A little wisdom from an old man

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
I thought this was a pretty good rebuttal of many standard atheist points by a professor of mathematics at Oxford University:


And any CARM atheist is of course free to put Hitchens' rebuttal up, but as a side note, doesn't Lennox look like a relatively jolly fellow in contrast to Hitchens' usual surly demeanor? Reckon maybe their beliefs have something to do with that? (I apologize for the dumb title and childish shopped graphics added at the very beginning. That was not my doing.)
 
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stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
What counts is why you think it, the reasons for which you haven't given.

What "counts?" Are you keeping score? If I do decide to play, I'll need some clarification on the rules. Why I think "it?" What's the antecedent of "it?" Why I think the old guy said some wise stuff? Uh, OK: Because I agree with him and have nothing to say in disagreement. Your turn: Do YOU have anything to say in disagreement?
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
What "counts?" Are you keeping score? If I do decide to play, I'll need some clarification on the rules. Why I think "it?" What's the antecedent of "it?" Why I think the old guy said some wise stuff? Uh, OK: Because I agree with him and have nothing to say in disagreement. Your turn: Do YOU have anything to say in disagreement?
Ok, so you agree with him, but you haven't given any reason as to why what Lennox said was a good rebuttal of many standard atheist points.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
Ok, so you agree with him, but you haven't given any reason as to why what Lennox said was a good rebuttal of many standard atheist points.

So I am somehow required to give a reason as to why I think Lennox successfully rebutted Hitchens? OK. That's because I thought he made good arguments. In fact, they were so good that nothing I could add would make them better. If you disagree, tell me what you think he said that was flawed, and why you think it was flawed.
 

The Pixie

Well-known member
So I am somehow required to give a reason as to why I think Lennox successfully rebutted Hitchens? OK. That's because I thought he made good arguments. In fact, they were so good that nothing I could add would make them better. If you disagree, tell me what you think he said that was flawed, and why you think it was flawed.
Which was his best argument, do you think? If you think they are all equally goof, or cannot decide, can you just give one as an example that you think it a good argument?

In fact, can you give us anything to indicate you actually understood what they were talking about it?

If you can, we can have a discussion about the content of the video. If you cannot, well I guess we can just have one side saying Lennox won and the other side saying Hitchens won for seventeen pages.

Oh, and Hitchens won, by the way.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
The religious guy came prepared to rebut atheism and appeared to have the stronger arguments although he fibbed at one point which I will quote word for word below. The atheists whole argument boiled down to the creator being bad for allowing so much suffering in the world, which has merit. But notice the atheists argument does not disprove a creator but only suggests he is imperfect if he exists at all. The atheist therefore erroneously concludes God does not exist.

The religious guy passes over the atheist’s argument and completely ignores his point that the creator allowed so much suffering in the world and instead focuses on the moral consciousness of good humans being of the Good God. And that moral consciousness is doing good things with science. Never mentions the suffering that occurred during evolutionary processes. This is when the religious guy tells a lie using sophistry, lots of words to throw up a smoke screen. Here is what he says but notice his conclusion that Darwin is wrong does not follow logically the assumption. This is his attempt to mislead the audience to reject evolution in order to counter the atheists sole point, that is, evolution caused suffering.

The new atheist offer no ground for the faith that they themselves cannot do without. After all if human life has been cobbled together by mindless unguided processes why should we trust our cognitive faculties and the validity of any belief that they produce atheism and science included. John Grey gets it exactly right. Modern humanism is the faith though science human kind can know the truth and so be free. But if Darwins theory of natural selection is true, this is impossible, the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth! This reduces all rationality to zero. Far from atheism being great it seems to me that it is irrational anti-scientific and incoherent even though emotionally its proponents seem unable to take this on board.
What?! He asserts, “If natural selection is true…all rationality is reduced to zero.” Again, What is this nonsense he spouts? The fact is, If natural selection is true, then rationality is increased by it. It is obvious the religious guy has no idea what he is talking about but he needs to overturn evolution because the very fact of it impugns the creator for unnecessary suffering. To his credit the religious guy later admits that he does not know all the mysteries but he does believe in a good God rising in the moral conscious of humans.

What both sides of the argument fail to perceive is a bad “God of this world” (2 cor 4:4) which reconciles each side of the argument. A bad creator or demiurge of the material world explains unnecessary ignorance and suffering in evolutionary processes and the rising moral consciousness explains the Good God, namely, the “spirit of Jesus“ bringing order to creation.

The debate highlights the strenghts and weaknesses of both sides but there is a middle ground where the strengths of both arguments surpass the weaknesses of both arguments. A good God exists in humans who is opposed to the bad god in humans. Not till this material world is returned to the good God IN TOTAL will it become perfect again.

”For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.​
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members [my flesh] another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:18)…that is, the rising moral consciousness in humanity!​
 
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stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
Which was his best argument, do you think? If you think they are all equally goof, or cannot decide, can you just give one as an example that you think it a good argument?

I particularly like what I've also heard C.S. Lewis mention, i.e. how if human life has been cobbled together by mindless unguided and random processes, we therefore have no reason to trust any cognitive faculties that produce any resulting atheistic thoughts.

In fact, can you give us anything to indicate you actually understood what they were talking about it?

What did he specifically say that you would think is difficult to understand? Let me know and I'll try to dumb it down just for you to help you understand.

If you can, we can have a discussion about the content of the video. If you cannot, well I guess we can just have one side saying Lennox won .......

What would he have won? I didn't hear anything about a prize being offered.

Oh, and Hitchens won, by the way.

Which was his best argument, do you think? If you think they are all equally goof, or cannot decide, can you just give one as an example that you think it a good argument?
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
What?! He asserts, “If natural selection is true…all rationality is reduced to zero.” Again, What is this nonsense he spouts? The fact is, If natural selection is true, then rationality is increased by it. It is obvious the religious guy has no idea what he is talking about but he needs to overturn evolution because the very fact of it impugns the creator for unnecessary suffering.

I seriously doubt that the "religious guy" does not believe in evolution, and wants to "overturn" it (STRAW!). His demeaning of NATURAL selection is probably due to his belief in SUPERNATURAL selection.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I seriously doubt that the "religious guy" does not believe in evolution, and wants to "overturn" it (STRAW!). His demeaning of NATURAL selection is probably due to his belief in SUPERNATURAL selection.
I am only going by what he said. I know nothing personally about the man. He is “religious guy” to me. But if I were to guess: a religious professor or minister ignorant of evolution based solely on his comments, only because the people opposing evolution are always religious people ignorant of science. It is a disease in religion, —an infection or cancer of the mind to prefer myths and superstitions over evidence and reason.

He would have been better served by saying, “I do not know why there is so much suffering in the world, even if evolution is true, but I believe in a good God bringing order to it, working to save it and us with it.”

If evolution is the mechanism for us and we are the mechanism for good then evolution ultimately is a mechanism for good. To deny it is to deny oneself and any good in the universe.
 
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stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
I am only going by what he said. I know nothing personally about the man. He is “religious guy” to me. But if I were to guess:

You probably shouldn't be guessing.

a religious professor or minister ignorant of evolution based solely on his comments,

What comment did he make that leads you to believe that you have a better understanding of evolution than the "religious guy," i.e. the Oxford professor of mathematics? What would you say to him if you could meet him to set him straight?
 

Whatsisface

Well-known member
I particularly like what I've also heard C.S. Lewis mention, i.e. how if human life has been cobbled together by mindless unguided and random processes, we therefore have no reason to trust any cognitive faculties that produce any resulting atheistic thoughts.
The mistake Lewis and Lennox makes then is to think evolution is unguided and totally random. It isn't.

Also, taking their argument to it's logical conclusion, they can't have any reason to trust their thoughts If not trusting thoughts is on the table as a possibility. You can never know if your thoughts are trustworthy or not as atheism could be true and so all thoughts are untrustworthy.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
You probably shouldn't be guessing.



What comment did he make that leads you to believe that you have a better understanding of evolution than the "religious guy," i.e. the Oxford professor of mathematics? What would you say to him if you could meet him to set him straight?
Evolution as a means of biologic diversity is settled in science due to all the different branches of science producing results that support it. Math has very little to do with the biologic sciences. So if he is an Oxford professor of math then he should trust his science colleagues with regards to evolution and stop trying to mislead others in rejecting evolution.

By the way, I stand by my observation that religious people are the only ones opposed to evolution whether they be oxford mathematicians or not. Of course, not all theists are opposed to evolution, myself included.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
Evolution as a means of biologic diversity is settled in science due to all the different branches of science producing results that support it. Math has very little to do with the biologic sciences. So if he is an Oxford professor of math then he should trust his science colleagues with regards to evolution and stop trying to mislead others in rejecting evolution.

Please show me where he said that we should reject evolution. I think the "religious guy" probably believes that God orchestrated evolution.
 

stiggy wiggy

Well-known member
Evolution as a means of biologic diversity is settled in science due to all the different branches of science producing results that support it. Math has very little to do with the biologic sciences. So if he is an Oxford professor of math then he should trust his science colleagues with regards to evolution and stop trying to mislead others in rejecting evolution.

By the way, I stand by my observation that religious people are the only ones opposed to evolution whether they be oxford mathematicians or not. Of course, not all theists are opposed to evolution, myself included.

Genesis 1:24:

And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

Sounds like the Bible teaches evolution with an intelligent Mind orchestrating it.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Please show me where he said that we should reject evolution. I think the "religious guy" probably believes that God orchestrated evolution.
I already quoted what he said in post #9. He appears to oppose natural selection.

But if Darwins theory of natural selection is true, this is impossible, the human mind serves evolutionary success, not truth! This reduces all rationality to zero.”
 
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