Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Piss Cat and The Resurrection of Jesus.

A long time since I have done a blog, but here we go again. Discussing the christian technique of defending the resurrection of Jesus. First I am going to look at the strategy employed by Christians today in defending the position and why it is a poor one. Then I will move on to a analogy to show just how ridiculous it is to believe the resurrection.

Lets get started. When Christians attempt to defend the resurrection, for the most part they will try to rule out naturalistic explanations that atheists have given for the resurrection. The irony of this is they do this by saying that any of these natural explanations are so unlikely that they can be ruled out. They do this for any reasons such as grave robbers, or the women went to the wrong tomb. What the christian is attempting to do is reduce the natural explanation to absurdity(reductio ad absurdum). This my friends is a poor strategy of arguing for anything, when you are dealing with a false dichotomy. The reason this is done on a false dichotomy is because the christian has only ruled out the possible natural explanations that we have thought of, he could not have possibly ruled out unknown natural explanations this way. So, when an apologist such as William Lane Craig or others does this, you must see he is committing a fallacy of false dilemma.

Now adding further embarrassment to the problem is the fact that apologists will claim that the naturalistic explanations are unlikely therefore the apologist says he is justified in believing in the resurrection. This is laughable as we know the odds of a resurrection are incredibly low. Statistically speaking based on what we know about deaths they are at least lower then 1 in 6 billion. Why does the apologist not rule out this explanation for the same reason. Well, special pleading of course. Now the common reasoning an apologist will give to argue against this, is that my odds assume no god. Well guess what, they make no such assumption. The only assumption my argument makes is what we see is reality. If what we see is reality then god does not routinely raise the dead. So even in the existence of a god, a resurrection would be highly unlikely. Lets just say god raised the dead is not a explanation that is likely for any case of an empty tomb.

Now I want to present an example to show just how ridiculous the empty tomb really is. Lets say we have 4 people who have just decided to renovate this abandoned house. The house is in need of repair but there is a large fence around the house keeping animals out. Now when the people go into the basement they smell the scent of piss. They cannot figure out where this smell is coming from. Then one women says " she saw the grave of an animal named fluffy outside, and that she had heard stories of a zombified cat getting up and walking at night on this property." So, the other 3 say that is ridiculous, and try to come up with more naturalistic explanations(notice right now you are not screaming naturalism of the gaps, idiot nate). Each one they come up with the women rules out as unlikely. The fence prevents animals from getting in. The women concludes it must be the resurrected corpse of fluffy. The other 3 say that while the other options are unlikely, they are still more likely then a resurrected cat, and also the possibility of a unknown natural cause is far more likely. They do not allow the woman into the conversation about solving the problem of the piss smell. They do this in spite of the women's insisting that you are ruling out the possibility of a god, who would want this cat to piss in the basement. Why you ask, because the resurrected cat theory is far more unlikely then any of the natural explanations and you the believing christian know this.

I hear the christians right now crying false analogy fallacy. Well get this here is the analogy broken down to show it is not a false analogy. The key points remain the same. In the Jesus resurrection resurrected corpses are responsible for exactly 0 known cases of tombs going empty, in the case of the piss cat, resurrected cats are responsible for exactly 0 known cases of basements smelling like piss. In both cases natural causes are still far more likely then a resurrection as resurrections by definition and shown earlier are unlikely. You also must see here that the Christians ridiculous claim that we are ruling out a god who would want this is nonsensical. It does not fly in the face of the piss cat example, because any god that happens to exist is highly unlikely to want any cat to resurrect, and we know that because any god who exists exists in a world where he does not routinely want cats to resurrect, you know reality, much like this god would exist in a world where he routinely wants humans to resurrect. Therefore on any given claim of resurrections of humans or piss cats we must be highly skeptical and look for natural explanations as they simply are far more likely. So, in the end any claim of false analogy would not actually get the point, because the points of analogy are equivalent and any differences in the stories are irrelevant to the analogy, and therefore would be a red herring to bring up.

I just dont' get how anybody can believe in the resurrection.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Is the new testament a consistent and accurate source: Part 2 The Crucifixion.

As I began this series of posts exploring whether the New Testament was a reliable and consistent source of information I had originally planned to make the 2nd post about the crucifixion and resurrection. Well, I ran into a little snag here, namely the crucifixion and events leading up to it was a topic in and of itself, as will be the resurrection. So, what was originally going to be a 3 part series will now be a 4 part series.

The intent of this series is to give Christians a look into the world of historical and textual criticism of the bible. The contradictions and inconsistencies are vast. At some point Christians must lay down their apologetic arms and come to terms with the fact that the bible is not a perfect, inerrant work. Today I am going to be discussing clear cut inconsistencies and errors in the trial and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.

I shall begin with the trial. There are many inconsistencies here, starting with what does Jesus say in response to the question from Pilate "Are you King of the Jews?" Was it "Thou sayest it" as in Mark(Mark 15:2),Matthew(Matthew 27:11, which actually says thou sayest), and Luke(Luke 23:3) or does he say "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?" as in John(John 18:34). That is just a slight difference, but from there on out we have a more drastic difference. After this round of questioning how does Jesus respond from here on out. Does he say nothing as in Mark(Mark 15:4-6), Matthew(Matthew 27:12_14) or does he continue on to say: "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." as in John(John 18:36). He could not have said nothing and this, either the synoptic gospels of Mark, Matthew, and Luke are right or John is right,but someone has to be wrong. This trial is a mess all around. When does Jesus get flogged after the trial as in Mark(Mark 15:15) or during the trial as in John(19:1). One more part of the trial we will discuss is the fact that the custom of releasing prisoners like Pilate did for Barabbus was not in the real Pilates nature. This historical information just does not make sense with what we know about Pilate and Roman history. There are many more problems with the trial but I will leave it at that.

Now we move on route to crucifixion, is Jesus talking or silent, who carries his cross? These questions are left up in the air by the gospels since, get this, they have different answers depending on which author you are reading. When walking to the be crucified is he silent like in Mark and Matthew or is he talking like in Luke(Luke 23:28) were he says to a group of woman "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children." We also have a contradiction of who carries the cross. In Mark(Mark 15:21), Matthew(Matthew 27:32), and Luke(Luke 23:26)or did Jesus carry the cross himself as in John(John 19:17). These things simply cannot be rectified. They are not saying the same thing, one or the other is simply wrong.

Now onto the actual crucifixion, where we find other clear problems. Firstly, Luke(Luke 23:34) is the only one to note Jesus says anything while being nailed to the cross he says a prayer, the others simply have him not saying anything. I will actually be coming back to this later, but we move forward. On the cross there lies different inscriptions:

This is Jesus the King of the Jews (Matthew 27:37)
The King of the Jews (Mark 15:26)
This is the King of the Jews (Luke 23:38)
Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews (John 19:19)

That is a small difference yes, but it does once again mean not all the gospels are right. We can now turn our attention to how the 2 thieves(Mark 15:27,Matthew 27:28,Luke 23:32, and John 19:18) treated Jesus. In Mark and Matthew the two thieves both mock Jesus(Mark 15:32,Matthew 27:44), while in Luke one of the two thieves comes to Jesus defense, even saying that Jesus had done nothing wrong(Luke 23:40-43). These 2 views are next to impossible to reconcile and again I shall return to this in a bit. Finally, during the crucifixion what are Jesus' final words? There appears 3 different variations:

"Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"(Mark 15:34)

'Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?' that is to say, 'My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?' ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."(Matthew 27:46-50)

"Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"(Luke 23:46)

"It is finished"(John 19:30)

Now, I hear your apologetic minds working right now, but both Luke and John say he said his phrase and gave up the ghost, meaning he died right after saying different last words. On the other hand, you could say you have a little wiggle room with Mark and Matthew as they have him taking a drink of vinegar and crying out again and then giving up the ghost(Mark 15:35-37, Matthew 27:47-50). The fact is out of 4 different gospels he says 3 different things as his last words. There is also contradictory reports of when the curtain of the temple was ripped. Matthew and Mark have the curtain ripped after Jesus dies(Matthew 27:50-51; Mark lS:37-38) Luke says it tore before his death(Luke 23:45-46). There is also the little issue of Matthew talking about resurrecting corpses and an earthquake that is not documented elsewhere throughout history(Matthew 27:51-53). It is reasonable to believe that these events would have drawn a bit of attention, but not even his contemporaries Mark, Luke, or John seemed to be aware of these big events.

As I have been saying I would get back to several comments made by Jesus in Luke. If you have been paying attention, the quotes attributed to Jesus are those of a man who knows what is happening to him a man who is cool and collected. He is not in any sense distraught. Where as in Mark particularly Jesus is distraught. All one needs to do is compare the last words of Jesus in each. In Mark Jesus is asking why god has forsaken him, in Luke Jesus is telling god he is coming to him. It takes a great deal of mental gymnastics to think that these 2 phrases portray the same character. You can look back at the quotes attributed to Jesus by Luke that we have reviewed and see these quotes also portray the same mental state of being aware of his mission and knowing what is happening. The final words of Jesus in Mark and Matthew have always been a problem for Christians because they do not show a man who is making a voluntary sacrifice, but a man who thinks god has left him. Whether this be from this simple theological problem or the problem of dealing with early sects of Gnostic Christians who believed Jesus had 1 part human and one part god, both being 100%, but the god part left the man to be on the cross. This verse seemed to justify their views that the god part had left him.

Alright, now I am going to look at the time table for these events. Did the events happen before the passover or after the passover. Mark says after,where as John(John 13:29, John 18:28, John 19:14) say before. The 2 dates cannot be reconciled. These 2 accounts also do not get the the time right, at 6 on the day of crucifixion Mark has Jesus on the cross(Mark 15:23), while John has Jesus still in the court at this time(John 19:14).

So, once again I say put away the apologetic books and come to grips with the reality that the bible does contain contradictions and irreconcilable differences. The book is a book written by men with different views and who made things up for their own purposes.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Is the new testament a consistent and accurate source: Part 1 the Birth Narratives

In this post I am going to seriously explore the idea that the Gospels tell a consistent story. This may end up being a series of posts, but for today I will focus on the birth narrative. In the gospels the birth narratives only appear in Matthew and Luke, so the question is are the birth narratives consistent and accurate? Lets find out:

To begin with there is one thing both Matthew and Luke agree on and that is that Jesus is born of a virgin. So, at first glance there doesn't appear to be a problem, but lets look at how they got there. This initial exploration of this point is going to use Matthew as he is the first of the 2 authors having written his book in the early to mid 80s(CE) of the first century(Luke was not until 90s(CE) or later). What do we find here,well it appears that the messiah will come from a virgin using: Isaiah 7:14

King James Version (KJV)

14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Yet, this is not actually the case. Matthew is directly quoting this line in Matthew 1:23, yet if you actually explore the history of this text the earliest Hebrew manuscripts use the word "alma" which means young woman. Matthew on the other hand used the Greek translation that said "parthenos" which means virgin. So, we are off to a bad start, Matthew is using a bad translation of the old testament and this would lead us to believe he is trying to force prophecy to be fulfilled. It doesn't help matters that according to most Jews the prophecy in Isaiah is not about the Messiah any way. Its presumable about 10 or more years later when Luke was written he was familiar with the virgin birth story from Matthew and kept it in his gospel. If you don't believe Matthew would tell stories to attempt to fulfill prophecy, please check out this outside example, in another case of Matthew misreading prophecy, Matthew unlike the other gospels has Jesus enter Jerusalem on a colt and a donkey. (Matthew 21:7)

Speaking of attempting to fulfill prophecies here is another one. We have already established that both gospels thought Jesus was born of a virgin, yet strangely another prophecy of the old testament is that the Messiah will be of the blood of David (Jeremiah 23:5, 2 Samuel 7:12-16, Psalms 132:11) This is fine, but remember that if Mary is a virgin, this bloodline would have to go through her, yet both Matthew (Matthew 1:1-17) and Luke (Luke 3:23-38) go through Joseph with their genealogies to achieve this. This is a clear cut case of 2 prophecies not adding up as either one is true or the other is. Either Jesus is born of a virgin like both Matthew and Luke say and he is not in the bloodline of David since that goes through Joseph, or he is in the bloodline of David through Joseph and is the biological son of Joseph meaning Mary is not a virgin.

Speaking of the Genealogies let me have a look at them:

Luke 3:23-38-------------------Matthew 1:1-17

Heli---------------------------Jacob------------------------no match


Levi---------------------------Eleazar----------------------no match

Melchi-------------------------Eliud------------------------no match

Jannai-------------------------Achim------------------------no match

Joseph-------------------------Zadok------------------------no match

Mattathias---------------------Azor-------------------------no match

Amos---------------------------Eliakim----------------------no match

Nahum------------------------- Abiud------------------------no match

Strange, isn't it, out of the first 10 names starting at Joseph's father, we only have 1 match and I am giving the benefit of the doubt that Matthat and Matthan were the same person. The genealogies are so far off that they contradict 90% of the time here.

Is there more, well let me show you. We are now going to ask when Jesus was born, was it during the reign of Herod the Great as Matthew says, who died in 4 bce and presumably Matthew had Jesus born 2 years before this with the slaughter of the innocence killing 2 year olds or less(Matthew 2:16-18)? This is when most scholars believe that Jesus was born during this time. Yet, Luke clearly says that Jesus was born when Quirinius was governor of Syria(Luke 2:1–7). Yet, as Bart Ehrman points out here:

"If the Gospels are right that Jesus’ birth occurred during Herod’s reign, then Luke cannot also be right that it happened when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. We know from a range of other historical sources, including the Roman historian Tacitus, the Jewish historian Josephus, and several ancient inscriptions, that Quirinius did not become governor of Syria until 6 CE, ten years after the death of Herod." Jesus Interrupted pg 33-34

This is at minimum a 10 year gap, most likely 12 years when you consider Matthew probably had Jesus born in 6 CE or earlier.

Now, what about this slaughter of the innocence and the Census. Let me get the slaughter of the innocence out of the way, firstly it has zero non biblical support that it ever happened. It is presumable that other historians would have noticed this. For instance, Josephus loved to write about the terrible atrocities of Herod the Great, why is it not there? Could it be this never happened? Remember we have established Matthew is not above making things up for his story. What about the census? Well firstly a Roman Census would not require people to return to the land their ancestors lived in a 1000 years ago as Luke has here, since Bethlehem was the land of David(Luke 2:1–7). This just simply was not how Roman Census's or any census for that matter works. It was a plot device to get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

This whole little tidbit becomes more interesting when you consider Matthew starts his gospel off with Mary and Joseph living in Bethlehem(Matthew 2). A place they would presumably live for several years until leaving for Egypt(Matthew 2:13). This is interesting because Luke one other hand has them coming into Bethlehem due to a census and staying at an inn.(Luke 2:7) Where do they go when all is fulfilled in Bethlehem, well its not Egypt as in Matthew, they instead go to Nazareth.(Luke 2:39) In both cases the gospel authors apparently felt the need to have Jesus born in Bethlehem and both used clever plot narratives to get this done. Now, since a historical Jesus would have actually lived in Nazareth, these plot twists needed to get him back there and we have seen how they did that.

At this point I can see Christians getting their apologetic arguments ready to attempt to justify this, yet we have seen contradiction and inconsistency after inconsistency, what are the odds that all of your apologetic arguments are true and that all of this is wrong? Not very high, there comes a point that after you have been exposed to this type of information that you must accept that bible and the gospels are not consistent or accurate, there is just too much to apologize for in the birth narratives alone.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Agnosticism vs atheism revisited.

We are going to learn some basic things such as the law of excluded middle and the English language laws of negation. We will learn the difference between 2 action sentences and 1 action sentences.

Lets start with the law of excluded middle(

The law is basically this, for every statement either the statement or the negation is true or in other words either a statement is true or false.. There is no middle ground. This is a rock can only have two possible truth values true or false. This is one of the foundational laws of logic and thought that we use. This applies to ignorant agnostics. You can either say that this statement is true or false:

I have the belief in god.

If the statement is true, you have the belief in god.
If the statement is false, you do not have the belief in god.

Also, this statement also has 2 truth values:

I have the belief that there is not god.

If the statement is true, you have the belief that there is no god.
If the statement is false, you do not have the belief that there is no god.

It is true, that if you do have the belief that god exists, you cannot have the belief that god does not exist and vice versa. This is one of the other basic laws of logic and thought called the law of non contradiction(or sometimes the law of contradiction)(

To put this into syllogism form:

If you possess the belief that no god exists, you must not believe god exists.
you possess the belief no god exists
Therefore you must not possess the belief that god exists.

This is a sound and valid syllogism (assuming premise 2 is true of you)
The reason premise 1 is true, is the law of non contradiction, a person cannot possess the belief that god both exists and does not exist.

The agnostic here will then turn around and try to affirm the consequent( and make this syllogism:

If you possess the belief that no god exists, you must not believe god exists.
you do not believe god exists
Therefore you believe god does not exist.

Now we will move onto sentence structure. We have 2 different sentences to examine:

"I do not believe god exists" vs "I believe god does not exist"

Lets look at the first sentence.( diagram pointing out negations here: (

in the first sentence the not negates the believe part. This means one does not believe this proposition: That god exists.

On the other hand the second sentence the not negates the exist. While the believe affirms that you have the positive attribute of belief in the nonexistence of god.

Before we go too far we should define belief:

a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing (

In the first sentence you are not placing trusting confidence in the existence of god. in the second sentence you are placing trust or confidence in the nonexistence of god. These are completely different claims. Now we can see that the set of things that we do not believe and the set of things we believe not are not equal by this example:

My brother and I walk into a field full of grass. At this point, I do not place trust or confidence in the position that there is an even number of blades of grass in the field(Proposition E). I also do not believe there is not an even number of blades of grass in the field(Proposition NE). Why is this, I have not been presented enough logical evidence to believe either claim.

So we can safely put E into the set of things we do not believe. So now, the set things we do not believe looks like this:


With this said we cannot in turn put the proposition NE into the set of things we do believe so therefore the set of things we do believe remains:

It is now time for us to move on to the final part of this the fact that the sentences we are dealing with have 2 actions. The act of believing and the act of god existing. In this case the person as per the diagram must carefully exam which action the negation is being used for.

As per the diagram the sentence " I do not believe that god exists" negates the belief part. The second sentence " I believe no god exists" negates the existence. Strangely, this same rule of negation holds true under these two sentences: " I do not know that god exists" negates the know part where as the statement: " I know that god does not exist" negates the exist part. They are following the same rule.

Now the important part is to understand the question being asked is to understand the question being asked: The question is asking "Do you believe god exists" Not does god exist. We have already explored through the law of excluded middle that this proposition is either true or false:

I Believe god exists.

There are only 2 possible responses. The key word being believe, not "god exists".

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kalam's Cosmological Argument

After watching yet another debate where William Lane Craig uses this argument, I figured I would take a stab at it. We are going to focus on the beginning of the argument before getting into the part about the cause needing to be both personal and timeless. So, here is the basic syllogism we are going to start with(as presented by Craig):

1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.

2. The universe began to exist.

3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.

In my attempt to refute this argument it is important to understand these fallacies:

The fallacy of equivocation- Equivocation ("to call by the same name") is classified as both a formal and informal logical fallacy. It is the misleading use of a term with more than one meaning or sense (by glossing over which meaning is intended at a particular time). It generally occurs with polysemic word. (

The fallacy of Composition-The fallacy of composition arises when one infers that something is true of the whole from the fact that it is true of some part of the whole (or even of every proper part)(

The fallacy of division-A fallacy of division occurs when one reasons logically that something true of a thing must also be true of all or some of its parts(

Now that we have clearly defined some fallacies we can begin our rebuttal of the KCA. The first thing we can point out is that, the argument may well be equivocating the universe as just another thing. A point was made by famous Christian philosopher,Alvin Plantinga, that the universe is just another thing. The universe is actually the set of all things. So, we can look at the universe this way. This rebuttal to me does not seem enough so we shall go a step further. Since now the universe is the set of all things, or all things are parts of the universe, we look at how the argument works. Premise 1, is obtained by using inductive reasoning to see that everything we observe that begins to exist has a cause. The problem here is that everything that we observe to begin to exist is a part of the universe. To then try and say that this means the universe must have a cause, is to attribute this characteristic of the parts of the universe to the parts. This by definition as we have seen is the fallacy of composition.

I have also heard other philosophers go the other direction. The universe is the matter and the energy that everything is made of, in other words the universe is just the parts that everything is made of. You then try to make argument work by making the attributes of the whole( the things made from matter and energy) to the matter and energy itself. If you look at the universe this way, by definition the argument has now committed the fallacy of division. Thinking about the argument this way can bring us to another problem.

That problem is this, everything that we have known to exist was caused by the rearranging of matter and energy. Which is a different kind of causation then to cause from ex nihilo, or from nothing. The argument equivocates the idea that causation follows the same rules for things that come from matter and energy and things that do not. These are too different categories of beginning to exist and you cannot draw conclusions about going from nothing to something, based on going from something to something different. This is fallacious thinking.

You may still be saying at this point, well something can't come from nothing, right? Well how do you know? What nothing have you ever seen? We have not ever observed nothing in the philosophical sense(not the physics sense) to draw any conclusions about what will or won't happen with nothing. That claim is not very justified. (this section I credit to an episode of the atheist experience from Tracy Harris).

So, now we have seen that the argument can't make it through the first part without being fallacious, but lets say for the sake of it that you still think that the universe has a cause. If we are drawing that conclusion from our experiences, in spite of that being fallacious, then you should come to the conclusion that the cause is non personal. Why inductive reasoning shows that the set of complex things caused by non personal causes, far outweighs the set of complex things created by personal causes. Here it is:

Set of things with no evidence of a personal cause(solar systems, planets,start, galaxies, comets, forests, plants, animals.....) > complex things made by design(man made things)

So, in conclusion we are forced to say that Kalams Cosmological argument fails to prove god on a number of different levels. The syllogism is fallacious in many ways, and even if the syllogism were sound the same type of inductive reasoning used to get us to the cause, can be used against it to say that the personal cause is unlikely.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Silly Baptisms

So, yesterday I was going through my facebook account and saw a picture of someone being baptized,a grown man. After a short deliberation about posting a comment I decided to post this: Im sorry but as someone who has studied religion extensively, seems somewhat silly to me, to recognize a man who didn't exist(not the way you think) by jumping in water. If you thik Im wrong for saying this, sorry, but I think the truth deserves a spot in our lives too. This would spark a fire storm of hate comments back. I feel this needs to be discussed. Lets take a look at what a baptism is about. It is about recognizing the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So here is the story: 2000 years ago a man was born of a virgin, walked around performing miracles, and was killed on a cross for all our sins. After this he would raise from the dead to prove he is the son of god and to head up to heaven to await us. Now, we flash forward 2000 years and this man supposedly is pleased with 2 grown men jumping in a giant bath together.(Also, apparently displeased that 2 other men may go into the wrong type of bathhouse together, at least according to a little read book about him, the bible). That is what they are telling me is the case and I say its silly and get jumped on. For the love of humanity, it is a scary place where I (in that post) am the only one who recognizes just how silly that really is. If you don't get how silly that is please just go back and read it again. In what other context would we not find this story amusing and silly? The reactions I got were to call me disrespectful, angry, ignorant and more. Lets take a second and pretend that what they had posted was not so blatantly silly, and place a little scenario without religion and see how this plays out. Lets say I have been on my facebook page and it is full of references to nutrition and medicine. I am a semi-expert on this topic and it is clear I read up about it and care a great deal about it from my posts. Lets then suppose the same person that posted the picture posts a picture of them and some new "medical" product that helps you sleep. I comment like this: Im sorry but as someone who studies medicine somewhat extensively, seems silly to me, that medicine does not work the way you think. I hardly doubt we would get nonsense comments about how angry I am, or ignorant. I would probably get inquisitions about why I think it is useless. Furthermore, if I then went onto quote top level doctors and their opinions I would not get a response of hate even further( I referenced many biblical scholars in the earlier post). I would not expect to hear nonsense like, any fool can read a book that just agrees with your opinion(not saying it definitely wouldn't happen, but its far less likely). I would get far more comments about re-evaluating the use of the medicine, especially if I also cited the harmful effects of it on you and others. It is truly sad that rational reasoning takes a backdoor for iron age mythology. It is truly a sad day to note that I even have to mention that this whole baptism thing is silly, let alone be the one left explaining myself.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ontological Argument debunked.

I am going to put this argument to bed here. So, we must first give a definition.

Maximally great being- a being in which none could be greater.

Now we have the actual argument, which I will present in its entirety and then break down the premises to show how it works. As presented by Plantinga:

1) It is possible that a maximally great being exists.
2) If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
3) If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then a maximally great being exists in every possible world.
4) If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.
5) If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.
6) Therefore maximally great being exists.

Ok so premise 1: 1) It is possible that a maximally great being exists.

It is important to note, that this is actual possibility, not perceived possibility. This will become important later. To explain this a little, it is possible that something could be perceived to be possible yet in actuality it is impossible. Therefore in order for this to work we need to know it is actually possible, or at least say it is likely to be possible. As of right now that seems ok.

Now onto premise 2) If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.

Possibility of existence naturally implies that in some possible world it exists. This may not be the real world but if it didn't exist in some possible world then it would be impossible, so this premise is good.

Onto Premise 3) If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then a maximally great being exists in every possible world.

The logic behind this appears to be that if a being could exist in all possible worlds then it would be greater then a being that only exists in some possible worlds. While I would agree, we could dispute that it is logically possible for a being to exist in every possible world. After all the point of changing god from the omni god to maximally great was to avoid paradoxes. Yet alas I will grant this premise. This means that the only way a maximally great being exists is if this is the set of possible universes:(M=Maximally great being)


in other words you could not have these sets:NM( no maximally great being)


or any variation that combines the two.

So now, we have a updated definition of Maximally great being:
Maximally great being: a being in which none could be greater that exists in every possible world.

We move onto premise 4) If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.

This is pretty basic, the actual world is a possible world so its obvious that if this being exists in every possible world it exists in the actual world.

Premise 5) If a maximally great being exists in the actual world, then a maximally great being exists.

Same thing here, anything that exists in the actual world exists. Obvious, no complaints.

6) Therefore maximally great being exists.

So obviously the conclusion follows if we get up to this point with all arguments being sound.

That is how the Ontological argument works;

This can appear very appealing to a theist and they think they have their proof. A closer look and we can see a problem. As Plantinga himself proposes we could define No Maximality. No Maximality is defined as: the property of being such that there is no maximally great being. Ok so onto the anti-ontological argument.

1. It is possible that a "no maximality" exists.
2. If it is possible that "no maximality exists", then a "no Maximality" exists in some possible world.
3. If a "no maximality" exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
4. If a "no maximality" exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
5. If a "no maximality" exists in the actual world, then no maximality exists.
6. Therefore, a "no maximality" exists.

Ok, so lets see if this argument works the same way.

1. It is possible that a "no maximality" exists.

Again, in order to know for sure that no maximality exists it must be actual possibility, not perceived possibility.

Premise 2. If it is possible that "no maximality exists", then a "no Maximality" exists in some possible world.

Same reasoning as for the original argument, if a no maximality possibly exists, that would mean it exists in some possible universe, otherwise it would be impossible.

Ont Premise 3. If a "no maximality" exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.

This is where the theist, usually whines and complains that no maximality has no requirement to exist in every possible universe. But, alas the theist has defined Maximally great being in such a way that yes it does. Once you have the first possible universe in your set as this:


We have already established through the theists own logic that a maximally great being would not exist in a set of universes that has a universe that contains its opposite. So therefore the only universe "No Maximality" can exist in is :


So based on the theists own reasoning and a little bit of reductio ad absurdum logic, which is as follows: A maximally great being cannot exist in all possible universes, yet not exist in a possible universe. That is breaking the law of non-contradiction.

Onto Premise 4. If a "no maximality" exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.

Same reasoning as for the previous argument.

Premises: 5. If a "no maximality" exists in the actual world, then no maximality exists.
6. Therefore, a "no maximality" exists.

as for 5 and 6 we then get there the same way.

So, as is now obvious both arguments get to their beings existing as long as the being is possible.

Analyzing the 2 sides now:

Now we must determine which is actually possible or at least probable. If the theist were to prove the maximally great being as probable, they would have to argue that their being was more likely then "no maximality." If they wanted to completely prove their god, they would be best suited to use reductio ad absurdum that no maximality is absurd. Now, I am not sure that we can reduce either side to absurdity with our knowledge now. So, at best we can say that it is 50/50 which being exists. I would argue though that it is far less then that.

The no maximality, is less restrictive on possible universes and also requires less assumptions. Currently we don't know of any Maximally great beings, so assuming one is possible is one more assumption. Also it seems that a maximally great being would have a certain impact on universes that would restrict the possible universes. As the logical construct of Occam's razor says, all things being equal the idea that requires the least assumptions and is the least restrictive is preferred.

I would also argue that a maximally great being is pretty well defeated by the problem of evil, as long as you take the assumption that it would be greater to stop suffering, then it is to let it happen. There does not appear to be any logical inconsistency with stopping suffering. Therefore it appears to me, once we look at this, No maximality actually has a greater probability then a Maximally great being. Good Night ontological argument.