Wednesday, June 11, 2008

If that's logic give me a ... I got nothin'

You know, if you use the words logic and proof in the title of your column you can also forgive me for expecting either of them.
CFP: Logical Proof of the Existence of a Divine Creator, Why Atheism is Not Logically Sound
HT to
So what does the unlikely fellow with the unlikely name Yomin Postelnik think? God is a great answer to everything. It's like a shield you can use to avoid all incoming facts.
One of the beautiful aspects of self evident truths is that they can be proven on both the simplest and the most complex of levels. By contrast, to make an argument for what is in fact an illogical fallacy, one must use plenty of skill, sophistry and remain beholden to a dogmatic protection of what is really an illogical position.
I agree. Generally they break down to the following lines: reality-based and god-botherers.
Yet even after a detailed case is made for the illogical side of the argument, it can instantly be deflated like a balloon with the simplest poke of clear logic. It can also be attacked piece by piece with even greater skill and logic, stemming from a steadfast pursuit of the truth.

Again, that's what I'd call an argument from our side of the the table.
Nowhere does the above hold more true than with regard to the existence of a Divine Creator.

At the risk of repeating myself, that's what we keep saying.
Proof of a conscious Creator is readily available.

Ding, ding, ding. Sorry, this is my stop. Lovely travelling with you this far; shame we must part company.
The simplest proof (yet one that no atheist has ever been able to counter effectively) is that a universe of this size and magnitude does not somehow build itself, just as a set of encyclopedias doesn’t write itself or form randomly from the spill of a massive inkblot.

Wow, can anyone else spot the false analogy here? Just curious.
The atheist, on the other hand, needs to build a plausible case for this irrational scenario.
Oddly, no. Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or gods. Although unusual and improbable you could be fully an atheist and believe in, oh I don't know, the Force.
But here's the point: being an atheist doesn't actually positively endorse any particular scientific case. I'm an atheist. I don't believe in gods, any of them.
I also don't believe in paranormal powers like ESP or telekinesis, etc. But that's not atheism.
I'm a great supporter of science, though strictly as a consumer of popular science books and blogs. But that's not atheism.
I have a history degree and an avid interest in military and Byzantine histories. But that's not atheism.
I vaguely believe that there are some interesting medical discoveries that can come out of traditional herbal medicines. But that's not atheism.
I don't believe that moxibustion or acupuncture can do a damn thing for your health. But that's not atheism.
Do you see the pattern? Must I continue to belabour this point? No. Good.
Here is what is true about the science-atheism nexus: it's hard to be a fulfilled atheist without science.
But first, let’s examine how irrational it is:
Mr. Kettle? It's Mr Pot here. Have you been on vacation? You look like you've picked up a tan.
No one in their right mind would claim that 10,000 hundred story buildings built themselves from randomness, even over time. Yet those who doubt the existence of a Creator believe that an entire universe, containing all of the billions of elements necessary for life to form, may have come about without a builder. As such, they give credence to billions of times more coincidences to having come about.
The first half of the paragraph is okay. No one in their right mind would believe that. You know why? Because we watch them going up all the time. We talk to construction workers when we're walking the dog. We can study of architecture if we want.
Can you show your work about the universe, please? Otherwise, false analogy.
They believe that not only did whole planets appear spontaneously [No -EG], but also believe that the fact that these planets do not collide as meteors do [No!], that they have gravity [Okay, we believe that], that they contain the proper atmospheric conditions for life to take hold and contain sustenance to sustain this life all happened by mere fluke [No]. Yet the same people would (rightly) denounce as preposterous the notion that the Egyptian pyramids built themselves [Again, plans and builders]. They would point to the structure and detailed design of these impressive inanimate objects [and the tools, stone quarries and pay record]. Yet they outrageously chalk up to coincidence billions upon billions of times more detail and design in all parts of life found in this universe [you might want to separate the universe-life thing. I smell someone conflating of cosmology and evolution].
To be sure, someone can build sandcastles in the sky on how the spontaneous coming together of molecules, then turning into bricks, changing further into buildings, culminating in 10,000 perfectly aligned skyscrapers all built with no builder is a plausible scenario. They can form intricate arguments to support this theory. But in the end, the entire proposition remains offensive to logic itself.
People could build that scenario, you'd be surprised how fast they get made fun of here.
While there are complex proofs of the Divine,
This should be fun.
some dating back to the philosophical writings of Plato and others using modern science, the most clearly logical concepts are all readily apparent and simple. An entire world does not create itself.
Note the word create. This is called begging the question or tautology. That is to say, the answer is assumed in the question. The concept of create begins by assuming creator and creation to be separate from each other and continues that the creator intentionally fashions the creation.
Furthermore, proof of a Divine creator can be seen more readily in the small and intricate details of the universe than by considering the enormity of the universe as a whole.
Please don't say cosmological constants. You're drifting into Dinesh D'Souza territory.
Consider the following:

Even if all the planets somehow formed themselves, all somehow staying in perfect orbit and possessing gravity, even take for granted that all the chemicals needed for life were so how there as well, by sheer happenstance, would it then be possible for billions of species to spontaneously come about, each with a male and female of each kind so that they could exist in the long run?
You know it's funny but this is the first time that I've heard of anyone implying that gravity is something planets just happen to have. Is he implying that given their mass and properties they shouldn't. Not to mention that their orbits are perfect. It's a little Panglossian for my tastes.
It does imply that our gentle columnist doesn't know where the NASA website is, or how to find Bad Astronomy, cause he'd know what a wonderful, wonderful mess the universe can be.

Even if this were possible, would the simplest of animals have been able to survive were it missing even one essential organ? Would human beings survive if one organ or cavity was missing or displaced, even after somehow being otherwise perfectly formed with no designer? The simple fact is that even if humans were so perfectly formed, if food, water, sunlight or any one of a host of details necessary for life to exist were somehow missing, human life would have lasted on this planet for a maximum of a few days.
Skip this bit. It's like a 76pt font confession that he's never read anything about evolution.
The contention of atheists, that life simply adapted to the conditions it found itself in is also irrational, as were this to be the case we’d have animals that could solely subsist on snow and ice in some regions. By contrast, the ability to adapt to small conditional changes is also a fascinating aspect of the body, one that shows that much detail was put into its design.
As a Canadian I can testify to the caloric and vitamin content of snow and ice. Fuck all calories with a side of jack shit vitamins. With a bit of none-what-so-fucking-ever protein. Good for the hunger that ails you.
The central point of the atheist, that all somehow came about randomly through evolution, does not help them either. While a separate column will deal with the scientific arguments for creationism and evolution, the topic is not germane here. Going back to the example of a set of encyclopedias, a set of Britannicas does not write itself, not from one massive ink blot and not starting out as dots, which form letters, which align into perfect phrases, paragraphs, books and sets. In fact, it’s even more incredulous to say that they aligned so perfectly, step by step and dot by dot than it is to say that all appeared at once. Yet that’s what the atheist contends when he chalks up life’s existence to gradual and detailed formation with no Creator at the helm.
Okay I will say this one time only: evolution is not random. Inherent in the concept of selection is selecting which is non-random. Good. Let's stop hearing that.
However, despite the fact that even after much debate on the issue I have yet to meet an atheist who can make even a feeble argument to counter any of these points, they often feel that such grounded proofs aren’t complicated enough. Just as a man who spends years coming up with a thousand reasons why an elephant is really a duck will not be persuaded of his error without first addressing all of his complicated fallacies, so too the atheist’s contentions must be addressed in detail. For this reason, we will also address some of the more detailed proofs of the existence of the Divine.
I don have to say that this paragraph reeks of projection. It seems to me that it's the religious that are impervious to evidence.
Of the many philosophic and scientific arguments brought forth for the existence of the Divine, three stand out. The anthropic argument contends that the universe is too complex to have no Creator. This is in effect the central point of this column, although explained in a more common manner. The cosmological argument maintains that finite matter (original matter, which was clearly finite) cannot create a universe that is greater than itself. Especially compelling is the teleological argument, that the existence of a Creator can be seen from the fact that the universe works in perfect harmony, as would a giant machine. Gravity, orbits, chemical atmospheres and all other ingredients needed for life to exist come together in unison to allow such existence to happen. An enormous machine that works like clockwork needs to have a Creator.

Wow. That's just some serious bullshit. Looks like my basil's going to do well this year when I spread this around.
The atheist would also do well to read Anthony Flew’s latest book, “There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.” For decades, Flew was one of the leading proponents of atheism. But he eventually decided to give everything a second look and found that all he’d believed and so vociferously advocated for so long was wrong. Upon real analysis, he found that there is, in fact, proof of the Divine.
But all of these reasons, in reality, are unnecessary. The youngest school child can tell you that a building does not build itself and that, by extension, neither does a universe. And this is the beauty of self evident truths. After all the proofs and reasoning in the world, they remain just as self evident, just as they are also, on the deepest levels, thoroughly profound. Here too, all that is needed to demonstrate proof of a Creator is that the world doesn’t create itself, not instantly and not over time. All other issues can then be examined in that light.

The youngest child can tell you that a panda is a bear. But it's not. That's why we go to school. To learn the shit that the youngest child gets wrong. Otherwise that's who we'd be turning to for all our answers.

However, we must realize that while the sophistry it takes to purport a falsehood can be easily countered, the person who has upheld such notions for decades must have each of his or her counterpoints addressed. This is able to be done smoothly, in light of the inherent logic that necessitates the existence of a conscious Creator, but it must be done thoroughly.

Sophistry? How long have people argued that the gods are not a solid foundation?

Encouraging atheists to open their minds to pure logic and to possibilities that they hitherto only sought to counter or to avoid on any pretext also involves an emotional challenge for them, as they must open themselves to the possibility of having to shed preconceived notions that they’ve held firm for decades. And that, rather than facts, is the primary challenge to exposing them to insightful logic. However, if they are willing to address the issue honestly, a search for the truth should be of paramount importance and enough reason for them to take an open look.

I'm pretty sure that if proof of a god was reliable and available, I'd give in to reality. The fact that the god concept is logically inconsistent is not a plus factor.

Scientists as a whole are increasingly open to the idea of a conscious Creator. They realize that science points to the complexity of the universe, a complexity that dictates the inevitability of a Creator. However, some stick to old ways and old dogmas. A question that arises is why these seemingly logical people possess such illogical beliefs. This fact alone has prevented many from considering the existence of a Creator. But when we understand the reason for their animus to belief, their bias comes to the forefront as opposed to any reasoned argument.

You keep using this word logic. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Throughout the 20th century, many scientists were enthralled with the progress that science had made. They mistakenly believed that the physical universe, instead of being a creation, contained all answers in and of itself. Any questions would be resolved by science. To look beyond that was viewed in disdain. The fact that logic necessitates that physical matter must have originated at some point and that a formed universe cannot emerge without a designer was overlooked in the hope that physical science would prove the impossible.

Look carefully. Can you spot an unsupported assertion.

Other scientists, today a greater number than the more dogmatic former group, conceded that there may well be a Creator. But they were wholly disinterested in the subject. They too did not realize that our physical universe points to the fact that it was consciously designed. And many of them had the same rigid disdain for religion as the former.

Wanna back that up with some survey data? Name a name. Otherwise there's that herb garden fertilizer smell drifting by again.

What’s true of both groups is that they refused to consider the subject. As such, their rejection of a Creator does not stem from some well reasoned research or thought, but rather from the absence of such reasoning. Their knowledge of religion and philosophy was on par with their knowledge of economics or any other subject that they had never studied. They knew as much about religion as they knew how to paint a house, the only difference between the two being that had they delved into the former instead of reflexively dismissing it, they would have found it to be of profound logic and give depth to their other areas of study.

Unlike your detailed treatise here on cosmology? Please.

But these scientists did not give religious or philosophical questions a moment’s notice. And what becomes abundantly clear from their statements on the issue is that they have grave misconceptions about religion, misconceptions that stem from their lack of interest. And while it is their right to do so, reflexively and often emotionally dismissing a belief without giving it a moment’s thought isn’t logic, but rather the opposite of logic.

To be sure, these scientists are indeed very logical and analytical within their main doctrine. It’s just that they refuse to examine that which transcends it. As such, anyone who gives credence their views on this issue should beware, as their opinions do not stem from logic. Scientists who have thought over the issue are generally in agreement on this as well.

Sorry. What were you babbling on about? My eyes glazed over.

One cannot conclude a column like this without mentioning philosophical and logical proofs of the Divinity of the Bible, the Torah. To begin with, the Bible is the only book in the history of mankind to make the claim that part of it was given by the Creator in front of an entire nation (of 600,000 families, totaling a few million people).
Of course we can't go without mentioning the Torah. Unlike the New Testament, the old one bears all the hallmarks of God sitting down at a desk with a quill.
If someone were to come along today with a book, claiming that its Divine transmission had been witnessed by millions of people, they’d be laughed out of the room. One cannot convince an entire nation, including its greatest analytical thinkers and its most ardent skeptics, that such a transmission occurred and had been witnessed by them when it hadn’t. To those who would counter “What if the Bible came along a few hundred years later?” (claiming to have been witnessed a few hundred years back), such a claim would have been met with equal ridicule, just as a book claiming to have been given by the Creator, as witnessed by millions in the 1700s would be met with ridicule today. There would have been a well known history of such a happening. Simply put, a book that claims to have been Divinely given to millions cannot take hold on a widespread level if it is not true.
If someone tells you the same story but moves the date back 4000 years, that's a whole different story. By the same logic Scientology must be true, because there's no way for a sci-fi writer to make something up and then convert people to his religion and spread it out to so many countries in less than a century if it weren't true. (By the way, that's a pretty tight analogy. Unlike the encyclopaedia/ink blot bullshit running around this guy's column)
That’s a basic philosophical case. There are also more hard physical reasons that point to the Bible’s Divinity. The Bible states in Genesis and in Jeremiah that the stars of the heaven cannot be counted. Scientists believed that the number of stars were only 1,100, those which could readily be seen. The Bible was way ahead of the time it was given and showed knowledge of that which could not have been known or seen by man.
Dude, that's weak tea.
The Bible also attested to the laws of thermodynamics, a field that science only hammered out thousands of years later. The first law of thermodynamics is that the total sum of matter and energy in the universe can never change. Energy can change into matter and vice versa, but their combined sum is always constant. Until this discovery, the Bible’s statement that “there is nothing new under sun” seemed like a statement that was ready to be disproven. Reasoning went that somewhere in the universe there must be new energy or matter developing. But there wasn’t. Universally accepted science showed us that less than 200 years ago. The Bible told us that about 3,000 years before.
Oddly enough, for 3000 years that's been taken to mean that all the new ideas that men come up with, all the political machinations, all the schemes and nobility have antecedents. I defy you to go from "there's nothing new under the sun" to the First Law of Thermodynamics without first knowing the fucking First Law of Thermodynamics.
Is this what you're trying to push as logic?
More compelling is the Bible’s clear attestation to the second law of thermodynamics (which was originally the first principle of this field, formulated by Sadi Carnot in 1824). This is that physicality becomes increasingly random and broken apart. Psalm 102 speaks of the heavens and the earth perishing and clearly implies a gradual decay, telling us this law well before it was discovered.
Psalm 102?
This Psalm?
1 The prayer of one afflicted and wasting away whose anguish is poured out before the LORD.
LORD, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days vanish like smoke; my bones burn away as in a furnace.
I am withered, dried up like grass, too wasted to eat my food.
From my loud groaning I become just skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and moan, like a lone sparrow on the roof.
2 All day long my enemies taunt me; in their rage, they make my name a curse.
I eat ashes like bread, mingle my drink with tears.
Because of your furious wrath, you lifted me up just to cast me down.
My days are like a lengthening shadow; I wither like the grass.
But you, LORD, are enthroned forever; your renown is for all generations.
You will again show mercy to Zion; now is the time for pity; the appointed time has come.
Its stones are dear to your servants; its dust moves them to pity.
The nations shall revere your name, LORD, all the kings of the earth, your glory,
Once the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in glory,
Heeding the plea of the lowly, not scorning their prayer.
Let this be written for the next generation, for a people not yet born, that they may praise the LORD:
3 "The LORD looked down from the holy heights, viewed the earth from heaven,
To attend to the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die."
Then the LORD'S name will be declared on Zion, the praise of God in Jerusalem,
When all peoples and kingdoms gather to worship the LORD.
God has shattered my strength in mid-course, has cut short my days.
4 I plead, O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days. Your years last through all generations.
Of old you laid the earth's foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands.
They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment; Like clothing you change them and they are changed,
but you are the same, your years have no end.
May the children of your servants live on; may their descendants live in your presence.
You're fucking joking if you think Thermodynamics is in there.
It should be noted here, at least for the sake of accuracy, that the Bible also speaks of a new heaven and earth, meaning a newly fortified one, after the Divine presence is revealed. Such a heaven and earth will exist continuously according to most Biblical commentary, but will reveal their Divine Creator within them. Eventual perfection of the world, after we’ve been given a chance to do our part, is a key tenet of most religion and is the only logical explanation for the Creation of a world in need of perfection. Such an advent also seems closer than ever according to any study of what the Bible says about its occurrence, especially in view of the rapid and radical changes the world has undergone in the last few decades alone. However, the physical universe as it stands now is in a slow state of decay (before it is refortified), a fact that only the Bible knew for thousands of years.
Are you still reading this, gentle reader. Because I'm not sure I am.
It should be noted that although this column is comparatively lengthy, it is still only a column and barely scratches the surface of the clear proofs that evidence the existence of the Divine and the Divine nature of the Bible, the Torah. The reader is encouraged to study further and to ask questions.

No further questions needed. We've seen all we need to see.
Complex proofs of god. Check.
Divinity of the Bible. Check.
Science. The more we find out the less we know. Check.
My brain hurts. My eyes are glassy and I can't take reading this shit.

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