Friday, February 15, 2013

Countering the Modal Ontological Argument

Note: What follows below is a transcription of the video

Ahh the Ontological Argument, where philosophers try to define god into existence. 

This video is going to be about the modern, Modal Ontological Argument put forward by apologists like Alvin Plantinga and defended by William Lane Craig. 

This is because the original Ontological Argument put forward by St. Anselm and philosophers like Rene Descartes was refuted by philosophers like David Hume and Immanuel Kant since the original argument assumed that “existence” was a property.   You can Google that, but almost all modern apologists won’t attempt to defend that version of the argument.

So here’s the “Modal Ontological Argument” put forward by Plantinga:

Monday, February 4, 2013

Big Questions 02 - Meaning & Purpose

Note: What follows below is a transcript of the video.

The next set of questions that apologists like to throw out that religion supposedly answers is:
“What is the meaning of life?” and “What is our purpose?” which is sometimes phrased as “Why are we here?”
What we’re talking about here is Meaning and Purpose, and the issues are tightly connected logically, and because the apologists make the same move with both topics.
I want to be completely upfront and honest here.  These questions are more rhetorical than the previous “Big Question” I tackled, so I can’t pretend to offer a specific answer.  What I am going to do here is highlight the difference between atheists and Christians in how we attempt to answer these questions.  I leave it up to the viewer to decide which approach is better able to answer these questions.
I will argue that the answer to these questions is that we as individuals create our own meaning and purpose for ourselves.  This is in stark contrast to Christianity that argues meaning and purpose for humanity can only come from god.

Big Questions 01 - Something Rather than Nothing

Note: What follows below is a transcript of the video.
In the course of debate between atheists and theists of various stripes, it’s inevitable that the Quote-Un-Quote “Big Questions” are brought to the forefront.   

Apologists love to ask things like:

“Why is there something rather than nothing?”
“Why are we here?” or “What is our purpose?”

“What is the meaning of life?”
Apologist Dinesh D’Souza likes to point out that science can’t answer these questions, but supposedly religion can.
The problem here is that in each case, religion simply makes up an answer and then pretends that it is better than no answer at all, or by the answers we get from philosophy that is informed by science.

But I was a True Scotsman!

It took a little while, but I managed to get my first comment from a believer where it's claimed that I must not have been a true believer, or that I must have been a poor christian.  

This sort of thing is bound to come up almost any time that anyone leaves a religion and starts advocating against their former beliefs.

It's the first online "No True Scotsman" that's been leveled my way, and I admit that I almost want to wear it like a badge of honor.  To be fair, I've had it happen to me before in person, and I think that this makes for a very nice springboard to point out exactly how much of a believer I was.  To be fair to my commenter, there is a bit I left ambiguous in my "About Me" post that led to his confusion.

So lets start clearing things up!