Thursday, July 10, 2008

A new Craig debate

With Bill Cooke.

15 comments:

normajean said...

For someone not considered a philosopher to be reckoned with (presumably because he does apologetics) Craig sure seems to win won debate after another.

normajean said...

*one*

insert again where needed.

=)

Clayton said...

I dare any one of you to go into a math professor's office and say, "I will prove that the idea that there exists an actual infinite number of things leads to self-contradiction. For example, what is infinity minus infinity? Well, mathematically you get self-contradictory answers. QED. I've proven mathematically that the universe had a beginning."

Report back and let us know how it goes. I'm guessing it will go well because, as Craig notes, "mathematicians recognize" that the idea of an actually existing infinite number of things is self-contradictory.

I'll give $5 to the first person who does it if they provide a transcript of what happened next. Hell, I'll give $5 to the first person who tells me who these mathematicians are that would vouch for what Craig says. (Sorry, Hilbert is dead and doesn't count.)

philip m said...

This debate was rather annoying to watch because Cooke's speeches seemed to be his justification for not caring about the truth or falsity of the question. He rather argued that God is a barrier to understanding. But you can always draw the bottom line at the importance of truth: if God exists, his status as a barrier loses signficance, since people should be united according to what's true.

Clayton, you might be interested to listen to his debate with Austin Dacey, since in that debate he only gives two arguments, one being for the resurrection the other being the KCA, and therefore defends his second premise using four different lines of reasoning, and not just the one you mentioned.

normajean said...

I dare any one of you to go into a math professor's office and say, "I will prove that the idea that there exists an actual infinite number of things leads to self-contradiction. For example, what is infinity minus infinity? Well, mathematically you get self-contradictory answers. QED. I've proven mathematically that the universe had a beginning."

Funny. Reminds me of natural accounts of moral properties from matter. Tuh HUH!

Clayton said...

Normajean,

I'm curious, but which step in this argument for an account of a natural account of a moral property do you reject:

(1) That my X-ing would cause someone pain is a pro tanto reason not to X.
(2) That my X-ing would cause someone pain is a fact that strongly supervenes on purely natural facts.
(C) That there is a pro tanto reason not to X strongly supervenes on purely natural facts.

Anyway, isn't it funny how nobody seems willing to stand up and defend Craig's remarks? I think it is. Here's a question. Do you think he doesn't know what he's talking about when he made those remarks about infinity or do you think he just doesn't care because it's a debate and debates are sport?

normajean said...

Clayton, do you clearly see physical fact entailment to moral imperative land, or are you arguing for fun?

Clayton said...

So, which is it, (1) or (2)?

Both strike me as more than just plausible. (1) strikes me as self-evident and when people say they don't accept it, I think they are either in the grips of theory that needs revision or willfully refusing to acknowledge the truth. Are you really going to say that the fact that an action would cause another pain cannot count against that action on its own?

normajean said...

Clayton, isn't the *self evidentiary* in 1 destroyed by my visit to the dentist? And are you not begging at least ten dozen questions anyway? “What I’m going to say” is that there’s nothing at all obvious about contingent physical stuff coughing up moral duty. Pump your breaks, you’re doing 90 in a 30!

Clayton said...

Clayton, isn't the *self evidentiary* in 1 destroyed by my visit to the dentist? And are you not begging at least ten dozen questions anyway?

No, not in the slightest. If the dentist case counted against (1), you'd have to say that the pain wasn't a con, a downside, a cost, a thing to regret, etc... There can be a pro tanto reason to do X even if all things considered you should not do X.

I don't think it's question begging unless there cannot be self-evident moral judgments that are non-inferentially justified. I'm a foundationalist and not a sceptic, so that's the epistemic view I hold. Your response indicates that you've only denied (1) because you don't understand what (1) says.

normajean said...

C, you’re right. The *going or not going to the dentist* is not the issue - pain is. But even here, upon what foundation is pain the determinant for evil? It seems to me that insofar as there are subjective minds, ones pain may as well be another’s pleasure. I have another question: Is it the case that on your view there exists a possible world where everyone takes pain killers and no evil exists?

Clayton said...

ones pain may as well be another’s pleasure

That might be. But, does that really convince you that the pain doesn't give reason for its relief and a reason not to cause it in the first place? That's the crucial issue.

Is it the case that on your view there exists a possible world where everyone takes pain killers and no evil exists?

No. It wouldn't contain the evils that would exist if there had been painful experiences. On your view what else do we need to determine that there is a reason to relieve someone's suffering beyond the fact that they suffer?

normajean said...

Clayton, one can offer various reasons for various things but what does that prove? Reasons are not moral imperatives. I want to know if subjective moral opinions have an objective moral home (onto). To put it differently, I’m not now interested in how people come to believe things (epist). Does that make sense? Peace

normajean said...

Very briefy,

You wrote how there are “self evident moral judgments that are non-inferentially justified.” But they're still subjective and fail to answer the ontological question.

As an aside, until I see clear entailment from pain to imperatives then pain fundamentally remains a brain state logically dislocated from the specified belief you hope that it entails (evil). In other words, 2 identical brain states need not produce the same types of beliefs.

0 Point Calvinist said...

Hello gents,

My problem with premise 1 of Clayton's argument is there is no reason to think there is anything wrong with causing another pain. Why should I care about another's pain? We can agree pain is bad, but what makes causing it to another person wrong?

Blessings