Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


IS THE THEOLOGY THAT ARGUES THAT GOD AND THE SOUL MAKE SENSE WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION?

William Lane Craig is possibly the best Christian defender of the faith of all time.  His website Reasonable Faith is the go-to for the subject of apologetics.  But as good as Craig is, he is less than truthful and you have to read him to see how representative of Christianity he is being.  Craig's defence of the plausibility and truth of the Christian faith has been answered in the book, Unreasonable Faith How William Lane Craig Overstates the Case for Christianity.  James Foder, the author, is an extremely able counteracting force.  This page is about his best and essential insights.  

SOME PRIZE QUOTES FROM THE BOOK UNREASONABLE FAITH

ARGUMENTS FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD

Strictly speaking, the kalam cosmological argument has only two premises and a modest conclusion: Premise one: The universe began to exist. Premise two: Everything that begins to exist has a cause. Conclusion: The universe has a cause. This argument only concludes that the universe has a cause, saying nothing about the nature of this cause.

Craig came to realise that his original formulation of the kalam was dependent upon a particular theory in philosophy of time known as the tensed theory of time, and did not work under its main rival position called the tenseless theory of time. Only under a tensed theory of time can anything truly ‘begin to exist’ in the sense that Craig is appealing to in the kalam, and thus without assuming the truth of the tensed theory the argument cannot go ahead.

Craig presents three distinct arguments in favour of his contention that the universe began to exist:

The impossibility of an actual infinite.

The impossibility of forming an actual infinite by successive addition.

Empirical evidence for a beginning of the universe.

If a man really did begin counting down ‘from infinity’, his count would look like: ‘infinity minus one is infinity, minus one is infinity, minus one is infinity...’ Thus, he would be counting forever without ever getting anywhere, and would never reach zero. Some may argue that I have just proven Craig’s point, by showing that it is indeed impossible to count down from infinity, and so it is likewise impossible to reach the present after traversing an actually infinite number of past events. The problem with this argument is that it is not the case that arriving at the present is analogous to having counted down from infinity, since counting requires a starting point, but the infinite series of temporal events did not have and does not need a starting point. Events have always been transpiring, giving way to the next moment in time, for an infinitely long time. The present moment came about after the immediately prior moment, which in turn came about following the moment immediately before that, and so on. There is no end to this backward chain of events, since there was no beginning of time and events have always been occurring. This in no way, however, implies that there must have been some infinitely distant ‘starting point’ that we have in some sense been ‘counting down from’.

Craig thinks that it is profoundly obvious that it is not possible for something to come from nothing. Regarding this principle he declares that it “is rooted in the metaphysical intuition that something cannot come into being from nothing”. Similarly, he says that it is simply ridiculous to suggest that anything could “just pop into being uncaused out of nothing.” While I agree with Craig that the notion of something ‘popping into being from nothing’ is absurd, I believe that in using this sort of language Craig is describing the situation in a misleading manner. In particular, I do not believe it is correct to assert that denying that ‘everything that begins to exist has a cause’ entails affirming that ‘things can pop into being uncaused out of nothing’. First, it is not claimed that the universe ‘popped’ into being. The word ‘pop’ implies there was some void or space into which a universe is able to ‘pop’. One is asked to imagine a vast chasm which is initially empty and into which the universe ‘pops’. This, however, runs contrary to the notion that there is nothing at all – not even a space or void – that existed outside of the universe into which it could ‘pop’. The universe did not ‘pop into’ anything; it simply began at a finite time in the past.

AN ARGUMENT FOR DUALISM – THAT THE SOUL IS NOT MATERIAL THING AND THE IS MORE TO A PERSON THAN JUST THE PHYSICAL

A[n] - argument Craig gives in favour of substance dualism is that physicalism and other alternatives imply determinism, which Craig says is self-refuting. He argues that, in order for rational agents to exist and rationally endorse any proposition, three criteria must be met: “First, humans must have certain mental features true of them. They must have genuine intentionality, they must be capable of having thoughts and propositions in their minds, they must be capable of having awarenesses of the things they claim to know as well as of the contents of their own minds...

Second, in order to rationally think through a chain of reasoning such that one sees the inferential connections in the chain, one would have to be the same self present at the beginning of the thought process as the one present at the end...

Finally, rationality seems to presuppose an agent view of the self and genuine libertarian freedom of the will. There are rational ‘oughts’. That is, given certain evidence, one ‘ought’ to believe certain things... But ought implies can. If one ought to believe something, then one must have the ability to choose to believe it or not to believe it.”

COMMENTS: The Kalam does not give you a God but only an intelligence of some kind.  It would be interesting if you could prove that but not God.  The argument is best seen as an argument against God.  Nature has reasons to make us feel free but this feeling is not telling us we are free.  We take it for granted that it does.  If you decide you are programmed you feel united to what you do but you stop making the assumption that it is telling you you are free.  Free will is the main argument for dualism but it does not work and Craig is careful to say that the evidence for dualism is seemingly evidence.