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Science is destroyed.

 
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 12:56 am
Craig states that for an explanation to be best, it does not have to have a given explanation of an explanation in order to prove that explanation as best, seen in this video, as a response to the popular question "Who designed the Designer?"

I regard this as complete bull. We explain things through science, Craig attempts to manipulate this old-age question and of course does not directly answer it. Craig tries to circumvent this question by saying nothing in life can be explained but by God only will we see the "truth," who is basically the great "Explainer." What I would love is to see Craig explain who created God, not some circular logic.

For example, Craig says that for every given explanation, another explanation would be required to explain that explanation.

"Why is David sad today?"
"His mother died."
"Why did his mother die?"
"She had lung cancer."
"Why did she have lung cancer?"
"She was a smoker."
"Why was she a smoker?"
"She experienced frequent depressions."
"Why did she experience such?"
"Because..." etc and etc, which is what Craig points out. Of course, this is just ad hoc, but I regard it nonetheless as complete bull. Unless Craig can EXPLAIN why God would NOT require an explanation, I will not believe anything more this sophist says.

Your thoughts on this issue?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,391 • Replies: 24
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TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 01:25 am
@Diogenes phil,
What` s the problem? He `s right that explanation don` t need to be explained. If every explanation need to have an explanation to explain why it works, then we do have an infinite regress, and thus, nothing gets explained.

Craig is right about explanation, but what you might be interested in is if the explanation is any good. What distinguish a good explanation from a bad one. The theory for that is a separate issue.

check this out.

Theories of Explanation[The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 02:11 am
@Diogenes phil,
Diogenes;164496 wrote:



For example, Craig says that for every given explanation, another explanation would be required to explain that explanation.

.

Your thoughts on this issue?



Why must we explain an explanation? Does Craig say why? After all, I can explain why water freezes at a particular temperature without having to explain the explanation, can't I? Of course, an explanation is required to explain an explanation. That is trivially true. But what is not trivially true, or even true at all, is that in order for X is be an explanation of Y, there must be another explanation, Z, that is an explanation X. Why believe that?
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 02:20 am
@Diogenes phil,
I am at a loss to understand why this thread is named 'Science is destroyed'. It seems to have no relation to anything in the thread itself. Would the person who named it thus care to elaborate?
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 02:34 am
@jeeprs,
^ It is in the clip. Craig said that if we suppose the principle that every explanation needs to be explained, then science will be destroyed.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 03:43 am
@Diogenes phil,
thanks. I watched the video. 'You don't have to explain the explanation'. How can this not be true. Science starts from axioms. Many of the axioms that science uses cannot in themselves be explained. Didn't Godel show that?

Modern science started in an overwhelmingly religious cultural climate. Newton, Descartes and Kepler all believed that God was the first cause, as did Aristotle, and (arguably) Plato (who talked of The Good, as distinct from God, as such.) If you remove God from Western philosophy, what is left is not coherent - you will always end up with nihilism, relativism, instrumentalism, or some other partial set of answers. Don't forget that we can't account for more than 90% of the mass of the universe and still don't have a model of the atom. So our scientific worldview, while amazing in a technological sense, is far from coherent. The picture it gives us of the world literally does not add up. (I am OK with that. I don't need to be a Christian in order to deal with it.)
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 03:46 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;164509 wrote:
^ It is in the clip. Craig said that if we suppose the principle that every explanation needs to be explained, then science will be destroyed.


Well then Craig is dumb. I'm sure Craig is a nice guy. But Craig is dumb.
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 03:47 am
@Diogenes phil,
we can't really explain language, numbers, or genetics, or how the brain works. And yet we reproduce, think, talk, and add things up. There's an awful lot of stuff we do every day that we cannot really explain. We just know what works, most of the time.

---------- Post added 05-15-2010 at 07:48 PM ----------

Gosh I will have to write to Craig's university and explain that. I am sure the academic board of his university must have missed that. Maybe we should band together and write a group letter. "Philosophy Forum discovers William Lane Craig is Dumb". They would never get over it.

---------- Post added 05-15-2010 at 07:49 PM ----------

While we at it we might as well ask Amazon to pulp his books. They're probably dumb, too. Amazon.com: William Lane Craig: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 03:50 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;164521 wrote:
thanks. I watched the video. 'You don't have to explain the explanation'. How can this not be true. Science starts from axioms. Many of the axioms that science uses cannot in themselves be explained. Didn't Godel show that?

Modern science started in an overwhelmingly religious cultural climate. Newton, Descartes and Kepler all believed that God was the first cause, as did Aristotle, and (arguably) Plato (who talked of The Good, as distinct from God, as such.) If you remove God from Western philosophy, what is left is not coherent - you will always end up with nihilism, relativism, instrumentalism, or some other partial set of answers. Don't forget that we can't account for more than 90% of the mass of the universe and still don't have a model of the atom.



This issue( about explanation) don` t have any bearing on the existence of god. You can believe god started everything, or everything is as it is, because the laws of nature made it so. In any case, there is "always" something unexplained. If you are an atheist, you believe the ultimate unexplained fact is the laws of nature. If you are a theist, the ultimate unexplained fact is the existence of god.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 03:53 am
@Diogenes phil,
jeeprs wrote:
While we at it we might as well ask Amazon to pulp his books. They're probably dumb, too. Amazon.com: William Lane Craig: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle


The probability is great, I'd say. And after seeing that five out of the first ten titles have the word "God" or "Divine" in them, I'd say that probability is even higher. Just a guess, could be wrong.
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 03:57 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;164522 wrote:
Well then Craig is dumb. I'm sure Craig is a nice guy. But Craig is dumb.


I personally don ` t care about Craig ` s supposed cognitive( or lack of) ability. It makes no difference to me. Mir Craig claim that explanation don ` t need to be explained, and this is a valid point. This is indeed the case if you know the arguments in the philosophy of science.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 04:03 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;164528 wrote:
The probability is great, I'd say. And after seeing that five out of the first ten titles have the word "God" or "Divine" in them, I'd say that probability is even higher. Just a guess, could be wrong.


So your thesis would be that if a person is a religious philosopher, then he is likely to be...what, exactly? Incapable of reason? Generally wrong about philosophical questions?

His original argument is quite sound, as far as I can see. He is arguing against Richard Dawkins argument, that God cannot be the 'origin of the universe' because God himself would need to be explained with reference to something else.

Ask yourself this question. Physics explains a lot of phenomena. I have read recently that a third of the American economy relies on products that are only possible because of the success of quantum physics (transistors and the like.)

So physics provides a very successful explanation of a wide range of physical phenomena.

How do you explain physics?
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 10:33 am
@Diogenes phil,
jeeprs wrote:
So your thesis would be that if a person is a religious philosopher, then he is likely to be...what, exactly? Incapable of reason? Generally wrong about philosophical questions?


Depending on how clouded they are with the religious nonsense, I'd say they are more likely to be wrong. If this guy is going to say "science is destroyed" on the basis that every explanation should require another explanation, that's silly. He's arguing for infinite regress and is therefore being unreasonable. I'm going to guess he cares more about his religious agenda than truth, yes.

Quote:
How do you explain physics?


I don't understand the question.
0 Replies
 
Jebediah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 10:33 am
@Diogenes phil,
Diogenes;164496 wrote:

What I would love is to see Craig explain who created God, not some circular logic.

For example, Craig says that for every given explanation, another explanation would be required to explain that explanation.

"Why is David sad today?"
"His mother died."
"Why did his mother die?"
"She had lung cancer."
"Why did she have lung cancer?"
"She was a smoker."
"Why was she a smoker?"
"She experienced frequent depressions."
"Why did she experience such?"
"Because..." etc and etc, which is what Craig points out. Of course, this is just ad hoc, but I regard it nonetheless as complete bull. Unless Craig can EXPLAIN why God would NOT require an explanation, I will not believe anything more this sophist says.

Your thoughts on this issue?


So, "god designed the universe" can be the best answer, even if there is no explanation for god. Then, I suppose, the best answer to "Why is david sad today" could be "god designed the universe such that he would be sad". But if we keep asking for explanations we find out why he is said, that smoking can lead to lung cancer and death, that depression can prevent someone from quitting smoking, and what causes depression.

And if we understand all that, then perhaps we can be happy, free of lung cancer, and understand why our friends are unhappy. Or, we can say that "god designed the universe in such a way" and leave it at that.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 10:43 am
@Diogenes phil,
Diogenis wrote:
Unless Craig can EXPLAIN why God would NOT require an explanation, I will not believe anything more this sophist says.


Yes, it is a double standard, isn't it? He is happy to criticize science with this infinite regressive stance, but when it comes to his own supernatural beliefs, they are immune. Of course, this level of inconsistency is common with people like this, I think.
0 Replies
 
BrightNoon
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 May, 2010 11:46 pm
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent;164498 wrote:
What` s the problem? He `s right that explanation don` t need to be explained. If every explanation need to have an explanation to explain why it works, then we do have an infinite regress, and thus, nothing gets explained.

Craig is right about explanation, but what you might be interested in is if the explanation is any good. What distinguish a good explanation from a bad one. The theory for that is a separate issue.

check this out.

Theories of Explanation[The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]


An explanation, insofar as it exists at all, is not a absolute explanation - i.e. one which, in order to be true, does not require further explanation. There is no absolute explanation for anything, there is always an infinite regress. This is NOT a problem. The problem is in the belief that there is such a thing as absolute truth, an absolutely conclusive explanation, or a final cause, etc.

We humans seem to have this type of problem quite often. We take something with meaning, extrapolate it beyond its original definition, add terms to it, etc. and then ponder in vain over what it could be - what it could refer to.

It refers to NOTHING; the operation of creating the concept 'absolute truth' and then looking for it, is analogous to the operation of imagining a pink elephant and then looking for it. Consider how inane it is. I have never been able to make an indicative statement to which the question 'why is that the case' could not be asked - so what do I do? I say that there must exist an indicative statement to which the question 'why is that the case?' could NOT be asked, give it some name, like absolute truth, and then try to devise ways of finding it.

Consider the following phrase: 'jumping redly.' I have connected two individually meaningful concepts: jumping and red. But when I describe the activity jumping as red, when I say that one is jumping in a manner which is red, both meanings are destroyed: this is nonsense, and yet it's a phrase I could speak or write; I could ask what in reality it refers to. That I can do so does not mean that it does IN FACT refer to anything.

The same is true of final cause, absolute truth, etc. Just because I can express the phrase, does not mean that it actually refers to anything. It is nonsense, like jumping redly. The concept refers to nothing; it is only the very concept that it is - i.e. whatever happens to come to mind upon hearing the phrase.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 12:33 am
@Diogenes phil,
I don't think that comes to terms with Craig's argument, though. I think the point he makes is quite a sound one. He is addressing Dawkins who says, triumphantly, 'well who made God then? Got you, haven't I?' What Craig is arguing is that many scientific explanations have also no further explanation. Science doesn't go 'all the way down' to put it very crudely. We all know that mathematical physics is extraodinarily powerful, but at the same time, to ask 'why does mathematics work?' is to seek an explanation for why mathematical physics is as effective as it is. Why can't really explain the explicatory value of mathematics, we just know that it works very well.

So I don't think he 'proves the existence of God' or anything like that. But I think he does show that the 'who made God' argument is a pretty lousy argument.
0 Replies
 
Zetherin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 12:51 am
@Diogenes phil,
jeeprs wrote:
What Craig is arguing is that many scientific explanations have also no further explanation. Science doesn't go 'all the way down' to put it very crudely


I don't know what this means. Can you give me an example?

I'm curious, how many explanations would you need, for something to be fully explained to you? If you asked what the chemical composition of water is, and I answered "One hydrogen molecule and two oxygen molecules", would that not suffice for you?

More importantly, do you think you may be misusing the word "explanation"? Many of you mystical folk tend to confuse the word with "absolute X".

Quote:
We all know that mathematical physics is extraodinarily powerful, but at the same time, to ask 'why does mathematics work?' is to seek an explanation for why mathematical physics is as effective as it is. Why can't really explain the explicatory value of mathematics, we just know that it works very well.


I don't know what sort of question "Why does mathematics work?" is. What does that mean? If I told you 1+1=2, and you asked me "Why does that work", I wouldn't know how to respond. I would tell you it works because those are the values of the numbers, and those are the functions of those signs.
tun1994
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 12:59 am
@Zetherin,
Doesn't the explanation cease when the question itself satisfy?

Only when we ask more questions then it require more explanation. Like if I ask "which day is today?" and I only expect then answer to be the day. Only when i need further inquiries that i will ask more questions which lead to additional explanations.
0 Replies
 
jeeprs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 May, 2010 02:50 am
@Zetherin,
Zetherin;166335 wrote:
I don't know what sort of question "Why does mathematics work?" is. What does that mean? If I told you 1+1=2, and you asked me "Why does that work", I wouldn't know how to respond. I would tell you it works because those are the values of the numbers, and those are the functions of those signs.


That's right. You wouldn't know how to respond. Questioning 'what is number?' is a completely different kind of thing to using math to solve problems. Philosophy of mathematics is a large and difficult subject, with strong advocates for a variety of completely antagonistic views. Nevertheless math works wonderfully.

There is a classic essay on the philosophical enigma of mathematics which I am sure you are familiar with: The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences, which ends with the statement that "The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning."

Science itself proceeds from axioms and assumptions. So Craig's argument is simply observing that science begins with a certain level of explanation which in itself cannot be explained. We can't, and don't need, to understand why mathematical physics is effective. We simply know that it is effective, and we use it. Looking for an explanation for 'God' is an error of the same type as demanding an explanation for 'why math is effective'. The answer is: we don't know. It just is.

Now I am not writing this to argue for the fact that God does or doesn't exist, but to support what I understand as Craig's view, which is simply that this particular argument against Deity is invalid.

---------- Post added 05-20-2010 at 07:40 PM ----------

Incidentally, whoever named this thread 'science is destroyed' also misunderstands Craig's argument. He does not claim to 'destroy science' nor would he.
0 Replies
 
 

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