Oh, What a Tangled Web!

An epic pwning of William Lane Craig, proving without the shadow of a doubt that his whole edifice of reasoning is one gigantic circularity.

Thanks to ContraRarian.

3 thoughts on “Oh, What a Tangled Web!

  1. luke December 14, 2011 at 15:04

    As I see it, when something “begins to exist,” it is a form that begins to exist, not a substance – the component materials were already there. So, the claim “everything [(every form)] that begins to exist has a cause” is not in the same category as the claim “the universe [(every substance)] began to exist.”

    p.s. Mr. Tremblay, if you’d care to, of course, I’d be interested to read some of your thoughts on this excerpt from an essay by Dr. Craig on the subject of “Defining ‘God’.” His essay was inspired by a comment I had left on YouTube, and my comment, frankly, was largely inspired by (and hopefully did not bastardize too badly) your Argument from Noncognitivism on strongatheism.net.

    It’s easy to give content to the word “God.” This word can be taken either as a common noun, so that one could speak of “a God,” or it can be used as a proper name like “George” or “Suzanne.” Richard Swinburne, a prominent Christian philosopher, treats “God” as a proper name of the person referred to by the following description: a person without a body (i.e., a spirit) who necessarily is eternal, perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly good, and the creator of all things. This description expresses the traditional concept of God in Western philosophy and theology. Now the YouTube atheist might protest, “But how do you know God has those properties?” The question is misplaced. “God” has been stipulated to be the person, if any, referred to by that description. The real question is whether there is anything answering to that description, that is to say, does such a person exist? The whole burden of Swinburne’s natural theology is to present arguments that there is such a person. You can reject his arguments, but there’s no disputing the meaningfulness of his claim.

    The best definition of God as a descriptive term is, I think, St. Anselm’s: the greatest conceivable being. As Anselm observed, if you could think of anything greater than God, then that would be God! The very idea of God is of a being than which there cannot be a greater.
    source: reasonablefaith.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8779

    To me, the definition that ‘God’ is “a person without a body” bascially at best begs the question and at worst is just contradictory. Also, as I see it, the defintion of ‘God’ as “the greatest conceivable being,” 1) conveniently does not say what being that is, and 2) uses “great” in an undefined way (e.g. which is greater, a rock or a worm?). Would you agree with that short assessment and that his attempts at defining ‘God’ in an intelligible way failed?

    Thank you.

    • Francois Tremblay December 14, 2011 at 15:18

      I read the extract you posted, and he didn’t answer the question at all. When we define something, we make ourselves able to differentiate between instances of that concept and things which are not instances of that concept, e.g. when I learn the definition of “table,” I gain the ability to point to things and evaluate whether they are tables or not.

      So how do these definitions of God give us the ability to differentiate? I have no idea how to evaluate whether something is eternal, perfectly free, omnipotent, omniscient, etc. So how can this definition mean anything at all to me, or to any other human being? And as for “the greatest conceivable being,” you are correct- how am I supposed to know that something is the greatest conceivable? Our abilities to conceive are personal and based on our experience. So therefore, according to that definition, what is God to me may not be God for you. Is this really what the Christians mean? I don’t think so. Again, this does not give me the ability to differentiate between God and not-God. So both attempts fail miserably.

      • luke December 14, 2011 at 16:49

        Just want to let you know I’ve read your reply. Thanks again.

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