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REPLY #98h TO
This is the eighth of an eleven-part reply. Select the "Go to next reply" link at the end of each part to read the next part of the reply.
Quite correct. This is why you need to provide objective and empirical evidence in support of the object(s) of your theistic beliefs. Simply considering non-belief to be distasteful is not sufficient to do this.
(R) Since the creation event of the universe is not an observable, testable, or repeatable event, I need not provide hard core scientific evidence of an empirical variety for the cause I believe acted at that time.
(MB) *laughing* Yet, you demand the very same evidence for my views and denigrate them by using the very same "not observable/testable/repeatable" argument. Now, you support your own views by saying that they don't require the very things whose supposed absence is claimed to be the failing of mine. How do you justify this inconsistency? Why are your views immune to the application of the same standards of evidence that are required of everything else?
(R) The type of evidence I need to provide is evidence that is indirect, corroborative from multiple lines of inference, and elicits conclusions that jive with probability.
(MB) *laughing wildly* In other words, you only need to do what you have been denying? You only have to support your position through doing nothing more substantive than merely saying that it's true? Your position does not require objective and empirical evidence? What's so special about your views that you feel free to disregard the same standards that you vociferously demand must be applied to all other views?
(R) However, since you are the one claiming "science" for your materialistic propositions, YOU WILL need to provide hard core empirical evidence for your alleged natural super-process that creates universes mindlessly out of nothing.
(MB) If "mindless creation from nothing" is what science was theorizing, then I would support it. But, since that is not what science says, I am not required to support your mistaken idea (nor must I defend your confused mangling of mathematics and physics). Why do you insist that science is the only side which must provide solid evidence?
Quite true, again. However, you are evading the point by being wishy-washy about supporting the God you personally believe in. Does Yahweh exist or not? Is he the "intelligent designer" or is he not? If you can't answer an unequivocal "YES!" to both questions, then you severely weaken any credibility for your Christian beliefs.
(R) I'm not evading anything at all.
(MB) Actually, you're not *answering* anything at all. Can you answer the questions or not? Or, will you just continue to beat around the proverbial bush (which may or may not be burning)? Are you so afraid of the necessities of this debate that you can't even give me a "Yes" or "No" answer to a question of whether or not you believe in Yahweh or whether or not he is your intelligent designer?
(R) I have stated that this amount of detail is unnecessary for falsifying materialism and atheism.
(MB) *Some* details are mandatory -- and I can see that you're not going to bother providing any.
(R) You have agreed with me that ANY god's existence falsifies atheism, so why you are still requiring further detail is a mystery.
(MB) Because, the possible existence of a great many possible forms of god is not the same as saying that a form exists which is responsible for creating the universe. To paraphrase George Carlin, perhaps Yahweh is only a regional marketing manager who is only slightly superior to us.
(R) Furthermore, the question of whether or not I believe in the Hebrew God or the Hindu God as the intelligent designer is about as relevant as asking me whether or not I like the McDonald's Big Mac or the Burger King's Whopper for a debate about the existence of sandwiches.
(MB) That would be true unless you have dedicated your life to the existence of the Big Mac or the Whopper. You *have* dedicated your life to the existence of Yahweh. Therefore, any blithering about any other gods is nothing but an evasion which seeks to avoid having to defend your beliefs.
You have three things to prove. First, that any "god" actually exists. Second, that a god exists which is sufficiently powerful to have created the universe. Finally, that this intelligent designer is the same Yahweh in which you believe. Since you will certainly fail to satisfactorily answer the first point, the others will be reduced to nothing more meaningful than impassioned and confused rhetoric.
Absolutely. Of course, since your choice of possible Gods numbers exactly *one*, and since there is equally as little evidence to support any other God, you will need to show why your choice of God is superior to anybody else's choice.
(R) This has already been addressed.
(MB) Not yet, it hasn't. You keep running from it, but you're on a circular track that keeps bringing you back to the starting line.
If you choose not to do this, then you can't call yourself a Christian since that belief system does not admit any other Gods. You need to decide which way you want it since you can't have it both ways.
(R) As already stated, I do not have to do any such thing.
(MB) You can run, but you'll keep coming back. I'll be waiting when you get tired of running.
(R) The totality of my belief system is not required for the simple existential claim of an intelligent designer.
(MB) When the two are inextricably intertwined, you will have that problem. You could only make that argument if you did not profess a belief in Yahweh. Such a professed belief necessarily limits your arguments to ones which support that deity since you're not about to abandon that belief under any circumstances.
Except, of course, that I am not the one who is positing the existence of any deity. That is your side of the argument. As such, you are obligated to defend that claim. Are you up to it?
(R) I am not claiming any particular deity for this debate, nor do I need to.
(MB) Then, you are agreeing that your professed beliefs might be wrong?
(R) The only entity I am positing is that of an Intelligent, trancendental cause for the universe and I am up for supporting it.
(MB) So, when are you going to start? Will this purported cause be any different from the deity you worship?
(R) If you were a Hindu apologists and this was a Christianity vs. Hindu debate, going into extensive detail about the totality of my theistic beliefs would be necessary. But that is not the case now is it?
(MB) It doesn't matter. You still have the same burden of proof. You are still supporting the same deity no matter who your opponent is and your opponent does not believe in that deity's existence. How would your arguments change if you *were* in debate with a Hindu? How would you prove that Yahweh exists and that Vishnu/Shiva/Brahman/Krishna does not?
If those are the rules, then the debate has already been settled. All evidence lines up in favor of the natural process while there is absolutely none whatsoever to support anything else.
(R) LOL! Oh, so simply *saying* all the evidence lines up for this materialistic super-process creating universes settles the debate??
(MB) Nope. The fact that the evidence *does* line up that way settles the debate. The fact that you have yet to provide a single shred of objective evidence in favor of your side and have, in fact, argued that you are not required to do so settles the debate. The fact that you continue to run from your own beliefs settles the debate. You've got some serious work ahead of you to change any of this.
Also, you need to keep better track of your buzzwords. Earlier, your mistaken usage of the term said that this "super-process" was "naturalistic". Now, you say that it is "materialistic". Those are not synonymous and interchangeable usages.
(R) Sorry, but this alleged evidence must be extensively explained and shown to be immutable before anything has been settled. So far you've only made blanket claims for its existence. You're going to have to do better than that.
(MB) Your response to this message should be interesting. Your argument is already in deep trouble.
This means that it is even more important for you to provide such evidence in support of your position. Taking potshots at science won't get that done.
(R) Science is completely secondary to this debate and you've offered no support for equating materialism and science.
(MB) If science is "completely secondary to this debate", why do you demand so much from it? When you claim that arguments about your own views are "secondary", you just brush them aside and say that you don't have to address them.
(R) The task of defending materialism's philosophical presuppositions belongs to materialists, not scientists, and making maverick claims about evidence for universal materialism won't accomplish that task either.
(MB) I've already discussed your lack of understanding of materialism (outside of flinging around the buzzword).
Sorry, but you are committing the logical fallacy of demanding proof for the denial of a positive existential claim. You are then committing another logic barbarism by claiming that your position is "reasonable" if an impossible proof of the denial is not presented.
(R) I think you should reread the context of that comment. I said that UNLESS you can support your existential claims of universal materialism, your atheistic denials make no sense. You responded by claiming that you had already shown that such a denial is the only logical position.
(MB) You're combining two different things into one protest besides the already-discussed problems of carelessly invoking materialism, atheism, and science. The denial inherent in atheism is that there is any evidence supporting the existence of gods. Proving materialism is a different and unrelated question.
(R) But the only way you could have shown that atheism is the only logical position is if you had presented the immutable evidence for universal materialism, which you DID NOT do. You merely "claimed" that such evidence exists. That is why I said you must "prove" that statement, not merely "claim" its truth.
(MB) Again, you're mixing apples and oranges here. If there is no evidence to support the existence of gods, then the only logical position is the disbelief in their existence. That is not a position which shoulders the burden of proof. It's a matter of basic logic. Materialism is not an atheistic philosophy, so your attempts to tie the two together are further proof that you don't understand what they are about.
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