Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

From: Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com>
Date: Mon May 07 2007 - 07:29:37 EDT

I am not going to discuss Plantiga here anymore, his argument stands on its
own.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/bc/2007/002/1.21.html

You even provided the link Pim, whoever is interested can read the article
and come to their own conclusions about its merits, and about your
interpretation of it.

I am going to make this simple. I am finished with this discussion with you
Pim, until you tell us where you think that Dawkins gets it wrong. You
claim to be a Christian, and if you are Dawkins must get it wrong somewhere.
Otherwise it seems we have no common ground to continue.

----- Original Message -----
From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
To: "Jack" <drsyme@cablespeed.com>
Cc: "Rich Blinne" <rich.blinne@gmail.com>; "Iain Strachan"
<igd.strachan@gmail.com>; "David Campbell" <pleuronaia@gmail.com>;
<asa@calvin.edu>
Sent: Monday, May 07, 2007 12:03 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children

> On 5/6/07, Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com> wrote:
>> The evidence of your brainwashing is that you never refute arguments
>> against
>> your position, other than to say that there are those on this list that
>> have
>> misread Dawkins.
>
> You may want to double check my postings, as I believe that this would
> show that your claim is somewhat at odds with the facts.
>
>> You have not addressed your lack of understanding of Plantiga's argument
>> first of all. Secondly, you have never shown any signs of defending
>> the
>> Christian faith against one who is clearly an enemy of that faith. You
>> have
>
> I have shown that what you thought to be my lack of understanding of
> Plantinga's argument seemed to be mostly because of a misreading of
> Plantinga, on your part.
> Your further appeal to logical fallacies by presuming that, to your
> knowledge, I have not shown any signs of defending the Christian faith
> against someone who is clearly an enemy of that faith, that I must be
> brainwashed. While such a simplistic argument may be sufficient to
> some to feel comforted in having proposed an intelligent rebuttal to
> my claims, most people would come to realize that the opposite has
> happened.
> I'd even say that by showing how my fellow Christians seem seem to
> misunderstand Dawkins, I am contributing to the defense of the
> Christian faith. And for the moment, accepting your claim, does this
> mean that I am not a Christian? In other words, what relevance does it
> have whether or not I live up to your requirements? Would it help if I
> assure you that I am a Christian?
>
>> not addressed many questions that have been asked of you. For example
>> you
>> never answered this: "Pim, you seem very fond of disparaging arguments
>> made
>> by Christians, including Francis Collins, it seems. It would be
>> interesting to know what are your reasons for being a Christian? " or
>> this:
>> "And, if you're a Christian, where is it that you disagree with Dawkins?
>
> And why should I answer these questions which have little relevance to
> the accuracy or veracity of my arguments. I am not fond of disparaging
> arguments, I am fond of showing how arguments may lack support in
> logic, reason or fact, whether or not the arguments are made by
> Christians or atheists. If that is considered to be disparaging then
> fine, I stand guilty as charged.
>
>> You seem at pains to educate us about where you think he is right. Where
>> has he gone wrong, according to you?" or this:
>> "However, I have already posted a very clear argument that shows that
>> there
>> is a basic fallacy in Dawkins' syllogism, and that his syllogism is
>> therefore completely undone. I don't think there is any response to my
>> argument."
>
> I must have missed your very clear argument. Surely, Plantinga's
> attempt was not very successful, do you believe that you have posted a
> very clear argument that there is a basic fallacy in Dawkins'
> syllogism? If so, why do we even care about Plantinga's argument?
>
>> So Pim, you insult all of us on this list that disagree with you by
>> claiming
>> we have not read enough Dawkins and dont understand him. And you also
>> say
>
> A reasonable deduction based on the comments made by a few on this
> list. But i am not intent on insulting anyone on this list, let alone
> all of us on this list, by tentatively concluding that some could
> benefit from actually reading Dawkins. All I am asking for is a
> careful portrayal of Dawkins' arguments, lest we are seen as attacking
> strawmen.
>
>> that a philosopher like Plantiga, doesnt understand logic as well as you
>> do,
>
> I am sure that he aced his logic classes but in this case, I find his
> arguments lacking in logic and I have provided my reasons. Perhaps you
> may disagree with my reasons, or find them insufficient to reject the
> words of someone whom you obviously believe to be a great authority,
> but I have not seen much evidence of such. Perhaps I am missing
> something here?
>
>> and that prominent Christian scientists like Collins are confused by the
>> same scientific data that Dawkins understands, and that Collins obviously
>
> I do not recollect my claims wrt Collins, so please refresh my
> recollection.
>
>> cant interpret it as clearly as Dawkins can. So Pim, tell us, where do
>> YOU
>> stand on this issue? If you dont answer that question, and those above,
>> I
>> see no point in continuing the discussion.
>
> I see and I can understand your position. Surely I would not want to
> be responsible for complicating your life with logic, reason and
> arguments any further so I politely decline your ultimatum.
>
> PS Have you read Dawkins' God Delusion?
>
>
> As a side note. If God is simple then does this not imply that we
> believe that complex systems can be safely reduced to less complex
> systems. In other words, is this not the ultimate reductionism? Also,
> if God is simple, would this not imply that any simple system, or even
> a somewhat more complex system than God, would not be able to
> outperform God or at least come awkwardly close?
>
> Surely if complex systems can 'evolve' from simpler systems, evolution
> seems to be a good bet?
>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
>> To: "Jack" <drsyme@cablespeed.com>
>> Cc: "Rich Blinne" <rich.blinne@gmail.com>; "Iain Strachan"
>> <igd.strachan@gmail.com>; "David Campbell" <pleuronaia@gmail.com>;
>> <asa@calvin.edu>
>> Sent: Sunday, May 06, 2007 10:24 PM
>> Subject: Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children
>>
>>
>> > You seem to be misunderstanding what I (and Dawkins) are saying. I am
>> > more than willing to acknowledge that Dawkins has a hostility against
>> > religion, what I was pointing out is that this does not mean that
>> > Dawkins hates religious people. I am also not saying that I am the
>> > only one who understands Dawkins, but rather that some on this group
>> > seem to be making assertions which are not just not supported by what
>> > Dawkins has said but even contradicted.
>> >
>> > Your brainwashing accusation seems uncalled for. What I am pointing
>> > out is just because some 'great writers in Christian tradition' have
>> > called God to be simple, that this is an argument from authority,
>> > especially when the argument seems to be so flawed.
>> > Great tradition or not, the arguments why God is simple seem to be so
>> > far mostly assertions and running contrary to common sense and
>> > certainly contrary to ID's own thesis.
>> >
>> > On 5/6/07, Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com> wrote:
>> >> As far as I am concerned this discussion has nothing to do with ID, it
>> >> has
>> >> to do with Dawkins arguments against theism, and his hostility towards
>> >> all
>> >> religion which you refuse to acknowledge, your sole argument seems to
>> >> be
>> >> that you are the only one that understands Dawkins.
>> >>
>> >> As I have said before, the complexity/simplicity of God is an ancient
>> >> discussion, and again, I suggest you spend more time reading the great
>> >> writers in the Christian tradition, and less of Dawkins et al. They
>> >> have
>> >> apparently brainwashed you.
>> >> ----- Original Message -----
>> >> From: "PvM" <pvm.pandas@gmail.com>
>> >> To: "Jack" <drsyme@cablespeed.com>
>> >> Cc: "Rich Blinne" <rich.blinne@gmail.com>; "Iain Strachan"
>> >> <igd.strachan@gmail.com>; "David Campbell" <pleuronaia@gmail.com>;
>> >> <asa@calvin.edu>
>> >> Sent: Thursday, May 03, 2007 9:12 AM
>> >> Subject: Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> > As I pointed out one may of course define God to be simple but that
>> >> > does not solve the problem raised by ID that complexity requires a
>> >> > more complex entity.
>> >> > Calling God simple is just a simplistic way of defining away the
>> >> > problem of explanation.
>> >> > How is the complexity/simplificity of God determined? And how does
>> >> > it
>> >> > rely on materialism?
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> >
>> >> > On 5/1/07, Jack <drsyme@cablespeed.com> wrote:
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I agree with you. But the point is that Dawkins argues that God is
>> >> >> highly
>> >> >> improbable because he must be complex. But as Plantiga points
>> >> >> out,
>> >> >> God
>> >> >> only must be complex if materialism is a given.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> ----- Original Message -----
>> >> >> From: Rich Blinne
>> >> >> To: drsyme@cablespeed.com
>> >> >> Cc: PvM ; Iain Strachan ; David Campbell ; asa@calvin.edu
>> >> >> Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 4:27 PM
>> >> >> Subject: Re: [asa] Dawkins, religion, and children
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >>
>> >> >> On 5/1/07, drsyme@cablespeed.com <drsyme@cablespeed.com> wrote:
>> >> >> > This is what Plantiga has to say about Dawkins
>> >> >> > improbablity argument:
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> >
>> >> >> > "...suppose we concede, at least for purposes of argument,
>> >> >> > that God is complex. ..
>> >> >>
>> >> >> I'm not willing to concede that. The Athenasian Creed has God as
>> >> >> simple
>> >> >> and
>> >> >> not complex, viz. without parts. This is not just a Catholic or
>> >> >> Orthodox
>> >> >> thing. Many of the Protestant creeds pick up on this same concept.
>> >> >> For
>> >> >> example from the Westminster Confession:
>> >> >>
>> >> >> "There is but one only living and true God, who is infinite in
>> >> >> being
>> >> >> and
>> >> >> perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts or
>> >> >> passions,
>> >> >> immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible," etc.
>> >> >>
>> >> >> For a more detailed discussion on divine simplicity and how
>> >> >> Plantinga
>> >> >> interacts with that see here:
>> >> >>
>> >> >> http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/divine-simplicity/
>> >> >>
>> >> >
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
>>
>>
>>
>
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Received on Mon May 7 07:30:07 2007

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