Tekton Apologetics on the “Lord Liar or Lunatic” Argument

In an article entitled “The Trilemma. Lord Liar or Lunatic?,” J. P. Holding of Tekton Apologetics ministries attempts to rescue CS Lewis’s most famous argument for the deity of Christ from its inherent flaws. He starts with a discussion of ways in which this argument has admittedly been abused by apologists, but claims that skeptics have an even worse record.

On the other hand, attempts to “refute” it have tried to fuddle the argument by adding one or more options, or by saying that the options already stated are not clear enough – which is itself rather a poor methodology!

The scare quotes around “refute” are a nice touch. Let’s see if Holding can do any better than Lewis did.

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Posted in CAMWatch, Unapologetics. 5 Comments »

…in which I agree with Casey Luskin

The Associated Press has an article on the report from the National Academy of Sciences emphasizing the importance of teaching evolution. As is all too common these days, the AP opts for a shallow pair of “he-said, she-said” sound bites instead of digging into the actual support each side has to offer.

Josh Rosenau, a spokesman for the California-based National Center for Science Education, which supports the teaching of evolution, said the new report is important because the debate over evolution in school is not going away.

Casey Luskin, program officer for the Discovery Institute, a Seattle-based think tank that supports teaching students about the criticism of evolution, was critical of the document.

“Students should learn about the evidence for and against evolution,” he said.

I agree with Luskin: students should indeed learn about the evidence. Superstitious attempts to create bias against science, however, are not evidence against evolution.

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Posted in Current Events, Science. 2 Comments »

XFiles Friday: Figure the odds

(Book: I Don’t Have Enough FAITH to Be an ATHEIST, by Geisler and Turek, chapter 4)

Geisler and Turek’s next argument is the Teleological Argument, aka the argument from “design”. As has been recently established in court, the “design” argument is a credulous superstition rather than a body of scientific evidence. Nevertheless, Geisler and Turek plunge confidently ahead, hoping that the Anthropic Principle will be the crowning proof of their case for God. Speaking of the religious awe felt by some astronauts, they say,

The raw impact of their experiences reveals the intuitive nature of the Teleological Argument. You don’t need anyone to tell you that something beautifully designed requires a designer. It’s practically self-evident. Nevertheless, let’s state the argument formally again, with emphasis on what we’ve discovered in this chapter:

  1. Every design had a designer.
  2. As verified by the Anthropic Principle, we know beyond a reasonable doubt that the universe is deisgned.
  3. Therefore the universe had a designer.

There’s no plausible explanation for the Anthropic Principle other than a Cosmic Designer. Atheists must take extreme measures to deny the obvious.

Needless to say, Geisler and Turek are, shall we say, overstating their case. As with the Cosmological Argument, they build a fairly elaborate argument, but overlook a fundamental flaw in their premises. In the Cosmological Argument, they overlooked the fact that nothing happened prior to the beginning of time (i.e. at the Big Bang) because there was no time for it to happen in, and thus nothing caused the Big Bang. In the Teleological Argument, and the Anthropic Principle, they overlook the simple fact that constants are, well, constant.

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Posted in IDHEFTBA, Unapologetics, XFiles. 2 Comments »

Now Playing: Skeptics’ Circle #77–The Overmedicalized Edition

Skeptics’ Circle #77–The Overmedicalized Edition is now online and I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my own posts there (thanks!).  Lots of good stuff in this one, so I’m adding it to the Recommended Reading list.

 
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Posted in Recommended Reading. 2 Comments »

Key Words: Still not happy

Daniel Macintyre, the Key Words blogger, is still not happy with me. Apparently, he thinks (or would like us to think) that he is being unfairly portrayed as a creationist, even though I went to quite a bit of trouble last time to make it plain that I was not arguing that he was.

Yes, the professor is not speculating who believes what – even though his article is in direct response to mine. He brings up creation AGAIN and AGAIN – states that creationists arguments are flawed and then acts as if this proves I am wrong, but he is NOT saying I am a creationist.

This leads us to a small problem with his approach – If his argument is NOT based on the idea that I am a creationist, then his attacks on creationism don’t have any bearing on my argument and can therefore be dismissed.

I think a bit of review is in order.

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Posted in Science, Society. 1 Comment »

And now for something completely different

I’d like to be the first to wish everyone a Happy New Year. Unfortunately I slept in this morning, so I’m probably about the gazillion and twelfth. Happy New Year anyway. In the spirit of season, I’ve changed the color scheme around here, and I’ve also decided to take on a slightly different topic, just for a change of pace. Let’s take a short break from focusing on Christian apologetics, and look at some of the fringe beliefs. Reincarnation, for example.

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Posted in Fringe. 3 Comments »