Dawkins' 747 Gambit

termina
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Dawkins' 747 Gambit

Hello there!

we all know the problem raised by the argument from design: if complex things require a designer (God),  this designer is even more complex due to his perfection, omniscience, ect... so why doesn't He need a creator as well?

 

Theist Philosophers such as Platinga and Swinburne replied that since God is immaterial and spitirual, He isn't complex (because complexity is an arrangement of parts in a material that could have arisen by chance), thus God is not created.

 

What's your opinion? Is their defence evasive?

 


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Oh for ....!  Their tactic

Oh for ....!  Their tactic isn't so much evasive as it has fallen off the flight deck entirely. 

If there is a God, and God created our universe - say by causing a collapse of a new black hole in their universe, then three things occur to me.  The first is that that is not the act of an immaterial spiritual being.  That is the act of an extremely advanced and highly complex civilization.  The second, is that the "creators" are now and forever locked on the far side of the event horizon.  Whatever the reason for the "creation" was, it had nothing to do with whatever happened next on this side.  Can you say "doesn't give a rip" children?

The third thing that occurs to me is that designed things are simple.  Evolved things are complex.  Designed things have limited function.  Evolved things (if they are alive) are usually multifunctional.  Go back to the watch that was used in the original example (way back when the whole ID thing was started).  Limited number of parts, each with a clear function and all extraneous parts left out.  Limited number of materials used, a few metals and some gem stones as bearings.  Limited function - marks off more or less regular increments of time.  Assuming it has been cleaned and wound recently, which is doubtful if he found it in a meadow.  Compare that to say...a frog.  Way more complex, highly functional (does lots of different things), lots of spare parts whose purpose is not clear and is perfectly content to hang out in that nice muddy meadow.

God was created alright.  It was created in the minds of people like Platinga and Swinburne.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

 


Brian37
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Someone managed to dress the

Someone managed to dress the skunk in a new tux, what a shocker.

Jordash Jeans are still the same as Levis. And feces is still shit. Calling it feces instead of shit doesn't mean it isn't excrement. All this new twist means is that someone thinks they can avoid the fact that humans have never proven the existence of a magical invisible super brain with super powers.

This is merely some idiot trying to escape the debunked complexity argument which IS NOT saved by this horrible argument, no matter how many posies they stick in their pocket.

It still amounts to defending a brain with no brain with magical super powers. Give this fictional being any name and it will still be fiction.

 

 

 

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The argument from design

The argument from design just boils down to a theist saying, "It is magic, neener-neener-neener!".

 

I'm not even joking, that is all it is.  You can't have a discussion with them if the counter-rebuttal to criticisms of design arguments is, "Ghosts aren't physical, so you can't say they are complex."  What utter crap.

 

To me, this is the danger of treating theological arguments as if they have any merit in the first place.  You have to step back and realize how ridiculous their base assumptions are.  Once you go down the rabbit hole with them you can't ever get through, because you've entered a realm where rationality is meaningless.  They are starting with the assumption that God is real and nothing will get in their way when they are arguing for that premise.  

 

Think about it, how else would you come to the conclusion that "spirits are immaterial, and so they cannot be complex"?  The only way you get to that point is by assuming God is real at all costs, then grasping for straws when people critique that stance.  There is no way you could come to that 'understanding' without massive rationalization.

 

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


Answers in Gene...
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IMNSHO, any retreat into an

IMNSHO, any retreat into an unfalsifiable argument is evasive at the least and if the person doing that has any reasonable level of education, it is also dishonest.

 

For me, one of the huge problems with any cosmological argument for god is that the argument says nothing about what god actually did or how he did it. Does god have an automatic universe making machine with dials on it that he can twiddle to set the speed of light and the value for the fine structure constant? Or just possibly, the universe was really the product of the deity letting off what amounts to a wet fart and he really does not care what happens as long as he doesn't have to do extra laundry that day?

 

Actually, we can pretty much forget any of that as it implies that god exists in some sense in a space where he can function as an actor with some level of intent. If that much is true, then we go back to the matter of who made god and the workspace where god gets his jollies making universes, which even if it were true has to end up either locked in an infinite regress or eventually end up at a place that just happened with no need for a deity to create it.

 

Also, I would like to note that the 747 argument was not Dawkins (although he has commented on it). Rather it was Sir Fred Hoyle who came up with that. Mainly because while he was an atheist until shortly before his death, he rejected the big bang in favor of an eternal universe. Well, in an eternal universe with a process of evolution, there already would have been an infinite amount of time for complex things to have come about, despite his calculation that complex things are impossible to have occurred by chance. Hence the tornado in a junk yard creating a 747.

 

Mind you, a 747 is clearly a complex thing and assumes the existence of 747 parts that had previously been made, even if they had not been previously assembled into a working aircraft. Yah, Hoyle really backed him self into a corner on that one.

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termina
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Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your answers.

 

But since theists attributes intelligence, rationality, cousciousness and will to the so-called immaterial God,

don't these qualities require smoothly ordered process which chance alone cannot bring (if one follows the reasoning of the argument from design)?

 

Thus, is it philosophically correct to conclude that an intelligent and conscious spirit is functionally (not physically) complex?

 


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termina wrote:Thank you all

termina wrote:

Thank you all for your answers.

 

But since theists attributes intelligence, rationality, cousciousness and will to the so-called immaterial God,

don't these qualities require smoothly ordered process which chance alone cannot bring (if one follows the reasoning of the argument from design)?

 

Thus, is it philosophically correct to conclude that an intelligent and conscious spirit is functionally (not physically) complex?

 

 

Sure, but you can't nail down any definitions for such a thing since there is no actual reference to base that on (Is God more complex than aunt Sally's ghost?  How do you define complexity in relationship to something that cannot be shown to exist at all empirically?) it isn't productive anyway.  To even get to this point in an argument you've already given the theist all they need to put their head in the sand.

Theists are arguing for a super-being that exists without existing, that acts inside the physical universe yet is not a part of it, what does it matter beyond that?

This is just another contradiction in the basic definitions of theism, all I'm saying is that you won't win any arguments by going down this path, because a theist willing to argue to this point will have already willfully abandoned rationality.

I guess there is some utility if you were discussing the concept in an informal, friendly way, but honestly I don't think I've ever seen a debate get to that point and still remain intellectually honest.

Everything makes more sense now that I've stopped believing.


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termina wrote: Is their defence evasive ?

        Hell No,no defence there.Christians are very,very delusional people.  

Signature ? How ?


Atheistextremist
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It's an irritating but valid point

 

Termina raises. When you clash with this ontological and by design stuff you really are on a hiding to nothing and our insistence that we accept no premise without proof allows the christian to assert our position is ultimately irrational - personally I think there's nothing irrational about accepting the limits of evidence but that's cognitive bias for you. We will have to get used to this argument. It's an end game position that allows the theist to 'win' every time by moving the goalposts outside of our ability to rationally conceive them.

 

 

 

"Experiments are the only means of knowledge at our disposal. The rest is poetry, imagination." Max Planck


ubuntuAnyone
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termina wrote:What's your

termina wrote:

What's your opinion? Is their defence evasive?

 

Maybe. It's hard to know anything about the composition of an immaterial, spiritual being....

But I think there are better ways to defeat Dawkins' gambit.

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”


D33PPURPLE
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termina wrote:Hello there!we

termina wrote:

Hello there!

we all know the problem raised by the argument from design: if complex things require a designer (God),  this designer is even more complex due to his perfection, omniscience, ect... so why doesn't He need a creator as well?

 

Theist Philosophers such as Platinga and Swinburne replied that since God is immaterial and spitirual, He isn't complex (because complexity is an arrangement of parts in a material that could have arisen by chance), thus God is not created.

 

What's your opinion? Is their defence evasive?

 

 

It isn't an argument at all, really. The reason the Gambit was proposed in the first place was because Natural Theologians were saying that God was a much simpler explanation than evolution; the premise of their arguments introduced scientific and logical reasoning to their position. Dawkins responded that the explanation of God would require an explanation in and out of itself, and here is where those Natural Theologians then said God was a spirit, therefore safely retreating God from scientific explanation. It's just another intellectual cop-out. I mean really, if we use this type of logic, I can say that I know of a being known as "Xe" that is even simpler than spirits. I also say that this "Xe" being created the world. Therefore, it follows that because "Xe"  because is simpler than spirits, it must be a much more logical explanation than "God". Needless to say, this sort of "reasoning" is the same tired tripe of "you can't logically comprehend God" worded more eloquently.

 

"The Chaplain had mastered, in a moment of divine intuition, the handy technique of protective rationalization and he was exhilarated by his discovery. It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. Just no Character."

"He...had gone down in flames...on the seventh day, while God was resting"

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Veritas Praevalebit
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more about Swinburne

Skyzerdad’s “third thing” is a strong argument against the design hypothesis. And I agree with D33p Purple entirely. Some small additions, if you allow me.

 Hume thought that the analogy between organisms and artifacts was weak. Watches are being made of metal (so there is no creatio ex nihilo) and they do not procreate. An immaterial god designing and manufacturing material objects is quite remarkable, by the way, but that’s another matter. Good old Charles Darwin had shown how functional complexity evolves from small functional complexity (the eye and the wing are used as examples many a time). So, William Paley’s ideas about the designing god having been refuted, I can’t understand why Michael Behe bothered to give it another try. It’s nothing new under the sun, to paraphrase Brian37. If we accept the design hypothesis, just for the sake of the argument, my question would be why the creator (obviously called god - but why call it that way) take this massive run of 13.7 billion years to ‘result’ in mankind!  Richard Swinburne has a lot to say about this subject. He - and Alvin Plantinga, for that matter - is notoriously inventive as it comes to ‘proving’ a point. Let’s take one of Swinburne’s arguments: the existence of God as an uncaused fact is more probable than the existence of the universe as an uncaused fact (Is that a premise? I am beginning to feel itchy already). Under the assumption that God exists, the existence of the universe is more likely than assuming that God does not exist (are you still with me, if anyone is reading this?). Swinburne supposes that a hypothesis is more probable than another one if it is more simple, because it lays a smaller claim to reality and the risk that the simple hypothesis would be untrue is smaller as well (sic). And then Swinburne claims - after having said marvellous things about his God - that this, as the object of the hypothesis, is more simple than the universe, or more simple than a singularity from which the universe comes. What is ‘more simple’ here, for Pete’s sake? Can one define simplicity of two different phenomena in the first place? But apart from that: wasn’t Swinburne’s God omnipotent and omniscient? Didn’t he/she/it know all the facts, real and possible? How on earth can this God be less complex than other things? Gob-smacking confusion creating, if you ask me. And that is how it is all the time: unreasonable propositions, or should I say unprovable propositions, at the basis of a fairy-tale hypothesis. There’s a lot of eyebrow-raising stuff in the works of both Plantinga and Swinburne, but I shall not ruin your good mood. 

Ceterum censeo irrationabilitatem esse delendam!

Veritas Praevalebit


Veritas Praevalebit
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What happened to my

What happened to my carefully planned lay-out?

Anyway: Ceterum censeo irrationabilitatem esse delendam!

 

Veritas Praevalebit