The Atheist Experience – First Debate with Matt Dillahunty – Why I am not an Atheist

On Friday the 7th I went into the Premier Studios in London and recorded two shows with Matt Dillahunty from ‘The Atheist Experience’.  I was not really looking forward to it – Matt does a kind of atheist apologetic that I actually find distasteful.  It is mocking, self congratulatory, smug and superior.  Anyway recording the two shows was a tough experience and a spiritual battle.  I know I did not get everything right, but what really fascinates me is the reaction to the shows.  By any standard Matt made a mess of the first one – he contradicted himself, failed to offer answers and left me gasping with wonder at the poverty, hopelessness and irrationality of his atheist philosophy. It was a total wipe out.  Cringeworthingly embarrassing for any respectable atheist!    I came away strangely encouraged – not because I ‘won’ the debate (that is too often a subjective perception) – but because once again Christianity stood up to one of its fiercest critics and walked away rejoicing in the truth of Jesus.

When I said ‘by any standard’, that wasn’t strictly true – by the standard of the New Fundamentalist Atheists, I was obnoxious, horrible, rude, ignorant and totally beaten into the ground by the nice, gracious, brilliant Matt!  The posts and e-mails I have received telling me that I am going to atheist hell are quite astonishing.  Perhaps nothing illustrates more the emotional investment that some people have in their atheism (there is no God and I hate him) and the intellectual disconnect that results.  Of course they may be right – maybe I am the deluded one! – I will leave you to judge…..here is the link for the debate:

http://www.premier.org.uk/unbelievable

Or you can get the MP3 here –

Apparently those links are not now working – you can get both here – http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Why-I-am-not-an-atheist-David-Robertson-vs-Matt-Dillahunty-Unbelievable

I wonder if it is of any significance that Matt has so far not put any link to the debate in his tweets or website?  Or maybe he was just too busy mocking those dumb Christians at the conference he was at?!

95 thoughts on “The Atheist Experience – First Debate with Matt Dillahunty – Why I am not an Atheist

  1. I agree. He didn’t come out of the debate looking too good. Some of his arguments were very childish e.g. Hitler was a Christian

    1. Hitler was a Catholic/Christian. He clearly states in “Mein Kampf” that he was doing *god’s work*!
      Read *his own words*!:

      _We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity; in fact our movement is *Christian*._
      – Adolf Hitler, 1928

      The Nazi uniforms said “Gott mit Uns” (God is with us), look at all the photos of Hitler going to church, leaving church, priests doing the Nazi salute and so on.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=Hitler+church&hs=dKL&channel=fs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&
      If you still think that the Nazis had anything to do with atheism, you are just blind and hopelessly brainwashed.
      The Pope was one of Hitler’s biggest supporters. The Vatican celebrated Hitler’s birthday, until his death.
      As much as you would like to revise history, all the evidence *overhelmingly* disagrees with you.
      http://www.anorak.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Hitler-and-church-21.jpg
      No to mention the age-old, primarily religion-based hatred against Jews…
      Sorry, dude, this thing was in *your team*!
      You can try to deny evidence and try to twist things, but at some point, you’ll just look stupid.

      1. Oh dear – the internet atheists strike again. Always the same arguments – also the same Hitler quotes – always from people who have no idea of context and have never actually read any Hitler. I love the last sentence of your post – because the last thing you are interested in, is evidence. If it interests you at all, my degree was in history with my specialist subject being Weimar Germany and the rise of Nazism. I have read Hitlers, writing, speeches etc and that of many of his associates. He was not even remotely a Christian….but hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your prejudice!

      2. Oh dear….another Hitler expert! Where do you get your information? How do you know this? And why do you think a politician in a Lutheran and Catholic country would answer yes to such a question?

  2. When I think of the kind of militancy expressed, one side of me thinks that it must be a dying breed. On only after all has to look throughout history to see “lights” the burn brightly for a season then die out. Yet then another side of me realises that what makes “good TV” and fills newspaper column inches is confrontation and controversy.

    I fall way short in any ability in comparison to others to be able to engage in such environments. And so from the sideline I observe. And what I see in the midst of miltant egoism and mutual rucking like a pair of stags is this. Both sides of whatever argument need each other to maintain their media presence. And that eventually sense kicks in when either side begins to lose respect of their peers and any one individual has the awareness and discernment to realise that and do something about it.

    I think of Dawkins and I wonder has he maintained the status within society that he once had? Now I’m picking on Dawkins but I could say similar for any figure theist atheist or agnostic. Claiming that debating with William Laine Craig would not look good on his c.v. but would look good on Craigs earned him the reputation of cowardice among his Oxbridge peers. Dawkins was defeated by Ronan Willaims in debate as well.

    I could go on and just as easily mention Christian figures who though attaining greatness have nevertheless been just as flawed, but I do not wish to risk offending my brothers and sisters in Christ in doing so.

    So where doe this leave us. We all are like mist, here today and gone tomorrow. Life is short and my increasing years tell me. Any yet we are wonderfully and amazingly made. You reading this are amazing, do you know that?

    And throughout the last 2000 years, the gospel of good news has survived – funny how that has happened hey?

    1. I don’t think there’s anything funny at all regarding the survival of the “good news” . . . it was perpetuated largely by threats of violence, actual violence, coercion, indoctrination of children, imposition of Christian ideals on government and just plain bullying. Not funny at all. Only after religious institutions established a position of authority and tradition by the above means have they been able to present an image of benevolence.

      1. Are you seriously denying the inquisitions since 1250? the indoctrination? the threat of hell fire to kids? the religious persecution over centuries of other sects and religions . If so , there is no hope for you. You are are better off saying yes, they were ugly episodes from my fellow believers and distance yourself from them less you seem an apologist for those actions.

  3. David, I really admire your courage in what could not have been an easy discussion. It was clear very early on that it was not going to be a nice, gentle chat. You got him bang to rights on the well-being issue and pinned him down on many more points. His design argument revealed itself to be very flawed under your scrutiny. Well done. I’m hoping to come up to Dundee to hear you preach sometime this year and listening to you debating this morning has made me all the more determined to make it soon.
    Gordon

    1. This is a self congratulatory smug Christian website. David, I remember you saying in a previous Unbelievable show that you had been ill. Listening to you against Matt Dilahunty made me think that your illness was probably mental. Theists like yourself have no way of justifying your belief in an invisible deity and that the bible is his divine word. Yet, you are always asserting that the Athiest view is an absurd or unbelievable one. And if it can’t be true, then the belief in a fairy story is the only viable option. Yeah right, the bloody Christian one, and all other comers have obvious faults to them. That’s what’s known as madness. Matt Dilahunty did a good job on you and you know it. Convince me that your God and your God only, is the one and only that exists. And all this muck at the end of your page on this website? Ha ha! ‘I believe in the one God that has been revealed to me’ etc etc. Walking through London chuffed with how much your debate with Dilahunnty proves the bible is the inherent revealed word of God eh? As I say, mental illness.

  4. Just listening to it now.

    I do wonder about the value of such debates. Having recently returned, or re found, my faith having been a sort of agnostic or atheist for a while, it does seem to me that its more about knowledge than faith. I know that certain things are true. I can’t prove them by any argument of logic. Even if I could it would not make them true for other people.

    This does seem to be the biggest difference between Christianity and other religions: it is based on a person rather than a creed or where you happen to be born. Its also a journey which is why Jesus said “follow me”.

    I think what people like Matt are objecting to is a Christianity which is certain about everything and has no room for wonder. I used to be that kind of Christian. I am not now, but I am also not a liberal because I think you have to take the bible seriously if you are going to get the message from it.

  5. David,

    Within the first few minutes you showed your level of ability – when Matt explained why your argument from design was flawed and you completely misunderstood his point and came out with some garbled account about him having said we couldn’t know what was real without comparison. (For those who missed the programme Matt was saying that you can only recognise design if you have something NOT designed to compare it with.)

    Stiil, at least we can agree on this: it would be inappropriate for you to claim that you won the debate.

    1. Thanks for the constructive post! I did not misunderstand Matts point. His view that the only things that exist are things he can recognise because he can compare them with others was astonishing. As was his ‘science of the gaps’ argument – when he said that there could be a fourth option to the existence of matter. He could not say what it was but it allowed him to reject the other three. As a basis for science it was spectacular. As for winning the debate. Yes – it was a clear win. I was really surprised that Matt did not offer more opposition. If you have any doubt about how bad he lost – just ask why he has not retweeted, or featured the debate on any of his links?

      1. David,

        Please provide a verbatim quote from Matt where he says that “the only things that exist are things he can recognise because he can compare them with other things.” I have listened to that section of the debate again and nowhere does he say that.

        He did not reject the three options which you put forward re the existence of matter. He asked you to argue for why your list was exhaustive and to provide your reason for the truth of the one you had selected. Very different thing.

        I don’t know why Matt hasn’t provided a link and I don’t care. I don’t follow his links (although I do follow his programme as a podcast) so I don’t know if this is a break from his normal practice or not. Either way, it’s not important. What is important is whether you did win as you (do now) claim. Matt’s perception of his own performance (even if we were able to draw any reliable inferences about it from the absence of links) is neither here nor there. A person can be deluded by believing that they have performed poorly when they have performed well or by believing that they have performed well when they have performed badly.

      2. No verbatim quote….it is my summary of his positio which is that unless we can compare it with something then we cannot say that it exists. He said that there was a fourth option but he could not say what it was. It is a word game which is meaningless. Lets try it this way. Option 1 – There is One Almighty Omniscient God Option 2 – There is no Almighty Omniscient God. Ah – says Matt – there might be an option 3 – we don’t know what it is, but we can’t say there isn’t so we don’t have to accept either. You see how you can do that for anything and thus create a world where logic, language and truth actually have no meaning. Matt in effect has made himself God of his own universe and given himself permission to dismiss or belief whatever he wants without any evidence.

      3. If it is an accurate summary and not a straw man then you will be able to quote his verbatim words which show that it is indeed his position. You will not be able to quote any verbatim words to show that it is his position because it is NOT his position. I’ve heard Matt use that argument many times. He only uses it in relation to the argument from design and it is specific to design and not to reality.

        However, if you are not willing to back up your claim, then I ask any of your readers to back it up. I challenge anyone on this site to produce any evidence from the debate which shows that Matt has argued that one cannot know what is real unless there is something else to compare it to.

      4. >I agree that Matt is not specific to reality!

        So this is your glib, flippant response to my attempt to engage you in serious debate? Shame on you, David. Shame on you.

        I have listened to the debate and heard exactly what Matt said. Better than that, I *understood* what he said. David, I earnestly recommend that *you* listen to the debate. Actually listen. In fact, I recommend that everyone who follows this blog listens to it. If they have any critical thinking skills at all they will be able to see how you straw-manned.

        But don’t take my word for it. Take David’s lack of words. He has refused every invitation to give a verbatim quote to prove what he claims Matt said. This from someone who says that Matt’s failure to post a link to the debate is proof that Matt thought he’d lost. Given his failure to make even the beginnings of an argument for his interpretation of Matt’s point I think we can all safely assume that he knows that that he went wrong but he does not have the honesty to admit it.

        But my challenge still stands. Please listen to the debate and as David won’t defend himself, if there is any rational defence for his claim that Matt said that in order to recognise what is real we had to be able to compare it with something then please post it.

      5. I see. You are trying to engage in ‘serious debate’? So far it consists of you saying give a verbatim quote. Given that I linked to the full debate, I don’t need to. But if you need it Matt stated – “design is recognised by contrast against something that is naturally occurring”. It sounds profound but it is meaningless. Everything we recognise is by recognised by contrast against something that is naturally occurring – given that we are the ones doing the recognising. However why should design (or reality) just be limited to what we recognise? The bible itself points out that we can learn about God from the design that he created, both in nature and within us. Matt seemed to think this was some killer point – that we had nothing to contrast creation to, so his point was????

        Its there for everyone to listen to. Matt stated that because we had nothing to compare the start of the universe to, then we could not say what it was….it is a bizarre and weird attempt at pseudo-philosophy….if you wish to engage in ‘serious debate’ then please feel free to try this – respond to this earlier point which you completely ignored, “Option 1 – There is One Almighty Omniscient God Option 2 – There is no Almighty Omniscient God. Ah – says Matt – there might be an option 3 – we don’t know what it is, but we can’t say there isn’t so we don’t have to accept either. You see how you can do that for anything and thus create a world where logic, language and truth actually have no meaning. Matt in effect has made himself God of his own universe and given himself permission to dismiss or belief whatever he wants without any evidence.”…

        I find it somewhat amusing that you think that Matt won this debate. He came out with philosophic mumbo jumbo to try to avoid the obvious questions about the creation of matter, he completely contradicted himself on morality, abortion and killing, he got Hitler et al completely wrong – I think he did much better in the second one which I will also post here. But of course you have a pre-supposition that atheists alone have the truth then you will go with your own flow…

      6. David,

        Thank you for finally giving a response to the actual question.

        The quote you give is not meaningless. If the universe shows evidence of design, where do we find lack of design so that we know what that looks like and know that the universe is different? Paley, you will recall, used the example of a stone compared to a watch. The stone (he claimed) was obviously not designed whereas the watch unmistakeably was. It was the contrast between the two which enabled him to draw the inference. But in Paley’s worldview, the stone must also have been designed. So he was walking through a field of watches, on a world of watches inside a universe of watches.

        You used the same argument yourself when you talked about “I love you” being spelt out in sea shells. We all know that that is evidence of design BECAUSE WE ARE ABLE TO COMPARE IT WITH WHAT WE SEE NORMALLY IN NATURE WHICH DOESN’T SHOW THAT EVIDENCE OF DESIGN. If the sea shore you are walking along is in fact designed by God, why would “I love you” spelt out in sea shells look any different to anything else you find in nature, which is all (in your view) intelligently designed?

        “The Bible itself points out….” This is question-begging and an argument from authority.
        “I find it somewhat amusing….” Argument from incredulity.
        “You have a presupposition….” Ad Hominem.
        Are you playing “fallacy bingo”?

        Matt did not talk about comparing the start of the universe to anything else. He did say that we should be prepared to accept that the honest answer to some questions (including the Origin of the universe) is “I don’t know”.

        I didn’t answer your earlier 2 options argument because it was another straw man. It was not actually canvassed during the debate although there was some discussion on the question of how many options there could be for the beginning of the universe. I have already dealt with how you misrepresented Matt’s arguments on that subject.

        But as you now wish to have an answer to your 2 Options point, let me deal with it. Option 1 and option 2 are mutually exclusive. There is no third option. But if you ask: Which is true? Option 1 or Option 2 there is a third *answer* which is to say “I don’t know”. Let me give you an analogy:
        Option 1- I am writing this while sitting out in my garden
        Option 2 – I am not writing this while sitting out in my garden

        Only one of those can be true and there is no third option. So which is it? What’s your answer David? You must have one.

      7. I find it amusing that you think I did not understand Matt’s somewhat convoluted pseudo-philosophy. And even funnier that you completely miss the point in your last post. Let me show you how Matt operates using your own argument. Option 1 – I am writing this while sitting in my garden. Option 2 – I am not writing this while sitting in my garden. I agree that those are the only two options….but Matt would say…no, how can you say that? how can you be so arrogant? Why can’t you be humble like me and say there might be a third option that we don’t know?! 1) Matter is eternal 2) Matter is not eternal and self-created out of nothing 3)matter was created out of nothing by God. SO there might be a fourth? What is it? Is there any degree of logic in that at all?!

  6. Surely this comment thread shows just how far these ‘debates’ are,for most participants, simply a dialogue of the deaf. That is not to say they shouldn’t be done, but the likely impact is fairly small.

  7. Some statements identify a limited number of options which are exhaustive of all logical possibilities. E.g “Either I am writing this while sitting in my garden or I am not writing this while sitting in my garden.” Another example was the gumball machine Matt gave in Part 2. Either the number of gumballs is odd or it’s even. Those 2 options are exhaustive. There is no 3rd option. BUT, as I tried to explain to you before, if you are asked which of those 2 options is correct, you are not obliged to plump for one or other of those options. It is a perfectly legitimate response to say “I don’t know”.

    So, either God did create the universe or he didn’t. No disagreement from me there. If there are no persuasive arguments to show that he did, then subject to arguments positively going the other way, we would have to say we don’t know whether he did or not. (I think there are arguments going the other way, but I’m not going to complicate matters by going into them here).

    The issue is, is your 3 option proposition about matter an exhaustive list of all the possibilities or does it create a false “trichotomy”? That was the first limb of Matt’s challenge. Let’s look at it:

    1. “Matter is eternal.” That’s an option and it’s not one that can be completely discounted on the basis of the Big Bang model. See this link:

    http://www.einstein-online.info/spotlights/avoiding_the_big_bang

    2. “Matter is not eternal and self-created out of nothing.” That introduces a concept (“self-created”) which is not a necessary part of the non-theist case. Why have you excluded the possibility that matter came into existence spontaneously? But, OK, lets say that that’s just a difference of terminology and that your “self-created” is intended to include spontaneous beginning.

    3. “Matter is not eternal and was created by God out of nothing.” Your case is that this is the only remaining option if we dismiss the first 2. But it isn’t. Here are some other options:

    4. Matter is not eternal and was created by an impersonal force.
    5. Matter is not eternal and was created by a finite being.
    6. Matter is not eternal and was created by a non-benevolent being.

    These are all valid alternatives. They cannot be rejected without further argument. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of William Lane Craig, the man who has forged a career out of apologetics with the Kalam Cosmological argument as his flagship argument. He does not claim that the KCA can prove God. He limits its scope to the much more modest one of proving a cause. He concedes that he needs to argue further to try to establish that the cause is a personal being and specifically God:
    “Given the truth of premisses (1) and (2), it logically follows that (3) the universe has a cause of its existence. In fact, I think that it can be plausibly argued that the cause of the universe must be a personal Creator.”

    If WLC, the foremost modern champion of the KCA puts it no higher than that if there was a creator then “it can plausibly be argued” that that creator was personal, then I think that you should at least pause for thought before claiming more than he does for the argument.

    So, you said there could not possibly be more that 3 options. I have identified 3 further possibilities. I could have gone on, but I think this is enough. You have given no reasons for why your 1 out 6 choice is better than the other 5.

    You think that you have climbed the mountain. David, you haven’t even left base camp.

    1. Thats better. But if you listen to the debate you will find out that I don’t disagree with the above. And Matt did not cite any of these (although I gave him the opportunity). I stated that there were three – matter is eternal , matter was created, or matter self-created. I stated that Paul Davies argues there are nine but they are essentially variations of the three. Matt’s position was that there was or could a fourth that we did not know. I just simply wanted to know what it could be outwith those three – it is a ludicrous as saying a) I wrote this in the garden or b) I did not write this in the garden but there could be an unknown c). I was not surprised that Matt does not accept God created (his faith of course would not allow that). I was surprised that he defended his position by denying that the three I listed above were the only ones and refused to suggest (as you correctly have) what they might be. Next time don’t be so quick to assume that those who disagree with you are ignorant.

      1. +theweeflea, you argue against the idea of the unknown third option without understanding what it is. It is not a claim that there is a third option, it is the claim that there is the potential for a third unknown option. To argue that an unknown third option can only exist if you know what it is is ridiculous.

        I could say, for example, that either you have stopped raping small children or you have not stopped raping them. I hope you wouldn’t agree with either option. The problem with the choice is that the presupposition inherent in the statement (that you *have* raped small children) is, hopefully, not valid.

        Your statement that the universe is either eternal or it began to exist has an unknown third option(s), particularly surrounding our definition of exist (also of the term universe). Existence is necessarily temporal, the entire concept of existence without a temporal dimension may be nonsensical and neither option listed is valid. We have no understanding of existence absent a temporal dimension so we can make no presuppositions on it. The correct answer may be a third option because the first two options may not be valid or even make sense.

  8. The debate was just another example of a Christian apologist using bullying tactics, straw man arguments, and red herrings, and dodging questions. This blog post is more of the same. “It is mocking, self congratulatory, smug and superior.” Funny, I felt that you exhibited each one of these traits during the debate, to the point that I got so disgusted I had to take a break from it. Matt was being very gracious with you, much more than I would be. “Cringeworthingly embarrassing for any respectable atheist!” Here’s some of that bullying tactic I mentioned. It’s the Bill O’Reilly approach to “winning” a debate. “I came away strangely encouraged” Oh wow, you mean someone in a debate kept the same opinion that they started with? That must mean you both won!

    Here’s where you really show your churlishness: “I wonder if it is of any significance that Matt has so far not put any link to the debate in his tweets or website? Or maybe he was just too busy mocking those dumb Christians at the conference he was at?!” So if Matt’s number one priority is not writing mocking, self-congratulatory, smug and superior blog posts about every radio debate he has, that MUST mean that he was humiliated by the results, huh? It seems like you are very concerned about Matt, and he has already forgotten you.

    You are the epitome of a shady, underhanded apologist. I really don’t know how Matt has the patience to deal with so many of you guys so often. In light of the previous paragraph, you do realize you are just another parrot apologist for Matt, right? He talks to snake oil salesmen like you all the time. Perhaps this was a hugely significant debate for you. For Matt, it was another day. Get. Over. Yourself.

    Now please, let’s go on a tangent about Nazi Germany and Hitler, because that is so very important and relevant to Christianity and atheism.

    1. Thanks for your heartening and encouraging comments! Apart from the name calling I notice that you don’t give one example from the actual debate of a straw man, red herring etc. Please feel free to do so.

  9. Listened to this after reading your afterthoughts on the debate. I got to be honest your were massively gracious and at the same time really called him to account (notably on the subject of evil – segway into hitler, abortion and weimar/nazi germany). Don’t get too discouraged I’ve seen segments of atheist shows (Magic Sandwich etc.) that make your ‘robust’ engagement (which I don’t think is unchristian) look positively tame.

  10. I thought David did a good job on the debate although I do think I go away from these debates always feeling slightly like nothing meaty has been concluded, there are lots of massive issues discussed for a short period of time. I do agree that saying you have won is maybe a bit objective on what your goal is, i.e. is winning showing you have a more convincing argument or is winning bringing him closer to God. Unfortunately I think it is very hard to ‘win’ debates when there are two people in fundamental positions. I do have a lot of respect for you going up against someone who comes across as quite pleasant on the show but mocks Christians. I think it has shown me the importance of knowing your bible and only commenting on areas that you have studied.

  11. Your post is the reason Atheists will (and should) win, and religion won’t.

    Summary of your post:
    I wasn’t excited about the debate because I hate Matt. Matt was a total jerk, and is a jerk. I feel like Christianity won. Atheists like Matt irrationally hate me, and God.

    My response:
    Why didn’t you mention any arguments that were made against, or for, the existence of God? Weren’t any of Matt’s points worth mentioning? Were any of yours? Why is this a diatribe about how poor li’l old you was ganged up on by the big bad atheist regime? If you believe the TRUTH, you are necessarily able to demonstrate that it is so. If you aren’t, then you have no basis on which to claim your belief is the truth. If your explanation isn’t present here, and it isn’t present in the debate… I am unable to come to any conclusion other than that your position isn’t tenable.
    —-
    An aside. I just watched a youtube video about guns. They have created a software enhanced sniper rifle that allows individuals with only cursory training on firearms to accurately hit a target from 1000 feet or meters away or something crazy. They use a laser to target the optimal point, and when the trigger is depressed, it waits to fire until the shot is perfectly lined up, and then executes. It’s precise. If humans on the whole don’t ditch the bullshit of religion (logical fallacies), we will very quickly descend into a chasm of horror, that your are presently digging,

    1. And your post is a great example of NFA (New Atheist Fundamentalism)….Your summary of the debate is completely wrong (but then NFAs never let facts get in the way) – I do not hate Matt, I don’t really know him but what I do know actually makes me quite like him.

      And I mentioned lots of arguments – hence the links to the two shows in which we discussed them and much of which I transcribed in the comments. And I was not stating ‘poor little ol me’. In fact I actually felt quite sorry for Matt because he took such a hammering (which is why so many NFAs wrote in furiously complaining about my rudeness rather than engaging with the arguments).

      Your last paragraph is weird and self-contradictory. Quite what religion has to do with the invention of more accurate guns is beyond me. Only in the weird irrational mind of the NFA is there any link! Science does some wonderful things for us (including inventing wonderful new weapons). Christianity provides us with reasons not to use them. Your atheist philosophy provides no reasons at all – after all killing another human being is ultimately just getting rid of a blob of carbon which is moving from one meaningless existence to another.

      Get real, start thinking and come into the real world, out of your irrational atheist fantasy!

  12. The reason I don’t believe is because the Bible is so flawed it’s unbelievable, and this God of the Bible has such an inferiority complex that it needs to be worshiped and if you don’t believe in him by faith he’ll throw you in the pit of hell for the rest of eternity. I believe that is the most evil thing an entity can do to its creation or anyone, I really don’t know if there is a God or not, because I don’t know but this God of the Bible is an impostor, a true God would be much more different than this God.

    1. Johann – you really think you are in a position to determine what God should be like? You make statements like the bible is so flawed its unbelievable, and yet you don’t name one flaw. Please feel free to do so. I have been studying the bible professionally for over 30 years and have yet to find one flaw! Lots of things I am uncomfortable with, lots of things I may not like, but not one flaw – unless you are going to define as a flaw the things we don’t like.

  13. Hi David

    To begin I’d like to say thank you for having a debate with Matt, I while away many an hour online listening to these debates and this was far from the worst I’ve heard.

    A few things I would note however.

    To say Matt is arrogent is not far from the truth and I imagine he’d not argue too hard against that point. But please tell me how does this arrogence affect the truth (or lies) of his arguements? i.e. is it germaine to the conversation in any way?

    Given that I as an atheist did not feel compelled to alter my opinion in any way then could you explain how this debate was a win for you?

    Isn’t it more than a little presumptious too state Matt’s intentions for actions he has or has not taken?

    Also having watched Matts debates in the past he has conceded “defeat” in debates where he feels he has not adequatley made his points so why would he not be willing to do so if that were the case hear?

    Have you ever conceded defeat in any debate? If so when and if not then why not? is it because you’ve never been wrong or that your ego could possibley be getting in the way?

    I understand that some of these comments may be offensive and I apologise if they are. It is not my intention to offend but mearly hold a mirror up to some of your statements and show you perhaps how your words appear to the people reading them.

    1. Lewis,

      Thanks for your helpful comments.

      You are correct – arrogance does not take away from the truth. And I would not expect you to alter your opinion – life is not as simple as that! Yes – I have conceded defeat in a debate – often I don’t know and sometimes it is clear that someone has won. I actually don’t do that many debates and it is not really about winning or losing. And your comments are not offensive at all…

  14. Hi David,
    My perception of the debate’s performance -not the arguments- is that Matt was superior in the first third of the debate. His challenges to your arguments were valid and your responses not entirely effective. I think the second third of the debate was clearly for you. Raising the abortion issue left him dumbfounded, which it’s kind of strange, because he could have simply say something like: “if being pro-choice was really inconsistent with an ethical system grounded on human well-being, it would only show I hold contradiction, not that the ethical system I defend holds a contradiction.” The thing about Hitler and the Nazis was irrelevant to the discussion but I think you did very well there. The last third I would say it was more or less a tie.
    Anyway, good job for both of you and thank you again.
    Max

    1. Raising the abortion issue was a red herring and entirely irrelevant to the debate. I was also dumbfounded at yet another Christian trying to wedge abortion into a debate about God’s existence. 100% off the mark, and Matt was wrong to even address it. He was far too polite in allowing David to use these sneaky tricks like the abortion red herring.

      1. And once again the blindness of the NEw Fundamentalist Atheism demonstrates its illogicality. In the course of a discussion about the existence of God I had mentioned the question of morality as a key proof. Matt had spoken of morality without God. When I asked him what that meant – he described it as ‘well being’. Killing six million Jews was against their well being so it was wrong. Being a kind of logical person I asked him if he thought killing the child in the womb was against her well being. He replied yes. So logically I assumed that he would be against abortion. He said no – he was not. Thereby completely destroying his own argument. The fact that you consider that this was ‘sneaking in abortion’ and that Matt was too polite to point this out helps explain why you were ‘dumbfounded’….If this is seriously the best the new atheists can do then it is little wonder that you are in deep trouble. Even the basic principles of logic don’t seem to affect you!

      2. Well, as I said before, raising the abortion issue was clever but it doesn’t show that Matt’s ethical system is inconsistent nor destroyed his argument. You showed that he doesn’t follow what he preaches, which is very different (always assuming that the inconsistency can’t absolutely be worked out, but that’s a different -and longer- topic)

      3. Its hard for me to argue with someone who says that being inconsistent is different from not following what he preaches! Anyway the inconsistency is clear. If you argue that morality is well being and that being immoral is doing something that is against well being and you then agree that killing is against the well being of the child, but you then support that, you have had both a logical and moral fail..

      4. The difference is quite clear: the argument is consistent, the person isn’t.

        For instance,I think from Matt’s position based on well being of conscious creatures would follow vegetarianism. And Matt love’s his stake. Can that be worked that out? Maybe. But that is not the point, because all he has to do in a debate is to show that are plausible ethical systems.

      5. “And once again the blindness of the NEw Fundamentalist Atheism demonstrates its illogicality. In the course of a discussion about the existence of God I had mentioned the question of morality as a key proof. Matt had spoken of morality without God. When I asked him what that meant – he described it as ‘well being’. Killing six million Jews was against their well being so it was wrong. Being a kind of logical person I asked him if he thought killing the child in the womb was against her well being. He replied yes. So logically I assumed that he would be against abortion. He said no – he was not. Thereby completely destroying his own argument. The fact that you consider that this was ‘sneaking in abortion’ and that Matt was too polite to point this out helps explain why you were ‘dumbfounded’….If this is seriously the best the new atheists can do then it is little wonder that you are in deep trouble. Even the basic principles of logic don’t seem to affect you!”

        You did not assume that Matt would be against abortion. Please don’t try to be so coy. If you think you are the first apologist to try to wedge in an abortion “gotcha question,” you are wrong. It is far too common and usually done in order to get a cheer from the audience. In your case, you’re trying to bolster emotional support with Christian listeners. “Haha! Caught you in a double standard, atheist!” It does work as a rhetorical tactic, but it isn’t useful or instructive in any sense. And fwiw, I don’t agree with Matt on a lot of his arguments and feel his description of morality is pretty weak.

        Please stop with all this “new atheist” crap. I’m an atheist, Matt is an atheist, Sam Harris is an atheist, and we all disagree on things. There is no such thing as “new atheism.” That’s just a sensationalized label the media use to grab attention. Atheists do not have a doctrine and we do not share a common worldview. The only commonality is that we don’t believe in gods.

      6. Oh dear. You are claiming to know what I assumed and didn’t? On what basis? Of course I assumed he was against abortion. And I was not trying to get support from a ‘Christian’ audience. I was trying, and succeeded, in showing how Matts definition of morality as being ‘well-being’ just did not work. If there is no such thing as new atheism – then you will need to tell Dawkins, Harris et al…they are quite happy with the title….

  15. Do you perhaps have the debate? I’d like to see it, I’ve had debates with Atheists. I felt defeated, yet they had to resort to ad hominem attacks.

  16. //I asked him if he thought killing the child in the womb was against her well being. He replied yes. So logically I assumed that he would be against abortion. He said no – he was not. Thereby completely destroying his own argument.//

    That does NOT completely destroy his own argument. You would be wise to look into his views on abortion; he didn’t have time in this debate to espouse them, nor should he have. But put simply, your statement fails to take into account the *mother’s* well being, which Matt’s position accounts for.

    That you think you won this debate absolutely astonishes me.

    1. Doug – I’m not surprised it astonishes you. Your atheist faith means that logical argument is not high on your list of virtues!

      Matt stated that morality was not about right or wrong but well being. He agreed that killing the child in the womb was against their well being. Therefore logically it would be ‘immoral’ to do so. But he instead said that he was for something that was against the childs well being. It was an absolute logical (and moral) fail. The trouble is that the new atheist fundamentalists are so wedded to their faith that they cannot even acknowledge that. !

      1. First, there is no such thing as “atheist faith”. Atheism is explicitly the rejection of faith. . Don’t even try that tired old nonsense.

        Second, I was raised Baptist and I am now an atheist precisely because of logic. The logical holes in your arguments, on the other hand, are numerous and obvious, and you stubbornly refuse to acknowledge them or truly engage with those who point them out.

        More to the point, what Matt said in this debate, and what he has said numerous times in debates specifically about secular morality, is that well being is the *starting point* of the discussion. There are a set of general precepts that we begin with–life is generally preferable to death, happiness is preferable to unhappiness, etc. But they are the starting point for any moral decision, not the end. In the case of abortion, if we allow that the fetus is a person (which has not and cannot be established, by the way, but we’ll allow it), there are two individuals here whose well being must be considered–fetus and mother. And no matter if a person is an adult, a child, or a fetus, NO PERSON HAS THE RIGHT TO USE ANOTHER PERSON’S BODY WITHOUT CONSENT. We can’t force someone to give up a kidney to save a 2-year-old child. So why should we be able to force a woman to carry an unwanted baby?

        I’d advise you to watch Matt’s debate with Secular Pro Life. And I defy you to find a flaw in his logic.

      2. Very happy to engage with those who point out the holes in my logic….as I did with Matt. He did not do too well. No person has the right to use another persons body without consent so its ok to kill a child….? Thats your logical justification for abortion? Thank God I don’t have atheist logic. This would mean for example that a parent could refuse to feed a child because no -one has the right to force them to.

        I already found plenty flaws in Matts logic….its why he has been reduced to calling me names…

  17. David,

    You are confused. Matt did not say that morality was not about right and wrong. Obviously it’s about right and wrong. What else could it be about and still qualify to be called ” morality”?

    Matt said that in assessing what was right and what was wrong in any situation you had to consider the harm caused.

    With regard to abortion, you see a woman as a means to an end rather than an end in her own right. A pregnant woman is to you chiefly a fleshly incubation machine, with no right over her own body. I am not pro-abortion but you are anti-choice.

    The position taken by Matt (& me and Doug, I assume) is essentially that argued by Judith Thompson in her “Defence of Abortion” article. Link: http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/Phil160,Fall02/thomson.htm

    1. I’m not the one that is confused about right and wrong. Matt said that Dachau was wrong – but then said that he did not know if that was a fact! Talk about confused.
      As regards abortion (or indeed any other argument) – if you are going to argue against something – argue against what is said – not what you make up. I do not see a woman as a means to an end, any more than I see a man. Where did you get that from? A woman has a body, so does a child. The difference between us is that you think its ok to kill the child in order somehow to protect the womans body (although quite what harm will be done to the body in having the baby is not stated). Your position is that you are willing to support the right to choose to kill a baby…

  18. I didn’t say you were confused about right and wrong. I said you were confused. From the sentence which followed (“Matt did not say that morality was not about right & wrong”) it ought to have been obvious to the meanest intelligence that what I meant was that you were confused about what Matt was saying with regard to right and wrong.

    Your claim that the pro-choice argument must as a matter of logic result in parents having the right to refuse to feed a child is a complete non sequitur. Feeding someone does not involve them having a complete 24/7 parasitic use of your body. It is a task that can be delegated to another (and often is). A woman cannot delegate the task of continuing her pregnancy to someone else.

    A woman has a body and anyone, including a foetus, may only use that body with her consent. Your denial of that principle is what constitutes seeing the woman as a means to an end. The fact that you do not like it when it is spelt out for you does not affect the truth of the accusation.

    1. Sometimes I think I am beyond being astonished by the immorality and irrationality of the new atheism and then along comes a post that astonishes me. Yours is one such. A child in the womb is a parasite?! You seriously expect the foetus to ask for consent to be allowed to use the woman’s body?! Your morals are the morals of hell. Your ‘logic’ the same.

      1. You, David, are everything that is wrong with Christianity. Matt is right to dismiss you.

      2. Note that you didn’t offer any “logic” at all to refute the argument, which was exactly what happened throughout your debate with Matt. Perhaps you could start by looking up the definition of “parasite” to find out that yes, a fetus *is* one. Then you could point out to us one single other circumstance where a human being of any age or state of development is allowed to use another person’s body to survive against that person’s will. That would be a logical argument. “The morals of hell” would be an example of an argument that is *not* logical.

  19. David,

    A foetus *is* a parasite:

    par·a·site [par-uh-sahyt] Show IPA
    noun
    1.
    an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.

    From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/parasite

    In denying that biological fact *you* are being irrational.

    You do not have the monopoly on emotions here. A pregnancy can be much desired or much dreaded. You would presumably compel a child who had been raped by her father to carry the result of incestuous rape to full term? Ugh! Where is your humanity?

    1. I looked up the word parasite in the Cambridge English Dictionary. It defined the word as “an animal or plant that lives on or in another animal or plant of a different type and feeds from it.” So, are you of the opinion that a human foetus is different in type from the human mother?

      1. Well spotted Tony. In fact my own quotation above includes the requirement that the host be of “another species” so you make a good point. Not all definitions do specify that the host be of a different type to the parasitic organism (e.g. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/parasite) but then again, many do.

        But whether you use a definition which requires the host to be of a different species or not, my point remains the same. The foetus is entirely dependant on the woman for the use of her body in order to survive. When I described this as “parasitic” that was not intended as any kind of criticism of the the foetus. I was just trying to describe the way that the woman’s body is in fact used by the foetus.

  20. arrghh , you talk to those of us who are sceptical about “logic” and “reason’, and that’s coming from those people like yourself that think a talking donkey really happened? that virgins give birth? that apparently light from distant stars was created on route to the earth? that there was a global flood but at the time the Egyptians were building pyramids they just missed that? and the whole highly developed Chinese civilisation somehow all forgot to mention in their history books , oh yes, bugger, then we were all totally wiped out by a flood that went higher than the tip of everest? and that Noah built an arc at aged 600 years old ?, lived into his 900’s and must have had incest with his OWN family to also make the black man, the Asian man etc etc You talk of Matts views on abortion without really knowing them, but you support a Deity who wiped out, according to your own books please note , every living Human and animal and yes , that means every man, woman and child, even those in the womb you are so sanctimoniously trying to defend , because ahhhh he was unhappy with his creation. We who think the above is all bronze aged immoral mythology stand aghast at your failure to see these glaring points and yet dare to judge us mere mortals as being immoral without turning your eyes to scrutinise your own Gods actions and thats from what your “Good” book says?

  21. David.

    I listened to this debate following your recommendation at the Unbelievable conference (I was the Australian who gave you my business card afterwards). I think Justin Brierley did an outstanding job of moderating the discussion.

    I was also extremely puzzled by Matt’s self defeating statements regarding abortion. I find it astonishingly inconsistent to claim that one works to maximise wellbeing but is content to destroy the potential wellbeing of those in the womb. He seemed also blissfully unaware of the blatant hypocrisy and self-contradictory nature of his beliefs. I wrote something similar here in my blog when I did a series of blog posts on Harris’ book earlier in the year:

    http://atheistforum.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/moral-landscape-how-sam-harris-makes-an-argument-against-abortion/

    I thought you did very well in a difficult situation. So well done and I hope to meet again when you come to Australia.

    Robert

  22. I’ve just stumbled across this and thought it was a very interesting debate – particularly the first one. I’m aware of Matt Dillahunty and his ‘Atheist Experience’ project and I can’t say I’m that enamoured of it; inept Christians are encouraged to ask equally inept questions then shot down in flames by Dillahunty and his henchmen using superficially more coherent arguments, that on closer examination, amount to little more than specious philosophy and even more specious theology; the air of superiority and condescension make the whole thing deeply unattractive. So, it was interesting to hear how he’d acquit himself against a more informed interlocutor. The answer; not very well I’m afraid. I happen to think the moral argument is one of the best arguments for God’s existence and I thought David Robertson laid it out very well. While it isn’t a ‘proof’ ( a ‘proof’ would require God to be available to demonstration within the paradigms of empirical science which is a nonsense if God is to remain God) it does demonstrate the logical impossibility of an objective morality without some transcendent ontic object of appeal to underwrite truth claims. Unfortunately, Dillahunty seemed to struggle to understand the argument, nevermind address it coherently. I’ve since watched a his rather lengthy lecture, ‘The Superiority of Secular Morality’ and there was nothing there to persuade me that I should revise such a view. I read somewhere that Dillahunty was rather crest-fallen when William Lane-Craig refused to debate him; on the evidence of this particular outing I think Dillahunty should count his blessings.

    In general, I think it’s heartening to see the burgeoning interest in serious Christian apologetic, theist philosophy and theology across the internet, within our churches and the wider world in general. In this respect, I think the phenomenon of militant atheism has done the faith community a great service; it has forced believers to re-think their faith in ways that are more intelligent, more robust and more available to serious critique and dissection; that can never be a bad thing. What is even more heartening is that the Christian world view not only stands its ground, but is able to demonstrate the logical incoherence of an atheist ontology with great conviction and rigour. Good stuff!

    1. Thought David was rude . Matt wasn’t particularly on form here but did you hear the second debate ? – Matt put him in real trouble. Re WLC I think those tired old Kalam cosmological argument he puts out would be pretty easily dismantled by Matt actually.

      1. I did hear the second debate – I thought it was about even stevens. I’m not really concerned about whether an argument is tired or not, but rather whether it’s convincing or not. From what I’ve seen of Matt Dillahunty, I’d be surprised if he could understand the Kalam cosmological argument in it’s entirety, still less dismantle it. He’s certainly not an academic by any manner of means; in the first interview he failed to grasp some very basic philosophical propositions, then dodged the argument by responding with logical incoherence. I have some reservations about William Lane Craig (largely political rather than philosophical),but if it was Dr Craig’s analytical skills and mastery of formal logic going up against Dillahunty’s, I know where my money would be.

  23. You are a disgusting liar. Atheism is NOT a philosophy, it is lack of belief. Your immoral belief system based on human sacrifice is deplorable. So glad your disgusting religion is on the decline.

    1. I’d forgotten about this debate. I’m sorry, but atheism is a philosophy, implacably and demonstrably so; you may lack a belief in God or any kind of metaphysics, but in rejecting that, you will – necessarily – have to adopt a set of assumptions and pre-suppositions about what you feel is ontologically basic. That may be naturalism, materialism, scientism or merely nihilism, but it will involve the adoption of a belief system and a philosophy. And you may be right, atheism might be true, but it is something that has to be ‘believed’ because none of those perspectives are self-evident. All are available to serious philosophical objection and any half-decent philosopher – of whatever world view – will tell you that such must be the case. If you had no beliefs and no philosophy words such as ‘immoral’, ‘deplorable’ and ‘disgusting’ would be meaninglesss; to use such terms is already to adopt a philosophy. A belief system is immoral compared to what? In this case immoral is anything that compromises your conception of ‘the good’, and since you have no investment in the moral and ethical structures of religion you must have framed a personal conception of what ‘the good’ is exactly; in short, you have adopted a philosophy and a belief system. Consequently, your contention that atheism is not a philosophy cannot, by any standard of logic and reason, be true.

      1. “you may lack a belief in God or any kind of metaphysics, but in rejecting that, you will – necessarily – have to adopt a set of assumptions and pre-suppositions about what you feel is ontologically basic.”

        Even if I allow this, those assumptions and pre-suppositions are not atheism. They are naturalism, materialism, scientism, nihilism, or whatever. None of those things are atheism.

      2. But if you don’t believe anything how can Christianity be ‘immoral’, ‘deplorable or ‘disgusting’? That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

      3. Besides which, no, I do not have to adopt any set of assumptions or pre-suppositions. “I don’t know” is perfectly rational, and does not require adopting any particular belief system.

        Atheism is not a philosophy.

      4. You don’t have to adopt anything, but the fact is, you have; as soon as you start using words like ‘immoral’ you’ve made evaluative judgement relative to a personal philosophy or belief system. I’ve just demonstrated logically a reasonably why atheism must be a philosophy. You’ve given me a couple of emotional assertions about why it isn’t; assertions that logically and reasonably cannot possibly be true. Saying that you ‘don’t know’ is a perfectly reasonable position, but that would make you an agnostic, not an atheist.

      5. “You don’t have to adopt anything, but the fact is, you have”.

        Correct. But those things are not atheism. One atheist can be a naturalist and another a nihilist. They are still both atheists.

        ” I’ve just demonstrated logically a reasonably why atheism must be a philosophy.”

        You’ve done no such thing. You’ve listed a bunch of philosophies that some atheists might subscribe to. Not all atheists subscribe to any of those things, because none of them are atheism.

        ” Saying that you ‘don’t know’ is a perfectly reasonable position, but that would make you an agnostic, not an atheist.”

        I can be an agnostic and also an atheist. They are not mutually exclusive.

  24. I didn’t say anything about “not believing anything”. Atheists believe many things. Those beliefs, however, are not atheism.

    1. ‘Even if I allow this, those assumptions and pre-suppositions are not atheism. They are naturalism, materialism, scientism, nihilism, or whatever. None of those things are atheism.’

      Yes they are. All of them are based on an a priori commitment to atheism. To say that they’re not is like arguing that black is infact white; stupid.

      1. “All of them are based on an a priori commitment to atheism.”

        So what? Your claim is that atheism is a philosophy. I can find 6 definitions of “philosophy”, and atheism doesn’t fit any of them. You’re not making your point.

  25. Robertson was resorting to the “no true Scottsman” fallacy on an epic scale, regarding Hitler’s Christianity / Catholicism. Hitler not only publicly declared himself and his movement Christian multiple times, but he used Christianity to promote his agenda successfully, which means that the millions of his followers *also agreed* that the ideology was consistent with Christianity.
    Robertson’s argument is: oh, none of those were “true Christians”.
    It’s an epic “no true Scottsman” fallacy, applied to millions of people, *after the fact*.

    Hitler clearly states in “Mein Kampf” that he was doing *god’s work* and he stated it in public speeches, like this one:
    _We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity; in fact our movement is *Christian*._
    – Adolf Hitler, 1928

    Look at all the photos of Hitler going to church, leaving church, priests doing the Nazi salute and so on.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Hitler+church&hs=dKL&channel=fs&source=lnms&tbm=isch&

    If you still think that the Nazis had anything to do with atheism, you are just blind and hopelessly brainwashed.
    The Pope was one of Hitler’s biggest supporters. The Vatican celebrated Hitler’s birthday, until his death.
    You can try to deny evidence and try to twist things, but at some point, you’ll just look stupid.
    Before you try to accuse me of being biased, I’m from a Roman Catholic family as well.
    While my becoming an atheist was not directly caused by Hitler being Roman Catholic, but it sure didn’t help…

    1. Let’s be absolutely clear; the Nazis were a neo-pagan cult that had nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity. Indeed, the core motivations of love for one’s enemies, compassion and self-sacrifice that characterise the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are not only inimical to Nazism’s murderous, power crazed insanity, they are diametrically opposed to it.

      The Catholic Church, as well as witnessing to the Gospel, is also a worldly power base of immense global influence, so one should hardly be surprised if some elements within both Nazism and Catholicism saw limited mutual engagement as expedient at a particular point in history. But this should not be confused with the idea that Nazism was somehow ‘Christian’ – it most certainly was not.

      The martyrdom of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the anti-Nazi activities of Martin Niemoller and the confessing church, as well as the systematic murder of over five thousand Catholic priests in the Dachau concentration camp is not only illustrative of their profound commitment to the love and compassion of Jesus, but also of Nazism’s deep antipathy to it.

      The only way that one could think that Nazism was somehow ‘Christian’ is if one where either profoundly stupid or – rather like the Nazis – just hated Christianity. In your case, I’ve no doubt; it’s probably a bit of both.

      1. The argument that Christians have had with atheists over the past few years has been fundamentally dishonest in several ways:

        1. Christians say that atheists don’t believe in God because they want to sin, yet Jesus pointed out that it was not the acting out of the sin but the considering of it which was the issue. Therefore Christians are no better in this regard.

        2. Christians argue for the existence of God and say you should believe in God, but if you do believe in God they move the goalposts and say that’s not enough – you have to accept the whole Christian gospel as well and probably a narrow interpretation of that. Unless they want to count you in the statistics for persecuted christians, in which case you can be a catholic, orthodox or anything else.

        The thing is that there are collective blinkers over most of evangelical Christianity. They can’t see why people outside find them inconsistent.

        And I say this as a Christian. Not sure if I am an evangelical these days, but I self describe as a baptist.

      2. Nuh…Christians don’t say they are any better. Your second point doesn’t work either. The devil believes in God – of course belief in God is not enough. Faith in Christ is what counts. You may call that ‘narrow’ – he calls it life! Perhaps you need to self-describe as a biblical Christian and forget the denominational label?!

  26. If you consider something like DNA “creation”, based on its complexity, then you must also consider a much more complex entity, like a super-intelligent being (god) “creation”.
    So, you can *not*, *at the same time*, claim that DNA is so complex that it needed a creator, but an infinitely more complex, super-intelligent being did not require a creator.
    That is simply an ass-backward double standard.
    It’s like saying that a 100 kilos is too heavy for you to lift with one hand, but a billion tons is not a problem.
    It’s utter nonsense.

    The entire eternal creator god hypothesis is based on a category error fallacy: confusing properties and functions of things, with the actual “things”.
    Intelligence and consciousness are not “things” that can exist on their own. They are emergent functions and properties of complex systems, like brains.
    Claiming that a consciousness / intelligence can exist without a complex system that produces it, is like saying that an “eternal wetness” can exist, without liquids (“wetness” is not a thing. It’s a property of liquids).
    It’s utter nonsense.

    Complex systems are formed by a large number of interacting, simpler components.
    If god is made of nothing, she doesn’t exist.
    DUH.

    For a god to exist, he must be made of something.
    If god is complex-enough to be intelligent, he must be made of an extremely large number of simpler components (I’m in AI and robotics and directly deal with the problem of minimum-required system complexity to produce intelligence: hint: it’s way higher than the complexity of a DNA molecule).

    How did an extremely complex system, like a super-intelligent being (god) form?

    If god was created (e.g. by an uber-god), then you have to explain who created his/her creator etc. -> infinite regress problem -> god is impossible.

    If god was not created, then his components had to form god, on their own. But, if simple components can form something as complex as gods, on their own, they can much more easily form universes and DNA on their own.
    If something as complex as a god can be eternal, then so can much simpler, non-intelligent universe-starting systems (metaverse).
    Ergo god is redundant, or actually beyond redundant. It’s an overcomplicated explanation, trying to replace a simpler explanation.

    So, an eternal, outside of space-time complex-enough-to-be-intelligent creator god is either impossible, or redundant.

    Not to mention, that “god did it” does not answer anything. It simply kicks the can down the street.
    It doesn’t even take you back to square one. You’re worse off: you went from having to explain where simple particles that started the universe came from, to having to explain where a super-complex intelligent being came from, what he is made of, where his particles came from, how he formed, how the system that produces god’s consciousness works etc.
    And we still haven’t fully mapped how human consciousness works (we made huge progress in the last 5 years though).
    Pretending that you don’t have to answer these questions, by simply *claiming* that god is eternal, outside of space-time etc. is nothing, but special pleading. It’s just saying: _I don’t have to provide evidence, because god is like special and god doesn’t even have to make logical sense, because he is like super-special_.

    1. I have allowed a couple of your comments – some of them are so inane and silly and rude that they have had to be put where they belong – in the trash. Its always the same with internet atheists – they think they are being really clever when they don’t even understand the question – for example in the verbiage above one comment is “For a god to exist, he must be made of something.” This only works from a naturalistic materialist perspective. God is not ‘made of’ anything.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *