Debate 016: Chris and Blair debate deism & origins

Chris claimed he was a deist. At the end of his email I wasn’t convinced of his deism, but I was convinced of his Christianity. What do you think?

 

Chris Rebuttal #001:

I am a deist. I believe in a ‘G-d’ by nature and design but I am not one of an organized religion. I do not believe that G-d gave man revelation through the bible, Quran, etc..I do not believe he performs miracles for humans. The question I do have for you is one of ‘original matter’. The ‘Big Bang’ has been proven since 1990. Christians do not like the idea since it shows that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old but where did the original matter come from. What caused the energy, motion, mass, matter that initiated the ‘Big Bang’? I can’t believe that dead matter came into being by living matter. If you put a rock in a shoebox and leave it there for 5 trillion years it will not get up and walk, develop a cure for cancer or fly to the moon. What is your theory on original matter? God does not need a cause. I was a former atheist until I really understood the Big Bang. Some things do not need a cause. For instance, 2 + 2 =4 and will always equal 4. Before the earth was in existence 2 + 2 =4. It is a truth. Could someone possibly believe that 4 million years ago that a man decided by his thought power to develop a penis and a woman said “Oh, I’ll develop a vagina!” Then how did the man make his own sperm? What came first? The ability to reproduce or the drive to reproduce? If the drive came first but you could not reproduce, why would you want to reproduce to make the ability? If the ability came first, then why would it come about without the drive to reproduce? Hmmm. I am always open to a great philosophical discussion.

 

Response to Chris #001:

CHRIS: “The question I do have for you is one of ‘original matter’. What caused the energy, motion, mass, matter that initiated the ‘Big Bang’?”

The only answer I have to your question about what was before the Big Bang is that I don’t know. That doesn’t mean we should stop looking. I make my conclusions based on what I do know; not what I don’t know. In your research of the Big Bang you should have also discovered that we don’t know that much about the actual Big Bang. We only know 10(-43) seconds after the Big Bang. Before that mark we hit a singularity in mathematics. Our knowledge has not reached a level yet to understand the actual moment of the Big Bang. So understanding the Big Bang only leads to an understanding of just after the Big Bang.

CHRIS: “I can’t believe that dead matter came into being by living matter.”

Just because you don’t believe in something doesn’t mean that is not true (or false). Just because I don’t believe in god(s) doesn’t mean it isn’t true, either; I recognize the possibility that something may exist. I just prefer to deal with probability instead of possibility. Anything is possible, but not everything is probable. The bottom line is that we don’t have enough knowledge about life’s origins to say “no”. We can only go by what we do know and keep looking and hope that our search answers more questions than creating new questions.

CHRIS: “If you put a rock in a shoebox and leave it there for 5 trillion years it will not get up and walk, develop a cure for cancer or fly to the moon.”

If you put a strawman in a box he won’t get up and argue your point, either.

CHRIS: “What is your theory on original matter?”

I don’t have one because I don’t have any information on the subject because of our limitations in knowledge and ability to see that far back. Ask me in about 20 years when we know a bit more about it.

CHRIS: “God does not need a cause.”

Why doesn’t God need a cause?

CHRIS: “Some things do not need a cause. For instance, 2 + 2 =4 and will always equal 4. Before the earth was in existence 2 + 2 =4. It is a truth.”

Your assertion that 2+2-4 has always been is based on an assumption that what we see today is what existed prior to the Big Bang. That is only a safe assumption based on what we do know – not on what we don’t know. So I would be inclined to lean toward agreement with your assertion, but I cannot aver that it was such before the Big Bang or that the mathematical and physical properties of our current universe are universal or have always been the same as we see and understand them today.

How do you know it is truth? It is only truth based on the knowledge you currently have. How do we truly know that we have arrived at absolute truth? We base our view of truth on our level of knowledge. The general public asserts that the sky is blue based on their level of knowledge. Someone that has more knowledge has a different truth of the sky; that it is every color but blue. We assert that 2+2=4 because of our current knowledge of mathematics and because we base our system of mathematics on simple equations using single digits. Of course we invented those digits. Digits existed at the beginning of the universe only in the sense of what we understand digits to be. The universe didn’t know what a digit was. Man needed something to communicate by and math was invented – not found. Math was invented to help understand the universe around us. We took what was there and gave it a form that we could recognize.

We looked for a pattern. Just because we look for and find a pattern does not mean there was a pattern-maker. When we see a shape in the clouds that looks like a bear does that mean there was a pattern-maker that made the cloud look like a bear? Or is our brain in need of comforting patterns and sees a bear where there is none? Why does the brain force us to see a regular face when presented with a concave one? Because our brain needs pattern and looks for it. Design, intelligent or otherwise, is a concept of the brain, a need of the brain for there to be pattern.

CHRIS: “Could someone possibly believe that 4 million years ago that a man decided by his thought power to develop a penis and a woman said “Oh, I’ll develop a vagina!””

My computer screen is being invaded by strawmen. I suggest you do a little research on the evolution of sexuality and why two sexes are better than one when it comes to genetics.

CHRIS: “If the drive came first but you could not reproduce, why would you want to reproduce to make the ability? If the ability came first, then why would it come about without the drive to reproduce?”

Are you sure you’re a Deist? You’ve slipped a couple of times and spelled God with a capitol G and with the “o” in the middle. Your insistence upon absolute truth and the creation of man and his sexuality are standard Christian arguments and assertions.

Again, your questions are nothing but strawmen that oversimplify the process in order to make it sound ridiculous. You make it sound as if overnight a creature on Earth suddenly woke up and said, “What the hell is that long thing between my legs? That wasn’t there when I went to bed!”

CHRIS: “I am always open to a great philosophical discussion.”

That is just fine; but please refrain from using so many strawman arguments.

Chris has not responded.

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