Saturday, December 26, 2015

Totalitarian science

"'Totalitarian Science' in the Age of Obama"


  1. This is what atheism brings to the table. I know that this is slightly off topic, but I had a friend pass this video along to me:
    If I could, I would like to know what people's opinions of it is.

    1. Here are my thoughts. It's basically one village atheist objection after another.

      * "If the Abrahamic God exists, then He needs to be told a few things."

      The entire setup is absurd and, indeed, arrogant. If the God of the Bible exists, then Darkmatter2525 is going to tell him a few things? If the God of the Bible exists, how is a human being going to tell God anything?

      It's as if an insect could speak and say: if humans exist, then they need to be told a few things, and I'm the insect to do it!

      * If by "Abrahamic," DarkMatter2525 refers to Islam, then I don't necessarily agree Islam is an Abrahamic religion. Muslims may think it is, but I'd say the evidence is more likely Islam pirated this aspect as well as much else from Jews and Christians. For instance, Waraka ibn Nawfal was Muhammad's wife Khadija's close relative and a Nestorian priest.

      In any case, I don't speak as a Muslim. Or, for that matter, as a modern day orthodox Jew, for sadly they deny their Messiah.

      * Yahweh isn't an ignorant and immature child. That's not how the Bible portrays him by any stretch of the imagination. It's just another dumb village atheist caricature.

      * God's goal in creating humanity isn't "to be loved and worshipped" or else God will make people "perish." God doesn't need our love or worship. Another dumb village atheist caricature.

      Rather, God creates and reveals himself to his people because he loves his people. It's for their benefit, not God's. God has nothing to gain from it.

      * The "entirety" of God's interactions isn't limited to the ANE. For starters, the NT itself describes the spread of Christianity to other parts of the Roman Empire beyond Israel and the ANE. Why is DarkMatter2525 so hung up on geographical borders?

      * What's more, the Bible predicts God's kingdom expanding to the rest of the world. Jesus commands his disciples to go to other nations and preach the gospel. See a book like From Eden to the New Jerusalem by T. Desmond Alexander.

      * Anyway, it's painfully obvious DarkMatter2525 is ignorant of the most rudimentary basics of the Bible. He can't even accurately represent what Christians believe in order to accurately criticize what Christians believe.

      * "Gods always behave like the people who create them."

      Not so for the Bible. The Bible is chock full of "counter-cultural" messages and more.

      Many examples could be given. However, it's not up to me to educate DarkMatter2525 about what the Bible contains. He can read it for himself if he honestly wants to know.

      Or, well, he can continue to remain ignorant and continue to raise unthinking, knee-jerk atheist objections.

      * "Why remain hidden to those in South American but not to those in the Middle East? Why would mere geography affect an omnipresent God's interaction with his creation?"

      Short answer: it doesn't.

      What does affect God's interaction with his creation is humanity's sin.

      The fact that God reveals himself to a "chosen" people (e.g. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel, the church) and doesn't reveal himself to others (e.g. Aztecs, Chinese) isn't a problematic for Biblical Christianity. God can choose to reveal himself to some and not others. It's God's prerogative to reveal himself to whomever he wishes. What's wrong with that? DarkMatter2525 never says.

      (Remember, DarkMatter2525 is attempting to make an internal critique of Christianity by saying "If the Abrahamic God exists...")

    2. * Why is the Earth's tiny size relative to the massive universe even a concern? What's DarkMatter2525's exact argument? He doesn't say. Is it just that he doesn't like the idea? That's hardly an argument.

      * Likewise I'm not sure what DarkMatter2525's specific objection is with God revealing himself to people on Earth and not off-world in other parts of the universe. For one thing, how does DarkMatter2525 even know this is true? How does DarkMatter2525 know God hasn't revealed himself to other intelligent lifeforms in the universe? If God has, it's not inconsistent with Christianity either. If DarkMatter2525 thinks otherwise, then he should explain why.

      * By the way, given the 7 billion odd people in the world, given all the different beliefs and cultures, etc., not only today but down throughout history, why is DarkMatter2525 so narrow-minded and provincial as to consider everything from a 21st century secular Western perspective?

      * What makes DarkMatter2525 think Christians believe the universe "runs automatically"? That seems closer to deism than Biblical Christianity.

      Also, even if it's true to some extent, how is a "clockwork universe" inconsistent with Biblical Christianity? DarkMatter2525 doesn't say.

      At best, DarkMatter2525 just says that we don't need God as an explanation because the universe "runs automatically" or is a "clockwork universe." But my point is, even if (arguendo) it's true the universe is a "clockwork universe," this doesn't preclude God's existence. What's DarkMatter2525's argument to go from a "clockwork universe" to "therefore God doesn't exist"?

      * DarkMatter2525 then brings up fine-tuning. At the same time DarkMatter2525 brings up design. He doesn't elaborate on either. Instead, he conflates the fine-tuning argument with the argument from design. But these are distinct. Anyway, DarkMatter2525 obviously has no idea what he's talking about.

      * DarkMatter2525 says science will eventually figure out what seems to be "fine-tuning" and/or "design" is ultimately "nature's doing."

      However, while "science" has been successful in the past, science has also failed in the past. There's no guarantee for the future. (I place science in scare quotes because there's no universally agreed upon definition for science, yet DarkMatter2525 seems to assume otherwise.)

      Indeed, some problems like the hard problem of consciousness may be unresolvable by science.

      DarkMatter2525 is just putting his (blind?) faith in science.

    3. * In addition, what does DarkMatter2525 mean by "nature's doing"? How does "nature" explain, say, the existence of nature itself? How does "nature" explain why there is something rather than nothing?

      * DarkMatter2525 talks about "the laws of nature." Does he mean the laws of science? Or does he mean the laws of nature in terms of morality? Or something else?

      * If he means the laws of science, how can there be laws of science without a "lawgiver" of science? Did these laws come into existence on their own? Can scientific laws give rise to themselves? Do scientific laws pre-exist the universe (e.g. big bang)?

      * How are fine-tuning and design the "evidence" for God's "nature"? Christians don't necessarily believe the fine-tuning and design arguments will be "evidence" for God's "nature." These arguments may point to God's existence, but they don't necessarily tell us much more beyond a general theism. They don't necessarily identify God with the God of the Bible. For example, fine-tuning evidently helped convince the philosopher Antony Flew to subscribe to theism, but not the God of the Bible.

      * What makes DarkMatter2525 think God had to create the universe "in one kind of way"? It's consistent with Biblical Christianity that God could have created the universe in different ways, with different physical laws. There could be many different possible worlds with different laws.

      * DarkMatter2525 offers God his advice. His tips for how God can do things better.

      Of course, that's the height of arrogance, though DarkMatter2525 likely won't think so since arrogant people tend to be blind to their own arrogance.

      What's funny though is DarkMatter2525's advice for God is built entirely on his own ignorance. For example, he doesn't think the Bible is very clear. But it's obvious he hasn't tried to understand the Bible at all. I doubt he has even read the Bible in its entirety. Anyway, he certainly hasn't tried to grasp its basic message, which is quite clear and straightforward.

      Given his video, DarkMatter2525 doesn't strike one as an intelligent person. A person who thinks deeply about the sorts of questions he raises. He strikes one as a typical village atheist. He just parrots tired objections said better by the likes of Dawkins or Hitchens or Harris.

    4. DarkMatter2525 ends by implying we don't need God to be moral and treat each other well. It's true atheists can behave morally. That's never been the issue. But what grounds objective morality given atheism?

      As atheist and philosopher Joel Marks has said: "the religious fundamentalists are correct: without God, there is no morality. But they are incorrect, I still believe, about there being a God. Hence, I believe, there is no morality."

      As atheist and philosopher Kai Nielson has said: "We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view, or that all really rational persons, unhoodwinked by myth or ideology, need not be individual egoists or classical amoralists...Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality."

      As atheist and philosopher Alex Rosenberg has said: "Nihilism rejects the distinction between acts that are morally permitted, morally forbidden, and morally required. Nihilism tells us not that we can't know which moral judgements are right, but that they are all wrong. More exactly, it claims they are all based on false, groundless presuppositions. Nihilism says that the whole idea of 'morally permissible' is untenable nonsense. As such, it can hardly be accused of holding that 'everything is morally permissible.' That too, is untenable nonsense. Moreover, nihilism denies that there is really any such thing as intrinsic moral value...Nihilism denies that there is anything at all that is good in itself or, for that matter, bad in itself."

      As atheist and philosopher Michael Ruse has said: "The position of the modern evolutionist is that humans have an awareness of morality because such an awareness is of biological worth. Morality is a biological adaptation, no less than our hands and feet and teeth. Considered as a rationally justifiable set of claims about an objective something, ethics is illusory."


  2. Thanks for the in depth reply rockingwithhawking. My initial reaction was that this video boils down to "if God is good, why do bad things happen?" I'm going to rewatch the video with your thoughts in mind.

    1. Cool, zipper778. Please feel free to ask any questions which come to mind. I'll try to answer if I can.