Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Argument from Reason

Nothing to do with Islam here. But since I'm going to be doing some follow-up videos on the same topic, I'd be interested in feedback or criticisms.

60 comments:

Samatar Mohamed said...

"Dawkins according to his own world view, is a machine for propagating DNA. who's made it his life's quest to convince other machines for propagating DNA, that they are only machines for propagating DNA."

hahaha, so true. Even worse than Dawkins is Sam harris who argues we have no free will. He even sympathizes with murderers and claims if he was someone like Hitler with all his brain chemical brain processes, that he would end up doing the exact same thing as Hitler.

Radical Moderate said...

David dropping his "Calculator" is just wrong on so many levels lol. Simply brilliant.

Multi colored butts lol

crujjy said...

I love this video, because naturalism alone is really quite silly, particularly since there's no way anything could exist without God no matter how much evolution occurs. But the funny thing is, I'm a Protestant Christian and an evolutionist. Heck, most Christians are since the Roman Catholic church declared the creation narrative metaphorical 60 years ago, the Orthodox churches probably acted likewise, and the evangelical church unofficially accepted evolution, not to mention most of the bible scholars from the evangelical church. Aren't you from there? You should visit www.biologos.org Still, keep fighting atheism! Your argument still stands!

bob said...

David

Here are some books by Jonathan Sarfati Ph.D. that might come in handy:

Refuting Evolution 1 and 2

By design: Evidence for nature's Intelligent Designer - the God of the Bible

Refuting compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of "Progressive Creationism"

The Greatest Hoax on Earth: Refuting Dawkins on Evolution

Also, a quik look at '15 Questions for Evolutionists' at creation.com is a bit of an eye-opener too.

Richard said...

D.Wood,

Cool.

You should check out Bahnsen's "defending the Christian worldview against all opposition"

Those are probably his best lectures.

Also, being that you're learned in philosophy, there is one "Dawson Bethrick" who runs the blog "incinerating pressupositionalism" who's writings may be of interests to you.


Mary said...

Hahahahahahahaha!

Actually, the standard of law in the U.S. is "reasonableness," what a reasonable person would do or think in a given situation. It goes toward obvious intention, whether a criminal act was done intentionally or recklessly, and what level of care is required. Such human reason is an ability that makes us unique from the animals, who live mainly off of instinct, and is common to all (not that all use it well). So, people can pretend there is no right and wrong, no objective truth, no God, but that does not keep them out of jail when they do something so unreasonable that it is considered a crime (at least in the U.S.).

JBaker45 said...

Samatar,

My study of the scriptures leads me to believe that God exerts a kind of restraining force on all men that prevents them from being as bad as they could otherwise be.

Thus I believe that Hilter could have actually produced even more depraved behavior than was displayed in history; and also that any ungodly person could (if permitted) demonstrate even worse behavior.

Also, my current understanding of Islam indicates that Allah does not participate directly with the behavior of his creations. Thus it seems that fatalism itself is the operating philosofical mode from the Islamic perspective.

- John

Joseph said...

"If we take naturalism seriously, then we can't take naturalism seriously!" LOL Well done Mr. Wood!! I'll be sharing this video! I was just having conversation/debate with a friend, and one of his questions for me was "Do you think God is evil...?" after posting up some old testament scriptures...

My response to him was, How can you as an atheist believe in evil, or good without a moral basis given by a moral law giver? (Ravi Zacharias)

He couldn't wrap his head around it unfortunately. ;/

Great stuff sir, OH and one more thing...

I also watched your debate in london recently, and I loved how you differentiated between the Brain and the Mind. Another point I brought up to the same friend of mine, was that people have out of body experiences all the time, and its well documented....

His response was, "Well, I've never met anyone who's had that experience" LOL! all I could do was shake my head... The amount of faith it takes to believe that there is nothing more than a naturalistic world is FAR more than the mustard seed size it takes to believe that Jesus came and died for our sins

God bless!

Royal Son said...

I loved it. Well done Brother David. I was wondering if you have ever considered debating Matt Dillahunty on the existence of God. Dillahunty apparently made a challenge to Dr. William Lane Craig which was turned down. I would love to see you take the naturalist Dillahunty to task.

May the Lord grace you and your family richly.

Ilya said...

You put here the atheist world-view and the Christian world-view into two sides, such as black and white, as there is nothing in between. Moreover, you present the atheist world-view in just a single way it could be addressed.

There are many other ways for the atheist world-view. Unlike the Islam, there is no book which calls for what atheism is, so you can't label all atheists as people who have the same world-view. For example, Darwinism is doubted for many years by atheists, although there is no answer yet for why there are so many ways of life in case Darwinism is false.

In case I took the Christian world-view as simple as you presented the atheist world-view, I could claim that the Christian world-view could have a place only if all humans had believed in god, Jesus, and the bible.

By the way, I don't deny both, the atheist world-view and the religious world-view. (we don't have any answers about it, so in my opinion each of them could be true - atheism: there are many world-views which could be true. Relgion: Christianity, or many other religious world-views which could be true)

And in my opinion, there is another world-view upon which we, humans, don't have the ability for understanding how all things work. Just as we treat animal, as creatures who live their lives without having a clue about what the world is. (again, I don't claim its true, I just say that there is such an option as well)

jonnykzj said...

@Samatar Mohammed

"hahaha, so true. Even worse than Dawkins is Sam harris who argues we have no free will. He even sympathizes with murderers and claims if he was someone like Hitler with all his brain chemical brain processes, that he would end up doing the exact same thing as Hitler."

JK- It's really funny to hear this from a Muslim. Did you forget that in the Quran and hadith there is a concept KNOWN AS "QADR" ie. Allah has predestined who will turn out good and wo bad? In Islam infact predestination is worse because ppl according to Islam are born Muslims and only later become corrupt due to destiny and some so much they're thrown into hell forever i.e. those who later reject Islam altogther. The Quran says Allah guides WHOM HE WILLS AND MISGUIDES WHOM HE WILLS, indicating an active and direct misguidance. There are many hadith strengthening this fact like there's one which says that if it is in ones destiny to fall off even if that person had done good all his life, finally his QADR will take over and he will end up doing all kinds of bad stuff and goto hell. The majority of classical interptreters AGREE THERE'S NO FREE WILL IN ISLAM. Only liberal Muslims have, due to other influences, latched onto the idea of free will.

"Verily, this (the Qur'ân) is no less than a Reminder to (all) the 'Alamîn (mankind and jinns).To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight, AND YOU WILL NOT, UNLESS THAT ALAH WILLS, the Lord of the 'Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists)." [Qur'an 81: 27-29]
ALSO CHECKOUT:
http://muttaqun.com/freewill.html

INFACT ive read an Islamic article calling tnis an amazing miracle COZ IT AGREES WITH NEUROSCIENCE.
IN CONCLUSION I've to defend Sam Harris here, it's not just him, ALMOST ALL NEURO SCIENTISTS WORLDWIDE AGREE THAT WE HAVE NO FREE WILL AND THAT IT IS AN ILLUSION. I also urge you to look on yotube for "Derren Brown", especially the episode where he makes a man willing to acquire a red bike that he never liked in his life. Here'sthe link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=befugtgikMg

NOW to make it very clear I MYSELF AM A REFORMED CHRISTIAN. I adhere to all five points of the TULIP which I say are ALL DERIVED FROM THE Bible, just like the trinity is. The T stands for "total depravity" and means that man is BORN WITH A NATURE SUCH THAT HE WON'T EVER WANT TO BE WITH GOD UNLESS GOD CHNAGES HIS HEART. This is not free will either BUT IT SHOWS IN CHRISTIANITY GOD DOESNT PUT EVIL INTO/ONTO PEOPLE. All after the fall are born with it and GOD is the one who chooses whom to GUIDE and the rest He hardens(NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH MISUIDANCE), where ahredning means to remove further retstaint from them such tht their already evil intentions can now come out to pass physically to fulfill a purpose.

jonnykzj said...

@Crujjy

I can accept those who agree with evolution as my bros/sis in Christ, not an essential issue. HWOEVER I HAD to learn the HARD WAY that evolution, AT LEAST BEFORE THE FALL, CANNOT be reconciled with the Bible. Hence I now believe that evolution started AFETR THE FALL AND IS A FORM OF A CURSE. After all evolution by natural slection is an INEFFICIENT PROCESS and involved DEATH. There was no death before the fall NEITHER DID ANY ANIMALS EAT MEAT, NO WERE THERE THORNS AND THISLTLES. I think an honest approach to the text would pretty clearly reveal that much and i tend to presuppose the Bible always.

Arni Zachariassen said...

Excellent.

Darwin, by the way, was worried about the same thing. "With me the horrid doubt always arises," he admitted to a friend, "whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?" (I got the quote from here: http://www.templeton.org/purpose/essay_Haught.html )

David Wood said...

Yeah, I used the Darwin quote in a debate once. I'm probably going to make a video about it.

Haecceitas said...

Those who dismiss this type of argument out of hand are usually unable or unwilling to be sceptical enough about their own starting point, even if they are happy to label themselves as "sceptics" in other contexts. They feel justified in their belief that the type of global scepticism implied by naturalism & evolution just is false because, well.. it just has to be. This probably boils down to the fact that we are all so strongly predisposed to trust the basic deliverances of our sense perceptions and reasoning faculties that we can't bring ourselves to take seriously the types of scenarios that entail global scepticism.

Another thing that prevents some people from taking this type of argument seriously is that they are unthinkingly committed to a view of the mind that would (if true) undercut some justification from sceptical arguments concerning basic cognitive reliability but it just happens to be a view that doesn't make much sense on the assumption of naturalism. This is the view that the phenomenal aspect of our mind (the "stream of conscious thought") is on the driver's seat when it comes to our choices and intentional action. Obviously this is the commonsense view about how our minds work, but it should still be discarded if one wants to be serious about his/her naturalistic commitments. And once this view is discarded, it should become more evident on a moment's reflection that the phenomenal contents of our consciousness are just causally irrelevant to how we behave. This being the case, obviously a greater accuracy in representing the external world within the phenomenal consciousness can't have an evolutionary advantage over one that is more inaccurate.

So in summary, I think the argument that David is presenting here has great insights but the problem is that seeing the force of the argument would require a person (who happens to hold to naturalism) to jettison so deeply (and often unthinkingly) held beliefs about cognitive reliability that anyone who isn't otherwise inclined to accept a competing view (such as theism) as a way of rescuing those beliefs may find it really difficult to accept the conclusion of the argument.

Haecceitas said...

"I loved it. Well done Brother David. I was wondering if you have ever considered debating Matt Dillahunty on the existence of God. Dillahunty apparently made a challenge to Dr. William Lane Craig which was turned down. I would love to see you take the naturalist Dillahunty to task."

That would be good to see. Another atheist that I'd love to see David debating would be Dan Barker.

Also, I know that this might be difficult to arrange but I think it would be really fun and educational to see a 3-way debate between a Christian, a Muslim and an atheist. It could be in a format where each person on his turn would take up a position of defending his view while the other two debaters grill him with questions and objections. A few rounds of this type of debating would also be great for bringing up inconsistencies in methodology.

John Lollard said...

David, you nailed it in this one. I've heard this argument dozens of times, but you really put life and humor in to it. I don't think I've heard it more succinctly put, and the part about the pigeon park and talking calculator was a good touch. Thanks again for all you do.

Deleting said...

jk said, "
NOW to make it very clear I MYSELF AM A REFORMED CHRISTIAN. I adhere to all five points of the TULIP which I say are ALL DERIVED FROM THE Bible, just like the trinity is. The T stands for "total depravity" and means that man is BORN WITH A NATURE SUCH THAT HE WON'T EVER WANT TO BE WITH GOD UNLESS GOD CHNAGES HIS HEART. This is not free will either BUT IT SHOWS IN CHRISTIANITY GOD DOESNT PUT EVIL INTO/ONTO PEOPLE. All after the fall are born with it and GOD is the one who chooses whom to GUIDE and the rest He hardens(NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH MISUIDANCE), where ahredning means to remove further retstaint from them such tht their already evil intentions can now come out to pass physically to fulfill a purpose."

J/K you were an anti-trinitarian muslim roughly a year ago and now you're not only a christian, you're REFORMED.
Not just reformed but you got a good handle on TULIP and reformed theology for a new christian a year into the faith.

Just blows my mind. God knows how to grow'em, don't he?

Very uplifting.

Traeh said...

Another brilliant video from David Wood.

Owen Barfield, whom C.S.Lewis called the "wisest and best of my unofficial teachers," wrote a fictional book called Worlds Apart, in which Barfield imagines a physicist, a biologist, a theologian, a Freudian psychiatrist, a lawyer-philologist, a linguistic analyst, a retired school teacher, and a young man working at a rocket research station all meeting for three days to hash out ultimate principles.

At certain points in the book, the theologian (named "Hunter") and the lawyer-philologist ("Burgeon") argue with the linguistic analyst ("Dunn," who believes only in nature and matter), and point out to him that the relation cause-effect which applies in the natural world, is not the same as the relation ground-consequent which occurs within reasoning. David discussed that distinction.

An extraordinary work that packs a tremendous amount into 200 pages (T.S. Eliot called it "a journey into seas of thought very far from ordinary routes of intellectual shipping") it can be read for free online and also downloaded, here:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/33326411/Owen-Barfield-Worlds-Apart

A hard copy can be purchased at Amazon, too.

One of the sections where the distinction between cause/effect on the one hand and ground/consequent on the other is discussed -- the biologist chimes in a bit too -- starts around page 34 or 35.

David Wood said...

I'll have to check that book out. Lewis discussed the Cause/Effect vs. Ground/Consequent distinction in chapter three of "Miracles" (where he defends a version of the Argument from Reason).

Traeh said...

I'd forgotten Lewis discusses the issue in Miracles.

Folks, at the web address I gave to read Worlds Apart for free, I see now that about every thirty pages or so in the online book, a page is missing or screwed up, about 6 pages total are missing -- and at least one of the missing pages is in the middle of a sort of climax toward the end of the book. So that web address is not the best place for a full read. Oh well. That probably leaves the library or Amazon, then.

Anthony Rogers said...

Hey David, I think you might find the following articles of some interest.

http://www.proginosko.com/docs/If_Knowledge_Then_God.pdf

http://www.proginosko.com/docs/The_Lord_of_Non-Contradiction.pdf

Marianne Nihoniho said...

Fantastic.

As a Christian High School teacher, I will certainly be sharing this with my classes.
*(and on my facebook page)

We need more intelligent people willing to take a stand for uncompromising love for the Word.
Sola Scriptura. This includes having an uncompromising position when it comes to the Creation story.

Rag said...

Do you freely will what you will?

Free-will is illusion only. What you will at an instance is determined by series of causes, both external (observation of external events, objects etc) and internal (state of mind, goals, knowledge, intellectual capacity to analyze etc.) to you. When the cause of "what you will" is beyond your control, "what you will" is also beyond your control.

Hence any ideology or theology (certain sects of "Abrahamic" religions), which assumes free-will as a fact, is erroneous.

Any theology (belief in one perfect god punishing/rewarding his creation) that rejects free-will in totality or only partially or that even accepts free-will in totality, but believes in creation-ex-nihilo commits the logical contradiction of believing in a perfect god punishing his own creation. The creator is primarily responsible for the faults in his creation.

Traeh said...

Rag, so are we all basically just automatons?

But if that were true, you could not know it. An automaton cannot know he is an automaton. As I understand you, "knowing" is an illusion, really just a material biological process determined by causes outside "knowing." The feeling that one has conscious knowledge, and then chooses a path on the basis of knowing, seems an illusion to you. You think that unknown causes, not our own consciousness and reason, decide what we do and what we think. By your own account, then, your conclusion that "there is no free will" is like an irrational hormonal secretion, is it not? It's not a truth, it's not based on reason and evidence. But then why should your secretion of ideas be any more valid than contradictory secretions, as all are equally based on irrational and unknown causes?

But consciousness is not reducible to the brain. The brain is an instrument of consciousness, not the cause of it. An analogy: Break a radio, and you will no longer hear your fav rock band. That doesn't mean the rock band is inside the radio or was created by the radio. Similarly, damage a brain, and manifestations of consciousness may vanish. Doesn't mean the brain caused consciousness.

It's true that no human being is perfectly free. We can approach freedom only as a hyperbola approaches its asymptotes. We become increasingly free by making choices that enhance our ability to choose, as against choices that make us dependent. For example, whenever we take a path in life that is too easy, we risk making ourselves dependent on that ease and comfort, to the point that we may have trouble choosing what we know to be best for us, if what's best deprives us of the ease and comfort to which we have become accustomed. Thus we become less free, instead of more.

Rag said...

Traeh,

I do not think consciousness or knowledge is an illusion. I do not think consciousness is a product of mere brain function. I do agree that brain is an instrument to express ourselves through this body. However, freedom of will is definitely an illusion.

Either you are completely and perfectly free or you are NOT free at all. There is no middle ground. Once you are restricted in some way, you are restricted and ruled by some thing else or limited by your own inabilities.

When you make a choice, although it appears that you made a choice freely, however the state of your mind, knowledge etc. at the instance you made that choice dictates what choice you will make. This state of mind, understanding, knowledge at this instance is influenced by a series of events, observations, experiences etc. up until this instance. You can go back to the very start of your conception this way. Thus, at any given instance, we are merely a product of series of causes beyond our control ultimately. "Freedom" is mere illusion. However, again this does not mean knowledge of others and self, etc. are illusion. Once can have erroneous knowledge or correct knowledge, but knowledge is NOT an illusion.

Traeh said...

Rag,
If what you say is true ("free will is an illusion"), then there would be no point in doing everything I can to increase my apparent capacity to choose and to be decisive, to have self-discipline and will power. For you, there is no difference between a person with a disordered and weak will power, who is constantly at odds with himself, driven hither and thither first by superficial desires that cause him to act in one way, then by deeper desires that conflict with the superficial ones, so that he goes back and forth never learning how to prioritize and harmonize deep and superficial, repeatedly canceling out his own efforts toward depth by falling back into following superficial desires for their own sake instead of only as they may serve higher desires -- to you there is no difference between that person, and a person who has developed a harmonious and powerful will that always puts superficial things in second place, as servants to first things.

Under your assumptions, there would be no difference, in terms of increasing inner freedom, in whether I have ten deep addictions or only one mild one.

If your disbelief in free will were correct, there would also be no real difference, whether I take an easy path that requires no courage and no real decisions, where I can float along sleepily, habitually, and automatically, or whether I take a hard path that comes to a point where a further step forward requires facing a risk of total transformation (some kind of death, some kind of large unknown), so that I cannot go on in my usual sleepy automaton fashion, but instead my fear brings me fully awake and grabs my total attention so that every voice within me must first agree to the further step, I must come to full agreement with myself, I must for the first time perhaps take myself and my mind fully in hand, and make a real DECISION to go on, perhaps with each step I take, with every second that passes. In those situations, I cannot take a step without constantly choosing with my whole being to do so.

For you, these kinds of distinctions are meaningless illusions. Thus you remove all possibility of human development of our inmost potentials for ennoblement and liberation.

Are you a Muslim?

bob said...

An argument for a Creator of all things:

1. The universe had a beginning, which means that at one time it did not exist.

2. Something that does not exist cannot bring itself into existence.

3. Therefore, the universe cannot be its own cause.


1. Everything that begins to exist (comes into being) has a cause.

2. the universe bagan to exist.

3. therefore, the universe has a cause.

The cause of the universe would need to be transcendent, uncaused, timeless, changeless, and immaterial (outside of time and space). There would need to exist beforehand, a personal, all powerful, unembodied mind that could cause everything to come into being from nothing (William Lane Craig).

1. Evolution does not have a cosmological beginning (something that does not exist cannot bring itself into existence) for it to become established in.

2. Therefore, 'evolution' does not exist.

That its proponents are under the delusion that evolution is true is easily explained by 2Thessalonians 2:9-12...

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not recieve the love of the truth that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

...and the prophesy in Isaiah 66:4

"...so I will choose their delusions, and bring their fears on them; because when I called no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear..."

The preceding verses refer to the results of rejecting God's offer of salvation.

If we don't choose Christ, eventually, we end up with the devil.

Traeh said...

David, if you feel the following comment is not appropriate on this thread or website, let me know, and I'll keep closer to the site or topic in the future.

bob,

I think I followed your steps till you got to the part where you said evolution does not exist. Why couldn't the spirit have started evolution, just as the spirit started the universe?

Couldn't the Trinity be the prime mover of evolution? I think of natural selection and random mutation as having a role in the morphogenesis of organisms, but a lesser role than the spiritual world. The spiritual world is the realm of formative processes, of formation and transformation. From there came life and the forms of life, not in an entirely pre-planned fashion or all at once, but through a dialogue, simultaneously vertical and horizontal, over vast stretches of time, among countless beings heavenly and earthly.

Seems like most Christian denominations see no necessary contradiction between Christianity and evolution. Accepting evolution doesn't necessitate accepting everything neo-Darwinians ascribe to it. Christians I suppose should see spirit as having a larger role than physical factors, as important as the latter are.

Why can't there be a Christian concept of evolution? Why throw out evolution altogether, when the rock record seems to show higher and higher life forms appearing in higher and higher rock layers laid down over huge periods of time?

A large part of the intellectual and spiritual problem in thinking about cosmic origins and the origin of life is that the whole development of the earth, and of matter itself, is usually conceived in exclusively material ways. That is the role science has (mistakenly, I think) restricted itself to. But matter itself needs an explanation, and cannot be explained in terms of other matter. To say that matter is made of tiny bits of matter doesn't explain what preceded matter and gave birth to it.

Coleridge, besides being a poet, was an extraordinary trinitarian philosopher (See Owen Barfield's What Coleridge Thought, for the best exposition), and said matter was derived from spirit, by a sort of coagulation. Matter is a sort of corpse left over from life. Life preceded matter. First there was spirit, then over immeasurable eons, or in a time before time as we know it, life gradually emerged out of spirit. Then out of life, matter over eons was progressively formed/congealed, as a sort of corpse material falling out of the realm of life.

Yet we often conceive things in exactly the opposite direction: first came matter, then life, then spirit. Everything usually gets reduced to matter as ultimate origin. Matter is arguably the idol of current "science."

Perhaps there is development in both directions: first down from the spirit, and later up from matter, until both directions happen simultaneously (the confluence of human effort striving upward from below toward grace descending from above).

The human being is last or near to last in the rock record, yet in morphological terms is prior to all the animals. One can see evolutionary evidence for this: The human being is the only current organism that, like the very beginning of the evolution of life, is still unspecialized, still universal. In that sense, the current animals are all derived from, are specialized fragments of, universal Man. The animals descended "too" precipitously into matter, and thus became anatomically specialized, locked into one or another natural niche. The human being by contrast descended by more gradual stages out of the spirit and into matter, in such a way as to avoid a sudden break with the universal spirit, so as to retain some harmony between the developing form of his anatomy and the universality of the spirit. In other words, the human form retained the image of God. Man precedes the animals spiritually, but appears last as a physical being, as shown by the fact that he is last to appear in the rock record -- he appears only in the higher rock layers.

Traeh said...

Ok, have now gone through David's video a second time, pausing repeatedly to absorb his train of thought.

I might be slow, but I'll tell you the conclusion that wasn't self-evident to me. David sets it up in this way. He says the naturalist says that reason was evolved for survival purposes, not in order to produce true beliefs, except in some elementary sense, such as is exemplified in a mouse who learns to stay away from glue traps after seeing a fellow mouse stuck in one. Natural selection can only produce reliable beliefs in relation to survival needs such as fighting and eating and reproducing.

If a structure was built merely for little pigeons to perch on, it wouldn't be smart to treat it as a bridge over which cars and trucks can drive. Similarly, if one takes the assumptions of naturalists seriously, and considers that reason was produced by natural selection just to aid survival, i.e., to help creatures fight, eat, and reproduce more offspring, then one will also conclude that it wouldn't be smart to rely on reason to produce true beliefs about huge and abstract questions like those about God, or the cosmos, or philosophy, or other abstract questions not related to fighting, reproducing, or eating. Thus naturalists, ironically, cannot really justify a belief in naturalism, since naturalism is a philosophy, philosophies are not directly related to survival needs, and reason should only be trusted to produce beliefs related to immediate survival needs.

I hope I have not misrepresented David's thought there. I suppose the naturalist philosopher must have an answer to it (an answer I'd find inadequate). He might argue that the ability to think abstractly, imaginatively, and philosophically, though without a direct and immediate survival value, had nonetheless real survival value. If you can not only fight, but create whole new ways of fighting...not only get food, but create whole new ways of getting food, etc., you enhance your survivability.

Another point. David notes that false beliefs can often be as helpful to survival as true beliefs. That's clearly true, but so long as it's not true most of the time, i.e., so long as true beliefs are more often helpful than false beliefs, the point David is making there seems undermined.

*********************

Anyway, maybe what it comes down to is the simple one-celled organism. Even if one can pretend variations in complex life forms are due to natural selection working on random mutation, the first cell cannot be derived from natural selection. The first self-organizing form of the simplest organism cannot be derived from natural selection, because there was no life prior to the first cell for natural selection to work on. Therefore, perhaps, natural selection cannot explain the self-organizing principle in any life form. Yet self-organization surely has the most profound effect on the shape and form of organisms. Thus natural selection should be considered a significant, but external factor in the formation of organisms; natural selection is far from the most important factor, which is an internal organizing principle (in fact a spiritual being or beings).

Rag said...

Traeh,

You made a point on will power and discipline or lack of it. An example you gave is addiction, having many strong addictions and having only one addiction that is mild. If you think about it, addiction itself means being in control of something else (chemicals like nicotine for smokers, pornography etc.). Now the degree of control may vary, from mild to strong. This I agree. Now a disciplined person may be under the influence of mild addictions that is disrupting to say, his work schedule and family responsibilities. However, from the point of view of his daily activities and carrying out his responsibilities , he is bound to the same if not as much as an addict through emotional strings like parent to offspring etc. The very concept of freedom is an illusion. In all these things I agree that there is WILL operating. However, this does not mean the agent has FREE-WILL.

Ask yourself the question, when you use the word FREE, is it absolute? If it is not absolute, then "FREEDOM" is restricted? How meaningful is it to call something as FREE when it is restricted in the first place? It is meaningless to use the word "FREE" itself in this circumstance.

Rag said...

Traeh,

"If your disbelief in free will were correct, there would also be no real difference, whether I take an easy path that requires no courage and no real decisions,....,

No...this is where you are completely wrong. Let me give an example. Will is akin to force or energy provided by power source. Restriction is a kin to resistance provided by environment and even internal moving parts of power source like IC engine. The more power (Will) you use like pressing accelerator of your car, the more you will overcome friction (within moving engine parts) and, air-drag etc. (external restrictions) for your car. Our body works similarly. It has its own tendencies to bring us down (laziness, addictions etc.). However, Will like a power source opposes these. Now, this Will is in no way "Free" in any sense of the term. This is clearly known when one is under say severe drug addictions or under influence of alcoholic beverages even just once in lifetime or sleep where will is temporarily absent. Will in this case is totally subdued, showing that it can be overcome and influenced. Anything that is overcome and influenced is NOT "Free" in any sense of the term. It is subject to environmental conditions and subject to conditions of body.

So difference given by yo can be explained as due to environmental conditions influencing Will. One need not assume "free-will" to explain differences.

Rag said...

Traeh,

"Are you a Muslim?"

Just because I have a different view and oppose biblical claims, it does not mean I am a mooslime. NO, I am NOT mooslime.

I reject all three religions that originated in middle east, for all the three religions, namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam. All of them are based on the assumption of free-will being true. I am a Hindu.

bob said...

Traeh

The Bible plainly states that God made everything in six 24 hour days about 6 thousand years ago.

However, there are some Christians (Theistic Evolutionists) who believe in millions of years of microbe-to-man evolution, that is, God created everything slowly over a long period of time using evolution as a means of creation rather than creating everything in 6 days as written in Genesis.
This is largely due to the embarrassment caused by the alleged irrefutable truth of scientific proof against it. This embarrassment moves them to try to gain secular respect by allowing secular science to have authority over the scriptures, but not seeming to realize that:

Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4

Their doctrine undermines and nullifies the Genesis account of creation as written by Moses and contradicts the words of Jesus (God was manifested in the flesh. 1Tim 3:16) when he said:

"But from the beginning of creation, God made them male and female." mark 10:6 [Genesis 1:27; 5:2]

Everything was made whole and complete in one go.

Without the foundation of the Genesis account, which includes the ORIGIN OF SIN AND DEATH, the whole rest of the Bible (including the purpose for Christ's death and resurrection) can make no sense.

This compromise with evolution undermines the authority of God's word and thereby weakens peoples', faith in it, that is, if the creation acount cannot be trusted, then the rest of the Bible cannot be trusted either, which undermines the verse in Romans 10:17

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Against compromise:

"But if you cannot understand how this could have been done in six [24 hour] days, then grant the Holy Spirit the honour of being more learned than you are. For you are to deal with scripture in such a way that you bear in mind that God himself says what is written. But since God is speaking, it is not fitting for you wontonly to turn his word in the direction you wish to go." Luther

Jesus, that is, God in the flesh, demonstrated through many instantaneous miracles that God creating the universe (John 1:3) in six days (Genesis 1) was no problem for him.

For a thorough refutation of God's supposed use of evolution as a means of creation, read:

Refuting Compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of "Progressive Creationism" by Jonathan Sarfati Ph.D., F.M.

jonnykzj said...

@Rag

"Any theology (belief in one perfect god punishing/rewarding his creation) that rejects free-will in totality or only partially or that even accepts free-will in totality, but believes in creation-ex-nihilo commits the logical contradiction of believing in a perfect god punishing his own creation. The creator is primarily responsible for the faults in his creation."

JK- If you mean in a sense that AN ANIMATOR IS THE ULTIMATE CAUSE OF SOME CHARACTERS IN HIS/HER ANIMATIOED REALITY TURNING OUT TO BE GOOD WHILST OTHERS THE BAD GUYS THEN YES. NOW DO such animators ever get told by any of us "YOU CAN'T CREATE CHARACTERS JUST TO DESTROY THEM?". INFACT many of them even get great awards for doing exactly that AND ALLOWING THE GOOD TO TRIUMPH OVER EVIL IN THE END.
WE ARE GOD'S ANIMATED POTTERY and as such He has the absolute right to create some unto glory and others for destruction.

Rag said...

jonnykzj,

"WE ARE GOD'S ANIMATED POTTERY and as such He has the absolute right to create some unto glory and others for destruction."

We are not bothered about this god's rights..rights are there protect the weak, not the strong.

Then this god of yours is not merciful as Christians claim him to be. Such a god is responsible for showing partiality and sadism in knowingly creating something faulty and then this god punishing his own creation.

This is worse than devil..why need satan then when yuo have such a god?

Traeh said...

bob, why must the "days" have been 24 hour days?

A 24 hour day is determined by the time it currently takes the earth to rotate around its own axis in relation to the sun. According to the Genesis account, the sun and moon and stars were not created until around the fourth "day", right? Are you saying that God made "days" 24 hours long before he had made the sun?

Traeh said...

Rag,

You say that if someone is at all restricted, then he is not at all free. But if I am tied to a chair, but I can move my arm, I am partly free, partly restricted. So your view seems false. Further, if I struggle, I may loosen my bonds and become more free.

Not only that, but in exceptional cases there are people who are masters of their own movement -- great dancers. They have moments at least of something like pure freedom. When I refer to "dancers," I mean not only literal dancers, but anyone who manages for a moment to become a master of whatever he is doing. There are moments of real freedom, even if the freedom is not perfect, and even if that freedom could always be raised to an even higher plane of competence and accomplishment.

Hazakim1 said...

Rag said,

"Then this god of yours is not merciful as Christians claim him to be. Such a god is responsible for showing partiality and sadism in knowingly creating something faulty and then this god punishing his own creation."

Rag, as the video so eloquently puts it, your world view does not allow for objective moral values at all, therefore your charges of "partiality" and "sadism" are - based on your own worldview - illusory. What do you base your moral assessments of God's "sadistic" behavior on? Furthermore, what makes your moral assessments and reasoning ability so special at all? After all, these "abilities" of yours have evolved from the same random (and selfish)processes that gave the baboon its colorful booty cheeks?!?!? LOL

Rag said...

Hazakim1,

First I am NOT ATHEIST.

I need not have moral values to know that torturing and destroying somebody gives pain and suffering to a creature. Even animals feel pain, much less needs to be said about human beings. To create a creature only for its destruction is sadism. There is no need for this god of yours to create a faulty being knowingly and cause pain to it by creating it with faults. This is plain logic.

Rag said...

Traeh,

"But if I am tied to a chair, but I can move my arm, I am partly free, partly restricted. So your view seems false. Further, if I struggle, I may loosen my bonds and become more free."

First understand this argument is in the context of an all powerful god and second he created EVERYTHING else (other than Himself) out of nothing. This means He has determined everything (your content, substance, what you think, the way you do everything etc.) you do from eternity. This clearly shows that free-will is NOT free at all for this god yours has/had pre-determined everything and so called free-will is subject to Him the way He created it. Again, look at my argument of causes leading back to conception.

Taking your example, it is true that your hands are "free" to move within a limit (free with respect to the chord used to tie you). However, you are tied to the body in a way you do not fully fathom yet. If you are a very young kid or a mentally retarded person, probably you will not do much to free yourself. If you are a mentally normal adult but crippled, you will not do much again. If you are completely normal, you may release yourself depending on how you were tied. So again the so called freedom to move your hand depends on circumstances external and internal to your body. The idea of freedom here is NOT absolute, it is very very limited. Especially when you take the view from God's perspective, you are NOT at all free for he has determined all the parameters (internal and external) of your very existence thus determining everything, including your so called "free will".

bob said...

Traeh

The first day, like every other day, was 24 hours:

Then God said, "Let there be light", and there was light... and God divided the light from the darkness.
God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So the evening and morning were the first day. Genesis 1:3-5

Evening and morning = one 24 hour day.
In Genesis, God defines a day and a night in terms of light or its absence.

The origin of the 7 day week:

"Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath... In it you shall do no work... For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day..." Exodus 20:8-11 [and 31:17]

If, as claimed by some, the days in Genesis were longer; for example, a million years, then we would have to work for 6 million years and then rest for 1 million years.

From the Reformer Calvin (1509-1564):
The day-night cycle was instituted from day 1 - before the sun was created [commenting on "let there be light" (Gen 1:3)]:

"Therefore the Lord, by the very order of the creation, bears witness that he holds in his hand the light, which he is able to impart to us without the sun. Further, it is certain from the context, that the light was so created as to be interchanged with the darkness... there is, however, no doubt that the order of their succession was alternate."

The sun, moon, and stars were created on day 4 - after the earth - and took over the role as light dispensers to the earth [commenting on "let there be lights..." (Gen 1:14)]:

"God had before created the light, but he now institutes a new order in nature, that the sun should be the dispenser of diurnal light, and the moon and the stars should shine by night. And he assigns them to this office, to teach us that all creatures are subject to his will, and execute what he enjoins upon them. for Moses relates nothing else than that God ordained certain instruments to diffuse through the earth, by reciprocal changes, that light which had previously been created. The only difference is this, that the light was before dispersed, but now proceeds from lucid bodies; which in serving this purpose, obey the commands of God." [exerpt from: p. 84-85 of the book, 'Refuting Compromise' mentioned in the previous comment]

See also: creation.com/daysbeforesun

Traeh said...

Rag, no doubt many who comment here, and perhaps David Wood, accept the idea of a literally omnipotent and omniscient God. That is not my understanding of God.

But even Christians who believe in an omnipotent and omniscient God often hold that God self-limits in order to give human creatures freedom. So from that Christian perspective, God does not control human actions.

Rag, do you believe in an omnipotent, omniscient God who controls every single human action?

If you have no freedom, are you telling us, Rag, that God is making you write your comments here, putting ideas into your head, and is using you to convey to us the message that "there is no free will"?

Traeh said...

bob, thank you for your patient explanations. Your view has a certain cogency, but I guess I can't follow you. I guess you go by two premises in your account of the Bible,

1. God completely controlled every word that is in it; the Bible, to you, is not merely divinely inspired; it's a verbatim record of God's word.

2. God uses language somewhat in the mode of a modern positivist linguistic philosopher employing artificial symbol systems each of the symbolic units of which have been assigned one and only one meaning, so that the linguistic philosopher can make perfectly unambiguous logical statements.

I don't agree with the above 2 premises.

I don't think the literal meaning intended by the writers of the Bible is always the same as the most surface meaning. Further, natural language (as opposed to the artificial languages created by logicians for scientific purposes) is alive; words have multiple, overlapping, and sometimes contradictory meanings. Further again, since it is not possible to say everything at once, broad and approximate and figurative language is often necessary to point economically toward the intended literal meaning. Nor do I think that God controlled every word put in the Bible.

The "no compromise" attitude about the Bible seems to depend on the belief that God controlled every word that is in it. I see the Bible as divinely inspired, via very human mediators who often saw through a glass less darkly than the do the rest of us, but still saw through merely human eyes. To claim that one "knows" that the Bible, in every word it contains, is the verbatim transcript of God, seems to me closer to hubris and blasphemy than to truth.

Don Dan said...

this video is clearly misleading towards authors like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. They are not arguing from a "naturalist" perspective, I haven't heard anyone clal themselves "naturalist. what a heck? lol

In regards to Wood's claim about our mechanical synaptic processes in our brains, that cannot differentiate between truth and untruth.

It's the reason why we have misleading beliefs like religion, islam, christianity because our brain's processes are not designed to search for truth. Yet, that's why we have created a system that works to decipher our propensity for mistakes through the use of evidence, this is called the scientific method. It works on the principle of checks and balances, and so far has been developed to prevent us from falling into our own shortcomings.

Human errors such as confirmation bias, heuristics, claims without evidence and many more are things that the scientific methods tries to weed out by a checklist process; performed by other members that are very familiar with the scientific method (peer-review).
Finally, when claims are made by "naturalist" on the basis of scientific evidence, it is only accepted once the evidence has been subjected to testing, and must pass three main criterias
1) replicability
2) falsifiability
3) predictability
and lastly must be peer-reviewed. Only then a claim can be made.

This doesn't even cover how theories arise and laws in the scientific realm.

Sure it's not perfect, and there have been instances where the scientific method has failed but the amazing thing is that once the error is corrected, the claim is revised and no longer permitted to be propagated. Again it's the best thing we have against false claims.

Last but not least, Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins do not claim that SkyGod isn't real, but that it is unprovable at the moment, very likely does not exist.

Science is all about testing and debunking all sorts of claims, currently physicists are testing the claim whether we actually live in a computer simulated matrix, this hypothesis is currently happening at the university of washington, check out at @ sciencedaily.com

David Wodd has done a great job at exposing common misunderstandings and obscure facts about Islam, but it seems that he has to resort to deceit in order to use a convincing argument for his christian beliefs.

I am disappointed that David Wood would stoop so low to attack rational thinking by only talking about "naturalism" all along skipping how claims are made through the scientific method. shame on you.

on the plus side, it was quite funny watching his attempt at being seductive, when dropping the calculator.



bob said...

Traeh

1. The key to understanding the Bible is to put Christ (God was manifested in the flesh. 1Tim 3:16) at its very center; from Genesis to Revelation; He (the Word) being the central figure in all of scripture (John 1:1-14).

If we fail to keep the above point in mind while interpreting scripture, the following will begin to occur:

...as the serpent decieved Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 2Corinthians 11:3

2. As for the second premise that you stated; I don't agree with it either.

Instead: the best commentary of scripture is scripture itself, that is, verses should be interpreted via the commentary of the surrounding verses, rather than what simply pops into our heads.
This way, if verses are in poetic, literal, parable, analogy, allegorical or symbolic form, a correct interpretation can be arrived at.
For example, a particular type of person is often simply described by their universal character traits (e.g. 'the ungodly,' meaning those people and/or religions that only pick from God's word that which serves their institutions and the flesh) rather than by a description that might have different meanings in different cultures, times and era's.

jonnykzj said...

@Rag

"We are not bothered about this god's rights..rights are there protect the weak, not the strong.

Then this god of yours is not merciful as Christians claim him to be Such a god is responsible for showing partiality and sadism in knowingly creating something faulty and then this god punishing his own creation."

JK- Well guess what? YOU'RE RIGHT AS FAR AS GOD'S MERCY IS CONCERNED. He does NOT HAVE MERCY ON ALL INDIVIDUALS. Hence it is said "I'll have mercy ON WHOM I HAVE MERCY..." and "therefore has He mercy ON WHOM HE WILLS AND HARDENS WHOM HE WILLS". GOD does not and NEVER INTENDED to show His mercy on all individual people that ever lived. ALSO GOD's showing of mercy on anyone of us HAS GOT TO DO WITH NOTHING WITHIN US BUT OF WHICH HE in the counsil of His OWN WILL HAS DECIDED out of His own good pleasure.
NOW you say that makes Him sadistic and showing partiality? ILL ASK TEH SAME QS "Will you call any animator, who decides to create some guys for good use and others to be destroyed having been set to be evil and remain as such, as being sadistic or showing partiality? OR WILL you put admire them and consider giving them an emmy?
The problem with many Christians today is that they rely on emotion and ignore scripture.

"This is worse than devil..why need satan then when yuo have such a god?"

JK- GOD always wants to remain FAR REMOVED FROM EVIL. That's His nature. He never puts evil into people NOR DOES HE IN ANY IMMEDIATE SENSE remove His righteouness from them. SO He created Lucifer good in the beginning to BUT IN A WAY THAT OVER TIME HE'D TURN OUT TO BE BAD. THIS ONLY shows more how Holy GOD really is. BUT EVEN IF HE DIRECTLY CREATED SATAN as an evil being to begin with, AS AN AUTHOR HED HAVE THE FUL RIGHT TO DO SO n id still consider Him the most awesome of all authors.

bob said...

A good description of what science is can be found at creation.com/notscience#distinction
('Its Not Science')

Traeh said...

bob,

Ok, so you don't believe in premise #2 in my earlier comment, but you do believe in premise #1 -- you think every single word in the Bible -- except perhaps a few things biblical scholars like James White agree were interpolated later -- every single word was put there by God; the Bible is a verbatim record of what God wanted in the Bible? Or do you believe something else?

Don Dan said...

This website goes to show how wrong the phrase "the enemy of your enemy, is your friend".

I disagree with Islam, but Christianity is just another breed of craziness as potentially venomous as Islam can be.

David Wood said...

Did you judge Christianity "crazy" using your mutant berry-finding ability? If so, why in the world should anyone take your judgment seriously? As Darwin said, "Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"

David Wood said...

BTW, since you're running around telling people how "venomous" Christianity and Islam are, what lengths are you willing to go to in order to protect the world from the twin plagues of Christianity and Islam? Do you think it would be better for the world, in the long run, if Christians and Muslims were systematically eradicated?

bob said...

Traeh

Much of scripture is INSPIRED by God and is more about the intended meaning rather than "verbatim" (using exactly the same words; word for word).

All scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equiped for every good work. 2Tim 3:16, 17

...knowing this first, that no prophesy of Scripture is of any private interpretation [or origin], for prophesy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were MOVED by the Holy Spirit. 2Peter 1:20, 21

Any direct words (verbatim) from God are found in quotation marks when he is addressing the people or an individual.

bob said...

A major point that is rarely taken into account by evolutionists when criticising Christianity:

The occasional atrocities committed by professing Christians were completely contrary to the teachings of Christ, while the atrocities of the 20th century Nazis and Communists(athiestic, 'survival of the fittest' regimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mau, Pol Pot etc.) were totally consistent with evolutionary teaching.

bob said...

Some facts which many self-righteous proponents of the evolutionary belief system are either ignorant of, and/or conveniently forget when they are criticising Christianity:

Racism

Although racism had been around for a long time, Darwin gave it scientific respectability. The full title of his most famous book being:

On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (1859).

The following exerpt is from one of his later works:

"At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time anthropomorphous apes... will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla." Charles Darwin: The Descent of Man, 2nd edition (New York: A.L. Burt Co., 1874) page 178

Some of the detrimental colonial policies concerning indigenous people around the world a century ago and less were based on Darwin's "scientific" opinion.

Contrary to Darwin's opinion is the following verse:

He has made from ONE BLOOD every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation..." Acts 17:26

Its not the shape or colour of the bucket, but the condition of the contents (spirit) that is important to God, since the vessel (body) is only temporary anyway.

Jose Joseph/ CTW24 said...

David Wood I love your video and I think you did a great job, but how do you account for reasoning in light of your evidential apologetics approach, you are faced with the same problem that the naturalist has. You interpret evidence assuming that your cognitive faculties are working properly.

The presuppositional apologist can account for the laws of logic while they interpret evidence and they know for certain that their cognitive faculties are working properly because they Start with God as the source of Reasoning.

David here are a couple of questions, can you please account for the laws of logic? Account for the uniformity of nature, i.e science. Also please demonstrate that your sense are working properly without begging the question? Account for truth? These are questions asked in light of your approach.

bob said...

For a good article on logic, go to creation.com/loving God with all your mind: logic and creation

Don Dan said...

David Wood said...
Did you judge Christianity "crazy" using your mutant berry-finding ability? If so, why in the world should anyone take your judgment seriously? As Darwin said, "Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?"

Yes, if a monkey can show me beyond the shadow of a doubt that the existence of God is real, using evidence, without appealing to "holy texts" and without using unfalsifiable arguments, then yes I would be a religious person.
Nonetheless, as a someone who believes in evidence and proof, I feel quite close to the Apostle Thomas whom said "Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe." when others claimed in the Resurrection of Jesus.

December 12, 2012 5:01 PM
David Wood said...
BTW, since you're running around telling people how "venomous" Christianity and Islam are, what lengths are you willing to go to in order to protect the world from the twin plagues of Christianity and Islam? Do you think it would be better for the world, in the long run, if Christians and Muslims were systematically eradicated?
December 12, 2012 5:03 PM

You have asked me what would I do to prevent the spread of the "twin plagues" of Islam and Christianity.

Well, what I truly enjoy watching is seeing two diametrically opposed zealots equally blinded by their faith, duke it out senselessly. It's a guilty pleasure...

Jose Joseph/ CTW24 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jose Joseph/ CTW24 said...

I had typos here but I fully addressed Don dan on answeringabraham.com I just posted it