Bad Math Used in Apologetics

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Jagella
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Bad Math Used in Apologetics

Post by Jagella »

Recently I've noticed that some apologists like William Lane Craig are using mathematics-based arguments to assure us that the Christian god exists. I would like to explain why those arguments use poor logic.

A very broad argument is that mathematics in general seems to explain the cosmos in a way that seems to work unreasonably well. An intelligent designer like Yahweh is then required to explain this apparent mathematical basis for the universe. He is "the great mathematician in the sky."

Not really. The reason math works so well to explain the world--in at least some cases--is because we humans created math to describe the cosmos. There is no mystery here. We are the mathematicians describing the universe.

Also, many apologists like to wow us with enormously improbable events that they say cannot be attributed to chance. Since chance is ruled out, "God musta done it."

Wrong again. The only probability that rules out an event happening by chance is an event with a probability of zero. Extremely improbable events--like the conception of any of us--happen all the time.

Also, to state how improbable a natural event might be doesn't say much if you don't know the probability of an alternate event. So if apologists wish to argue that an event like the apparent fine-tuning of the universe by chance is only one out a a gazillion, they must compare that probability to the probability that "God musta done it." If they cannot say that the probability of God fine-tuning the cosmos is greater than chance, then they haven't proved anything.

Finally, a really laughable argument is that the universe cannot be infinitely old because if it was infinitely we could never have reached the present! Such apologists must have slept through their high-school algebra. Consider the number line with numbers increasing infinitely with positive numbers to the right and negative numbers to the left. All you need to do is have any point on that line represent a moment in time with zero being the present, points on the positive direction are the future, and points on the negative direction are the past. See that? You're at 0 (the present), but the past is infinite. You can go back as far as you want to with no limit.

I can go on, but for now let me ask the...

Question for Debate: Are apologists sloppy mathematicians, or are they deliberately trying to deceive people with numbers?

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Post by Wootah »

Can you show examples of apologists using those examples?

Especially your last example - I'd like to see who is arguing that.
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Post by Jagella »

Wootah wrote: Can you show examples of apologists using those examples?

Especially your last example - I'd like to see who is arguing that.
Just check YouTube and Google for examples.

You are welcome to either make a case that no apologists make these arguments or make a case that these arguments are logically sound.

Or--just admit that apologists don't know what they're talking and/or that they deliberately mislead people.

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Post by Wootah »

[Replying to post 3 by Jagella]

Yes but i might not find the examples you had in mind. Either post your examples or admit to creating a strawman. I'd appreciate your examples so I can invite those Christians here to debate them please.
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Post by Jagella »

Wootah wrote: [Replying to post 3 by Jagella]

Yes but i might not find the examples you had in mind. Either post your examples or admit to creating a strawman. I'd appreciate your examples so I can invite those Christians here to debate them please.
I didn't have any specific examples in mind. But if I post links to some examples, will you concede that I'm right that apologists do use these arguments and that they either use this sloppy math out of ignorance or deliberate deception? Will you post that concession right here on this thread for all to see? Honestly?

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Post by Wootah »

[Replying to Jagella]

Sure.

With one caveat. They are actually claiming what you claim they are claiming. As I said I have no issue calling out bad arguments. I will facepalm with you if they are.
Proverbs 18:17 The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.

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Post by Jagella »

Wootah wrote: [Replying to Jagella]

Sure.

With one caveat. They are actually claiming what you claim they are claiming. As I said I have no issue calling out bad arguments.
I see you are hedging your bet.

Anyway, here is The Applicability of Mathematics (William Lane Craig vs Alex Rosenberg)

and Building a Protein by Chance by Tim Barnett

and finally, Why Can't the Universe Be Infinite? (about three minutes into the video).
I will facepalm with you if they are.
I'm not violent, but what I'm asking you to do is far harder than getting face-palmed: admit your are wrong and that apologists are wrong too.

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Post by postroad »

[Replying to post 6 by Wootah]

I think it boils down to the concept of an uncaused creator. But having accepted such an entity we are not allowed any more.

If one exists why not more?

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Post by postroad »

Jagella wrote:
Wootah wrote: [Replying to Jagella]

Sure.

With one caveat. They are actually claiming what you claim they are claiming. As I said I have no issue calling out bad arguments.
I see you are hedging your bet.

Anyway, here is The Applicability of Mathematics (William Lane Craig vs Alex Rosenberg)

and Building a Protein by Chance by Tim Barnett

and finally, Why Can't the Universe Be Infinite? (about three minutes into the video).
I will facepalm with you if they are.
I'm not violent, but what I'm asking you to do is far harder than getting face-palmed: admit your are wrong and that apologists are wrong too.
I'm seeing a problem for Christians and their Heaven concept. The OT indicated that these realms and their spiritual inhabitants are as much created realities as our own.

If they insist that God alone is of a uncaused and eternal timeless substance then it follows that these spiritual realities can not.

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Post by Jagella »

postroad wrote:If they insist that God alone is of a uncaused and eternal timeless substance then it follows that these spiritual realities can not.
As far as I can tell the cosmos can exist on its own without any "uncaused and eternal timeless substance." The universe is very impersonal, and it appears to me that we are just along for the ride. Besides, no god could have created the cosmos because we created all the gods. Apologists depend on people's ignorance of the history of religion to deceive those people into believing that their god created the world.

Anyway, are apologists sloppy mathematicians, or are they deliberately trying to deceive people with numbers? They're not stupid, so the latter is probably the case.

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