic and reason are not necessarily the best means of understanding the deepest mysteries of the universe. Many great understandings and inventions have come through dreams and have not been arrived at through a methodological process.

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    1. R:Dawkins, however, really does not seem to have much of an excuse. There does not seem to be any underlying logic for his avoidance of logical principles in his formal arguments.

      It is tiresome to repeat the same things, but nontheless... Dawkings has no reason or obligations to debate Craig in the first place, hence he is free to dismiss him as he pleases.

      R:It means that there should not be an idolatry of logic over the transcendent relationship with God. And if God does in deed offer divine insight into questions, then logic and reason are not necessarily the best means of understanding the deepest mysteries of the universe.

      Logic is one of a tools to invetigate truth. What you and Craig are telling is that you do not need tools to establish truth, since you already assume the outcome. Whatever the results of the investigations are you will dismiss it and throw out anything, including logic, that goes against your superstitions.

      Yes, that means "logic goes out the window" as Reynold has put it. You cannot both consider logic as important and claim that "divine inspiration" overtrumps logic.

      R:Many great understandings and inventions have come through dreams and have not been arrived at through a methodological process.

      You have even less understanding of the dreaming process than you do with logic, but that is besides the point. It does not matter what inventions or ideas a person has in their dreams if they cannot present them in a feasible systematic way to themselves (if they want to construct the machine) or to others if the want to share their idea.

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    2. Ok, Anonymous beat me to it.

      Well, that and Rick is being hypocritical when he says that I am being disingenuous. Rick is the one who's trying to excuse Craig's throwing away of logic while pretending that Craig values it. Even though I gave several examples that show that Craig considers logic to be at best only a secondary, discardable tool.

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  24. Here is another example of Craig tossing aside logic and common sense. His claim that animals don't feel pain.

    Stephen Law takes him to task on that one.

    Actually, that's a load of pseudo-scientific rubbish, as scientists in this new video explain (the video has nothing to do with me btw).

    The first responds directly to what William Lane Craig said: "that's not true". (at 6 mins 20 secs)

    Another, Professor Bruce Hood, confirms that Craig's key "scientific" claim that animals other than higher primates don't have a pre-frontal cortex is just wrong (from about 8 mins)

    Indeed, Joaquin Fuster, the author of a classic textbook on the pre-frontal cortex, says about Craig's statement that it is "wrong on several counts", and explains that all mammals and some birds have a pre-frontal cortex (from about 9 mins 30)

    As the commentator points out, "that so many animals possess a pre-frontal cortex is just a google search away."

    Oh, and by the way, the source Craig quotes to back up his "scientific" claims is not a scientist - Michael Murray is actually a Christian apologist and philosopher.


    Why would Craig say something so stupid? It deals with the problem of evil, apparently.

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  25. Reynold,

    You seem to be missing my point. Animal pain has nothing to do with the 5 major, logical arguments Craig offers in support of theism. As far as I'm aware this aspect of animal pain is not a central point in any of his main logically structured arguments.

    Also, in his own description, I don't see him defending this issue of the pre-frontal cortex, but, rather, focusing on neural pathways, as noted:

    Animal Suffering

    http://www.reasonablefaith.org/animal-suffering

    Craig mentions blind sight as an example.

    This phenomenon challenges what we once believed to be true, that perceptions must enter consciousness to affect our behavior. Blindsight proves that our behavior can be guided by sensory information of which we are completely unaware.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindsight

    From a a summary on the Internet: What are the neural pathways involved in the automatic withdrawal of your hand before pain is perceived? A reflex would be the sensory neuron to an interneuron to a motor neuron, but that's just the initial response of pulling back the injured hand and doesn't include what makes you say ouch a millisecond later.

    Scientists acknowledge that different species have different neural circuit designs

    http://www.teleodynamics.com/wp-content/PDF/Humanbraindifferences.pdf

    Therefore, species-specific motor behaviour could, in principle, arise from small differences in the expression of ion channels or other proteins. In this way, the same anatomically defined circuit might exist in different species, but produce different patterns of neural activity.

    http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/366/1574/2086.full

    And the question of pain seems to be still open for debate, as even the nature of consciousness is:

    When an organism's neural pathways grow sufficiently complex, materialists insist, their firings are somehow accompanied by consciousness. But despite decades of effort by philosophers and neurophysiologists, no one has been able to come up with a remotely plausible explanation of how this happens--how the hunk of gray meat in our skull gives rise to private Technicolor experience. One distinguished commentator on the mind-body problem, Daniel Dennett, author of Consciousness Explained, has been driven to declare that there is really no such thing as consciousness--we are all zombies, though we're unaware of it.5

    http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/imageofgod.html

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    1. Warden
      You seem to be missing my point. Animal pain has nothing to do with the 5 major, logical arguments Craig offers in support of theism. As far as I'm aware this aspect of animal pain is not a central point in any of his main logically structured arguments.
      You are missing MY point: Craig uses incorrect "facts" to try to back up his views. That was an example.

      If the facts (which are regularly used as premises) in logical arguments are wrong, then the conclusion will also be wrong.

      Plus, it shows that Craig, just like in the other examples I gave, only cares about "winning the argument" as opposed to having accurate, honest facts to do it with.


      Also, if you had bothered to read my link, you'd have noticed that Craig used the "prefrontal cortex" argument in his debate with Stephen Law. I already know that Craig is trying to be more evasive in his newer essay about animal pain.

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  26. Reynold,

    >If the facts (which are regularly used as premises) in logical arguments are wrong, then the conclusion will also be wrong.

    - In which of Craig's five most popular arguments for God's existence is animal pain used once in a premise - let alone "regularly"?

    For his arguments, Craig tends to use syllogistic logical arguments. Syllogisms are today's most commonly accepted form of logical reasoning, and are closely related to aspects of mathematical reasoning. Do you know of any atheist apologists who tend to use syllogisms in their arguments?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In which of Craig's five most popular arguments for God's existence is animal pain used once in a premise - let alone "regularly"?

      I believe you'll find Reynold was referring to facts as a general concept, not just these particular ones. However, that he uses bad facts on occasion for his premises undercuts the value of his logic in general.

      Syllogisms are today's most commonly accepted form of logical reasoning, and are closely related to aspects of mathematical reasoning.

      Actually, calling them "closely related" to aspects of mathematical reasoning is a stretch -- they're no more so than many aspects of formal logic.

      Not to mention, they suffer, as Reynold is pointing out, from the weakness of any logical structure -- feed them bad premises, and you get bad results.

      Do you know of any atheist apologists who tend to use syllogisms in their arguments?

      Yes. Including many on this blog, who dispute your fallacious or unsupported ones.

      However, "using syllogisms" and "using logic" are far from the same thing, as we've been over many times before.

      That Craig's logic is simplistic does not make him any more likely to be correct. And that Craig uses fallacious premises casts doubt on his integrity and trustworthiness in general, even if he does not make any *blatantly* false claims in his "5 main arguments".

      (He makes a lot of claims that are laden with assumptions, which make his logic far less simple and clear than his supporters claim -- but that's the problem with simplistic syllogisms -- they make it easy to smuggle in assumptions and biases in the premises.)

      Delete

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