John Loftus argues

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John Loftus argues

Post by Metacrock » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:50 pm

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/On Debuncking Christianity John Lofuts argues that the universe is so vast that God could not have made it for just us. But since Christian doctrine assertts that he did, it can't be true. In the comment box it came out that most of the atheists on DC commenting then were wiling to accept the premise that if God existed a theistic would hvae told the age of the universe before science knew it. Because they did not know that that dirpoves God.

<a href="https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogI ... 19">Loftus Speaks</a>

Will, I do find the scale of the universe problematic for theism. Why is it that until the very recent findings of modern cosmology that no previous theist believed the universe is billions of times bigger and billions of years older than they had understood it to be in their day? O'Connor's claims (?) are ex post facto, and as such they are weakened by the very fact that they are indeed "after the fact." If he is correct then some theist should've come to that same conclusion BEFORE modern cosmology suggested it. The fact that no theist thought of it is counted as evidence against theism, since it is NOT what one would expect given the theistic hypothesis. It is counter-evidence to the theistic claim

I think Lofuts is an intelligent person. BTW he did the first post too about the immense size of the universe. But he went to graduate school, he is fairly well read in Theology and they studied with William Lane Craig. yet he should know better that o say this. He should know that this is not Christian doctrine and we would have no trouble finding a passel of theologians who who would not agree to the assertion that the universe is made just for us. Moreover, the assertion God would tell a theist some amazing yet basic scientific fact before it was undiscovered by science is extremely simplistic.

First, it assumes that God is about science. It assumes that scientific facts are the only real knowledge and that we can only make judgments about reality if we have scientific facts to back them up. Of course it also try to second guess what God would do, "if he existed." Of course they never say things like if God existed then we should expect to find the anthropic principle creating fine tuning targets and meeting them even against overwhelming odds. They try to second guess God and set up a straw man which is constructed to put up some bar that they know God has not met, but when it comes to realistic expectations which God has already met, they can't deal with it.

Another major flaw here is that they are assuming that we can reason to God based upon the nature of the universe. If this is so they have no reason to deny the cosmological argument or the anthropic argument. This is as simplistic as saying "if God existed he would have made my mother buy me a better lunch box in fourth grade. I he really wants people to come to him, they have to find my witness credible, now can they do that if all I have is this stupid space station lunch box? I should have had a Gold Finger Lunch box, that's a real witness!"
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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by unred typo » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:47 pm

This is as simplistic as saying "if God existed he would have made my mother buy me a better lunch box in fourth grade. If he really wants people to come to him, they have to find my witness credible, now can they do that if all I have is this stupid space station lunch box? I should have had a Gold Finger Lunch box, that's a real witness!"
LOL...this is great. If I dint already have a tag line I would pay the royalties on this one in a minute! :D :mrgreen:
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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by Metacrock » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:42 am

glad you like it. if God existed he would get me some better smilies for this board. :mrgreen:
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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by Metacrock » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:42 am

:arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :arrow: :idea:
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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by KR Wordgazer » Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:39 am

I do find the scale of the universe problematic for theism. Why is it that until the very recent findings of modern cosmology that no previous theist believed the universe is billions of times bigger and billions of years older than they had understood it to be in their day?
I don't know about the age of the universe, but with regards to its size, Mr. Loftus is simply wrong about "only until the very recent findings of modern cosmology."

I quote from a story CS Lewis tells in his essay "Religion and Science," from the book God in the Dock:
[My friend said], "[Theism] was obviously invented by people who believed in a flat earth with the stars only a mile or two away."

"When did people believe that?" [I answered.]

"Why, all those Christian chaps you're always talking about did. I mean Boethius and Augustine and Thomas Aquinas and Dante."

"Sorry," I said, "but this is one of the few subjects I do know something about."

I reached out my hand to a bookshelf. "You see this book," I said. "Ptolemy's Algamest. You know what it is?"

"Yes," said he. "It's the standard astronomical handbook used all through the Middle Ages."

"Well, just read that," I said, pointing to Book I, Chapter 5.

"The earth," read out my friend, hesitating a bit as he translated the Latin, "the earth, in relation to the distance of the fixed stars, has no appreciable size and must be treated as a mathematical point!"

There was a moment's silence.

"Did they really know that then?" said my friend. "But-- but none of the histories of science-- none of the modern encyclopedias-- ever mentions the fact."

"Exactly," said I. "I'll leave you to think out the reason. It almost looks as if someone was anxious to hush it up, doesn't it? I wonder why."
In any event, it is not incompatible with theism at all that the universe should be both very big and very old. It isn't even incompatible with the Bible, contrary to popular belief. And theists have been believing that the universe is very big, for a very, very long time. Long before "the recent findings of modern cosmology."
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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by Metacrock » Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:57 pm

good point word gazer
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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by ZAROVE » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:23 pm

I may have to revisist Debunking Christianity, the meszage baord then.

You are quiet right, Metacrock, in this assessemnt. There is no Christian Doctrine that states the whole Universe was created just ofor Humanity. I myself have argued agaisnt such a princple, and am clealry a Christian.

No Bible verse says this, and I kno of no Church Father hwo has stated htis.

I do know that some modern Evangelicals, and Pentacostals, who emphasis the "Persoanl Relaitonship" God wants with us, as individual and a speccies, beleive this, but they compose a tiny minority wihtin Christianity as a whole.


It has always been my understandign that God created the whole Universe for himself, not for us.

It is also a tiresome and illogical argument to say that God must not exist because he di dnot specify the Age of th Unvierse, or expose some other Sceintific fact. The love affair that modern Atheits seem to hae with Science, though it seems superficial to me as most don't really kno science, is itsself an irrational ideology of thiers.

They act as if Science is th eoly relevant form of informaiton ever, and if God did nto teach us Relativity theory, and the basics of the Periodic Table, then its proof that God doens't exist and the Bible ( as they universlaly go afte rChristians) must be writtne by men and has no DIvine Inspriation.

They don't even ask basic queasitons, such as, why woudl God want to reveal such spacific Scientiifc facts to people?

Given that most fo the itme in the Scriptures God is mor eintereste din gettign them to learn basic moral codes and to progress as a peopel in hos they live, it owudl be odd that he woudl then chime in wich such informaiton.

Of course, the Origins of he Universe are covere din Genesis, and they can complain all they like, but the point of the Genesis Narriative is, ultimatley, about how we relate to God, and is itsself not intereste din detailing for us the precision of the Cosmic order.

Such informaiton woudl not have been udnertsood by those in the past ; which is not saying they where tsupid, btu mch of Modrn Physics woudl be incomprehensable to even those livingm int he 18th century, and many parts woudl be unintellegable nonsence t thos ein he 19th. We ha to be ready to accept such informaiton.

Besides, the fact that God did not do something doesn't prove he does nto exist. Thats a basic Logical flaw.

Thats like sayign that I have not met Physicisst Richard Boar, because when I met a man who cliamed ot be RIchard Boar once, he did not tell me anything at all about hte Universe. (Boar is a Physicisst in Oak Ridge, and use to work with my Father. I met him once fo rlunch. We discussed mainly my Father, the past, and politics.)

The Logic is not logic at all.

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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by ZAROVE » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:31 pm

I have poste don the Blog, "Debunking Christanity" and looked around.


The arguments are the same sort of PSeudo-Logic I have seen elsewhere and am not impressed by. Intellegence perhaps indwells them, but their arguments are the usual vareity of attempting to disprove Christianity by any means nessisary,a nd often Critical thinkign and reason are discarded inthis pursuit, thogh always acknowledged and appealed to as the Authority on which they rest.


The Size of the Universe argument was my central area, and I psoted there agaisnt the presumption that all Christianms beleive the Universe was created spacificlaly for man. Obviously this is not true.

My post ont he matter will be given after this one is.

I also argued that the Soterology argumentthat Evan used is irrational.

But nevertheless.

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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by ZAROVE » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:32 pm

My blog responce tothe opening argument.

*********

I realise that you have sid that your Christian upbringing taught you that God created the whole Universe to be perfect for mankins, but you have also stated elsewhere that you are an Ex-Evangelical.

Since when did Evangelical Christianity become the measure of "Traditional Theism"?

It is nto even the measure of Traditional Christian thought.

If one reads the works of the Early Church Fathers, and then picks up some books by Modern Evangelicals, such as Lightner, or McArthur, or even Max Lucadio, you will find a great deal of difference.

Just as if you read the Contemporary writtings of Dr. Rowan Williams, and compare htem to moern Evangelical thought, and Doctor Williams does hold to a Classical, Traditional theology. This is, of course, contrasted often with his mor eLiberal Social views, but when discussing the topic at hand, we are only discussing the theology, not civil views.

All this stated, I do not beleive that you can make a tenable argument that Christians universally beelive that the whole of creation was made just for them. I do not ebelive you can even make a Tenable argument that this is a beleif that is held by a Majority of Christians worldwide, or eben just in the Western World.

Neither is it a beleif that is Central to Christendom, and it is surely not a Christian Doctrine. No Biblical passage actually states that Creation was made for mankins, and yet we do have Verses that say it was created for, and by, God, and for his own reasons.

Nor, when we examne the Church Fathers, do we see in their writting this piculiar beleif you advocate as held Universally.

Certainly, I was uobrought as a Christian, but I was not taught this until much later, and even then not by those who I agreed with.

The beleif that All Christians beleive that All the Universe was made for Humanity, and stating it as a CHristian Doctrine, is just plain false.

Thus, the argument raised by Everett and posted here by John Loftus is not really a credible one.

Traditional Theism does not exist beyind simle beelif in God, as Creator and sustainer of the Universe. (Theism shoudl not be rendered Identical to Christendom.)

Traditional Christianity, as is held in the writtings of the thinkers of he Traditional period, and of the modern writers who follow suit, do not concure with this. From Iraneus to C.S. LEwis to Rowan Williams, you woudl have a list of Theologians who would rather Adamantly deny that basic assumption.

Are they, then, Mr. Loftus, not Christians?

No, this argument is simply an absurd one, that proves nothing.

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Re: John Loftus argues

Post by ZAROVE » Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:19 pm

I looke dover the Debunking Christianity Blog, and left osme replies. THe quality of which slipped as I grwow tired now.

But, neverhteless, it seems the same old tired arugments pased off as brillaint, with the usual hostile tone, that doesnt' mask the fact that the Arguments, no matter how often the authors insist they are, are not base dupon reaosn and Logic.

They are often severly flawed and the basic assumotisn are oftne off.

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