Posts tagged ‘skepticism’

December 17th, 2012

Q&A 2: The Ontological Argument, Logic, and… Aliens?

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion 1:

I am interested in becoming a Christian apologetic but these couple questions are kind of a stumbling block for me. Do you think you could answer these questions for me so I could understand Christianity more?
1.What is the ontological argument? To mean it seems like a lot of lip service. Basically tell me if I’m wrong the ontological argument is that if you think something exists it does or if your mind can imagine something it exists? It doesn’t make sense to me.  A perfect concept does not prove a perfect being.
2. I was watching a philosophical interview with Greg Koukl who was talking about abstract uncreated beings. From what I got out of it uncreated beings do not exist and God created everything even Numbers But if that’s the case then how can God be bound by logic? Like the answer to the question can God make a rock to be he can’t lift? One would say that God can do anything LOGICALLY possible and since there are no rocks he can’t lift then the question is logically impossible. So how does this make sense? Do you know about created and uncreated abstract beings and can you explain more about the study of them and what they are?
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July 2nd, 2012

The History of the Multiverse and the Philosophy of Science

by Max Andrews

The Pre-Socratics were the first philosophers of science.  They were known as the sophos (the wise ones).  They were ecliplised by the British and German philosophers of science in the seventeenth century and were largely disconnected from science hence forth. Science sets the agenda, but philosophers bring philosophical reasons instead of scientific reasons.  Science answers the questions. The Pre-Socratics were the first to deal with metaphysics and did so to provide a rational philosophy.  This allowed for a rational and objective observation and the use of reason to systematize and order the content to make it coherent.

The Sophists were worldly-wise in contrast with the sophos–frustrated by the plurality of answers in the current philosophy. The Sophists were the original skeptics as evidenced in Pyrrho. They came out of the sixth century BC and broke away from religious dogma, which had never happened before.  Their methods were pragmatic and subjective–rhetorical and fashionable.  The phrase, “The One and the Many” became important.  The One (reality) had everything related to it (Many).  This is where we get Monism–the quality of oneness.  We see Monism appear later in Leibniz’s monads, which take us to a single substance and leads to atomic theory.

April 21st, 2012

The Unbelievable? Conference is Giving a Skeptical World Reasons to Believe

by Max Andrews

Justin Brierley and Primer Christian Radio is hosting an apologetics conference this year in partnership with Hugh Ross and Ken Samples with Reasons to Believe.  The theme of the conference is ‘Giving a Skeptical World Reasons to Believe.’ For all my UK brothers and skeptic friends, I hope that you’re able to make it to the conference.  For those of us across the pond it’s very likely that we won’t be able to make it.  There are DVD’s that are made afterwards, which are available for purchase.  This is excellent material to help equip you to understand and respond to questions about the faith.  A few of the speakers include Hugh Ross, Ken Samples, Michael Green, John Lennox, Krish Kandiah, Bonnie Yule-Kuehne, and more.  What’s very important is that you absorb this material yourself.  I remember hearing Dan Wallace say that the road to hell is lined with the bones of apostate apologists.  This knowledge will be edifying for the saints.  Use it. Know it. Share it.  Please pray for the speakers and for minds to be opened, that fruit will blossom, and that people may be saved as a result of this knowledge.

Unbelievable? The Conference 2102 Giving a Skeptical World Reasons to Believe
Saturday 26 May beginning at 9.30 AM
Transformation House, St. John’s Hill, Clapham SW11 2AA

March 27th, 2012

Hume on the Teleological Argument

by Max Andrews

Below is a brief outline of David Hume’s criticisms of the teleological argument found in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion] and responses to them.

  1. The argument doesn’t get us to God, at most it just gets to a designer.
    1. This is not arguing for God, just an extremely intelligent mind, which exists apart from the universe.
    2. Constructive empiricism[1]
  2. You can only use analogy to argue for things that are similar, but the universe is unique.
    1. As long as the two things being compared are relevantly similar in the properties under consideration, they can be analogized.  Everything is unique in some way; however, we can still compare things where they are similar.  The universe is not unique in all its properties for it shares some properties with other things (design).
  3. You can only use analogy about things you have empirically experienced, but no one experienced the origin of the universe.
    1. Scientists infer the existence and operations of empirically inexperienced entities on the basis of analogizing from what they do know from experience (i.e. particles)
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November 21st, 2011

A Horrible Attempt at Debunking Christianity

by Max Andrews

One of the blog followers, @DalloDallo on Twitter, sent me the video below.  The video was an attempt by another blog to debunk Christianity in a couple of sentences. Well, watch the video.

To begin with, I want to advocate that Christianity is falsifiable.  However, this is not how to falsify Christianity.  The argument suggests that just because Adam and Eve are fictitious Christianity is false.  Well, that doesn’t follow.  Even if Adam and Eve are theological myth or allegorical, say, of all humanity, then atonement still applies.  This argument is against the theory of universal sin, primarily seminal and original sin (maybe an entailment against atonement).  If theistic evolution is true and Adam and Eve are theological myth, Christianity is still true.  Paul, in 1 Cor. 15.17, says that if Christ had not been raised from the dead then our faith is in vain.  If Christ had not risen then Christianity is not true. That’s the task for falsifying Christianity.  This “one fell swoop” argument is not an argument against Christianity at all.  What they are arguing against is the model of sin (original sin, imputation, inherited, etc.) and an entailment, at best, would be against atonement.  This is an embarrassing argument and demonstrates a complete lack of familiarity with the biblical text, doctrine, and, I know it’s harsh, logic.

September 7th, 2011

The Eagle Has Landed – or Has It? Obvious Hoaxes Part One

by Max Andrews

This is a guest blog post by Greg West.  Greg is an apologist and founder of The Poached Egg, a Christian worldview and apologetics journal where theology, science, philosophy, history, and pop culture collide.

__________

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 was the first manned spacecraft to land on the moon. Hours later, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the lunar surface. Or did he? You see, I personally don’t believe that man has ever been to, or let alone walked on the moon, because there is no proof and very little evidence in support of it.

As a matter of fact, there is every reason to believe that the whole thing was a hoax, and that Neil Armstrong probably never even actually existed (I know you’re thinking, “Uh, Greg, Neil Armstrong is still alive”, but I’ll get back to that later). The cold war was in full swing back in 1969 and we were in a race with the Soviet Union to see who could get to the moon first, and it was starting to look like the Soviets were going to win.

This is why the President, congress, NASA, and the news media got together and decided to fake the whole thing. After all, our national pride was at stake! I realize that many of you think you saw the whole thing on TV and that millions of other people did too; it even made Walter Cronkite cry while he was doing live coverage of the alleged moon landing. What you saw on TV was actually taking place at a secret soundstage made to look like the surface of the moon, and special effects were used to make it look like the astronauts were semi-weightless. This was all done because the perpetrators of the conspiracy knew that we were not going to beat the Soviets to the moon, so they wanted you to believe that we did to save face.

Also, did it ever occur to you that maybe you just believe that we’ve actually been to the moon because you were brought up in the U.S. where you have been culturally indoctrinated and raised to accept the moon landing on faith? If you were to visit the remote tribal people of the Amazon Jungle, point at the moon and tell them that men have walked on it, they would probably look at you like you were nuts. They might also consider having you for dinner.

Some of you young people may have heard your parents or grandparents talk about how they saw the moon landing on TV and go on and on about how awesome and inspiring it was; but have you ever seen this so-called “actual” footage? It is so grainy and scratchy that it’s really hard to tell what you’re supposed to be seeing, and it is hardly convincing.

When speaking with these alleged eyewitnesses, they will tell you what a moving moment it was and how it changed their lives, but you know as well as I do that this kind of experience is 100% percent subjective and not empirically provable by science. Everyone just wanted to believe so much that a man could walk on the moon, that they bought the lie hook line and sinker, and have convinced themselves that they actually witnessed a man walking on the moon.

As I mentioned before, Neil Armstrong probably never even actually existed. He was a person that the conspirators “made up” to help people feel good, sort of like Captain Tuttle in that one episode of M*A*S*H*. I know that there is a living person who believes that he is the-first-man-on-the-moon Neil Armstrong, but this person was actually born in a laboratory, raised in a bubble, and was brainwashed and hypnotized to believe that he actually walked on the moon. An alternate theory, which has some credible evidence, but not as much as the former theory, is that the real Neal Armstrong was paid a large sum of money by the government to keep quiet, went into the witness relocation program, and eventually ran off to Istanbul where he married a belly dancer named Maggie.

One final piece of evidence that proves the moon landing was a hoax is that the cable television show Myth Busters did an episode were they supposedly busted the “myth” that the moon landing was a hoax. I saw that episode and they really didn’t prove anything, not to mention the fact that they were paid a lot of money by the government, and were given access by NASA to super-secret technology to help them pull it off.

In Obvious Hoaxes Part Two we’ll examine why some people are so gullible as to believe that the Bible is actually true.

Greg’s Note: The above article is satire at best or pure sarcasm at worst. It might be a little of both, but I can’t prove it either way.